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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

America's Next Top Model: "We Are Spartans!"

Illustration for article titled iAmericas Next Top Model/i: We Are Spartans!
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Illustration for article titled iAmericas Next Top Model/i: We Are Spartans!

First off, please allow me to apologize for my tardiness in bringing you this recap. I was jet-lagged from my commercial flight. Now that that's out of the way…

Last night's episode was the episode that every ANTM viewer breathlessly awaits in every cycle (after the go-see episode, the Cover Girl commercial episode, and the makeover episode, of course): the Tyra As Photographer episode. How much mandatory enthusiasm would her entrance wring from the weary contestants? (Many shrieks, and at least one Dominique babbling session.) Which idiotic "photographer-y" things would she say to them in terms of direction? ("You're like 'ungh!' Be a little more "humph!") How many pillows would she prop herself up on while rolling around on the ground pretending to be a photographer? (From the looks of it, at least eight.) Would she pirouette holding a camera for some reason? (Yes.) It's always very exciting.

And the most important question: how could anyone breathe at panel with all the smoke that everyone was blowing up Tyra's ass? "This is straight out of Italian Vogue." "You should do this full time!" "It's a beauuuuuutiful shot!" Honestly, I expected more out of Paulina than such effusive Tyra gushing. Then again, the title of this show is pretty much America's Next Top Model And Effusive Tyra Gushing so my expectations are obviously unrealistic.

Tyra's, excuse me, "Mama's" inspiration for the shoot was "Italian renaissance woman who went to a club on Sunset Boulevard," but since no one at Bankable Productions knows what "Italian" means—Bon soir, Tyra!—let alone "renaissance," most of the girls looked like the cast of Cats going to to 80s prom night at someplace called Culture Club. Especially Fatima, who was an exact amalgamation of Skimbleshanks, Iman, and Til Tuesday. Anya, or what I could see of her, looked like electroclash Phyllis Diller, while Whitney just looked like Delta Burke, and Dominique reached Dominiqueosity as Cruella DeVille.

Of course, MOB disappeared into the clothes (which, incidentally, is what a model is supposed to do), just as she kind of disappeared into the background of the show, which is why she was ultimately eliminated. You can't blame MOB for not wanting to interact with the other contestants much, or put on a colorful personality, or have an excessively weird "Hawaiian" accent, or develop a habit of talking in the third person—unless you're Tyra. It seemed like Katarzyna was probably just a normal girl who wanted to keep her head down and model, in which case she definitely applied for the wrong show. I'm surprised she made it as far as she did, but I'm sure she'll have fun on her commercial flight home.

Grade: B+

Stray Observations:

—"Tyra took my picture!" Dominique, don't you mean "Tyra took Dominique's picture of Dominique!"

—Speaking of Dominique, I love how the judges constantly tell her, "This is the best picture of your face so far." They can barely conceal their amazement that Dominique can look halfway decent. They should really just follow through with that sentiment and say, "Your face looks so much better in pictures than it does in real life."

—"We Are Spartans!" Nothing like a reference to ancient Greece to hammer home the point that your show is visiting Italy.

—Fatima's lack of coordination during the gladiator shoot was both hilarious and shocking. How often do you get to see a figure made out of pipe-cleaners wield a sword?

—"Let us see the real Whitney." Oh, Tyra. You of all people should know that camp can sometimes be all a person has. This is the real Whitney.

—Has anyone else noticed that Saleisha's hair gets poofier and poofier as her life as a Cover Girl stretches on and on?

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