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America's Next Top Model: "The Ladder Of Model Success"


America's Next Top Model

"The Ladder Of Model Success"

Season 11 , Episode 3

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"What I do: my. mind. goes. some. where. else." A valuable piece of advice, delivered in stunning self-important staccato, by Tyra herself that could be applicable in any number of ways to any number of the contestants on this cycle/season's ANTM. Tyra was talking to McKay (nee Brittany) about letting her mind wander in order to hold a pose for longer. But it could also be a great tip for someone like Sheena: "Whenever you feel yourself starting to slip into hoochie territory, let your. mind. go. some. where. prude." Or it could appply to Nikeysha, with her ongoing and fatal habit of interrupting Tyra: "When you have to keep quiet and listen to the slow, low stretching sound of Tyra's ego inflating with air, just keep your mouth shut, and let your mind. go. some. where. else." And it could apply to Hannah Alaskah's latent prejudices: "When you have to just hold all of your stupid thoughts inside, just breathe and let. your. mind. go. some. where. else."

Of course, the second Hannah Alaskah stops thinking stupid, vaguely bigoted thoughts, she starts thinking in gross exaggerations. "It's like gang rape. It's like gang violence," is the way she very earnestly described being brought before the "ethnic" girls tribunal to answer for her alleged crimes. Yes, Hannah Alaskah. Being asked, "Are you prejudiced?" by Joslyn (whose accent is so syrupy Southern it sounds like she's speaking through a mouthful of honey) is exactly like gang rape. Jesus. It's only episode three and we've already had the first physical altercation (well, Hannah pushing "the transgender" away from her in the jacuzzi), and the first racist accusation, followed by the first gross exaggeration.

Bankable Productions should just follow in Survivor's footsteps and turn this cycle/season into ANTM: Race War. They could split the girls into opposing camps to compete as teams against each other: Team Ethnic (Brittany, Sheena, Joslyn, Nikeysha) vs. Team "As A White Person.." (Hannah Alaskah) vs. Team Too-Much-Makeup (Clark, McKey) vs. Team Invisible (Lauren Brie, Analeigh) vs. Team Transgenders n' Comic Relief (Isis, Samantha, Marjorie). Elina can just sit on the sidelines and then swoop into every challenge and win by not acting like a complete jackass.

Speaking of complete jackasses, "posing coach" Benny Ninja was in this episode, resplendent in his neon Kermit ensemble and eager to teach the contestants valuable modeling skills, like how to pose inside giant, red tubes made out of pantyhose. Later on, he was joined by Trina Tarantino, an acessories designer who is so good at her trade that her candy pink hair resembled one of those hot pink, plastic wig-in-a-bags available for sale at Claire's Boutique. Her "sparkling jewelry" shed glitter, and her necklaces were over-sized Mardi Gras beads, but the thing she wanted the girls to model were her handbags. And model them they did. Hannah Alaskah put hers in the chandelier. (Don't blame her: she's from a small town. She's never seen lighting fixtures before!) The rest of the girls seemed to suspend the purses from their toes, or contort uncomfortably around them, except for Sheena who memorably followed her "feng shui" directly to her crotch. When Elina simply placed the bag on her shoulder, she automatically won.

At the photo shoot, Mr. Jay yelled at the girls from the top of a hot air balloon /visual representation of Tyra's massive inflatable ego that they had to pose on a rope ladder suspended from said balloon/Tyra ego representation. But instead they ended up hanging off of a rope ladder hanging off of a crane. Most of the girls seemed to hang pretty well, except Sheena (whose hoochieness and giant inflatable breasts got in the way), Isis (who the judges said had problems with her face, but really they just had problems with the schoolboy shorts she wore to judging), and Nikeysha (who, the judges seemed shocked to suddenly discover, has limbs about the width of a rope ladder rung).

Sheena fessed up to her fake breasts, so she got to stay, and Isis is the show's gimmick, so Tyra wouldn't drop her so easily. Instead Tyra got rid of Nikeysha, the only contestant brave/stupid enough to talk over, and possibly take attention away from herself–an ANTM crime that is always punishible by death.

Grade: B+

Stray Observations:

--Did anyone else notice the very strong resemblance between Nikeysha and Isis? Now that Tyra's broken up that set of dopplegangers, she should cut Hannah Alaskah, and let Analeigh stand on her own.

--OMG! Clark kissed a girl! She's just like Katy Perry but in layers of beige foundation!

--So how long do you think it took the production staff to get Mr. Jay out of that balloon following his speech? 45 minutes? An hour? As long as it takes for photographer Mike Ruiz to find a neon t-shirt that shows the optimal amount of pecs cleavage?

--"No nudity." That was Sheena's first and only Truth or Dare rule. Spoken like a true hoochie.

--"That's why you're going home. Cause you said you're going to go be an anesthesiologist." Oh, Tyra. Nikeysha doesn't know what an anesthesiologist is any more than she knows the unbreakable Tyra reverence rule of ANTM.

--"I looked and there was a freakin' balloon!" Samantha is definitely my favorite.