Upon releasing Mila, Tyra realized that what she was doing was, in fact, a lot like releasing the hounds.
Except, there was only one.
I love this shot because it was a split-second crack in the facade of a perpetual optimist. She's eliminated and she has to endure Ebony's pawing? Why not glue some giant sequins on her face and tell her she's a fish to create the most unfortunate send-off ever in Top. Model. History?
Also, during her exit interview, Mila said, "I think if you concentrate on the positive, the negative things go away." And yet, someone so upbeat is the thing that's going away at this moment.
Chantal cries over the beauty that the ANTM house's view affords. When asked if she's OK, she responds that she's never been better. Blah, irony.
She didn't even need a tear stick or anything (at least as far as we saw). What a pro!
That whole wipe-your-sister-in-Top Modeling's-tears-away thing is one of my favorite moves of this show. You know Tyra's all pissed like, "Hey! I'm the only one who's allowed to stick my fingers in people's eyes and I only do that before they cry to prod out the tears!"
After being called out for her stripperly ways by bitchy bitch Bianca, Lisa raged to the camera, "America isn't perfect and everybody goes through their ups and downs and if you so determined to making something out of yourself, you go to whatever you have to do." As this is barely coherent, I think an image that came later best sums it up:
Because in the entertainment industry, 9 times out of 10, "whatever you have to do" means swallow. Congratulations, Lisa, our (Post-) Blowjobface of the Week. (Really puts that, "I'm promising everybody, you're gonna see me on the cover of Vogue one day. I'm gonna do it. I don't care what I have to do, I gotta do it." quote into perspective, no?)
I think that this was taped during the casting special, but whatever. Counts. Heather tearfully resolves, "I'm not going to let this autism bring me down. This is going to be the thing that makes me stronger." If she's talking about her character development, she's right on the mark.
I have nothing smart-assed to say about this. In the 20 seconds we heard Heather talking to her mom (whose words are subtitled above), it became clear that Heather was reared by a saint. Seriously, it's rough when your kid has problems to the magnitude of Heather's and her mom's gentle tone of encouragement was truly beautiful to witness. Yay for moms.
That this tear track was visible from the second Tyra started her Bottom 2 speech really impressed me. But then it got better.
So much better!
Do you see how the snot is running out of Ebony's nose? And...
...she doesn't even bother to wipe it? This made me really respect Ebony: at least she owns up to her snot-facedness.
But you know who wouldn't ever do that?
Tyraism of the Week No. 1 - "You're such a beautiful girl, but it's a pretty girl just sitting there. And that's not what models get paid to do." I know that this has been the show's underlying message for the extent of its run and all, but, god, it sounds hilarious when verbalized. I've watched over 100 hours of this shit (multiple times) and all I have to say to that is, "Yuh-huh."
Tyraism of the Week No. 2 - "One thing you have to watch is your hoochiness. Just kinda...get hoochie. You don't have to, like, hoochify yourself to be beautiful." These are the moments I live for, you know? Hoochie, hoochiness, hoochify. I feel like we're conjugating. Dudes, let's get butt naked and hoochamos anoche.
Tyraism of the Week No. 3 - "You all did a very controversial photo shoot this week. During my modeling career, 98 percent of models smoked or had smoked before. So we're taking a stand on America's Next Top Model. This is a No. Smoking. Cycle. So many young girls are fans of America's Next Top Model and right now, so many young girls are fans of you. So if they see their idol puffing and smoking a cigarette, what does that make them think? 'Wow, she's smoking? That's cool.' So that's why smoking will be banned as of tomorrow. So if you want to smoke tonight, get your last puffs. And then it's over."
I look forward to the day that someone confronts Tyra with the actual definition of "controversial" because she's been misusing it for years (every time she says it she means "potentially controversial," as the chatter about whatever provocative stunt she's doing on Top Model isn't possible for, you know, months after the show's taped). I hope that moment is televised and, let's face it, there's a strong possibility that it will be. Also, 98 percent is rather specific for a number that she formulated by educated guess at best, but more likely just pulled out of her IBS-having ass. She continues to alienate the gay boys watching this show -- what, so it's OK for them to smoke, Ty Ty? They're going to hell anyway, right, why not get started smoking early? Finally, if there are girls out there who are idolizing the people they see on reality TV, that's about as big of a threat to the health of future generations as cigarettes, don't you think? Broaden your scope, Tyra.
Tyraism of the Week No. 4 -
I know it's typical and we've basically seen it before, but it just felt...unnatural to ignore it. Call it a Richism if you must.
1. Hey, what's up with Heather?
Huh? I can't hear you.
Sorry. Every time you get to the word "mild," my mind wanders to the realm of salsa and Thai food.
Tyra? Maybe you could shed some light?
Ah, so wise. Now, do you have any dookie-covered percentages to make you seem even more authoritative? No? Oh well, there's always a next time, which is actually a literal truth in this case -- count on them defining Asperger's at least once an episode until Heather's eliminated (which is probably just to say: at least once an episode for the rest of the cycle). Asperger's is totally the new go-sees!
And on that topic, there's some nasty bitches in that house, right?
Janet says, "Heather, I know she's kinda spacey and that's part of who she is and stuff...", while Kimberly opts for the even less humane, "I feel like she thinks, like, I'm a complete bitch, because she'll talk to me and I'm like, honestly, like, I really don't wanna listen. 'Cause I don't want her to, like, cling to me and be, like, I'm her go-to person."
Less humane, that is, in the sense that she's practically ramming my ass with all of her "likes." I'd get that checked out -- it could be a mild linguistic disorder.
Anyway, it's hard not to feel for Heather when you see this going on juxtaposed with heart-string-tugging shots of Heather with her stuffed monkey.
My take on this is that Heather probably is a pain in the ass to deal with, especially for the uninitiated and youthful (who are, let's face it, selfish by default). I think that Heather's probably getting an easy edit because those in charge are a bit older and wiser than the talent and they are thus capable of compassion. Uh...and, I uh, lost what my point was. Um, maybe it's that the girls in the house represent the bitchy bitches, while those behind the scenes are the fun bitches?
Anyway, I'm totally on Team Heather, even if she's annoying the cutting-room floor to pieces. But you know what I just can't get behind? The way she pronounces her affliction: "ahs-bergers." Not that I'm, like, surrounded by discourse on various behavioral syndromes or whatever, but I've never heard it said that way. It's so formal! It's as though Heather's awkward and socially inappropriate...but with her pinkies out! Anyway, my two minutes of Google research confirm that the general pronunciation is not "ahs" but "ass." I think Heather pronounces it the way she does so as not to invoke this sort of imagery:
But you know what? When she says it like "ahs-burgers," it just makes me think of "ass burgers" even more. Mmmm. Juicy ass burgers.
Of course, Victoria is disapproving about the entire matter.
Oh Victoria, calm down. Take a break. Eat an ass burger. If you don't, people will immediately not like you. Fact.
2. Speaking of asses...
I'm sure many will disagree with me, but Bianca's wildly insensitive behavior only makes me love her more. See, in the end, it turns out that the bitchy bitch is the fun bitch. They were one in the same, all along, like Mrs. Gulch and the Wicked Witch of the West.
That shot doesn't really have anything to do with what I'm saying. I just like looking at it.
I love that Bianca carries herself like, I don't know, Captain Spaulding from House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects or some biker whose misanthropic drunken antics entertain himself much more than anyone else.
Love love love how Dynasty the Bianca vs. Lisa started, all pursed lips and shit-eating grins.
You may say that Bianca's stripper comment to Lisa was below the belt. To that, I say: what belt? She's a stripper!
Ain't nobody claim you coherent, honey.
Love also that it all boiled down to, "You real lame, Lisa. You real lame." You won't catch that kind of lameness coming from Bianca. Even when she's making up...
...she's not. "I'm very strategic about everything. When I apologized to Lisa, it's not because I want to. It's because I wouldn't want what I said to Lisa to come up in panel and to be looked at by Tyra like putting people down." We've got a thinker on our hands!
Also, her voice sounds so much like Fantasia's, just less twangy. Bianca is the hood rat to Fantasia's country mouse.
Also? Her taste in hats is...questionable.
An obviously awesome person who goes by the name of Rosa M., emailed me to note how similar Bianca looks to Boober Fraggle, thanks to that hat.
Yes, indeed. And you know what? I like this comparison as much as I like the concept of Boober himself. I like the idea of a Muppet whose hat placement saves Jim Henson Studios money on big plastic eyes. Every little bit counts, you know? Go Boober!
And seriously, have you taken time out recently to contemplate the awesomeness of Boober?
I just can't get over the fact that he has no eyes. That's totally an affliction ANTM should jump on next cycle.
Bianca is so Boober, she fits right into a picture of the Fraggles.
See, can't even find her.
Hey, Victoria. What do you think? Is the whole childhood-reference-assisted-by-Photoshop thing too shticky? Am I getting tired?
Well, fuck you, too. At least I had a childhood.
3. Not to get all Bianca, buuuut...
You're a stripper, Lisa, not a slipper. Get it right, or don't get it at all.
4. So the whole going-green thing?
So dumb, right? I love how Jay explained that, "this cycle, Tyra wanted to pay special attention to the environment, so Top Model is going green!" This cycle. Way to turn social consciousness into a fashion show. Going green is in this season and that's all that matters even though, you know, without a permanent embrace environmentalism, we might not even have seasons. But whatever. Pay no mind to that.
And everyone's cool with the dioxins that were released to create the plastic plants uglying up the house and hitting us over the head with the green theme, right?
It's just like, after reading about the needlessly fabricated nature of her talk show (seriously, if people can't ask their own questions as they arise, Tyra is decidedly sub-Donahue), I just feel like this woman revels in artifice. At this point, she doesn't know a way other than constructed reality. I can't fault her for attempting to teach young girls (and no one else, obviously!) about planetary preservation, and I obviously feel home in the constructed reality she presents. But you know, as a viewer with a brain, I can't help but feel like it's all a big Sanctimonious Day Parade. The upside of that is all you gotta do is attach some strings to Tyra, toss her up in the air and you have your main-attraction falloon.
At least some of the girls are into it. The ball of insight that is Mila says, "I'm pretty supportive of the environmental kick, and it really is important just to be aware of, like, what keeps our earth good." It's sunshine, Sunshine! Jenah says, "Our sweet...ass...limo bus...I looooove it."
I think she loves it because she tried to smoke it. Seriously, how high does she sound? She's taking that whole go-green thing really seriously. Also, I love that when confronted at panel by Tyra who clearly knew that Jenah was a smoker, Jenah said, "I started quitting smoking the second I got back to the house." Oh, I know what that's like. One second can change your life. I started liking girls five minutes ago.
5. OK, so Chantal?
She definitely has grown on me the more I've seen her, but I cannot get over the asymmetry of her face. I couldn't believe that Nigel said that she was "so perfect." I guess in Nigel's reality, "so perfect" means lopsided.
Look at this:
It's a gif I made using two shots -- an unaltered screenshot and a second picture in which I move Chantal's eye. It looks like the frame I altered is the one where her eye is drooping, right? Wrong!
It's just how she looks. I really do think that she's pretty OK despite this, but isn't a symmetrical face like, bare minimum, what you need to be a model? Isn't it the most fundamental attribute of beauty? Everything else can be weird and fucked up as long as the face is symmetrical. Right?
And more on her eyes: I hate that in their critique of Chantal's shot, the judge referred her eyes as being "hooded."
I hate that because it reminds me of clitorises. It's not that I'm anti-clit, I just don't want them on people's faces, you know? I like my female genitalia in crotches and near arms, but nowhere else. Call it a quirk.
You have to "be careful of those kind of eyes." Too much stimulation and they'll twitch like a motherfucker.
Chantal must fall under that "debatable beauty" category Tyra bandies about. And so, instead of throwing a Pretty Party this cycle, the mid-recap break to reflect on all the grossness that passes as modelesque is being renamed to the Questionable Beauty Party. Tyra's going green, I'm going soft. Go figure.
Oh, and here it is:
Special shout-out goes to Bianca's hand!
It's as gnarled as her heart.
6. But I've saved the most questionable beauty for this item:
All right, so, I understand where Mila is coming from. She indeed looked totally ridiculous since that's what this show calls for. I can say that from my couch and laugh all I want. So even though I'm right there with her spiritually, I still think she's an idiot for doing this so openly because you know these people take their concepts So. Seriously. And you knew that they'd just misconstrue her laughter into some sort of breezy attitude about cancer.
And so, I'll carry that thread. Instead of an anti-smoking PSA, here are some alternate statements that Mia's laughing fit would be much more appropriate for:
What I mostly thought of when I looked at Mila, though, was...
Who wore it best? Seriously, Lisa's hair is crazy thin. And while I do understand her beauty a lot more than I did at first...
...(doesn't she look like Cycle 5's Kyle?)...
...I was not nearly as taken by this picture as the judges. She has buck fangs, for one thing. This America's Next Top Model, not America's Next Top Count Chocula. Or is it?
7. And speaking of WWIB...
...Jenah or Grandpa from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre?
What do you think, Victoria? One side-by-side comparison too much?
Oh, piss up a rope.
8. So, J's afro is going to get bigger for every girl who gets eliminated, right?
I expect the proportions of Gaymonn by the time all is said and done.
9. And speaking of Judges, we're just two episodes in, and I'm already over Twiggy, again. I can't believe she had the nerve to bust out, "The camera loves you" this early. I'm still getting over the last time she said it. And the time before that. And the one before that. You know I'm so pissed off about this shit that I'm not even going to dignify it with a screenshot of her.
Oh and also?
You aren't fooling anyone, "Dhaina." Or should I call you by your, uh, real fake name, Twiggy? I know you're trying to take over the world with a single catchphrase, but seriously, that is no kind of threat of a good time.
10. Here's a game similar to the Chantal one -- tell me which frame is real and which one I doctored?
The answer: they're both real. Duh.
But seriously, girl, you plus size. Can't be doing that. On the upside, she has a "beautiful face." That's such a standard thing to say about a plus-size girl that it's practically an insult at this point. It ultimately just means "fat ass."
11. Speaking of ass, here's Ebony's:
12. Did you know that Old Navy is the perfect place to find model basics? I didn't, but now I do, thanks to Benny Ninja!
I think that the glamorous corpse of Willi Ninja did at least one twirl, if not a dynamic, syncopated serious of them, in his grave upon hearing that. I mean, there's selling out and then there's turning your back on everything that's good and sensible in the world.
Have you ever seen people more excited for Old Navy?
And I love that when Saleisha was told that for winning the challenge, she'd get a $1,000 shopping spree at Old Navy, she could barely feign excitement.
Because that prize is really more of a burden. Shit is so cheap at Old Navy that it would probably take you hours to spend that kind of money. Seems exhausting. I'd just get $1,000 worth of white socks and be done with it.
But back to Benny: I do love him so.
"Basic? Basic's too basic." Truer words have never been spoken. His logic alone should buy him a permanent place on the panel. And when his time was up and he told the girls, "Hasta la vista, baby," you know he was quoting Jody Watley and not Terminator 2.
Oh and you know how last week, I figured that Tyra doing this is what you see before you die? Not so. It's this:
I find that so much more comforting, I can't even tell you.