Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

America's Next Top Model: "Take Me To The Photo Shoot"

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"You want me to go to your country? Well it depends on what country you from."

[Frightened giggles]

"What the hell is this? A gift from your country." [Tyra holds the Brazil nut away from her like it's a bug] "It's a peCAN?"

[Strained, frightened giggles again fill the room]

"It's a big ass peanut?"

[The girls reach down inside themselves to force out one more plastic chuckle each. Their lives depend on it.]

"It's a Brazil nut! You guys, we're going to Brazil!]

A pathetic shower of yellow and green confetti floats from the ceiling as if God himself took time out of his busy Make-Ye-Olde-Londonetowne-gain-weight schedule to crack open the heaven's saddest pinata. Paulina nearly falls asleep while waving a Brazilian flag. Ms Jay finally gets to use the Carmen Miranda headdress he carries with him at all times. The girls quiver in fear, which reads as unenthusiastic dancing. And Nigel and Mike Ruiz shake maracas as if they were shaking their own final, feeble death rattles from their bodies. Tyra chews. When she is finished, she manages to croak: "Aaaaand scene." I'm surprised she didn't take off her mic, drop it to the floor, and begin oozing her way back to the abyss, mumbling, "We're done, right?"


That had to have been the most half-assed "We're going to [insert name of country that probably has nothing to do with fashion]!" announcement in the history of ANTM. Were no Brazilian soccer players available to come kicking and scrimmaging all over the set for 90 seconds? What about samba dancers? Or people in giant mango and pinapple costumes? What the hell? Instead they just gave Nigel Barker a pair of maracas and hoped for the best. For a show that used to be a spinning gravitron of ridiculousness, it was a very sad display indeed. This cycle/season is now officially an abandoned amusement park that isn't even interesting enough to merit a good haunting.

Still, this episode did have one thing going for it. No, not she's-an-icon-if-we-say-she's-an-icon-several-times R&B singer, Ciara. No, not Nigel's angry hissy fit at the prospect that a model would dare suggest that any other photographer besides him was her favorite? No, not the sight of prairie dog Ann Shoket popping her head above ground, looking around, and then burrowing back underground. And no, not Jay Manuel's "No one understands what a creative director does" speech. This episode had street preaching! Well, confessional preaching by professional faux-street preacher, Ye Olde Londonetowne. See, God and Londontowne have a special relationship: God gave London perma-smile eyes and put her on ANTM, and in return London agreed to not invoke God until the ANTM episode where she was obviously going to be kicked off. See, it's better for the producers this way, and God sympathizes with producers. (He doesn't, however, sympathize with photo shoot creative directors, because, even though He's omnicient, He still has no idea what they do. Pick out clothes? Recommend smokey eyes? Make modeling suggestions like, "More, you know."? )


And so, when Londontowne was wrapped in fifty feet of cable and placed to writhe at the feet of Ciara for the terminally boring "Wear Fifty Feet Of Cable And Writhe At The Feet Of Ciara" photo shoot, she called upon God to give her the confidence to get over her 10 to 15 pound (really?) weight gain and be a true top model. And later on, when she was lamenting with the other girls about how terribly she (and God) did on the photo shoot, she confessional preached that God put her on the show for a reason. Apparently, the reason was to be badgered about how her "body is a temple" and it's really "all about eating a balanced diet", and "what are you eating anyway?" before getting kicked off because God, stupid God, made her gain weight and lose her dream of being America's Next Lash Blast Cover Girl Commercial Doer During ANTM Cycle 13. Surprisingly, though, Londontowne took the whole thing in stride. "I thought that the day that I was going to be eliminated that I would be really upset with God," she exit interviewed. "But I'm really not at all."

"Even though it's completely His fault" she added—with her eyes, before Tyra struck her down with a great gust of cold wind and a hailstorm of frozen Brazil nuts.


Grade: B-

Stray Observations:

—How long is the real time between casting and this episode? Because 15 pounds is a lot to gain in what seems like a pretty short period of time. Maybe Ms Jay wasn't just being bitchy when he asked London, "What are you eating?" Maybe he was genuinely curious.


—I called Ann Shoket a prairie dog above, and I stand by my assessment, but she also has elements of one of those dashboard bobblehead statues. She couldn't control her wobbling head during the "Do Nothing (Like A Photo Shoot Creative Director)" Challenge.

——"I have the face I have the body and I have the DAMN personality, I mean come on why am I getting a C+ B -" Oh, Aminat. Maybe it's because in your photo you posed as if Ciara was birthing you?


—Lemur Barbie called herself a "woodland creature," made a mean face in a photo, and insulted Nigel Barker's ego (which is apparently made out of the most delicate Faberge eggs). If ANTM had a fan favorite, she would win.

—So, we all think Teyona's gonna win, right? Tyra loves her, and who else is there? Maybe Fo, but only because she's been so quiet thus far.