America's Next Top Model, Episode 3



Tonight's theme was falling. The general idea was to tell the contestants that falling down in heels is the worst thing imaginable, then put them in awkward dresses and stupidly huge and impractical heels and giggle and point when they fall down. This strikes me as particularly unfair to Sara, the 6'1'' girl who neither has much experience with heels nor, as the judges have repeatedly pointed out, should she ever wear heels. Nonetheless, she comports herself pretty well throughout the episode, and actually looks pretty good.

Notably terrible was Gina. Jade must not have said anything notably obnoxious or vainglorious this week, because the theme of this episode shifted from 2 parts Jade-being-self-obssessed, 1 part Gina's-an-idiot to a full dose of Gina's-an-idiot. Gina spends half the episode freaking out and screwing up, and the other half feeling sorry for herself and promising with something approaching resolve that this time she's going to be strong and powerful and sexy and not screw up. And then she goes batshit over having a hissing cockroach on her.

But before I get to that, the episode begins with Ms. J. teaching the girls how to do a runway walk. Sort of. There seems to be very little education involved and a lot of quasi-judging. Danielle falls on her face while walking in a rather stupidly cut dress which looks way too long for her. This proves to be foreshadowing. Gina selects a big poofy wedding dress which hides her entire body below the waist, completely defeating the point of the exercise. How can Ms. J. teach you how to walk when he can't see your fool legs?

Next the girls move on to this week's mini-contest: Runway walking for a designer ("Something Gold?") who creates ugly shock-value clothing and demands the girls pose with giant Madagascar hissing cockroaches. I'm not sure what the point of the exercise is, because the cockroaches are too small to see if you're not right next to the girl. I suppose it's a kind of Fear Factor-lite thing. Anyhow, nobody's comfortable with the cockroaches but Jade (insert your own Jade/Cockroach joke here), but the only one who absolutely freaks out is Gina. She talks about thinking maybe she should just quit to avoid the cockroach, she shrieks her head off, and eventually the designer has to push her onto the runway. She actually composes herself pretty well, all things considered, but she still did the worst of anyone there. Again.

Jade wins the contest and gets to pick three friends to go to a fashion show. She chooses Nnenna, Danielle, and someone else (I forget who). Not Gina. Jade's choice of three friends seems fairly arbitrary; other than Nnenna, who's sort of been nice to Jade in an attempt to get her to stop picking on Gina, nobody seems to like Jade, and Jade doesn't seem to like anybody. Anyhow, there's a fashion show, the real models look good, the contestants don't. Jade talks about how soon she'll be up there, everyone just needs to see her amazing talent, etc.

Next we're doing the photo shoot. The theme is falling: The girls will dress up as fairy tale characters, stand on a ledge, then fling themselves sideways. The photographer will shoot them in the air, skeet-style. Furonda is Rapunzel, which isn't surprising given the massive hair extension they gave her last episode. Building off a stupid comment from Nigel, they make Kari into Goldilocks. Furonda should be grateful they didn't work from Nigel's (repeated) comments about her and make her up into E.T.. Jade does pretty well, everyone else is mediocre. Intensely unhelpful Jay Manuel tells Gina that her problem is that she's thinking too much, shoots a photo, then complains that she's vapid. Jay Manuel is not a photographer. He is a make-up artist. Yet, for some reason, he is in charge of all the photo shoots this season. This means he has absolutely no constructive advice to give the contestants. He is, however, a pleasant orange color.

Mollie Sue feels that she's all personality, and she needs to let it show. This is interesting, because she's actually pretty much a Vulcan. Jay tells her (correctly, for once) that she shows no emotion and needs to get it out. He then discusses this in confessional. He refers to his having "broken her." Allow me to point out that he told her that she's showing no emotion in the same tone of voice one might use to tell a friend helpfully that she's wearing too much lipstick. If Jay Manuel think's that's breaking someone, he has no business in either fashion or reality television. Which he doesn't.

Now it's judging time. Ms. J. is wearing her stupid gimmick t-shirt with the number, but this time has the good sense not to point it out. The celebrity guest judge is Gold, the designer who had to shove Gina out on stage, which seems to seal her doom. Going in, I was certain Gina would get cut. She did the worst of everybody in every aspect of this week's episode, in addition to having sucked pretty constantly for the entire first two episodes. Even at her best she hasn't even attained mediocrity, and this week she really distinguished herself. Also not looking good: Kari, who's a bit weepy and looks like a B-grade porn star, Danielle, who can't walk runways, Mollie Sue, who's my favorite dark-horse candidate for a cut due to her utter lack of personality, and Brooke, who just plain isn't attractive. Why is she on the show?

As an extra bonus contest, Tyra makes the models wear what look like 9 inch heels and catwalk for the panel. About half the contestants trip in some way. Surprisingly, not Sara, the 6'1'' girl. Good for her. Gina screws up. Kari really screws up. Danielle, who's been doing sub-par this episode, screws up so badly that she tears out her pinky toe and is becrutched for the judge's comments. As will be seen later, this is quite fortunate for her.

The judges make catty comments to the contestants, then banish them backstage so that they can make cattier comments to one another. And then comes the decision. Danielle gets a pass mid-way through, probably out of pity. Her toe had better heal fast because, as Wendy learned last week, pity only gets you so far on this show. It comes down to Gina and Kari. Tyra tells Kari that she looked great the last two weeks, but that her photo was a little sub-par this time around. She then lays into Gina for how utterly terrible she is. She doesn't look like a model, she doesn't act like a model, and she's not even smart enough to be a model. So, naturally, she cuts Kari.

Not that I terribly mind losing Kari; I really didn't like her. But whereas in the last two episodes I was rooting for Gina not to get cut out of sympathy, I now just wish they'd euthanize her and put her out of her misery. You know what? She's not going to win. I know that. You know that. She knows that (she has the biggest expression of shock on her face when she doesn't get cut, showing she was actually more surprised than I am). All of your viewing audience knows that. The only reason that she's still on is because she's SO terrible that she makes good television. Except now everyone watching the show knows that you're insulting their intelligence. You're waiting for her to acclimate and become less interesting, at which point you'll cut her. You know what ANTM? You need to put up or shut up. You edited this episode into non-stop Gina-is-awful, then cut Kari for no apparent reason. That's not being surprising, that's just hiding the ball.

Still, the pattern's becoming clear: Regardless of what happens in the episodes, they're gradually cutting out the notably less-attractive girls. That mean's Danielle's next if her toe doesn't heal, and she'll be right after Brooke if it does. Furonda won't be far after. They'll probably cut out the defective personalities next, starting with Mollie Sue. This is probably when they'll finally let Gina go. They'll hold onto Jade as long as they can, but probably not into the final 3. I predict the show will end up as a contest between Nnenna and Leslie, with Nnenna winning unless Leslie can do something to stand out. They've already built Nnenna up so much in the early episodes, though. Hopefully Leslie will become more interesting as she gets more screen time, or else this season will just be a coronation for Nnenna.


I don't mind Nnenna, but I'm not sure I see why she's so much greater than the other candidates, besides from the fact that she moved here from Nigeria.

Isn't Nigeria the e-mail scam country? Maybe Nnenna is trying to get Tyra to hold onto her money for a large transfer to help her family to escape, and all she needs are her bank account and PIN numbers.

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on March 22, 2006 10:10 PM.

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