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‘America’s Next Top Model’ recap: Oh my go-sees

November 10, 2010 |  9:40 pm


It’s getting down to the wire on this cycle of "Top Model," and the models are breaking down, getting snappy and trying to outlast the other ladies for a shot at the title. This far in the season, there are no more hi-jinks — serious photo shoots and assessments by fashion designers replace the acrobatic challenges from earlier. Plus, there’s no more obvious chaff left. The strategy of waiting out the worse model has officially reached its limit. Despite Ann’s commanding lead in the first half of the season, it seemed on this week’s episode that any one of the ladies could nab the Vogue Italia cover. Well, almost any one of them. 

Over in Milan, it was the week of the dreaded go-sees, in which the models had four hours to visit four casting calls. After harnesses, heavy makeup and dead sea creatures, it would seem like this challenge would be a cinch, but go-sees are always a battleground for the models. What it amounts to is essentially an orienteering mission. The girls have to make their way around the city by public transportation or walking, but all of them did pretty terribly.

Jane and Chris teamed up and managed to stumble into their call at Versace, but gave up pretty quickly after that. (Plus, the manager at Versace seemed to eat models like McNuggets, dismissing Chelsey as "two seasons ago.") Only Chelsey made it to more than one appointment, and Ann and Kayla both arrived late to the IMG headquarters, disqualifying them from the prize. Suffice to say, if these contestants were Girl Scouts they wouldn’t have earned their badges. Maybe next time, invest in a compass?

For the grand photo shoot, the ladies headed to Lake Como — a.k.a. where George Clooney vacations — to a beautiful old Italian villa. The challenge was to pose as a sculpture while totally encased in plaster-colored make-up. Oh, and there was a male model who was supposed to be your sculptor. And his love made you come alive. You know, the usual. I was a little disappointed by this shoot actually — aside from the male model twist, it came really close to the "real life statue" competition in Cycle 7 where the ladies had to dress and act as statues. You’d think that being in Italy would provide a little more inspiration — like a spaghetti food fight or modeling super high heels while standing on a giant pizza. Or something. 

Jane seemed like the weakest out of the bunch during the shoot, breaking down into tears when Nigel encouraged her to show more personality in the shoot. Ann breezed through the photos, delivering a beautiful performance. Chelsey and Kayla both did passable Galateas to the male models’ Pygmalion.  They’ve both gotten much harsher towards their competition in the confession cam — Chelsey, in particular, seems to be itching for everyone else to take a fall. Chris, whose foot was bothering her after spraining it during the go-sees, stumbled a bit on the gravel, though she seemed to recover. 

At panel, Andre Leon Talley, resplendent in a sequined cape that could've been stolen from an Elvis impersonator, gave Chris a somewhat backhanded compliment, dismissing her modeling while extolling her comic virtues. "She’s a vat of bubbling, bubbling deliciousness. She could be the next Wanda Sykes." Kayla earned the best picture two times running, followed by Chelsey and Ann. Tyra berated Ann for her lack of personality — somewhat curious, considering that out of all the girls, Versace chose her for possible bookings.

The panel seems to be wavering between the old, Covergirl standards and the new high fashion aspirations. As if to illustrate the split, the bottom two girls were Jane and Chris, the bland but angular and the effervescent but commercial-looking, respectively. In a bit of an upset, Tyra sent fan favorite Chris packing, along with advice to seek an acting career. Aside from the elimination, though, this episode landed on the blah side of things. Here’s hoping things heat up next week. I’m thinking that Kayla might take it. Who are your picks?

Tyra fashion watch: No complaints here this episode. I loved her green panel dress with those towering heels. The curly mane is even beginning to grow on me. 

Best quote: Andre Leon Talley’s assessment of Chris cited above. I didn’t think this was a particularly quotable episode, though. Any favorites?

-- Margaret Eby

Photo: Ann, Chris, Jane, Kayla and Chelsey arrive at Lake Como

Credit: Ivano Grasso / The CW