America's Next Top Model Goes Gonzo While Shopping For Garbanzo Beans

Lady Gaga's fashion director is on hand to deck the models in fifteen pounds of fashion before shipping them off to the supermarket.

Panel Post-Mortem

Surprising: Krislian winning best photo and Tash going home. Not at all surprising: Coryanne landing in the bottom two for the second week in a row. Not surprising to anyone except Kyle: Courtney leaving the contents of the First Aid kit strewn about the room and then dodging responsibility for it. Surprising only to me: women accusing other women of PMS-ing when they become even mildly irritable.

Law Roach's School Of Style

Law, despite my initial apprehensions, has become my favorite member of the new panel. He only continues to win over my affections this week when he arrives at the house to judge (and trash) the models' personal style. Like previous seasons, each model is asked to choose a two-word category to define her style -- "youthful sophistication," "'90s grunge," "sexy royalty" -- and then outfit themselves using their own wardrobe.

The obvious flop of the group is Giah, who fails to throw together a "hippie chic" look. Law even goes as far as to call her a liar when she comes downstairs looking more Field & Stream than Bonnaroo. Kyle comes down in very obvious ripped jeans and leather jacket for her "gender bender" look, and then seethes when Law calls her on her unoriginality. Law also gives Coryanne poor marks, but only because it's inarguably fun to see how pouty her dumb face can become. To no one's surprise, Law's established favorite, Tatiana, is declared the winner. She gets some shoes. India -- who's also really been growing on me lately -- points out that it probably wasn't too difficult for Tatiana to achieve "model chic" when that term means everything and nothing.

One bump in my new love for Law: his participation in the slutification of poor Krislian. When she tries to defy the judges' expectations by choosing "eclectic chic," Law refers back to her previous panel looks and makes her re-choose "sultry glam" -- and then tells her that the dress she's chosen is too sultry. I really don't want to have to defend Krislian; she's dull and kinda whiny and brings nothing to the competition. But as long as the judges choose to make her their personal punching slag, I am compelled to be her reluctant champion.

Haute Couture, Aisle 9

Obviously, since this episode is all about personal street style, the photo shoot finds the models dressed in avant-garde looks, posing in front of groceries. This seems familiar, but as far as I can tell Top Model has never done a shoot in a supermarket before. Especially not in outfits like these:

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This week's designer is Nicola Formichetti, who "created Lady Gaga's image," according to Drew. I'm guessing Gaga might not entirely cosign that bold statement? Regardless, Nicola is hot and seemingly on the right side of crazy, so I hope we see more of him.

Besides the first week when he yelled at them from on high a cherry picker, this is really the first time we've seen Drew work with the models one on one. He does his best to channel the alternating glorification and exasperation of Mr. Jay, and mostly succeeds. At the very least, he's better than fucking Yu Tsai. I hope that midge is living under a bridge with the rest of the trolls now that he's no longer employed with Top Model. (What's that, internet? He worked with Harper's Bazaar, Sports Illustrated, and multiple Vogues in 2016? Well fuck you very much.)

It's not the most action-packed shoot, but you should watch anyway to get a sense of Drew's skills as a creative director. Also, you know, the tossed salad of hot pink ruffles and produce. Krislian fails to keep the random bundles of fabric from getting caught in her crown, which is one metaphor I cannot quite unravel right now. Marissa pours two gallons of milk on herself, meaning this post will now pop in the Google Alerts of some very kinky people. And Kyle, who transitioned seamlessly from bored to sarcastic this week, gets what's coming to her when she falls off her skyscraper heels. After her bitchy confessional retort to Law's comment that she doesn't appear to try as hard as the rest of the models (which: true), I am fully prepared for the Kyle backlash.

Panel

My highlights and takeaways:

  • India's purple hair has now faded to a dreamy periwinkle, but I hope they do a retouch before it becomes straight-up Kelly Osbourne gray.
  • Krislian wore this and STILL received comments that she can't help being overly sexy:
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  • Giah's photo is one of my favorites, but if Drew says he had to manufacture every one of her poses, then sure, get her out of here.
  • I have absolutely no idea where Drew's rant against Courtney's attitude comes from. Other than a quiet yelp when one of the stylists pricked her scalp, this week was probably the one in which Courtney spent the least time complaining. Drew's "I will make sure you are not here anymore" empty threat only makes himself look more like the Simon Cowell pretender I feared he might be. (On the other hand, I subconsciously nodded in agreement when Ashley, unprompted, declared Courtney to be unlikable.)
  • Sure, Coryanne's face game is on-point, but she should not get credit for an illusion she did not create.
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  • Based on the judges' comments week to week, it feels like Tatiana, Marissa, and Binta are shoo-ins for the finale, and it's everyone else's job to crack that top three. My money's on Paige as the new dark horse now that it's been a few weeks since we've seen her "extra" side, as Binta deemed it.
  • I'm normally a fan of what Rita brings to panel, but this middle school production of Carmen nonsense just looks sad next to Ashley's color-blocking fringe.
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    Also, I near spit out my drink at the accidental question mark Rita placed at the end of "I didn't come into this industry as a model, I came into it as...a musician?"

The bottom two are Kyle and Giah, with one big asterisk hanging over Krislian's third-to-last spot. Before Rita sends her to safety, she declares, "I think we've made a mistake," and returns to the judges' table to consult with the others about reversing their decision to keep Krislian. Rita is ultimately overruled (or, rather, her promo soundbite charade reaches its disappointing conclusion), and Giah is sent home.

Verdict

If nothing else, watch for the crazy fashion and the ascension of Law Roach...

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...a man with no qualms about judging your basic-ass vest while matching a latex baseball cap with Elaine Stritch sunglasses.

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