This week’s episode of America’s Next Top Model, "Ready for My Close-up," was so intense and fierce it really separated the girls from the women … or should I say the men from the women? Yes, it was time to say goodbye to America ‘s Next Top Drag Queen, as Dominique got the boot.
Whoa whoa whoa. It seems I’ve got to check myself before I wreck myself! First of all, the only reason I know that this week’s episode was "intense" and "fierce" is because all of the models kept telling me it was. They kept insisting things were heating up, but I found myself remaining decidedly room-temperature throughout the hour.
I’m not sure if it’s due to the fact that my girlfriends Claire and Katarzyna are now but fading memories, but I just … well, I hate to say it but I just don’t care anymore. I’m not particularly rooting for anyone (well, maybe Anya), and I feel a bit "meh" about the whole affair. My ANTM life no longer has meaning!
The Final Four (Anya, Dominique, Whitney and Fatima) really went on the attack this week, talking smack about each other (and themselves) virtually nonstop. Fatima insists that she came to America’s Next Top Model with a "mission," and said mission is "to win." Geez, I wonder why all those other girls applied to the show? Call me crazy, but I think there’s a chance that maybe some of them have the same mission. Except for that one confused girl who kept insisting that her mission is "to save lives" — the poor thing thinks she auditioned for America’s Next Top Cancer Researcher.
The point is, Fatima and Dominique each claim that the other has no idea what she’s doing, everyone is tired of Dominique’s incessant talking and late-night candy habits (Quote of the Week: "Ooh, candy corns!"), they’re all in it to win it, blah blah blah.
Whitney gets a major chunk of screen time early on, which has me thinking she’ll be packing her bags … as she moved on to the final three, however, this major chunk of screen time now has me thinking that Whitney will win the whole thing.
The girls come home to find pictures of Saleisha, last cycle’s winner, plastered all over the place. Seriously, everywhere they turned there was another giant picture of Tootie on the wall. It was as if suddenly the girls had stumbled into Edna’s Edibles or something.
Tyra Mail arrives, and I was delighted — delighted, I say — to watch them all try to figure out its meaning. Without Katarzyna’s brains cluing them in, the final four just stood there staring at the paper until Dominique got a headache and they gave up.
The first challenge finds the girls going behind the camera: in a positively devilish twist, the hunter becomes the hunted as seven strangers are trapped on an island, each in a battle for her very survival when a giant, experimental shark-ape hybrid is let loose and goes on a rampage of hate and destruction — uh, wait. Sorry, that was a dream I had after a Sci-Fi Channel binge. Where was I? Ooh, candy corns!
Oh, I got it! For the first challenge, the models become photographers so they know what life is like on the other side of the lens. In theory it makes sense, but in practice, not so much. The girls take photographs of supermodel/can you believe she married that dude from the Cars/ANTM judge Paulina Porizkova, who’s a really great sport about the whole thing, given that she spends a majority of the time being told to frolic and interact with foliage.
Dominique and Anya fail (they’ve got no vision and they’re unfocused) while Whitney and Fats clean up (they give great direction and take control), but Fatima wins, earning 50 extra frames in her upcoming photo shoot as the prize.
Regardless, Dominique reminds the girls that she’s like Superwoman because of her complete faith in herself … and she reminds them … and reminds them until Anya literally melts from boredom. I remain delighted.
It’s on to the photo shoot, where ANTM judge and "noted fashion photographer" Nigel Barker will snap the girls as they pose with a male model and pretend to be snapped by a pesky paparazzo.
Sounds easy enough, yes? The assignment requires a bit of acting to go with the posing, the ability to convey "Oh, you pesky paparazzo, why must you be so … pesky?" in a photograph. Despite the fact that the girls all look great in their 1940s starlet-inspired getups, however, each and every one of the final four fails miserably.
Fatima claims that because she’s never had a boyfriend she can’t … uh … stand next to a boy, I guess. The assignment isn’t to go on a date or have a baby or file joint income taxes, the assignment is to pose with a male model. Sorry, Fats, your "never had a boyfriend" excuse doesn’t hold water; even Lea DeLaria could do this.
Even though Anya is channeling some serious Blonde Ambition-era Madonna, she can’t get the job done … or can she? The judges claim that her photo is really just a "lucky accident," but it’s effing gorgeous.
Poor Dominique. Seriously, they put so much friggin’ makeup on her that she could have stunt doubled for Mimi on the Drew Carey Show, and then they wonder why she looks like a drag queen?
Still, makeup or no makeup, she couldn’t grasp the concept of the photo shoot, and her session was entirely made up of FAIL, as was Whitney’s.
At panel, the girls are all told how much they suck while Tyra manages to mention, yet again — in case we weren’t paying attention last week — how awesome her photography is. Whitney and Fatima get "this is pretty but also pretty boring," Anya gets told to focus more, and Dominique … oh, Dominique.
Dominque’s personal fashion choices get ripped to shreds. The biggest compliment she gets on this week’s photo is that she looks like "a beautiful tranny." Miss Jaye says she’d make a great Cover Girl because Cover Girl makeup "covers up the man in you." Sadly, Dominique’s Cinderfella story ends here, and she’s homeward bound.
There’s a life lesson here somewhere: Tell your loved ones you love them! Tell your friends they’re the knees! Hug your dog! See, only now that Dominique is gone do I realize how much I’ll miss her. I’ll miss her "high fashion" self, the way she talks about herself in the third person, her madcap hair and her missing tooth.
Say what you will, the girl took some heavy hits from panel: Not everyone would respond to constantly being called a "tranny" with a smile. Some might find it insulting. Some might end up with hurt feelings … but those some are not Superwoman. Ooh, candy corns!