For this week’s photoshoot, ANTM recruits a couple of veterans with prosthetic limbs to pose with the models. HAVEN’T THEY ALREADY BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH? If they somehow avoided having PTSD after their military service, a day of having Yu Tsai yell at them seems liable to push them over the edge.
All the same, it’s a nice gesture coming from Tyra. Obviously, these veterans aren’t nearly as inspirational as Tyra herself, but a Purple Heart is almost as prestigious as a Fiercee Award, so she lets them participate anyway.
The vets, Melissa and Alex, each lost a leg after running into an IED. The situation seems especially tragic for Alex since he’s currently almost out of blank skin for tattoos. That leg could have provided some in demand real estate.
The models quickly try to relate the soldiers’ injuries to their own hardships. We hear a few quotes like “As a deaf person, I can relate…” and “Their stories reminded me of when I got molested.” Hey, I’m not prepared to say any of these people’s problems are worse than the others, but it’s definitely not a good look to make a direct comparison to your own situation and vet’s near death experience. Like, this isn’t the semifinals anymore, you don’t have to try to one-up each other’s sob stories to make it to the next round.
In addition to losing a limb, Alex says he suffered brain trauma. Well there you go! That’s something I’m sure a lot of these contestants can directly relate to.
Even if you have severe brain trauma, I bet you can guess who the photographer this week is. “You remember Erik,” Yu Tsai says to the day’s first model. It wasn’t a question either, it was a declarative statement. As in “You obviously remember Erik, there’s no way you could forget.”
As usual, the concept of the shoot doesn’t make much sense to me. The contestants are supposed to do “extreme” poses next to the amputees. Why - because war is extreme or something? That’s interesting in theory, but the end result is a bunch of photos where the models look like assholes who are trying to upstage the visiting heroes.
Biggest asshole goes to Bello for doing a full split, as if to say, “Look what I can do with TWO functioning legs.”
Strike that, biggest asshole, as usual, goes to Yu Tsai. His best freak out is at Dustin who dared to giggle while on set. Yu Tsai will have NO laughing on set, thank you. If only Dustin had looked at Alex’s crotch for advice.
No seriously, Alex has the phrase “DON’T LAUGH” tattooed over his penis. In other circumstances, I would say that there’s no way that tattoo could be good for your sex life, but the dude is a hot hero so I’m sure he’s knee neck deep in pussy no matter how laughable his dick is.
For the record, I don’t think Dustin is “immature” for laughing in this scene. If I were told to jump up and down next to a one-legged man on a low-budget M*A*S*H* set, I, too, would chuckle. I especially like how every shot features boxes that say “FOOD” or “SUPPLIES” on them. Nice props. Maybe if weapons of mass destruction were kept in boxes that are this clearly marked, we wouldn’t have so easily been able to invent an excuse to go to war with Iraq… and Melissa would still have her leg!
While it’s cool that the show is bringing attention to veterans, I think there’s got to be a better way to support the troops than using their prosthetic legs as some kind of “high” fashion props. Still, given the way that Tyra has previously treated some of her supposed heroes (“holla holla holla”), I suppose it also could have gone much worse.