Take a good look at what you're leaving behind, ANTM.
And keep looking:
What a travesty. Go ahead, and extinguish your spark, ANTM, as though you're trying to show us exactly what a whole lot of ball of fire with no flame (NotBeyoncéBianca's reading of Lisa last week) looks like. My heart feels like napalm. This is NotBeyoncéBianca's legacy.
Beyond her impressive ability to be a one-woman bitch factory while remaining a lady, beyond her glorious quotes ("Call me when you become an all-star!" and "Christmastime arrived and we're back in the summer!" were but two of her spontaneous flirtations with living, breathing poetry in this episode), what pisses me off about losing NotBeyoncéBianca this episode is that her picture was gorgeous!
In her Snooki-inspired getup, Kayla reminded me of the pictures of Madonna from Sex/footage in the "Erotica" video from when she's on the beach with Vanilla Ice and/or Big Daddy Kane and Naomi Campbell crossed with Madonna in Truth or Dare when she has her hair in kind of a beehive with a flower in it and she talks about how Warren Beatty bought her this Hermes (or whatever) attaché because she gets what she wants, snap.
Those are, like, Madonna's two best-looking moments and no one appreciated it. This show just ruined my childhood.
Bianca's main contribution, though, was her criticism of this show within the show, which was impressively allowed to repeatedly make it to air (usually "this competition" is about as far as people are allowed to go on ANTM to discuss the circus in which they've enlisted). Thank god there's Alexandria (four words I never expected to type), who precisely pointed out how horribly hypocritical it was to make the girls portray either Snooki or NeNe Leakes in this week's photo shoot:
EXACTLY. I'm so glad this show has become its own fourth estate. It makes my job easier. ("Job.") I can really just allow my brain to liquefy the way it wants to instead of fighting that process every damn step of the way. Finally!
It's really crazy that the show would allow the criticism from within, especially without any good rebuttal. Tyra didn't say at the end, "When I was starting out, all I had was my large forehead, incidentally a flaw not unlike the social ones of the Louds. Just past my fivehead, 'It wasn't not funny!!!' was playing through it on a loop, providing inspiration and fueling my simultaneous fierce and love." Nope. Nothing. The show presented a dumb idea, Alexandria called it out and yep, it was really dumb!
I love that Jay introduced it by saying, "You know, there's this whole new breed of reality stars that are known for their over-the-top personalities..." and I double love that he had his leg daintily crossed behind the other while he said this:
Where the hell is America's Next Top Dandy already (besides, you know, staring at us every week?).
Also, "this whole new breed?" Seriously, Jay? You believe that enough not to be like, "No, give me something better to say"? This show has thrived on over-the-top personalities since it started (helluh!). Has not been paying attention? It's just his job and all. No need to invest anything into it.
Whatever, perhaps media analysis/the most surface-level of observations are not Jay's function. At least we can always count on him to let us know that tonight's shoot is a night shoot.
Also, he's now America's Next Top advisor. My favorite directive America's Next Top Model has ever given an aspiring model?
"Not too modely!"
Yes. Yes indeed. Not too modely at all.
You know, I'm not fan of hand wringers who complain about exploitation and negative portrayals of people on reality TV, because those arguments are rarely informed by discussions with people on reality TV (not to swing around a trump card like it's my dick, but I on the other hand, have had hundreds of such discussions at this point). They frequently assume that 1) people on TV are too dumb to understand what they're getting into and 2) that people watching TV are too dumb to understand that they're watching isn't a true representation of anything but a team's sense of what will entertain people. I don't like the assumption that large groups of people are dumb (admittedly, this leaves me very disappointed much of the time).
That said, watching a bunch of white girls wag their fingers and necks around in a way that's kind of just modern day blackface in order to portray NeNe Leakes (STOP CALLING HER "NAY NAY," EVERYONE, BY THE WAY)…
…makes me tempted to rethink everything. I won't, though. (Can't: liquefying.)
As far as awareness goes, though, I think Lisa may have the best grasp on how to win this thing? Certainly, her picture kicked ass and considering how banged-up she frequently appears, I was happy about this. Triumph of the underdog!
She's also outrageously enthusiastic about this show that Tyra Mai is still a thrill…
You want fierce and love embodied simultaneously? There you go.
Finally, she splashes in bathtubs to sell perfume and that is what this competition is all about.
Yep. I definitely want whatever that smells like.
I'm kidding about the last item. It was a risk that paid off, as Nigel and Eva (Always-Pigford) totally could have been like, "She's just not taking this fake perfume shilling seriously!" But I think to spite NotBeyoncéBianca's resistance to this challenge...
...they awarded the girl most willing to act like a toddler who hasn't yet lost her baby legs.
By the way, the only thing that could make Eva look more Total Recall at this point would be a third breast.
(Fine, she's more The Fifth Element, but how could I pass up the opportunity to make that joke, even if the association was looser than we'd all prefer? The third boob has haunted my life since I saw it on the big screen 21 years ago!)
Keep in mind that Allison, too, did not don a bathing suit or lounge in the tub to sell her Honey Blood. But as long as she's doing stuff like this…
…I'm sure no one sees a problem.
Honey Blood. It sounds like something Kissyfur's newly menstruating sister would pine for, having just recently grown out of Electric Youth.
Also, can we talk about how Shannon thinks "smitten" means "pure?" I feel like Shannon's hymen, instead of breaking, retreated to her brain and it's stretched around the whole damn thing so tightly. Nothing gets in. Nothing.
I really liked when Nigel was giving Kayla a talking-to about stepping up the promo for Nethermusk (oh sorry, I mean, Free) and she was like, "You want me to pose free?" And then she did this:
Very Tyra of her, which is to say, very buffoonish and not at all evocative of what she's going for. Kayla's also someone who's really good at this show – tragically good, even.
Annnnd dismount (...your strap-on).
I think Nigel was drunk at that event, too. "Am I smitten? Am I head over heels? Am I blind in love?" How the fuck should we know?
That, apparently, is how the fuck we should know.
(Thank god, or there mighta been a lawsuit.)
Also, I believed Kathy Griffin when she said she was blacked out during panel.
She looks more pickled than Snooki, and I mean that in all ways possible!
(Just cuz it's kind of related.)
I sincerely hope that she requested that title as a joke. Otherwise, the powers that be might as well have just written, "Women are not funny" in her chyron.
Also, she wasn't that funny. I mean, I'm no big fan of Kathy Griffin, so I wouldn't think so anyway (although I don't dislike her as much as I once thought I did). The whole, "Tyra's fired because she doesn't have it anymore" thing that opened panel was just kind of half a joke, half career aspiration. She would have impressed me more if she just did played the Tyra-welcomes-the-girls-to-judging character straight. I mean come on, we all know the judges! Frankly, I think Kathy was much funnier on RuPaul's Drag Race annnnd, I love that she's the second RDR judge to make her ANTM judging debut after the fact (La Toya was No.1 for the first time in her life). Sloppy seconds all over again. Who runs the world? Ru.
Angelea continues to be an angel sent from heaven with barbecue sauce under her wings.
"Ooh, she just called me Tyra. Haaaaay!!!"
Damn it, I like her.
Speaking of things I like, Laura talks like an Olsen twin...
…not of the Elizabeth and James era, but more of the "You got it dude!" era.
Bianca wore a turban…
…like Gloria Fucking Swanson.
(It's in my code of ethics to reference Soapdish whenever a person with no discernible cultural binding to turbans wears one, FYI.)
(He's looking better with age! But then, I'm always saying that. I guess it's also in my code of ethics to comment on Mike Rosenthal as though he is a family member and also to talk about his increasing hotness. You may be then surprised to find out that incest is not in my code of ethics!)
This dude's name is Ben Bennett:
I wonder how intimate you must get with him in order to call him Ben-Ben.
I was going to do a big search to refute Bianca's claims about celebrities never posing in bathtubs (as much as I respected her for thinking outside the box, or in this case, tub), and I found this shot of Beyoncé in a tub in a field…
…and then noticed that it was coming from another recap of this episode at iVillage, which features pictures of Rihanna and the imperially candid Courtney Love in bathtubs. Sometimes I fret about my time-consuming work process slowing me down to the point of Internet irrelevance in this day and age, but in this case, I am happy that someone already did the legwork to refute the defiant words of a person on reality TV. Being late sometimes feels pretty good!
What else? Some criers:
And, in a wild turn of events, three (count 'em three) Tyraisms of the week!
Tyraism of the Week No. 1
(On Angelea's above-posted photo) "Looking into the distance and smizing into the horizon."
This is the prettiest gibberish I've ever heard. Internal half-rhyme slays me.
Tyraism of the Week No. 2
"You're not Beyoncé, Bianca. [I will never get tired of listening to her say this!!!] You're trying to get somewhere. If I was you, and that was the assignment, I would do it and I would do it and try to…win."
From poetess to someone who's grasping to convey that which has defined her every public move at this point: teeth-gnashing determination. God, this woman is a linguistic roller coaster. (Also, I think, verrrrrrry tired.)
Tyraism of the Week No. 3
"Don't forget where you came from Shannon, 'cause it was such a strong place. You were a runner up, Cycle 1, and it was for a reason."
Point taken. Someone has to take this show seriously since even the contestants are, like, laughing in its face at that point. But you know, in retrospect the aforementioned reason seems to be that she looked like Ke$ha before Ke$ha was Ke$ha. And also because of Shannon's hymen. Shannon has always modeled from within. She models from H to H. She smymens.