October 16, 2006

Get your freak on

So remember last week on America's Next Top Model, when Monique was sent home, and worried the other girls (especially Melrose) would be celebrating? Well that's where we join them this week. Maybe not full-on dance party style, but they are certainly happy to see her gone, and several of them interview just that. Don't get too comfortable there, ladies...

But the latest drama appears to be that Melrose rubs many of the girls the wrong way. In particular, Anchal is not a fan. You could say that she is not a resident of Melrose Place. (C'mon, I had to make that joke at least once this season.) Megg gets the dreaded early interview this week, and considering we've seen very little from her until now, that fills me with foreboding. She also reminds me of a girl I went to school with, although younger and decidely more stoned.

To begin this week's adventures, the girls meet a judge from another country's version of ANTM, and she has an odd look and an even odder voice. I really can't decide if she has always been a she, or just sings baritone. Anyway, she tells them that today they will be learning how to do some extreme poses for editorial fashion shoots, and to help them, they will be working with a contortionist. He will be taking them through various poses so they can learn to stretch and push themselves. You would think this would be hard, but all we really see is them doing some pretty basic yoga. Anchal excels, Melrose does not. As they rest up, Melrose compliments Anchal - "I didn't think you'd be that good!" It's hard to tell if the compliment is back-handed, but that's how Anchal takes it, and she tells Melrose as much.

Back at the house, Melrose holds court in the hot tub. It's hard to see who all is there, but you can make out the twins, Brooke, and Jaeda. Melrose goes on and on about how she hasn't been that impressed with Anchal lately, and thinks she has self-esteem issues (probably true). She thought Anchal was competition at first, but no longer (probably NOT true). The other girls only seem to agree with the true parts. Meanwhile, on the smoking lounge above the tub, Anchal and her crew (AJ, Megg and CariDee) hear the whole thing. This causes Anchal, who is indeed lacking in self-esteem, to run away sobbing.

AJ the kick-ass friend goes to comfort her and basically says, "Fuck them." She implores Anchal to realize that, "We are good people." AJ is of course right, but I have a feeling Anchal is going to need a little professional counseling to work through her issues.

The next day the girls meet a designer in what looks like an office building's lobby. She says that for this week's challenge, they will be modeling her outfits while standing on pedestals. This is to show off her work at a party. They will take various extreme poses, in order to be "living sculpture." The girls get in wardrobe and make-up (It's another S&M-type line - is that all the rage now?).

They strike various poses and it's hard to describe it all. Let's just say that some do well (AJ), some think they do better than they do (Melrose), and others just try their best (Michelle). After the party, the designer chooses the winner to be...Eugena! And she actually was pretty strong. As a prize, Eugena will win all the jewelry that the girls were wearing today - and it's worth a boatload. Yeah - nothing to sneeze at, these challenges!

That evening, the girls go to dinner, apparently looking for a mystery guest. And it turns out to be...Twiggy. Which is cool, although I was pulling for Janice Dickinson and her drama. Anyway, they have a perfectly lovely dinner with the Twigster, who is obviously a perfectly lovely person. She in particular impresses upon them a need to know and understand what is currently happening in fashion to stay ahead in modeling. Apparently she's Melrose's idol or something, because Melrose fawns all over her and hugs her, and... Whatever. Puke. I'm over Melrose. She's in a matter of minutes become the new Monique, albeit more mentally stable.

The next day, the girls have what I'm guessing was an unplanned visit from Tyra. She wants to talk to them about what's been going on, and of course Queen Fucking Melrose (QFM) pipes up immediately blathering on about something no one cares about. Eventually we realize that the real reason Tyra is here is to bring out and deal with Anchal's feelings about being hurt by Melrose. Anchal confesses, Melrose listens. QFM says she's sorry or some shit, but you can tell she's all disbelieving. I think she's just surpised that their hot tub trashfest was overheard.

But enough of Tyra's talk show invading this one - it's time for this week's photo shoot! They meet with OJ, who says that they will be taking advantage of their extreme pose training to portray carnival sideshow freaks. Some of them will be classic (Megg as the bearded lady), others bizarre (Melrose as a woman with an old face and a young body). Also there to watch (and give inane catty comments) is Seventeen's fashion editor.

Highlights of the shoot - AJ is awesome/scary as a cannibal in a cage. CariDee does some real extreme poses as a woman with an elephant nose (yes, I'm serious). Anchal struggles until she gets some direction from OJ (y'know, his JOB). Megg just doesn't know what to do. Jaeda requires a lot of direction. Eugena, for once, does not. Back in the makeup trailer, Megg expresses concern to the girls that she just wasn't bringing it this week.

Juding panel! There are prizes, there are judges. And mercifully no extra challenge. So onto the judging!

AJ was a superstar. She managed to be both scary and sexy at the same time (and that naked man next to her doesn't hurt).

Amanda and Michelle portrayed Siamese twins, and they have a great other-worldly look to them. This is when we notice that several of the pictures have been digitally manipulated to give the effect of the character, but I can assure you 80% of the look in any of these pictures is up to the girls themselves. So they digitally added extra flesh joining the heads of the twins. There is a concern that Amanda is showing a bit too much up her nose, but Michelle is spot on.

Anchal is the giant woman, and so they have her sitting at a tiny table on a tiny chair. Her face is flawless, but Ms. J points out that if she leaned more toward the camera, it would give the impression that the table was smaller.

Brooke is a rubber woman (arms and legs are shown extra bendy), and she's just OK.

CariDee is straddling an old car while holding a parasol, and despite the big elephant nose, she looks damn sexy. Who knew?

Eugena really turned it on this week as a bird woman in a cage. She actually is showing some emotion, and looks beautiful. There are various allusions to the fact that it took putting her in various restrained situations to make her come alive. Good job, bad skin!

Jaeda was just OK. She really looks like she's straining/angry, but that is what OJ asked for. It doesn't look "model" - she just looks pissed. Also the Seventeen chick totally rats her out for needing a lot of direction.

Megg's photo is...dull. Her bearded lady just looks a little sly and wistful. When asked about it, Megg starts to break down, which is certainly uncharacteristic of what we've seen. She's REALLY unhappy with the photo, and knows she can do better.

Melrose, according to the judges, has an ugly/beautiful thing going on. I think she's fine, but I still say the original concept (old face/young body) is stupid.

The judges deliberate. The funny part this week is that Twiggy seriously thought the abs on Jaeda were real, but they were totally painted on with fake tan. Yeah, as if Jaeda needs something to make her look MORE man-ish.

10 beautiful ladies, 9 photos. (They are beautiful again!) The first photo goes to...CariDee! The judges love that she in a way sold her "product" - in this case, an elephant nose. I'm now undecided if I like her a little or a lot. Also, I predicted she was next to go before I saw the show, so my prognostication career is shot to hell.

Also safe this week are AJ, Anchal, Amanda, Michelle, Eugena and Melrose. Will Jaeda and Megg please step forward? Jaeda - you thought you were always the pretty girl, but you're not bringing it to your photos. Megg, your fun personality isn't coming through on camera. So who goes home? The photo goes to...Jaeda. Aww - poor Megg! As we review her past photos, we see that her first one (drunk addict model) was really the only good one, so perhaps it was time.

In the most awesome exit interview ever, Megg tells us that she got a lot out of the experience, but she's going to go home, and start a band with this other girl. Megg hopes she can be like "the model rock star." She says all this while sounding completely stoned out of her mind. Rock n' roll, Megg!

Next week - two words. Lesbian! Michelle! Oh, and two more words - Janice. Dickinson. You've been warned, bitches!

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