29 April 2011

Never Forget

(SWNS/Getty Images)

The Unhappiest, Cutest Little Girl In The World

(Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

 Which looks sort of like me on a particularly sulky day in the late 80s:


As Kate's Rolls Royce bumped jauntily along Whitehall, she double-checked the topmost lace baubles of her gown with trembling hands. Soon she would become Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and God forbid a duchess should appear in public with an undone bauble. Without a doubt, Queen Elizabeth would have her head for that.

Hundreds of decorated veterans and poshly behatted women slid into view as Kate's car approached Westminster Abbey. Queen Elizabeth had arrived moments before - opulent yet composed in her pastel yellow skirtsuit, thought Kate. But she took a second look when she noticed Elizabeth's extreme pallor. Her paleness hadn't been that pronounced on the other times Kate met with the Queen. Elizabeth looked, frankly, green. "I do hope that's not on my account!" mused Kate to no one in particular.

Kate's hand was already on the door handle before the Rolls Royce came to a full stop. As soon as the door opened, everything rushed and blurred around her. Photographers, reporters, and adoring commoners shouted for her to look this way and that. At one point Kate heard a small scream, but when nothing else followed, she assumed her ears had invented the noise. Onward she marched into the church, past Queen Elizabeth II, who was now dabbing a floral handkerchief at the corners of her frothing mouth.

The traditional hourlong service felt like mere minutes to Kate - very nearly Catherine - because she was standing next to her husband-to-be, William. Prince William had served in the military, and although he was quite happy this morning, he had endured some rough visions indeed on the battlefield. Things he had never imagined he'd see. Things he had thought for sure Nature couldn't have allowed. But today was his wedding day, so he pushed those memories to a distant corner of his princely brain. Unfortunately, keeping those memories at a more reachable neuron might have helped when the trouble finally started.

Three minutes before the end of the service, an unmistakable growling began somewhere in the pews. A thousand instantly icy stares shot back and forth, but no one could identify the troublemaker. The growling sounded like it came from someone (or something) in a great deal of pain. Kate willed herself not to turn around to see what was causing the noise. If she had, she would've seen a rather strange side of Queen Elizabeth.

The monarch, resplendent in her (almost) 60 years of rulership, was now perched on all fours on the top of the backboard of the front-row pew. Out of respect, the wedding guests who had realized where the noise was coming from politely turned their heads away, choosing instead to whistle lightly or to twiddle their thumbs. It was Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, who finally took action. "Psst!" she stage-whispered to the Queen over Charles, who sat between them. "Ye've got t' stop carryin' on as such if ye want yer grandbabe t' finish 'is right bloody weddin'!" Prince Charles shushed his squawking wife in a hopeless effort to quell the attention they were now getting. Kate wanted so badly to turn around and look, but tradition dictated against it.

It seemed that the Queen no longer cared whether her grandchild had a successful wedding. She was alternately wheezing and snarling from her watchpost on the pew, and she looked ready to pounce on someone. Her eyes blazed a sick yellow color. Her bottom lip bled where her sharp teeth rested. Her knickers were still hidden, but only by virtue of her preternaturally staunch upbringing. Suddenly, Elizabeth's greenish, slightly rotted ear perked at a noise. She whipped her head around much farther than it should have been able to twist and froze. She then leapt more than 15 meters and landed on one of the grander columns of Westminster Abbey, near where the choirboys were stationed. Her hands and feet somehow clung to the completely vertical surface with ease, although by the sound of her wheezing, it didn't seem like much of Elizabeth's body felt at ease at the moment. With a great blood-curdling howl, she jumped off the column and landed amidst the choirboys, teeth first.

The way Westminster Abbey is set up, it's difficult to see exactly what's going on in the choirboy stable. The designers of the Abbey originally believed that the choir would be better unseen, in order to better appreciate their God-gifted voices. And so, 1100 years later, the boys presently being eaten by Queen Elizabeth II were well hidden by divinely inspired architecture. Unable to see the carnage and with only a minute left in the service, the Archbishop of Canterbury decided he could finish marrying the two young Brits before things really got out of hand. Kate and William quaked where they stood until the archbishop slowly and magnificently declared them man and wife.

At that, the new marrieds turned and sprinted out of the Abbey. Pale green, frothy-mouthed choirboys were scuttling threateningly along the walls of the ancient cathedral by now, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had a balcony kiss to get to. Pleased, Catherine gave her lace baubles a quick double-check as she ran down the aisle. Her head would be safe for now, at any rate!

27 April 2011

ANTM Recap "Lana Marks"

"I will only allow this photograph to be taken with the express condition that Anna Wintour never, ever lay eyes on it, for I am Andre Leon Talley and homey will NOT play that."
Another late recap, another great me-hap! ANTM was new two weeks ago, and it was the episode in which their foreign destination is announced - looks like the girls are going to Morocco! - but a lot happened before all that.

The episode starts with Brittani apologizing to Natural Swag for her temper tantrums over the past few days, and Swagxandria accepts the apology. My boyfriend Josh suggests that Natural Swag might be improving, but I refuse to agree. "But she's learning," he reasons. "But huge turds can't learn," I reply. "But...I'm the talent," argues Natural Swag pre-emptively a few weeks ago.

If you didn't know by now, Tyra booked 25 shows in Paris with only 3 photos in her portfolio when she was just starting out. You might have known that by now because it gets brought up a lot, particularly on Go-See Day. WHICH IS WHAT TODAY IS!

The girls have to guide their drivers around LA to get to all of their go-sees, and this season, it's ultra-important to hit as many as possible. (Even though they've only been given something like 3 hours to see 5 designers in very far-flung areas of LA.) Brittani and Jaclyn decide to play it safe after making it to only 2 go-sees, but it comes back to haunt them when Lana Marks shows up, who is apparently a very elegant zombie. Lombie Marks makes Alexandria, Molly, and Kasia pose with her purse collection, and when she asks Natty Swag why she'd want to get this campaign, Alexandria replies with "Why WOULDN'T I want to get this campaign?" Lombie Marks is thrilled and proclaims her the winner, then tries to eat her brains with a dainty salad fork.

"I can't stop looking smug. 'Sorry,' everyone."

A Tyra Mail comes for the girls, and my roommates and I discuss the fact that even though those notes always end with "Love, Tyra," it would be better/more accurate if they ended with "Love, Tyra Mail." Because it's not really Tyra's voice making up the riddles in these stupid things. Take this week for example: "A modeling career is a terrible thing to waste. Love, Tyra." Nah, Tyra didn't write that. Tyra Mail did. Tyra Mail is the riddle-bearing sphinx and Tyra is, uh, Tiresias.

Yet again, the girls are modeling with great heaps of trash. This happens nearly every season now, and even though it's well-worn ("recycled"!!!!!!!!!!!!!) territory, it's nice that ANTM advocates for reminding people that we continue to make tons of trash. Stinky-chic activism at its finest.

Nigel Barker shoots the girls and keeps complimenting Natural Swag on things she's not actually doing well. Then he gets pissy when he notices how much Molly complains, which, as it turns out, is all the time. "This is unsanitary!" "Does anybody have a BB gun?" "I hate you, birds!" Nigel reassures Brittani before her shoot, which is nice because it's totally voluntary. To make him proud, Brittani writhes around on the ground (actually just the topmost surface of leagues of packed-in garbage) to show how invested she really is. It's gross, but it's one of the things I like about her. She's pretty invested.

At Elimination, Natural Swag wears her velveteen choker YET AGAIN and this time I have a picture of it, along with another shit-eating grin:

"I was so unsure of myself but now I can see through your eyes that I'm WONDERFUL!"

Every judge loves Natty Swag, and they think her final photograph is also very good because she's standing close to 9' tall on a ladder and you know Tyra's going to love that.

The girls' wardrobe is made of recycled materials by Michael Cinco, which explains all these mylar dresses I guess. The next judged is Baby-Voiced Jaclyn, but this week her southern charm doesn't work as well as it used to. She booked both go-sees, but no one seems happy about her anymore. She's old news. Yes, she's also standing 9' tall, but feh. And that left arm is pretty bad.

Baby V Jaclyn
The judges like Molly's modeling but complain about her "off moments," probably referring to her desire to shoot every bird native to the landfill with BBs. Between Molly's bad attitude and Brittani's on-set tantrum, the judges have a lot of personal behavior to discuss. Yet they never seem to acknowledge anymore that Natty Swag is a person who moves lights around on set and directs the other girls and calls "cut" for herself during commercials, etc. I'd rather work with a girl who hates birds than a girl who RUINS ALL MY HARD WORK. But that's hypothetical.

Next up is Kasia, who made it to 4 go-sees but only booked 2. Such is the plight of the full-figured model who is beautiful and articulate. She just can't book certain shows.Unfortunately her photo isn't that great, either.

Hannah comes next, and the judges accuse her of "overthinking" something. Lololololol enough joking around, Tyra! The judges should probably be saying something closer to "you are doubting your natural inclinations" because "overthinking" really does not have a role in this situation. Against all odds, Hannah overcomes her terribly hyperkinetic brain and ends up with a great photo.

Brittani goes last, and her photograph is great, as always. The judges think it's "exactly the kind of thing Franca Sozzani would love," which seems like the most important criterion to hit since Sozzani's the editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia and the girls are trying to land a spread there.

Wearing her Chanel No. 1 shirt, Natural Swag wins first place for the week. Tyra tells Brittani she's proud of her for "coming a long way." Molly and Baby Voice land in the Bottom Two, and poor Bizarro Sookie Stackhouse has to go home. "So are we gonna go home and try to learn to read a map?" asks Tyra to Jaclyn. But the joke is on you, Tyra, because Bon Temps doesn't even HAVE a map. Too overthinky!

Tonight's episode: Franca Sozzani, herself!

photos courtesy CWtv.com


You know how sometimes you're waiting to hear about something (or maybe something takes you by surprise, as today's news did), and when you're finally reading the words you're reading, you're like "WOW, is this really it? Or am I just daydreaming again? Or are these words actually published somewhere beyond my imagination, thus making it THAT MUCH REALER?!!?!?!! IS THIS REAL?!!!!!!!!!" Staring at NYmag's "Top Model Announces All-Star Season" headline gave me that exact lightning bolt of emotions. And now I'm blogging about it to make it even realer than real.

Oh my God, I've been waiting for this since the Jaslene season! But what are they going to do about the models who are like 27 now? Not cast them, probably. There have still got to be plenty of models who were 17 back during their season 6 years ago, making them a scant 23 right now. Oh my God, oh my God this is HAPPENING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tonight there's a new episode of ANTM at its new time slot (9 o'clock instead of 8 o'clock because I guess No Ordinary Family is just too strong a competitor) and I will be there. I took notes on the new episode two weeks ago but haven't published the recap yet, assuming I'd do it when the goofy behind-the-scenes episode aired last week. Alas. Don't worry, it's nothing against ANTM - I'm also already two recaps behind on Gossip Girl. Oh geez I hope my blog boss doesn't dock my pay! That is, the money I'm paid to write these long, scintillating recaps for every stupid show I watch whether anyone reads them or not. Or wait, am I paid in cheese pretzels that I give to myself actually. Yes that is it. Please Bossman Becky, keep them pretzels coming!

14 April 2011

Matthew McConaughey Has A Gravity Problem

photos courtesy Amazon.com
I was writing a post about Matthew McConaughey's top/only four awesome movie roles when I noticed that a lot of his romantic comedy movie dvd covers suffer from some sort of gravity problem. Kate Hudson and SJP desperately prop up his body weight while Jennifer Garner clutches his lapel to keep him from falling over, apparently into a crowd of zombies. What is this world that his movie boxes take place in?! Not a very romantic one. More like endlessly punishing...in more ways than one! Get it? These movies are also bad movies.

However! Matthew McConaughey has some terrific film roles - so terrific that I was inspired to write a post about it based solely on his #1 role. It's a pretty great #1. Let's go!

4. I'm hearing rumblings about The Lincoln Lawyer that it's getting 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. No, it's 83%. Ok, that's pretty close. Whatever. Go see it, or don't for all I care. I'm just saying it's probably goodish, at least.

3. Also, according to IMDb Matt McC played Andrew Jackson in a 2003 miniseries called Freedom: A History of Us. YOWZA!!!!! Andrew Jackson?!?! Netflix, here I come! But wait, oh no, no. Netflix doesn't even know what I'm talking about. But it costars Tom Hanks as Abe Lincoln and Kevin Kline as Thomas Jefferson! What is this terrible world McConaughey hath wrought? Is there some sort of curse?

2. He's pretty great in Tropic Thunder. Rick Peck, as in "Yo Tuggernuts! It's the Pecker." But that's nothing compared to...

Congratulations, David Wooderson!
Wooderson from Dazed & Confused! My favorite movie to watch on New Year's Day happens to feature my favorite character Matthew McConaughey has ever played. What an unbelievable coincidence! Wooderson is the most watchable character in movie history, and please tell me if you have a different opinion, Matt McCo or otherwise. I'm just saying, maybe it'd be a lot cooler if you did.

13 April 2011

Women Aren't [Supposed To Be] Funny

I just read an article about this Oprah clip on NYmag. At first glance at the article title ("Jane Curtin Says John Belushi Was a Total Sexist"), I was like "Well DUHHHHHHH!" But that's when the "women aren't funny" idea started dancing in my brain, and now I can't get it to stop. I should point out that I've only been able to load about ten seconds of the clip so far, so I've only watched Chevy Chase bring up sketches about "women's issues." I'm excited to see the rest, but I can only really speak to the first few seconds of the video. Don't worry, it's more than enough.

It's no secret that the early years of SNL provided an uncomfortable atmosphere for women. Chase, Belushi, and Lorne Michaels were infamous rumored misogynists, maybe not in a universal sense but certainly within the realm of comedy. I still haven't read all of Shales and Miller's Live from New York (a supercomprehensive oral history of SNL), but I've read bits and pieces and they generally support this depiction of women - that they weren't particularly funny. 

fig. 1
Before I even get to my own point, I've already gotten stuck in this logic. The early women of SNL ran the gamut of funny in my opinion (with Gilda as emperor and Laraine as fence post), but I'd have to say that none of them was a big-time sex symbol. I mean, Jane Curtin was pretty, but she definitely wasn't sexy, and neither were any of the other original girls. So it's clear to me that they didn't book this gig by being sexpots (see fig. 1)

But why else would they have been cast in a comedy show? Because someone in charge of the show, like Lorne Michaels, considered them funny? But that's the opposite of what I thought he thought! Potential solution: I was wrong about Lorne Michaels, and his extant working relationship with Tina Fey proves me wrong further. Regardless, at least SOMEBODY thought these women were funny. Because they sure weren't boner material in a strictly visual sense, yet they still made it on the air.

I digress. My own point has more to do with John Belushi and where he must have been coming from when he said "women are just fundamentally not funny" (according to Jane Curtin). One of the most significant differences I can see between 1975 and now is how women are perceived by society at large. In '75 there was still a lot of Housewife vs. Whore duality, and it just wasn't widely accepted yet that women were, in fact, thinking human beings just like men. I was lucky to grow up during a time when people (for the most part (but then again, I wasn't hanging out with anyone from SNL during the late 80s)) accepted that basic fact. I had some gender-specific toys, but I was never made to feel like I would get stuck forever in some repressed feminine role. I was told that I was just as good as boys at whatever I set my mind to and that I could have whatever kind of job I wanted, and of course all of this led to some serious shock when I graduated college, but that's not the point. My point is that what sets modern women apart from women forty years ago is the public's perception of them and what they should be focused on. "Fundamentally," they weren't supposed to be funny.

So in 1975 John Belushi was hanging out on set, believing all women were about as funny as his mother (who was probably actually pretty funny), pooh-poohing sketches by female writers because, as Chevy puts it on Oprah, their bits were largely about "women's issues." First of all, "women's issues" already sound like a comedy GOLDMINE to me. What on earth were those sketches about, surprisingly heavy periods and how to be jealous of your friends? But everyone knows periods are! not! funny!!! And John Belushi and Chevy Chase did NOT want to hear about them! Secondly, here's something that actually isn't funny: "I'm a zit, get it?"

I happen to really like (the funny parts of) Animal House, but I have to tell you, I've been trying for 25 years and I still don't think John Belushi playing a human zit is all that funny. I want to, but I just can't. This is only a guess, but maybe the intrinsic joke is waiting for the debutante across the table to get grossed out? Because it's funny to gross out girls? I'm still trying to figure it out. But I think the human zit quandary illustrates a big facet of his mindset: Belushi, undeniably loveable despite his reputed personal opinions, clung to the tenets of perceived gender roles in order to play Bluto. What's more guyish than a fatass alcoholic? And what's more funny than a fatass alcoholic with great comic timing and a rubber face? It's like Belushi's Law of Comedy = the natural schlubbiness of his gender + exaggeration + tons of booze.

That's my explanation for Belushi's opinion. In his mind, it might have been a "girls play girly girls, guys play guys' guys, and never the twain shall meet" situation. Obviously this is only a rudimentary idea based on my limited knowledge of what was really going on back then, but I'm really trying to get to the bottom of this idea about women not being funny. It seems to me that women weren't SUPPOSED to be funny. That just wasn't the role they were there to fill.

There are a million reasons to love Tina Fey, but I think my favorite thing about her is that she's just "a comedian." No qualifiers, no distinctions. She's obviously a woman (and an attractive one at that, and that's a whole other situation), yet she's more than capable of doing comedy as "one of the guys." The fact that she's not choosing, that's she's simply a hilarious person, is a great sign. She may not have been the first woman to realize that she could be funny without checking in with her femininity, but she's one of the first to be praised for it this publicly. Hopefully, more of that will lead to more little girls realizing that they can make jokes about whatever they want when they grow up - including periods.

And frankly, I think that if I could reanimate John Belushi just for a day (and if his zombie self were even capable of laughter), I could make him laugh at women's issues. That shit writes itself.

07 April 2011

ANTM Recap "Eric Daman" a.k.a. The First Time I Have Disagreed With Tyra Banks

This is exactly what it looks like.
This week, Gossip Girl's own Eric Daman dresses the girls in a manner surprisingly toned-down for him. That is, they're dressed as crazy people who are obsessed with various fashion items in front of the Bates Motel. But before any of that goes down, the girls talk breast cancer, win a car, and FREAK THE HECK OUT ALL OVER THE PLACE!

(This recap is doozy-length, just to warn you.) 

Inauspiciously, the episode starts with Brittani's very long monologue about how much she hates Natural Swalexandria. This hatred stems quite naturally from the vast root system of Alexandria's horrid personality, but it's strange that Brittani is so bothered by it. One would think that the best way to deal with an annoying person would be to ignore her, not to make her your own personal problem. But Brittani's 17- or 18-year-old brain hasn't gotten that far yet, so she takes out her proverbial shovel and starts digging her own grave from the very beginning.

After Elimination, the girls get home to find a ton of Ford "Warriors in Pink" swag in their living room. It's a lot of tacky pink t shirts with terrible Ed Hardy tattoo designs on them, but the girls seem very pleased nonetheless to be donning anti-breast cancer gear. Somewhere in here there's a flashback to Natural Swag during the Monique-directed commercial from a few weeks ago. She's listening to Monique's direction, and then she interrupts her to say "But...I'm the talent." Wow, oh wow, I can't believe I missed that the first time around. Good one, NS! That is perfectly OK both to believe and to say on national television. "BUT........I'M THE TALENT!"

So the challenge this week is a self-styled photoshoot for Ford's new breast cancer awareness program, the aforementioned Warriors in Pink. The girls all do stupid things that aren't funny or interesting enough to write about. One thing, though - at one point, Nigel asks Brittani what she's thinking about during her photoshoot, and she says "I don't think...I just do." I get it, Tani, but come on. Don't say that kind of stuff out loud, especially not to Nigel. 18 YEAR OLDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

During the commercial break there's a Ford ad with hairful Nigel in it. He has so much hair he looks like one of the brothers that Chris Parnell and Jimmy Fallon used to play on SNL that were so dorky and awkward with women that they just giggled and cried the whole time. UPGRADE!

Alexswagria goes last as always and poses as a stupid freaking tree. She wins the challenge, picking up a national print ad and a PSA for Warriors in Pink...and A FREAKING CAR. This is fishier than fish, itself. Nobody has ever won a car on ANTM, and I doubt it would be for winning a challenge in the middle of the season. They want Swag to win, they want to stir up trouble, so they give her a car. And guess what, all their dreams come true.

Brittani cares wayyyy too much about NS's ridiculous win, and she complains about it too loudly to the other girls. She's disgusted that NS could ever win a "role-model" competition. Natural Swag pulls a classic "uh, I can hear you" and the girls get into it right then and there. Nigel, along with the Ford clients, are standing 3 feet away. It gets ugly very quickly.

But not as ugly as Alexandriswag's stupid PSA. Her right eye is squinty, like Melissa Joan Hart but without any of Clarissa's trademark moxie. If this girl doesn't win the entire competition, I'll eat my hat. I'll eat it all the way to the bank!

Everything is terribly awkward at home. Anyone in the apartment who is not Alexandria hates Alexandria. I would feel sorry for her but somehow it's impossible. Totally, completely impossible. Of course, this isn't to say that Brittani makes any right moves today. She makes basically every wrong move. But then again, she's not a tremendously huge bitch all day long everyday.

The next day the girls go to Disneyland, where they get dropped off in front of the Bates Motel. Mr. & Mrs. J do a Psycho skit for the girls and it (of course) makes a lot of sense and totally has to do with modeling.

During the shoot, Brittani does some really amazing and lively posing. Like, terrific work. The photographer, Miguel Starcevich, LOVES her. Jaclyn the Baby Voiced and Kasia the Zaftig also have a great day, but everyone else is weak. Mister Jay tells Alexwagria to show her frustration about the other girls. She screams half-assedly, and Jay tells her it looks great. WHO IS HER FATHER, BENNY MEDINA? WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?!!!!!!!!

Brittani does a confessional where she says she hopes she doesn't flip out at panel. I guess that means she's planning on it. Great. At pre-elimination, Tyra thinks her boobs look weird in her shirt. When the actual Elimination panel starts, she's wearing something completely different.

Here are the girls' pictures:


Hannah struggles all day but ends up with this one, which is perfect. It's hilarious and modely and crazy. She's taking all the bags before anyone can notice!


Molly also struggles but ends up with a similarly great picture. Note to self, if you want to look crazy, just bite your bakelite cocktail ring.

Jaclyn the Baby Voiced gets to have lipstick all over her mouth, so it's pretty clear that she's going to win. Eric Daman thinks she channeled the Joker during the shoot. That seems right because it turns out, she wins!


Mikaelampire has no ideas, so she ends up with this piece of baloney. "I love sales so much that I'm crazily throwing a box into the air, I guess." She will be going home.

Kasia cracks me up in this picture. Her eyes are so huge and distinctly unmodely. But the rest looks great, so she passes!


Natural Swag Idiot is supposed to be crazy about fur, but she just looks like a mannequin. Miguel Starcevich has a spectacular eye for composition, though. Oh yeah, and they applaud her because she won so much at the challenge.

Nigel takes it upon himself to bring up her argument with Brittani in front of Ford. Tyra is displeased, and she teaches Brittani a lesson in being a role model by shutting your mouth in front of clients. But then Tyra gets angrier and angrier, never dropping it for one second after she's picked it up. She starts avenging Natural Swag with every ounce of strength in her body, I guess because she's been "bullied" before and now suddenly in her eyes Brittani looks like a Naomi Campbell bull with steam coming out of her nostrils.

"Andre, you don't even want to know how RIGHT I AM"
Tyra goes nuts on Brittani. Brittani cries so much she starts hyperventilating. She leaves the studio to get her breath back and to calm down before coming back. Tyra clearly takes offense when she leaves the soundstage, then doesn't let Brittani's brave return change her opinion at all.

Tyra must have heard about this whole toilet flush in advance, because she picks Brittani's stupidest pose as her final photo:

It still isn't even that bad. It's just not as great as her other 999 photos were. Obviously, she ends up in the Bottom Two with Mikaelampire the Blood Thirsty.

For the first time ever, we are shown an actual voting process for one of the contestants. Tyra makes a huge deal about how she's getting voted down and how everyone thinks that it's impossible for her to not get her way but it happened with Toccara and it's happening now. She reiterates this three more times. They vote 3:1 to keep Brittani. We're still kept in suspense when she and Mikaela stand in the Bottom Two spotlight.

Tyra restates her outvotedness thing eight more times in front of the girls and shames Brittani as much as possible. Talk about overkill, Tyra. The girl has already apologized sincerely a few times, and Tyra's still steaming ahead through her own bank of oppressive memories. Tyra's taking out years of frustration on one girl without even watching the footage of the actual event. And frankly, even though she brings it up in the complete wrong way, Brittani has a pretty excellent point: the Warriors in Pink winner should be a role model, and Alexstupidia is anything but. It doesn't matter what the judges see - the 10-year-old girls watching the show get to see NS misbehave everywhere she goes on camera. Tyra's just pissed that she can't unload like this on all the people who ever made it slightly difficult for her when she was 16 and just starting out in the modeling world. This is misappropriation. This is Tyra Banks when she is wrong.

Next week it looks like they're doing go-sees in LA instead of going anywhere special. Great, sounds like an excellent point for the season to start heading downhill. First Tyra's wrong, now boring go-sees are happening before (or even instead of) vacation? Fantastic, I'm so glad I've been recapping the stupidest season ever.

Photos courtesy of CWtv.com

04 April 2011

ANTM Recap "Sonia Dara"

"Ok ladies, should we visit our algebraic formulation or our graphic aid first? And remember to SMIZE."

This week I made sure ANTM recorded on time but did not recap it particularly on time. So here you go, two days before the next one comes out: THE ANTM MUD SHOW BLOWOUT EPISODE!

This week the girls pose in mud after learning about archetypes and fame monsters. Tyra visits the girls' apartment at the top of the episode, bursting with fashion/modeling information. She has the girls categorize themselves as girls-next-door or bombshells or edgy kids, then draws a fully unintelligible diagram on a whiteboard I guess to prove that she's been going to her Harvard Business School classes. Symbolic logic point proven!

Preparing to greet hoardes of Top Model fans for their challenge, Jaclyn the Baby Voiced declares that she won't have a problem with being famous because she loves little kids. Then on the other side of the mental spectrum, Natural Swagzandria says, "I'm as tough as a diamond...and that's as tough as you can be." Great work, you two. You clearly have a good grasp of what is going on right now.

Olivia Munnique has the worst day ever meeting these fans. She gets sick of talking to some guy and tells him to go grab a kiss from Alexandria. For all the work Monique has put into antagonizing Natty Swag and for all the hormonal imbalance that Natty Swag wears on her sleeve like a 1st place ribbon, it's insane that their rivalry isn't going anywhere. They're either too lazy or too oblivious to retaliate. When the guy goes up to Nattxandria, she's just like "Oh, well I have a boyfriend who is an Ultimate Fighter. But I will peck you on the cheek." When she does, Miss J is not pleased. After all, she could lead on stalkers that way.

Kasia wins the challenge and gets to have dinner with Miss J that night, which I assume means four straight hours of Miss J shitting all over everything you say and wear and order to eat. The losers have to clean up after the superfans, which makes OMunnique uber-pissed. She throws rolls of paper towels around on the sidewalk and keeps saying "kiss my ass." Shoulda saved that for the superfan!

When the girls get home, a Tyra Mail informs them that they'll be "tangled in the webs they weave" tomorrow. Everyone is like "oh no, spiders!!!!!!!!" You just did bees. Think, girls. Think.

Jonathan Mannion is back yet again, ready to photograph women with the best of 'em. He orders them to get covered in mud as the brunettes split off from the blondes. The shoot produces very pretty group shots with very unfortunate instances of grossness in both groups.

The Blondes
The Blondes go first and Natural Swag, the Director of Everything, tells the girls to move their hands from where Mister Jay placed them. Big mistake! Then she makes a face like "A-duh! That's what I'm telling you!" in the final picture. Way to go, egghead. The other three girls look amazing. It brings up thoughts of why blonde hair is unfair in the world in general.

The Brunettes
The Brunettes go second, and according to Hannah of the Blonde Group, it "kind of looked like a family portrait of cavewomen." I don't know, it sort of does I guess. But here's one thing I know for sure: Brittani KILLS it. She's the one in the bottom right corner. At one point, she hits a pose that inspires Jonathan Mannion to shoot only her for a little while. Tyra somehow neglects to bring this up in panel, probably because Jonathan got too stoned and forgot to tell her that it happened. Another thing I like about this picture is how the top row of girls leans left and the bottom row leans right. Like a chevron!

At Elimination, we finally meet the episode's namesake, Sonia Dara. Dara was the first South Asian model to be featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. This is weird because whenever I think of South Asians in swimsuits, I'm like, "oh clearly Tia Carrere has been in every swimsuit edition of every magazine that has one." But nope! Dara's the first (and Tia Carrere isn't Indian in the first place). She graduated with my roommate's class at Harvard.

In the end, Tyra declares Brittani as the winner of the week! Brittani, who has taken her Dutchboy makeover and turned it into the poshest, most "fabulous, fabulous woman in charge of her own destiny" look of the entire series. Brittani, who is the dorkiest of any contestant ever to come before. Brittani, who spells her name like maybe she intended to give herself the nickname "Tani" at some point. She's KILLIN IT!

Mikaelampire and OMunnique land in the Bottom Two, even though nobody really dislikes Mikaela's picture this week. They're more upset that this was her only shot where she wasn't controlling her eyeballs or something. At this point, I get scared that the Munnster has already started to get people kicked off for too much proximity to her/sphere of idiocy. But guess what! Mikaela gets to stay!! Monique the Dumbique is banished forever!!! Say goodnight, Olivia Munn lookalike!

Unfortunately, according to next week's promo, we're going to see some really crazy stuff happen. Tyra demonstrates on the whiteboard:

Wherein the top line represents all the men and women symbols that do not watch this show; the second line's "B" represents Tyra's nervousness about Brittani's impending nervous break-down in Elimination next week; and, as always, the bottom line represents "TYRA BANKS WILL PERSEVERE." Because that's always Tyra's bottom line.

all photos courtesy CWtv.com