“America’s Next Top Model” Recap (18.10): Kung Fu Crying


Alisha, whom I am really disliking this week, interviews that Laura saying she wouldn’t mind sleeping with Nicholas is the exact same thing as saying she would sleep with him to get ahead, which it is not, and then says that Laura is a slag, which is British for slut. Alisha gets a penalty flag and a loss of 30 goodwill points for slut-shaming and false accusations. Ugh. 

Annaliese, in an interview, says “We still know you as over-the-top sexual Laura who orgasms on photo shoots. Seems a bit fishy.” And then she makes a Force 10 purse-lipped bitchface. All the Brit girls I know are fun and relaxed about sex. Whence in England did this Carnival of Prudery come from? 

Eboni says she was joking and she’s sorry if Laura was offended. And then she pulls up the covers and makes likes she’s going back to sleep to stop the fight, which is a reasonably good tactic. Laura stomps off and Eboni points out that Laura has called her a bitch and she didn’t care. (Except for the part where she was obsessing over it.) 

Eboni says she’s stressed. Laura angrily drinks tea. Sophie says there can only be one winner and the pressure is mounting like a Jack-in-the-box and then makes a little “Bew!” noise and hand gesture that indicates that her childhood Jack-in-the-boxes a) were adorable and b) exploded. 


“Only the early risers make it to the top! Fierce and Love, Tyra” 

Once again, we are given vague false hopes about the models having to deal with worms. At some very early hour (There’s a caption, but it’s cut off if you don’t have a widescreen TV.), wardrobe stylist Anita Patrickson breaks into Modelland East and announces that it’s time for hair and makeup, which is already being set up. Sophie mentions that it’s a startling way to be awakened. Just in case you forgot that this show is cruel. 

Laura, in an astonishingly poor choice of words, notes that the other models can see how much she’s “lusting” for the Top Model crown. She says she can deal with the other girls bitching and still rock. 

A very tall tower!

The model bus pulls up and Alisha says she is not cool with where she was going, and that she does not do heights. We see a shot that is either Annaliese in stark terror or massively yawning. Jay Manuel is here! He notes that he knows that some of the models are afraid of heights because of the CN Tower in Toronto during Week 5. Never show Jay your weakness, models! It’s like inviting an orange vampire into the house. Jay admits that he lied in Toronto, and that he only meant they weren’t going to do a height photo shoot right then, but now they are. Wow, this is like Chekov’s rule of modeling: If someone pulls a giant tower out of a desk in the first act, you’d better be dangling a terrified model off it by the third. 

Jay, just to be a dick, tells them they’ll be 764 feet above the ground. It’s the home of the highest bungee jump in the world. Jay tells them they’ll be in harnesses with Nigel Barker. Oh, don’t get all huffy, Brit prudes, he means safety harnesses, dangling outside. It’s raining and windy. Nigel seems perfectly happy, but Sophie is so nervous she’s crying a little as she describes the weather conditions. She doesn’t know if she can do this. 

Laura looks happy about this one and interviews that she loves heights and thrill-seeking. Jesus, Laura, why don’t you just record a selection of titillating nouns and verbs for the producers to cut together and call it a day. Sophie is scheduled to go first, because it’s better television if they don’t give her time to compose herself. She hates flying, roller coasters, and this. Anita Patrickson advises her to look out, not down. 

Nigel tells the models that they will be representing the strength and the power of Macau. Fine. I’ll be representing the speed and agility of Los Angeles. Nigel wants Sophie to go first, and Sophie thinks she needs some time to calm the hell down. Nigel asks for a volunteer, and Laura says she’ll go out. “Damn straight, the world needs to see Zagalicious.” Oh, Laura. 

Sophie snaps out of it. She thinks Laura is her toughest competition, and knows that she shouldn’t let Laura get a leg up, even if she’s a friend. She also knows that at 21, she doesn’t have many years left to get in with New York modeling agents. She pulls it together, puts on her sweetest voice, and tells Nigel she can go first after all because she doesn’t want to delay things. Damn, Sophie. Good girl. Nigel says it’s raining out there anyway, so what are a few tears? 

Sophie gets into her harness as Laura looks on, mildly pissed. Sophie shuffle-steps out to her mark and then gets help turning around. Jay, because he is a dick, asks Sophie to pose without holding onto her safety line and then makes his “Oh, dear” face. Alisha watches Sophie and tries to play it cool even though she’s freaking out too. 

Sophie loosens her pose a bit, and Jay says she got some good shots. She shuffles back to Nigel and he gives her a big hug as she bursts into tears. Sophie goes inside to get warm and says it’s the hardest thing she’s ever had to do. Annaliese says “The thing is, I’m not scared of actual heights, I’m scared of falling from a height.” She hates the wind in this context. 

OK, so all three Brits are afraid of falling and two of them are vocally uncomfortable with people saying they enjoy sex. If we can get Sophie to get all uptight on us, we may have Britain’s Next Top Metaphor on our hands.

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