Thursday, November 30, 2006

America's Next Top Model: You Can Dance if You Want To

Last week on America's Next Top Model, Michelle took one for the team, even though she and Amanda don't technically play for the same team anymore...if you know what I mean. Amanda's grief is manifesting itself unusually, though: it appears to have destroyed her sense of fashion. CariDee and Melrose aren't helping, either, as they "help" Amanda pick out a horrible, hideous outfit. It involves a silky magenta camisole and a flouncy purple, white, and red-banded skirt. Yeah, red and hot pink. So bad. Amanda and the other girls, by the way, are fully aware that Michelle sacrificed herself so that her twin could continue in the competition. They all think Michelle is the best sister evah.

The girls head out to meet a short Spanish dude named Nacho, who's a flamenco instructor. Man, I've always thought of "Nacho" as the name the class clown picks in middle school Spanish class, not a legitimate Spanish name. My bad, I guess. Nacho brings out some male dancers, and Amanda is nervous already. I really feel for her, 'cause I'd suck at this, too. Eugena says the dancing is easy for her, 'cause she's got rhythm. She's also got music and her man. Who could ask for anything more? This flamenco business looks really hard, and Amanda's trying, but struggling. Poor Amanda! That would SO be me.

The girls meet Miss Jay for dinner, and CariDee immediately starts brainstorming the best way to put her foot in her mouth in front of a judge again. Miss Jay asks them how they ended up in the competition. Eugena simply says she saw it on a website, and Melrose interrupts to tell her entire life story (too tall and skinny to fit into clothes as a kid, got into fashion design, blah blah blah). CariDee interviews that Melrose is great at maintaining different personalities depending on who she's talking to. The bitch is manipulative. But we're onto you, Melrose, and you shall never be Covergirl of the Week--not now, not ever! Melrose, for her part, tells us she feels like a pro and is ready to win. Girls like you NEVER win, Melrose.

Amanda and CariDee practice, practice, practice, while Melrose and Eugena go with the not practicing strategy. We see Amanda practicing late into the night in grainy black and white footage through the creepily labeled "surveillance cam." Yeah. I sort of hope the "surveillance cam" is hidden in the eyes of one of those giant Tyra photos, so she's always watching you. Tyra is totally The Man.

We get lots of footage about how it's down to the final four, blah blah blah, and then a new day dawns in Spain, and CariDee invites us and Eugena to admire the smoothness of her armpits. Weirdo. She and Eugena are getting closer (armpit-touching closer), and neither of them wants Melrose to win. CariDee and Melrose diss each other in interviews for a few minutes. Highlights: CariDee gets on Melrose's nerves because of her "vulgarity," and "Melrose is so fake. She's like WWF wrestling. They perform well, but there's really nothing there." Ha!

The girls head to some Spanish villa, where they get into awesome flamenco dresses. The challenge is to dance the flamenco with their partners in front of a group of people, while being photographed. CariDee gets the sensual part down, and Eugena looks like she's really having fun. Amanda looks really awkward, but gets props for working hard, at least. Melrose looks really confident at first, but when her guy goes off-script, she totally messes up. HA.

The dancing instructor chooses Eugena as the winner, who picks Amanda to share in her prize. CariDee says she would've picked Amanda too, since she hasn't won one yet. The prize is Custo jackets, with a bonus shirt for Eugena. Melrose has a total crying freak-out about not being perfect. Eugena, an expert at losing sorely, pegs Melrose as a fellow sour grape connoisseur.

And we get ANOTHER "My Life as a Covergirl" spot about the commercial with Queen Latifah in which "Dani" was an extra. Either this is the third one, or they've run out of "cool stuff" "Dani" has done, and they were forced to repeat one. Either way, her life as a Covergirl sounds reeeal thrilling.

The girls meet Jay Manuel at the set of their shoot, and he introduces their on-set coach, Tyra! The shoot will take place in a swimming pool, where the girls (in evening gowns and with long hair) will be floating in the water, "ethereal nymph"-style, in pairs. Melrose and Eugena are up first, and the water is really, really cold. Melrose takes it like a pro, but Eugena has some trouble staying afloat. And also keeping her teeth from chattering.

CariDee is also having problems with the cold, but she and Amanda seem to be doing okay. Okay, that is, until CariDee starts shaking violently and has to get out of the pool to be warmed up and checked by medical guys. Jay Manuel says that as a model, CariDee needed to say when she was past her limit before it went too far. Yeah, right. If she had hopped out BEFORE she was hypothermic, Jay would've been all, "As a model, you need to be able to withstand difficult conditions to get the right shot." It's totally a lose-lose situation. Melrose basically calls CariDee an attention whore. To be fair to Amanda, Jay and Tyra let her finish up the shoot alone, and will digitally put her shot in with CariDee if one of her solo ones is best.

Someone's going home tomorrow, and Melrose obsesses about her flamenco mistake. CariDee and Amanda are more worried about the photo shoot results. At judging, Tyra greets the girls with, "You are the top four finest...chicks." Nigel: "Is that what you really wanted to say?" Tyra: "No, I wanted to say 'bitches.'" HA! The theme of this week, by the way, was learning to work with someone else. Whatever you say, Tyra.

They bring the girls up in their pairs, and Eugena and Melrose are first. Melrose's flamenco picture looks ridiculous to me - I think she may have a touch of the white boy underbite - but Twiggy likes it. Eugena's flamenco picture is also lame, in my opinion. Nigel has them do the dance they learned, and they fail to direct it sufficiently at the judging table/"photographer." Fair enough--that's probably why their pictures sucked. Their water shoot photo is pretty good, and the judges even call it beautiful. Eugena isn't really floating, though, and her film wasn't as consistently good as Melrose's. I'd also say the photo would be a lot better if they were both looking in the same general direction.

CariDee and Amanda are up next, and CariDee's flamenco photo is actually good. Twiggy helpfully point out that CariDee really looks like she's dancing. Um, yeah, maybe because she WAS dancing. Thanks, Twiggy. I can always count on you to add something useful and not at all obvious to the conversation. Amanda's face looks good in the photo, but her legs are all askew and awkward. Like, to the point where it looks like she may have dislocated a hip. She and CariDee demonstrate the dance, but Amanda misses a couple steps and gets flustered.

Then, the best thing ever: Tyra shows a Victoria's Secret Fashion Show clip where she's supposed to be a flamenco dancer as an example of faking it with confidence if you forget your moves. She looks RIDICULOUS, you guys. Her formula for flamenco success: Big dramatic flourish, shake arms violently around chest, move arms into another big dramatic flourish, shake arms violently around chest, repeat. Then, Miss Jay and Tyra dance fake flamenco. It's...amusing. And Tyra loses a shoe. Props to her, she doesn't miss a beat.

CariDee and Amanda's water photo is great. Nigel doesn't love Amanda's face, but Tyra loves that Amanda basically learned how to float during the shoot. She thinks that Amanda's hands and elbows were too awkward in the film, though. CariDee rocked the floating, and never looked cold in her frames. Tyra chastises her for not knowing her limits, though. Of course.

The judges deliberate alone. Nigel thinks Melrose can pretty much do no wrong, but she still irks him because she tries too hard and isn't natural. Also, she wears a stupid pink Barbie beret. Her look isn't as unique as Amanda's, but she's consistent. They find Eugena's constant withdrawal (personality-wise, not drug-wise) worrisome, but think she's got great potential. They think CariDee can take great pictures, even when she has hypothermia, but fear she's a bit high-maintenance. Amanda lacks coordination, but the camera loves her face. Plus, she has a fresh, inspirational look. Unfortunately, her body is horribly awkward.

Melrose and Eugena's crappy personality are in. Sucks to be Amanda. And she knows she's out. No worries, dude, you and your sister will have no trouble getting signed. Too bad Michelle's sacrifice was for naught, though. Tyra thinks Amanda and CariDee both have strong potential. Amanda is edgy and high-fashion, with beautiful pictures, but is too awkward, and too meek. CariDee might have a bit too much personality, and may not be able to handle difficult conditions when modeling (TOLD you it was lose-lose). CariDee's still in, and Amanda's out. Duh.

Amanda's bummed that it's over, but pleased with the experience and what she's accomplished. Aww. She seems at peace with her elimination, probably because she knows she'll do well after this. And ha, she says ANTM broke up with her. Those twins were actually pretty cool. Ah, well.

The next episode is the finale! Stay tuned for Covergirl commercials (complete with the requisite line-flubbing) and a runway that looks like a cave or something (complete with the requisite creepy little cave girls?).