“All New Episode” my ass! Damn you, UPN, for taking a page from the FOX playbook, which dictates that TV programmers must milk a successful series for all its worth and extend a its run by inserting a superfluous clip episode containing an infinitesimal amount of “never-before-seen” footage which makes the term “all new episode” a complete misnomer. Like the amount of actual meat you find in the Mushu Pork at your local Chinese takeout, the amount of new material in this “Recap” episode is nominal at best. What nerve! As if we weren’t already foaming at the mouth to see the much-ballyhooed “orgy” episode! I am so mad at UPN to keep us waiting! I fart in their general direction! Okay, let’s make this quick and painless—should you desire more detail, click on the chapter titles—they’ll lead you to that episode’s original recap. Henceforth, the recap of the Recap episode.
Tyra informs us that for season two of ANTM, “we had to choose from thousands and thousands of applicants,” over video of various girls auditioning, some of them finalists (like April and Sara, who pose in bathing suits) but most of them rejects. We’re then shown portions of the final dozen’s application videotapes, some of them homemade and some from cattle calls. It’s a shock (but also a bit endearing) to see Shandi back in her pre-makeover nerd specs and mousy brown pigtails saying, “I am tired of working at Walgreens!” Mercedes looks as adorable as ever, declaring her “flavor” as “sassy” (what is she, America’s Next Top Barbecue Sauce?). Heather sits in a chair and says she just turned 18 three days ago (Yay, jailbait no more! I’m just thankful they didn’t show her calling herself “fresh fish” again. Creepy!). Jenascia shows us the basketball hoop in her shower (this is the most compelling clip they could find for her?). Anna shows us, of course, her kid (who is admittedly cute as a button, but enough with the breeder stuff). Xiomara tells us how to pronounce her name (See-O-marrrrrrrrra—roll those r’s!). Bethany does some weird faux karate (um, okay). Yoanna bemoans the dearth of good department stores in Jacksonville, FL (while scratching her head and scrunching her nose rather unattractively I might add). Catie says, unequivocally, “I hate models” (This is a selling point? At least she’s not crying). Camille, wearing a dress that looks like she wrapped a loud beach towel around herself, is talking about people who are irritating or get on your nerves (that’s rich). April says, prophetically, “I’m a fighter to the death, let the games begin” (and even though her makeover was a subtle, a look back really shows how much it helped improve her looks). Sara (I’d forgotten how I much I missed her until this moment) lies on the floor in her now famous audition tape with her handwritten “Sara for Next Top Model” sign saying “I have what it takes, of course” and blows us a kiss.
We then travel back in time to the very first episode: the girls wandering the streets of Manhattan with their suitcases, meeting Tyra on deck of the USS Intrepid for their first runway show in front of NYFD and military personnel. We relive the stress as they prepare to strut their stuff in a mere half hour, with April discovering she put on the wrong outfit with only a minute before showtime, and Jenascia coming to a crying April’s rescue. We see the fashion show itself, with the girls looking like tragedy in high heels (remember Anna’s little head flick during her turn?), and J. Alexander telling them they all “sucked”. Ah memories.
Of course, the biggest snafu occurs the next morning, when Jenascia oversleeps, and is left behind by the rest of the girls. April, who was torn over whether or not to go back up and wake the sleeping beauty, ultimately decides not to jeopardize making everyone else tardy or risk getting left behind herself and cries during the drive over to the photo shoot. It’s funny when you think about how April is now perceived as the cold, analytical person when, based on the first episode alone, she is seen crying the most (until Catie, of course, became the Queen of Tears).
Episode One was, of course, the Eve shoot—still one of my favorite photo sessions of the season. There is not that much new footage: a bit more of Jenascia’s tearful tirade upon finally arriving almost 3 hours late; Jenascia eating breakfast with Camille at the shoot saying, “I just didn’t realize some people were that threatened by me.” There’s also Camille talking about how her father might not approve of her being naked, but at least she if she is, it’s as an angel and Sara saying, “Grandma, please don’t hate me,” both oddly reminiscent of those moments in Girls Gone Wild when the drunk teens on the beach screech, “Sorry Daddy!” before lifting their tops. Of course, we see Anna crying about her moral dilemma over the nudity involved in the shoot and her Christ-like refusal to show her coochie to anyone but her man and her OB-GYN…a decision which ultimately led to her dismissal in episode one.
We watch as J. Alexander teaches the girls how to walk like ladies on the runway. Nothing new here, except the painful reminder of how bad everyone was at the beginning. Back at home, Camille and Yoanna get into their first big catfight, which initiates an incendiary house meeting later on.
Bethany has her own battle to fight: with her breasts. She talks to Tyra who tells her that she’s not the only model with big breasts, and what she needs to do is pose in ways that do not emphasize her fun bags. Bethany complains about being criticized for the same thing over and over again, and Tyra tells her “Lay off the attitude, it’s not necessary. I’m here to help you.” Rowr! I don’t remember this little exchange.
Then it’s off to the Steve Madden shoot, where the girls styled themselves and chose their own photos. We see a few poses they didn’t show the last time, e.g. Mercedes in a backbend like the scene they deleted from the original Exorcist. Bethany did her best to avoid “poking her chest out” but “in the end the judges decided she was not versatile enough for fashion modeling,” a nice way to say, “See you in a little ad at the back of Penthouse, Sweetheart.”
Makeover time! We see the girls at the salon getting transformed into sexy bombshells and, in Catie’s case at least, prepubescent boys. We relive the magic of Catie’s first official hissy fit over her new Peter Pan hair. Tyra attempts to comfort her by saying that the only models who can pull off short hair are the most beautiful because there’s no hair to hide behind. Catie cries.
Heather, the other blonde 18 year-old crybaby, reveals another side to us in “never-before-seen” footage from the bonus recap episode. Another bizarre, attention-seeking side that I don’t regret having not seen the first time around. We see Heather drinking out of a pot containing--what, clams? Stones? I don’t know what’s in there. She burps, then next thing you know, she’s lying on the floor, red-faced and laughing. Please don’t tell me they got the underaged kids drunk; although if I must choose between thinking of her as a corrupted minor or as possibly retarded, I might actually prefer the former to explain her odd behavior. Sara bets Heather $5 that she won’t run around the house “butt-naked,” so Heather (again, either inebriated, mentally challenged, or possibly extremely hard up for money) proceeds to run around the house, not “butt-naked” but rather, with only her butt naked, i.e. she runs through the hallways with a shirt on, but nothing on her keister other than a pixellated circle. Sara is laughing so hard, she is literally rolling on the floor along with another girl (April or Yoanna, not sure, as her face is obscured). And to think, she did this all in front of some lucky, lucky camera man.
Heather is certainly not afraid to make a complete ass out of herself on national television, but not everyone is quite so fearless. When TyraMail announces:
Venusttraphobia: The fear of beautiful women
Ophidiophobia: The fear of snakes
Algophobia: The fear of pain
What are you afraid of? We’ll find out tomorrow.
…April freaks out. I mean, stone-cold freaks out. Her face is frozen in open-mouthed fear, and she is so afraid that she can’t even say the word “snake” and says that she’s going home.
The next day at the shoot, they show scenes of Jenascia trying to calm down and coax a totally hysterical April into walking with her into the dilapidated building where they will do the suspended Laundry fashion shoot. That explains why April was holding on so tight to Jenascia; she still feared that the photo shoot would somehow involve the “S” word. Jenascia, who does look itty bitty next to the taller April, has to practically drag April to get her to move a few feet. Sara even comes out to help Jenascia help April, holding her tightly and telling her “They can’t sneak up on you.” Actually, they can, unless they’re rattlers, right? Anyway, the point is, these are such sweet girls! It’s nice to see how much they supported each other, despite being in a competition with one another.
When Jay tells them that the shoot involves being suspended several stories into the air, April is relieved, passing the baton of freak-out to Catie, who is deathly afraid of heights. So Catie cries on the phone to her dad. The rest of the girls do the shoot, with varying success; Heather, for example, can’t seem to keep her fly trap mouth closed. Xiomara, if you recall, offers to go ahead of Catie, but is gipped on direction by Jay who spends most of Xio’s shoot time comforting Catie. And of course, once suspended in the air Catie cries, face contorted into one of the most hideous and hilarious expressions I have ever seen in my lifetime. Good times.
Come judgment day, Xiomara’s “act of kindness backfires”—the judges hate her picture, and she feels its due to the lack of direction she received while Jay was off babysitting Catie. Catie steps up to argue that Jay wasn’t off comforting her because he was directing Xiomara the whole time. Janice sums up the pettiness of the entire squabble in two words: “Boarding school!”
We learn, however, that it wasn’t only the girls who got belligerent. Over a slo-mo shot of Janice ringing Jay’s neck, Tyra tells us sometimes that sometimes even the judges had it out (although not, of course, with her, because she’s perfect). When Jay says that Heather, whom he had mass difficulties directing on the shoot, “looks like a porno star,” Janice defends her quite vehemently, shooting back with, “So do you.” Jay does not take this crack lying down (no pun intended) and points to Janice, saying, “We’re talking Silicon Valley at the other end of the table!” The other judges, especially Tyra and Nigel, appear amused, as the fight continues…
Janice: Oh stand up, let’s see the girdle you’re wearing!
Jay: Janice, yours is already surgically cinched, I snap one thread and it’s down.
Janice: Honey, look at your face, please. And your dyed hair…
Jay [rolling eyes expansively]: Okay!
Now that’s what I call never-before-seen footage! Two veritable foes waging a war of words, neither backing down. Far less exciting is the additional footage of Xiomara and Catie crying and whining and making up backstage. SNORE! And then, you know, Heather gets nixed.
More scintillating never-before-seen moments are revealed, like Yoanna washing the dishes, Catie cleaning the bathroom sink. Apparently, while the girls cleaned up after themselves, Camille was on the phone, relaxing in the confession room chair. “Let me tell you about Miss Diva,” Catie says, “Her explanations are always incredibly, incredibly wrong.” To prove it, we see a clip of Camille justifying her not helping the rest of her roommates clean in the most circuitous, interminable speech. Catie tells her to just try to find something to do, and Camille continues to yammer on. Icky, I think we’ve all had roommates like that.
The next day is when they meet with Simon Doonan, where they play “The Branding Game.” Before you start heating up the irons, no they aren’t going to burn “Ty” onto their asses for prosperity as you would expect Tyra to ask of her slaves, The Branding Game consists of picking up as many cards (with adjectives printed on them such as “hedonistic”, “addicted to black”, “laid-back”, “slutty”, “rocker”, “preppy” and “fresh”—what are these, cliques from my high school?) as they feel describes their personal style. Sara picked “natural” and “exotic”—“As in dancer,” Simon snipes in his snippity snippy British voice. Shandi selected “nerdy” because “I feel I have a geeky style” she says. Mercedes chose “coquettish” because “I just learned the word.” Who says models don’t value education?
Catie, as you remember, was roundly abused by Simon for her “hooker-style” and in this clip, we see that he dug into her early on, asking her, “Where you having a break with reality when you got ready?” We get a replay of Simon and Catie’s squabble which ends, as always, with Catie crying (and in this case, all the other girls snickering behind her back).
While Catie lets her issues all hang out, Mercedes keeps hers all in. We’re reminded about her chronic illness, lupus, and about how she has chosen to keep it a secret. The stress of the competition is starting to make her hair fall out, and her energy level is dropping, which starts to show at the celebrity look-alike photo shoot. Mercedes wasn’t the only girl with problems that day. We see Jenascia’s attitude come out when Tyra and the photographer attempt to direct her that day, and also later, when J. Alexander returns for more runway training (in a t-shirt that says “Drag Queen Rehab”). Sadly, it is an attitude that greatly displeases the people she’s working with and ends up reflecting poorly on her come judgment. Shorty gets eighty-sixed. After talking about how much the house will “suck” without her, she says, crying, “See how I can be upset, but I can still be funny? I’m [bleep]ing great.”
The psychic visits and we see everybody crying (when is someone not crying on this show?). The only new footage here is of Yoanna, trying to see if she can connect with her dead grandmother, with whom she shared a love of fashion. Yoanna breaks down saying, “She’d wake me up every morning on Saturdays to watch Elsa Klensch, and if she knew I was here [inaudible due to sobbing]…I was so chubby and fat and always got made fun of, and I lost the weight…I’m sorry, I just miss her so much.” It is so damn heartbreaking, that by the time the psychic tells her, “You can’t kill a heart connection, ever, it never dies,” I too am a blubbering mess.
Janice interviews the girls, and we hear some of the other questions she asked, like “If a photographer offered you guaranteed fame if you slept with him for the cover of a magazine or a makeup campaign, what would you do?” April asks, “Is he attractive?” Yoanna politely says, “No thank you, next?” as if being offered a variety sandwiches at high tea. Camille, like Aprils, wants to know, “Is he fine?” Sara, withy characteristic gusto, says, “Hell no!” April finally answers, after thoroughly analyzing the situation I’m sure, “I would not do it.”
Back to the stuff we’ve already seen: Camille offending PTA mother Janice, Mercedes owning up to her illness, Sara and Mercedes’ moms coming over as their prize (for Mercedes winning the interview contest). Of course, Tyra’s mom also joined them that evening, telling us that she took Tyra’s earliest photos, and Tyra was rejected by six agencies before she was finally signed.
We also get another glimpse of the Queench water shoot, including Camille’s infamous underwater “drag queen vogue.” I had forgotten how comical Xiomara’s ungainly flailing was as well. Guest judge Nolé Marin comments that Xiomara “looked like a large animal that was floundering in the water, it was very unattractive.” So it was buh-bye to Xiomara.
Camille wakes up with her lips all swollen from an allergic reaction or, perhaps, poetic justice. The girls do their beauty shots that day, as well as go for their first day of dramatic training with an acting coach. And when I say dramatic, I mean dramatic—tears, snot, saliva flying all over the place. Now that’s what I call method acting!
There is, however, no method to Camille’s madness onstage during their acting test. We once again get to see her bravura performance, in which she improvised almost all-new dialogue, this time with a handy pop-up box of the actual dialogue as it was written in the script. Camille’s dialogue bears no resemblance whatsoever to the script and, furthermore, just makes no kind of sense. For example, instead of “I cried myself to sleep for 6 months,” Camille said, “I cried, Colin, not for one, not for two but I cried for six months!” Or, instead of “And then, one day, I woke up and remembered what you told me,” she said, “You know me, Laura, the strong, the proud, the one that you love and respected.” And there is my favorite improvised line of all, apropos of nothing Camille says, “I focused my energy into sculpting, I even gave some away to charity…” WTF?!! She concludes her performance with a hug. Also putting in a less than stellar performance is Catie, who did such a poor job with her scene that her fellow actor actually laughed at her while they were on stage. She also couldn’t kiss the actor because, “I have a boyfriend,” she giggles. We also see the Rollitos commercial being filmed, again, then Catie is given the old heave-ho on judgment day.
Oh yeah, it’s dance time again. We get to see additional video of the girls dancing for choreographer Tony, segments we most likely didn’t see due to the stultifying suckiness of everyone’s dance moves. Camille tries to bring a chair over for her dance, and Yoanna cracking, “Imagine, Camille! Always have to up and up.” Tony cuts off Camille’s dance sequence, yelling at her to get away from him and declaring her “illegal.”
Also not seen before, is a sequence of Tyra coming over to the girls’ apartment with a passel of “some of New York city’s most divalicious drag queens.” They come over, apparently only half-geesh, not dressed as women that is (one, in fact, looks like a femmed-up Adam Sandler), but still beat as if for a night at the clubs. They give the girls a lesson on real runway style (now that’s how you do a walk), working it as if their lives depended on it. Fierce, honey!
We watch Shandi get psycho with her boyfriend one more time, and the filming of Tyra’s video, replete with Yoanna falling right on her bony butt. Then they show us the girls dancing “free style” at the seventh elimination, and it is not a pretty sight. Camille steals Tony’s hat (which he doesn’t appear to appreciate) and launches into a strange sort of Austin Powers-y go-go dance. The worst, however, is April’s appalling, protracted dance segment. Words cannot describe the extent of her awkward, rhythmlessness. Even Nigel, for whom April can do no wrong, looks at her with an expression that says, “Well alrighty then!” The rest of the judges just appear baffled, perhaps because they, like me, are wondering what in Sam Hill she is doing with her body. The best part, however, is that as the judges look on in absolute horror, she concludes her little jig with a slow, sexy glance of total assurance. Sadly, this is the week that Sara is sent home.
Okay, now I just recapped this episode last week, seeing this footage again, and writing about it again so soon just feels weird. So you remember Ebony and Ivory? We have an extended scene of their sickening antics in the confession room, with Camille at the height of desperate fakeness. We also see a terrible free-style rap at the restaurant, which leads me to believe that these girls just can’t be trusted to do anything free-style at all.
We see them arrive in Italy, and get sent off to go-sees on their Vespas. We relive the tragedy of Yoanna’s body issues, the glory of her recovery at the haute couture shoot, and then the Judas kiss betrayal of Camille’s insinuation of Yoanna having an eating disorder at dinner later that night. Camille gets the boot (Get it? Aw, forget it), and we watch her saying, “I just gotta be me,” otherwise, there’s no other new footage for this episode.
That’s it! Now, unless next week UPN airs a special “all new” recap episode for this recap episode, then we may finally move on to episode 9 and the long-awaited orgy. See you then, my fellow ANTM aficionados!
Ever get this incredible feeling of déja vu? Ever get this incredible feeling of déja vu? You can contact me at snowflakegirl@fansofrealitytv. com