Recap: 'America's Next Top Model' - 'Matthew Rolston'
Confession: I haven’t seen an episode of “ANTM” since Jaslene took the crown in Cycle 8, so I was sort of shocked to get caught up with this season and learn it was already in Cycle 15. That’s six whole winners who have posed their way into modeling obscurity since I last laid eyes on Ms. Tyra and the gang. Lucky for me, it appears absolutely nothing about the show has changed: the girls still bring the drama while competing for a somewhat irrelevant prize, the producers still give them ridiculously ugly makeovers, and Tyra still thinks she’s Oprah. It may sound like I am putting down the show, but honestly there is something comforting about how little things have evolved over the years. I mean, there needs to be somewhere in this vast wasteland of reality television where a girl can catwalk her way to $100,000, right?
[Full recap of Wednesday's "America's Next Top Model" after the break...]
So far this season, Amazonian Ann has clearly been the top dog, and a few of the girls are a bit tired of her dominance already. Especially nervous about Ann’s kickassery is Rhianna, who has a similar style to her and knows she has been lacking in her own photos so far. Also sweating the competition is last week’s bottom two survivor Lexie, who promises to do all of those nebulous reality show contestant things like “bringing it” and “playing to win.” Do you think as soon as you are cast in a reality show they give you a book of common reality show interview phrases?
Kacey (who has a boyfriend) decides to invite the male models from last week’s photo shoot over for a barbecue. To a normal person, it might sound fun to eat hot dogs with hot boys. Kacey, in fact, is having a grand old time with hottie Shaw (but I think she might have a boyfriend). The rest of the girls, however, act like having the guys in the house is a punishment akin to waterboarding. (Oh, and did you hear? Kacey has a boyfriend.) Later, the whole house attacks Kacey for generally being an unpleasant person. I wonder if they don’t like her because she has a boyfriend? Because she does, or so I’ve heard.
Tyra Mail for the challenge this week hints that the girls’ world is going to be “turned upside down,” which of course means they are going to take pictures while riding a roller coaster. I knew I should have tried harder to pose for those mid-ride cameras. I could have been discovered! Not only will they have to pose according to a specific theme, but that theme will be dictated to them by Nigel while they are on the ride. Most of the models acquit themselves quite well, but a terrified Chris’ photo looks more “frightened for her life” than the directed “distracted.” Liz takes the prize with a very capable “catalog” shot, and she is chosen to get a private photo session shot by Tyra herself. Liz takes Kayla and Chris along with her, and they all three get their photos taken by Tyra and then have a tea party. As you do.
This week’s photo shoot involves diamonds and dead sea creatures, and is shot by Matthew Rolston, who is apparently a famous photographer I am stupid for not being familiar with. Hey, at least I don’t have to play with smelly octopus carcasses on a nationally televised game show. (I do it for free.) It’s actually an amazing-looking shoot, with the models being shot with water both above and below them to achieve a true “under the sea” look. Most of the girls do well except for Liz, who has a contact meltdown she can’t overcome and earns the ire of Mr. Jay.
At panel, they start with the good – and there was a lot of good this week. Kacey’s terrible gold shoes at panel cause Tyra to give her the ones off of her own feet, but fortunately her photo is stunning. Kayla’s photo is also lovely, and Tyra calls her a “chameleon” and “sexy Ariel.” Esther’s shot is gorgeous as well, very old Hollywood. Ann is next, and of course hers is a stunner. Truly, the camera loves that girl. Chris also gets a great photo, despite what the panel describes as her horrendously disfigured forehead. Kendal also takes a gorgeous shot. Jane’s photo is decent, but Tyra wants more neck. Lexie has an okay photo, but it’s yet another profile shot.
Rhianna isn’t so fortunate, as hers is the first of the photos to be frowned upon. Also not bringing it this week is Chelsey, whose straight-on beauty shot is doing unfortunate things to her nose and lips. The judges seem to think heavy makeup “wears her” and not the other way around, which seems like a flawed argument. If she doesn’t look good in heavy makeup, shouldn’t it be the makeup artist and photographer’s job to not use heavy makeup on her? If you don’t look good in brick red lipstick, you don’t look good. You can’t change that by tilting your head or parting your lips. Whatever, panel. Last up is Liz, whose photo reflects everything that went wrong during her shoot.
At the elimination, Ann wins best photo for the third straight week. If she keeps this up, the other girls are going to start slipping rat poison in her toothpaste. Kacey is runner up, and Chelsey gets the last photo before the bottom two of Rhianna and Liz are revealed. Despite her questionable attitude, Liz remains in the competition and Rhianna is eliminated. Goodbye, hippie-not-popstar Rhianna. We didn’t really know you at all.
Next week: Lexie and Kacey square off yet again. Also: treadmill runways!