Recap: 'America's Next Top Model' Cycle 12 - 'Here's Your Test'
Hey, let’s make a bet. I’ll bet you a $100,000 contract with Cover Girl that Celia gets clobbered by another contestant on this here upcoming episode of "America's Next Top Model." Wishful thinking? Of course not! Celia is like a wispy little Coddington fairy who looks like she could get crushed by a banana leaf. I wouldn’t wish that uneven fight on my worst enemy’s dog!
Then again, the last four episodes of "ANTM" Cycle 12 have teetered awfully close to boring. If it takes sacrificing Celia to the throat-chewing bitchiness of, say, a Sandra, well, sorry, li’l fairy. Nice knowing you. Can we at least get a halfway decent catfight, please? Or at least some more footage of Fo pointlessly crying over her haircut?
[Recap of Wednesday's (April 1) episode after the break...]
Episode five opens instead with none of the above:
“What happened at panel was so, like, backstabbing,” Tahlia whines into the confessional. “Celia decided she was pretty much going throw me under the bus.”
How about telling Celia that to her face, eh? Who cares if you worry you might “explode,” as you put it? It’s called reality TV. You’re supposed to explode. Often.
Instead, for whatever reason, Tahlia first allows Teyona and Aminat to do her dirty work. The two pull a "Dynasty" and try bitching at Allison -- an apparent Celia ally -- from a divalike position on the stairwell. Tahlia finally makes some sort of dramatic speech from said stairwell, drawing Natalie’s sarcastic applause. (Natalie, I suppose, is another Celia ally. Why does there always have to be a division along racial lines every single season?)
In the end, Aminat, apparently feeling the need to be Tahlia’s mother, gets up in Natalie’s face. It’s Aminat who ends up looking like an idiot.
First challenge! With the help of Beth Stern, Howard’s model wife, the girls must learn to master certain expressions in front of a mirror. Allison, a prisoner of her massive anchovy eyes, cannot seem to get the idea of “sensual.” She just looks sad. And, oddly, deliciously salty.
“Yes, I have big eyes, they’re on my face, sorry, they’re not going anywhere,” Allison declares.
Celia impresses the pros with her facework -- as does Tahlia. Natalie once again channels that Madonna thing during her trip the mirror. “Very Victoria’s Secret,” Mr. Jay exclaims. “And that’s a good thing!”
Sandra, Sandra, Sandra. With every episode, it grows clearer that our African Queen has a face as dry and expressionless as the Veldt from which you sprang. To channel “mystery,” she half-closes her eyes. To her credit, sleep can be a very mysterious thing.
Now comes the real challenge. Each aspiring model must step up to a giant photo of Tyra Banks -- with her face removed. Kind of like a carny attraction without the caramel corn. Now I really want caramel corn.
Celia is up first. She flops about a bit, but Beth is charitable and says she has great potential. But compared with Sandra, Celia looks like Linda Evangelista. Allison remains a “frightened bird,” in Mr. Jay’s words. London and Natalie both rock their challenge, but Tahlia tries too hard and fails miserably. Natalie wins, scoring 50 percent more frames in her next shoot.
Tahlia decides to calmly talk to Celia about her ongoing conflict with her. Tahlia says she is disappointed in Celia. It’s very impressive and mature -- the polar opposite of the kiddie theatrics that Aminat prefers. It’s also not a catfight, but I trust, ladies, that you will make that up to me in later episodes. Otherwise no more binging on strawberries or carrot stick treats for you. I can and will take all your lettuce away.
Here comes a photo shoot with photographer Keith Major. Each model gets splashed with a bold color -- all over her face -- and asked to, you know, emote it. Allison cannot channel the girliness of pink, but Aminat seems to get the “Earth” vibe with her green. Tahlia gets purple and barely pulls out some sensuality at the end.
Teyona, slathered in sunny yellow, smiles a lot, but Mr. Jay hates it. “I think we’ve found Teyona’s weakness,” he crows. “She can’t smile!” Maybe it’s because her weave is too tight. Just saying!
Fo rocks her red shade, earning a polite, “This is really pretty,” from a surprised sounding Mr. Jay. What’s your damage, Jay? Fo IS pretty, even when she looks like she’s been attacked by mean crayons.
Oh, London, London, street preacher, muse, how I love thee in blue. Nobody has a face like yours, girl. You go ahead and thank Jesus for that. I’ll thank your DNA. Celia looks lovely in gray; Mr. Jay calls it her best work in a weel.
Natalie, the challenge winner, for some reason stiffens up. Her shoot sucks. Who knows, maybe she’s scared of orange. Is there an orange phobia? Sandra, for her part, doesn’t seem to know what to do with white. She just half-closes her eyes again. White must make her sleepy. I know that’s what her photo shoots do to me. Time to go home! Go on! Shoo!
Celia also fears she is going to be sent home, thanks to her antics at the last panel.
Speaking of panel: Here it is. Aminat is up for critique first.
“This is the modern take on green,” Nigel says. “I love it.”
Here comes Natalie and -- whoa! Her face looks boneless! Still, she isn’t exactly flayed for her performance in orange. Tahlia is next. Her photo is praised, but she’s also asked by Nigel how she feels about all that went down. She admits her insecurities, and Nigel responds that it’s her job to sell them on keeping her on the show.
Celia has perfectly embodied gray and gets mad positive reactions; so does Fo with her hot, hot red shot. Teyona also is praised for being a “chameleon.”
Allison’s best shot is pretty nice, but it’s become clear she struggles with range. Sandra does even worse. She finally delivers a straight on shot, but ugh, it’s poison. As Nigel says, it’s not beauty, it’s not fashion, it’s not anything, really.
So of course she’s in the final bottom two right? Please, mommy Tyra, please?
First let’s take a look at the adults deliberating. Celia really is under fire, despite her fabu photo.
“I don’t love that she’s a tattletale,” judge Paulina declares.
“It’s weird,” Nigel says. “After what happened last week I find it very hard to actually even deal with Celia. I just look at her and think ‘Goodness me, are you even going to be able to survive in this industry?’”
OK, so, the callout order. Fo is called first, followed by can-do-no-wrong Teyona, then Tahlia.
Bottom two? Sandra -- hooray -- and Celia.
“What the judges saw last week was one of the most non beautiful things they have ever seen in the history of America’s Next Top Model,” Tyra scolds Celia. “You threw somebody under the bus.”
But Celia’s photos and personal style are miles above Sandra, who is sent packing.
“I’m pissed off, I did not deserve to go home,” Sandra says.
Yeah you did.
Coming up next week ... did I just see Clay Aiken!?
Did the right girl go home?