Thursday, December 06, 2007

America's Next Top Model: Toppling the Great Wall of Stank

Last week on Top Model: The greatest injustice ever perpetrated by Tyra Banks, according to most of my readers. This week: Beijing, baby! We begin with a very sweet note from Heather to the other girls, interrupted by interviews in which the other girls (namely Bianca and Jenah) trash her and glorify in her absence. But there's no time for fondly reminiscing--the girls have to tour Beijing, another "fashion capital of the world." And Jenah is busy being a weird combination of cocky and stressed out. They are met in a lovely garden by Miss J and Twiggy, who are there to teach them about the "Four Beauties," a Chinese tradition which may or may not Totally Come Up Later.

Shockingly enough, it does come up later. Or rather, immediately, as the women find Four Beauty dresses in their new Beijing pad, and meet Twiggy and Miss J at the mall for their challenge: to modernize their outfits, while taking into account the legend their dresses are based on. At the mall, Bianca shows her true colors. And by "shows her true colors," I mean, "proves how stank she is, which we've known all along," by directing an already-stressed Jenah to an isolated area of the mall that Bianca knows will be useless. Jenah is pissed at what she rightfully calls sabotage.

The editor in chief of Seventeen is there to judge them on the runway, so the girls are feeling the pressure. Saleisha does a great job, according to Miss J. Twiggy thinks Chantal does a good job, but I feel like Twiggy is so soft on people that her opinion doesn't even count. Seventeen lady likes Bianca's outfit modifications, while Twiggy praises Jenah's. Jenah wins, and picks Chantal to share in her prize: custom Chinese couture dresses. They're gorgeous, but Chantal points out the obvious: There aren't many occasions that call for a Chinese couture dress. Jenah also gets runway lessons with Miss J, though, which seem semi-helpful. Though a better prize would be some sort of de-front-tooth-ification. Are those things growing, or is it just me? Something that's definitely growing is Jenah's homesickness, incidentally. Man, if I had to share a room with her and listen to her describe symbolic dreams about missing her boyfriend, I'd probably try and sabotage her too. Just sayin'.

The next morning, the lucky wannabe models head off to the Great Wall for a photo shoot. Man, that's pretty cool. The shoot will have a warrior theme, with the girls trying to invade the Great Wall, opposed by other, more heavily armored, warrior women. And guess who's the photographer? Tyra! The hair and makeup are intense. Families of raccoons could nest in those wigs, seriously, and the makeup makes them almost as orange as Jay Manuel. Chantal does a great job, and her final shot is really a pretty amazing pose. The judges looove her. Jenah has a bit of an identity crisis, but rocks her poses at the shoot. The judges love her photo, though Tyra didn't find Jenah memorable after the shoot. Jenah makes the giant mistake of talking about how homesick she is, and pulls it out alright, but clearly plants that "can she handle it?" seed of doubt in the judges' minds.

Bianca has more trouble with her posing, but does better as the shoot goes on. Her shot is fine, but Tyra points out that she's not a natural at modeling. Saleisha has really athletic poses, and doesn't even look like herself. Jay thinks it's her best shoot yet. Her final shot is crazy awesome, with her jumping way up in the air, and the judges are super into it. Finally, the four of them pose together, each trying to out-fierce the next. The judges are mixed on whether Jenah or Saleisha stands out the most.

It should be noted that Heather has continued her reign as Covergirl of the Week, even in absentia. During deliberation, the judges question Jenah's commitment (toldja) and Bianca's natural talent, and praise Chantal's and Saleisha's photos (especially the latter). They decide that the strongest girl in the group photo was Chantal (really?), and call her name first. Saleisha is called next, of course, leaving the giant-toothed whiner and the less talented witch to fight it out. Thankfully, Jenah is still in, and Bianca and her stank attitude are out. Suh-weet.