Thursday, December 07, 2006

America's Next Top Model: Bitches Never Prosper

It's finale time! And just one hour this year, which hopefully means less rehashing past bitchery and more flubbing lines in commercials and trying to look fierce on a ridiculous runway. Last week brought the elimination of the only girl left who could realistically have a high-fashion modeling career, leaving a bitch, a bore, and a goof still in the running. Can you guess who's who?

We're still in Barcelona, and the FINAL THREE meet Jay Manuel at the set of their CoverGirl photo shoot/TV commercial. It's for some lip gloss with a ridiculously adjective-laden name. Long-Lasting Extra-Awesome So Shiny It'll Blind You Lip Gloss, or something like that. The winner's ad will be in a national magazine, and Danielle, the reigning Top Model, is on hand to "coach" the girls. Jay points out that her agency has renamed her "Dani," but ANTM refuses to accept that fact, and "Danielle" she remains in the on-screen label. She gives the finalists the obligatory "don't suck, and oh yeah, be a role model" speech. Your amazing work standing in the background as Queen Latifah talks about mascara has certainly inspired me to do things with my life, "Dani."

The girls go into makeup, and start practicing their lines. They're wearing what seem to be cute, brightly colored polka-dotted skirts paired with white tank tops and ENORMOUS belts that go from, like, their hips to halfway up their ribcage. Seriously, they're ridiculous. Fashion is ridiculous. Eugena and Melrose bitch about each other in interviews. Melrose is fake, Eugena doesn't want it, blah blah blah. This is why a one-hour finale rocks, everyone. Waaay less of this crap.

Jay will be directing the commercial, and CariDee is up first. She has the predictable trouble with her lines, and thinks the pressure is getting to her. Then, she loosens up a bit. And by a bit, I mean a lot. As Jay says, "It's hard to pull back the reins with CariDee." I think there's even some singing of the lines at one point. But, she ends up doing a great job, so it's all good.

Eugena starts out low-energy, but Jay gives her a pep talk to pump her up. In my opinion, it made her line reading a little creepy and intense, but Jay says it was "so good!" Whatever you say, Jay.

Melrose is actually NOT PERFECT, which is awesome. First she flubs her lines a bit, and then she starts Hitting! Every! Word! Really! Hard!, enough so that Jay has to tell her to stop making her energy so fake. She ends up doing fine, but totally obsesses about it afterwards and even tears up a bit. Get a grip, bitch. After the rocky commercial, Melrose is nervous about the photo shoot. The photographer thinks she's over-thinking it, and being too technical. It looks like she shakes it off, but it's kind of hard to tell.

CariDee seems to do a really good job, although her attempt at "blissful" seems "half-asleep" to me. Eugena tries like mad to avoid the 'ol Dead Eye. Luckily for her, she's modeling lip gloss, and not mascara. Finally, the girls all have to pretend they love each other for a final "Easy, Breezy, etc." shot with the three of them, where they all fall on a couch giggling fakely.

They return to the apartment to find Tyra mail--someone's going home tomorrow! I'd like to take this opportunity to say that CariDee is back on my good side this week, after a couple weeks in the doghouse. She just seems so fun!

At the judging panel, Victorio and Lucchino are the guest judges, since the finalists will be wearing their dresses on the runway later. Yeah, it makes perfect sense to have judges for this round who haven't worked with the girls at all, and probably have no experience with commercial fashion. They don't even speak English! How are they supposed to judge the ads? Unless...the judges are actually just figureheads and Tyra's making all the decisions. Hmm...

We get to see the ad they shot all cut together, and it seems really manic and creepy to me. And do they try to rhyme "fiesta" with "vista"? Yeah. But Tyra loved it, so whatever. Melrose's take is really good, and Nigel points out her great smile. Her photo, however, kind of sucks. The lips seem rather thin, and her face looks tight in general.

Eugena's commercial take seems bad to me--her eyes are crazy wide, and she seems really fake. But the judges are all, "All of a sudden you're great!" What the hell? Are we watching the same ads? Eugena manages to do the mythical "smiling with her eyes" trick in her photo, and the judges say her photos have gotten a LOT better.

CariDee's commercial is very...act-y...but good, I think. Fun. The judges think it's pretty good, but say she frowns a bit, and gave it a bit too much energy. Her photo is awesome, and the judges agree--apparently her whole film was the best. She also gets props for looking like a model in person.

"Dani's" "Life" as a "CoverGirl" segment is a freaking recap of everything she's done in the past year. THRILL, as you relive her first pitch at Camden Yards! YAWN, as she shoots a commercial with Queen Latifah! FROWN SKEPTICALLY as she goes on go-sees and poses on the red carpet!

The judges deliberate alone. They think Eugena's photo is her strongest yet, but the personality problem is still there. CariDee has a ton of personality, but it makes her unpredictable. They don't love Melrose's photo, but thinks she has passion and has consistently taken good photos up until now. Nigel points out that Melrose isn't a natural, but works hard. Eugena IS a natural (first I've heard of it), but doesn't try hard enough. So...I guess CariDee's in, then, since he doesn't even mention what the problem is with her.

And yes, she's the first name called. According to Tyra, Melrose has been consistently good, but sucked hardcore this week. Eugena started off weak, but improved recently. The judges, however, aren't sure she really wants it. That, of course, is the kiss of death, and Melrose is in. There's nothing the judges hate more than girls who don't throw themselves at their feet begging to be America's Next Top Model. Hugs and crying all around, and CariDee promises Eugena that she'll win it for her. I'm sure that makes Eugena feel totally better about losing.

CariDee is bummed that Eugena's gone, and finds a note from her at the apartment. "Walk your ass off on the runway, 'cause a natural blonde needs to win." HA! I love Eugena a little, now. CariDee calls it the Battle of the Blondes.

The girls head off the next morning to shoot what will be their Seventeen cover if they win. Um, Melrose is like a million years old, and photographs a billion years old. Somehow, I don't find it believable that she would be on the cover of SEVENTEEN magazine. The Seventeen lady is into CariDee, probably because she doesn't want an old lady on her cover. All she can come up with for Melrose is that she has a "unique look."

Next, the girls meet with "Dr. Michelle," a life coach from Tyra's show. Hmm...this is new... She's there to make them cry and talk about how much the show has helped them. Boooooring. Bring on the crazy runway!

Ah yes, the crazy runway. I believe it is located in Park Güell, a lovely complex designed by Gaudí, and made to look like a spooky haunted cave by the Top Model producers. Yeah. The theme is "ghost brides." Yeah. "Dani" will open the show, which will start out sedately and become more and more theatrical, until the models get totally crazy and run around screaming. Um, this is insane.

It's nighttime, and the "runway" (which seriously does look like a long, skinny cave, except open on one side so people holding candles can see the show) is dimly lit. The show starts with little girls walking down the runway to calm opera music, doing the flower girl thing. Then, crazy death opera music comes on, and the girls scream and run away. The obligatory runway techno starts up, and Dani comes out. All the girls are wearing ornate white dresses, and have white face paint on with extreme amounts of blush. It looks somewhat ridiculous. Melrose, CariDee, and a bunch of other models follow, sometimes doing this crazy thing where they stop and stare down the other models passing them.

And here we go with the overly dramatic opera music with loud drums. This is truly the craziest thing ever. Melrose and CariDee do a reeeeally long staredown, and CariDee accidentally steps on Melrose's dress and RIPS IT. Oops. I guess the tattered look works for this? Melrose completely freaks out about it backstage, and almost starts crying. CariDee is like, um, yeah, accident. Melrose is SO not accepting her apology. Dude, Melrose, you're changing dresses ANYWAY. Calm the hell down.

Finally, it's time for the spooooky last scene, and MISS JAY starts it off dressed in black, running around the runway and screaming dramatically, and then walking it for real. It's SO RIDICULOUS. Or is it...SO RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME? Melrose is first to do her crazy screaming running bit, and the audience laughs a little, rightfully so. The judges seem to like it, though. CariDee really hams it up to the point where she seems more like an actress than a model, unfortunately. Not attractive. For the finale, Melrose and CariDee face off and strike a pose at the end of the runway, and then the lights go out and they disappear. Oh, the spookiness of it all!

We're down to our last judging, and Jay Manuel is the guest judge. They all think that Melrose managed to look like a real model on the runway, even when she was doing the screaming bit. She was photographable, she was graceful, she didn't look totally ridiculous. Not so for CariDee, who wasn't even that good in the first part of the show. Tyra thinks it even looked like she was holding her breath. I can see how that would be easy to do if you're nervous, but yeah, it didn't look good. And oh, the screaming part. She looks totally absurd, she's clutching at the dress so we can't see it, and her face would NOT make a pretty photograph.

Time for the portfolio review! Supermodel stereotypes: CariDee rocked it, Melrose didn't. Celebrity couple: They both did an awesome job. Fabio shoot: CariDee did a great job looking vulnerable, and Melrose managed to look sexy, not raunchy. Scary eye shoot: CariDee rocked it like crazy, Melrose's was weaker. Matador shoot: CariDee did a great job, if a bit pinup, and Melrose could've done better. CoverGirl: CariDee did a fabulous job, Melrose less so. So CariDee's photos were clearly stronger, including her final CoverGirl photo. Fashion show-wise, Melrose kicked CariDee's ass.

The judges deliberate alone. They think Melrose takes great pictures, but lacks the "wow" factor. She studies, which is good, but may be hard to get along with. Then again, she may just be intimidating to the other girls. She also may lack the passion CariDee has. Well, that's the first we've heard of that, and it can't spell good things for Melrose. CariDee, on the other hand, sucked on the runway, but can make the judges laugh. She may be a loose cannon, but the fashion industry loves it some crazies.

Tyra calls the final two back in. She says that they both have strengths, and they both have weaknesses. CariDee and Melrose tearfully explain what the competition means to them (they love modeling, they now better understand themselves, blah blah blah).

And America's Next Top Model is....CariDee!!! ROCK. Suck it, Melrose! I knew you were the Yaya of this season. Melrose doesn't take it well. She's sad, misunderstood, crying, etc. "It's just bum city right now." Ha. CariDee is so happy she's sobbing. Yay, CariDee! And that wraps it up for this cycle. Thanks for reading, everyone!

2 comments:

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