Sunday, April 22, 2007

Tyra Hates Blewish American Princesses

Following Whitney's inevitable booting, the girls decided have a detente and frolic in the pool. Since there is a pool involved, we already know that Jael and Natasha are going to be there. But we also see that Renee and Brit are there as well. Jael, who does not know the meaning of the word "armistice," whips out her guns. Renee's soul cancer creeps back and she cattily (or truthfully) admits that Jael's not a really good model. Things we learn this week include: Brit has no short term memory, Cycle 2's April has a successful career doing interviews, there is room for one more gay man on this show, Brit has no short term memory, it is possible for Dionne to have a mediocre week and still be charming (to me at least), the spirit of Steve Irwin lives on in Renee, and Brit has no short term memory.

The reason why America's Next Top Model needs to be a good speaker is that sometimes modeling jobs require models to talk. They usually don't have to come up with the words, but they have to say them. Cycle 2's winner Yoanna had a steady gig on The Look for Less. Since she was probably busy gracing the pages of GoFugYourself, ANTM instead gives us Cycle 2's April, who used to host the UPN's internet show about Top Model. Since Tyra is determined to hire every unemployed homo in West Hollywood, the models get pointers from other actor/comedian. The girls try to learn how to have a good interview with less than ideal subjects. The two we learn about are: blabber mouths and quiet types. The next phase is to take their newfound skills and interview each other. The interviews are somewhat combative with the girls trying to insult each other while asking questions.

Since the girls just learned how to be next Barbara Walt... scratch that, um, Tyra Ban..., no. Fuck it, let's just say Elizabeth Hasselback, this week's challenge is to interview people on the streets. The big twist is that the girls have to interview people in AUSTRALIA. By the time it takes Natasha's brain to process that information, she nearly has a seizure. Tyra in a kangaroo outfit and a live kangaroo were not enough to convey that information. I so would have paid money to see her weave come off with that kangaroo mask.

Top Model CG Plane! Australia! As soon as the girls disembark, they are met by Erika Heynatz, the first host of Australia's Next Top Model. Erika outlines the first challenge. The girls get to play correspondent for the Tyra Show and have to interview Australians on fashion using Aussie slang. In order to help, the girls are given a primer on key words to use. Of course, this sets off Brit's Woe-is-MEter, because she has trouble with her short term memory due to injuries suffered from a car accident. She apparently forgets that she has to interview Aussies and scores an interview with an older American tourist. Dionne thinks, "Oh that's cool," is Aussie slang. Jael strikes some weird poses while she interviews people. Renee appears to do a good job as she interviews people on the beach. Jaslene and Natasha ask questions. The winner, whose interview will be featured on the Tyra show, will be announced during panel.

The CoverGirl commercial rears its ugly head once again. After last cycle's Catalan travesty, the producers decided the let the girls speak English. But the models have to do using an Aussie accent. While seemingly easy, this twist does pose a challenge to most of the girls. Dionne and Jaslene have noticeable regional accents. Brit has no short term memory. Natasha is not a native speaker and has thick Russian accent. Jael is Jael.

Renee goes first and does a pretty good job channeling the Croc Hunter, but looks strangely mannish and older. Jaslene pulls it together by the sixth take. Jael and Dionne struggle. Within one minute, the former cries, goes crazier, decides to become Captain Planet: Defender of the Universe, plays with a sheep, and climbs a tree. Natasha squints a little but gets things done. Brit (looking a lot like Rachel Weisz) struggles with memorizing the lines. I don't know if you've heard, but she was in a car accident which really affected her short term memory.

A great outback shot of Tyra transitions to really well done-up Tyra Banks. Kudos Aussie make-up people. There are prizes. There are judges. There is one girl whose ass is getting shipped back to America. Natasha gets evaluated first and the judges praise her efforts despite the language barrier. She gets some points off for relying on that pouty thing she does. Dionne needs to camp things up a bit. Jaslene was really committed to the accent but has some massive frown lines. Renee does a good accent, but needs to be more feminine. Jael apparently looks like an anarchist making fun of a CoverGirl. Tyra needs to tell her to be an anarchist making fun of a CoverGirl, but be more subtle about it or something. I'm not sure. If I don't get it, there is no way in hell Jael did either. Brit is told that fashion has no sympathy or empathy and that she needs to find a way to work with her limitations. Maybe she should have used a combination of informative tattoos and Polaroids to get through the photo shoot and solve the mystery of who killed her wife.

Natasha gets called first and surprisingly wins this week’s correspondent challenge. I think the point of this cycle is about going to extremes, but then pull it back. That's what Tyra thinks Renee, Jaslene and Dionne need to be better at. The bottom two is Brit-brit and Jael. Brit needs to stop her bitching and work with her limitations and Jael is a ghastly mess. Jael is released back into society armed with a wig and a tutu. Look out, evil doers! I am actually impressed she lasted this long.

Next week: Crikey! Shite happens, mate!

Click here to listen to our twenty-fifth episode

Monday, April 16, 2007

Tyra hates the Real Big Green

Between all the allusions to previous cycles and Jaslene and Renee's self awareness, this season of Top Model is getting a little too meta. So it would make perfect sense to bring forth an explosion of Top Modelness with a mini reunion of sorts. I dunno, maybe an all-star cycle is not unfathomable after all. This week, our models are trying to live with loss. Renee tries to lose her bitchy demeanor. Brit loses the weave she's been bitching about since the beginning of time. Natasha loses her cool when confronted with other people's children. And the entire house loses Whitney, who tried her darnedest yet whose photos just kept coming out flat. (Which is very impressive given her curvaceousness)

This week has the first of several acting challenges. In a bit of CW synergy, the models encounter one of the Mowry twitches. I think it’s Tia. In an oddly placed time waster of a challenge, the girls have to don stupid hats and can try to act a personality based on the hat. Whitney goes the sultry route. Nata becomes a shrill witch. Jaslene uses her crown to once again act like a drag queen. But it is Brit who wins my heart by acting like an idoit in a jester's hat, complete with acrobatics.

The real challenge is to endure being around the guy who was in that movie that I didn't bother to see because it looked stupid and everyone started quoting it and treated like it was the bestest thing since My So-Called Life and then I really started to hate it... Suffice to say, I did not vote for Pedro. The models are given a script that they have to memorize in two hours and then act out with the aforementioned character actor. There are three scenarios: Melodramatic (think Brit), Diva (think Naomi), and Bubbly (think Tyra in white girl mode). During the melodramtic challenge, Dionne decided to channel Wholahay Brown and whips out this f-ed up accent. Jaslene manages to forget her lines. Natasha speaks every word pho-net-ic-ly. But it is Renee who impresses Efren the most and wins the challenge. She gets to pick a friend so share her victory. Since its Renee, who is lacking in the friend department, she picks Dionne. The first prize they get is a shirt referencing that accursed movie.

The actual prize is a family visit. Renee is visited by her non-sketchy, totally-legit, beach-dwelling husband and their weird looking baby (“Thank god I’m not the only person who thought that baby was a little fugly” – Amy.) Dionne gets a visit from her mom, sister, and daughter. Dionne's reaction to her baby's hair is priceless. In terms of family histories, mother in a wheelchair always trumps unemployed husband. (Sorry, Nene). All the motherliness strikes a nerve with Natasha, who begins to miss her giant eyed daughter. She calls her husband, Stuart, who once again come off as a nice guy. Nata's tantrum helps us segue into this week’s photo shoot where she is clearly still upset about it.

The theme of this week’s photo shoot is to relive some of the infamous moments in Top Model history. The girls have to invoke a previous Top Model contestant in the form of a comic Payless Shoes ad. Um, okaaaaay. The neat surprise is that the ghosts of Top Model past will actually be in the photo with them. Jaslene and Bre get to relive that weird granola bar incident. Natasha apparently contracted Michelle's infatigo. (BTW, Michelle is looking oodles better this time around). Whitney will not go nude, despite Shannon's insistence. Jael tries to faint and seduce Rebecca at the same time. Brittany becomes the meat of an Amanda and Michelle sandwich. Joanie gets to pull out Renee's elephant sound producing snaggle tooth. (Jay worries that Joanie is outshine Renne in the shot, which is true because Joanie kicks ass) Dionne gets to smooch Kim in the back of the limo. It’s funny when Dionne describes Kim as boyish and dorky just as she enters the room. But other than mega-lez, those are the two words that best describe Kim.
Panel. Tyra seems to be wearing something from the Queen Amidala Maternity Line. She also has her hand on her hip while she's introducing the panel. Natasha, Dionne, and Brittany are all praised for their photos. Both Natasha and Dionne are lauded for their weekly improvements, except for Dionne's clothing choices. Renee also does well, but does photograph a bit old, which is the same thing that Jade and Melrose were accused. Jaslene's presence is diminishing; she to find the right balance between draggy and non-existent. But Whitney's bland photos and Jael’s inability to complete a coherent thought land them in the bottom two. Tyra gives the ole "You have what the other girl needs" spiel before finally sending Whitney back to the Ivy Leagues.

Overall, Whitney is a beautiful girl and one of my favorites. Too bad her portfolio is kinda blah. Even though she is one of the most intelligent girls to ever grace this show, I am not too sure the lesson she was supposed to learn from her elimination was to try acting.

Next week: The girls go down under and face the dreaded commercial challenge. This does not portend well for Natasha and Jael.

Click here to listen to our twenty-fourth episode

Monday, April 09, 2007

Tyra Hates the Cheerleader Who Wouldn't Stop Clapping

It's celebrity week in Top Model land! That means this week is all about personalities: real and alter-egos. So obviously, this week's main character is Jael. Though not the prettiest model in the competition, she is definitely one of the stand-outs this season, for better or worse. We learn the Jael is not intimidated by celebrities. We also learn what makes Renee so unpleasant (clue: she's a bitch), Dionne has a daughter (which both she and the viewers completely forgot about) and the Brittany's weave still hurts.The first step to developing a personality is to get a new name. The girls go some place to meet Ms. Leslie Hornsby. Who is Leslie Hornsby you ask? Why she is none other than Twiggy St. Twigglestern. Twiggy regales/bores the girls with how she was deemed "Twiggy" and because of it she was discovered and went on to become a living legend. A name can make or break a model and you can't mention Top Model and monikers without dragging up Melrose "No Issa" Bickerstaff. The girls are tasked with coming up with new names for themselves. Some girls kept their own unique names: Jael and Jaslene. Some girls basically decided to truncate their names: Nata and Brit. Sarah uses her middle name, Moe, which is just as bland as she is. Renee and Whitey use parts of their names to get Nayien and Whittel. Lastly, Dionne uses a documentary and her love of older men to come up with Wholahay. Okaaaay.

The girls take their new names and have to impress a bunch of celebrities and one "Funky Cold Medina." I was so hoping for Tone Loc but it's actually Benny Media, Tyra's manager. Here a brief lowdown of what happens: Jael pisses off 50 Cent so he throws her into a pool, twice;

("Apparently, you can't hang with that. But you can throw it in the pool." - Aaron)

Natasha has a momentary brain lapse and jumps in after her; Renee tells Nicole Richie that she hates Jael, Nicole Ritchie tells Jael that Renee hates her. The challenge is to impress Benny Media and his court. Jael and Natasha get scolded for showing up wet. Renee and Benny do little "Who's on First" bit with the whole "What’s your name?" "Nayien" "Yes, what’s your name?" "Nayien" "I know, what's your name?" But it's Dionne, who remembers that she has a daughter and cries into a Hermes scarf, that impresses him the most. Her prize is a Keds photo shoot with two friends. She selects Whitney and Jaslene.

Jael confronts Renee about the whole being a bitch thing. Their animosity towards each other is so profound, that Tyra's drama sense starts tingling. She decided to have one of her sit-ins. She asks the girls if they have any secrets or if there is anything on their minds. Brit reveals that her weave hurts. Someone rats on Renee, so Tyra thinks it might be therapeutic for her to get on stage and have the rest of the girls yell at her. It’s so, "I'm so sorry I called you a gap-toothed bitch. It's not your fault you're so gap-toothed."

This week’s photo shoot is about personality. The girls have to self-style themselves and take four headshots of their selected personalities. Jael and her rat tail select: Sexy Beast, Anarchist, Revolutionary, and Dominator. Which are all kind of the same. Nata uses most of the adjectives she knows and does: sad, sexy, happy, and surprised. Wholahay is sensitive, hood, friendly, evil. That thing on Brit's head is not just evil, but secret evil. But she is also goofy, spacey, and innocent. Renee is sexual, dark side, motherly (ha!) and sorrow. No matter what Jaslene picks, they all translate to drag queen, drag queen, tranny, drag queen. Whittelle is secretive, peaceful, thinker, and comedian. Sarah is innocent, angry, sad, and happy.

Tyra thinks of herself as Emphatic, Entrepreneur, Supermodel and Silly. This week's guest judge is Benny "Funky Cold" Media. The best shots this week go to Jael, Natasha, Brittany. Jael's photos look like a MAC ad. Since Tyra hates some of the nicknames, she gives Wholahay the moniker "Brown." She does well but is not spectacular. Renee gets renamed "NeNe" and also does fine, but needs to take it to the next level and not be afraid to get ugly. Jaslene takes one decent photo four times. The judges compare it to a horrible picture of Janice. This week's bottom two are Whitney and Sarah. Tyra blah, blahs that Whitney is turning into this cycle's Jaeda. Sarah is too much of a thinker and a poser (pun intended, right?) and her pictures are too generic and amateur. Like Aaron, Tyra has a soft spot for large black women and Whitney is given one more chance. Sarah is sent released to pursue her modeling/singing/acting/photography.

Au revoir, Moe. You didn't turn out as awful as I thought you were going to be. See ya at the Midvale School for the Gifted.

Next week:...

Click here to listen to our twenty-third episode
Congrats to Alice whose quote got picked for Covergirl of the week!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Tyra hates Diana, Big and Tall (aka. Jersey Girls who wear giant hoop earrings.)

Last week, Baby TyTy was eliminated for reasons that somehow escape me and Renee decided to reform her bitchy ways and be all nice and snugly. Nine girls remain. This week's “A” story is all about Natasha: Soviet spy, stay at home mom, and mail-order bride. (That is totally going to be a kickass Lifetime move. – Amy) She's having some troubles relating to the other girls because of the the language barrier or something. She calls her husband and he seems genuinely nice and supportive, which he has to be since she is basically his investment. He asks her if she wants to say "Hi" to something which could either be his wang, or a baby, or a puppy or something else the inspires annoying baby talk. The “B” story is about the budding friendship between Diana and Whitney. They both so happy to have another large girl in the house. Wouldn't it suck if one of them was not there by the end of the week. I think this weeks C story is the Renee is back to being a bitch. She tells Whitney that there will never be a fat girl on a magazine cover, as much as she would like to see one (which is a full bullshit.) Whitney and Diana are annoyed.

This week is all about fashion and clothes. The girls meet the head of Elite Models who is accompanied by a real fashion model to show these bitches why they'll probably never make it. After being forced to don "terrible" outfits, the girls then have to trade clothes with each other show how the simple task of sharing clothes can have some lesbianic tendencies.

Sears warehouse! This weeks challenge has the girls assigned to three teams of three. Each team has a few minutes to dress, accessorize, and make a living display out of items that can be found at an a local Sears (cha-ching!) Despite being shackled with Jael and Natasha, Whitney would have won the challenge. Unfortunately, Whitney was not on the podium on time. The grand winner is Sarah, whose prize is additional frames and extra coaching from Jay at the upcoming photo shoot. This pisses off her team because Dionne (who works in retail) picked out all the clothes and Renee (who is back to being an insufferable shrew) picked out all the accessorizes. It is not shown whether or not Sarah gives any credit to the others, but probably not based on this episode's title.

This week's photo shoot injects some more testosterone to this show. Actually it doesn't, the dudes they brought in are drag queens. The girls will become drag kings. Aww, its so sweet to see Jaslene reunited with her people. S/he seemed like s/he was missing home a few weeks ago. Doing well this week are Jaslene (sailor) and Brit-brit (Mountain man Bob). Natasha really gets into her hip-hop makeup, complete with her own custom made gum wrapper grill. Her fashion magazine research has apparently paid off (which is probably how she got most of her English). Nat does so well, she actually gets applause from the rest of the girls. Renee is a rocker dude. Not so well this week are Jael (bohemian), Diana (red carpet dude?), Whitney (collegiate guy with boobs, aka Did you know I go to Dartmouth?), Sarah (Sergeant Pepper), and Dionne (businessman.) Particularly struggling is Diana who is asked by Jay why she wants to be her. She answers him with all the enthusiasm of Anchal's dancing. Things look grim for her.

(Go teen wolf!)

Mod-librarian Tyra leads us to panel. This week Twiggy is wearing a red blazer that I am sure she's whips out every three weeks. The guest judge is the Elite model lady. The judges ooh and ahh over Natasha and Dione's photos. Twiggy loves Nat's spirit and Dionne finally looks like a model at judging, i.e. she slicked back her hair. Jaslene,Brit-brit, and Renee are also unsurprisingly safe this week. Sarah's extra shots saved her ass this week. The judges are not too fond of Whitney or Jael or Diana this week. The Elite lady does not see "model" in both Jael and Sarah, but it is the big girls who are this week's bottom two. Even though Tyra has also wanted more plus sized on this show, there can only be room for one this week. Diana is (justifiably) sent home much and she has the loser's montage to prove it. Her only striking photo being the one that fades away leaving us with only seven girls and Jaslene.

Next week: Paris and Nicole (!) and Renee and Jael have a row.

Click here to listen to our twenty-second episode

Poll for Jaslene's drag name will be up soon!

Vianna's permission for us to publish her photo is still pending (you'll see what i'm talking about after the first 10 or 15 minutes of the episode)

Sorry for the length of the episode again! Thank you guys so much for listening!

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