This week onIt's All About Product Placement and Tyra
, I was, sadly, bored out of my gourd -- it is officially fall, after all.
But seriously, I remember those seasons of yore when the models were put into sideshow-freak prosthetics and wind tunnels and there were actual crises amongst the competitors. This season we've seen seriously cool photographers and amazing fashion, but the challenges have been punny (high fashion ... on an elevated catwalk!) and bland. Also: Too. Much. Tyra.
The girls were challenged to sell some new Cover Girl make-up kit to customers in a tent in the parking lot of a Walmart at the ass crack of dawn. They worked in teams and were expected to present the kit like real-life spokesmodels, except they're not, so that posed a bit of a problem. Derek Blasberg, author of Classy: Exceptional Advice for the Extremely Modern Lady and the fashion journalist accused of some decidedly unclassy business practices back in June, was also on hand to rate the girls on their product pimpage.
Dallas' Ann was the shyest, the most silent and the worst according to all surveyed. The shell's still closed despite her statement at the beginning of the show that after four wins she was feeling less like that "gangly girl" in the back of the classroom and more pretty, more like a model. The whole thing was a lame commercial -- so much for DVR fast-forwarding, damn. Also, "noted fashion photographer" and challenge puppet master Nigel Barker had on way too much make-up.
The actual photo challenge featured the talents of crazy awesome stylist Lori Goldstein and revered photographer Patrick Demarchelier. The set-up was on Rodeo Drive with -- once again -- the male models. For the first shot, the girls walked down the street in pairs with one dude, save Arlington's Chris, since an uneven number of girls remain. Then they hopped, skipped or lept for an action shot and gave up some face for a tightly cropped beauty shot. Seemed rather pedestrian [rimshot!] considering Demarchelier's artistic nature, but I'd guess Tyra pulled in a favor -- especially since she showed up, pretending to speak French and regaling him with stories about her younger self while she pretended not to hear tourists calling her name.
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Liz was paired with Kendal, who, without a doubt, stole the group shot away from her. Liz's action shot was also strained. It looked more like she was impersonating a model instead of modeling, and Tyra mused that Liz appeared to be making fun of the whole thing. Chris rocked her photos, pulling off some sort of chameleon's transformation into a sweet and smitten young thing. Fabulous, but more appropriate, the judges thought, for Teen Vogue.
Ann was paired with the ice blond gap-toothed Chelsey. Even with Tyra's on-set coaching, Ann lurched down the street like a stiff velociraptor in red Converse. Nevertheless, what was captured on film was perfection. Andre Leon Talley saw her solo action shot and exclaimed, "Beyond everything ever!" Her beauty shot showed yet another amazing look altogether (Talley referenced an "English beauty").
Nigel offered the only negative, pointing out that while she owns the camera, she must open up since spokesmodeling and personality are a large part of winning America's Next Top Model (which may or may not translate to "selling Cover Girl products and the products of other sponsors"). Whatever. Ann should have time to work on opening up because her three photos secured her a FIFTH WIN in a row, as well as all the hatred and envy the other girls could muster while still being able to hide it behind their "smize." Or is it "smizes"?
Next week: Grammy challenge. Models styling each other. Liz has to dress in drag.