The final three are given the script for their Cover Girl commercials. Aminat has gotta learn this. Wind In Her Face is overwhelmed. RabbityMouthBreather is going to do everything and anything to be the winner. Like, for example, stop breathing through your mouth and stop being terrified of everything? That would be nice.

They head to a studio for their shoot. M’Key is there to give them the drill on how to be a Cover Girl. The photos they take today will be the winner’s CG ad and go up in Wal-Marts every where. And they want to win this, why?

Aminat is first, and although Mr. Jay has to remind her to move her face when she speaks, she does an adorable little shoulder wiggle and girlish giggle at the end. Then it’s off to have Jim de Yonker shoot the stills.

RabbityMouthBreather has been given the winner’s edit hair and make up job. She can’t remember her lines. She’s stiff. Mr. Jay says she’s good but that he has his doubts. Jim de Yonker says she has a sort of Bettie Page look. Miz Shoes says that’s a Bettie and Veronica, Archie comics look.

Wind In Her Face looses her shit in a major melt down. She freaks, she cries, she flubs every line. She also has those weird backward top finger joints. Mr. Jay tells her not to worry, because editing will make it work. Jim de Yonks says that he liked working with her.

TYRAMAIL! One of you bitches has seen your last challenge. Time to go home and get a real job. Aminat knows that she’ll be in the final two because she was phenomenal. RabbityMouthBreather is, of course, scared. Wind In Her Face has lost her shit for good, and cries and cries in the confessional that she has lost her shit for good.

DISCLAIMER: at this point, my notes become more or less illegible as the second, and very strong dirty martini kicks in. I should know better than to skip food on ANTM night.

The judge is Rosa someone or other. After the judging, the girls will go straight to the 17 cover shot. Miss Jay’s tie is very pink and very huge. Wind In Her Face’s commercial is about thirty seconds of her crying. She cries at the judges, too. When the judges look at her still and declare it is the dictionary definition of “smiling with your eyes” she dries up the tears. RabbityMouthBreather’s commercial isn’t bad, but neither is it any good. She is expressionless (what has Miz Shoes been saying for 11 weeks?). The judges claim that her voice is more expressive than her face. Her still is commerical, and the judges call it sexy. Miz Shoes calls it pose number one: slack mouthed.

Aminat’s commercial is cute, she is a natural genius, but her still shot? Not so much. There is more deliberating, but we on the couch were busy making plans to go see the new Star Trek on Sunday morning, and so missed the rest.

RabbityMouthBreather gets the number one photo and my notes say “Fuck. Me.” Aminat has The Body, and got better and better every week (except for her face) and she had the best Cover Girl commercial. Wind In Her Face was super strong from the beginning, but completely melted down doing the commercial, which is, let’s face it, the big chunk of the Cover Girl prize. So who stays and who goes? Say buh-bye to Aminat, and What the Fuck? as Wind In Her Face gets the number two spot. Aminat can now go get a real contract with a real modeling agency.

Finally, the muthafuckin’ walk off. Wind In Her Face calls it do or die. M’Key is there. RabbityMouthBreather is scared (and come on, is she ever anything other than scared? I’m so over that walking Walter Keane painting, that I don’t know if I can last another 15 minutes) because her walk is shit. No kidding. And now she’s in a panic because it’s a swimsuit show.

What the hell is Miss Jay wearing? M’Key leads off with an awful walk. How did she win last season? Wind In Her Face is meh. RabbityMouthBreather is meh. The second pass is a samba theme and Wind In Her Face is good, and although it pains me no end to say this, RabbityMouthBreather is kind of cute. The third pass involves writhing down a runway that has become a black oil slick. Is this a statement? We’ll never know. Wind In Her Face works it like the rent was due yesterday and is flinging her weave around like a dancer in a strip joint when it flies off. She just grabs it and keeps working it.

The next scene is the girls cleaned up, back in their bikinis and in the judging room. There is some bullshit about a neck and neck competition throughout the season, but all I see is O-face and slack mouth versus some variety. And with that, and another round of Tyra blah-blah-blahing, Wind In Her Face wins season 12. Nigel shoots her with Tyra. And we are over and out.

OK. Let’s make this fast. I am overwhelmed at work. My new boss is a dream, but he actually uses me as an executive assistant, which means that I am busy from 8:30 to 5:30 inclusive. I love my job these days, and I love my boss, but I am in the weeds…all the time. So I’m trying to get this done before the final episode airs. I am also slightly tipsy, so deal wit it bitches.

Wind In Her Face is saying that she’s on a roll. Celia is distressed over being in the bottom two. She admits that she’s old. Aminat is a bitch about having to have Celia around for another week. RabbityMouthBreather is scared to be here. She is scared.

TYRAMAL! is something lame: tickiticki and nobody knows what it means. There is a dance hall. There are samba lessons. Allison is, of course, clumsy and scared. Because she’s a bad dancer. Aminat says that this is dope. Wind In Her Face gets dizzy from the movement. Celia moves like royalty: stiffly. She wants it too much. Desperation is not sexy. Aminat says that she’s gonna sex it up. She’s a natural dancer and has more expression in her face than anyone else. RabbityMouthBreather is rabbity, terrified and bleak. Wind In Her Face has two left feet, but is determined to fake it with confidence.

At the house, Celia is depressed because Paulina called her old. TyraMail says whatever you do, don’t look down. Which means that, during their samba challenge, every glance down at their feet will be a million zillion points off their final score. Aminat, knowing that she can dance, says that she will own this challenge. Paulina tells RabbityMouthBreather that she looks like a rickety wind up toy. And she keeps looking at her feet. Celia pushes herself and is impeccable. Wind In Her Face is told by Paulina that this was not her finest moment. Celia wins the challenge, much to the chagrin of Aminat. Celia shares her win (jewelry) with RabbityMouthBreather. Paulina is visibly peeved that Celia didn’t share with the next best girl, Aminat.

TYRAMAIL! says that at some point the mamma bird shoves the baby birds out of the nest. This leads Aminat to confessionalize that she wants it so bad, but that she just keeps coming in next to last. She’s dishearted. Oh, noes. The hamsters are woken up early by Sutan and Christian and get some very wild and messy hair and make up. Then they are bundled into a truck and driven out into the middle of the jungle. One of the girls says that this ain’t TeeVee jungle, but real jungle. Well, as real as reality tv gets, and then there is an accident blocking the road. Who can this be now? Why it’s TYRA! badly emoting and taking the girls on a walkabout to their location, where there is some weird ass, enormous bird nest looking thing wedged sideways into a cliff side. Wind In Her Face is not afraid to shoot with Tyra. She’s won too many challenges, she says, to be tossed out now. On the other end of the spectrum, RabbityMouthBreather is intimidated to be shooting with Tyra. As Tyra explains the “concept”: pterodactyl cum owlet leaving its nest, Miz Shoes says that the hamsters should all be very, very afraid.

RabbityMouthBreather goes first, and overcomes all her fears (well, looking like a scared little bird is playing to her strengths) she blurts out to Tyra, “you’re soooo pretty”. Way to suck up, RabbityMouthBreather. That’ll keep you on for another week, for sure. Aminat does Crouching Tiger, Hidden Aminat, and Tyra and Mr Jay discuss how gorgeous her body is, but how her face just sucks wind. Celia steps up her game and relaxes her face, her body and her mind. She gives Amazon. She works it. Wind In Her Face goes last, and they are losing the light, so Tyra tells her to lose the clothes. Wind In Her Face does. She also works it.

At panel, there can be only three. RabbityMouthBreather is scared and anxious, and when isn’t she? Aminat is confident that there is no way she’s going home. Ann Shoket and her honker are there to represent the sponsor’s voice. RabbityMouthBreather surprised Tyra by

not totally sucking

being vulnerable and sweet. Nigel says that Wind In Her Face wasn’t using her body to its full advantage. Celia showed major strength and a straight on armpit. Tyra enjoyed working with her. Celia, despite being an actual pterodactyl, looked fresh. Aminat used every strength in her repetoire and managed to control her face.

RabbityMouthBreather found her niche as a scared baby bird. She has the YOUTH. Wind In Her Face has no fire or magic on set. She’s getting complacent. Celia has great style, but an awkward face. Paulina wants to hire her as a stylist. Ann Shoket loved the pic. Aminat has a beautiful face, but the camera doesn’t love it. She eats light and doesn’t shine it back, but her BODY. Oh. My. God. The body is to die for.

RabbityMouthBreather gets the number one photo (told you the suck up was a good idea), Wind in Her Face comes in second. Aminat and Celia are left. Predictably, Celia is given the boot for being older than dirt, and Aminat stays to try and master her angles.

It’s night in Brazil, Natalie Wooden has gone home and Aminat is asking the other girls if they could imagine the outrage (in the house? on the couch? among her “fans”?) if the judges had sent her home instead. Well, actually, yes I can. The blogosphere of rabid ANTM watchers would have had a fit if the tall, beautiful girl had gone home and the hack from SoCal had stayed. I’m agreeing with a hamster… what has the world come to? Meanwhile, Celia admits that at 25 she is older than dirt and will probably have that flung in her face this week, resulting in her going home. She seems resigned to losing. I’m sorry, what show are we watching? We seem to have a little self-awareness here.

TYRAMAIL! You have to hit the ground running if you want to fly. The hamsters think this means hang-gliding or something. That’s more like it. Stupid, clueless and self-absorbed. That’s why we watch. Keep up the good work, little hamsters. Speaking of little, Fo suddenly realizes that at 5’8”, she is stumpy. She decides that she needs to model taller. The next morning, the girls are taken to the headquarters of Fashion Week Brazil, and there meet Paolo Borges, who needs an interpreter, who also needs an interpreter, and they tell the hamsters that they will pretend to be real models today, and have go-sees. They are given a list of 5 designers and about 4 hours. Downstairs there are taxis waiting to drive them around. As always, there is way too much traffic, the girls have no plan of attack, and nobody is wearing a watch. As always, anyone late will be disqualified. Celia, being older than dirt, and therefore somewhat wise in the ways of the world, tells us that she figured to go to the designer farthest away from their end point, and work her way backwards. RabbityMouthBreather is scared, because she has to go somewhere and meet someone. Aminat is stunned by the traffic. She says that it is worse than NY and LA combined, and re-donk-iless. Yeah. There’s that classical enunciation.

Wind In Her Face and Celia end up in the same place at the same time, but Celia gets through the door first, so Wind In Her Face bolts to the next designer on her list rather than wait. The first question for Celia is “How old are you?” Somewhere across town, RabbityMouthBreather is wowing some other designer with her personality. Her walk, on the other hand, “is not ready for the catwalk”. That’s an understatement along the lines of Miss Jay is just a tiny, little bit gay. Celia, who is older than dirt, but who also lives in New York City, figures out that it is faster to walk than to take her taxi. So she walks. Fo is somewhere with designer Cris Barros, who likes her just fine, except for the part where Fo only comes up to a real model’s armpit. Five foot eight inches is a freakin’ DWARF in Modelvania, people.

Over at designer Orzoco or something like that, Wind In Her Face finds that Celia has beaten her to the location again, dammit, and freaks out and flees. At Adriana Bozos, Aminat is walking and Adriana says that she’d book her for a show, fer sure. And also Wind In Her Face. She’d get booked too. Sadly, Fo is too short for beachwear. She’s a midget! This causes Fo to have a little freak out of her own. She’s good for a photo shoot, they say, but not for walking. Speaking of not good for walking, Adriana Bozos says that RabbityMouthBreather needs a lot of practice before she can stomp down a runway. With half an hour left, Aminat heads over to Cris Barros, where she finds Celia walking it out. Cris likes Celia, despite the fact that she’s ready for AARP and a walker. Wind in Her Face gets there and finds Celia still doddering around, so she calls it a day and goes back to the base. She’s about twenty minutes early. Fo is still in her cab, having made all five go-sees, but very far from the meeting place. Oh noes, Fo. Aminat arrives next. RabbityMouthBreather gets there on time, too. Celia is fourth, and blows into the room at 3:31. The other girls mock her and tell her she’s late and disqualified. Celia disputes that, saying that she was in the building at 3:30, just waiting for the elevator. I’m on Celia’s side in this one. Somewhere around 4, Fo finally drags her stumpy little ass in, and the translator arrives to tell them that the girls who arrived on time will be whisked away to meet Paolo via helicopter. For the sake of drama (and weight limits?) Celia and Fo are told to go back down stairs and take the cab. Only Aminat, RabbityMouthBreather and Wind In Her Face will ride the sky. None of them have ever been in a helicopter, nor even considered that they might one day fly in one, so there is much childish delight and glee. Over in the cab, there is much sulkiness and misery.

At Fashion Week Brazil world headquarters, they learn that RabbityMouthBreather saw 4 designers and they all thought she needed a metric fuck ton of practice walking before she could ever grace a runway. The designers all love Aminat and Wind In Her Face. The winner will get one piece from each of the five designers, and that winner is Wind In Her Face. Celia is green with jealousy over this…or maybe she’s green because she’s past her expiration date and has started to mold. Wind In Her Face is not particularly gracious, and yells at the others not to touch her swag. She ain’t sharing this with anyone. (And the others agree that it’s nice for her to win, because she had the tattiest wardrobe of them all.) Well, all of them except Fo, who cries and says it isn’t fair because she wanted it more. Honeychild, if strength of wanting equaled getting, you’d be referring to me as that bitch who’s been married to Bob Dylan for-fucking-ever.

TYRAMAIL says something that we weren’t paying attention to. But it comes out to mean the beach shot. Needless to say, this is something that frightens RabbityMouthBreather, because she doesn’t think she has a beach body. It turns out that Nigel(!) is their shooter today, and it will be a crowd shot. Nigel tells them to drop all inhibitions and show him what they got. Bring it, babies!!! Fo’s ready. Aminat comes out first, and my lord. That woman has a body that could make strong men weep. Or weak men. Or me. Nigel loves her, but Mr. Jay says that she just doesn’t have the best control of all that amazing stuff. Fo comes out and does some weird hunchy stuff, and frustrates Mr. Jay by posing, not modeling. She doesn’t interact with any of the extras and Mr. Jay calls her shoot remedial modeling 101. RabbityMouthBreather is scared by the size of the bikini (smaller than anything she’s ever worn in her life) and wanders around the set, alternating her slack-mouth with her blow up doll O face. Nigel is so astounded that she does better than he’d ever expect, that he hugs her and tells her she did well. Nigel scares her. Wind In Her Face rocks the shot…of course. Winner’s edit, anyone. But there is no denying that she very quickly learned how to hold her face and mouth so that she didn’t scare children or look like a denture ad. She “knows her angles”.

Celia has been backstage, practicing all day. When she finally gets to the set, it is not what she had in her head and she loses her focus and any remaining semblance of modeling talent she ever had. It is so bad, that Nigel (who was a top male model in his day, remember) puts the camera down and shows her how to work the set. It is always such start contrast when someone who knows what they are doing works the shoot next to the contestants. He still has the mojo. Celia, sadly, does not and blows the shoot.

TYRAMAIL! Down to the final four, bitches. Enjoy what may very well be your last night in Brazil. Fo’s nervous, but sure that someonecoughcoughCELIAcough did worse. At panel, Tyra is wearing a wig that is so far beyond whack that it looks like it came from the discount Farrah Fawcett wig line back in 1973. And has been in storage since. The guest judge is Cris Barros, who is not only a designer, but a former Top Model. First up is Wind In Her Face, wearing one of her winning dresses and looking like a million dollars. She saw three designers and all three would book her. Nigel says that she held nothing back on set, and Cris says that Wind In Her Face is the perfect Brazilan model. Celia booked three out of the four designers she saw, but she was LATE, and so disqualified. Nigel says that she wasn’t easy to shoot because she was so distracted. Celia admits that she was thrown off stride by having spent hours practicing for a non-existent set. Paulina, Cris and Tyra are all horrified to hear that she was rehearsing backstage. Now you know. You have to go in cold and use the fear and surprise to work the set.

Aminat only booked two of the three designers she saw. Nigel tells her that she was pretty good, but that she still needs to emote with her body. Tyra and Miss Jay tell Aminat that she has a body that could compete with Naomi Campbell on any runway, but that she’s wasting it by not knowing how to use it. Fo made herself look chunky on set, and not one of the five designers she saw would have booked her because she’s too short. She needs to stand on a chair just to keep the hems from dragging on the floor. Stumpy McStumpersons, that’s our Fo. RabbityMouthBreather surprised Nigel by not totally sucking. But she only booked one out of her four go-sees, because she can’t walk without knocking into the furniture or her knees into each other.

The judges judge thusly: Wind In Her Face is just amazing. Celia is pose-y and unnatural. Aminat isn’t natural either, or maybe a better word would have been effortless. Fo was one short little Faux Pas. She hadn’t a clue how to work a set and she was just an all-over disaster. RabbityMouthBreather was freaked out by Nigel’s praise, and Nigel mocks her in a heartless and dead-on way, making a bug-eyed and rabbit-toothed googly face. Makes me wish I had Tivo, just to grab a screen shot of that.

Predictably, our winner is Wind In Her Face. RabbityMouthBreather comes in second, much to the universal disgust from the denizens of my couch. Aminat is third, and the bottom two are Stumpy and Ancient. Who stays, and who goes? Celia is allowed to stay and get thrown off next week when she’ll be told that she’s too much of a crone to sell make up to 17 year olds, and Fo is sent back to Albuquerque, where, she says, she is ready to finish high school. You go and get that GED, girl. Next week, Tyra is the photographer, and one girl will be told by Paulina, without the slightest sympathy or pity, that their samba lesson was hardly their shining moment. Ouch. I’m hoping that the girl with two left feet is that bug-eyed freak, RabbityMouthBreather. As G-d as my witness, if she wins, I will never watch ANTM again.

It’s been a not-so-quiet week here at the Casita de Zapatos. On Tuesday morning, the boss was relieved of his position with the company and the rest of the week has been one long whirlwind of reassignment, file searching, reorganizing, catching the balls that were in the air as they fall. I’m going to be working in a new department, for a new taskmaster

cool boss, but before that happens for real, I have to pack and move, not just my cubicle, but all the pertinent materials from this department that will be within the pervue of the new department.

Still, that didn’t stop me from curling up on the couch Wednesday night to laugh at the train wreck that is ANTM. We were alone this week, as the MBEtte was MIA, and the Number 3 Surrogate Daughter was celebrating the natal anniversary of the Number 1 Surrogate Daughter. Number 1 turned 25 this week. How time flies. I remember when she was just a fuzzy-headed bundle scary tininess.

We begin in confession, where Wind In Her Face allows as how she is thrilled to be going to Brazil, but there are girls still in the house who are sippin’ on the Hater-Aid. Specifically, that would be Fo, who is still sulking that WIHF did the right thing in regards to taking her model, Celia, along when she won a photo shoot for 17 magazine.

We land in Sao Paolo, and Aminat has her mind blown. Well, as we old stoners are wont to say, a mind blown is a mind shown. The girls are taken to a lovely park, where they meet the host of Brazil’s Next Top Model, Fernanda Matto, who is in fact, one of Brazil’s top working models. The hamsters are told to pick partners, and then sent on a merry treasure hunt to find the Real Girl From Ipanema’s favorite flower store, and there to buy her favorite flowers. Aminat and WIHF pair up (of course), then Natalie Wooden and Fo, and finally AllisonKeaneLemur and Celia. There is the usual riding around in taxis, getting stuck in traffic and being stupid. Natalie Wooden and Fo arrive at the shop first, and are handed a bunch of bird of paradise, and instructions on how to find the Real Girl From Ipanema. They run off. Celia and the rabbity-toothed mouth breather are dead last, or as Celia confides to the camera, laughably last. Alliteration, how we love thee. AllisonKeaneLemur, whom I shall now call RabbityMouthBreather, stupidly tries to smell the birds of paradise. Dolt.

The second location is a park. Is it the same park where they started? Unknown. At any rate, this portion involves running, which should mean the team with the track star wins, but it does not. Again, Natalie Wooden and Fo get there first and Wind in Her Face and Aminat are a close second, with RabbityMouthBreather and Celia wandering in eventually. Fernanda Matto is there with a three-piece samba band to introduce Ihelo Pinhiero, The Real Girl From Ipanema, who is still gorgeous, and can still move gracefully, but is many many many years past girlhood. I’m just saying. For their troubles, the winning girls (or all of them, it wasn’t real clear) are given hampers full of Haviana flip-flops. Fo informs us that some of these retail at $500 a pair. You have got to be fucking with me. For rubber flip flops? Even if they are covered in Swarovski crystals. They are just fucking FLIP FLOPS, people, and are to foot wear fashion what the ubiquitous and gawd-awful sweat suit is to sartorial splendor. An anathema. Yeah. I said it.

Despite the glamor of their new digs, there are not enough beds, and Natalie Wooden takes this badly, saying that she isn’t impressed with Brazil, complaining about the accommodations, the lack of an ocean view, the lack of a swimming pool and the lack of, oh, I don’t know… naked pool boys fanning her and feeding her grapes. Aminat isn’t impressed with Natalie Wooden. Who is?

TYRAMAIL! Fight or flight. Give me both or go home. This must mean it’s time for the Native Culture lesson. Sure enough, we are taken to see a troupe perform capoeira. Animat gets that this is just a bastard child of break dancing and kung fu. They are shown some basic moves and told to “pray to your drama.” That must be a bad translation, don’t you think? Nevertheless, Aminat and Celia have some drama between them (remember the scene on the staircase after Celia attempted to toss Thalia under the bus at judging? No? Right. This is the season of boring. But it happened.) and Celia manages to, totally by accident, connect a round-house kick to Aminat’s face. Aminat blows it off, and says that once is an accident, twice will get a bitch cut. Fair enough.

The winner of the challenge will get an extra fifty frames at the next photo shoot by stealing them from one of the other girls. That gets Natalie Wooden hot. Or so we are led to believe by her deadpan assertion that stealing frames is “power”. Wind In Her Face forgets her face, Celia kept covering her face, Fo had great body, but her face got a little “puggy”, Natalie Wooden was just that, with a side of awful. Aminat had the strongest movement, and RabbityMouthBreather gave a lot of thought to her shots. Fo wins, and promptly takes frames from Wind In Her Face, because “payback is a bitch” and so is Fo. Wind In Her Face just shrugs it off and says that Fo wouldn’t have taken frames if she didn’t think WIHF was her strongest competition. So there.

TYRAMAIL! Tomorrow enjoy the fruits of your labor. There is much speculating about cabana boys feeding them fruit. But no, it is to be an homage to the late, great Carmen Miranda, of whom only Natalie Wooden seems to have heard. The rest are referred to Chiquita Banana, or, as WIHF keeps calling her, Chica Banana. I could cry, but my tears would get salt in the Cosmos. Maybe I should switch to Margaritas? Natalie Wooden thinks she’s got this shot in the bag because Carmen Miranda was all about sex, and that’s Natalie’s specialty. If necrophaelia is your thing, I guess. The head out to the favelas, or the poverty-stricken neighborhoods that are a single step above tar paper and corrugated tin shacks. Celia is jazzed to be there.

RabbityMouthBreather smiles for the camera and, it pains me to say, actually looks kind of good. Natalie Wooden can’t even stand up in her platforms and is totally unhappy being in such a bad neighborhood. Aminat is all face, no movement and never brings her creativity to set. She tells Wind In Her Face to sex it up for the camera. Aware that she only has 25 shots, Wind In Her Face works it like the rent is due yesterday. Fo wastes her 75 shots being too literally Carmen Miranda. Jay is disappointed, and tells her that she looks like “Carmen Miranda on crack as a drag queen” and that Fo needs to tone it down.

TYRAMAIL! Get ready to say buh-bye to another loser. Only five bitches will remain. Natalie Wooden isn’t nervous at all. She says it will be hard to find a bad shot of her. I guess we don’t see her as the delusional bitch she is because her affect is so flat. Aminat hopes that she did better than the previous week. Fo doesn’t want to go home. At the panel, Fernanda Motta is our guest judge.

Aminat is up first, gets the lecture about not using her body. Paulina says that she is beautiful but boring.

Natallie Wooden is told that she has no sparkle, and Nigel says that we’ve seen all of this before. Natalie Wooden says that she only did what Mr. Jay told her to do. Exactly the same thing in all 50 shots. Tyra doesn’t buy it.

Celia doesn’t have any sparkle either. Tyra tells her this was her weakest shot to date and Celia agrees.

RabbityMouthBreather is finally seen as something other than a waste of air. Paulina says “Finally. I quite like it.” and Nigel says that she looks alive and sexy. And her mouth is still open.

Fo was cute, but too Carmen Miranda and no Fo.

Wind In Her Face is wearing a yellow knit mini dress and before anyone can look at her shot, they have to clock her for wearing tatty jammies to panel. As for the photo? Nigel says that there is no Carmen Miranda, but plenty of hot. She looks totally at ease and at home in the location.

The girls are sent to the green room and the judges deliberate. Natalie Wooden is boring. Ya think? Wooden, even? She isn’t pushing the envelope in any way. RabbityMouthBreather is finally proving Tyra right. Of course she is. Tyra is always right. Unless she’s wrong. But she never is. Miss Jay likes Fo’s picture and the judges all say that she’s an actress, not a model. Aminat is a noun, not a verb: she looks like a model, but she’s not modeling. That actually makes sense. Sort of. Celia is, at 25, the oldest girl in the bunch and she Does Not Look Fresh. There’s a shock. She looks OLD. There’s our clue that Celia will be number three or four, but not America’s Next Top Model. Nope, that will go to the girl with the winner’s edit: Teyona, or as we call her around here, Wind In Her Face.

The photos go to RabbityMouthBreather (what?), Wind In Her Face, Fo and Celia. Down in the bottom two again is Aminat and Natalie Wooden. Aminat is allowed to stay and told that her fierce is all in her head. She needs to bring it to set. Natalie Wooden needs to go home. As Tyra hugs her goodbye, Natalie turns her cheek and gets a pissy look on her face. Gracious. That’s what we all loved about her. She gives a “I don’t know why I have to leave when there were girls with worse shots than me” final voice-over and finally, we see the last of her. Next week? Go sees and Nigel on the beach.

We begin with Aminat in the confessional, bitching about how she can too enunciate. At least, that’s what we think she was saying.

TYRAMAIL! A top model knows how to be direct. The hamsters, ever on the money, clue-wise, decide that this means that they’ll be taking a direct flight to somewhere. Out of the blue, LondonComeToJesus begins to extemporize about her relationship with God. The bottom line is that God wants her to be America’s Next Top Model. It’s His plan for her.

The next day, the hamsters roll out, not to an airport, but another photo studio. There, Mr. Jay explains to them what it is he’s been doing on set for all these weeks. He is the creative director, and his duties include choosing the theme of the shoot, the hair, makeup and artistic direction of the shoot, and editing/choosing the final images from the shoot. It helps you as a model, says Mr. Jay, to understand what all of that entails, and so today, you will each get to be the creative director for another girl. They do not team up, so much as round robin. Ann Shokett and her nose will be on hand from 17 magazine to judge how well the girls do. The product placement is South Pole clothing, and it’s Ghetto Fabulous, or so Animat tells us.

Fo says something inane about having to strive to win, but syntactically, it was much worse than that. They head back to hair and makeup and Sutan is knitting. This is the high point of the show for me, but I was too excited to be able to tell you if he’s a thrower or a picker.

Natalie goes first and styles Wind In Her Face with Big Hair. They get fifteen frames. Natalie tells us that she is really quite visionary. She’s wearing that stupid purple acid-washed vest, so she’s really quite a vision, as well. Natalie has Wind In Her Face walk across the set, again and again. Mr. Jay notes that a real model can create the image of walking, without actually, you know, moving around out of the light.

AllisonKeaneLemur is stoked for this challenge because she, too, is amazingly creative. Or so she says. She gives Aminat big hair. Mr. Jay is shocked at how emotive and out of her rabbity little shell she is on set. She actually does a good job art directing, but chooses the wrong “best shot.”

Fo is talking to LondonComeToJesus who is freaked out about her weight gain. She feels like a fat freak. That would be Fat Freddy. He’s the fat Freak Brother. The other two are Phineas and Free Wheelin’ Franklin. I bet she doesn’t know that. Anyway, she’s fat and freaked out. Maybe Jesus likes ‘em chunky?

Aminat now has to art direct Natalie, of whom she is not inordinately fond. She wanders around looking at wardrobe and being vague until Mr. Jay starts yelling at her that she’s only got another 15 minutes to get Natalie into hair/make up and wardrobe and onto set. Aminat tells us that South Pole is “urban cheek”. So much for her enunciation. As they sashay onto set, Aminat tells Mr. Jay that the delay isn’t her fault, and he throws down a bitch fit and explains how it not only is her fault, she’s getting demerits for not owning it.

Wind In Her Face does a great job of styling Celia, and Mr. Jay is so shocked by this that he asks the girls from wardrobe if Celia styled herself. LondonComeToJesus styles AllisonKeaneLemur as a “total rocker chick” or, as Mr. Jay put it, “exactly like London used to look before she had her make over.” True. Sad, but true. Celia faux-hawks Fo and then rocks the shoot.

Ann and Mr. Jay tell the girls what they think of their Art Direction: London did a bad job of styling, but a great job of choosing the right shot. Wind In Her Face did a great job of styling, but picked the wrong shot. Aminat sucked at time management, but managed to get the perfect 17 cover shot out of Natalie. AllisonKeaneLemur had no clue about how to work with a photographer, and she picked a bad photo as her final, but did a good job of styling. The challenge winner, then, is Wind In Her Face. Her prize is an editorial spread in 17, and she gets to take along two friends. Because WIHF is a nice girl who recognizes that without Celia, she wouldn’t have won, she takes her model to be one of her two friends, and her real friend Aminat. This straight up behavior ticks off Fo, who thinks she should have gotten to share the prize.

TYRAMAIL! said something that none of us heard. It doesn’t really matter, does it? Because Mr. Jay arrives at the house the next morning at the crack of OhDarkThirty, coffee in hand and hair and make up artists in tow. We see AllisonKeaneLemur waking from her nightly slumbers. Her rat weave looks as though marsupials have been nesting in it. She allows as how she herself looks like some kind of forest creature in the morning before her ablutions. She thinks she looks like a wood nymph. The girls on the couch think more like the marsupial that was nesting.

The girls are thrilled to have their hair and make up done in the living room, and act as though this is some huge treat. Then the doorbell rings again, and it is Ciara, an award winning R&B star that the #3Surrogate has to explain to yours truly who she is. Talk about tortured syntax. The crux of her fame is that she is also a he, biologically. And s/he’s got some fine pipes. Where was Ciara last season when we had poor Isis?

Celia, unlike Miz Shoes, knows who Ciara is, and claims to have been a fan for a long time. Everyone piles into the pink plaid limo and heads off to Webster Hall for the shoot. The concept is that the hamsters are (deranged?) fans of Ciara, and will be on the stage in front of her, wrapped up in microphone cord, trying to be near their idol. We’ve seen worse from the Creative Director. Our photographer today is Mike Ruiz. The girls are told to be aware of their bodies and faces, as their poses will be constrained by being bound up in wires.

LondonComeToJesus is all twitterpated over the costume: it’s basically a rubber bathing suit, or a series of wraps of electrical tape (kind of hard to tell). She’s freaking out because she’s packed on the poundage, and the electrical tape bikini is very unforgiving. Celia comes out first and, according to Ciara, who is all up in Mr. Jay’s monitor, checking out the frames, “gives good stuff”.

Natalie and AllisonKeaneLemur discuss how chunky LondonComeToJesus has gotten and talk about how insecure and stressed out she is over it. LondonComeToJesus just prays for Jesus to be inside her and take over her shoot for her. Mr. Jay notes that London has gotten huge. He calls her to one side after her frames, and admonishes her for not taking care of her body, which is supposed to be her temple. How will she do in the long run, he asks, if in the short run stress causes her to eat like a pig and gain tonnage? Huh? You are too tiny to be a plus-size girl, he tells her, so get a grip on yourself and release your grip on the fork.

Wind In Her Face comes into her own in this shoot and gets very Grace Jones. Natalie has been given Aminat’s old fro, and is told for the millionth time to show some emotion and get out of her comfort zone. She snarls, and gets high praise. Fo is giving lots of poses and faces and working it. Ciara loves the variety as she and Mr. Jay look at Fo’s film. AllisonKeaneLemur has to be brow beaten into giving any expression other than her usual slack-mouthed, dull-eyed stare. She glares at Mr. Jay and gets the Olsen Twin pursed lips. Aminat is lost and can’t find the light, the camera or a decent pose.

TYRAMAIL! Tomorrow we send another one of you useless slags home. LondonComeToJesus is in the confessional, talking about God’s plan for her. God wants her to be a model, so she is a little confused about why God is making her fat. I think that it’s actually more the laws of thermodynamics (more calories consumed than used) although Isaac Newton would say that is a manifestation of God.

Mike Ruiz is our guest judge tonight, and as Tyra intones, there comes into the judging room a bikini-clad boy, holding a giant bowl of something. There is some painful dialog and back and forth as Tyra ingests one of what ever is in the bowl and determines that it is a bowl of Brazil nuts. They will all, except tonight’s loser, be heading to BRAZIL!!! This devolves into some maraca playing by the judges and gives Miss Jay a chance to sashay around in a Carmen Miranda hat. She has no shame. She really doesn’t.

Natalie gets the first review, and Paulina calls her scary. Other judges find her to be stunning and fabulous, but agree that she needs to be more present in her face. Miz Shoes takes that to mean Natalie should try to project a thought once in a while. Aminat looks great in panel, but her picture is flat. Miss Jay tells her that she needed two cups of crazy and a pinch of insane. She would know. She probably has some to spare, too. Celia looks hot both at panel and in her photo. You do know that she’s not going to win, don’t you? She might come in second, but she is not winning. Paulina is thrilled to see her bringing it again this week.

Wind In Her Face related to the scenario better than any of the other girls. LondonComeToJesus is told that Paulina doesn’t love her over-the-topness, and Nigel clocks her for getting all pear-shaped. Miz Shoes says that Jesus didn’t bring the fierce when he inhabited her during the shoot. Fo was fabulous and AllisonKeaneLemur had a fierce face. If they say so. I suppose compared to her usual mouth-breathing, it was. She opens up to the judges, gushing over how much fun it was to shoot with Mike Ruiz, and how this was her favorite photo shoot to date. Nigel gets pissier and pissier as she talks. He reminds her that he’s a photographer, and that she’s shot with him. She just digs deeper and deeper until the rest of the judges take pity on both Nigel and her and shut her up and send her back to the pack.

The judging is quick: Natalie is a big question mark. Aminat has it all, but isn’t using it. She might be better for the runway than for print. Celia is the perfect stylist. Wind in Her Face is consistently good. LondonComeToJesus, in spite of having permanently smiling eyes, is not going to work in print or runway, and is a fattyboombabatty. Fo has perfect bone structure. AllisonKeaneLemur is a boring one-note.

And so the photos go to: Wind In Her Face, Fo, Natalie, Celia and AllionKeaneLemur who needs some instruction in how to care for that weave. The bottom two girls are Aminat and London. The judges look at Aminat and see a perfect face, perfect skin and a perfect body. But maybe she can only walk the cat walk. LondonComeToJesus has the best face of all the girls, and eyes that are always smiling. But she’s let herself get fat. Not only that, but Jesus did not bring his A-game to the shoot, and consequently although Jesus may be her saviour, he can’t save her from being sent home this week. Next week? Brazil. Nuts.

Not being allowed to blog from work has taken a toll on my updates. I’m just saying.

In the fabulous East Side apartment des Bitches and Hos, AllisonKeaneLemur is explaining that she sees that she needs to have more expressions. She need to give more pose. Celia responds by doing a impression of Allison’s bunny teeth. Funny, but cruel. It seems that the girls are having a Thanksgiving dinner together, as there is a turkey and a pumpkin pie in evidence. The girls all pitch in to clean up together, except for Natalie, who lounges around and calls out thanks and encouragement. The other girls aren’t having it, and call her a spoiled bitch. Fair enough. Natalie is offended by this, and barges into the kitchen to say that she’s sorry that she comes from a nice community and that the rest of them are just all ghetto trash. This triggers a fight between Aminat and Natalie. Same old same old.

TYRAMAIL! Tomorrow you’ll be molded into a fine piece of clay. Speculation about meaning: sculpture?

In the event, they find themselves at the Harlem Stage Theater, where Paulina gives them a lecture about how modeling is like a series of auditions, and posing is like acting. But without words and movement. But that sometimes they will need to do both, move and speak, and do so convincingly. The exercise is to pair up and say a line of dialog in the proscribed tone.

Aminat and Celia trade “I’ve never said that to anyone” in either a bossy or pitiful tone. Celia does good pitiful. LondonCometoJesus and Fo exchange “You’ve gotta be kidding me” and while LCTJ is not so pitiful, Fo is very, very threatening. Tahlia is not ecstatic when she says “You’ve gotta get out of here.” and AllisonKeaneLemur is no better being arrogant. Paulina finds working with Tahlia trying, at best. She tells her that trying to teach her anything is like “jogging in mud.” And ouch. Tahlia is told to stop just being pretty, and start being a model. They all get a script to memorize, involving being a has-been model on a go-see. LondonCometoJesus tells us that she is, by nature, an actress, and comes from a whole family of actors. This challenge is hers to win, she says. We see the script that the girls are reading, and it’s sad, really, because there are cues above each line, telling them what emotion they should be trying to emote.

Their acting partner today is Clay Aiken, former American Idol winner and current “star” of Spamalot on Broadway. LondonComeToJesus is not too bad. NatalieWooden has an attitude. Fo is good. Tahlia just sucks. She is called lazy and insecure by Paulina and Mr. Jay. Celia turns it on and plays it (over the top, broadly) for laughs. But in the end, it’s LondonComeToJesus who wins the challenge and gets 5 thousand dollars worth of Joe’s Jeans. Which she won’t even try on, because (the rest of the girls gossip) she’s been packing on the pounds in the house, and can’t fit in them. She graciously shares her winnings with the rest of the hamsters.

The next day, they go to a studio where M’Key is doing a Cover Girl ad (Good lord, she really has a beautiful face. She’s right up there with Season Two winner Yoanna House in terms of pretty.) The hamsters will be working in groups to do a Cover Girl foundation commercial. This requires walking and talking and facing the camera and holding a product and doing it all at the same time. This is going to be very, very hard for some of these girls (cough AllisonKeaneLemur). The two groups are WindInHerFace, Aminat, Celia and AllisonKeaneLemur, and NatalieWooden, Fo, LondonComeToJesus and Tahlia. They will each take the lead and rotate through the group. As they wait for their shoot, M’Key makes small talk with them. She asks where they’re from and NatalieWooden jumps in and says that she comes from where ever, but that the rest of them are all hicks. Classy.

Celia does well, WindInHerFace isn’t too bad, and Aminat sucks. Tahlia asks M’Key how she can stop being such an insecure little mouse in the house. M’Key intuitively recognizes that there is nothing anyone can do for Tahlia. She smiles. AllisonKeaneLemur, as expected, is flat and has her usual mouth-breathing look of stupidity. She says, and I quote: “I need to figure out how to manipulate my photos and my face.” NatalieWooden remarks that the person to impress is the Cover Girl rep, and proceeds to blow her first take. She pulls out an average take on her second try. Fo tries hard, but NatalieWooden totally blocks her in the final shot. LondonComeToJesus is channeling Harold Hill as she tries to shill the product. Tahlia can’t act, can’t repeat her semi-memorized lines and can’t read the teleprompter. She is also lacking in emotion. Mr. Jay tries to give her a pep talk, and she answers him with a variation of Jade’s immortal line “I am confident, on the inside.”

TYRAMAIL! Someone’s going home tomorrow. Celia doesn’t think it’s her. At panel, our guest judge is Clay Aiken, and Miss Jay’s tie is so huge, even clowns wouldn’t wear it. Celia gets the first critique and Paulina says that she shows natural talent. She is a natural comedienne. Paulina thinks that Celia is great at creating a character, and Tyra just says that she’s old. Nigel says that WindInHerFace is squinty and gave bad poses. AllisonKeaneLemur steps up and is immediately dressed down by Miss Jay, who notes that she has worn the same dress to panel before. This leads to a lecture about why a white t-shirt and blue jeans is the model’s standard garb when not wearing product. She is told to swap clothes with one of the other girls when they are sent out. Tyra says that watching AllisonKeaneLemur’s commercial felt like punishment. Nigel says that she’s still giving the same, slack-mouthed bunny teeth. Nigel really, really, really is NOT into AllisonKeaneLemur.

Aminat is critiqued for her lousy enunciation. Again, fair enough. She does have that whole Ebonics thing going on. LondonComeToJesus is called hard by Tyra, and schlumpy and defeatist-looking by Nigel. True. She has terrible posture, terrible legs and she’s got a pot belly. Paulina looks at her standing there, knock-kneed and chubby-thighed and flat out tells her: Don’t wear those shorts again. They are Not. Flattering. To say the least. NatalieWooden was upstaged by LondonComeToJesus, and Clay notes that she didn’t interact with any of the other girls in the commercial. Miss Jay calls her stiff. Fo was outshone by her backup, Tahlia. Tahlia struggled in her own take, and was upstaged by Fo.

We cut to Cover Girls in Action, and see Heather, who is living in Chicago, signed to Elite Modeling agency and studying computer animation. She’s looking good and doing well. Go Heather. Back in the judging room, the judges agree that Celia did the best, but that is damning with faint praise, since the other girls were so totally, completely and appallingly awful. WindInHerFace, surprisingly, does well on film. AllisonKeaneLemur did better than they anticipated in her commercial, which is to say, she didn’t fall down. Fo was too nervous, but Nigel can see her as a successful actress more than as a model. Tahlia is loved by the camera, but Tahlia does not love the camera back. LondonComeToJesus, who started strong, has had her chances go all pear-shaped, according to Nigel. That is Brit-speak for going bad, but it is also a reflection on her putting on weight…maybe. Aminat’s Ebonics mean that film is not her medium (didn’t stop Danielle/Dani). The judges were thrilled to see that NatalieWooden could actually smile. Nigel says she’s more of a Bond Girl than a Cover Girl. I think Nigel’s over her, too.

The hamsters return, and are told that as a group, they were pathetic and all sucked, but that Celia sucked the least and is the week’s winner of the first photo. The rest go to NatalieWooden, WindInHerFace, Fo, LondonComeToJesus and Aminat. AllisonKeaneLemur and Tahlia are in the bottom. AllisonKeaneLemur is read the list of her short comings: she can’t pose, she has a slack-mouthed expression in every shot, she has bunny teeth and she’s funny looking. Tahlia has the right look for Cover Girl, but, as much as the camera loves her, it is a one-sided love affair. You can’t be a model if you hate having your picture taken. True that. Which means that Tahlia is out, and AllisonKeaneLemur and her bunny teeth are in for another week.

Hang on, sweetiedarlings, this is a long, and particularly pointy review.


Back at the Casita des Hámsteres, Tahlia is discoursing on the nature of the universe: i.e.: what it feels like to be stabbed in the back by a competitor on a long-running reality television show, where research has determined that there will ALWAYS BE A BACK STABBING BITCH among the cast. Duh. She is angry and hurt.

Over in the other confessional, Celia, AKA The Bitch Who Performed Said Back-Stabbing, is admitting that she stirred up drama, but does not regret what she did. Of course she doesn’t. The key word in that confession is DRAMA of which there need be a gracious plenty in the Reality TV Universe. We now have our protagonist and our antagonist. Stage is set for act one.

Act One

Sandra lies outright and tells Tahlia that she knew nothing of the planned shoot out at the OK Judging. We see footage of her sitting there in her Mammy do-rag along with the rest of the mean girls. Tahlia says that Celia made herself look “hella low”. Hell-low-oh? Wind In Her Face and Aminat, mean while, ask if Tahlia is going to say anything to those hos downstairs and when Tahlia says no, Wind In Her Face asks if Tahlia would mind if she went downstairs to attend to some bi-ness of her own. And again, Tahlia says you do what you gotta do. Aminat and Wind In Her Face then bound downstairs to take on the triad of Celia, Natalie and AllisonKeaneLemur.

Wind In Her Face (from the stairs): Can I ax? Don’t you feel a fool?

Allison: Huh? Wha? Get outta my face. I’m not getting this kind of air time unless I can’t help it.

Tahlia (From the stairs behind WIHF and Animat): Oh, I’m not going there. I have seen the mountain top. I have been praised in panel and gotten the first photo. I am not afraid of you. (ad lib ad nauseum)

Allison (safely in confessional): That crap from Tahlia was too Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul to be believed. (rolls eyes) I’m so sure. (exposes bunny teeth)

Back in the kitchen, Aminat and Natalie are on opposite sides of a granite counter.

Aminat: You are stupid. Let me spell that out for you S-T-U-P-I-D.

Natalie: Yeah, bring the A game, beyotch.

Aminat: StupidStupidStupid

Natalie: That all you got?

Aminat: Big stupid stupid head. Stoooo-pid.

Natalie: I’m loving this, I’m getting to do my Sly Stallone/Vin Deisel impersonation on television, viewed by millions. Totally worth looking like a moron.

Aminat: Stupid.

And cut.

Act Two

TYRAMAIL! Cut it out. I don’t want to see any more blank faces. Aminat decides that this is going to be acting class. It is not. It is Face Posing class. Also known as having an expression.

Mr. Jay is in an alley, surrounded by his faceless and less shiny sister mannequins. Mr. Jay explains the personality problem to this year’s crew (again). Nobody can tell you mindless twits apart. Today we are going to look like something other than a clothes hanger, OK? Today we are going to try to project a thought or emotion. To help teach this lesson they have Howard Stern’s wife: Beth Stern, A Model. Examples of her modeling flash on the screen, each one as plastic and as the same as the one before. Could be her, could be Ivanka Trump. Could be Ivana Trump.

The Mean Girls and the Hurt Innocents get lessons in front of a mirror as Mr. J and Mrs. Stern critique them. Celia gives a good mystery. Tahlia is a good sensual (and we get another lecture on being confident from The Girl With The Medical Issues.) Fo can be alluring. Sandra is not so much mysterious as vaguely threatening. Natalie is totally a Victoria’s Secret model, and you know that is totally what she aspires to.

To become a true icon, says Mr. Jay, you have to give all types of expressions and you have to nail them. The challenge will be to figure out what face the Icon Miss Tyra was giving when she took the shot in each of these five live-size enlargements. You will have noticed that there IS no face. We have cut those out. You will stick your head through the hole like a drunk at a Coney Island photo booth, and try to replicate what you think Tyra was doing. There are five shots, you will each pick two.

Miz Shoes thinks this might be a gentle reminder to the girls that their hostess is the Alpha Bitch in this dog pack. Yeah. Let’s see how you look compared to me. Mano a mano, bitches. And then tell me who’s got the right to say who’s all that and who isn’t.

Celia is up first and tanks badly. Fo is awful. Wind In Her Face is awful. Sandra is not quite as awful. Mr. Jay says that Sandra is disappearing. What personality she had has gone. Aminat. Allison (Mrs. Stern says “That’s just sad.” Mr. Jay says, “I’m not getting anything.”) Natalie gets it both times. LondonCometoJesus is also good. Tahlia, meh and meh. Celia focused too much on the body (which wasn’t visable anyway). Sandra just isn’t real. Allison looked like a scared


little kid. Natalie was committed and gave real expressions. She nailed it. (the word “bitch” appears in a thought balloon over each of the other girls’ heads.) She wins an extra 50% more frames than the rest of the girls at the next shoot.

TYRAMAIL! You’re all looking a little pale. You need color. Um, anyone? Anyone? Celia and Tahlia have a heart to heart up on a mid-air hallway.

Tahlia: I was humiliated.

Celia: I was a cold-hearted bitch who just wanted Tyra to hear that you wanted, in your weak moments, to leave. I’m sorry.

Celia: (to camera) I’m sure that I’m going home. But I’m going out with my head up, giving it my all, wanting it more than anyone else. And I better see that everyone else wants it just as much as me.

And cut.

Act Three

Keith Major is the photographer who is going to capture the spirit and essence of the colored powders that the girls will be doused with and have to tell the story of.

AllisonKeaneLemur is first, and she’s been doused in hot pink. She is thrilled to be girly! Girly!! Whee!!! And, we note, a mouth breather. She is very afraid to give a real emotion.

Aminat is earthy greens. And gorgeous. Tahlia is purple. She’s Confident. And at the end, when she starts making eyes at Keith Major, she gives some good face. Wind In Her Face is yellow and needs to never ever smile in front of a camera if she doesn’t want to scare the children. She has a lot of teeth and gum. Fo is fabulous as red. I think that Fo is over the Trauma of the Haircut. LondonComeToJesus is blue and blah. Natalie gets and needs her extra frames. As orange, she’s flat. Sandra is white and says that it’s all in her eyes. She is peaceful and angelic. Celia knows that if she doesn’t wow the tan off Mr. Jay, she is going home for sure, so she hits one out of the park. She is grey and she is giving more looks and poses and using her hands and you know, girl friend has it going on. Just sometimes you can take the girl out of Scratch Ankle, Kentucky, but you can’t take the Kentucky out of the girl. Celia thinks she won’t be going back to Kentucky tomorrow, but you never know.

TYRA MAIL! One of you bitches is out of here tomorrow. Only eight will continue the cat fight. Celia is picking out her wardrobe for tomorrow’s judging. She says like it feels she’s picking out clothes to be buried in. In which case, Miz Shoes wishes she were thin enough to be buried in the full and pleated skirt Celia chooses.

The guest judge tonight is Keith Major, who, coincidentally just shot Miss Tyra’s Ebony cover.  Aminat’s green is the first photo, and the judges love it. Natalie’s orange has no depth. Let’s call her NatalieWooden. (I can’t believe it took me 6 weeks to get there.) No angles. Tyra advises that NatalieWooden figure out where her bones are. Tahlia is told to lose the standy-uppy hair back in a clip thing over her forehead, and the judges regain their concentration to say that she took a great shot. Nigel picks at the scab a little and asks her how she felt after getting stabbed in the back last week. He tells her to just keep shining in panel.

Celia is praised for looking so sharp at panel, and for being so hot looking in her photo. Keith says how much he enjoyed working with her. Wind In Her Face was able to keep her mouth shut long enough to take a great shot. Paulina (or Nigel, either one is capable) says that the photo doesn’t even look like Wind In Her Face, but in a good way. LondonComeToJesus has taken the same shot as last week this week. Allison has no range at all, says Keith, she just stands there with a slack mouth. Sandra’s photo is weak, and Tyra says that’s because she promised Nigel to show him a full-face shot of Sandra for the first time. It explains why she always shoots in profile. Fo is Majah! Hott!!

Our Cover Girl in Action is Big Whitney, who is looking hotter than ever and bigger than ever. Go Big Whitney. Woot!

The judges judge thusly: Aminat is amazing. There is much love. Paulina does not like NatalieWooden or how she photographs. Tahlia has given an amazing glamour shot. And she has. You see her green eyes glowing out of the lavender powder and it is fierce. Celia has the best sense of personal style that they’ve ever seen in 12 seasons of ANTM, but Nigel says that she was so stank he doesn’t even want to look at her or be in the same room as her. Wind In Her Hair is beeeeeyooootiful. LondonComeToJesus looks like she puked blue and died, says Paulina, who might know. AllisonKeaneLemur has saucer eyes and bunny teeth and Nigel can’t stand looking at her, either. I hear you Nigel. Call me. We’ll talk about it. Keith says that he loved shooting Fo. Tyra holds up Fo’s picture and says: See? This is what I keep trying to teach these hamsters: Smiling With The Eyes. This is what it looks like. Get it?

The photos go to: FO! (Smiling With The Eyes! Tyra likee.) Wind In Her Face. Tahlia, Aminat, AllisonKeaneLemur, NatalieWooden, LondonCometoJesus. That leaves Sandra and Celia, the two short-haired blondes. Sandra is wearing her red Mickey Mouse shoes and her bloomer shorts. That alone is reason to send her home. Tyra explains that Sandra only has one look, unless she can learn real fast how to face the camera. Celia take the strongest pictures every week. She has the strongest sense of style. But what she did last week was ugly enough to get her tossed. Tyra explains how she had a fellow girl mess with her money for years. And how it is a personal hot button for Tyra when a girl throws another girl under a bus for the money. (Cough Naomi) Tyra will Not Tolerate it among her own girls. Does Celia understand? Celia does and begins her redemption arc, and Sandra goes home.


Her final interview is this: I’m the best and they were crazy to send me home. Ah, the delusion loser exit. All is right in the Reality Television Universe.

We open as the hamsters return to their Upper East Side cage, and Sandra sees herself (and Celia cropped out) on the big digital display. Her reaction? “Wow! I look so hot!” She then opines that winning the last challenge shows that she is so much better than the rest of the girls, and she’s sure that they all know that now.

Except for Tahlia, who’s getting positive feedback, and is regaining her confidence.

Suddenly, the door bell rings! Who can it be now? It’s Tocarra, the formerly plus sized model from season back in the day. She brought Mira Kelis sleepwear for everyone, and they are going to have a slumber par-tay! She’s also there to make the pitch for having a plus-size personality. Aminat is down with that. She says that she’s loud and that’s OK. Kortnie the Pit Lizard says that she’s an old male comedian stuck in a model’s body. Some of the other girls say that Kortnie is always on, and it gets real old, real fast. (Wait. Real old, real fast, isn’t that Celia?) Either way, there has been no evidence in the aired footage that Kortnie is trying to be funny, or just trying.

Tocarra gives a quick run down of what she’s been up to since she got tossed off ANTM. She’s been the first Black and plus-sized model ever on the cover of Italian Vogue. She’s a correspondent for BET. She’s been working. She omits her two stints on Celebrity Weight Loss Challenge. Sandra and Aminat have a little cat fight over nothing. The next morning, Tocarra says that this crop of girls is so bland and boring that even after spending a night with them she can’t tell them apart. How do you think we feel, Tocarra? At least you got paid for your suffering.

Celia says that Tocarra was a wake-up call, or that Tocarra couldn’t wait for her wake-up call, and that she, Celia, needs to really show what she’s made of. In the event, and I don’t think this is giving anything away, what she’s made of is bitch.

TYRA MAIL! If you can’t move to the music, it might pose a problem. Must mean the return of Benny Ninja and posing classes. The girls head off to Marquee, where they do, in fact, meet Benny and Sky Nellor, who used to be a model, and is now a DJ. (Isn’t everyone?) Sky Masterson will be playing music to motivate the posing. Benny tells the girls to pay attention to what they are hearing, and to let the music move them accordingly.

In a shocking! development, the girls are nearly universally unable to rock out. Or move in any way related to the various genres of music presented. LondonComeToJesus is marginally better at heavy metal than Sandra, who is deemed clueless. Neither AllisonKeaneLemur nor Natalie can shake it to rock and roll. Wind In Her Face is somewhat less pathetic than Fo at interpreting country music into poses. Kortnie and Celia pose off to hip hop, and Celia beats Kortnie. In the words of Benny Ninja, beats her BAD. Aminat and Tahlia try to work it to jazz, and Aminat gets it, and Tahlia gets another beat down for not having any confidence.

AllisonKeaneLemur admits that she’s shy and posing for Benny Ninja scared her. I sense a new drinking game coming on. Whenever AllisonKeaneLemur says she’s scared of something, take a shot. Might be fun, might be alcohol poisoning.

The next day, the girls have to take their new-found (or, you know, never-found) posing to music skills and participate in a pose-off at Mansion, which is populated by the meanest queens in New York City. Benny tells them to be out loud and free with the cat-calls, hoots of derision and any possible praise. The hamsters will be modeling sparkly, shiny clothes from the house of 2 Blondes. Dave and Phillipe Blonde will be in the audience, and the winner gets to keep what they modeled. The girls are all given long blond Barbie wigs, and stripper heels and sent out like lambs to the slaughter. AllisonKeaneLemur is scared, Celia is stoked and Talhia is overwhelmed and unsure of herself. Oh, good lord. No wonder Tocarra couldn’t leave fast enough.

Annnnnd, AllisonKeaneLemur gets booed. Wind In Her Face gets love. Kortnie and Sandra hear the boo birds, but Celia is a drag queen’s dream and gets major love. Aminat, LondonComeToJesus and Tahlia all get booed. Natalie and Fo get loved. Natalie and Celia have a pose off and the fag hag wins it all. (That’s Celia, for those of you who may be unsure.)

Back in the hamster cage, Tahlia has lost all the confidence she got at panel and whines to AllisonKeaneLemur about wanting to go home. Celia says that Tahlia is too timid for this business.

TYRA MAIL! says that models aren’t the only ones who migrate to NYC to make their dreams come true. This leads us to a photo shoot on Ellis Island, where Brian Edwards will be shooting the girls, a grab-bag of child models and Benny Ninja as very on-trend immigrants. Well, immigrants, whose native dress has been updated to BoHo chic. These are yet more group shots, and this time the girls have to try and stand out among children and a posing queen. They have some hard work ahead of them, is all MizShoes is saying. The additional twist to this shot is that they will be using an antique box camera that uses 8X10 sheet film, and requires that they actually hold a pose.

Sandra leads off, albeit stiffly, and Mr. Jay tells us that Sandra is his biggest disappointment, because she started strong and gets weaker every challenge. Fo immediately gets into character, and becomes a fierce Spanish dancer. Since I never saw the movie, I have no idea why she and Mr. Jay say that she was straight out of “Titanic”. LondonComeToJesus also does some far-away look and feels the immigrant experience. Natalie claims that she’s channeling her Croatian immigrant ancestors. What ever. Wind In Her Face is good, but Kortnie struggled and took too long to find a boring pose. Tahlia continues to blow hot and cold, as she owns the shoot as a Gypsy and Mr. Jay fawns all over her, calling her impressive and telling her that she’s growing in leaps and bounds.

Celia acknowledges that her posing is not as strong as her runway, and flails about looking stumpy. Aminat is all body and no face and no neck. AllisonKeaneLemur looks like a Walter Keane painting of Heather Graham pretending to be Chico Marx in a striped shirt and a cone-shaped felt hat. And with that, thankfully, it is all over but the judging.

In confessisonals, Sandra says that she knows she could have been better, but that she isn’t going home, that’s Tahlia’s fate. Tahlia is on the up side of her mood swing, and knows that she’s doing fine. Celia and Natalie, mean time, are organizing a lynching. If Tahlia doesn’t get booted at panel, Celia tells the other girls, then they need to step up and tell Tyra that Tahlia has said she wants out, and demand that she get that wish.

At judging, Sandra is wearing black tights, a blue shirt, bloomer shorts with suspenders, and bright red Mickey Mouse shoes. The gang on the couch is unanimous in its derision and demand that the shoes alone are enough to have Sandra thrown off the show.

Benny Ninja is the guest judge and Miss Jay’s bow tie is almost as wide as his face. Now, maybe it was because Benny Ninja is in the house, but for what ever reason, our host today is Jive-Talkin’ Tyra. Fo’ shizzle.

Wind in Her Face has the story in her eyes, and is captivating and romantic. LondonComeToJesus looks like she’s only a foot and a half tall, and it’s not a great shot on top of that. Sandra is looking off into an imaginary sunset, and Nigel points out that she seems to only work in profile. Benny Ninja says she looks like a deer in the headlights…in Mickey Mouse shoes. AllisonKeaneLemur gets Nigel praise: he says this is the first shot where she actually looks like a model…and also one of the children, so… maybe not so good, after all.

Aminat is told that she is a natural poser (not poseur) and that she completely sold/told the story. Paulina tells Fo that this is her least favorite shot to date. Natalie has paid the judges to say that she resembles Keira Knightly in her shot, because there is no other explanation for why they would think that. Kortnie is SOUR! says Benny Ninja, which seems to be gay-speak for not so hot. She has no tension in her poses and she’s underperforming. I guess she needs a tune up in the pit.

Tahlia is astonishing. Nigel says WOW!!! and better than exquisite, and of all the girls, is the only one who looks somehow related to the children. On the other hand, she is wearing her hair in a rather small-town and tragic fashion at panel, and Nigel tells her that the “There’s Something About Mary” hair has got to go. Celia is schlumpping into her body, and looks like a piece of luggage dumped into the photo.

The judges deliberate and Benny Ninja says that Kortnie is not model quality. Paulina loves Fo, but sees nothing in today’s shot. Celia is giving the same pose she gave Nigel in his photoshoot, and is totally lost among the children, Benny and the luggage. Natalie is dull and not at all inspirational. Wind In Her Face is a model. She gives sweet. She gives sour. She’s sweet and sour. The Number Three Surrogate Daughter remembers that there is, in fact, some hot and sour soup in the kitchen.

The photos go to: Tahlia, much to the pissy faced reaction of Celia. Wind In Her Face. AllisonKeaneLemur. Natalie. LondonComeToJesus. Aminat. Celia. Fo. The bottom two are Kortnie and Sandra. Kortnie is beautiful in person (albeit a wee bit too tan) but dies on camera. Sandra is (and I quote Tyra) “just restin’ on what the Lord and yo’ momma and daddy gave you.” (See? Jive Talkin’ Tyra.) So, who stays and who goes? Why, that’s an easy one. Kortnie the Pit Lizard goes home, and Sandra the Drama Llama stays. DUH. And then, an ANTM first! Celia trots herself right up to stand next to Kortnie and interrupts Tyra. Celia lays out the facts that she thinks Miss Tyra needs to know: That it isn’t fair to keep Tahlia when Tahlia isn’t sure that this is the best career move she’s ever made. It isn’t fair to keep Tahlia when she doesn’t want it as bad as others. It isn’t fair that Tahlia got the first picture today. It isn’t fair. And Celia wants Tyra to know that.

Tyra fixes Celia with a Look of Death and Contempt and announces that what isn’t fair is Celia opening her yap and assuming to speak for Tahlia. Tahlia didn’t ask Tyra for permission to leave, and she took one hell of a picture this week, so Celia can go back to her place (“under a rock” is implied) and just shut the fuck up until Miss Tyra asks for her advice or opinion. Kortnie is sent home to practice being fierce (which seems to mean squinting) and we are left waiting until next week to see what vengance Tyra throws down on the unwitting Celia.

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, there was much squealing. There were make-overs and freak-outs and Jessica went back to Puerto Rico to think about the difference between being pretty and being a model. Now, though, we are with the hamsters in their pink plaid limo and Wind In Her Face is happily remembering her fabulous photo. Nijah worries about having dead eyes and no discernible personality. In confessionals, Tahlia is off her game, and losing her confidence and Aminat is wearing yet another Mammy-rag. Have these girls no sense of history? Or, in the words of Clerk’s Randal, are they just taking it back?

Tyra Mail gives them the clue of Ps &Qs and the girls deduct that they will be going to runway lessons. This lets Natalie confide to the camera that she’s all that and a side of fries, seeing as how she is already a great model and she’s already been signed with an agency. We cut to the house catwalk, and Natalie is showing the others how to walk. Aminat suggests that perhaps Natalie should “take a slice of humble pie and relax.” Not bad advice. Natalie does not take it.

The next morning the girls are hauled off to Miss Jay’s Drag & Slag Charm School for Dummies. They are told to change, and find cropped chinos, faux pearls and twin sets. And heels. The key words are Grace. Poise. Elegance. And Smooth. Miss Jay sashays down the make shift runway and gives the hamsters a textbook example of a perfect catwalk. OK. I’ll say it. She may be a freak, she may be a queen with no sense of how to dress, but Miss Jay can fucking walk. Celia humps out first and gives a “signature walk” which she claims is essential to a star model. Fo is called a wind up toy. Nijah looks angry (better than dead?) Kortnie has a “certain wiggle jiggle” and needs help. This, translated, means that Kortnie leads with her tits. Tahlia needs help. LondonComeToJesus needs poise and grace. Wind In Her Face elicits an “Oh,dear” but the clear loser of the evening is AllisonKeaneLemur, who needs all the help she can get. She is pigeon-toed. She is schlumpy. She gets a book on her head. Natalie has confidence and Miss Jay loves her. And then, previous


hamsters come out to give the girls some tips. They are…. Binaca of the Stank Attitude and Chantallobotomy. Chantallobotomy tells the girls not to over think things. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! yeah. Cause that was one thing she never had to worry about. At all. Hell, she never even had to worry about thinking at all. Binaca of the Stank Attitude doesn’t say much at all. She’s too busy feeling superior to this lot. And one must admit, she’s looking better than ever.

Back at the house, the girls are playing a game of Truth or Dare. Someone licks someone else’s nose. For her “truth” question,Natalie gets asked who had the worst photo last week. She thinks that would have been Tahlia. Tahlia takes this personally, and stomps out of the room, and says that Natalie is selfish and that will either enable her to win, or cause her to fail. Tahlia is hoping for the latter. Aminat gives her moral support, or at least says things like yeah, you go, uh-huh.

Tyra Mail! tells the girls that a runway is a terrible place for excess baggage. They immediately recognize this to mean that they’ll be carrying bags on the runway. Wow. Two for two on the Tyra Mail. Someone’s got some brain cells bumping together this season. Before the challenge, though, Wind In Her Face has to get that Jheri Curl taken care of. She comes back looking absolutely the same to me, only with a hairline so far back on her skull that it bears a striking resemblance to Queen Elizabeth 1. She is so far beyond a five head, that she’s basically a twelve-pack head. The other girls gush over the change. Press on regardless.

The girls are going to walk in Jill Stuart’s Spring Runway Show. Walking and carrying shopping bags. And practicing their runway etiquette. This means no body checking the other models with their bags. Ann Shockett, editrix of 17 magazine will be in the front row with Miss Jay and Jill Stuart, evaluating the girls. And we’re off. Celia starts, and, as one would expect, rocks it. Natalie gets half way back up the runway and does a Mary Tyler Moore “She’s Gonna Make It After All” twirl, swinging her bags. Miss Jay and the rest of the front row are horrified. Natalie voices over how confident she is that she just raised the bar on giving good runway. LondonComeToJesus gets into the music and doesn’t even know she’s on the runway. In a good way. For Jesus. Nijah carries her bags in one hand, and Miss Jay just shakes her head. AllisonKeaneLemur says that she’s scared of narrow spaces, and walking on a runway is going to be scary. She clomps her way down and back, and despite her fears, does not fall off. Fo took Miss Jay’s advice from the morning before and radiates energy and confidence. Go Fo.

Backstage, Jill and Ann give the girls their critique. Jill was thrilled to open her show with Celia, who looked angelic. Fo had a huge personality. Wind In Her Face was a leetle bit stiff, AllisonKeaneLemur was cute and quirky. (And, no. She isn’t. She looks like some big-eyeballed bobble head. She’s just a fly and a blood vessel away from being a Big Daddy Roth Rat Fink.) Natalie had a beautiful walk, right up until she twirled and then she sucked. Tahlia needs more confidence. She was a little weak in the walk. And Nijah was pretty and feminine and needs to walk stronger. The prize will be clothes from the collection, chosen by Jill. She decides to give them to Natalie, despite the twirling debacle. Natalie takes this the way one expects from the smarmy, overconfident girl: she gloats. Then she gloats a little more and points out that she won, even though she screwed up, and that has just got to be intimidating to the rest of the poor loser girls.

As a poster-sized photo of Tyra stares disapprovingly from the wall over her shoulder, Tahlia talks on the phone to her sister, admitting that she’s had her confidence shaken and that she’s ready to come home. Tahlia’s sister gives her a pep talk. Be strong. What doesn’t get you thrown out of the house makes you stronger. Tyra Mail! warns the girls to give it their all tomorrow or they might get thrown under the bus. Only if Natalie and Sandra are standing in the back row, if you know what I mean.

Morning breaks over the lovely island of Manhattan, and the girls see Mr. Jay, wearing the weirdest freaking hat, come out of a double-decker sight-seeing bus. I can’t really pay attention to his speech about the shoot because I cannot figure out what the hell is on his head. It is seamless, and looks like the love child of an equestrian helmet and a baseball cap. Is is felt? Is it molded from fuzzy blanket material? It is blue, that’s for damned sure. The Number Three Surrogate Daughter is just as dumbfounded. In fact, the entire population of Miz Shoes living room quits talking and gapes at the blue helmetcapcloche thing. The RLA and his college pal are dumbstruck. The college pal’s daughter (who shall be known from this point forward as The MB-ette, and who has decided to join us for ANTM bashing on a regular basis) just looks at us and shrugs. I got nothin’ she says. The college pal’s son has a glazed look and can’t form words. The blue is really quite contrasty with Mr. Jay’s orange skin.

Anyway. They will be taking the bus around Manhattan, stopping in iconic places, and doing shoots pretending to be creatures who would naturally inhabit those places. The photographer is Mike Rosenthal, an ANTM semi-regular. Again, and this seems to be a trend this season, the girls will be doing shoots in groups. First up: Wall Street and Fo and Aminat are (power) brokers. They are propped with a lap top and a cell phone. They both get into it, role play and bounce off of each other. It’s a great shoot. Heading north, we go to SoHo, where Kortnie and Nijah are supposed to be Artist and Muse. Which is a joke, because I don’t think working artists have been able to afford SoHo in about 20 years. It’s also a joke because the two of them can’t interact to save their lives. Nor can they pose. They are lame and lamer. Nijah later confessionalizes about the shoot and wearing an American flag do-rag. What is it with head gear this season? Everybody seems to be sporting the do-rag.

Further up town, we have Sandra and Celia and a pram, as the two blondes portray overly-fabulous nannies. They, too, have some chemistry between them and work well together. AllisonKeaneLemur and LondonComeToJesus are supposed to be snotty Upper East Side frenemies. AllisonKeaneLemur is wearing a black sequined leather bar cap, perched in/on her hair. It is not a good look.They are supposed to be telling a story. Neither one can come up with anything. Together they are flatter than, well, they are almost as flat as Kortnie and Nijah. Then we see AllisonKeaneLemur confessionalizing with what seems to be a giant, knitted, baby pink and blue Easter egg on her head. It might be a Rasta knit hat, but it isn’t flopping down filled with dreads, and it isn’t being worn back off her forehead, and it isn’t red, green, black and yellow. It is a HUGE, pink and baby blue conehead dome. I have no idea what she was babbling about, either. The #3SD and the MB-ette both look to me for words of comfort and wisdom. I shrug. I got nothin.

We end at Times Square, where Natalie, Tahlia and Wind In Her Face will be posing as tourists. This should be a slam dunk. It isn’t. Wind In Her Face has a giant pretzel. She takes a bite out of it. Mr. Jay tells her to lose the mouthful, and instead of swallowing, she spits it out. Big, gooey, wet, chewed up pretzel blargh goes over the high side and probably hit some Japanese tourists. So much for poise, grace and elegance. Tahlia was the star of the shoot, and Natalie trash talks her for it. Of course. With that, we are ready to go to judging. AllisonKeaneLemur is scared of judging. Of course. And narrow spaces. And she wishes she had nose bleeds. This child is odd.

Our guest judge today is Jill Stuart. Since they took group photos, they will get group critiques. We begin with Kortnie and Nijah. They did not tell the story of artist and muse. They had nothing about them that said SoHo. Nijah, in particular, sucked. Fo and Aminat are called up and Paulina declares that they both look like models at panel today and that this has now made her happy, as has their most excellent shot. Celia and Sandra are next, and before anyone can go anywhere, Miss Jay tells Sandra that her knees are ashy, and she should spit on her hand and shine them up a little. Their photo garners some raves. So editorial! So NOT nannies, and that’s a good thing. Nigel loves Sandra.

Tahlia/Wind In Her Face and Natalie failed the Times Square Tourist shot. Natalie just phoned it in and was Not In The Moment. Wind In Her Hair has nice teeth, and you could see all three hundred of them, all the way to her tonsils. LondonComeToJesus and AllisonKeaneLemur did not fare well either. Paulina tells AllisonKeaneLemur that she “looks like a hung over Olsen twin.” Schnort. Good one, Paulina. Worthy of La Dickenson herself. LondonComeToJesus gets the damning praise of looking “pretty.” We see a commercial of which former contestant is actually working, and it’s all about Binaca of the Stank Attitude. Apparently she’s the new face of Barbados tourism, or some other Caribbean island. Good for her. We also see that, despite bitching a blue streak when Tyra cut off all of HER hair, she is still working the shaved head full time. Hah. And snap.

Back in the judging room, Paulina says that Kortnie may have more potential than she originally thought, and Nigel says, prissily, that for a shot that was supposed to represent Artist and Muse, it was neither artistic nor amusing. Oooooh, Nigel has his bitch pants on today. You go, Nigel (call me). Nijah is a pretty yawn. Fo, Aminat, Sandra and Celia are all great. Natalie, Wind In Her Face and Tahlia get a pass, but there is some major hating on Natalie. LondonComeToJesus is called pretty and AllisonKeaneLemur is called disappointing. She can do better. She can?

Eleven girls, ten photos. Sandra gets the first photo, and it will be displayed in the house with Celia cropped out. Mean. The rest of the pictures go to Aminat, Tahlia, Fo, Celia, Kortnie, LondonComeToJesus, Wind In Her Face (Tyra says the hair is better now, and so it must be), and Natalie. Ha. Close to the bottom, there, ego-girl. Nijah and Allison are called up for their final dressing down. Nijah is so beeeyoutiful, but she gets lost on film. Allison is a fucking freakazoid, but when you photograph her, she looks like nobody or nothing special. So who goes and who stays? Nijah goes home for being bland and pretty, and AllisonKeaneLemur gets to hang on until Tyra is tired of trying to make this sow’s ear into a silk purse.

Next week, the return of the Drag Queens, Benny Ninja and Celia plots to kick someone off for not wanting it enough. Who would have thought that Celia would be the ringleader of a backstabbing?

Surrogate Daughter Number Three on the couch? Check.

Wine poured? Check.

Brocolli rabe simmering in olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and white wine, waiting to get tossed over pasta? (Carbohydrate loading is important when viewing anorexic girls) Check.

Why, it must be time for the bitches and the hos! And we open on a view of NYC at night. Really, I cannot play a drinking game while watching ANTM, or I’ll die of alcohol poisoning. I can’t even keep track of the cliches. Let’s just assume that it’s all trite, and move along. AllisonKeanetheLemur is confessionalizing about something or another. I couldn’t tell you what, exactly, as I was utterly mesmerized by her beige mummy wrap which she had spiraling around her head. In the kitchen, Sandra and Animat are having a throw down over breathing each other’s air, or something equally inane and pointless. Sandra is wearing a Mammy-style head wrap. What is it with the do-rags on this batch of hamsters? Sarah flounces off, saying that she ain’t paying anyone else no nevermind, because “it is all about me.” Huh. Who’d a thunk that?

Tyra Mail tells the girls something about turning heads. They have no idea what this means. As ever. In the morning, they hit the street to find their new ANTM chariot awaiting: it is a pink stretch limo. So much for the going green of yesteryear. One of the hamsters describes it thusly: It’s pink. PINK!!! And it has these lines going all over it. That would be called “Plaid”, darlin’. It’s an old invention. You might want to brush up on some of that technical fashion lingo. In her defense, Miz Shoes would probably have been struck dumb her own self, faced at that wee hour of the morning with a pink stretch limo with lime green and purple plaid, like Lilly Pulitzer on bad acid.

Cut to the Two Jays at Bergdorf Goodman’s. They are engaged in some painful dialog with Miss Tyra over a badly animated i-phone, in which the conceit is Mission Impossible. There are dossiers. There is gaggingly bad acting. There is no need to linger on this memory. The girls arrive for their make overs, and are taken to John Barrett’s salon, somewhere in Bergdorf’s. They are told that they will not know what they are getting until they’re done. OK, let’s go.

Jessica gets edgy, shorter hair with a wave and a little red undertones. She takes another awful picture. Sandra gets her head shaved down to fuzz and bleached blonde. It pains me to say that she totally rocks it and doesn’t bat an eyelash. AllisonKeanetheLemur gets a big blonde weave and looks like a Walter Keane painting of Heather Graham. She says it makes her feel like a mermaid. OK. Nijah, who is really beautiful and doesn’t get any airtime admits that she hadn’t washed her hair in two weeks. The guys at the sink say that they’re going to have to toss the sink. Ick. She gets a long weave. Fo is too cute, so she gets a short, short boy cut. She sobs. Celia’s cheekbones need to shine, so her hair gets chopped into a Bridget Neilson sort of high faux hawk. Someone voices over that her hair was as dry as Gandhi’s sandal. Pretty funny. Animat’s fro turns out to be a weave, and it is cut off. Miss Jay waltzes around the salon wearing it like a bolero. Instead, she is given the Naomi Campbell, Cherokee Nation Cher long, straight weave. It takes her beauty down about twenty notches, and makes her look like the love child between Danielle and TiffanyfromtheHood.






Kortnie is too tan, so she gets red hair. It actually looks good. LondonComeToJesus gets some short, yellow blonde Twiggy cut, and rocks it for Jesus. Natalie has a melt down and cries and cries and says that she can’t let them cut her hair and has a freak out and then, GOTCHA!!! They weren’t going to cut her hair at all. Or dye it. Or do anything at all to her, they just were testing her desire and trust levels. Creepy. This pisses off the rest of the hamsters who don’t get why Natalie is considered “perfect” as is. Teyona gets a slick Jeri Curl weave. Tahlia gets a lion’s mane big blonde weave and it sucks.

Sarah trash talks Fo for crying over her hair. Then Fo gets in the confessional with yet another freakin’ do-rag and sobs and sobs and says that she’s never felt ugly a day in her life, even when she was living on food stamps in a shelter with her moms, but now, she has to hide her hair to feel pretty. Miz Shoes just wants to know how these girls have all managed to get to this point in their lives without ever having a bad hair cut. If Miz Shoes had cried over every bad hair cut she had as a child, she would have been dehydrated until she was 18 and in college, when the shag first reared its choppy head. It is the shame of Miz Shoes’ life that the shag, in all its variations, including and particularly the Roger Daltry in the 80s version, has always been the best hairstyle she’s ever worn. For the shag alone, Miz Shoes is accepting of the 80s revival.

The Challenges

Then Jessica confessionalizes that there isn’t anything that anyone could do to make her ugly. Except, one supposes, film her egocentricism and broadcast it for the world to see. That seems to be doing it for me. Moving on, we see Sutan (who’s looking good this season) and Elyssa Starkman, the Cover Girl liaison. They explain to the eager little hamsters that since there isn’t a WalMart in Manhattan (thank you Jeebus) they have brought the Cover Girl/WalMart make-up display to the girls. Their challenge will be to wander around in whatever part of town they have created this display set, grab a total random stranger who embodies the Cover Girl gestalt, and drag her in and sell her the new line of eye-color enhancing mascara. Which, to my further shame, sound interesting enough to try. The girls are broken into teams, and the winning team will get a photo shoot and ad somewhere. I don’t know where, because the pasta water was boiling, and the brocolli rabe needed stirring, and I was in the kitchen. The teams are Sandra, Animat and Celia, and there is surprising little drama in that combo. Fo, Kortnie and Wind In Her Face; Jessica, Tahlia and LondonComeToJesus, who have the best make up skills, but Sutan tells them that this isn’t America’s Next Top Make Up Artist and their sales skills were dismal. The last group is AllisonKeaneLemur, Natalie and Nijah. They are critiqued as taking the make up to the girl, not dragging the girl to the make up display. If you’re paying attention, this means that the Sandra/Animat/Celia team is the winner.

Next is the obligatory dinner out scene. They go to an African restaurant, which means that Sandra is lording it up. Animat is of legal drinking age, and wants a glass of wine. This prompts warnings from Sandra not to get drunk, and devolves into yet another Aminat/Sandra girl fight about class: who’s got it, who don’t. It’s sort of a draw, in that Sandra is saying that Animat is all trashy, which is blatant. A classy girl would just sniff that Animat is “interesting, bless her heart.”

Tyra Mail: How many girls does it take to screw in a lightbulb? All of them, because none of them have the slightest clue what this might mean, other than another photo shoot. They head off in the ghastly pink plaid Barbie Limo to a dark alley. There, Mr. Jay throws a light switch and tells them that the shoot will be all about lighting. They will have to light and direct themselves. The photographer is our own Nigel Barker (call me). He tells them that it’s a rock and roll theme, which means big hair, Trash and Vaudeville clothing, and a lot of eye make up. The girls are handed light bars (technical note: they are slave units, which means that when Nigel shoots, they are triggered by photo sensors which detect the main strobes going off) and told to work it. They will be shooting in groups. AllisonKeaneLemur is up first and Finds The Camera.

Nijah is disappointing to Nigel, because she has no passion. Jessica is underlighting herself. Mr. Jay explains it as holding a flashlight under one’s chin to make a horror face when telling ghost stories around the camp fire. She continues to do it, anyway. Nigel says that she didn’t understand the concept and couldn’t feel the light. (The pasta was done at that moment, and #3SD took over the notes). Animat takes risks and gives a crotch shot. (NICE. Missed that) Celia is in the background, and upstages Animat. Sandra stands smirking in the background. Celia understands the concept and how to work the lights, and does the best so far. Sandra (of course) is overthinking and looks bored. She needs more attitude, but ends up giving more character.?

Kortnie bores Nigel to tears, and he rips through the required number of shots without comment or direction or feeling. LondonComeToJesus complains that having to light oneself is Not What Models Do. Wind In Her Face is a genius and throws down some amazing poses. Fo is too nervous, and has completely lost her mojo with her hair. She actually cries on set. Mr. Jay asks Fo if without the sassy do she feels like a Plain Jane, and she says no, that she feels like Plain Jane’s brother! Sting! Natalie takes beautiful shots and gets lots of compliments all around.


Prizes. Judges. The guest judge today is Nole Marin who used to be a judge back in the first couple of seasons. He does not have his little dog with him today. Miss Jay’s schtick this year is going to be her stupid bowtie. It’s going to get bigger and have more layers each time a girl goes home. Good lord. No. Please. Just. No.

Fo is up first and given a beat down for letting her make over get the best of her. Tyra explains that only girls with beautiful faces get short hair. Miz Shoes will let that slide, and not review every slag she’s put into a boy cut. Nole tells Fo to step it up and swallow the tears. Kortnie lit herself poorly and wasn’t feeling it. Maybe she needs a pit crew. Nijah is wearing a pink blouse that Nigel/Tyra/Miss Jay and Nole all gag over. She’s told that she looks like she’s wearing her nightshirt to panel. Then they tell her that she has dead eyes in her photos. LondonComeToJesus is “willing to go there” whatever that means. Ah. It means her photos are good.

AllisonKeaneLemur is the poster girl for looking like an alien is beautiful. If they say so. Her photos aren’t bad.

Paulina gets her licks in at Sandra, whom she states “radiates dullness.” Schnort. There is no tension in her poses. Tyra demonstrates tension. Celia works it, displays tension in her photos and took fierce pix. As much as she’s older than dirt, and sorta smooshy faced, girlfriend knows her fashion shit. She always comes to panel dressed to impress. She knows how to take a picture. She could go all the way, except, you know, she has talent and we don’t much care for talent on ANTM. Jessica gets a put down from Nole who says she may be a novella star where she comes from, but not here. Snap! Tahlia isn’t modeling, she isn’t giving tension, she’s just a girl with… (and here my notes end. A girl with big dreams? A girl with big scars? A girl with a light stick?) Natalie comes to panel wearing a dress with doilies for sleeves. Nole proves that Tyra was wrong when she let him go (and needs to bring him back stat!) when he looks at this and exclaims “Do you girls even look in the mirror before you come here?” Wind In Her Hair totally rocked the shoot, but seeing the Jeri Curl weave, Tyra is not happy, and tells her that the weave will have to go. Animat got lost in the crowd in her pictures.

The judges deliberate thusly: blahblahblah, Paulina is disappointed in how dead Nijah photographs. Sandra has no personality. (Sure she does. It’s just stank.) AllisonKeaneLemur fierce alien. Celia is always on the catwalk at panel. Paulina is not convinced that Tahlia can model. Jessica is a “disaster, disaster, disaster” (that must have come from Nole). Wind In Her Face is fantastic on set. Animat is so awful (that weave, people, it stole her mojo) that Nole can’t even look at the pictures.

12 Beautiful Girls, 11 Photos

Wind In Her Face (Teyona) gets the first photo and the news that the Jeri Curl has got to go. She’ll be looking different next week. Celia. AllisonKeaneLemur. Natalie. LondonCometoJesus. Nijah. Tahlia. Sandra the Drama Llama. Kortnie the Pit Lizard. Aminah (bring tension!!) and Fo and Jessica are the last two. Who will stay? Will it be poor Fo who lost her mojo when they cut her hair and she even (gasp!) cried about it on set? Or will is be the pretty girl who doesn’t translate to film and who relies on pretty? Oh, come on. Like you can’t see this coming a mile away? How many seasons have we been watching this train wreck? Of course the pretty girl goes home to learn humility and fierceness, and the sobbing wreck stays to sack up and make a come-from-the-bottom redemption.

Next week? Miss Jay’s Charm School. One can only imagine.

Previously, there was much squealing, bitch-fighting and bad acting. Now, we are off to New York City with our fabulous final thirteen. Let’s review, shall we:

  • Animat, the six-foot glamazon

  • Natalie, the spoiled rich girl

  • Fo, the Blaxican

  • Allison, the Keane painting/lemur

  • Tahlia, the burn victim survivor

  • Celia, the old woman

  • Nijah, no known type-casting

  • London, the street preacher

  • Teyona, Wind in Her Face

  • Kortnie, the “plus size” girl who actually eats food

  • Isabella, the tragic disease person

  • Jessica, the ChaCha Diva

  • Sandra, the balls out beyotch

    Do you see anything missing? Yes! There is no out and out drag queen or girl possessed of suspiciously large man hands or an Adam’s Apple. This season, when we speak of the girls, we are fairly certain that they are, in fact, girls. How novel!

    We begin with the girls striding down the street, The Right Stuff style. In the middle of the pack is LondonComeToJesus, wearing, and I wish there were some eye-bleach handy, purple, sparkly, leopard print leggings. Leggings as pants. Miss Jay had it spot on when he said it was hard to tell if she were a street preacher or a street walker. Sheesh. They make it to the top of the Empire State Building (NYC cliche number one) and receive the keys to their castle from Nigel (call me) and Paulina. Celia, Rode Hard and Put Up Wet, gets the keys and Nigel tells her that means she gets to choose the first bed. Whee!

    We then get a confessional from this season’s resident beeyotch: Sandra, who assures us that she is here to win, not make friends. Miz Shoes wonders if we made a drinking game out of cliches, if the #3SD and I could stay conscious to the end of each episode. Somehow, there is doubt, because this scene immediately devolves to the bed fight. Only twelve beds, thirteen girls. Sandra picks a bed, drops her purse on it, and hies off to either take a leak or confessionalize. Celia sees the bed,  tosses off the purse and says: MINE!, which, by Nigel laws, she has the right to do. Blahblah, bitch fight. Finally, all is solved by LondonComeToJesus, who says that she’ll sleep on the floor, and Sandra can have her bed. When someone comments how nice she is to do that, she says she’s doing it for Jesus. Oh, good lord, this is going to get old fast. How soon is the nude shot, again? And will LondonComeToJesus bare her bits for the glory of Jesus?

    On to the 59th Street bridge (NYC cliche number 2) where the girls will see and take part in a REAL fashion show, for Abaete. The startlingly innovative theme is innocence and naughtiness. Tahlia is the only girl given a pants suit to wear, and she realizes that this is because nobody wants to have her show her poor, hideously scarred legs in a bathing suit on the runway. She is highly offended by this. Animat stomps. Teyona stomps. Isabella comments that the strobe lights on the runway could trigger a grand mal seizure, and hopes for the best. Cut to commercials. Here is Heidi Klum in a bra, advertising Victoria’s Secret bras. #3SD and I admit that we both have huge girl crushes on Heidi, and would watch an all-Heidi, all-the-time TV channel, even if it were her reading the phone book. We think it would probably win sweeps week. And PS? children, that is how it’s done when you really are a super model.

    Nijah walks well, AllisonKeane is scary, Sandra trips on her own feet about six feet onto the runway, and stops, poses and goes off. Celia works the runway and once more says how fashion is everything to her, how she left East Bummfuck, Kentucky to move to NYC and be part of it…blahblahblah. Cliche number 3. Back at the hamster house, the girls are too het up to sleep, and are talking about the events of the day from their bunks. This is the opening for Sandra to call them all stupid and tell them to shut it, because she is trying to sleep. Cliche number 4. (See? If we were doing shots, we’d be pretty fried by now.

    The next morning finds the girls in Central Park for a photo shoot. NYC cliche number 5. Mr. Jay rolls up on a bicycle wearing a sort of Robo-Cop bike suit. Tyra’s cause of the year is “girls growing up too fast, or, teens just want to have babies” and so the shoot will explore children’s games, played by adult little girls, with bad girls in the background. Yeah. Awful as it sounds. Our photographer is Fadil Barisha. Fo is jazzed, because she is a pre-school teacher, and she can rock the ring around the rosie. Is it just me, or does that sound really dirty? LondonComeToJesus does a tug of war and face-plants in the mud. Tahlia is stiff at tag. Sandra is stiff and stiffer. Animat does a London Bridge while Sandra trash talks her. Nijah has musical chairs. AllisonKeaneTheLemur does some double dutch and fears that the jump ropes will decapitate her. No such luck. Wind In Her Face plays hop scotch. Celia works a hula hoop. Isabella has no clue about dodge ball, and looks like she’s playing volley ball, and Mr. Jay laments that the more he directs her, the worse she gets. Jessica has never played jacks, and Sandra announces that she’s not going home because she was so fly on the runway and she always looks good in pictures. Cliche number 6, aka Hubris.

    Finally and at last we get to panel. Sandra is up first and denies that she stopped short on the runway. Tyra talks about her talk show and the horrible, no-good fact that when they did a survey (of girls who watch Tyra’s show) that one in five teen girls wants to be a teen mom. Ewww. And by the way? Sandra, your hide and see shot sucks. Celia looks good at panel, and even though she is older than dirt, and hardly commercial, her hula hoop shot is right out of 17 magazine. Fo. Aminat has to take off the earrings that are the size of bracelets. LondonComeToJesus is rocking a leopard print jacket and some wild-ass hair. She is asked to remove the one and tone down the other, and then revealed to have taken a good shot. Jessica’s shot shows her good angles, but has nothing to do with jacks. Actually, most of the girls are all in the same jumping in the air pose, that, if memory serves me well, was called a “stag jump” among high school cheerleaders. Wind In Her Face has a great shot for hop scotch. Isabella is soundly dissed by Nigel. Nijah’s musical chairs looks more like hop scotch. Kortnie is too majorette. AllisonKeaneTheLemur is praised for looking like a puzzled alien. Tahlia’s tag is another stag jump majorette shot and Natalie is told to take off the little brow band she’s wearing. This leaves a red groove in her forhead and Nigel explains that is precisely why a model doesn’t wear shit like that to go-sees and castings. DUH.

    Send out the clones and evaluate the herd. Sandra looks lost. Fo is cute, but has no neck. Animat is brilliant on the runway, but is she a one-note model? They’ve taken two pictures and she’s the same in both. LondonComeToJesus has lousy proportions. Jessica relies on “pretty” (Cliche number 7) Wind In Her Face gets her nickname. Isabella disappears in person (Cliche number 8, and we are now drooling drunk, or would be if we’d played shots). Nijah hasn’t had enough face time to say anything witty about her. Kortnie is charming, but not going to win. AllisonKeanetheLemur is “otherworldly”, by which we mean disturbingly alien to look at. Tahlia wants to be a role model, but can she be a model model. And Natalie has potential, but has taken bad pictures.

    Photos go to: AllisonKeanetheLemur, who had the (unanimously) best picture, which make MizShoes think that maybe the judges were playing the shot game. She walks back to the pack, and Tyra teases her that she must never have watched the show, because she’s supposed to go to the other side. There is much hilarity over this error, which reinforces the whole drinking thing. And the rest of the pictures go, in order, to: Fo, Wind In Her Face, LondonComeToJesus, Celia, Nijah, Kortnie, Natalie, Animat, Tahlia and Jessica. Isabella gets lost on set. Sandra is Miss Jay’s biggest disappointment. Who stays? Who goes? Oh, come on. Like there is even a question? Epilepsy-law-suit-waiting-to-happen goes home, and Miss Thang Beeyotch stays. At least until they go to their foreign destination, because she brings the drama llama. Isabella gives a very composed and gracious exit interview.

    Next week? Drama, bad photos and a girl fight.


  • Once more into the bitches, dear friends. The Number Three Surrogate Daughter arrived, the popcorn was made, and Miss Tyra commenced torturing the dumb and the ghetto and the delusional and the just plain weird. We begin, for no apparent reason, at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. The #3SD and I anticipate all sorts of torture, in which the clueless hamsters are made to strut like showgirls with a stack of books on their heads. Alas, such is not the case. The theme this year is Fierce Goddess, and so, with much squealing, the girls are all given gold gladiator heels and micro-mini togas and told to work it.

    There are profile shots. There are unusual names: Fo. Aminat. There is the first runway, where the fog machines are working overtime, and the girls are told that they are walking on clouds. Clods, maybe. Clouds? Not so much. We get our first view of our first whack job: her name is Monique and she’s a conspiracy theorist. In the few minutes we see her, we get the Tri-laterals, the Elite, that Pearl Harbor was a set up to get the US into a war and a tin-foil hat. Just kidding about the tin-foil hat. Up next, London and her twee little brow-band. London is a street preacher who wants to praise Jesus all day and stomp the runway all night. Miss Jay says (and rightly so) that she looks more like a street walker than a street preacher. Miz Shoes and the #3SD look at each other and decide that London will be falling the day she has to get naked for a photoshoot, and we hope that it’s the first challenge.

    Someone in the pack voices that OMG, here come some “staunchy dudes” and they are escorting in Tyra. This sets off another round of squealing. Tyra delivers (and by delivers I mean hams it up with a bad accent and worse “acting”) the back story that the Goddess of Fierce (herself) is tired and retired and seeking a new goddess to take over. Yeee-ah. Ain’t gonna come from this crew, darlin’. Unless it’s that 8-foot tall glamazon with the afro there in the back. Holy mackerel, is she hott! And tall. And she seems capable of walking in heels.

    Angelea has three-inch long blue acrylic nails. She’s this season’s cha-cha diva, I think. She claims to be from Buffalo, but she talks like any other ghetto-girl-wanna-be, with the vague accent of somewhere and the chonga earrings and the plastered down side bangs. And a jaw like Jay Leno. She is rough. On to the interviews.

    Sandra is first, and she is black and beautiful. When Tyra tells her this, she totally breaks down in tears. London shows her street preaching skillz. Jessica has an ego. Tahlia has some wicked ass scars over her belly and legs. When she was 8 months old, her mother left her alone in the kitchen with a coffee pot. She pulled the cord and pulled the pot down on herself resulting in major burning. Many surgeries. She is proud, she says, of her scars and wants to be a role model. She has the face of an angel, so good luck. Monique comes in and delivers another lecture about Pearl Harbor and government and what not. In her bikini, she is revealed to be stoop shouldered to the point of looking like a scrawny yet pot-bellied question mark. She will not be staying. Mark my words.

    Natalie is a spoiled rich bitch. Animat is our glamazon. She is 6’1” and she does indeed walk in heels. Combined with the afro, she guesses that she rolls at about 6’7”. And she is just drop-dead beautiful. If she can keep it up, she’s our winner. Some hamster has panic attacks. Celia has a Really Bad Blonde bleach job, with bleached out eyebrows to match. She’s our oldest hamster at 25, and that hair and her bad makeup combine to give her that Rode Hard Put Up Wet look we all love. On the other hand, she knows her shit about fashion, and she can even twirl aswirl. And she dresses like a model. With the right make over, she could be another contender. The next girl collects gimmicky pens, and has brought some for show and tell. Tyra is not impressed. Tyra is less impressed when the girl can’t name five working models, or five current designers.

    We next see another white ghetto trash talker, this is Alex from Tampa. She’s making Angelea look classy. Isabella has Julia Roberts’ smile and epilepsy. Fo is a little gummy when she smiles, has freckles and self-identifies as a Blaxican (black New Mexican, but she didn’t know she was black until she was ten or so and met her dad for the first time. I’m guessing mummy didn’t talk about him much.) Angelea has to take off the chonga earrings and the My Little Pony wig, and she still looks like crap, but she has a great set of stems. Kortnie is our marginally plus-sized girl. Allison is a lemur.


    She looks like a Keene painting or a Japanese anime and she has a fascination with blood. She tells Tyra that nosebleeds are beautiful. Tyra says that she used to get them as a child. Allison says, with a valley girl inflection: Jealous. The seismic tremor you feel is the entire viewing audience getting the shivers at the same time. Eww. Teyona is tall, black and tight. She will now be known as Wind In Her Face. She is declared to look fashionably alien. If you say so.

    In order to whittle down the numbers to a lucky 13 (it being Vegas and all) the girls are tossed back into their goddess gowns and given a goddess to portray. There is the usual elbowing at the makeup table. There is a horrible bitch-fight between Sandra and Angelea (of course). Angelea has given herself magenta cheeks and eyes. She is attempting to be the goddess of love, but she says that, and I am not making this up, “Sandra has been trying to pull my buttons” and so is not feeling the love. Pull. My. Buttons. Where do they find these freaks girls?

    With this photo shoot in hand, the judges (Hi Nigel. Call me) bring it down to: Aminat, Allison the Lemur, Isabella, Celia (2 cups of crazy in her eyes, says Miss Jay), Fo, Jessica, Kathryn (who is the goddess of who knows what), Kortnie, Someone whose name I missed completely, LondonPraiseJesus, Nijah, Natalie, Sandra and Tahlia (not skinny, not plus and scarred.)

    Miz Shoes

    Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

    A moment of silence for Paul Newman, please. A fine actor, a fine human being and a fine looking man. I got to see him race once at Limerock. He was a fine driver, too.

    In other news, it seems like Senator Obama actually read the Rude Pundit’s play book regarding the first debate. At one point, I even high-fived the RLA for the way Obama made McCain get a little squirmy.

    Finally, regarding America’s Next Top Model: with the departure of Isis, the show has lost all appeal for me. Sorry, gentle readers, but there will be no further Miz Shoes Reviews of that show. You’ll have to get your laughs from Potes on Television Without Pity, instead.

    We start our week with confessionals: Brittney is sad because she is just too damned pretty, and not high fashion. This is a trial for her, because she hates it when people call her pretty, and they do, all the damned time. Analeigh thinks that she needs more personality. This may be true, because I didn’t know who the hell was whining.

    And then, just like in a fairy tale, Tyra appears in the living room of the hamster house. She has ordered pizza (which looks to be very old and very cold) and there are goodie bags and plastic tiaras all around, which is exactly the sort of party every gang of women over the age of, oh, say, six wants. Needless to say, TyTy has a giant tiara, and it’s probably real. The hamsters have little baby princess tiaras. Tyra tells the girls how when she started to grow booty, her mama ordered pizza and refused to let her starve herself skinny. Instead, they reinvented her career from runway to cheesecake Victoria’s Secret model.

    What follows is an embarrassment to everyone involved: hamsters, the Two Jays, Tyra, the camera crew and editors, and us, the poor viewing public. I refuse to acknowledge the scene. Suffice to say that Number Three Surrogate Daughter and I marked the calendar as the Day ANTM Officially Jumped the Shark. Hell, they didn’t just jump it, they beat it to death.

    The next day, the girls go to the salon to find out what Tyra’s vision has decreed for their new looks. It has to be a surprise for all involved, so the mirrors are covered. Marjorie loses her Agnyes Deyn and goes chestnut brown. She’s still cute. Joslyn gets a wavy weave. Elina gets the Ruh-Roh edit as she confessionalizes that she is very careful about her image. Drab, uber-serious animal liberation activists are Serious like that. Samantha gets a short blonde boy-cut. Hannah gets straight bangs and a bob. She’s no Anna Wintour. Clark gets dark brown hair and LaurenBrie goes blonder. Sheena gets highlights like Tyra. Analeigh gets blonde layers. Elina says that she doesn’t want any sort of drastic changes. Ruh-roh. Foreshadowing, thy name is ANTM. Elina says she’s skerred, and Miss Jay says she should be. Then he tries to comfort her by telling her that the Weave Master of the known universe is here to work on her head, and says that this is the Most Dramatic Makeover Ever in Top Model History. It’s a giant red Bozo weave, and it looks a lot like Brittney-Who-Had-Brain-Damage. Remember her? She lost it on go-sees and cursed like a longshoreman?

    M’Key gets an awesome short, black do. Isis gets long Cher hair. Brittney, who is just too catalog, gets a heavy, wavy black weave. She cries to Miss Jay that she hates being too pretty. He tells her to try harder. Yeah. See, people who don’t get called “pretty” day in and day out, we don’t have sympathy for the hard life of those who do. Go cry on someone else, bitch.

    The hamsters arrive home, only to discover Tyra mail, telling them that they’re going to have to work the night shift. At Wal-Mart. They are met by Big Whitney’s Cover Girl display, Sutan and Mrs. Nigel Barker. Mrs Nigel is on hand to give them instructions: they’ll have to ad-lib a 30 second commercial for Cover Girl right after they do their own make up. The commercials range from merely mediocre to dismal. Hannah wins, inexplicably. For her troubles, she’ll get a $1 thousand dollar gift card for Wal-Mart (you can get rifles and plaid flannel there) and have her ad on the Wal-Mart web site.

    Back to the Hamster House, where Tyra Mail asks “Who’s suited to be America’s Next Top Model.” There is debate as to whether this means swim suits or business suits. Nobody asks about the possibility of birthday suits. We then cut to Elina talking to Brittney and Joslyn about how much she hates her mother, because she was a bad mother. Brittney asks Elina where she lives. With her mother. Who feed you? My mother. Brittney rightly calls Elina an ungrateful little bitch, and we head to another Big Whitney commercial.

    When we return, Analeigh is having a hard time posing in front of a mirror. The other girls try to help her. I think typing those two sentences just lowered my I.Q. In any event, the girls are hauled off in the bio-bus to a huge beach house in Malibu. It looks like it will be the swimsuit edition. Russel James (who shot Tyra’s famous Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover) will be shooting. “Supermodel” Susan Holmes (I never heard of her) is also a super swimsuit designer, and it’s her suits the girls will be in. Mr. Jay leaves the hamsters in the capable hands of Russel and Susan, who will art direct this shoot.

    Analeigh can’t pose any better in the water than she can in front of the mirror. Hannah has crazy eyes. Brittney is stressing over being pretty and shows no range. Samantha is beautiful. Elina is gorgeous, and not your typical swimsuit model. (Partly because of all of her tats, I guess) Marjorie is flawless, and Isis is difficult to shoot. All too soon we are back at the Casa De Marmotas where Analeigh is nervous about the morrow’s judging.

    In the judging room, Susan Holmes is the guest judge. Tyra imparts this wisdom to the little model-ettes: You must master the swimsuit. Meh, it’s no “short, shiny and tight is the fastest way to look cheap”, but then Tyra is no NinaGarcia.

    Sheena tells the judges that she was “smiling with her eyes.” This means that she’s watched an episode or two. Analeigh’s arms are scary. Clark has a skinny mouth, and needs to remember to keep them soft. Hannah is European sexy, to Nigel, but she only has one pose. Tyra thinks Lauren Brie looks like CariDee. But without the dread heartbreak of psoriasis. Brittney is absent in her photos and M’Key looks like Linda Evangalista. Hot!! Isis gets mixed reviews, Marjorie didn’t do enough, and Samantha was pretty good. Elina gets all sorts of raves, and Paulina tells her that body tats are bad for modeling, but then the photo they choose for her is just a head shot. Which is bullshit, because everyone else is being judged on a full-body pose.

    The girls are dismissed and the judges rip them up: Sheena was too soft (which I guess is an improvement over too hoochie). Analeigh is too dull. Clark is not photogenic, and she’s a bitch. Lauren Brie photographs well. Brittney is just pretty, and not a model. Samantha is loved by the judges and the cameras. Hannah needs to get messy. Isis is stuck. M’Key is amazing. As they debate the pros and cons of the hamsters, I realize that Susan Holmes looks like the illegitimate love child of Janice Dickenson’s second face and Hillary Swank. That’s a lot of jawline, is all I’m saying.

    And Elina gets the first photo. See? Bullshit. There’s no bathing suit anywhere in the shot: it’s all face. Photos are handed out to the rest of the girls in order: Lauren Brie, Samantha, M’Key, Sheena, Joslyn, Majorie (who is no longer getting the cheesy accordian music, at least), Clark, Isis and Hannah.

    Analeigh and Brittney are left waiting for the other spike heel to drop. Brittney is pretty, but she just doesn’t photograph well. Analeigh used to be a figure skater, and so should know how to pose, (I don’t know, I thought figure skaters moved, but what the heck do I know) but is sort of blah. Who goes? Who do you think? The pretty girl, who is still whining about being pretty as she leaves the Casa des Marmotas.

    Next week? The cat walk. Let’s see who’s never had on a pair of heels before. My money is on Hannah. I bet Isis can work it.

    Before I begin with the ANTM re-cap, I need to say that I am the shit. I’ve been on a roll in the kitchen, and Sunday I made a batch of the yummiest ever molasses raisin cookies. They are nice and chewy. Then last night, I came very, very close to the right recipe for my Grandma Dorfman’s potato pierogies. Just need to revise the dough recipe a little more. Maybe one less egg and roll the dough even thinner? But using the Cuisinart and the pasta roller made working the dough very easy. And they are tasty.

    ANTM opens with Nikeysha interviewing that she needs to shut up. The award for most obvious statement of the season has just been won, folks. Tyra Mail arrives to much squealing: “Would you bend over backwards to be a top model?” Must be posing lessons with Benny Ninja, who is much less fabulous now that he’s a regular, but you know, familiarity and all. And yes, it is. Sheena is very bendy. The hamsters have to pose in sheer fabric tubes. It’s awful. Hannah tries hard and fails, Nikeysha has no neck and looks like she’s in pain. The girls are told to go home and practice. Instead, they go home and play Truth or Dare in the hot tub.

    Sheena discusses her overt hoochiness and how she tries to hard to play it down. The award for most disingenuous statement of the season has just been won, folks. Clark is dared to kiss Elina, and she does. Elina loves it. Hannah is offended by the excess of sex and sex talk and sexy, and thinks cold showers all around would be better than the hot tub. Isis makes the mistake of getting too near Hannah, and Hannah gives Isis a shove. She then interviews that she’d never hang around someone like Isis in real life, you know, a transgendered person. Hannah’s from Alaska, right? I’m just sayin’. (CoughcoughPALINcough)

    Back in the hamster house, Britney and Sheena are all over Hannah for being racist, or at least prejudiced against transgendered persons. Then they gossip about her behind her back. Someone who doesn’t have issues with Isis is Analeigh, who helps her with her hormone shots and says that she was touched and flattered that Isis would trust her to help. That’s more like it.

    Oh, well. Time to go to a photo shoot. This is an audition for Tarina Tarantino, who is an accessories designer and who is wearing Britney Spears’ old hot pink wig. Nikeysha walks on to the set and announces that if she pisses herself while modeling, it’s all in the line of duty or something, because she has to go wicked bad. This does not go over well with Tarina or Benny Ninja or Mr. Jay. Or with the folks out here in TeeVee land. Good lord, they just get classier every season. Speaking of which, Sheena attempts to do high fashion by being very bendy (i.e.: her ankles behind her head) while on a settee, and placing the hot pink purse in her exposed crotch. Now, not to be too erudite or anything, but “purse” has been a euphemism for twat for a few centuries now, and someone like Sheena, who appears to have no small amount of experience in the sex trade, should maybe know that, yeah? In any event, it is an appalling exercise in bad taste and even worse posing. Yeesh.

    Isis got stuck in her own head (model speak for thinking too hard about posing). Hannah worked the chandelier (I have no idea why she thought a purse in a hanging lamp would be couture. Maybe because she’s from Alaska, and never saw electric lights growing up? Sheena gets called out for having no respect for the purse, and Elina gets the win.

    Another day, another Tyra Mail: this one involves climbing ladders to the top. But before we go do that, let’s sandbag Hannah. A house meeting is called for the express purpose of talking about her alleged racism to her face. She sobs in the confessional that she’s just a misunderstood piece of white trash and is NOT a racist. We’ll see.

    There is a park. There is a hot air balloon. There is a rope ladder hanging over the side, and the plan is to have the girls dangle off the rope ladder, while the balloon hovers about 40 feet off the ground. Nobody has a nervous breakdown over this, so the producers decide to just use a crane, hang the girls about 15 feet off the ground and over a big old cushion. Man, I HATE when the legal department interferes in the creative process. On the other hand, Sutan, over in hair and make up is giving all sorts of advice that the hamsters aren’t listening to.

    A quick synopses of the shoot: Lauren Brie looks like Dior. Elina is OH MY GOD an ethereal Angelina Jolie (insert big old ethereal fucking yawn). Sheena is hootchie, hanging on to that ladder with no hands or legs, just with one rung wedged between her butt cheeks. Mr. Jay gets a leetle flustered over that. Isis struggled with her face, and because we still like Isis, we’re just gonna let that slide. Nikeysha was awful (and talky). Hannah looked scared. Samantha had no idea what was happening with the garment, and since you are supposed to be an animated clothes hanger, this is rightly viewed as a bad thing. M’Key changed poses too fast, and by the time the photographer had his shot lined up, she had moved on.

    Back at the house, there is Tyra Mail announcing that one girl will be sent home. Sheena tells the other hamsters to start packing their bags, because she is the shit, and she will be the winner. The other girls all stare at her, and even though she may have meant it as a joke, nobody is even smiling. Oops.

    Judging! Analeigh has a blank face. Samantha should not wear shiny fabric. Shiny fabric is not your friend. Hannah’s face doesn’t work. Nikeysha is way too skinny. The judges think she has an eating disorder. But her face is stunning! Still, try a burger and fries, girlfriend. Lauren Brie has the broken doll look that the judges all adore. M’Key needs to hold her poses. Isis needs to look like a model at judging: dress edgier! Elina was the challenge winner and is the Angelia Jolie look alike. There is much love. Sheena has the hootchie and just won’t let it go. She’s wearing hot pants and a cropped tank top at judging. The judges tell her to cover it up. Then Paulina asks about the boobs: are they real? Sheena is offended by this and says, they sure are and they’re big and spectacular. Brittney has a career in high-end catalog work. Joslyn is effortless.

    The girls are sent out so that the judges can caucus. Samantha needs her hair chopped off in a high-fashion ass whooping make over. Lauren Brie is in the top 5 ever. Sheena is vulgar. (You think?) Clark needs a scrubbing. And an ass whooping. And maybe a sharp blow to the head. Brittney is just a catalog girl. Call the hamsters back in and hand out the pics. Then Sheena interupts to say, well, you know, she lied. Yeah the tits are totally implants and she feels bad for having denied it. She gets praise for fessing up.

    Lauren Brie is stunning and gets the first photo. Then Elina, Josyln, Marjorie, M’Key, Samantha, Sheena, Hannah, Clark, Brittney, Analeigh and that leaves Isis and Nikeysha in the bottom two. NOES!!! Not Isis?! And no, not Isis. She stays, and Nikeysha goes. She doesn’t ever shut the fuck up, say the judges, and to prove it, she proceeds to talk over Isis saying thanks. She talks while she’s being shown the door, and she keeps on talking as Tyra tells her to shut it, because this is Isis’ moment to cry and say thank you. Nikeysha doesn’t shut it though, she gives an exit interview that continues on and on and on in voice-over, long after the door to the Hamster House has shut and the credits have begun to roll. Sad, really.

    Next week? Makeovers! Our favorite! There will be tears, there will be bad weaves and worse bleach jobs, and! A Top Model FIRST!!! Yeah!!! Meet me on the couch, bitches. I’ll have the martinis on ice.

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