Apr 25th, 2009

MizShoes Reviews: ANTM Cycle 12, Episode 9

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.