March 21, 2007

Sugar and Spice

When we last left the Top Model bitches, they were bidding good-bye to sweet but quiet...um...what was her name again?

And this week the girls don't remember either. We move right into happenings in the house. Basically we learn that Whitney and Diana are plus-sized sistahs, and Cassandra is very nice to everyone, including Jaslene. That's cool, because you know nice people do so well in this competition.

Tyra Mail arrives, and signals that makeovers are finally here. Hooray!

At the salon, Tyra and the Js make a show out of the fact that girls in the past have bitched too much about how things turned out (i.e. half the cast last season), so these girls better really want it. They do.

I won't go through each makeover, but we get the usual mix of short-haired girls going long, long-haired girls going short, blondes going brown, and vice-versa. Of them all, I think Dionne comes off the best, with a nice asymmetrical 'do that gives her face some shape. Brittany is subjected to a big ugly weave, and she tries to be a good sport. Jael, not so much as the pain of EIGHT HOURS of having a weave put in starts to make her cry. Ultimately OJ says he "talked to Tyra" (translation: the producers talked to each other), and decided this long look wasn't going to work for Jael, so instead she'll get a shorter cut with a brown color. Poor girl goes through all that for nothing. Luckily, some of the other girls are sympathetic.

Back at the house, Brittany starts to whimper and whine about the pain that is her weave. Renee is totally pissed at her for this. Whitney is more tough love, and tells Brittany what's what - "Where I live, you cry when a friend gets shot." Well, point taken. Then again, if you've ever lived with someone that cries about everything, perhaps your tolerance is higher.

Onto the challenge, which is another take on the annual "run around fast applying Cover Girl makeup and be judged" challenge. This time the tables of makeup are set up in a lovely outdoor garden. Prior to the challenge, Brittany confesses that she is having "digestive issues" (translation: the trots), but will try her best. As she laments her problems, Renee suggests that Brittany take it easy and sleep in the car. Note that this is not compassion, but a desire to get Brittany out of the running. Jael instead advises Brittany to press on.

Challenge, running, makeup. Cassandra takes about 10 seconds too long and is disqualified. Judging commences, and most are fine, but Natasha has heavy red lipstick that makes her look like a whore, which is to be expected. The winner? Brittany. Renee makes a bitchface. Brittany gets to choose 2 friends to join her in a photo shoot for Seventeen magazine. She picks the girls that helped her stick it out today - Jael and Sarah. What's kind of awesome is that the other girls are forced to sit around and watch the shoot. Heh - stick that in your eye, Renee.

Back at the house, Renee is still hating on Brittany, and continues to poison the mind of Diana. Brittany totally hears everything, and decides to confront Renee. But she does it in the lamest passive-aggresive way possible - "All I have to say is that the walls in a house full of girls are paper thin." What the fuck is that? Anywho, Renee gets the gist that IT IS ON, and they go back and forth. Eventually Renee tries to call Brittany immature, and then walks away. Then Brittany retorts, "Hey, I'm still kicking your ass in this competition." Zing! Awesome. Well played, Brit. Renee flips her off.

Also at the house, Jael gets a message to call a friend, and finds out that one of her close friends died of a drug overdose. Ugh. Jael naturally is very upset, and many of the girls try their best to provide her comfort. To her credit (I guess?), Jael sees that this competition can be a "distraction" to help her forget her personal trauma. I guess it makes sense. Later, Whitney prays with Jael, and the scene is quite touching, actually.

Time for the photo shoot, which will involve the girls showing off different types of candy, while holding scoops of ice cream in their bare hands. And they are naked (with candy covering the naughty bits). Most are excited, but Brittany gets all puritanical and worried. Dionne interviews that she's sick of Brittany's complaining. At this point we establish that the house is basically divided into three camps. Those that support Brit (Jael, Sarah), those that hate her (Renee, Diana), and those that just wish she'd shut up already (Dionne, Felicia, Whitney). I suppose a fourth camp would be the clueless, which of course are led by Natasha.

The shoot goes on, and it's pretty clear that a few are really doing well, including Brit, Jael, Dionne and Sarah. Cassandra isn't giving much to the camera. Diana is having trouble sucking in her gut.

Judging panel! No stupid challenge, so let's get on with the judgements. There are prizes, there are judges. Guest judge is their makeover hair stylist, Neeko.

Jael is first, and of course the story about her friend comes spilling out. The judges are very kind and understanding without being overly sappy. And Jael's photo is also very strong, with an interesting body position and cute pouty lips. She dedicates the photo to her friend, which is a bit odd, but I suppose also sweet.

Brittany did amazing, and the shot gets comments like, "That could be in Vogue." Tyra says, "No negative comments, honestly." Renee looks like she's about to burst into flames.

Cassandra's photo is ass, and the judges know it, so they start by saying nothing. Eventually they offer feeble comments, but you know they are like, "Oh my, you suck."

Diana has the belly issue mentioned above, which Nigel points out is in part because she's on one leg and therefore off-balance. Ms. J offers a helpful hint (!) that Diana should give the photographer a count-off, like "1, 2, 3! [suck in gut]"

Dionne is very strong this week, and Twiggy points out that she really caught the more playful spirit of the shoot better than other girls.

The judges are kind to Felicia, but I have to say I found her photo to be really weak. Her face lacks expression, and her body posture looks awkward.

Jaslene rocks it once again, giving a sense of sexiness without being trampy. But where is that personality in person?

Natasha actually did very well, although Nigel points out that her eyes are too squinty.

Renee is not bad, but the close-up view reveals that her eyes look weird and unfocused. By contrast, Sarah is very strong, with eyes that pierce right through the camera. The judges point out the comparison, which you know makes Renee look...say it with me...bitchy!

Whitney has some discomfort that shows in her face (it's a forced smile), and the judges notice it too.

Deliberations. The judges are happy to see Natasha finally breaking through. Nigel says that Dionne has really emerged as "one to watch." They continue to wonder if girls like Cassandra and Whitney have the drive to really do this.

11 girls, 10 photos. First photo goes to Brittany, which makes Renee start to implode before our eyes. Photos are handed out, and we are left with Cassandra and Diana. Whitney begins to cry. (Presumably half from thinking Cass is cool, and half from Diana being her plus-sized sistah.)

Cassandra, you are very sweet and everyone likes you. But your photos are lacking. Diana, you are very beautiful of face, but your photos don't show what you're capable of. So who goes home?

The photo goes to...Diana. Whitney cries some more.

Cassandra gives a very pleasant exterview, and it's clear that she is far too nice and intelligent to be on this show. Best wishes, Cass.

Next week - the girls break into a bank!

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