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America's Next Top Model: "Acting Like A Model"

Illustration for article titled America's Next Top Model: "Acting Like A Model"
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And now the continuation of ANTM…

Maybe it's just me, but did Tyra seem a little less TIRED this episode? She wasn't perky or frightening or angry or a confetti cannon of ridiculousisms, as on previous episodes of previous cycle/seasons of ANTM, but something was different. At judging she seemed, well, on edge. Irritated. As if one of her minions had dared to place a single pea beneath the mattresses stuffed with all of ANTM's discarded weaves that she sleeps on each night beneath a plastic moon, carved in her image, at the edge of the abyss, and Tyra just could not get comfortable. Whereas usually this cycle/season she slurps around like a giant slug, at this week's judging she was like a giant slug that had been sprinkled with the slightest bit of salt: Annoyed, and waiting to be tranformed into a dehydrated, motionless log.

Then again, maybe it's just me.

But it wasn't just Tyra who seemed visibly irritated at judging this week. Nigel, Ms. Jay, and Paulina all upped their bitchiness—and not just for entertainment's sake, either. They were genuinely bitchy. Nigel nearly foamed at the mouth when he told Lemur Barbie to find a new look (aka get a new face. What else can he expect her to do? She has big eyes. They're on her face. Sorry). Ms. Jay, after calling Lemur Barbie out for wearing the same dress (gasp!) twice, then proceeded to imitate Natalie's stiff shoulders with extreme malice. And following Tyra's lengthy ghetto fabulous rendition of what "hard" means to her, Paulina spat at Olde Londontowne, "Don't wear those shorts again. They're unflattering." Maybe the judges are just now realizing exactly how boring these girls are and they're lashing out, but they all seemed to be peeved that they had to participate in judging them at all.

So what provoked this tide of bitchiness? A slew of very lackluster New Cover Girl True Minerals Express Blast Quick Step Full Coverage Pulverized Rocks File Cabinets Sheer Powder Foundation commercials. Yes, it was the acting (aka, reading a teleprompter) episode! Ahh, models trying to speak. Will it ever get old?

Evidently. Even Bankable Productions thinks so, which is why, following Paulina's expert acting coaching ("I'm ecstatic! Jump!"), they brought in renowned thespian Clay Aiken to teach these models how to ham on a professional level. I know that ANTM is a world where logic doesn't exist, where up is down and sometimes sideways, where synesthesia is not only a desirable goal but expected, and where "noted" is infinitely better than "acclaimed," but Clay Aiken is an acting expert because he was in Spamalot!? Was Beth Stern unavailable this week? I mean, she's been on the cover of Hamptons six times. She can do anything.


Not only was Clay Aiken the guest judge and resident dubious expert in this episode, he was also the show's well-advertised draw. Every promo for ANTM this past week has enthusiastically screamed, "Clay Aiken!" —which is a weird choice for a show whose chief demographic isn't bored empty nest moms in customized "I'm a Claymate!" sweatshirts. But I digress.

Clay played opposite the girls in a scene about an indignant has-been model/giant slug that I'm sure was really fun to see eight times in a row. Aminat swallowed half of the sentences she was supposed to say; Lemur Barbie proved that anime eyes don't make expressing oneself any easier; Fo and Natalie upped their forgettable-ness; Teyona was like an angry hanger that had just been given the breath of life; Ye Olde Londonetowne smirked and jutted out her chin (she's from an acting family); Tahlia was very stiff, which is quite an accomplishment for Silly Putty; and Baby Martha Plimpton apparently thought she was auditioning for the role of Auntie Mame, but performed so big she can be seen from space. Paulina and Clay mistook Baby Martha Plimpton's acting for "comedic flare" when really it was just a big ole slab of albino ham. Still, Londonetowne was the winner. All that time spent faking street preaching really paid off.


Next, the girls went to their Cover Girl Pure Minerals Shake And Bake Fun Times Natural Spring Powder Foundation commercial shoot, and ANTM winner McWig showed the girls exactly what it takes to win a Cover Girl contract: A pretty face and the personality of a stiff sheet of ice. The girls followed her example and stuttered, sputtered, and stiffed their ways through their group commercials. Basically, they all sucked. But Baby Martha Plimpton resembled the ghost of a 80s businesswoman in hers, so she was the winner. And Tahlia, walking Silly Putty herself, was sent home. Ghostly 80s businesswoman ham always trumps Silly Putty in ANTM world. Sure. Why not?

Grade: B-

Stray Observations:

—Tahlia: How can I get that confidence?

McKey: You know, you just have to be more confident.

Yep. That's about right.

—Which do you think Londonetowne will do first: a. Showcase her street-preaching skills b. Mention her alleged street-preaching, or c. Get eliminated because she gained weight?


—Clay Aiken had the biggest solo album ever? What was that, Tyra?

—I couldn't watch the clip episode. Did I miss anything?