“America’s Next Top Model” Recap (18.9): A Caterpillar of Her Community

Credits! Plane! Macau! That was fast!

We see the traditional shot of the models waving from a cartoon plane. It’s pretty cute. I’ll be honest: We rush around a lot in this episode and a lot gets done, but other than the scenery, none of it is very interesting. Still, they’re in Macau! Alisha is happy and Laura feels blessed. All the models feel appropriately psyched and grateful about getting to go to such an amazing place and gawk out the windows of their little van like they should.

Laura mentions wanting to be an example for her alcoholic parents. Eboni says she had a rough childhood and lived in he grandmother’s attic. She got a full scholarship to the University of Washington and put it on hold to do Top Model. Let’s all take a moment to not judge that choice. Oh, hell, she’s 18. Do it now, Eboni. There’s plenty of time for sober decision making later in life.

Lest we think Eboni is the only one who has had to bust her hump, Sophie says she has worked hard as a model, waitress, and hostess to support herself, and she’s glad she did. So there.

The MGM Macau hotel!
Dang, this place is pretty amazing. The models are welcomed with drums! And dragons! And, wait, Vegas showgirl/Brazilian Carnivale dancers? OK, fine. At some point, the models are made to put on hilarious showgirl headdresses.

A very slick singer sings their welcome to Macau, and then we discover that Mister Jay is here and speaks Cantonese! He says, “Welcome to Macau!” Then we hear from some very nice executives from the hotel and from the Macau tourism board. I hope the models get welcomed to Macau again. Hey, wait, they do!

The models go to their nuttastic hotel room. Their photos are in it! And also one million photos of Tyra to break things up. I want to harrumph at the models for jumping on the beds, but I can’t – it looks like an excellent idea. The models note that ten people could take a shower in their stall at a time (Fingers crossed!) and then Annaliese asks if anyone has “established” the view. The models are appropriately wowed.

Annaliese is boggled that she’s still in it the competition and mentions – You fool! – that at home she’s more of a TV presenter. Somewhere, Legendary PR Maven Kelly Cutrone pulls the knitting needle out of her neck and sits straight up.

There is a pointless fight that we’re supposed to think is drama between the Brits, but is clearly entirely the result of everyone just having spent 15 hours on a plane and being massively cranky. Apparently Sophie messed with Alisha’s stuff and dropped a dress on the floor because she had dressed up as Alisha and left it there? Or something? Sophie creeps around in a bathrobe in the next room, listening. Alisha keeps talking and Sophiegate goes on for forever. Annaliese says Alisha gets on her high horse sometimes and thinks she’s in charge. Everyone is making Airplane Crankyface. We should let this go.

Tyra Mail!
“Your FACE is your fortune. Can you change your destiny? Fierce and love, Tyra”

The models walk into the Chee Hon Monastery. For a moment I am extremely concerned about who they will be bothering and worry that they will be forcing Buddhist monks to tooch.

But no, Miss J. is there! And also Clement Chan, a Chinese Astrologer. Miss J. counts off as Chan lists the five elements of Chinese astrology: Fire, Wood, Water, Earth, and Metal. I’m hoping that the models will either be made up as or forced to burst through each of these elements, but no such luck.

Instead, each model gets her horoscope done and her face and aura read. The models are sitting right there, but apparently Chan reads their auras by looking at their pictures. It’s… It’s super boring, you guys. We hear which element each model is, but not what that is supposed to mean. And we hear what colors some of them “need.”

And then Chan does what looks a lot like a skilled cold reading from a psychic at a carnival – lots of very general stuff (Laura is emotional, but tries to be strong!) that was maybe just a leeetle bit helped by the producers (Alisha is close to her mom and misses her!).

Alisha is blown away and J. says it’s scary. Alisha may have to make work/family sacrifices! She needs black, gray, and blue! Also, she will meet her true love riding on the back of a wild boar. Sorry, just trying to liven things up. Alisha’s element is cut. We will never know it.

Laura is metal and needs water. And, presumably, and oil can. Sophie is destined to be famous, but people might be jealous. She needs fire. Catherine needs wood. Do NOT order them on the same Room Service tray!

Annaliese is an entertainer, the class clown, likes to talk, and she is wood. Whoa, Catherine needs her! Eboni is – wait for it – youthful. Wow, the producers are monsters sometimes. Chan says her childhood was a mess, but things will get better for her family.

Now that they know what they need, it’s time to create a whole new aura and rejigger their luck and fortune …with Cover Girl makeup! Because makeup can and should do that! And, wow, they’re really going for it. Apparently a skilled enough makeup job changes your inner being and your very destiny. Well. I certainly misspent that adolescence.

The models dive into racks of what seems to be scarf-based clothing. Laura goes with a less-is-more approach and Sophie acknowledges that Laura is her toughest competition. (Team LezBiModel does not play around this cycle. It does not care for butt enhancers, but it does not play around.) Sophie wants the final two to be her and Laura battling it out.

One of the Brits (I think Sophie?) paws through the makeup and asks “Is this all Cover Girl?” and then, apparently to make up for the tone of voice in which that question was asked, remarks on how good the lip gloss tastes.

Catherine can’t figure out “how you’re supposed to wear these stupid little scarf things,” and it’s true, they don’t seem to have been given much of a tutorial.

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