It’s a tradition for Tyra to parade out her semifinalists and make them share their darkest and most personal secrets in order to determine whether they have it what it takes to be a model. On ANTM, a subpar appearance can always be overlooked if the model has some rare disease or tragic accident in her past.
This year, though… it’s like ANTM wasn’t even trying to make us cry! Was this really the best they could find? Where is the Hurricane Katrina survivor? Where is the homeless person? Where is the burn victim? Where is the victim of female circumcision? Where is that one lesbian who was the sole survivor of a plane crash as a kid?
I’m almost tempted to say that they are putting more focus on finding actual models this year, except they recruited a bunch of freaks and shorties, so that can’t be it. Anyway, you can read about some of their personal tragedies here… and no, don’t worry about grabbing the tissues.
Mame was the child of a diplomat and lived a privileged lifestyle in Switzerland with cooks and maids. Then she got in one little fight, and her mom got scared; she said, “You’re moving with your aunt and your uncle in Bel Air.” Okay, I might have mixed her story up a bit with the Fresh Prince, but anyway, she gets shipped to her aunt and uncle in America for “stability”’s sake. Apparently, Mame could not stop this because there’s NO arguing with African parents. Maybe, though, there’s just no arguing with her father because he’s a diplomat and therefore always diplomatic.
Just when you think Mame’s story can’t get any sadder, she cries about how she was “raised over the phone.” If only the Line App were around when she was a teenager, I’m sure she’d be much closer to her family.
You’ll never guess what’s wrong with this guy. He’s suffering from a long…
… neck. The poor child! At least he’ll never be accused of being a no-neck monster.
His more substantial physical disability is “cauliflower ear.” I initially thought Tyra was babbling nonsense, but apparently that’s a real thing where the ear gets deformed after a wrestler gets bashed in the head repeatedly. If I were Dustin, I’d be more considered about what those injuries have done to his intelligence than the cartilage in his ears.
Believe it or not - and Tyra doesn’t apparently - this poor kid has to PAY HIS OWN BILLS. What has this world come to? Mikey says his childhood was difficult because the “late ‘80s/early 90s was a rough time in the world.” (Pretty sure he’s throwing shade at New Kids on the Block here.) He’s also one of the first males in his family not to go to prison. That’s an accomplishment, I guess, but why aren’t we seeing his formerly incarcerated relative on this show instead? Brother Ricky for ANTM 23! #MugshotRealness #23toLife
Despite being signed to six modeling agencies, clients never book Devin for actual jobs since he is “not the typical black guy.” He says the constant rejection has left him “messed up in the head.” Again, it is not his fault, it is the lack of modeling gigs that has driven him to his bizarre behavior. We’re praying for you, Devin.
No one has ever taken a picture of Courtney in her life! No parents? No friends? The only logical explanation for this is that she was a feral child left alone in the woods until ANTM held a casting call in the forest and welcomed her to the rest of society. Will she be able to handle having OTHER people take her picture? Crossing my fingers for this girl because it is one hell of a story.
Bryant is a successful underwear model, but he’s hoping to rebrand himself as more than that. “I’m here to show you that the clothes don’t wear you, you wear the clothes.” So far on this show, Bryant has worn like zero articles of clothing, so mission failed, I’d say.
Delanie lost 40 pounds and found her transition from duckling to swan to be difficult. If only you knew what it was like to become really, really, really pretty over a short time span. She was just this ordinary girl and now she’s been forced to enter a modeling competition due to this cursed beauty.
Hadassah is also cursed with beauty - she’s so pretty that people just assume she’s dumb! “A lot of people think I’m not very smart just by looking at me…” she says. That doesn’t sound fair! “… or hearing me talk,” she continues. Wait - hold the phone. If people think you’re dumb after you talk to them, then you’re probably just dumb. But being legitimately dumb might be sadder than having your intelligence underestimated, so I’ll give you a sliver of sympathy, Hadassah.
Maleesa is the shortest person in the competition and that’s horrible because… I dunno, people keep accidentally stepping on her or something?
Justin’s immigrant parents want him to quit modeling and get a “real job.” You’d think they’d just be glad that he’s not a drug dealer like his sister (okay, technically she’s a pharmacist, but same difference). It’s hard, but he’s already trying to break expectations of what an Asian is supposed to be:
If you say so, Justin.
This girl’s parents divorced when she turned 15, and she’s more distraught about the situation than the model who got molested. You know who else’s parents were divorced by the time they were teenagers? Half of America. Don’t waste our time with this shit, Lacey, unless YOU’RE the one who got divorced. If you want to be the next Jourdan, start practicing the line “I got married at 15 and divorced at 15.”
The models - all 14 of them - gather for a photo shoot and, possibly, a funeral. I say that because the photographer today is… (dramatic pause) Yu Tsai?!?!
Is Erik Asla DEAD? I can think of no other explanation for him not to show up to his weekly gig. Unless Tyra dumped his ass. Who needs a photographer boyfriend these days now that selfie sticks have been invented? If they can rig one up so the handle vibrates, all of her needs will be met.
This shoot, each model will be paired with a dog that matches that model’s essence. For example, Bello gets matched with a siberian husky because they both have piercing eyes. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re both wearing colored contacts. Are those contacts, pup? (Bark bark, of course they’re real, bark.) Oh well. Let sleeping dogs lie, and let lying dogs upstage Bello.
Mikey and his partner are so in sync that they even choke on their own long hair in unison:
Throughout the shoot, we see staffers yelling “stay!” and waving toys and treats around. It’s hard to say which of these tactics are meant for the dogs and which are meant for the models. If you ask me, Dustin seems just as likely to get yelled at for sniffing someone’s butt as the pit bull he posed with.
Most of the models get paired with pretty dogs… some of which are too pretty.
Hey, she said it, not me! However, Devin gets handed a freaky, mangy dog and doesn’t understand why. The show clearly stated that models were being paired with dogs based on appearance and personality, so I don’t get why he’s so confused.
At least Devin gets to wear a suit! Courtney poses with the same dog and they do her hair to look like she’s an equally diseased dog. Here’s hoping Courtney ends up in a no-kill shelter or she doesn’t stand a chance.
At least her hair isn’t as bad as Stefano’s, who apparently has had to keep that horrid cut during sequester. His wardrobe this shoot is possibly even worse. It’s like the stylists didn’t know how to distract from his haircut and said, “How about we give him a vest made of even grosser hair?”
In case you’re wondering which of these dogs is the first to poop on set…
It’s actually Delanie.
Ava’s biggest problem is not posing with a dog, but… drinking from a tea cup. No really.
Three cheers for homeschooling!
No one has it worse than Justin, though. Yu Tsai encourages him to stop modeling and just “chill” with his pit bull. Pit bulls don’t exactly have a “chill” reputation, but okay. Ultimately, Yu Tsai is so bored by Justin’s shoot that I think he tells him to jerk off the dog.
Ewwww! Chilling is one thing, but “netflix and chill” is another.
One model gets to come back into the competition. Another model will go home. It’s an exciting and drawn out (okay, mostly drawn out) panel. TRY TO CONTAIN YOUR EXCITEMENT, PEOPLE.
First, Tyra announces who gets to come back. Who is it?
It’s not Ashley. DOA for DMA.
It’s not Delanie, obviously. The nicest feedback she got on her photo was that Tyra liked how she tried to dance with a dog. Before they send her home, could they give this girl a mercy Ty-over? Ooooph.
Hallelujah, it’s not Bello. I was a little nervous since his shot was so strong; I think his wolf side-by-side rivals Nyle’s even. It’s remarkable how much more of a model Bello looks once his weave is hidden by a hood.
It’s not Courtney. Much like her bite, the judges are over her.
It’s not Ava, despite the fact that she’s the best model and served an amazing photo. I call bullshit on Kelly hanging out with “this type of woman,” though. Snooty, rich women with mullets do not exist. Also, Kelly calls Ava’s wrist “psychically perfect.” I didn’t even realize wrists could predict the future!
It’s down to Stefano, whose stoned glaze is mistaken as “smizing,” and Dustin, who is applauded for getting down on all fours - the very position his fans have always wanted him in. By one-tenth of a point, the returnee is…
Dustin. Tyra loves that she finally got a photo of his profile. What do you say? Two weeks until they use a face-on shot of him and Tyra gets bored with him again?
All right, no time to waste - on to this week’s eliminee.
Nyle has best photo. These judges are drooling harder for him than any of the dogs.
Hadassah gets second best photo. They’re scoring her on a curve, right? While it’s one of her best shots yet, I still think it’s bottom of the pack. Her face here is pretty basic. It’s all about the poodle.
Lacey is safe next and her shot is amaaaaaazeballs. Real talk, they just didn’t want to give her best photo three weeks in a row.
Mame is the fourth called, in part because Miss J is seemingly aroused at the sight of her choking a dog.
Mikey gets lucky. Not in the usual way Mikey tries to get lucky… lucky in that the judges are giving him a pass on yet another meh performance.
That leaves Devin and Justin. One of them is going to regret missing out on the opportunity to travel on this year’s trip to…
In general, I think people who visit Vegas wind up with more regrets than those who don’t go. If either guy is really sad about missing this trip, he could always just drive the 3 ½ hours from LA to Vegas on his own. I’ll chip in for gas.
Both Devin and Justin should just grab as many dollar bills as they can and run for the door. Even if those are one dollar bills, realistically, that’s more money than they’ll ever make pursuing modeling.
Who goes home?… You’ll have to wait until next week to find out!
What a great cliffhanger! Or at least it would be if the edit didn’t make it exceedingly obvious that Justin is leaving. Aside from the hickey, Justin has been invisible all season. This episode, though, we saw Justin’s childhood photos. We saw him talk about his disapproving family. We saw a couple of scenes of him being a “bad” model. We saw him resent the eliminated models re-invading the house. We saw him say how it’d be awful to lose his spot to one of them. We saw him claim that he felt confident he’d be safe this round. All of this points to a Justin exit.
I’d love to be wrong, though. This is Devin’s third consecutive week in the bottom two and he sucked at the go-sees, so he should be the boot. But this is ANTM, not a meritocracy, so you have a week to pretend that Justin, one of the best models of the cycle, isn’t going home. Enjoy it while it lasts!
In the past, Tyra Banks has warned girls about fake modeling opportunities used to lure aspiring young models into appearing in pornographic material. Fortunately, Tyra would never do anything exploitative like have her new models strip naked and get tied up in random shit you’d find in someone’s attic as part of a bondage shoot.
Yu Tsai informs the models that they’re very lucky because they’ll be shooting with Erik Asla again. Hmm, something tells me that the contestants will be lucky in that regard all season! Coincidentally, I suspect keeping Erik on set helps ensure that Tyra Banks “gets lucky,” too.
One person who’s not lucky is Lacey, who has to live out my personal nightmare: getting chained to Bello. If I were Lacey, I would have demanded that the key remain in sight at all times. To Bello’s credit, it’s his best photograph yet. There’s something very innocent about him here, which is saying something considering that he’s groping Lacey’s breast.
Lacey, meanwhile, serves up so much sexual intensity that it flusters Kelly Cutrone. From her feedback, it’s clear that Cutrone has an inappropriate obsession with Lacey’s non-existent sex life.
Next we have Ashley and Bello Devin in barbed wire. Either that’s “barbed wire” in quotation marks or these contestants need to unionize because that shit cannot be safe. Regardless, those incidental crowns of thorns are the most Jesus-y shots we’ve seen on this show since… basically the entirety of Phil’s portfolio.
Justin and Mame are wrapped up in computer cords, which is fine since there’s no need for internet dating for these two. Yu Tsai keeps complaining that their pictures are too romantic, but whatever, that’s because they’re in love. I don’t normally care for a showmance, but I’m all for these two popping out babies because Blasian babies are the cutest. That’s not just my opinion, I’m pretty sure that’s a fact.
Mikey gets the opportunity to live out his lifelong Rapunzel fantasy, while Stefano looks like a Christmas tree in late January: dead.
Then there’s Hadassah. Based on the edit and her unwillingness to follow directions, I thought for sure Hadassah would be going home, or at least in the bottom two. Her lost and vacant expressions are reminiscent of Cycle 3 Kelle’s “platypus” face, and that’s obviously not a good thing.
How she gets to stay over Delanie is beyond me. Is this a great shot of Delanie? No, but her edgy beauty is still evident. That criticism that she doesn’t know how to model her lower half when the photo is from the waist up is a joke. They should have just confessed they were her eliminating her for being boring.
Hopefully next week’s shoot will be a little less creepy. You know what they say about bondage porn: it’s knot for everyone.
Just kidding, no one says anything about bondage porn because it’s the kind of fetish you just keep to yourself, not put on national television.