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'America's Next Top Model': Let's go see the city (Get it? 'Go-see'?)

April 29, 2009 |  9:26 pm

Fomakeup I feel as if I've learned a lot about modeling from this cycle of “America's Next Top Model.” It is better for a model to be old than short, but better to be old or short rather than fat.

We were served up tonight's judging showdown right at the beginning of the episode, with Celia Ammerman talking about her decrepitude (age 25) being a liability for her the competition, and Fo Porter lamenting her shortness. Fo was still a bit annoyingly immature, but it was nice to hear her admit that before the show she was a slacker, and for once she actually wants to try hard at something. Yes! That is what America's youth needs!  Can-do spirit, as long as you're on the right reality show!

The girls had their go-see challenge this episode, which made Allison Harvard want to "die a little bit" (say what you want about her looks, but she's one of the more personable girls to come along on this show). They all fought traffic and Allison fought against the better instincts that told her not to wear a silly leopard-print bow in her hair.

It seemed like the girls modeled more fabulous-than-usual clothes than on previous go-see episodes.  Celia looked amazing in a bikini and translucent caftan and Allison modeled a beautiful dress by Osklen covered in long, narrow swinging palettes.  Not surprisingly though Allison's bad walk was a factor against her in the challenge, as Fo's shortness was against her. The judges liked Celia's elegance and Aminat Ayinde's beauty and body. By the way, Aminat made a joke about being African and how that means that she's never on time, so make of that what you will: funny, irreverent joke or unfunny reinforcement of negative stereotypes?

Teyona Anderson won the go-see challenge, and she and Allison and Aminat got to take a helicopter back to the meeting place. After returning to their rooms, Teyona bragged about the new clothes she won in the go-see challenge, which the judges and Celia all noted that she needed desperately, as her wardrobe had been lacking.

The photo challenge was a swimsuit shoot, with the girls needing to stand out in a large scene of characters, as shot by Nigel Barker. I was hoping Allison would remember to tell Nigel that he was her favorite photographer, as earlier in the cycle she'd stupidly said that to another photographer in his presence, but she missed a great opportunity to make up and be funny. She did have a good shoot, though, flirting with the camera and using the extras, utilizing the nervousness she got from being in a literally obscenely small bikini to her advantage. The shoot was less than high-fashion overall, especially as the girls for some reason needed to wear one glove, a la Michael Jackson, with their suits. Celia, after practicing too hard in front of the mirror, got flustered when the shoot wasn't what she expected, and Fo turned out a horribly unflattering picture that made her look squat, not to mention short.

At panel, Tyra Banks, wearing a fuller-than-usual wig, gave the girls a modeling lesson (remember when she actually used to go and hang out with the girls at the house? I miss those days) and Paulina Porizkova advised Celia not to practice any earlier than the night before a modeling shoot, because "the more you try, the more you'll sink."

The judges praised Aminat's body and Allison's "sexual mermaid" photo, and the bottom two came down to — surprise! — Fo and Celia, for being too short and too old. Celia made it through to another week (and again, I do like her: She seems old-fashioned and elegant in a way I like). Fo, not surprisingly, wept when she found out she was going home, but she was unexpectedly mature about her elimination, even claiming that she's going to go back and finish high school.  Who would have thought that despite Tyra's attempts to guide "future girls" through breaking out the “Rules of Owning Your Inner Fierceness” (What does that even mean? Seriously? Hello?), Fo would be the real role model.

— Claire Zulkey

(Image: the CW)