April 27, 2006

RECOGNIZE

And now the moment I know you've all been waiting for - my splendiferous recap of America's Next Top Model! (Hey, if Jade can make up words, so can I.)

*WARNING - This post contains a full recap of the 4/26 episode of ANTM!*


We begin this week in the house, where Jade, Furonda and Nnenna are doing a mock skit of Tyra announcing who wins ANTM. Jade tries to be Tyra, but can't really, because she's laughing. Interestingly, fake Tyra chooses Furonda. Foreshadowing? Then there's a brief segment where everyone basically says the same thing - Nnenna and Jade have become fast friends. Well, BRAVA. It's more curious than interesting.

Next we focus on Sara, who is on the phone with her boyfriend, needing a pep talk. She's determined to get better, and show them that not only does she want this contract, but she deserves it. Part of me feels like this is an overarching theme for the season. Does it mean she's destined for the final 2?

Also I'll tell you that at this point I have to chuck my theory about interviews at the beginning of the show telling you who will be in the bottom 2. When you're down to just six girls, they all get plenty of interviews. And the ending shocked me, so...sorry, no spoiler! I'll save it for the end.

Meanwhile we join Danielle, who's agonizing over the decision to have her tooth gap fixed. Will she, or won't she?

For training this week, the girls meet a PR expert. She coaches them on the basic dos and don'ts of being interviewed as a celebrity. (Which is amusing, because it's not like a graduate of this show has ever become a real celebrity. And no, I don't count Toccara's stint on Celebrity Fit Club.)

With this information in hand, the girls are interviewed by a Vanity Fair columnist who appears to be neither straight nor American. And he pretty much says that his style is to be provocative and insulting. Or at least that's how he proceeds. We see very little of the actual interviews, except Nnenna's. And although it didn't seem to go well, he still calls her the winner. Whuh? Her prize is to pick a friend, and they'll be pampered with "spa treatments." But the kicker is that the other four girls have to help perform said treatments. Nnenna picks Jade (of course).

We return to the episode already in progress of Holy Gap, It's Danielle! She calls her mom for advice. Her mother is actually very wise, and says that Danielle needs to decide what's more important - having a signature dental problem, or a modeling contract. Naturally Danielle sees the wisdom in this, and goes back to the dentist from last week. He fixes the gap, but does it in a way that still leaves a sliver showing, so it's not such a shocking transition. He's pretty good, that dentist. Danielle says it will take getting used to, but she likes it.

That evening, the girls are taken to a completely fake place dressed up in a vaguely Asian way for dinner. As they sit down, in saunters their make-up artist who is an unconvincing drag version of Tyra. After he prances around pretending to be her, saying "TY-RA, TY-RA" a few hundred times, in comes the real Tyra. They fake fight, and keep chanting her name. Just when I think this is the most moronic scene on the show ever, they reveal that it was their hint - the girls are going to THAILAND! And I must be getting brainwashed, because I actually found that to be clever.

The girls all pack up and lament leaving the house they've been in for...what, a few weeks? They arrive in Bangkok and are escorted to their hotel suite. This suite is HUGE and GORGEOUS, and I can't believe these bitches get to stay there and I don't. All the while, the girls are dutifully practicing some of the local language.

And now the dreaded spa. Sara and Danielle get off easy - all they have to do is put flowers in the bath for Jade and Nnenna. Joanie and Furonda get the more unpleasant task of assisting in massages. Now Joanie takes it pretty seriously, and tried to learn from the masseuse as she massages Jade's leg. She says that she's trying to be respectful, and that's nice. But ewww - it's Jade! Furonda rather hilariously has this phobia about touching other people's skin. So she just rubs a single finger on Nnenna's leg. It's so silly, and I was just rolling with laughter.

Time for the photo shoot! This week the girls are being done up as mermaids who have been caught in a fish net, dangling over the floating market (Where women sell their food wares in small boats). To do this, they'll be suspended by a harness mostly upside-down, wrapped in a net with actual fish. So not only is it uncomfortable, but there are fish guts galore. Fun!

Danielle bitches a lot, but still poses well. Sara starts off bad, but quickly improves. Nnenna looks like a dead fish. Furonda is just mediocre. Jade is finally softening, and does quite well. Joanie says she's going to throw up because she had a full cup of coffee first (bad idea), but she still manages to bust out some great poses.

At the judging panel, the girls are each asked to "sell themselves" to the judges. And no, it's not a weird prostitution thing - more like convincing the judges that you're Top Model material. Here's a basic overview of what they all say:

Jade: "I'm so versatile, I'm gorgeous, but don't judge a book by its cover."

Sara: "I am intelligent. And...well, I'm smart, so that makes me beautiful, I guess."

Joanie: "Umm, I'm pretty, or something."

Danielle: "GIRRRRRRRL, look at my fabulous hair! And my legs! And my teeth!"

Nnenna: "When I'm Top Model, I'd like to help change the world." (This goes on for hours, and in that time, nations overthrow their governments, new species are discovered, and Pluto explodes in a ball of fire.)

Furonda: *crickets*

For the critiques, you can imagine what the girls each hear about their selling - Danielle's got it down, Nnenna need to shut up, Jade is full of contradictions. So onto the photos! Once again, the stars are Danielle and Joanie. They are both spot on. Jade did quite well (although I didn't like the shot they picked). Sara was better. Furonda was pretty good. Nnenna looked more dead than the fish next to her thigh.

Six beautiful girls, five photographs. The winner for the week was Danielle, who improved her look, gave a great selling speech, and took a fantastic photo. Well done, girrrrrrrrrrrl! Also safe are Joanie, Sara and Jade.

What? Yes, that's right - the bottom two are Furonda and Nnenna. We haven't seen Furonda here since the beginning. The judges basically said she sucked when she started, but has steadily improved - but is it too little too late? Meanwhile Nnenna has reached a place of complacency, and has started to decline, as evidenced by her photos last week and this week. So who goes? It's NNENNA!!!! I know! You could have knocked me over with a feather. But as we look back at her portfolio, I'm reminded that I really only liked maybe 1 or 2 of her shots. So maybe it's for the best. Now she can go have that dysfunctional relationship with John.

Next week - the girls bicker with Jade (shocking!), and the stakes get higher. And I hate that this show has turned into crack, and I'm just dying to find out what happens! Damn you, Em!!!

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