Every cycle of ANTM could start like this: "Once upon a time, there was an egomaniac...
...who had a weird way of expressing her emotions...
...that sometimes involved aggressive hugging...
...and all around buffoonery...
It would have been hard to believe that this force of oafishness, cleavage and examples of how to do things properly that usually ended up in scowling was ever an actual person, except self-investment led her to regularly share relics of her past that proved her to be something that grew and didn't just angrily spring out of George Michael's head after a terrible migraine.
One morning, she looked out her window, strung four words together -- America's Next Top Model -- and then constructed a show around it. Much entertainment was had, mostly at its expense and rarely to its benefit. Its gift to the world was not a parade of top models, but schadenfreude and general amazement at the things people will do to get on and stay on TV, and that's not even mentioning the things they do in spite of themselves being on TV. These models may not look always look like models, but their insides are reliably freakish and gangly."
And that's that and that's fine and that's enough for a shrinking but still very loyal segment of the population. That is, besides the time when things went from funny ha-ha to funny short. But now we are upon a new frontier of importance in this frivolous show about a frivolous industry. This time, before the winner figures out that the end of the show in all likelihood means the end of the line (or, at least, the Tyra-assisted line), she will appear in the esteemed pages of Italian Vogue! It's a stunt right up that magazine's alley. The reason for this is simple: after bringing modeling to the masses (thus finally revealing what House of Style, the "Freedom '90" video, the Trinity and Sears catalogs were all about after we all spent years in the dark), Tyra has decided that the world is ready for high fashion, which basically means that funny-looking people perhaps with neurological and motor impairment get to feel beautiful.
It also means that Tyra's ass is on the line , because apparently the fashion industry has been reserving judgment for the past seven years in hope that this show will get its shit together. Very patient and understanding and not at all condescending, that fashion industry. Also, it's hanging on Tyra's every word, apparently. My mind is expanding as I type. It's getting to the point of damage because my brain is pressing against my skull. I'm feeling so editorial right now.
Basically, the hassles are the same and though the faces may have changed, the fluid that runs down them is fueling as ever:
Kayla tearfully recalled her past poverty: she slept in a sleeping bag until age 13 "'cause we didn't have any money." They had enough money for a sleeping bag, though. SPIN. And even if that sleeping bag was a donation, they were rich in what really matters: insulation.
I feel like her eyeball is so giant here because it helps make her whiter. Emily apparently wrote in her diary, "I almost got stuck rooming with a black girl. Ew." What kind of juvenile shit is that? Does she live down the street from Iggie's House? Once she was called out on this, she said, "It wasn’t against the black race! …I didn’t mean it like that, though, and I didn’t expect anybody to read it." Honky, please. For those who have seen Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, you'll know what I mean when I say this was ripped from the same page in Bullshit Excuses as, "Emerson, but you were gonna study! You said you were going to study!" For those of you who haven't seen Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, why haven't you seen Beyond the Valley of the Dolls? Why are you here and not watching Beyond the Valley of the Dolls?
Actually, that goes for people who have seen Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Isn't it time you watch it again? Let's all go watch.
The recap end.
"It hurts to know that people think I would be that way," said Emily when called out by Tyra on her shit. You know what modern development I hate? The bigot who thinks "bigot" is an insult. Own your shit, assholes. It's the only thing you've got.
Emily added, "I’m not racist. Somebody beside me who was black read it and got it completely wrong." WHY'S IT ALWAYS GOTTA BE BLACK PEOPLE NOT HAVING GOOD READING-COMPREHENSION SKILLS, HUH, EMILY?!!?
4. Linda Hunt
Actually, I don't know who the fuck this is, but the harsh natural light is doing her no favors.
Surprisingly, Vanessa (above, left) did not cry. She is a beauty queen, after all. Unsurprisingly, though, was the fact that she didn't make the first cut. Again: she is a beauty queen, after all.
I didn't pay too much attention to the finalists when they were announced preseason (that actually made this semifinals episode somewhat exciting!), but as soon as I saw this (and it was within the first few minutes of the show), I thought, "She doesn't stand a chance." I know this show well, and I know Tyra's prejudices even better.
Ew squared. May she suffer from a life plagued by different diversities.
She's either touched to be asked to stay, or someone put semen on her invite to the next round.
Really, can we talk about Kendal for a second and the fact that, "I don't like semen on my hand" is your new ringtone and will be till it's very, very old?
I am so pumped to watch this girl. She is positively batty. She actually said, "What the hell is Palm Springs?" and wondered upon entering her hotel room, "Is this real?" I love crazy old ladies under the age of 25. They will only get better and better. Kendal's future's so bright, she's gotta wear glaucoma.
At last, the hotness of Pvt. Jenette Vasquez is mainstream.
Her sleeve's so short to make room for the confusion she was wearing.
Kacey's confronting her with the personalized emotional weight of an under-appreciated Mariah Carey song, all, "I can't wait to hate you..."
I look at Terra and I feel like she's gonna substitute teach the shit out of of me.
If this girl doesn't turn out to be the new Shandi, I'm going to be the one who's crying.
Oh Jordan, look at it this way: not being picked to appear on a network show where shilling for a corporate sponsor provides the basis of many challenges and the grand fucking prize will make it much easier to stay anti-consumerism and -materialism. In an odd twist of fate, Tyra did you a favor that you neglected to do for yourself. How often does that happen?
Of course Terra was chosen to join her sister in the Top 14. After all, you can't have just one.
Ladies and gentlemen, I believe we have an Alasia-level crier.
I look forward to her innovations in face- and body-contorting, as well as her inevitable abuse of inanimate objects. She's got a messy, messy standard to live up to.
As far as Tyraisms go, the setup for the cycle quotes posted above are good, as is, "She lost her mind all the way into rightness for me" (Tyra has to believe that losing one's mind all the way into rightness is a thing that could happen -- otherwise, her entire shtick is invalidated). But for our current purposes, I'm more concerned about her losing her mind into scariness during the final name reveal when she acted like she was in some kind of Ken Mok-induced trance:
So warm and inviting! Who couldn't want to be at this woman's mercy for a few months? I guess at least you know that with the cameras around, she's less likely to push you into her oven after she lures you into her house made of candy and/or set you on fire with telekinesis after you spill the pig's blood on her.
The premiere/semifinals episode of ANTM is my favorite biannual freak show of the year. And this time they organized the freaks into categories!
(By that they mean they're hiding tails under their skirts and/or are elephant women, right?)
But really, the freaks came out to the extent where I was like...
...the entire show.
Rhianna's stupid hat...
...and classification as "alternative" (like she's fucking Kennedy or some shit) via editing? And how 'bout that Marry Brunner-level Manson-girl vibe (she is soooo not even up to Ouisch standards)?
And how 'bout that...
Or Jay Manuel's weird lie that went, "When she posed as the willow, she wore me out!"
Chelsey's strong resemblance to RuPaul's Drag Race contestant Nicole Paige Brooks?
And what about her myopia that led her to proclaim, "I feel like no one else looks like me. You know, I’m the only blonde with freckles, a gap in my teeth," when...
Lexie's familiarity with words like "disingenuous" and "contrived?"
The holy boobs of Esther?
She's doing as much as she can, religious-wise, she tells us.
Something tells me that having so much to work with tits-wise makes her religious-wise tasks terribly difficult.
She looks like Courtney Love having the most Robyn day of her life.
She also is about as coherent as Courtney Love:
Yeah, well, goal accomplished!
Although, if you would like her to seduce you, it can be arranged.
Her secret is onions.
The haggard return of Kacey?
So tired to see you!
It's less hip-hop than Saran Wrap.
(Though truth be told, I do love the idea of running into a room of strangers while shouting, "I wrote you a rap!" as a first impression.)
Cynthia Rowley's transition into Janice Dickinson?
The nerve of Kayla to make a wig out of sheets of dry Top Ramen noodles?
Actually, my reaction to this was less...
I just like to see noodles succeeding in unlikely areas...such as atop scalps.
The extremely broad, perhaps brilliant stereotype critique but more likely just very confused and problematic character that Chris does?
"Lemme lift the weave up, lemme hear," she says.
(Although I love the built-in drama of casting sisters that are not inevitably entangled twins. Their relationship already seems strange. If this season doesn't end in one of them threatening to withhold a relationship with her firstborn from the other one, this cycle will be a total failure.)
And finally, there is Ann.
Dear, sweet Ann, who looks like she raises rabbits and makes her own sausage.
But not her own bacon. She'd never make cat bacon, and that's what she just found out she's eating. That is why she is crestfallen in the picture above.
Oh, Ann. Ann with the eyebrows of Bert...
...and the figure of the pigeons that he so loves.
Ann, who keeps her hands near her face at all times, like a woodland creature. She is the definition of squirrely.
Or maybe she's just on a discarded skin and nails diet. It would, after all, explain the waist.
I fear that we're going to be watching this girl unravel this cycle. Already, she's had problems with girls talking about her -- Lexie said she was tall and Ann's response was, "It hurts." She's not fit for this shit and she's certainly not fit for reading about herself on the Internet. Ann, in the off chance that you are reading this, turn away now and seek happiness in your smoke room or the surrounding forest. Leave with the knowledge that at least one person who watches this show loves you very, very much. And keep your hands washed, girl. I don't want you getting acne.
What? It's a legitimate concern.
Anyway, that's enough of that.
OK, see ya later!