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'America's Next Top Model' recap: Go-sees a go go

April 14, 2011 |  6:05 am


Is Alexandria's bratty strategy actually working? Though she's been driving everyone else in the house crazy this cycle, this week's episode of "America's Next Top Model" put the sour-faced, bonnet-loving princess squarely in the lead. Not only did she nail the go-sees for (natch) being the most personable and outgoing, but she also got rave reviews for her photo this week. Before, it seemed like the judges were keeping her around for all that zesty drama. Now, it seems as though Alexandria might have a shot at taking the title. 

The other girls were not so lucky, thanks in part to that most dreaded of all "Top Model" challenges: the go-sees. Because the contest combine things like introducing themselves to strangers with actually locating those strangers on a map, go-sees are always harrowing for the contestants. This season's go-sees seemed a little easier than those of yore. For one thing, the models weren't navigating around a city in a foreign country, and for another, they each had a driver and a map. Alas, those were no guarantee of success. Molly, who clearly never received an orienteering badge in Girl Scouts, managed to get lost while on the right street. I began to feel sorry for the drivers, who were subjected to more near-death highway experiences than the stuntmen in "Speed."

Alexandria's first advantage was that she's from L.A. — and thus knew the back ways of her hometown better than, say, Jaclyn, who explained that her hometown of Belton, Texas, only had "a Wa-Mart and a Bush's Chicken." But more than any other contestant, Alexandria seemed to have a grasp of basic interview skills. Molly unfortunately tended to grimace whenever a camera wasn't directly on her, and Jaclyn's bubbly Southern accent seemed to be a disadvantage over at House Casting. For maybe the first time in "Top Model" history, all six models made it back to the meeting place on time, and the top three go-seers — Kasia, Molly and Alexandria — competed in one final audition to be in a Lana Marks campaign. Alexandria took it, thanks to Molly's misery-face when it wasn't her turn, and Brittani, Jaclyn and Hannah were left to ponder their fate.

But, as I think Tyra once said, models cannot live by go-sees alone. No, it was time for another confusing fashion shoot! The setting for this one was a landfill, where the models elongated their necks next to piles of rotting diapers and sundry wrappers -- in an apparent attempt at some vaguely eco-friendly statement. Jay Manuel got bird poop on him twice, and Molly complained nonstop about the smell —which, actually, seemed pretty fair, considering. The haute couture gowns they sported — fashioned  of recycled materials by Michael Cinco — plus the scads of trash behind them gave the whole shoot a kind of Lady Gaga-meets-Wall-E feel.

Brittani had a lot at stake after her sass attack at panel last week, but her photo shoot was enough to keep her from getting the ax. Tyra revealed that she stuffed her boots to get that full look, and Andre Leon Talley thought Jaclyn's left arm looked too gauche. Molly's terrible attitude landed her in the bottom with Jaclyn's just-OK photograph. If there's anything we've learned this season, it's that attitude won't actually get you sent home — so darlin' Jaclyn got sent packin'. I knew they weren't going to eliminate Molly — and Jaclyn has been slipping a little — but oh, the sting! I'm betting that this will boil down to a standoff between Brittani and Alexandria. What do you think, "Model" fans? What does Morocco have in store for us? And does Alexandria have what it takes?


Full Show Tracker coverage of 'America's Next Top Model'

-- Margaret Eby

Photo: Alexandria talks to Jay Manuel at the landfill photo shoot. Credit: Chris Frawley / The CW