After keeping us waiting for an entire cycle, Janice Dickinson finally graced us with her presence.
I'm sorry to say that I think she's between facelifts right now.
But for real: big ups to Jaslene on the win, and bigger ups to M, who in the comments section of the last post, ingeniously dubbed her HasWeen, thus providing part of the name of this recap. That's brilliance worth biting.
I was going to upload Shalamar's "Second Time Around" as sort of a celebration, a fiesta, nay, nay, a feesta for our one-time ANTM reject...
...but you know, I don't really like that song. "Make That Move" is so much better. So here it is. Try to restrain yourself from voguing. There's a lot of fierceness in this episode and, girl, you can't really compete.
Just kidding. You're really fierce. Have you lost weight?
Before I get to this week's tears, there's an addendum to last week's Crying Count that an eagle-eyed reader named Danielle brought to my attention:
Apparently, in addition to runny nose and fever, Natasha's illness caused ocular discharge. She nasty.
And now for this week's:
Her eyes were watching Tyra.
Like sands through the hourglass, so are the lines on your face...
...and dreams are officially dashed. Maybe now old, decrepit Renee can get a job telling people they'll catch cold or forcing fuzz-caked hard candy upon pre-teens or breaking her hip at will. But that's cool with Renee, who would rather have wisdom in her eyes and knowledge in her head than just be blank and stupid and not have anything there. She is, of course, confusing wisdom with crows' feet. Must be all that knowledge clogging up the tubes.
The platform that almost was! Too bad the whole young-working-mother thing was already handled by Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll. Young girls, you can do it. In fact, go for it. Why not, right? What is life without struggle? Get to procreating!
She's overwhelmed about being in the Top 2 or some shit. In other news, it was during this episode that I became thoroughly transfixed by Jaslene's baby hair.
Easy, breezy...yeah. Easy, breezy and that's it.
What's notable here isn't so much Jaslene's pageant breakdown or burgeoning vagarms, but Natasha's wonderful graciousness in the face of defeat. What a good sport. She didn't pull off all Jaslene's hair or anything!
I don't necessarily think that Natasha should have won, but I know that by having her finish in second place and staying on till the very end, we the viewers certainly did.
As always, my man with a calculator, Toho crunched my data and came up with the Crying Count tally. Click to enlarge.
First of all, the most tears were shed this cycle by far, since I started recapping this show (Cycle 7 had 84 cries, Cycle 6 had 68 and Cycle 5 had 72). I'm hoping I live to see a cycle that breaks 100 -- it's iffy, as I have a feeling that this show will outlive me. It's no surprise that Brittany was the biggest crybaby of this cycle (and possibly ever in the world). It should be no surprise that Cassandra cried the least. God, she couldn't even do that right. Maybe if they sewed the wig directly to her scalp, they coulda squeezed out a tear or two. Not that Tyra would stand for such violence.
"Three baddest bitches in town!" said Tyra upon greeting Natasha, Renee and Jaslene at the penultimate judging, impressing all with her around-the-way pottymouth. But it was the "holla" that she tagged onto the end that really made it real.
"The fashion industry is so obsessed with youth. The minute they start seeing any type of age, they're like, ugh, onto the next. And it's an awful, sad thing in the industry, but it's a truth that we have to deal with."
I don't knock Tyra for this. It is a truth that extends beyond the fashion industry to the entertainment one. I think it's good that she clarified her rationale vis a vis the bigger picture -- this way, people won't start harping on her for being ageist, like when she said all that shit about Danielle's speech and people pretty myopically decided that Tyra Banks was racist. So, yeah, I'm right here with her on this except that the final episode isn't exactly the time to bring this up to Renee, you know? Really, it's shit and unfair. Is Renee the fucking portrait of Dorian Gray? Is she, like, rapidly aging all of a sudden? And besides, if everyone was so concerned about Renee looking older, she probably shouldn't have gotten a mom-hair cut during makeovers (really: that Renee was able to look good and get this far despite that horrible shit they did to her hair way back when says a whole hell of a lot about her modeling ability). How ironic that this diatribe on youth came so late.
"She knows how to take a fierce picture.
Oooooh! She's fierce...
...in a fierce picture."
Soooo glad that Tyra brought fierce back for the finale. Confused that she had to channel Dr. Ruth to do so, but hey, I am not complaining. I also loved when she told Renee, "You're not a finalist, but you're still fierce."
But not, you know, cannibal fierce like Tyra. She looks like she's going to floss with Renee's mom hair.
Also, totally making this the Cyle of the Fierceness, "fierce" was the last word uttered in the episode: "But most importantly, Jaslene is fierce!" Considering how many times "fierce" was said this cycle, especially during the first episode, how could Queen Fierce Jaslene not have won?
"All right, well, it's the battle of the accents."
Exfuckingactly. In but two seconds, Tyra summed up the enduring absurdity of this show. Not that we needed reminding, but it's still funny to take in how this warped version of a warped version of the real world (the modeling industry) manifests itself. The battle of the accents? And not, say, beauty? That sounds about right.
Those aren't close captioned for (or is that from?) the hearing impaired -- they're subtitled because Jaslene's speaking Spanish becuuuuuuhhhhhuuuuuzzzz in the 11th hour, this show became a UNICEF commercial or a meeting of ambassadors or some shit. I suppose since Tyra couldn't use the Fat Ass platform, this is what she had to settle for. Fucking love it. I can think of few things as joy-giving as qualifying political correctness. See, people? This show has redeeming social value beyond a workout for your id! Funny that Natasha sounded positively defensive when explaining why she should win (for like the millionth time that episode). Now why could that be?
Hilarious. ANTM, you still got it.
1. But only one girl could really get it, and I'm fine with Jaslene winning. It's hard not to judge by personality alone (since that's pretty much all these girls have going for them when the show's over, what with the way they're just basically dropped off in a basket on the stoop of Elite and are forced to fend for themselves like paw-bound kittens). In that realm, the walking sunshine that is Natasha clearly takes it. But really, as soon as Jaslene kicked ass rocking the Ally Sheedy freak thing during the high-school shoot, I knew she had it in the bag. Of course, along the way, I was manipulated into believing that she'd lost her personality or spice or testosterone or whatever the hell she has that makes her so wiggly and weird. I should have known that this was a misleading edit, but you know, sometimes part of the fun of this show is to get wrapped up in it despite your reasoning and intellect. It's like Dancer in the Dark in that respect (hence Cycle 3's Amanda). If only there was a hanging. Oh well, there's always next cycle.
Anyway, I'm fine with Jaslene winning based on the CoverGirl shots alone.
This isn't the best picture I've seen of Jaslene, but it's a hell of a lot better than the other two.
Natasha looks so vacant in this shot, she might as well be peddling what's inside her head.
Note that instead of just a hot dog, that's a chili dog. This is the finale, after all.
Even worse, I think:
Ugh. How long is her neck?
About that long.
She looks like she should be the hood ornament of some fucked-up Toy Story freak mash-up toy.
And really on the old tip, in this shot she does indeed look like she's packing mothballs between her lips (I'm talkin' 'bout downtown!).
2. And also, remember when Jaslene thought she was all great at walking (all day, everyday) and then everyone shot her down? I guess she's had practice?
And I hate to be all Nigel-esque, but Natasha's walk was so wrong that it was roit.
There's something about it that says, "Bring it on." To be fair, it's probably talking to plants or Tupperware or itself, but it's really assured and that alone is what impresses me. Well, either that, or I'm just taken with how much she walks like a pigeon-toed duck with a piece of poop hanging out of her ass. I can't figure out which.
And how about that runway show, huh? When I saw that it was on an actual runway with an actual crowd...
...I thought, "Oh, thank god it won't be as queer as last cycle's telenovela-style, audience-stands-behind-columns-if-in-fact-there-really-is-an-audience type shenanigans." And then, it started.
So queer! Also, I wish that instead of evolution, the theme were creationism. Then the girls could have ridden dinosaurs and turned their nose up at rational thinking all in the name of fashion. Wouldn't that have been fun?
I love how Jay's depiction of early man...
...was basically just Chow Daddy. Desserts!
Equally hilarious was that "early man" was depicted via Scarecrow-like headwear.
I suppose that The Wizard of Oz marked the dawn of completely accessible gay pop culture. Everything just spiraled out from there, including this show. Fun fact: at times, Tyra is the spitting image of the Cowardly Lion.
Oh, and then, as if the runway show weren't faggy enough:
See? That Benny Ninja-led laser challenge wasn't just for reality show drama. It had a practical application, damn it!
3. And also:
Really? Because I think she looks pregnant.
You know, I'm pro-chunk and I'd think Natasha were cute at any size, but I'm surprised that no one mentioned that she's looking a little thick in the midsection. Maybe they were too distracted by her supposedly amazing save:
Yeah. And that almost sounds like like a non-deliberate lie. Spin, spin, spin. Spin us some more truth, Nidge:
So that way, when the winner doesn't end up doing anything, he can say, "Precisely." Warm up the brontosaurs, Nigel, 'cause we're taking another trip to the land of Logic and Reason!
4. Even if Natasha didn't take the title of America's Next Top Model, here's one she has in the bag, for sure:
Blowjobface of the Cycle.
Although, Jaslene gets the award for Post-Blowjobface of the Cycle.
I suppose she wins again.
5. A few more things about Jaslene:
A four-finger "model" ring.
Realest of the realest realness:
That knowing look she gave when Twiggy proclaimed that she really did look like a guy when recalling Jaslene's cross-dressing photo shoot. What's Jaslene's secret? She's afraid of the dark and she sleeps with a tuck job. Fabulous.
Now, I think, is a good time, for the last Pretty Party of the cycle. Sob! This one's subtitled My Life as a Pretty Girl, as all the shots come from the My Life as a CoverGirl shoot:
And a horrifying one of Tyra for good measure:
I love that the stylist told Renee to treat the atrocity they had her wear as "a t-shirt dress that just happens to be made out of sequins." Oh yeah. Renee matter-of-factly looks like Joan Rivers' clutch.
But besides the general ugliness, what I loved most about those My Life as a CoverGirl shoot is that they had to incorporate the line "sheer shiny shades" into their yammering. They said it so much that I've been hearing it in my sleep. I'm compelled to give it the megamix treatment, so here it is. It's a coping device.
Also, Natasha really is the life of the party, Pretty and otherwise.
Scarecrow, I'm gonna miss you most of all.
And that ends this week's (and this cycle's!) Pretty Party.
6. Although, there is always room for pretty.
How big is CariDee's mouth?
About that big.
7. Oh, you may want to gawk at Natasha's family picture so...
Her husband is totally good-looking, from what I can tell. Why then, you ask, did he feel the need to order up a Russian bride? Well, it's not because Natasha is just some Russian girl...
...it's because she's a robot Russian girl. True story!
(Truer story: she's not a mail-order bride at all!)
8. Since we got a healthy portion of "fierce" on this last episode, I suppose that it only follows that we got to hear Twiggy say, "The camera loves you," one last time.
I'm not even going to dignify that with a Bug-O-Meter. Twiggy is officially dead to me.
This show is so nasty!
10. And finally...
I consider this a gift.
It's such a gift, that I don't even need to say anything about it. I can just appreciate everything that's going on silently.
Well, OK, I will say that Tyra is taped up so much that she's fucking wall-eyed.
But that's all I'mma say about that.
I know that this is the last stop for many for this blog, so thanks for reading! I really had a great time with this cycle -- it might have been my favorite to cover yet. Frankly, though, I'm kinda glad that it's over. For as much fun as I have with these recaps, they are so consuming, it's unreal. Stuff goes by in pop culture that I love or have something to say about and I just can't get to covering it. So I'm happy that I'll have more time for that and other stuff (I haven't made a mix in like five months and I'm bursting, bursting I tell you, with ideas). It's crazy because for the first time in [solemn Tyra voice]fourfour history[/sTv], about four months will go by without a weekly show to cover. That's crazy and a little scary, but ultimately liberating. Many of my most satisfying posts (like this one or this one or this one) have come between seasons of whatever reality trash I'm picking apart. And so, for those staying on board, thank you all for coming -- you have a lot in store for you. Whatever that means. I'm a bit wistful, though. I wish I could say, "Next time I see you: runway," but you know, September is only a summer away.
Be fierce, y'all.