Before I start this recap, I want to make a disclaimer: I know I haven’t been the best recapper I could be. I know it takes me a while to write these sometimes, and I make mistakes and typos and mix up Michael Jackson videos, and am often distracted by food. But I want to show you, my fellow ANTManiacs, that I’m gonna keep improving, I’m gonna keep practicing, and as God is my witness, it’s gonna get better! [Tears up, then moves in to make out with you.]
Alright, bitches, who’s ready to walk? This week is all about the walk: learning to walk, working the catwalk, signature walks…One girl has a walk so individual, she walks right off the show! Time’s a wastin’, so let’s walk on.
Walking on Eggshells
Nothing shakes up the girls’ confidence quite like elimination. Nik recalls Ebony’s ousting as “emotional”; while, Diane, one of the bottom two, says she’s determined to go on, only it’s not so convincing when it’s said in a mouse’s squeak more than a lions’ roar.
As the girls vent while dining at Brasserie Les Voyous, Tyra pops in for a pep talk. She says that judging has been difficult, since everyone is “strong and unique” and they all have “that model face.” Well, let’s hope they do, considering you’re the one who selected the finalists. I’m not looking for walrus faces around here. Hey, is anybody else waiting for Tyra’s next exciting spin-off? Hand, feet, and leg models go head to head (in a manner of speaking) for the title of AMERICA’S NEXT TOP PARTS MODEL!
Enough blowing sugar up their skirts, Tyra addresses the girls’ concerns. Jayla says she doesn’t know how her body looks because “You can’t step outside your body and see, ‘I need to move this way.’” Tyra corrects her, saying when you have perfected modeling, it is possible to step outside yourself. Because once you have reached Top Model level, Tyra teaches you mystic, ancient modeling techniques of out-of-body astral travel [sound of gong]. Tyra is right though: models, like dancers, must be aware of their bodies at all times, something that will become second nature.
Back at home, TyraMail warns them to: “Get ready to swim with sharks.” Exhausted after the long day they’ve had, most of the girls opt to crash out right away. Most of the girls, but not, notably, Mr. and Mrs. Kim and Sarah, who take a romantic moonlight stroll out by the pool. Kim, in her confessional, remembers their earlier make-out session in the limo, adding with a sly grin that she’s “dealt with straight girls for years” and knows them “like the back of my hand.” PLAYA!!!
Sitting outside together in the dark, Kim gives Sarah her little monologue about “attachment issues”: how the last few people she’s dated have had them, but she has not. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Well what are you waiting for, Sarah? You couldn’t get a more obvious invitation to GET IT ON than if it were engraved on gold-lined parchment paper.
Sarah says she “didn’t mean to gravitate toward Kim…but there’s so much tension in the house, it’s easy to focus on someone to get your mind off everything else.” It’s okay, Sarah, that’s a perfectly natural way to deal with the pressure. Really, now, who here hasn’t had a lesbian love affair just to blow off a little steam when they’re stressed out. Show of hands? No? Hey, it’s better than Paxil.
The Right Way to Walk
In the morning, the limo spirits the girls away to another fancy-pants house where Sarah guesses they will have a relaxing pool party. Yes, with cake and ice cream and a magician who makes balloon animals, you poor, sweet, naïve young, humungous-lipped girl! She should know by now that this is ANTM, and there’s no rest for the weary.
Striding out in jewel-encrusted flippers is the fabulously fishy Miss J. in a get-up that looks like Esther Williams fell headlong into a gigantic Bedazzler™, a sure sign that it will be all work and no play for our models-in-training today. He gives them his little speech about how Top Models may be asked to walk on “grass, stones, even glass.” You just know that as the seasons run out of challenges, there will be runways of hot coals, sharp tacks, over tanks filled with hungry sharks, piranhas, and/or blood-sucking leeches. Here’s to hoping.
What better way to work on their runway walks than by tromping around this beautiful outdoor pool, which is not at all a bald ploy by the producers to get the girls in their bikinis. Miss J. has the girls give him their “fiercest” around the perimeter of the not-so-kidney-as-intestine-shaped pool. Don’t you wish Miss J. would put bumper stickers on their asses asking, “How’s my walking? Call 1-800-TOP-MOD-L”? You know, for training purposes. Or just humiliation, it doesn’t matter to me.
J. thinks Bre’s “original walk” is “great”; Kyle needs to be more “comfortable with being tall”; Nik needs to “pick up the pace”. Unfortunately, J.’s evaluation of Jayla is simply, “Jayla, you are sooooo-ho-ho out of TOUCH!” Diane gets points for willingness to learn, while Cassandra gets docked some for being set in her beauty pageant ways. Cassandra says “Every time I turn around they’re like ‘Pageant pageant pageant pageant’…Shut up!” Hmm, well I wonder why on earth everyone keeps associating you with pageants [swirly flashback montage to every one of the million times Cassandra has brought up her beauty pageant past].
J. instructs Coryn work her face; he finds Nicole’s poses “collapsible” and thinks Lisa is “not focused” and needs to “find her center.” Next up is Sarah, or as J. dubs her, “Tumbles.” She is determined to show she’s not as bad on the runway as everyone thinks, and while she doesn’t trip this time, she does get criticized by Miss J. for losing her neck when her head slips down between in her broad shoulders in what he calls “The Turtle.” Finally up is Kim, whose walk J. describes as “a bit marionette without the strings.” He thinks she has an “incredible” face and could improve her walk, “but unfortunately we don’t have five years.”
Next J. has the girls do a little exercise to free up their sense of physical expression. First, they must select hats and a little tie-skirt, and then dance around in their accessories. You’d think it would be sexy to watch pretty girls in bikini tops shake a tail feather…well, you’d be wrong. Dead wrong. From flopping about like a dying fish to odd, mime-like movements, these girls were right to apply to ANTM and not “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Perhaps most perplexing is Kim’s strange series of stomp/claps, which is her attempt at resolving her masculine/feminine sides. Miss J. remains unimpressed, leading Kim to grumble, “For anyone to understand a difference in gender expression, she should be the one.” Now is that really a fair thing to say? I don’t see Miss J. reeling around like a drunken flamenco dancer, and androgyny is no excuse for it either, Mr. Kim.
Finally, Sarah comes out flailing her arms, whooping like a strange bird, and moving so erratically I fear she might break something. At the end of the day, it’s no surprise when Miss J. points out Sarah and Kim as the worst, warning them that they’ll need to work extra hard on their runway if they want to continue.
Back at home, TyraMail says they know who’s fierce and who falls flat, but “Tomorrow the tables turn.” All the girls gather in the living room to practice what they’ve learned from Miss J. Cassandra says she’s used to crossing because that’s how they do it in—all together now!—pageants. Gosh, why do people keep pigeonholing Cass as “pageant girl”? Sarah claims she didn’t used to be “such a bad walker” and perhaps over-thinking it has been her problem. Maybe her humungous bottom lip is throwing off her balance?
Kim, used to being the best at what she does, is also struggling. Frustrated, she gives up on practice for the day, and returns to what she knows best—like Bre says, “Stick to what you know. You know girls, you know you like ‘em, and you know you’re good at getting ‘em.” Kim goes to show off her upper body strength by doing pushups for Sarah. PLAYA!!! Now if these two practiced walking as much they did flirting, they might show some improvement!
The next morning, Kim makes breakfast dangerously close to Sarah’s butt. By that I mean she is scrambling eggs two inches away from Sarah’s genital region, which could be some kind of profound metaphor if this were some obscure, experimental French film. One thing is clear, however: everyone’s noticing how close Sarah and Kim (or as I like to call them, “SKIM”) have gotten.
Kim confesses that straight girls tend to get crushes on her, adding, “I can’t pick up a gay girl to save my live.” Sarah admits that she feels attracted to Kim, then is seen in the next shot eating a plate of eggs out of Kim’s lap. More significant symbolism? Think it over. You’ll laugh about it later.
Meanwhile, in the phone room, Cassandra is on the phone with a dark, nasty expression my friend (Hi Honey!) described as looking like it belongs on a child about to do something very bad. She does look like she’s on the verge of a horrible tantrum; in fact, she’s looking positively Village of the Damned as she talks to her mother about Tyra’s plans to cut her hair even further. Cassandra’s mom, who surprisingly is quite reasonable and doesn’t sound like someone who’d kill Cass’s competition, states simply, “This isn’t really a principle, this is vanity. And it is beautiful hair, but it does grow back…The question is, do you love your hair more than you love this opportunity?”
The Wong Way to Walk
The girls take off to meet fashion designer Sue Wong, whose exotic Asian-infused and historical-inspired evening wear I simply adore. Sue tells them that today they will be testing the walking skills they learned by putting them on a runway with moving parts. At last, I think, the producers are finally using the suggestion I made for the rotating knives feature! Alas no, the only thing rotating will be a circular, turntable-like platform at the end of the long runway. Lisa says it’s not easy to hold a pose on a turning platform, and hey I’m not saying word, I can barely get on escalators at the mall without some difficulty.
The winner of today’s competition will be allowed to borrow the beautiful, white Sue Wong gown Tyra wore to Oprah’s Legends Ball. Without further ado, the girls are put in dramatic, but still very classic hair and makeup (i.e. not clown-like), dressed in Sue Wong’s elegant designs, and then turned out on the runway while Sue barks out characters for them to portray. Coryn is up first, and her unaware portrayal of “Scheherazade” fails to impress Sue; Nicole’s “tipsy” Mongolian Princess is also not a winner; nor does Sue seem to think Lisa’s “Indian princess” walk is as “sexy, confident, and playful” as Lisa seems to think.
Kim has a rough landing on the turntable, and Sue thinks her “lack of confidence” is what hurts her most on the runway; Kyle also stumbles onto the platform (although to be fair, she is one of the most unwieldy skirts of the collection); Diane is going “too Egyptian” with her hand movements; while Jayla’s limp-wristed pose is also quite awkward. Nik looks pretty as a china doll, but also as inanimate. Bre is the only one having fun, and works that rotating platform like a display on the Home Shopping Network—Sue likes.
Sue is spot on when she describes Cassandra as “too contrived,” as there’s something in her plastered-on smile and stiff, dolly movements that screams “JonBenet”; Cassandra admits she’s not even particularly excited to be there herself. Finally, Sarah comes out in a very elaborate headpiece and killer train that has me fearing for her life. No falling this time around, though the way she steps on the platform with the skirt hitched up and her legs like a knock-kneed giraffe is more “I Love Lucy” than “Turandot.” Sue says she needs to work on being graceful. I’m just relieved she didn’t break her neck.
Sue congratulates them all on their performance, and selects Bre for the win. Bre is allowed to wear the feathered gown for a “very fancy dinner” with four other companions, and she picks Coryn, Kim, Nik, and Jayla. After changing at home, Bre & Co. head out in a procession to the limo, with Jayla holding up Bre’s train like a bride, and Kim escorting her like a gentleman. No wonder straight girls love her, she is more genteel than most of the guys out there these days. Bre feels privileged to be in a dress Tyra wore, and I like Bre but sadly, she does not fill out the curves of this dress quite as well as La Ty Ty did.
The girls are brought to dine at the International House o’ Caviar (okay, not the real name, but don’t you like that better?). Yup, nothing but fish eggs, and these are Beluga pearls before swine. The girls cringe and curl their lips in front of some of the most expensive caviar in the world. A shame considering some of those little dishes are probably worth more than what’s currently in my bank account!
Take a Walk on the Wild Side
Back at home, TyraMail says, “Don’t be afraid, but be very aware. Just because it’s not seen, doesn’t mean it’s not there.” Despite an early call time of 7am, SKIM decide to take a little dip in the pool (bow chikka bow bow!!!). Alone in the pool together save for one of those floppy, flotation noodle devices that, for a moment, I mistook for a big, purple—no, it’s too lewd for me to say, even here—SKIM cavort in the waters while Bre and Jayla look on suspiciously. VOYEURS! “Her girlfriend gonna knock her out,” Bre mumbles darkly.
For a second I think we’ve gone to commercial, because when Sarah admits in an interview that she’s “young,” “curious,” and “sexual,” it takes on the tone of one of those late night phone sex commercials that invariably end with “Call me now!” Instead, it cuts to the money shot, ANTM-style: that is, a super-grainy, surveillance-looking shot of SKIM pushing their beds together—like they even need to, because in moments they are locked onto each other on one of the singles like two cats in heat. Kim says she doesn’t want anything to interfere with the competition but admits a weakness for blonde-haired girls. So I guess it’s true, gentlemen do prefer blondes.
Sarah seems to be falling in lurve, judging from the googly stars in her eyes, and her voicing of that age-old female question, “I don’t know if we’re just friends or if we are starting something…I don’t know what’s going on.”
On the other hand, Kim is, the next day, giving the pure doggy-dog party line, telling others she’s just having fun, and describing her relations with Sarah as just a “stupid make out.” PLAYA!!! Bre (who seems awfully interested in Kim’s love life, hmm?) lectures her on facing the reality of Kim’s relationship with her girlfriend at home.
Meanwhile, Sarah is on the phone with her…boyfriend?!! Am I the only one who didn’t know Sarah had some poor schlump at home? She confesses to him that she’s been flirting with Kim, and without argument he says, “Oh, I’ll just say goodbye now.” “I don’t swing that way and you know it,” she replies, but if you ask me it looked like she was swinging pretty hard that way last night [insert perverted, dirty ol’ man laugh here]. Her boyfriend says, “You might,” which I think is his way of telling her, “It’s okay, I’m gay too. Let’s both stop living the lie.”
Seriously though, Sarah seems torn when she says, with tears in her eyes, “I feel very confused right now…I have the memory of me, but it’s so tangled right now, I don’t know where I am or where I stand with anything.” From phone sex commercial to after-school special in ten seconds flat.
Run, Don’t Walk
Jay meets the girls at a soundstage where they will be doing a “Hollywood-style special effects shoot” (with photographer Mike Rosenthal) in front of a green screen, where they must run on a treadmill, reacting to an unseen monster. Sort of their “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” shoot, if you will. Of course, the trick is, they must still look gorgeous doing it; and to make the shoot even more challenging, they will be dressed as “fashion victims,” meaning they’ll all have something “wrong” with their looks that they must make look right.
Before starting, Jay calls Jayla and Cassandra out of the room to talk about the changes to their makeovers that Tyra wanted. Jayla will be getting her extensions taken out and Cassandra is supposed to be getting her hair trimmed shorter to more accurately achieve the Mia Farrow look Tyra specified. Cassandra balks at getting her hair cut even shorter. A WHOLE INCH (and a half, she would add). Her defiance rankles Jay and, after a deep breath, he tells her to go have some breakfast and think it over.
Everyone else gets gussied up, then it’s out on the treadmill. Jay likes Nik’s ability to change things up; Lisa gives a butter-face performance (everything looks good but-her-face. Back in hair and makeup, Kim is talking to Coryn and Kyle about her girlfriend at home and how no one can take her place, as Sarah bites her big, ol’ lip and tries not to cry in the background. I truly feel sorry for Sarah as she hovers around in the background as Kim giggles guiltily with the other girls at the table. PLAYA!!!
Diane has problems looking pretty and scared at the same time; Coryn’s “stoic nature helped her with today’s shoot because she didn’t over-act,” sayeth Mr. Jay. Sarah has problems acting naturally, and Jay tells her to pretend she’s Cassandra with her new haircut, “running from the scissors” but unfortunately, Jay doesn’t think she got a great shot.
Bre “surprised” Jay by pulling it all together. Kim surprises me with her stiff Robocop run. “Kim just jogged,” Jay remarks, saying that she never brings the life she has with the girls backstage on to the set. Jay thinks Nicole is “afraid” of being a model despite having got down on her knees and begging to be a model in casting, because she’s just not delivering full-force in front of the camera. Jayla, with her hair short again, pleases Jay and the photographer; Kyle, not so much.
As the other girls work on the shoot, Cassandra is pulling a prima donna with the hairdresser Rob Talty, who is still trying to convince her, “I won’t screw you over.” It is way too early for Cassandra to start playing the diva, but she still protests. “For me it was the last straw in them trying to completely change who I was,” she argues…unconvincingly, I might add. Might I remind you of the audition tape in which the chipper pageant girl claims she’s oh so easy to work with?
No more time to think about it, Jay calls Cassandra in for her hair cut. Cassandra refuses, telling Jay, “No!” like a bratty child. Speaking of last straws, I expect Jay to start turning green and bursting out of his clothing, but instead he just says, “I really don’t have time for this today, so…you just gotta leave my set.” Next thing you know, Jay gets on the horn to Tyrant, and Cassandra is home zipping up her bags. I guess she didn’t have the courage to face Tyra’s wrath at panel.
So the Cassandrobot decides to leave over her hair. It’s one thing to refuse to do a shoot because of religious beliefs, and another to leave the competition over one inch of hair! She insists she’s just being true to herself, although it appears to me she’s just made one of the stupidest moves I’ve ever seen on ANTM. Even as she chirps happily about going back to Texas, getting hair extensions, and returning to pageant life, I think to myself how great the short blonde hair looks on her. Not that I’m not relieved her creepy, Miss Stepford ass is gone.
The girls’ reaction is shock with a wee bit of self-righteousness. Lisa says now that Cassandra is gone, it’s a “real competition.” I’m just annoyed at a slot being wasted, when some other girl out there could have had a chance. Even though Cassandra left, at home they still find a TyraMail heralding another elimination. Kim worries aloud to Kyle (who is in bed next to her—bow chikka bow bow Part Deux?) that she is vulnerable because her walk is the worst. Later, it’s SKIM again, as Sarah spoons Kim under a purple comforter. Sarah also ponders who might leave tomorrow, saying, “I hope it’s not me and Kim.” It must be love, for Sarah at least, because even she thinks of them as a unit.
Bye, Bi-Baby, Bye Bye
A hilarious pic of Tyra portraying a “Fashion Don’t” (think: too-dark lipliner + ghetto fab get-up) marks the start of yet another judgement ceremony. Tyra welcomes the girls again, and introduces the panel who are joined this week by Sue Wong. Even though Cassandra is conspicuously absent, Tyra still can’t resist giving a lecture. She chastises Cassandra for being “more interested in holding on to one inch of hair than in learning and adapting.” Perhaps Cassandrobot was not programmed to adapt. Abort sequence! Cannot compute! Tyra challenges everyone to either fully commit to the competition, or pack up and go home right now.
With no one opting to bow out, Tyra proceeds with the test. She asks if they are familiar with Camille from Cycle 2. She is the girl who declared, “This is my signature walk, and this is what’s going to make me famous.” Well it worked, at least with ANTM viewers, because most of the girls do recall that notorious quote. Today’s test is to see if the girls have a developed a signature walk of their own.
The girls come in one-by-one to strut their stuff for the panel, until it all comes to a screeching halt: Kim decides say a little something before her walk, beseeching the panel with the kind of speech that only works in early 80s teen films. “I just want to say before I walk that I know I didn’t make you proud the other day. But I want to show you that I’m going to keep improving, I’m gonna keep practicing, and it’s gonna get better.” She does her thing, but when she leaves the room, Tyra busts out with, “What was up with the disclaimer?” Even Nigel gets a little dig in, imitating Kim as saying, “I’m about to do really badly, please don’t judge me for it.”
Evaluation time: Tyra commends Jayla for her cooperation getting her hair cut, but no one’s very impressed with her walk which seems to lack “presence.” They do like her picture, though, as she is able to pull off the right balance of scared and pretty. They also reveal the monster the girls are running away from: a flying Miss J. who looks like cross between Diana Ross and the scary lady from Ju-On/The Grudge.
Coryn is next; J. encourages her to smile, and when she does the panel melts. Her picture, however, is a little too static; because she was sporting “one of those old velour track suits…everyone is saying is so out” (note to self: burn all Juicy track suits in closet) Tyra says she really should have ran.
Diane is told she walks at angle, which could throw off another model with whom she might be sharing a runway (wasn’t it Diane who nearly ran into somebody during one of the first fashion shows?). Speaking of being thrown off, I have no idea who the girl is in Diane’s photo, as she appears to have been photoshopped into a size 2 girl. Anyway, the panel doesn’t like her photo, and neither do I—only I hate it because it looks nothing like her! Miss J. becomes the first judge to ever get criticized for his “fashion witch” picture when Nigel tells him, laughing, “You’ve got to vary your look.”
Kim finds out her disclaimer backfired, and Tyra scolds her for not giving the panel her true personality when asked to give her signature walk today. Kim speechifies about how she’s still trying to figure out her own gender, blah blah, and Tyra advises that she study some male models because even men’s magazines “they’re slightly feminine.” The cast of “Manhunt” feels the stab in their heart. They like Kim’s picture, however, with Nigel deeming it “feminine” and “extraordinary” and Tyra finding the head-on shot “amazing.”
Twiggy likes Kyle’s walk best, and Tyra and Nigel feel like she walked as if wind was blowing in her hair. Her picture is a little too cheeky, in a sense. The angle of her head gives her too much face, and Nigel says me must be more aware of where the photog is and learn how to cheat her face to the side. Lisa’s walk is “good and safe” but not “sexy”—Tyra want her to rev it up; she loses her neck in her picture, and her Chiclet grin is in full effect.
Nicole’s goofy walk does not win the judges over, and even though she had a wardrobe malfunction with her skirt, Tyra says, “You never show your ‘Oops.’” As far as her picture, Tyra reads Mr. Jay’s comments: he felt she was “very bland” and “the camera loves you but you don’t love the camera.” Nik’s “bobble head” is still distracting the judges; her photo is good, but Tyra would like to see more “intensity.”
Bre’s signature walk is loved by Tyra and Sue, Twiggy finds it a bit “too horsey” (I’d like to see a little less Clydesdale trot, myself). Miss J. thinks Bre’s picture looks more like she’s meeting a friend at the bus stop than running from something scary. Sarah’s walk is “crooked” and Miss J. calls her “My Left Foot”; Nigel is just relieved she didn’t fall down the stairs. The judges find her photo lacking “poise” and Twiggy thinks she looks “uncomfortable” and like she’s “in pain.”
The judges do that deliberating thing they do, then they return for the moment of truth. Tyra hands back photos to: Jayla, Kyle, Nik, Bre, Lisa, Diane, Coryn, and Nicole. Poignantly, the bottom two this week are SKIM. Poor, sweet Sarah already looks devastated before the elimination is even announced, perhaps because she is already wrecked enough just to know that she is, one way or another, going to be separated from Kim. Kim just looks…like a deer caught in headlights.
Tyra says that Sarah wants to be a model so badly, yet she falls apart right when its her moment to shine; Kim is “confused” and makes disclaimers that “point to the negative things” that others might have never even seen. “So don’t do it again, Kim,” Tyra says as she hands the final photo back to Kim. With that, SKIM share their final embrace.
Sarah gets ready to leave, and true to her sweet nature, she looks on the positive side, saying she’s glad she made it as far as she did, and even if she didn’t win, she still learned things about herself. “Kim taught me a lot about myself,” Sarah says, as I think to myself, it’s probably better she left when she did, or her heart might have gotten even more broken by the PLAYA!!! “Back to Booneville, I guess, and we’ll see from there,” Sarah says. Good luck, Sarah, I for one did not feel this was your time to go, and I will miss you greatly! [Tears up, then moves in to make out with you.]
I refused to get my hair cut for this recap. Email me at snowflakegirl@fansofrealitytv. com