“America’s Next Top Model” Recap (18.11): Don’t Rub That Bottle

Hair and makeup!
The ladies meet Ben Bennett, the creative director and founder of Hatch Beauty. He’s the creator of Dream Come True, the America’s Next Top Model fragrance. Ooh, Ben! You misspelled “Hack Beauty.”

Ben says he’s a tough client. He says, for real, “Fragrance imagery, many people feel, is just as important as the fragrance itself.” Have we all taken a mild-to-medium dislike to Ben? Good.

Being the face of a product feels like a pressure situation to Annliese, even though we’ve heard that she’s a TV presenter one million billion times. Laura, in a pink bodysuit, is shown a million miles of tulle.

Sophie wonders if a Brit can win America’s Next Top Model. Of course you can, Sophie. It’s not American Next Top Model, it’s America’s Next Top Model. It doesn’t preclude you from winning. It just means that if you do win, we get to annex you.

Laura feels pressure to do well on the shoot because she sucked on the challenge. And she’s not necessarily feeling this shoot; Laura says she’s not a frilly pink princess. She says she’s not a Barbie doll, and in fact used to burn the heads of her Barbie dolls. She’s way out of her comfort zone. What will she do in a bottle in a frilly pink dress?

(One upside of this shoot: It made me think of the Pogues song “Bottle of Smoke,” which you should look up and enjoy immediately. The lyrics are too hilariously swear-filled to quote here, but it will cheer you up faster than almost anything. You’re welcome.)

Inside a Bottle!
Sophie fist-pumps and Ben tells her to show the joyfulness in her eyes. Sophie’s eyes are watching Laura, her strongest competition. There is wind in the bottle! Sophie claps and says it’s fun. Jay says she’s magical and pretty.

Laura is worried because Sophie is rocking her shoot. Ben says Sophie was good but repetitive.

Jay tells Annaliese to be light. Sophie says (again) that Annaliese is a presenter. Jay doesn’t see happy, and Jez doesn’t see excitement. It’s weird – all of Annaliese’s bubbly and vivacious traits somehow disappeared when they stuffed her into a bottle.

Annaliese is choking so hard a CPR mannequin drops by to check in on her. She can’t feel her dreams coming true, there inside the bottle. Annaliese is losing it and can’t seem to work past the block. Which is odd, what with the wise and soothing presence of Mr. Jay right there. “Are you seeing your dream in front of you?” he scolds in his snide pretending-to-help voice, “I mean, is this what you’d look like when your dream came true?” Annalies says no, and feels bad, which certainly helps her look happy and dreamy for the shoot.

Annaliese, pretty sure she’s blown it, says she’s just grateful to get this far. Ben likes her smile, but says she was stiff and took more than 200 shots.

Laura points out that her dream come true is not in a being stuck in a bottle in a floofy dress. Admit it: You could totally spend an evening hanging out with Laura.

Jay says Laura is getting too sexy, and to stay dreamy. Ben says Laura wasn’t joyous at the beginning. (DUDE, SHE WAS IN A BOTTLE.) Jay tells her Laura to be less sexy and more happy. Ben says joyousness was missing from a lot of what Laura was doing in the beginning. Bold words from a man whose apparent life goal is to find new levels of pissy.

Annaliese says that Laura could win because she takes great photos, but doesn’t know if she’s a good role model. Annaliese returns to last week’s silly, ungrounded theme and says Laura is too sexy. Actually, she says that throughout this competition, Laura has been “Sex, sex, sex, sex, and a little bit more sex.” (Really? How come it didn’t start making the edits until a week or two ago when someone suddenly decided they needed a storyline?) And then Annaliese makes a prune face. Buzz off, Annaliese. Hey, young ladies! It’s OK to choose role models who are upfront about the fact that they enjoy sex. Just make sure you choose the ones who are smart about it. Annaliese says that America’s Next Top Model might be slightly tainted like if Laura were chosen, which you only need to know because it means Annaliese said “taint.”

Jay says this shoot might knock Laura out of the final two.

Modelland East!
The TyraMail of Doom appears. Sophie says she was raised in the country with rabbits and sheep and worked hard to get to London. She’s happy to have 33% chance of winning. Annaliese says her shoot didn’t go well and hopes her challenge performance saves her. She earns a few redemption points by saying she wants girls to know you don’t have to be 5’10’’ and a beanpole to be a model.

Sophie says that Ben was quite a difficult client. And, let’s be honest, he’s probably a pill in general. Laura says she’s had a hard, whirlwind year, but it’s made her a better and stronger person. She says she can’t go home.

Tyra, judging by the slash in her outfit, has just been in a fencing match, but she showed up anyway. That’s some modeling moxie.

Laura is wearing an American flag headband and ratted hair and looks like she’s trying out for a part in a Poison video. Possibly as young Bret Michaels.

Does Tyra say the prizes in a longer way every week to make up for the time that is no longer filled by fallen models? Why is it so long? Tyra tries to make a silly fragrance joke, but instead ends up smelling her fingers just like Mary Katherine Gallagher.

Laura comes up and Tyra notes that she booked two go-sees. Then, showing some good fashion sense, Tyra says “Child, did you book them looking like this?” Laura says she’s being crazy. Correct.

Nigel says her shot looks gorgeous, ethereal, and feminine. LMoBMKC says Laura’s not what 18-year-olds want to look like, she’s what 50-year-olds who want to look like 25-year-olds would look like. What?

Tyra also loves it, but says Laura isn’t hitting the right demographic.

Annaliese booked three go-sees. LMoBMKC says Annaliese has come a long way and won her over. OK, good.

Nigel says she doesn’t look like a model. Why is there a rope in Annaliese’s bottle? Jez says she froze up and took too many frames. Oh, lord, LMoBMKC says Annaliese is too muscular. Tyra says same thing. God forbid Annaliese should look healthy and athletic. Normal people covet your arms, Annaliese. Don’t back down!

Jez says the shoot was made for Sophie. Nigel says Sophie doesn’t look beautiful, but the picture is. That’s some sort of logic puzzle trick statement and I refuse to fall for it. Because consistency means nothing here, LMoBMKC says “I’d like to see that dress up, like, ‘Ha!’ I’d like to see it up, like ‘I’m hot! I’m fun!’” Yes, fine. Young, joyous and ethereal, but lifting her dress up in hotness. Got it.

Time to deliberate! Two models will be in a fashion show for Forever 21. Ick. When you’re in that show, do you just walk out and point to the next catwalk over so people can see which designs Forever 21 will be ripping off? Also: If Eboni had made it this far and done the Forever 21 fashion show as “30-Never,” would she start aging backwards? Or would she finally relax into those two firm, nonconflicting commands?

Tyra says one girl will be eliminated and wonders if the final will be two Brits or an American and a Brit. I’m pretty sure that’s her way of showing Nigel that she can solve logic puzzles too. Dominance retained!

They say Laura is high-fashion, but a 17-year-old won’t like her photo. (And they know this how?) But that a teenager’s mom will want it. God, I hope not. They say Laura is young and fresh and a little rock and roll. Jez says she couldn’t drop sexiness.

Tyra gives us the following insight into age and life: “The 18-year-old wants to be 25. The 25-year-old wants to be 27. The 30-year-old girl wants to be…18!” Well, maybe, but only an emotionally stunted dingleberry. And what 25-year-old is yearning for 27? Is she that focused on her car insurance rates?

They say that Annaliese looks cataloguey. LMoBMKC says Annaliese taught her that a good headspace and good personality can take you a long way. I’m glad we’ve all learned something together.

They also say Sophie isn’t youthful. Whatfreakingever. Tyra says she’s a model.

Still at panel!
Three beautiful ladies stand before Tyra: Two British girls and one American! Are we all clear on that concept? I’ll hand around a chart.

First finalist:

She seems dazed and happy.

Laura and Annaliese step forward. The judges that Laura is different! But she was fired from a runway show in Toronto because of her walk. The judges wonder if she’s a one-trick pony and can’t be soft.

Annaliese was just a catalogue girl when she started out and has gotten better. She’s not tall, but she books! But is that just her personality? Who gives a rat if she books? Sorry, that last question might not have actually been in there.

Laura stays. We knew that. They call her a pirate again. I really want to see the missing footage that resulted in that nickname. Anyway, Team LezBiModel is still in the running! Yar!

Tyra warns Laura about her runway walk, then hugs Annaliese, says she underestimated her, and tells her to go after star-ness like crazy. Annaliese says she worked hard and surpassed expectations. She’s happy. She has a great attitude, and, as we’ve all learned this week, that goes a long way. Good luck, Annaliese!

Next week: The top two battle it out! They show Laura lying on the ground needing a medic. Oh, no! 

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