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'America's Next Top Model' recap: Tears and fears

May 12, 2011 |  8:39 am

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It's the week before the finale on "America's Next Top Model," which means one thing: tears. Oceans of them. The cumulative emotional output from this week's episode could easily brine your next Thanksgiving turkey. Now that Alexandria's gone, there's no one to distract from the models' own insecurities, abandonment issues and lack of personality, respectively.

The remaining three models went over their perceived strengths and weaknesses at length on confession cam, with the judges and with one another. Poor Hannah's quavering attempts to be upbeat seemed to convince no one, least of all herself. (Cut to montage of all the times Hannah's cried on the show.) Molly's struggling with her abandonment issues, and Brittani — well Brittani's plan is just to mess Molly up.

It didn't exactly work. On the first challenge, the three girls had to film 90-second spots for "The Insider"  on various beauty trends in Morocco. Brittani, showcasing henna, grabbed the first person she met who spoke English to nod his head at her leading questions. (Brittani: "Henna is commonly used at weddings, right?" Unlucky man: mumbled assent.) Hannah apparently studied journalism, so assumed that she had the spot in the bag. But for all her quavering trash talk, Hannah's piece on Argan oil was pretty lackluster and sort of painful to watch in the beginning. Molly did fairly well until the last three seconds, when she said "that was horrible" while the camera was still going. Jay awarded her the dubious prize of least bad.

And then: the season's obligatory Tyra-as-Oprah moment. All three girls cried in the Tyra-side chat, in which she harked back to the so-embarassing-I-almost-blocked-it challenge in the second episode where the models had to draw and then shout at their flaws. My favorite part of the whole bonding portion of the show was the Moroccan dancers. Those swinging tasseled hats? Now that's what I want to see Andre Leon Talley sporting.

 Where have the male models been this whole season? They always bring out the best — and worst — in the photo shoots. I was more interested in the gorgeous Moroccan wedding gowns the ladies were wearing than their concocted narratives, but all three of them did decently on set. Brittani cried again, which annoyed Nigel but seemed to deliver a good shot. "I can't do sexy. I'm not in 'America's Next Top Actress'!" she sobbed. Touché.

And yet, we all knew that there were only two going on to the finale and that Hannah wouldn't be one of them. She managed to squeak past Alexandria this week, but compared with Brittani's interesting angular thing and Molly's angry-but-hot photographs, the girl next door just didn't stand much of a chance. It wasn't even the shot that sent her home: Aside from her "invisible high heel" foot pose that made Talley gag, her performance was much stronger than it had been in weeks.

Nonetheless, Molly took the top spot and Brittani came traipsing after. I've been gunning for Brittani this season, but I can't decide who's going to take it. What do you think, "ANTM" fans? What surprises does the Westwood runway show have in store?

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Full ShowTracker coverage of America's Next Top Model

-- Margaret Eby

Photo: Brittani, Molly and Hannah await their photo shoot. Credit: Walter Sassard / The CW

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