"I'm America's Next Top Model, baby. Yeah." Don't sound too excited, Cari!
It would seem that CariDee is smarter than she's let on, if her instantly waning enthusiasm after winning ANTM is any indication. A self-referential end to a self-referential cycle. Kinda anti-climactic, huh?
More than ever, it feels that it's not about the destination, but the journey. We travel along a river of tears (in a boat manned, undoubtedly, by some weird still shots of the ANTM contestants a la those animations that signify traveling abroad)...
Not yet, but soon!
Eugena cries after her elimination. She wanted it, but it was unclear if she really wanted it. Also unclear was if she really, really wanted it.
Psoriasis? Oh, we back on that again?
And don't even get her started on ozone-layer depletion!
"I'm a sap," said CariDee on her pre-win cry. And that is why we love you.
CariDee's post-win cry. I'd be sad, too.
First of all, take a breath. Chill out. Eat a cookie. Use a comma.
Second of all, this makes me a little sad, and mostly because I thought Melrose was above caring about what her competitors thought of her. Crying about being called a bitch after you gloated and talked shit is so lame! Would it have been OK to have gained this reputation if she had won? This is like pulling a cow's udder and then crying when nothing comes out. You're crying over unspilled milk, which is even lamer than crying over spilled milk.
Earlier in the episode, when Eugena was bitching about the fact that "she's just worried about herself and how well she's gonna do in this competition," it was like, damn straight -- good for Melrose. If only Eugena's words were true, then I might have some respect left.
Oh, and I find it funny that earlier in the competition, Melrose was "trying to fit in so much" that she probably wasn't being herself. That's how she tries to fit in? By making sure she sticks out as the group's star pupil? Perfectionist my ass.
With 84 crying instances, this cycle was way wetter than the previous two (by my count, Cycle 6 had 68 cries and Cycle 5 had 72). At least this proves that the amount of crying does not correlate to the quality of the cycle...at least not positively.
Anyway, trusty reader/number cruncher Toho has once again made a spreadsheet of all of the Crying Count data of the cycle. Click on it below for a larger version:
It should come as no surprise that Monique was the squeakiest wheel -- it's shocking that Tyra eliminated her early instead of devoting a subplot to oiling her. And Megan was the driest girl, with not a single cry during her three-episode run. I knew there was a reason I didn't like her.
If only there were some way to quantify the idiocy of Tyra. I'm almost all qualified out. Don't you know my tears will burn the pillow? Set this shit on fire, 'cause I'm tired of her lies..
Well, not that tired...
Tyraism of the Week No. 1
When Tyra said, "I ain't unpredictable child. You know I'm have a hair weave, a bunch of makeup on and a dress that's cinched at my waist," she exhibited an endearing flash of self-awareness, but she was forgetting one thing. Say it with me now:
If you remember one Tyraism all year, let it be that. (And, yes, I've paid attention to the comment[s] suggesting that a more accurate name would be "vulva arms." This is absolutely true, but what's done is done -- I can't go back on what's been said and said and said and said. And said. Plus redubbing them "vulva arms" would undermine the cardinal rule of fourfour: just say "vagina.")
Tyra really did up the vag arms big this time -- it was, after all, the finale. She gave us two for the price of one!
Crisp, taut, new vagina.
Dangly, saggy, old, sideways vag. So you don't have to choose. This woman is fucking amazing.
Tyraism of the Week No. 2
During the fashion show, Miss J got up from his seat and announced that he must go. "Where is he going?" asked Tyra to a clearly unassuming Nigel.
What could possibly be going on?
Oh wait! What's that on the runway...why it's...
...uh, wait. Really, what the fuck is that thing?
Oh, oh, right: it's Miss J in a completely surprise turn leading the fucking stupidest runway exercise this show has ever been ballsy enough to throw at us. This is seriously the fakest shit on ANTM since the first episode of Cycle 3 when Amanda announced to the group of contenders that she was legally blind and would probably be completely blind by the age of 30. Remember how Eva got on her knees, pleading with God to help this girl she had never met? I miss those days.
Anyway, now that we know Miss J's whereabouts, we can all relax.
Who needs a laugh track when you've got these guys?!
Uh, it strikes me that this isn't really a Tyraism, it's just really stupid and fake. My bad.
Tyraism of the Week No. 3
I'm going to tell this one in pictures because there aren't any words for the extent of Tyra's assholishness.
Tyraism of the Week No. 4
Keep in mind that she's imitating the Top 2 girls on the show that is her bread and butter. She's the one who put them there! That says pretty much everything, huh?
1. Ah, the battle of the blondes.
I love that they were told to "stop and stare down the other models." At least this show is ocassionally upfront about its fabricated drama.
I really think the final decision of CariDee over Melrose came down to natural beauty. Simply, CariDee is hot...
...and Melrose...is...you know...
...well...you know...uh...the nicest thing I can say about her is that she's on the left.
(Meanwhile, is Eugena America's Next Top Anime Export?
Nice pupils there, Princess Monostanke.)
And Melrose was totally better on the stupid, stupid runway, but it's not like any of these girls have any chance of getting runway work anyway (unless you count filming My Life as a CoverGirl spots to be work, which, hey...)
CariDee was really bad, though, stupid setup aside. It was like she was imitating Mick Jagger, post-castration.
Or maybe Mick Jagger, post-laxative.
Love CariDee, though. Loved her 11th hour shit talking.
And her reaction to Eugena's boot/having to compete with Melrose in the final 2 was priceless.
It was like she was informed that her mom ran out of Sunny D, and she'd have to drink purple stuff on the runway.
So I remain resolutely CariDee. She's just more fun, and that's as good a quality as any on this show. I mean her CoverGirl commercial ad libs were more entertaining than any "Clump stops here" bullshit that I've seen.
I hope she gets to co-write her own My Life as a CoverGirl spots!
2. Poor Melrose, though.
She only wanted human contact. Making like one of those little plush monkeys with the spring-loaded arms that you can clip to your shirt or book bag or maybe a clump of hair wasn't exactly the best way to go about it, but you know, desperate times...
She really was an asshole about the hole in the dress, though. Just drama for the sake of drama.
"I just wanna nunchuk her." Easy there, Ninja Troll.
And how OCD was this?
Washing the lollipop off after CariDee used it? Although maybe she was trying to prevent crabs, which I can't really knock her for.
She really did get to CariDee when she called her a "hoe."
Hit a little close to home there, DiddleDeeDee? I love when bitchiness is so thick, you can enjoy it despite whichever side you fall on.
Anyway, I hope that Melrose gets her determination back and stops caring about how she comes off, because she really could do well in an entertainment-show environment. I don't watch Access Hollywood or any of that shit, so she could theoretically forge a career without being all up in my life. Works out for everyone!
3. Someone mentioned this in the comments section of the last post, and I have to agree: Jay Manuel was the voice of reason on panel. Even though I have to, I hate giving him his due. It kills me like bronzer kills the oxygen supply of skin pores.
"Let's think of this business, guys. The fashion industry loves extremes. CariDee, she's an extreme and there are designers out there that would say, 'She is cuckoo crazy nuts and I want that for my show.'" Designers like, for example, General Mills.
"We're chastising Melrose for the thing that we ask from all these girls, which is intelligence, knowledge of this industry..." I can't believe he actually pointed out this major discrepancy, the constant hypocrisy of the judging panel. I'm shocked that the ANTM universe didn't implode then and there.
He also pointed out how stupid it is that Danielle is now called "Dani" via his trusty finger quotes.
Do you think that her agency requested her name be changed to distance her from this show? I do! How embarrassing. How wonderful of Jay to mock it.
Of course, he was still full of his nonsense, saying "make it work" again and unwittingly unleashing this gem of contradiction:
"Calm down. This is the crazy scene." And who says modeling puts unreasonable demands on women?
Still, Jay was a good boy this episode.
Good old Wonder Woman stance. Since it's the finale, I think he should be done up in special, cape-and-all WW gear.
I hope that's how he dresses during the tapings of Canada's Next Top Model. If it is, I'll totally watch it.
4. Speaking of the panel, here's some less-than-helpful advice via Nigel.
This is why Eugena was eliminated, as there is no known cure for disappearing face syndrome.
Is it a feast so big that the word itself needed to be expanded to properly represent it? Is it like a fake fiesta thrown by English-speaking idiots who think they understand Spanish culture? I'm imagining sombreros and short people and piñatas and, at the more enlightened feastas, tapas.
WHAT THE FUCK IS A FEASTA?
6. Toodles, Toose.
See you January 23! And then, next Halloween. And then the Halloween after that. And then the one after that. For infinity.
7. It's a good thing that Victorio has his hands out in front of him.
Otherwise, I'd swear that he had his thumb up Lucchino's butt.
What's up with Victorio, anyway? What is that? Sean Lennon in 20 years with notes of Andrea Dworkin?
8. When Melrose was backstage at the fashion show, freaking out after the dress-ripping incident, she had like three people fanning her. Including one woman who saw fit to use her dress. Her dress that she was wearing.
9. So, in a single cycle, imitating the drawn-out way that Tyra says "America's Next Top Model" at judging went from wackily self-referential to trite. I mean, just in the last episode, it happened again and again and again. Tyra even contorted her body to emphasize one of them. She made herself look like an "S." "S" for...
10. I really liked this as an ending:
I would have liked this more, though:
And so ends the worst cycle in the history of ANTM. I don't say this with much sadness, since bad ANTM is still great TV in my world. Moreover, unlike some (many?), I feel that the show isn't yet a lost cause. The fool-baiting formula is a fool-proof one -- I doubt that there will be a time when throwing together a group of girls of questionable intelligence and making them do ridiculous things on the spot won't be entertaining. I think it's just the luck of the draw, really -- this time around, they just happened to get a bunch of boring girls who mostly had single angles and stuck to them (A.J.'s badittude, Megg's rock and rollll, the twins' twinniness, Jaeda's hair). I hate to beat up on Melrose any more (no, really), but she made for a sucky villian -- unlike, say, Jade, who was an innovator and constantly coming up with new ways to break ground in the field of asshole, Melrose was just sort of one-note. I hated her for being boring more than I hated her for being Melrose.
This isn't to say that the show itself isn't at fault. I think, as they find new ways for the girls to do basically the same things as previous cycles, this show becomes too much of a circus. A-hem.
It's OK to just have them walk. Different girls will do different things and it'll still be funny. Promise. No one's going to hold it against the show if it repeats past challenges and photo-shoot setups. It's really going to have to, I think before it ends up turning all of its viewers against it. I mean, I'm all about over-the-top, but come on:
I have one screenshot left from this cycle.
Look at yourself, ANTM. Look hard. There's a time to be crazy and there's a time to tone...it...down. You need to learn the difference. You're naturally funny. Your setup will ensure absurdity. You don't need to come in here, screaming at us and acting like a clown and rubbing your vagina (arms) in our faces. We get it. We like you. Let us like you for you and not your crazy, made-up antics. Let us see your inner beauty once again.
Congratulations. You're still in the running towards becoming my favorite thing that ever happened in the history of pop culture.
Hey, all -- thanks for reading. It was a rough cycle to recap, really. I appreciate your patience and support and feedback. Thanks for affording me the luxury public stupidity. Y'all make me feel like Tyra!
Oh, and even though I wasn't crazy about this cycle, I'm still going to miss it. This will help soften the blow of loss:
Bex compares the airing of this to methadone, a little something to ease us out of ANTM addiction. I agree. And so, I'm going to be covering it in some way. Maybe a recap. I don't know. I have no idea what to expect, so I have no promises. I have no idea what I'll say about it, but somehow, I think I'll manage.