America's Next Top Model Sheds Its Hair And Its Clothes
In this cycle's nude photo shoot, no one can hide their ill-conceived makeovers.
Courtney Vs. The World
Because Courtney isn't feeling well, she asks the other five girls chatting it up in her room if they could shut down for the night sooner rather than later. This prompts Marissa and the twins -- but mostly Marissa -- to call her out as a whiny snob who likes to play the victim. It's entirely possible something was cut that would make this tiff make more sense, but hey, we're living in an editors' world, and I'm just recapping it. Also, Marissa describes herself as a bitch in multiple testimonials, and if there's one thing we've learned from this toilet bowl of an election, it's to take people seriously when they tell you how awful they are.
Eventually, Courtney gives in and leaves to sleep on the couch -- but she still can't get any peace with Marissa continuing to shout at her from the stairs. Cherish, who's apparently held in much higher regard with the rest of the women, goes upstairs to lecture Courtney's oppressors on conflict management, and it's surprisingly effective. I think I like this red-headed hipster with the missing upper lip!
Makeovers Signature Looks!
For some reason, the word "makeover" is verboten now that Tyra's gone (I'd really love to see the 99-point terms of surrender doc Tyra negotiated with VH1), but everyone who's seen this show knows it's time for the models to get mostly terrible haircuts. Rita explains that every lady celebrity needs a signature look, which is why they've brought the models to the Sally Hershberger salon, so that they can achieve theirs. Rita also tries to convince us that her own signature look, known 'round the world, is blonde hair and bright red lips. YEAH. OKAY.
It's truly remarkable how at least one model freaks out about her makeover every cycle, without fail. I guarantee every one of these women has seen this show before, so they should know that the worst look is the girl bawling over her new look. And yet, here we are once again, with Tash brooding over a box cut she thinks will make her look more masculine and Cherish complaining that the stylists are going to ruin her "virgin" red hair by "enhancing the color." (R.I.P. my minutes-long toleration of Cherish.)
It's hard to decide who's the more insufferable of the two. Tash holds it together for a while, but leaves the room to vent and, hee hee, forgets to take off her mic. Her "I'm flirty! I wear skirts!" rant is up there with some of the worst makeover reactions in the show's history. It's not even that drastic a cut. Girl was already halfway to boy before they cleaned up her edges. In contrast, we don't hear a peep out of Cody (who Tash describes as the androgynous one even though...you know...twins) when they slap a miserable wig on her.
Instead of getting mad, Cherish opts for the pouty puss route. Her description of her mane as "every strand a slightly different color" is super-obnoxious...but she's not entirely wrong. Her ginger locks are gorgeous, not to mention increasingly rare, and the dye job they give her could have been slapped on anyone. But once she commits, there is absolutely no point in her continuing to whine, especially if she wants any shot of winning this show. Besides, if Tilda Swinton can show up on a different red carpet every few months at a different point on the blonde-ginger spectrum and still look like a dazzling alien, so can Cherish.
While Tash and Cherish cry, poor India simply shrugs her shoulders and accepts the Claire's Boutique purple nonsense they give her.
On top of having to deal with that, India is the only one even remotely nervous when Ashley enters the salon to announce that the models' new hair will be the only thing they wear in this week's photo shoot. That's right, it's Makeover Week AND Naked Week!
The women enter the studio to find Ashley already modeling nude with only some hanging pearls covering her naughty bits. She tells them that if a plus-size lady with cellulite like hers can do it, they should have nothing to be afraid of -- not that anyone besides India needs convincing. The girls whose new do's are already done strip down for a pre-game shoot with Ashley before Drew divides them up into groups of three and four for their official sessions.
First up are Krislian, Binta, and Cherish. Krislian is still getting the "video girl" edit, and, based on her response to the judges' comments last week, she's starting to internalize their bullshit. "I'm Latina, short, with a big butt, so I have a lot to prove to the judges." Girl: no. After their shoot, Cherish grumbles some more about her new hair, telling Binta that dyeing her hair is equivalent to Binta dying her skin. Holy shit is this trio problematic.
The rest of the shoots go smoothly enough. It's always hard to tell who does well and who doesn't in group shoots. Tash seems to flail a bit, possibly because she isn't comfortable being so close to her enemy, Courtney. India finally takes off her robe after some nervous tears and appears to perform adequately enough. For being such a good sport, I hope they let her stay a few extra episodes past her original predetermined elimination.
Also, the newly punkified Kyle shoots side by side with Coryanne and her Bernadette Peters perm, conjuring a bizarre '80s fantasyland I wish I could move to right now.
It took twenty-four hours for Marissa to realize she'd rather suck it up and apologize to Courtney than be the girl who could have won but loses it all thanks to her villainous bitchery. Courtney gracefully accepts and uses the opportunity to throw some well-earned shade at Tash and Cody: "Marissa is very mature. She did something at eighteen that the twins couldn't even do, and they're almost thirty." For the record, they're only twenty-six, but considering how rare it is that someone over twenty wins this show, that shit cuts deep.
Even though there's only one model fewer than last week, I feel like we spend significantly more time on judging, and that's just fine with me. Here are the main takeaways:
- As was hinted at last week, the judges seem to prefer Tash to Cody. Rita labels her the "dark horse" of the competition. Cody acquits herself nicely too, even with a wig line that'd make Michelle Visage go "giiiiiirl." Law calls her pose in the photo "beyond," though I have a feeling he's going to be saying that a lot this season.
- Rita and Drew literally applaud India for...having purple hair? Like she had something to do with the photographer, Ellen Von Unwerth, choosing to color it in the otherwise black-and-white shot?
- Rita tries to make a point about "girls supporting girls" after seeing one of the photos in which the models are literally leaning against one another, but no one is under the impression that this shoot is about anything other than appealing to the male gaze.
- Equally as baffling, Rita tells Paige she'd buy whatever underwear she's selling...in her nude photo.
- Add "online girl" to the list of terms the judges have used to slut-shame Krislian for no damn reason.
- It's possible Cortney could give the same blank stare in every photo and still be called "timeless" now that she's got that Marilyn Monroe hair. Also very possible: Law or Drew telling her to "stop relying on those eyebrows" within the next two weeks. For now, letting her brows and blow out speak for themselves works just fine, as Courtney wins best photo.
Krislian's shameful sexuality lands her in the bottom two, but it's Cherish who's sent home for her awkward body and hand posing. (JK, it's because it's funny to crush someone's dreams after they spend two days crying about a dye job.)
Petty fights? Check. Crying over haircuts? Check. Discomfort nude-ing it up in front of a dozen stylists and PA's? Check. This is a Top Model that'd make Tyra proud.