Thursday, October 25, 2007
Keep a Child Alive: The ANTM recap
The title of this week’s episode was “The Girl Who Gets a Mango.” A fine title to be sure. I however, might’ve gone with something more along the lines of “Holy F*#^ing Shit!”
I mean seriously, people. Why did the powers that be at Top Model downplay this week’s stunning development? I remember when cute little pattern-book-hoarding Keith on Project Runway got the boot they played it up for weeks. In fact, if I recall correctly, before the season started Tim Gunn was giving interviews where he would ominously say, “There’s a shocking elimination this season.”
But a girl removes herself from the competition—in the final seconds of judging, no less—and we get nothing? We get. . .a mango?!?
Does anyone suspect this was because Tyra was pissed about the whole thing? It’s like, “No one rejects Miss Tyra Banks! Miss Tyra Banks rejects thee!”
(Can you imagine trying to fire this woman? “You can’t fire me, because I quit!” Or trying to break up with her? “You can’t break up with me, because I break up with you!” And so on.)
Because when Ebony announced at the elimination that “modeling was not for her,” I noticed for one second Tyra’s upper lip quivered—shock? anger? the beginning of tears?
Then she steeled herself and gave the patented Tyra smackdown: “You know what I think is not for you? I think it’s people telling you what to do. The most unattractive thing in the world to me is a quitter.”
If you recall, a few years back, Tyra had a rather stunning and memorable meltdown when she felt that one of the contestants—Tiffany, I think her name was—was treating the competition like a joke. This was a girl from the inner city, a girl with a lot of anger issues, a girl who hadn’t been given many opportunities in her life. When Tyra rather lustily laid into her—telling her to take her life seriously or no one else would—I thought it was harsh, but I believed it came from a genuine place. Now, I’m not so sure. Was Tyra upset that Tiffany wasn’t taking her life seriously, or was she upset that she wasn’t taking Tyra’s precious little competition seriously?
Well, Ebony’s unexpected exit meant good news for Ambreal, a religious girl who raised her eyes to the heavens, clearly believing this was some sort of divine intervention. I mean, talk about a last minute reprieve. There have been a few girls over the years who have thought they were being eliminated—I’ll never forget the stunned, “wait, catch me up” look on Nicole’s face when she realized that instead of getting the boot she was actually going to London—but this was the first time a girl had legitimately flatlined, only to be brought back to life. It’s a miracle! (And girl, you better bring it next week. When Jay Manuel mutters under his breath, “I just want to know when she forgot how to model” this is generally not a good sign.)
Okay, okay, there was a rest of the show (although it all kind recedes into the background now) so let’s discuss some highlights.
Heather’s domination of Cover Girl of Week continues. She’s an unstoppable force—the New England Patriots of tweendom. However, as for the girl who wrote in to Cover Girl to report that Heather was “smart, sassy, and sexy!” I have two questions: “Who writes in to Cover Girl?” And “Which Heather are you speaking of?” Our sort of awkward, slightly snarky, undeniably gorgeous Heather from Top Model? Well, in fairness, she does seem smart. . .
Of course, Heather had the break of the show when she got to meet Mary J. Blige and pose for Matthew Rolston, who—with apologies to Gil Bensimon—is quite possibly the most famous photographer they’ve ever had on Top Model. (He taught her how to pose face forward and she absorbed that knowledge like a sponge. Good girl, Heather.)
As for Mary J., who knew Heather was such an R&B fangirl? Her “eye candy, yum” over Tyson Beckford was quite possibly the most diffident uttering of that phrase I’d ever heard. But she seemed genuinely thrilled to meet the Queen of Hip Hop Soul.
A few more things: Nigel Barker, with his little afro at elimination, actually looked like a guy I dated in high school. Unfortunate.
Is Bianca looking more gorgeous every week or is it just me?
Jeneh, despite the hay ride on her head, continues to dominate. In my mind, she is assembling one of the best Top Model portfolios ever.
Sarah: liar, liar, shrinking waistline on fire! You are so losing weight. The pictures of that double chin on Day One do not lie.
Finally, of course, Tyra had to have the last word—again—on Ebony’s leaving. While some have pointed out that, by playing Ebony’s audition tape, it created the eerie sense that Ebony had not so much left the competition, but died, it really was just Tyra’s ego run amok again. You see, she really did want to be a model! Told ya so! Told ya so!
Yes, that’s right, Tyra, because a 20-year-old girl has never changed her mind. You’re right, Tyra. About everything. You win at life. (Hey, I don’t want Tyra pissed at me.)