Apr 11th, 2009

MizShoes Reviews: ANTM Cycle 12, Episode 7

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.