So who goes home tonight? The tight-faced blonde, the girl with Louise Brooks hair, or the tight-faced blonde? The other tight-faced blonde -- no, the other other tight-faced blonde -- went home last week, leaving Hannah, Molly and Brittani to battle it out. The prize: Posing in an orange clown wig on the cover of Beauty in Vogue, plus a spread in Italian Vogue and the honor of several air kisses with Andre Leon Talley.
Hannah did not like last week’s trip to the bottom two, and if she doesn’t win she’ll have to go back to Houston, where there is no modeling industry. She almost cries, as opposed to her other emotion: actually crying.
Brittani flashes a shot of her trailer home, and, actually, it’s not all that bad. Molly informs us that she understands life better than her remaining competitors; she also has not conquered her abandonment issues since last episode.
Here comes the first challenge! After being treated to our umpteenth shot of a snake charmer in a souk, Mr. Jay arrives at the house. Lara Spencer is on a TV, speaking to the girls from the set of The Insider. Each girl must research a fashion trend and do a 90-second “live spot.” Argan oil, black kohl and henna are the three Moroccan trends that the girls get to choose from. Molly, having an attitude as black as coal, chooses black kohl.
Brittani gets henna. She has trouble finding an English-speaking person to speak about the stuff on camera. Hannah studied journalism in college but talks like a lobotomized teenager from San Fernando, so she sort of washes herself out. She also struggles to get her chosen locals to speak in Ryan Seacrest-style sound bites.
Brittani’s video is a bit awkward, but, to her credit, she wants to be a model, not a host. Molly has more confidence than you might expect and comes off as relaxed -- even though she’s caught criticizing herself on camera. Hannah still sounds like a dingbat; I would say she sounds like she’s reading off of a TelePrompTer, but she doesn’t sound like a person who can read. She also runs out of time.
Molly wins the challenge.
“Ha ha, bitches,” Molly says. Way to keep it classy!
Hannah, being Hannah, weeps for the fifth time in as many seconds.
“In my heart, I feel like I did win,” she says.
Back at the house, Tyra pays a visit and asks the girls to recount their struggles. In other words, time to cry some more. Molly reveals that she is a bitch to hide her sadness and that her adoptive parents are the best people on Earth. Hannah cries about something. Brittani weeps about her trailer park poverty.
Tyra then reveals se is going to shoot the girls on the rooftop. She greases them up and then bids them pose. They do so. Brittani seems to shoot lasers out of her eyes, and that’s no small feat, given all the makeup surrounding her peepers.
Next comes a lesson in isolation: moving only one part of the body at a time. All top models know how to isolate each eyebrow, et cetera, so the lesson makes sense. Finally, musicians join them on the rooftop and everybody gets to dance in fezzes with long tassels.
The next TyraMail uses the word “committed,” and the girls wonder if there’s an insane asylum in Morocco. If there is such a place, we shall never know. Instead the girls are brought to a beach to pose in Moroccan wedding dresses with a male model. Unfortunately, that male model is not Nigel. He is behind the camera instead. Each girl is clad in a long dress and a fabulous belt.
Cue smoke machine!
Molly has trouble deliveirng emotion, and Mr. Hay says there is no chemistry between her and the model. Her reaction to her own performance?
Hannah looks a bit too aggressive, but Nigel likes her commitment to the photo about commitment.
Brittani went with a “narrative” of disdain, but Mr. Jay says she isn’t telling any story at all. The critique spurs her to -- surprise! burst into tears. Boom! Insta-narrative!
“But she can’t try every time she gets photographed,” Nigel notes.
Well, Nigel, maybe that’s her trademark, like Cindy Crawford’s mole.
Along with Andre Leon Talley, Nigel and Tyra, we have guest judge Ivan Bart, vice president of IMG Models and the starmaker behind Lara Stone and Gisele.
Tyra announces that she loved everyone’s film so much that each girl gets two shots!
Brittani’s shots get mixed reviews, and Nigel points out that Brittani cried on set yet again. Her shots are professional, but perhaps not her best.
Here comes Hannah. She gets schooled for being a bit too emotional as well, and she has a gauche foot, darling. But Bart likes her energy in panel better than the other two.
Molly gets the highest praise. She delivers beautiful, emotional shots after all.
“You do great things, Molly,” Bart raves.
Big announcement: The two finalists will walk in a Vivienne Westwood fashion show for the finale.
The callout: Molly.
Bottom two: Brittani and Hannah.
Hannah makes judges wonder if she can do anything but cry. As for Brittani, she just seems to be fading under the strain of this here international competition.
So who goes home?
As she weeps into the camera, Hannah says she is confused about why Tyra thinks she’s not strong enough for modeling.
NEXT WEEK: This will be a Brittani-Molly showdown! Both will bring their best -- we hope -- to that Westwood show.