October 10, 2007

Bound But Not Gagged

When we last left the girls of America’s Next Top Model, Mila was exiting the house, ready to go meet with her new bosses at Cover Girl. No one has the heart to tell her she was the first one eliminated. (Except me - see ya, Tweedledum!) 12 girls remain.

We open with Kimberly telling us that she's learning a lot, and is looking forward to learning more and bonding with the girls in the weeks ahead. All of us that are fans of the show shake our heads and say, "Aww, that's too bad." Let's just say - the editors on this show? Not subtle.

Meanwhile, a conversation is brewing amongst the girls, although it's really just Bianca and Saleisha. Sal (that is so much easier to type) starts talking about some of her past experiences with modeling. Uh oh - I fear she is getting a Sarah complex. Bianca feels the need to knock Sal down a few pegs. And thus an argument commences. Bianca can not be content to just offer some friendly advice (i.e. "Hey, Saleisha - you're coming off as a braggart, and people don't tend to like that."). Instead she starts screaming insane things, like calling Sal a "borderline plus-sized model - look in the mirror!" That is so ridiculous. Saleisha is tiny. Once again, Bianca proves she is the Alpha Bitch. I wonder if something will happen to humble her?

The girls then go to an "abandoned mental hospital" which is set up like a haunted house. Perhaps this is ANTM's attempt at a Halloween episode. Anywho, out comes Ms. J in Nurse Ratched outfit, and some of the girls scream. Come on - even I wouldn't be scared of that. And I was spooked by Gremlins.

Ms. J explains that in high fashion couture, models will sometimes be asked to wear outfits that are very tight or restrictive. And yet, they must walk. So to practice, he's going to have them practice their runway walks while wearing straitjackets. I know it doesn't make sense, but I think he's trying to show them how to think more about their head, neck and feet. Regardless, the girls get all bound up and then strut. Not much has changed since the cruise ship. Most of them are average, and Heather has a stilted walk. Oh, and we are treated to lovely comments from Bianca and Sal about why they hate each other's walks.

Then the girls head to their challenge for the week, where they meet Roy Campbell (annoying guy from past seasons) and fashion designer Colleen Quen. And their challenge - is amazingly legit. They will be walking a real, honest-to-goodness fashion show preview of Quen's line. She will then premiere the collection in Paris. And the winner of the challenge will be in that show. Nice! As you might imagine, Quen's designs tend to limit a model's movement, so they'll have to work what Ms. J taught them.

The girls do OK with the runway, although nothing spectacular. The gowns themselves are not bad, although certainly not ready to wear. I was most fond of Chantal and Janet. It was nice to see that Heather's walk improved a bit once she was in fashion and in the moment. Bianca - hoochie. And there is some odd bump between Sarah and Ebony's elbows, but it results in low drama. Jenah has it the worst, as her gown has a "tail" both in the front and the back, so she was tripping all over.

The winner is announced as...Saleisha. Eh, not my choice, but she was fine. What's more fine is to see how much that sticks in Bianca's craw. Hee.

And now it's time for this week's photo shoot. At a gym? Why yes. OJ guides them to a rock climbing wall. For this shoot, they will be up on the wall, while wearing a fierce "editorial" look. Jenah is excited, as she used to teach rock climbing or something. Way to go, Bug Eyes.

Anywho, the girls get suited up. The look is sort of like "really angry fairy". The girls go to it, and some are inspired and daring (Saleisha, Lisa, Jenah). Ebony once again freezes. She tells OJ she's scared of being in the bottom 2. He reminds her it's not about not being in the bottom 2 - if you just aim for that, you'll always be mediocre. Shoot for the stars! Let that bitch out!

We now move to judging panel pretty fast, which means there will be much to discuss. Prizes, judges. Guest judge is Roy. I don't why, I just want to smack that smile off his face. Maybe it's because I can't divorce him in my mind from the Aswirl Twins.

Ambreal has a fun wistful look in her eye, as if to say, "What the hell with these purple leggings they put me in?" Pretty good.

Bianca's photo gets silence. Not a good sign. Tyra seems to like it, but the other judges say she looks so angry. I say she looks like a drag queen.

Chantal has this interesting falling sideways look going on, but the judges rightly mention that her feet aren't making things look right.

Ebony's face is a bit off (she seems to be midway between emotions), but she's showing a long strong leg, which is nice.

Heather scores again! She looks like an adventuress in heels. Nigel asks about her eyes - the fact that her Asperger's makes her often avoid eye contact in public, yet her photos have really strong eye contact. Heather talks about her thought process, and it's all rather fascinating. But this isn't The Heather Show, so we'll move on.

Janet shows a nice elegant line at an angle from the wall. But her face is starting to bother me - it has an androgynous look - but not in a good way.

Jenah? Nailed it. She used her comfort with the environment to maneuver into an elegant standing position, giving us a come hither look. The makeup is really downplaying her bug eyes. Fabulous.

Kimberly looks like she's falling asleep. So am I.

Lisa, like Ebony, is showing a long strong leg. But she also is wisely showing all her other limbs long as well, and it's striking. She just needs to work on her expression.

Saleisha goes for bending over backwards, literally. It's certainly an exciting pose, but her reaching arm is lacking energy. It's like an 80% great picture.

Sarah has an interesting look up from below. She almost looks as if she's been surprised to see us. It's not bad.

Victoria has the love it or hate it look for this week. With arms knotted up, she peers at us with those huge saucer eyes. Some of the judges think it's brilliant (Nigel), others not so much (Twiggy). And Victoria totally interrupts Twiggy to ask for feedback. So not a good idea, Yale.

The judges deliberate. Naturally the Twiggy/Victoria standoff is discussed - one of the models picking on Twiggy is so unusual, no one knows how to handle it! Also as mentioned, Tyra is a big fan of Bianca's photo, but no one else likes it.

12 beautiful ladies, 11 photos. The first photo goes to...Jenah! Rightly so. She rocked it. Also safe are Heather, Lisa, Chantal, Sarah, Ambreal, Victoria, Saleisha, Janet and Ebony (who really sweats it towards the end). Will Bianca and Kimberly step forward?

Bianca, your photo looks angry, and all the judges but one hate it. Kimberly, you are boring, but Tyra loves your ears. (The hell? That's an odd choice. Frankly, I don't like her ears at all.) And the photo goes to...Bianca. Because the bitch is back. Kimberly, hug Tyra, and let her feel up your ears.

Kimberly probably said something, but I don't care, because I barely remember her being a part of the show. I'm ready for next week - makeovers!

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