Sunday, August 19, 2007

CNTM 2-07: Schizophrenia, Amnesia and Testosterone

Hi guys!

Sorry this is so late. Life has been busy. Hope everyone enjoy the finale! And of course, stay tuned for our favorite Canadian Stephanie's recap!

Cori found out all the girls hate her and she vows to get even, right off the get-go. She will use all her power for evil, and rid the world of these pesky competitors any way she can. After all she is strong. She is woman. Hear her crying. As she cuddles her teddy bear incestuously.

The girls begin their day by having a workshop with Yanka, an alleged ex-supermodel. It occurs to me that the word 'supermodel' is being thrown around a little too freely these days. She must have made lots of money in her day because she's been eating well. She teaches them "face language" and "visual confidence", some sort of tai chi for faces. To the girls' credit they have the presence of mind to laugh with her and not at her. Save that for us at home.

Next, Stacey Mackenzie greets them at the French Connection UK (read: FCUK) for a mannequin posing challenge. Something about Stacey's hair makes me want to say… electrical socket! They get dressed in their outfits and set up in the street level window; meanwhile Stacey and Nolé Marin go undercover in a town car across the street to watch. And this is where CNTM becomes a sitcom. The judges are outfitted with opera glasses and vintage telescopes. The filmed footage of the store window is accelerated for maximum effect. The girls rock back and forth, window cleaners appear and disappear, people come and go. Stacey and Nolé cackle in their air-conditioned car. Ultimately, Rebecca wins and earns $2000 and 30 minutes in the store to spend it.

The anti-Cori hate shout-outs continue as each girl voices her feelings. It's all very diplomatic – after all, we're Canadian. Cori on the other hand puts aside her vow to be evil, and stresses she doesn't want the next top model to be a big blue meanie, which is exactly why SHE should win – because she's just so damn nice.

Next up, the girls are off for a "cover-try" for Fashion Magazine. What the heck is that? If your picture sucks, we ain't committing to nuthin'! At least on ANTM they give them a real advertisement once you're getting down to the wire… Yasmin Warsame and Nolé meet the girls at The Carlu. Yasmin, the most beautiful woman on the show, has gotten her hair done at the same salon as Stacey Mackenzie, sadly. Sinead is dressed in bridal flounce, or a cupcake, depending on your view, and is deemed quite commercial. Rebecca has a hard outfit to work for a cover shot, given that the front is boring as heck and all the action is in the back. Cori needs to "be strong" for the cover but that's hard when you're always crying. Nolé thinks Tia is birdlike but she looks good in red – maybe she's a cardinal. Tara has this monstrosity of a fake flower stuck to her chest, but even after the photographer makes them take it off she still looks like a prom queen. She's also told to try not to be too tall, and to try not to look like a drag queen.

Back at the apartment, Rebecca learns she has a second part to her prize, and voila: her boyfriend Tyler is waiting in the dining room. Despite being incredibly tall he looks like a little boy with old man hair, very small town. Rebecca needs to take some of her own personal sense of style and start dressing this guy, clean him up a bit. Tia sums up by saying, "Rebecca has just turned in to a Becky." They remove to the bedroom for a while to check the sheets, while Cori complains that there should be no sex in the top model house. She, after all, fancies herself a role model for younger girls. Soon enough Rebecca smartly hightails it out of the house, Tyler in tow. The producers blow their budget and set them up for beer and wings at Filthy MacNasty's, a local chain of bars that I've always thought of as Chuckie Cheese for horny adults on the make. The boyfriend proceeds to get shit-faced and belligerent, plainly setting out to ruin Rebecca's run on national television. Rebecca – you don't deserve this. Changing his clothes won't change his attitude, sista. Since the cameras are everywhere she can't even tell him off properly without offering up another sound bite, so she whisks him back to the bedroom, probably to kick his ass. Evil Cori re-emerges and tries to slide incriminating photos of Rebecca snogging the hockey player under the bedroom door, but the other girls step in as the voice of reason and deny her the pleasure. In the end we see Rebecca hoisting Tyler off in a limo and she tells us she "gave him the poop". I hope this means she told him she'll be moving to Paris to model and she ain't supporting his drunk ass when she's rich and famous.

Cori is back in good girl mode by the next day. She must have bouts of amnesia over her dark side. She shares that she hopes no one makes her cry at judging, as she snuggles up to her teddy bear. Someone should throw that bear in the blender.

And on to judging... Sinead's photo looks good, especially because her white dress is shown on a white background, allowing her face to shine. Rebecca's shot gets rave reviews. It looks like "Italian Vogue the whole way through". The photo "tells a story" for Jeanne Beker, and we know how much she needs her stories. The biggest criticism they can work up for Rebecca is that she would be booked by international designers such as Marc Jacobs or Karl Lagerfield on the strength of this one picture, but maybe not local publication Fashion magazine. Jay throws Cori a diplomatic bone by pointing out that the covers that sell the most magazines are the ones where the models wear red, and she was after all wearing red. Jay also thanks Cori for not having a breakdown this week. Tia brings drama, she's dreamy, but Jay asks if this is a fluke. Tara gets criticized for not using her legs, but earlier she was been criticized for being too tall. What's a girl to do? The judges go off on a rant about misconceptions. Jay claims he doesn't fake and bake. Stacey blurts out "I am not a man." The jury is still out. Jeanne Beker claims she is not a bitch. Again, jury! Paul Alexander said something, but we don't even know who he is in the first place, so who cares. Photographer to the stars or something – he's probably bent out of shape from all of the hubbub Nigel Barker caused last week.

In the final judging, Sinead is called first – she did exactly what the client asked. Tia is next, fluke or not. Rebecca is third (third?!!), and told she needs to learn her client. Yeah, Rebecca, try not to be so internationally appealing next time will you?

Cori and Tara are left to hang because they have no pizzazz. Last week, no one was eliminated, so the tension builds. In the end Tara is saved because she got her photo on the first frame, and oh yeah, Cori was boring. And so ends the last crying jag we'll ever see from Cori. As she says her goodbyes all I can think is that Tara has rather large breasts for a dancer.

Next week: Down to four girls. We have to eliminate three girls on one episode. WTF?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Canada's Next Top Model, Season Two, Episode Six

As usual, thanks to the uberfantasmic Steph for the shownotes!

Starting with a bang the girls are sent on go-sees, making their home base at Sutherland Models. Because there are five of them they draw straws to see who will go on their own and who will go in pairs. Rebecca gets the short straw and one less hour; the pairs are Cori and Tara, and Tia and Sinead. Things go reasonably well for most of the afternoon. That said, Tara is deemed too tall for runway, something I haven't heard before. Cori is called a "B model" at one appointment and "the prettiest girl in Sudbury" at another, which is a backhanded compliment at best. Cori learns how to hail a cab; next week she'll try out escalators.

The kicker comes when Rebecca learns that she didn't have to do all the appointments in the order they were laid out for her, i.e., A, B, C, etc. Understandably, she was plodding through the alphabet front to back. I blame Jay and his instructions, or lack of them. In order to not be late (or disqualified) she bolts back to the studio and misses two designers. It could be worse – Cori couldn't remember what time she had to be back at all. The prize is a $5000 diamond ring from Birks Jewellers. Jay adds up some sort of scoring from the designers to decide the rankings. Rebecca comes in last, and Jay is hard on her about missing the appointments, ignoring his own complicity. Tia is next, then Tara and Sinead and ultimately Cori gets the bling. How this happens considering the designer's comments is beyond me. Tara, of course, points out that Cori couldn't have made it to even one appointment without her help, and she's pissed off AGAIN.

The house scenes the editors play up this week highlight Cori's wishy-washy-ness. Everyone thinks she's ready to 'sell her soul' to Jay to win CNTM. She puts on her best television face, she has split personality between onscreen and off, she sucks up at judging, etc. What she needs is to ditch her whiny crying Rene Zellweger lemon face.

The shoot this week takes place in Toronto's Distillery District, where they will do a fake ad for the LG Chocolate Phone, and the photographer is going to be Nigel Barker! Ooooooh!!! Aaaaaaah!!! The theme is Bond Girl secret operative with lingerie, trench coats and big dogs. Tia comes out smokin', in control of her garter, the phone and the dog. Sinead is more gangly than sexy. When Tara had the dog she didn't have the phone; when she had the phone she didn't have the hair. Cori couldn't walk the dog to save her life; she was too flustered by Nigel being close by. In contrast, Rebecca's shoot got Nigel all worked up and excited – almost cartwheels. If he could have awarded the whole contest to her right then and there, he would have. It made me feel a little dirty, in a good way.

Nigel later takes the girls out for dinner. Cori thinks he's dreamy; she's so star struck it's sad. The idea of Indian food is freaking her out – she'd rather go to an "Eye-talian" restaurant. We also learn she's never had a cheeseburger in her life, because she doesn't like orange. Hmmmm. Part of me loved that Cori was freaked out, but part of me is peeved about the portrayal of Canadians as potatoes and gravy people. Hella-f*ckin-lo? Multiculturalism is our middle name up here.

The photos reveled at judging actually reflect what we saw in the video, for once. Or maybe the video did justice to the photos, or something. Tia's photo oozes smoldering sexiness, while Sinead looks confident but boney. Cori looked like she was going to cry in her photo, I can't imagine why... Tara is told she looks hesitant and has no presence, which makes the stone-hearted beeyatch break down into tears. Jay does some significant backpedaling about Rebecca's go-sees; maybe he got a talking-to. Her photo is stunning, just ask Nigel, who gushes that LG would probably use this photo in an actual campaign.

Now that everyone's emotions are all out of whack, the girls are asked to rat on each other and expose any misconceptions we might have about them. They go for the jugular and gang up on Cori, citing her tendency to brownnose when the judges are around. Cori wrings out, "I can't respond because sometimes when I'm upset I hyp-(sob)-er-(sob)-vent-(sob)-il-(sob)-ate." Ohmigawd, the list of things wrong with these girls continues to grow.

Judging is cryptic. The only things you can predict are that Rebecca is safe, and that Tara looks like a drag queen. The order is Rebecca, Sinead and then Cori, who's already/still crying. Maybe this was Jay's way of making it up to Rebecca after getting screwed on the go-sees. Despite Tia's fab photo, she is told that the camera doesn't capture what she brings in person. Tara doesn't have whatever it takes to be someone's muse… America's Next Top Inspiration? Gasp, both of them get a photo and no one needs to hightail it out of the house this week.

Next week: With two episodes left, a double elimination is a sure thing. Rebecca gets a surprise, and Cori has blackmail plans.