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'America's Next Top Model': Making Walmart and do-rags chic

October 1, 2009 |  6:20 am

BiancaTyra and the the girls were in rare form this week. While Brittany (who was reeling from being in the bottom two last week) licked her wounds, the other kittens bared their claws. The best part about “America’s Next Top Model” (and the most incongruous to real life – bitter, much?) is that pretty girls actually do finish last. That’s part of what makes the show enjoyable. This week, Erin definitely lived up to the “I’m not here to make friends” reality-show mantra. Erin on Brittany: “Brittany has won a million challenges! Oh, how the mighty have fallen.” Ouch.

The show began with a make-up lesson from celebrity make-up artist Sam Fine. The goal? To show the girls how to do their own faces. The first thing they learned was that Tyra’s favorite makeup application is the smoky eye. Here’s a quick tip: Brown pencil smeared around your eye makes it smoky. Now go! Fine let the gals loose to start practicing what they’d learned. The best part was when Bianca began slathering the foundation on, which prompted Rice to breathe, “Oooh, child.” Of course, Bianca is what my mom would call “hard-headed,” because she never seems to learn anything. This foundation problem will come back to haunt her in the next competition.

Soon, the girls were rolling up in style to the fabulous Walmart. Yes, readers, the first half of this episode is brought to you by Cover Girl and Walmart. You know, Tyra keeps it real. Judge Nigel Barker and his gorgeous wife and Cover Girl spokesmodel, Christen Chin, were there to meet them. We soon found out the girls would be participating in a race that would be equivalent to the offspring of "Supermarket Sweep" and "Survivor" (if they had a baby). Again, Erin showed her true colors as she scratched, pushed and sabotaged her way to the race’s final three. Her behavior offended Nigel’s British sensibilities (but what doesn’t?) and he mentioned her ill behavior in the final judging. How did Erin defend her actions? “Races don’t have manners,” she explained. I had to agree with her on that one, because races aren’t human.

Though Sundai won for her make-up, I’d like to take this chance to mention something that has been bothering me since her makeover. Why did Tyra give her that asymmetrical bob a la '90s Salt N Pepa (and, most recently, Kate Gosselin)? C’mon, it’s not cute, right?

Now, the photo competition was just strange...

First of all, Ms. Tyra was the photographer. That’s not the strange part – mo’ Tyra means mo’ better TV. She’ll tell you that herself, I’m sure. The strange part came in this week’s "Ty-spiration" (that’s Tyra inspiration, by the way) for the shoot: The do-rag she wore to bed! We were then presented with a grainy webcam picture of her with a hair wrap on! Normally, that’s the kind of thing starlets sue to get taken off television, but that’s just testimony to Tyra’s growing realness. Gotta love it. So, these poor girls were forced to wrap their heads and look gorgeous doing it. I have to say that’s a challenge. Tyra then announced she would name the winner right after the shoot instead of at a judging panel. I told you Tyra was in rare form! Brittany was redeemed when Tyra announced that, even though her face was barely visible behind the scarf, she worked that do-rag!

Ultimately, Ashley (who didn’t work the scarf over her face like Brittany) and Bianca (who hadn’t listened to a word anyone said about her hardened facial poses) found themselves in the bottom two. I guess the judges – joined this week by petite model China Chow – couldn’t send Ashley home, since it’s hard to judge smize through a scarf, and Bianca was sent packing.

In a perfect world, Erin would have gone down for her behavior, but this isn’t a morality tale, people. This is modeling.

-- Jethro Nededog

Photo: The eliminated Bianca. Credit: The CW