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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

America's Next Top Model: "Ready For My Close-Up"

Illustration for article titled America's Next Top Model: "Ready For My Close-Up"
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Illustration for article titled America's Next Top Model: "Ready For My Close-Up"

"Just pull it up."

[Dominique giggles. Adjusts Dominique's shirt on Dominique slightly. Stares blankly.]

"Uh, no. You've got to pull it up."

[Dominique adjusts Dominique's shirt again. Starts to pull Dominique's shirt back from Dominique's shoulders. Stares confusedly.]

"What's wrong with you? UP. Pull it from the bottom. UP!"

[Dominique finally gets it, pulls Dominique's shirt up from the bottom, around Dominique's hips.]

"It's ok if it's scrunchy. Now just tuck it behind your belt."

[Dominique tucks her massively long t-shirt behind her belt. Giggles. Dominique has no idea what has just happened to Dominique.]

The great part about this exchange between the judges and Dominique at panel— besides of course the irony that Dominique (of all people) had no idea how to tuck in order to achieve a better silhouette—was that it could also have applied to Dominique's face. "Pull it up. Uh, no. Up! From the bottom. What's wrong with you?" Because no matter how you adjust Dominique's face, it still looks wrong. That's what Dominique-osity is: leggings with long lycra t-shirts, the face of a butch lioness, and the babbling of a cheerful megalomaniac all combining together to form one big "What's wrong with you?"

That's why Tyra sent off Dominique into Dominique-land with the wise, though thoroughly unworkable advice: "You've got to master this face. That's your challenge." And if Dominique ever does succeed at that challenge, maybe she could next tackle the challenge of a cure for the common cold or the challenge of cold fusion, because at that point she could clearly do anything.

I knew Dominique was going home this episode when all the other girls in the house openly discussed her eating habits—which is the kiss of death on ANTM. It either indicates an eating disorder (which America's Next Top Model cannot openly have). Or general weird piggishness (which America's Next Top Model never would exhibit, probably because she's hiding an eating disorder.) She eats junk all the time? Even at night? In the dark? She eats candy? That is not model behavior. She's gone.

Though I did love the part where Dominique pulled back the comforter on her bed and said, "Oh! Candy corn!" Why was she so surprised to find a treasure trove of candy in her own bed? Either she is a sleep-eater (possible), or the other girls occasionally throw candy in Dominique's bed to keep the evil leprechauns in her head busy eating, and not droning on about Dominique's place in the competition with Dominique (even more possible).

Of course, the main reason that Dominique went home was perfectly summed up by Paulina when she saw Nigel's faux-paparazzi shot of her: "This is a transvestite. I'm sorry." Yes, yes it is, Paulina. And no, no you're not. But neither is Dominique, because the story of Dominique and what's next for Dominique will echo with 1000 Dominiques inside the Dominique brain of Dominique for all Dominique-time.

Grade: B

Stray Observations:

—So now we're down to the Invisible Meep, Awkward Bicycle Iman Face, or The Real Whitney. Hmmm. I wonder who's going to win? (Whitney)

—"You overtalk us. Some of the judges don't like that." They certainly are setting up the Fatima losing plotline nicely. When has she ever done anything at panel except cry? And look exhausted in that special, Awkward Bicycle way.

—On a scale of one to ten, one being an old bag of potpourri in a wicker basket, and ten being a blank check, how useless is Seventeen editor Ann Shoket?

—Nigel shooting the girls was pretty boring this cycle—Except, of course, when he showed Fatima how to ascend a staircase like a 50s movie star: very sneakily, and with wide eyes like a lemur.

—Mr. Jay's quilted maroon leather jacket was overkill, even for Mr. Jay. He truly tapped into eurotrash style while staying in Italy.

—"He's noted, he's sexy. He's Nigel Barker." Someone just found their epitaph.