Before we get started with this week’s episode of America’s Next Top Model, I have to give a huge shout-out to iguanachocolate for stepping in at the last minute and recapping last week’s show. She did an awesome job in her first FoRT recap ever! If you missed her excellent recap (and if you did, you should go back and read it now!), here’s a quick rundown on what happened last week: Fatima the Procrastinator had to miss the photo shoot in order to get her travel documents in order. I, like Mr. Jay, Tyra and every other person who watched the show, wondered why she didn’t get that taken care of, oh, before she had twenty seconds to get it done. Also, Lauren didn’t cut her finger off, but did have to go to the hospital to get her cut thumb taken care of. The girls posed at an airport and then headed right into judging in an airplane hangar. In spite of the fact that Fatima missed the photo shoot, Stacy-Ann was sent home for another lackluster photo. The episode wrapped up with the reveal of this cycle’s overseas destination: Rome!
We pick up the action this week as the plane touches down in Rome and the girls tote their luggage through the airport. They all pile into a shuttle and set off on a little tour of the city. The models are all giggly and excited about being in Rome. They point out various sights on the window and squeal….all except for Lauren, who glowers and rests her head against the shuttle window. They approach the Coliseum and Lauren frowns.
The shuttle stops for a little photo op at the Coliseum and the girls get off the shuttle. Anya chooses to exit the shuttle face first and eats it. Hard. I honestly expected there to blood and missing teeth, but she pops right up and keeps going. Everyone poses for pictures and talks about how happy they are to be in Rome. Hey, did you know Whitney is a plus-size model? I think I heard something about that. Fatima tells us that, after all the drama getting her travel documents, she’s just happy to be there. She feels ready to conquer the competition. While the models are just standing on the sidewalk, a “random” driver comes by and delivers their first Roman Tyra Mail.
”You’re in Rome now, but this is no holiday. It’s going to be a lot of work if you want to become America’s Next Top Model. Head just around the corner. Find the flag of Rome, and your new home. Love, Tyra”
Screaming all the way, the girls arrive at their new digs. The place is like the house for The Real World: Rome. There’s even a pool in the middle of the house. Kat tells us that the house is “off the chain.” Is that a saying now? While everyone else checks out their new house, Fatima goes to bed sick. Her head hurts, her body aches and she just feels awful. You just know it’s time for another one of those lectures about how models have to push through being sick. If I have to listen to another story about how Tyra did a bathing suit shoot on an iceberg while she had the Ebola Virus, I’m going to vomit.
Fatima stays in bed while the rest of the girls eat dinner and talk smack about Fatima. Dominique tells the others that Fatima is nowhere near where she needs to be in the competition. Anya says she thinks Fatima might just be jet lagged. She definitely isn’t happy with the girls talking about Fatima. Anya fixes Fatima a plate of food and goes to check on her. She tells us she doesn’t want to sit around and talk smack about everyone. Fatima rests, but doesn’t want people to think she isn’t trying and she definitely doesn’t want to go home.
The next morning, the girls are all sleeping through their jet lag. All except for Lauren, who slams around the house, bumping into everything with her suitcase and generally making an offensive amount of nouse. Fatima is still feeling bad and is not happy about being woken up. Whitney is over Lauren. She tells us that Lauren might think she’s being edgy, but she’s just being rude.
”Be careful how you roll, you may miss the beauty in Rome. Love, Tyra”
The girls arrive at a piazza and see Claudio Brassini, one of many cute, Italian men we’ll likely encounter while the girls are in Rome. Claudio welcomes the girls to Rome and explains that he is an assistant designer for Gai Mattiolo, who is a big deal designer. Only Whitney seems to know who Gai Mattiolo is. Claudio explains that he will be giving them a fashion tour of Rome. Instead of the usual tour bus, they will all be riding Segways.
After a quick training session on the Segways where they all careen around wildly, running into anything remotely nearby, they all head off to terrorize Roman pedestrians. The girls all follow Claudio, like a row of ducklings, through Rome. He points out various stores, including Hermes and Louis Vuitton and then begins pointing out the many fashionable Italian women on the street. He explains what is fashionable about each woman. Lauren admits that the Italian women are sexy and fashionable, but doesn’t think she has enough style sense to dress like that. At least not all the time. The tour ends in the Piazza di Spagna, where Claudio tells the models they will now be going to meet Gai Mattiolo. They will all meet with Gai and try to impress him with their ability to adapt to Italian style. Before they meet with Gai, the girls will get an Italian makeover, courtesy of Claudio.
Everyone begins to choose their outfits, but Whitney just eyes the clothing racks and wonders if they are prepared for someone her size. The models all change into their Italian clothing and are greeted by Gai Mattiolo, who is five feet tall….and five feet around. He’s like a little, Italian beach ball. In spite of the fact that Fatima is coughing her guts out, Gai thinks she is elegant. He calls Dominique natural and says she knows how to present. Unfortunately, she doesn’t look fresh. I don’t think he means that in a Summers Eve kind of way either. I think he means that in a “that girl could use some Restylane” way.
Gai thinks Katarzyna has a beautiful face and body and says Anya is so blonde, so skinny and so young. He also says Anya is fresh. Unlike, well, you know. Gai calls Whitney “so American” and says that with her beautiful face, she can do whatever she wants in modeling. Lauren, course, walks like she has a stick up her butt….and shackles on her ankles. Gai compliments her height and her beautiful legs. Those sweet-talking Italians.
There can only be one winner in this challenge and Gao choses the blonde, skinny, young and fresh Anya. Her prize is a red carpet quality gown. Whitney’s bitter over Anya’s win, but really, that dress is probably a size zero anyway.
“Facile. Brezza. Bella”
They all quickly translate – “Easy. Breezy. Beautiful” – and realize it’s time for the Cover Girl commercial. Lauren is not happy: she’s been dreading this for weeks and knows she just is not a Cover Girl.
Easy. Breezy. Pitiful.
Mr. Jay welcomes the girls to the set of the Cover Girl commercial. This season they will be pimping Cover Girl’s Vibrant Hue Lip Color from the Queen Collection. Mr. Jay notes that Lauren already looks petrified. They might all still be jet lagged, but this shoot is all about beauty. He then hands out their script – it’s in Italian, natch – and sends them off to hair and makeup. The girls open their scripts and the bad Italian starts to fly. Mr. Jay suggests learning the script phonetically and then introduces Piersando Buzzanca, the director of today’s commercial. Piersandro quickly shows them how the commercial will go and what marks they need to hit. Basically, they enter a bar, apply lipstick, walk through the bar and end up at a table with the requisite hot, Italian guy. Each girl will have 30 minutes for their shoot.
Anya is up first and it is Cue Card City. At least Anya is a realist: she knows her Italian is horrible. Mr. Jay and Piersandro, the director, are bright red from laughing as the watch Anya on the monitors. Mr. Jay thinks the only thing that saved Anya’s commercial from being really wretched is her cute flirtiness at the end of the commercial. In contrast to Anya’s horrible Italian, Kat actually does really well. Even though Mr. Jay thinks she was a little flat in her presentation, I think she kicked ass on the Italian and made it sound like an actual language.
Dominique also visits Cue Card City. Even with cue cards, Piersandro thinks it didn’t work: her Italian sounded more like Chinese. Before her shoot, Dominique admitted that, if she didn’t know the words, she would just make something up: looks like she did. Everyone grimaces through her performance. If it’s at all possible, Lauren has actually gotten even more nervous. She knows she isn’t an actress and decides to just wing it. This is not a good decision. Lauren, swears, makes faces and limps her way through the script in Cue Card City. Piersandro diplomatically pronounces Lauren a good print model. Mr. Jay admits it was hard to see how awkward and uncomfortable Lauren was.
Even though all that coughing has hurt Fatima’s voice, she still vows to go for it. Piersandro calls her a goddess and thinks her pronunciation was the best: he’s in love with her. Fatima is also in love with Fatima: she tells us she lit up the room and that her shoot was the best. Whitney is up last and boy, does she ham it up in Hamville. She’s like a silent film actress with the big expressions and the fake laughing. Honey, the talkies came out a while back. Catch up. Mr. Jay calls Whitney’s performance fake and not believable.
Back at the house, the girls talk about the commercial shoot. Lauren is sure she will be eliminated because her commercial was so bad. I feel bad for her, but at least we don’t have to hear some self-delusional speech about how she “worked it.” She knows it sucked. Whitney is also – rightly so – nervous about judging. She thinks she gave too much energy. Yeah. Ya think?
Yeah, That Kind of Sucked
Tyra welcomes the girls to judging with a “Ciao, bellas.” She runs through the prizes, which have not changed. This week’s guest judge is commercial director Piersandro Buzzanca.
Fatima: Her best take seemed to involve bobbing her head around a lot. Tyra says she looks like she was selling sexual chocolate. Paulina is impressed with the fact that she got the whole script in one take. Miss J thinks it was the best commercial of the day, but Tyra is a little scared of Fatima now.
Whitney: Her best take is so over-the-top hammy that I needed some eggs to go with it. Paulina thinks it was fake from beginning to end. Whitney tries (and fails) not to look mortified. Piersandro brings up the fakety fake laugh. Tyra actually likes Whitney’s commercial, even though it’s over-the-top.
Anya: Miss J thinks Anya looks like she’s on the edge of tears through the whole commercial. Tyra pronounces the commercial a big piece of dookie. Pace yourself, Tyra: this is only the third one you’ve seen. Nigel thinks Anya just looks confused and Piersandro says that, while Anya definitely has a model look, he laughed through her entire shoot.
Dominique: Miss J watches with his hand over his mouth because he’s laughing so hard. The other judges join in. Tyra calls it a “hoochified Italian commercial.” I’m guessing that’s bad. Piersandro says Dominique has incredible energy for a middle aged woman (okay, I added that bit). Paulina thinks Dominique looked scared the whole time.
Lauren: It is just as bad as you think it’s going to be…only worse. I actually feel bad for her. Miss J begins by saying “Hell to the NO!” Piersandro says she looks so nervous in the commercial. Paulina admits she was afraid Lauren would do something like this. Tyra, who is playing Good Judge this week, tells Lauren she looks beautiful.
Katarzyna: Kat steps forward and gives everyone a lesson in how to pronounce her name. They all mis-pronounce her name some more. You know, it’s been weeks now and none of them can pronounce her name correctly. I’d be pissed off too. Piersandro thinks she looks very Italian in her commercial. Paulina pronounces it much better than everyone else, although Tyra thinks the ending was boring and lifeless. Paulina thinks Kat looks more comfortable than anyone else.
Once the girls are out of the room, Tyra states the obvious: no one aced the commercial. Some were laughable and some were downright awful.
Fatima: It’s the best she’s done. Paulina thought she looked beautiful and managed to both walk and talk. Stop the presses! A model who can walk and talk. It’s a miracle. Piersandro admits he fell in love with Fatima immediately.
Whitney: Piersandro thinks she has a lot to work on.
Anya: Nigel says Anya is a model even though he can’t understand her in English or Italian.
Lauren: Piersando thought she looked like a model, but quickly turned into a nervous woman. Nigel thinks her body of work stands for itself and that she has taken beautiful pictures.
Katarzyna: She was Piersandro’s favorite. Miss J thought she showed up at judging with some personality. Paulina agrees with Piersandro and then mis-pronounce’s Kat’s name. Again.
Dominique: Nigel enjoyed her commercial and Paulina agrees: she laughed a lot. Miss J still thinks she got a bit too much drag queen…..and Miss J would know.
The girls come back in and here’s the call out order:
This week’s bottom two are Whitney and Lauren. Tyra tells Whitney that while her pictures have been beautiful week after week, the judges all commented on the phoniness in the commercial (Tyra was alone in liking Whitney’s commercial). Tyra says Lauren is the opposite of phony: she wouldn’t know how to cover up her real self if someone gave her a million dollars. Lauren also takes beautiful pictures, but her commercial was dreadful and judges felt like she just gave up. Lauren is out.
Lauren says goodbye to the girls and leaves. As she packs, Lauren admits she did a crappy job on the commercial. The whole point of the show was to challenge herself and, while it was scary at first, she grew to like it. Showing more self-confidence than we saw all season, Lauren tells us she thinks she has a chance at a future in modeling. So do I.
Next week: We’ll see a Tyra-run photo shoot and a posing battle where “glamour” is pitted against “gladiator.”