In case you missed last week’s episode of America’s Next Top Model All Stars, Isis is here to remind you that this is a competition. “It’s not safe for anybody,” she explained. “This time around I’m here to win it.” I have this theory that reality contestants are just given a list of clichés to read through, so that producers can later sprinkle them throughout the season. I don’t need to hear that the models want to win, because that is the basic premise of the show. What I need is to hear Allison say, “I know I’m very strange” while wearing a Muppet-y bear hat. Once again, Top Model delivers.
The contestants got a visit from Kristin Cavallari, who reminded them that they are always going to have haters. (And subtly reminded us to tune in to H8R, every Wednesday at 8 p.m. on The CW!) Then the ladies were shipped off to The Grove to get interviewed by Extra’s Mario Lopez. (He’s also the host of H8R, a show you can watch.) Nigel promised “tough questions,” so I was hoping for something controversial, like, “What’s Tyra Banks’ worst quality?” Instead, Lopez threw a bunch of softballs I could have answered myself. And I am terrible at public speaking and sports.
The models split themselves up into two teams so that the winning team could have immunity, something Tyra straight-up stole from Bravo. I didn’t think anyone was that impressive, but no one struck me as aggressively awful either. Bianca said, “I have word vomit just like everybody else,” which is the kind of thing I would babble in that situation. But Nigel chastised her for talking about vomit a lot, apparently unaware that “word vomit” is the polite alternative to “verbal diarrhea.” He also told Angelea that she was too toned down, which sent her into a rage in the limo. I’m not sure Angelea appreciated the irony of screaming about her professionalism, but she did make some valid points: “I know how to conduct myself, bitch. I worked at a bank.”
Next was the photo challenge, which paired the models up and had them walk on stilts. “I have a deathly fear of heights,” Bianca said, like we’d be silly enough to forget her similar freak-out in China. I’m not a fair-weather Top Model fan, OK? Respect. As far as challenges go, this was a little low-key, though I did enjoy Dominique’s surprisingly self-aware, “I have a whole lot of face going on right here.” Camille offered some charming transphobic remarks, Angelea complained about her lack of lower-body strength, and Alexandria made a series of Martina Navratilova tennis noises. It’s like, I’ve seen it before, you know?
I guess I’m more interested in the models at home, because these are established reality show personalities. Just film them and the magic will happen. If I wanted to see gangly people on stilts, I’d go to Cirque du Soleil. (Also if I weren’t afraid of French Canadian clowns. That’s a bigger “if.”) Step up the photo shoots, All Stars, or give me more of Isis dressing like a ballerina and saying, “I’m gonna look like Black Swan.” Or better yet, do a Black Swan-themed photo shoot. Or better still, they all stab each other with shards of broken mirror.
At judges’ table, Tyra introduced Kristin Cavallari as one of the biggest reality stars living today, as opposed to all those reality stars who died in Vietnam, R.I.P. Kristin was fairly outspoken in her opinions, which is probably why Tyra made fun of her. But Tyra has a sense of humor, y’all. She even referenced the America’s Next Top Model sketch they did on Saturday Night Live. She thought it was hilarious! And she totally got the point, which was to commend Tyra’s versatility as a performer.
What can I say? A mediocre photo shoot begot a mediocre judging. Even Angelea confronting Nigel about his mixed message was weak. In the limo, I was promised “hood bitch,” and I got neither hood nor bitch at panel. Andre Leon Talley earned some points for calling Laura a “super feminine glamorpuss” and Bre a “strong robot out of Blade Runner.” But he instantly lost those points for bowing out of Top Model next cycle, and for not knowing that the “robots” in Blade Runner are called “replicants.”
After the awkward introduction of the phrase “booty tooch” (it’s this year’s “smize”!), the judges decided to send Isis packing. I didn’t think her photo was all that bad, but I’ll confess I know more about Blade Runner than I do modeling. Maybe I’m just bummed that Top Model All Stars now has one fewer trans contestant than Dancing With the Stars. But hey, if Isis had to leave, at least she left dressed like a Natalie Portman-esque ballerina. What happened to my sweet Isis? SHE’S GONE.
Like Isis, I will not be back next week. (I’m moving and won’t be able to recap. Ugh, life, right?) So practice your booty tooches while I’m away, and I’ll see you in a couple weeks.