Another fall, another cycle of ANTM. But this time is different! Bringing me out of recap hiatus is the All-Stars angle of this cycle.
But it is a bittersweet return.
But about those personas:
These labels may have been "larger than life," but they were much more polite than the editing of the respective cycles. You could call Camille a diva, but I think we all know her role on Cycle 2:
So I've taken the time to revise all of these, going where the show is now apparently afraid to go (at least explicitly -- if Camille doesn't get the bitch edit, I'm sure people will be fired for not doing their jobs):
(This does seem like a harsh thing to say about someone who publicly struggled with addiction and clearly not at all in the name of opportunism on Celebrity Rehab, but again: I'm going with how the show characterized her...and quoting her former competitor Coryn).
(I know, she's had her "gender reassignment" -- we're talking about their past personas. God, can't you read? Also, let's take time to chortle over the euphemistic "confidence" they've slapped Isis with, which is the most ridiculous out of all of these because her persona on that cycle started and ended with her soon-to-be gone dick. Isis may be a wonderfully enchanting person in real life, and I certainly love that she's diversifying pop culture, just on principle, but come on.)
(BTW, did you see that Wanda Sue trended on Twitter last night? I considered that a triumph of the homemade spirit.)
Really, Kayla is the only one that had an apt description:
I'm surprised they didn't revise it to "Georgia O'Keeffe enthusiast" or "Petal stroker."
If they weren't categorized entirely correctly, the girls did seem more than happy to pick up the slack themselves.
Laura was so campy, that it's clear she's in it to win it.
All it took was some red extensions to have Bianca unable to deal. Is she part bull?
Shannon's arbitrary preference for skimpy bikini bottoms over fucking granny panties because that's underwear and she doesn't wear underwear for anyone except her husband, and even then it's hidden by a sheet...
...was absolutely amazing. Principle for the sake of principle! Let me guess, she's a french-fry vegan, too. I wonder to what extent she would take this principle. Would she wear ass-less chaps? Jeans with the crotch chewed out? Pasties as long as they were outdoor pasties?
Bre is not here to take criticism graciously:
...and as long in the tooth as ever.
But ya know what?
She can kick!
Ugh, and speaking of long in the tooth, some of these girls in their interviews were at Rock of Love levels of messiness.
It's not that they looked bad or even traditionally old -- it's that they look Botox-era old. Their facial skin is stretched so tightly over their bones, they look more like percussive instruments than walking clothes hangers. This is fine! It's OK for women to get older and be beautiful still! They just aren't models! I'm just trying to judge this show on the parameters it set out for itself! They could have given it a few more years and did Golden Girls: All Stars! The comedy level would have been comparable!
Oh, and this one:
No really, don't bother getting dressed up for us. She looks like a less stinky version of Johnny Depp.
A slightly less stinky version.
Not many gif-able Tyra moments were on this episode, although she did come with her ego blazing. Obviously, having girls show up under the guise of being cared about by the general public is a huge built-in ego-stroke. Because she's the one who's ostensibly responsible for presenting them to the people, people caring about them is really just people caring about her work. Her self-investment was never more apparent than in the opening skit, which featured her piss-poor characterizations of the girls (worse even than the namby pamby adjectives above to describe them):
Really, this was just an excuse to get her face five times on the same screen. I do buy that this is an accurate representation of Tyra's dream life, and that everyone is played by her in her own head. It makes you wonder why she didn't just use this entire cycle as an opportunity for a one-woman show.
She did have one really good Tyraism, though:
"The opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is indifference. When you have people that love you, and when you have people that hate you, that is the definition of a true star. But what you want to do is maybe get a little more on the love side, but hold on to your fire." Spoken like a true egomaniac who believes there is no greater virtue than attention! Actually, Tyra, the opposite of love is hate. And if it weren't, and we go by her logic, what she is saying is that:
- The opposite of love is indifference.
- The opposite of indifference is true stardom.
- Thus, the way to achieve love is by being a celebrity.
I mean, as much as I find it hard to believe that celebrity does anything but make you feel completely paranoid and unworthy, she's the expert. She certainly will do anything for an eyeball. Regardless, this seems like a terrible, terrible message for the kids. I guess they all want to be famous anyway, and maybe love is evolving along with us humans, and so what will ultimately matter more is quantity and not quality, but god, that makes me weep for the future.
This was said, by the way, to Alexandria, whom Tyra kept because she divided the crowd at the live elimination ceremony.
It was this guy that said this shit, right?
"I hate her, even though I love her, I hate her too," he said. Tyra quoted this, as though it were constructive criticism. I guess for your reality show it is, but aren't you supposed to pretend like you aren't planting love-to-hates in your cast as a ploy for viewership? And polarity really doesn't make a star, but it certainly does make a reality star. Again: fun house mirror of a fun house mirror of a fun house mirror.
I hate hate hate that Brittany went home first, though, because the crowd said when polled, according to Tyra, "I somewhat remember her," or, "I don't remember her." Maybe they're all brain dead from watching too much America's Next Top Model? Like, really, you're going to place decisions in the hands of your reality show audience? Why don't you just start opening asylums so you can hand them over to the crazies? Imagine the fireworks! Bring a camera and film it! Instant show!
Also, Brittany is awesome and gorgeous and would have been so much fun on this show. She was robbed before, and she got robbed harder this time. It's a crock of shit. I hope she realizes she's too good for it.
As far as the other judges, such as this one...
I don't know what he's serving. Paul Reiser? Creepy 6th grade substitute? Aspiring bridge and tunnel-er? Regardless, the fresh locks won't make Nigelistic standards like, "The camera loves her," and "It's all wrong, but it's the right amount of wrong," sound new. I'm onto you, Pubes.
Is Andre Leon Talley decomposing or is that just his soul leaving his body? Also, what the fuck? Isis is "the new mermaid"?
New because she has legs? Does that make Laura the new tadpole?
Lisa is "a little too Girls Gone Wild"?
Has he ever seen Girls Gone Wild? Because it doesn't look like that. I'd watch a lot more of it if it did.
Bianca's shot is "too vintage" because he's feeling "Foxy Brown"? Which Foxy Brown? The rapper? The Pam Grier character? This weird Sims avatar for furries?
Oh, but I thought Nicki Minaj did well! I mean, really, she could use some of her own advice and the advice of this show (I can't believe I'm endorsing that) because I'd say three out of four editorial shots of her that I've seen are fucking hideous and a total mockery of the concept of aesthetic standards...
...but she definitely knew the show (criticizing shoulder hunches, requesting a leg extension, saying she'd stop on a page if the picture she was critiquing was in a magazine, proclaiming, "I know what's standing in front of me is beautiful," "I don't believe you in this picture," etc.). This woman routinely irritates the pants off of me, and that she didn't at all this time says a lot. Nicely played, Nicki. More of that, please.
What else? Some snappy answers to some stupid sentences:
Bianca: "She peed in a diaper. Is this somebody that I want to be associated with?" You mocked a girl with Asperger's. Is that somebody society wants to be associated with?
Kayla: "I feel like when I walked in the house, a lot of people didn't recognize who I was because on the show, I had bright red hair, short red bangs..." Also, because no one watched Cycle 15.
Tyra: "We're looking for that extra special something." I bet Isis is PISSED that she got her reassignment surgery.
Just kidding! Everyone's very proud of Isis and invested in her journey. Still, I was kind of surprised at how good she looked as a guy:
I like this screen shot:
Allison is a vision of beauty:
I think this feather is unprofessional:
Oh, I'll keep a Crying Count this time, but I won't necessarily do commentary for it because that's tedious:
So yeah, this show was fine. I guess I'll keep writing about it, but I probably won't turn my recaps around as quickly as I did this one. We'll see. This gif kind of charts my reaction to the episode over its course:
I'm a little fearful of getting so deep into this shit again...
But this is going to happen...
...so that's promising. Sticking around for now!