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"America's Next Top Model": Get on the bus!

March 18, 2009 |  9:07 pm

6a00d8341c630a53ef01127978024b28a48 It seems like "America's Next Top Model"'s producers have tired of the usual formula of foreshadowing who will go home, as its usual hints were only red herrings tonight. We began the episode with Tahlia Brookins moaning about her bad self-esteem, which would usually indicate she's a weak link. But wait! Then there was Natalie Pack, who bragged about her good runway walk and previous agency experience. She should clearly take Aminat Ayinde's advice and "eat some humble pie and relax," before she was inevitably sent home for her hubris, right? 

The girls were sent to a New York mansion to get a runway lesson from J. Alexander, wearing, for some reason, demure cardigans, khakis and pearls, getting a lesson from Bianca Golden and Chantal Jones from Cycle 9. During the lesson Allison Harvard fretted about her runway and over-analyzation, another surefire way to get kicked off the show. Don't these girls know anything? Don't be too confident, don't be too unconfident, never fade away and most of all, tension, tension, tension!  It's not really a phrase we've heard before on this show, but Tyra Banks has decided to make it her watchword of this cycle.

Meanwhile, Teyona Anderson was taken to get a new hairstyle after her last one (a "wet" weave) was deemed no good by Tyra, although her new one doesn't look much different. 

The girls were given the chance to show off their new runway skills at a Jill Stuart fashion show, where they had to navigate the parking-meter-and-fire-hydrant-studded runway while carrying shopping bags. Natalie was chided for taking an impromptu twirl while walking down the runway, yet won the challenge anyway, which goes to show that none of the usual predictable formulas applied to this episode.

For the photo shoot, the girls were split into groups and shot on a double-decker bus at different New York neighborhoods. Aminat and Fo Porter looked amazing as Wall Street power women. Kortnie Coles and Nijah Harris were supposed to be SoHo artists; they blew their shot, but in their defense, how do you look like a SoHo artist, especially while riding on a tour bus, an anathema to hipsters? Celia Ammerman and Sandra Nyanchoka looked editorial and crisp as nannies, and Allison and London Levi only half-nailed their turn as Upper East Side socialites. Finally, Tahlia, Natalie and Teyona posed as tourists in Times Square, a shot that didn't look entirely different from the girlhood shoot from a few episodes ago. 

Tyra's "Rules of Fierceness" goes on, her 10-second fables about young girls learning how to be like her, or something. Basically, I think Tyra just wanted an excuse to use young girls as photo shoot props each episode and this was how she was able to do it.

The judges deliberated, but not before J. Alexander expressed a wish to spit on Sondra Baker's knees to help rid them of their ashiness. 

Tyra put Allison and Nijah in the bottom two: I knew right away that Allison was too "weird' for Tyra to let go so soon (she loves bragging about how she's the only person on the face of the planet who finds beauty in unexpected places).  So we bid adieu to Nijah, which was a pity as she seemed like a nice girl, but nice does not equal tension. 

--Claire Zulkey

(photo credit: the CW)