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'America's Next Top Model' recap: 'Oh, the dreckitude of it all!'

March 31, 2011 |  8:37 am

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We're already halfway through this cycle of "America's Next Top Model," and there's still no clear front-runner for who's going to take the title. Even the position of house brat is up for grabs. You thought Alexandria was bad? This week, Monique not only conspicuously rolled her eyes at the judges and talked smack about other contestants, she threw a full-on hissy fit at the idea of cleaning up. Watch out, Alexandria: Monique's going to nab that Dynasty of Whine away from you if you're not careful. 

Not that Monique was the only pouting model in the house. Oh no, this week's episode kicked off with yet another Molly sour face about her terrible, no good, very bad weave. After the last elimination, Tyra surprised the girls at the house for a quick lesson on how to deal with fame. You know, practice your autograph, set boundaries with your public, be aware that people will hyperventilate and strew roses at your feet or try to get you to talk to their cousin's plumber's niece on their cellphone. Just the basics. Turbaned Molly sat their during the instructions like someone had just stolen her lollipop, and professed to be hungry and itchy. "So this is about a weave and some food?" Tyra asked incredulously. "Remember, it's part of that beauty pain thing." That's model speak for "Suck it up, Molly."

So to practice for the hordes of fans every former reality television contestant faces, the first challenge involved greeting the public and deciding what to do with their weird requests. Monique's inner whine had its time to shine when a fan asked her for a kiss (which was creepy enough that the guy must have been a plant). She directed the guy to Alexandria, who got flustered and eventually kissed him on the cheek. Scandal! Miss Jay did not approve, and while Kasia and her chosen friends strolled off to dinner with him, the rest of the ladies had to clean up after the fans. Monique responded by throwing paper towel rolls on the ground in a huff. I have to say, this whole punishing the losers thing that they're doing this cycle seems to be great for drama generation, if nothing else.  

This episode also had the most misdirected Tyramail I've seen, which makes me think that the first challenge fell through and the girls had to improvise. "Oh what a tangled web we weave" doesn't exactly shout "you will be encrusted with mud and pose in groups," but I guess my Tyra translations need work. The ladies were split into blondes and brunettes to execute what Brittani accurately described as "a family portrait of cavewomen." I always find the group challenges less interesting, in terms of the photos they produce — no one has a chance to flop horrendously — and this one proved similarly bland. 

Brittani worked the challenge to her advantage, despite being robbed of her usual "Ghost World" 'do. Kasia did well again, even after having a shaky start. I think these two have to be in the final four. Meanwhile, Mikaela and Monique floundered a bit, but it was honestly hard to tell. My favorite moment of the elmination ceremony was when Andre Leon Talley told Alexandria to lose the bonnet and awkward tassel belt. "Oh, the dreckitude of it all!" he lamented. Tyra, meanwhile, dropped some great fierceness metaphors: "You have to grab the handlebars of fierceness!" she reminded the ladies. Monique got the ax, and not even for a snotty attitude. Just for an old-fashioned, boring picture. I still can't figure out who I think is going to win, but now I'm rooting for Brittani. How about you, "Top Model" fans? 

Full ShowTracker coverage of 'America's Next Top Model' 

--Margaret Eby

twitter.com/margareteby

Photo: Mud-caked Jacklyn, Mikaela, Monique, and Brittani. Credit: Johnathan Mannion/Pottle Productions Inc.

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