We knew at the end of the last episode that this week's America's Next Top Model would start off with some nakedness. So it was really no surprise when silver-haired "TV personality" Jay Manuel told the girls to choose one article on the mannequin and be prepared to sell it in a photo -- in the buff. And there were many, many blurred patches on the screen for the 20 minutes.
Our gal Ren Vokes -- who clearly puts the "grand" in Grand Prairie -- knocked that challenge out of the water. She went after the first thing she saw -- a hat -- and nailed her shot. She looked stunningly gorgeous and innocent body-wise -- the latter of which is hard to accomplish nude unless you were just born -- and had the most piercing eyes peering out from under that gold mirrored hat. Well done. She was third called during judges' panel (which, for fashion peeps, now includes Andre Leon-Talley, editor-at-large for Vogue -- delightful).
During the shoot, however, Ren offered some interesting insight: "I tend to get along with the hair and makeup people." She went on to say that she's not making a huge effort to get along with all the other girls because that's not why she's on the show. (Did you know she lists as her occupation as "living"? She's like Wooderson in Dazed and Confused, but with the "g." And vagina.)
Meanwhile, back at the model house, the girls were rowdy, and Ren was not having it. She was getting a headache from the noise -- specifically noise coming from Alasia, who can't seem to speak with out screaming.
"It's just so hard being here, because I think I'm far too intelligent," Ren said.
At first I wanted to dislike her -- but can't. Too impressed with her honesty. Then we were shown Naduah -- who, sorry, is not Lt. Ilia from Star Trek the Motion Picture. She's got an unintelligible accent, which she uses about 139 times an episode to explain that she vas raised in a cult and got zee hell out of zeh. Oh, and she was in Playboy too. Or maybe that's the same story.
Our Ren, who puts the grrrr in Grand Prairie, just lounged on her bunk, listening to whatever was playing through her headphones. Probably just white noise.
The next day, the girls got runway lessons from runway coach Miss Jay, who was replaced on the panel by Leon-Talley. He had them walk a carpet and a crosswalk during afternoon traffic -- more to the point, in afternoon traffic. Safe! Ren thought being outside in the cold was silly. Because it is! Jay said he thought Ren could have a great career. Ren doesn't seem to care.
Then came the models' next challenge: a Rachel Roy runway show featuring giant, swinging pendulums the girls had to avoid -- so that's what happened to the leftover shit from ABC's summer smash Wipeout. Ren looked great in a short metallicy silvery dress, but was a bit awkward on the runway. Roy and Miss Jay told her too loosen up. Could have been worse: Alexandra from Kerrville fell not only on the entry steps, but also when she was hit by a pendulum and actually knocked off of the catwalk. It was fairly tragic.
Later, in the model's kitchen, Ren was so over it. So, naturally, she suggested very tactfully, "Alasia, shut the fuck up." Alasia flipped her shit and started screeching that Ren should "check that" and "calm the fuck down."
Ren cried in the confessional and seemed entirely disenchanted. "I could be happy living my life, and instead I chose to be in this crazy house," she said, staring deep into the camera ... and into your soul. Enter Anslee, a bartender from Georgia who tried to pour Ren a triple shot of STFU.
"I went from having absolutely no drama in my life," says Ren -- poor, poor Ren. No, literally. "Being poor is hell, but still being happy ... to this," she said, rather nonsensically. Anslee agreed. Of course she did. It's TV shorthand for Deuces, mofo.
And then, another challenge -- some weirdo photo shoot for disappearing blue perfume spray set against the Manhattan skyline, which looked as confusing as it sounds. Ren had trouble with the wind and water getting in her eyes: "I just wanted to get it over with because I'm so uncomfortable." And the judges could tell. Comments ranged from her looking like she had a cold to the photo being an ad for H1N1 vaccine instead of perfume. I honestly didn't think it was that bad -- more like, a little bit sad.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Her photo landed her in the dreaded Bottom Two along with Naduah, who, I should remind you, was born into a cult. Tyra said after Ren's "edgy, cool, amazing photo last week," the bad one this week proved she might be inconsistent. Tyra also noted Ren's tattoos -- as in, clearly she was no stranger to discomfort and she shouldn't let contacts and freezing rain ruin a perfectly good photo. O, Tyra, she is so wise.
Naduah, who had been exceptionally cocky and even bragged to her competitors that she didn't fear being sent home this week -- and, in case you were unclear, was born into a cult -- was sent packing.
And through the power of editing, that decision seemed pretty ironic, considering just minutes before, Ren was shown in the confessional wondering: "Maybe they do want it more ... but I'm not willing to give up my sanity and my happiness for this."
Guess she'll have to give it up for at least one more week.