My friends, I write this mini-recap with a heavy heart: My girl Katarzyna has been sent packing. Sure, I’m giving it away right off the bat, but anyone who watched the first five minutes of the episode could tell from the edit who was going home. Those five minutes featured more Kata than the rest of the season combined. I held out hope that maybe I’d be wrong, but alas, my favorite is not going to be America ‘s Next Top Model. Oh well, at least I got to see her in a cheesy gladiator outfit before she split.
Yes, a gladiator outfit. The remaining girls (Kata, Fatima, Whitney, Anya and Dominique) are given a brief lesson in throwing down gladiator-style, and then they’re immediately thrust into a mini-photo shoot, the idea of which is to maintain composure and elegance whilst pretending to beat the crap out of some big muscle-laden dude. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like just another Friday night to me.
And so the wannabe models thrust their swords high…or in some cases, attempt to. Anya is as Anya does, meaning she does great.
Katarzyna is a bit meh and lacks energy, but gets the job done. Whitney, looking like an extra from a particularly ambitious Poison video, rocks it and looks hot in her midriff-baring ensemble. You go, Plussie!
Fatima absolutely fails, all awkward angles and misdirected poses. I for one couldn’t be happier; after getting a "poor sick girl" edit for a few weeks, Fats is back to the "bitch" edit, talking smack about everyone else, belittling the competition (oh, excuse me — I mean, she has no competition).
Dominique decides to try something "different" and she absolutely succeeds by busting out some Karate Kid moves, waxing on and off to the bottom of the pile. The challenge winner is Whitney, who graciously takes Anya with her on a whirlwind shopping spree.
Then it’s off to a castle for the real photo shoot, the subject of which is … uh, Renaissance women who club on Sunset Boulevard. Sure, Tyra, whatever you say. Ultimately, this translates to the girls wearing wigs in desperate need of an Alberto VO5 hot oil treatment and striking "exaggerated" poses as Tyra photographs them.
First up is Katarzyna, and my feelings of dread regarding her fate are all but confirmed when she doesn’t deliver during the shoot. She simply doesn’t exaggerate enough to please Mama Tyra. I cry a little inside, but somehow I find the strength to continue watching.
Dominique, channeling Cruella DeVille, earns nothing but praise from everyone, including herself. It pains me to say it (no really, my fingers are cramping up as a form of rebellion and it hurts trying to type out these words), but … sigh … Dominique looked fantastic and had a great shoot. Don’t tell anyone I said that! I have a rep to protect.
Fatima also does a great job. Dammit! It looks like I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue. Whitney can’t recapture her gladiator magic and simply strikes yet another open-mouthed pose. Anya, once again, is awesome. Has the girl taken a bad photo yet?
I begin to brace myself for the inevitability of Katarzyna’s imminent departure. My middle finger is poised and ready to be thrust at my TV screen, I’ve got a "Noooooo!" on the tip of my tongue, and I’m already sporting a snarl of righteous indignation.
Then, during the commercial break, I see that Katarzyna has been voted Cover Girl of the Week, and I’m pleased — not just because she won, but because it tells me that there are middle fingers, people screaming "No!" and snarls at the ready all around the globe. I don’t feel so alone anymore — we are the world, indeed!
It’s panel time, most of which is spent talking about what a wonderful photographer Tyra is. Again, it pains me to say it, but she does have some skills. Paulina suggests that Tyra embark on a full-time photography career and allow her to take over ANTM, to which I say pretty please with sugar on top and sprinkles on top of that with four cherries and a rainbow on top of that.
Anya earns the praise of the judges, although Nigel says he isn’t impressed with her personality. This, of course, comes on the heels of Nigel gushing over Anya’s personality a couple of weeks ago, after she dazzled everyone at the 7Up party. Uh oh … the "no personality" edit is never a good sign. Watch your back, Anya!
Fatima also gets nothing but great comments. Well, she gets none from me because I can’t stand her. There, I said it.
Dominique looks like a hot mess as she stands before the judges, but … ugh … she looks fantastic in the photo — her best yet. Why? Why is she still here? Why did she do so well? Why must I pay her compliments? Is it Backwards Day and no one told me?
As expected, Katarzyna and Whitney end up in the bottom two. According to Tyra, Whitney’s personality and natural beauty don’t always translate in her photographs. It must be Backwards Day, because I find myself agreeing with Tyra. Whitney always looks fab at panel, but her pictures have never struck me as anything spectacular.
Tyra tells Kata that she’s been coasting and while she takes great pictures, she has no personality. You know, Tyra, it’s one thing to tell a contestant how to be more modelesque and how to take pictures, but it’s another to basically insult her. In fact, if you were watching carefully, you could pinpoint the exact moment when Katarzyna’s heart exploded. Good times!
For the third time, Whitney was given another chance to prove herself, while Katarzyna was given exactly zero chances and was sent home. At least Tyra finally pronounced the girl’s name correctly after all the weeks. Oh wait, no she didn’t.
So. Dominique is still in, and my girlfriend is gone. What’s up with that? Eh, I guess I shouldn’t expect logic from judges who seem to stress the idea of a "great personality" over modeling ability. Has anyone introduced Tyra to Naomi Campbell , by any chance? Nor should I expect a wise decision on an episode titled "We Are Spartans!" That’s a fancy title and all, but uh … the girls are in Rome, not Greece .
Farewell, Katarzyna, and thanks for the memories … the fond, fond memories.