Wednesday, November 21, 2007

America's Next Top Model: Rough week, yo

Tonight on America's Next Top Model, the remaining six gals head to China! Because, you know, we really want to be promoting China, what with their great record on product inspection, sweatshops, and massive human rights violations. This would SO not be cool with your hero Oprah, Tyra. How about the girls all dress like jailed political or religious dissidents in their first photo shoot?

The girls, of course, are completely psyched for their trip (as they should be, since going to China is totally awesome...I'm just saying we probably shouldn't be going out of our way to promote the place). They arrive in Shanghai, and Chantal (wow, is she still here?) compares it to The Jetsons. Heather compares it to Las Vegas. Fair enough--there IS a lot of neon. The Jays welcome them to China, and send them to their fancy pants penthouse to unpack. Which is when they notice that the room only has five beds. Heather notices last, sadly, and Saleisha refuses to share the one giant bed. Uncool, Saleisha. Heather is obviously a sensitive gal (and probably jetlagged, like the rest of them), so she starts crying with frustration. Bianca, of course, finds it hilarious. Bitch. However, she does agree to share a bed with Jenah, after some prompting for volunteers by Chantal.

The next morning, they head over to the biggest film studio in Shanghai, where their "tour guide" gets into a fight with a martial artist. Or martial arts artist. Or whatever. Seems they'll be learning some martial arts this morning, so that the next time they get into a bitch fight, they can knock their underfed, coked-up model opponent out cold. Their challenge is to do the martial arts poses they learned earlier while up in the air on wires, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon-style. It's pretty hysterical, I'm not going to lie.

Bianca, afraid of heights, starts to freak out, and Heather of all people tries to give her a completely undeserved pep talk. Bianca ends up going up, but then begs them to let her down, and is disqualified from the challenge. They all looked pretty crazy up there to me, but Heather is the winner of a $500+ shopping spree, which she shares with Chantal. As Heather points out while they're shopping, they're about a foot taller than the people working in the shops, which is comical, to say the least.

The next morning, the models are instructed to bring outfits describing their personality to the set, where they will be shooting their Covergirl print ads and commercials. The theme is about showcasing their personal inner and outer beauty (hence wearing their own clothes), and they'll have to improvise a bit about themselves in the ad. This should be good. (But not for Heather...yikes.)

Saleisha's up first, and she does a great, super-adorable job in the commercial. The judges agree, but don't love her photo. Bianca? Not so great. She has trouble with her lines and her delivery, though she seems to pull it off the end. The judges call her out for bailing on the challenge, and don't love her commercial. The photo is really nice, though. Heather has even worse problems with her lines, predictably enough. And can't even get the job done right with Orange Jay feeding her the lines. Sigh. Tyra is disappointed, and makes a point of not being easy on Heather because of her Asperger's. Her photo, however, is great. As they point out, it doesn't even look like her, what with the bubbly smiling and all.

Jenah performs well, but the judges found her uncharismatic. Here photo is unusual, in that it's not a typical beauty shot, but really great, as always. Chantal looks great, and brings a nice perkiness to the part. The judges find it cute and charming, though her photo is a bit pedestrian farmgirl. Lisa tenses up enough that we can see the tendons in her neck, and completely forgets the lines as soon as they turn the camera on. She tears up a bit, which makes things even worse. The judges call her on her panicked, verging-on-tears performance, but absolutely love her photo, and rightfully so. It's fantastic.

The guest judge this week is Jeffrey Chu, the director of photography from their commercial. In deliberation, the judges slam everyone's performance in the commercials. Tyra again criticizes their poor performance this week when handing out photos, but gives Chantal the first one, followed by Saleisha. Bianca and Jenah also receive photos. Uh-oh. It's down to Lisa, one of my early favorites, and Heather (who is yet AGAIN Covergirl of the Week). Lisa's out, sadly, which I think was the right call. And was also very predictable (as always) given all the interviews with her early in the episode. Next week: Go-See's!