“America’s Next Top Model” Recap (18.2): Mommie Careerist

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Welcome back!
Are you smizing? I’m smizing. An Amurrican (Seymone) won last week, so instead of properly sizing her up as competition, Laura is chanting U!S!A! U!S!A! Once again, Laura, I must remind you that you as a member of Team LezBiModel are representing all of us, so you need to stop that.

I don’t mind telling you guys: Between her behavior in the confessionals and her announcement last week that she likes to get drunk and get naked, I’m a little worried that Laura might have a touch of The Cray Cray.

Seymone won best photo over women who have a lot more modeling experience, so she’s happy. She’s also happy with a big box of clothes she seems to have won for the Americans.

The UK girls are hacked off about Seymone’s win, so they’re strategizing. Sophie is pissed that there were five Brits in the bottom last week – she feels that did not adequately reflect their talents. Sophie also notes that she came in second in her Britain’s Next Top Model cycle (they call them cycles over there too!), and she’s eager to crack the American market, so watch out.

On the other hand, it’s possible that the Brits are just on edge because some decorator put a teddy bear in their room that has “SMIZE” on its T-shirt. Whatever the cause, they’re forming an alliance, which, OK, it’s a good thought, but since Tyra already divided them up into teams is just the teeniest bit redundant. I’m also not entirely sure how you work to pick off the American models one by one when it all comes down to Tyra picking the one great shot out of 100 because she likes you or the one in mid-sneeze because you mentioned reading a book once and now she feels threatened.

Mariah (US) is Native American and – Uh-oh – knows some history. That is NO WAY to get ahead on this show, young lady! To make up for the unusual burst of historic perspective, Mariah has some interpretation issues. She blames the massacre of Native Americans on the British, since they’re the ones who came over and started grabbing land, and says she’ll take care of it if these new Brits “bring any drama.”

Mariah doesn’t seem to connect with the fact that the current members of the British team are current members of the British team because they are descendents of people who didn’t colonize America. On the other hand, some ANTM art director made Mariah dress up as Pocahontas and jump around on trampolines with a terrible John Lennon last week, so she pretty much gets a free pass to say whatever the hell she wants.

But there’s no time to think about history because…

Fake News Report!
The fake news says Tyra’s cell phone has been hacked and e-mails about this cycle makeovers have been leaked “worldwide.” Sophie is so psyched for makeovers that she’s jumping up and down. Me too!

Annaliese (UK) puts on her serious face gamely acts like hacking and distributing ANTM makeover spoiler e-mails is a real thing and only starts to lose it at the very end. Good for you, Annaliese. You’ll do fine as long as the judges don’t decide you’re funny. Then you’re screwed.

Anyway, we’re seeing a fascinating phenomenon at work here. You may be familiar with the Red Queen hypothesis of natural selection, named after the Red Queen’s statement in Through the Looking Glass that it takes all the running you can do just to stay in one place. (Yes, I know this is a Top Model recap. Stay with me!)

The general idea is that predators and prey are in a constant arms race. Birds evolve to see bugs better, so bugs develop the capability of burrowing into tree bark to hide, so birds develop ridiculously hard beaks to crack the tree bark, so bugs develop tactical nuclear weapons. (Eventually.)

I’ve noticed that this is happening (at a gradual, evolutionary pace) on Top Model. The producers know that models flipping out and crying during Makeover Week is their bread and butter, so they escalate the drastic hairdos. But the girls have figured out that whoever pitches a fit during Makeover Week is likely to get kicked off, so for several cycles now they have learned to steel themselves for weeks ahead of time, practice giving fake-cheery interviews about how they always wanted a mullet, and Spackle their tear ducts shut.

So now the producers try to find ways to make the models crack under the pre-makeover anxiety, such as releasing the plans for drastic hairbombs beforehand and making them wonder who will get the asymmetrical weave death sentence.

(Um, also, aren’t they just copying a prank from a few seasons cycles ago, when some of the models planted a fake makeover list in the house to spread hilarious panic and chaos? Fallen genius models of yesteryear, I salute you. And I hope you were compensated for the use of your intellectual property.)

Anyway, the list mentions dangerous new things like pink hair and half-shaved heads, and also things like “extra-long weave,” which is every season.

The Interviews While Wearing Concealing Headgear, a perennial favorite of Makeover Week, begin. Evidently the makeovers don’t work the same way across the pond, because Louise (UK) has already made the disastrous tactical error of saying the one thing she doesn’t want, which is to have her long hair cut off. Oh, Louise.

Mariah, wearing a magnificent Rhoda Morgenstern headscarf, says that long hair is part of her tradition and culture, so she’s not cool with getting it cut off. Whereupon they show a clip of Alisha (UK) in her confessional noting that Mariah is Native American, and saying that she doesn’t think they have Native Americans in Britain, or “if they do, they’re on the lowdown.” Hee.

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