We’re reminded that Devin won Best Photo last week. They’re still doing that thing where they’re writing all over the damn photos and trying to kill us all with grammar and capitalization errors because NOBODY PROOFREADS THEM EVER. Given the fact that they actually let Maleesa’s misspelled hashtag on the air, I’m going to hazard a wild guess that this cycle they’ll just be letting a badger walk across someone’s laptop and putting whateverthehell up on the picture. This time the badger walks across something close to “Stole The Picture” [sic] and something else unreadable that ends in “PERFECT.”
Oh, criminy, the #branding is back. Since Devin won, he gets a moment of personal coaching from Tyra, but of course we can’t call it that. We call it a #tytytip. Or at least we try to call it that as soon as we’re done weeping and gibbering in a corner.
Tyra says Devin looks great unless he’s in profile and looking down. Tyra tells him to knock that off or he’s out. No big thing. Who needs to look in that direction that often? Devin looks up and straight ahead all the way to the Tyra Suite.
Bello hates it that Devin won because Devin is over the top and this will make him even more so. Bello would like him to go over the top of the doorstep and on his way home.
Time for the 13 remaining models to celebrate like 13 people who have poor impulse control!
Devin says that he, Mikey, and Ashley are BFFs, as we saw last week right before Mikey started being a douchewharf to Courtney. And that does kind of explain his behavior – Mikey was sweet to Courtney until he decided he’d found cooler pals and could drop her. Charming. Anyway, the besties call themselves DMA, and Devin says that he sometimes feels like a third wheel, which is hilariously layered over footage of Mikey and Ashley canoodling in a bubble bath and then Devin getting in too. Well done, editing department.
Ashley says she’s getting to know Mikey better. Well, that will happen in a bathtub, Ashley. Mikey, who we will recall is just a wee bit of a horndog, is all over Ashley like she’s got free wishes coming out of her pores.
Mikey, who lives in a house with twelve other people and eight billion night-vision cameras, says he and Ashley are undercover lovers and nobody knows about them. Mikey, if there’s one thing you need to learn, it’s that the producers of this show would reveal your location to a squad of flesh-eating ghouls if they thought it would add more drama, so you maybe want to be less smug about that.
It says “A hero never gives up.” Dear Venus, do I hope that is in reference to a truly spirit-crushing Makeover Day. But of course, it’s much more likely a reference to the sympathy and shelter that the Knights Hospitaller offered to the Cathars. It’s nice of Tyra to give them a nod.
Hey, we have a definitive answer on who is Not Here to Make Friends. Hadassah says that because of her pageanting, she’s competitive and doesn’t care what other people think. I’m guessing that second part is an important survival mechanism for Hadassah. She says she can’t try to be nice to everybody unless it’s of benefit to her.
As the models chat about their high school triumphs, Hadassah announces that she played Sandy in her high school’s production of Grease. Hadassah evidently learned a lot from the part where Sandy had to stop being so sweet to get anywhere. (Moral dilemma: Grease is full of terrible, terrible lessons, but it has Stockard Channing in it. What do you choose?)
Devin, in turn, says that he played The Scarecrow in his high school’s production of The Wizard of Oz, which I can totally see and would have been genuinely awesome. But Hadassah thinks it’s funny because she thinks Devin looks like a scarecrow.
So either immediately or several weeks later, Hadassah and Bello decide to innocently tease/completely enrage Devin by dressing Hadassah up as The Scarecrow (but she just has flowers stuck all over her, so I guess she’s The Scareallergics) and Bello as Dorothy.
(You guys. YOU GUYS. As Bello and Hadassah walk in, Nyle is doing shoulder presses by lifting a laughing Courtney over his head. Why are we not watching that?)
Just as you’re thinking that that is the saddest, least creative, most pathetic attempt at trolling you’ve ever seen, it totally works and Devin goes into an immediate snit. It’s amazing. He totally could have bounced that right off and made them both look like dingleberries by simply laughing, but he cannot. These people would be sliced to ribbons on Scandal.
Devin says Hadassah is haughty and a pain in the butt and not real, except for that part about her being a real pain in the butt. He tells Hadassah that he’s friends with everyone (Bello? Hello?) and she has no one. And it’s true that Hadassah’s 45-minute lecture on Kitchen Etiquette and Handy Tips for Tending to Hadassah’s Needs does not seem to have gone over well in the general population.
In front of the other models, Hadassah denies that acts like she’s better than everyone and then we immediately cut to her in the confessional saying that she never “announces” that she’s better than anyone and wouldn’t say that… even if it’s true. Someone get the editors a nice box of fudge or something. They are on point this week.
Devin says – Ooooh! – that pageanting does not make a model, but the real fascination in this fight is in watching Bello. He’s in an awkward position here: He clearly doesn’t want to be friends with Hadassah any more than anyone else in the house, but Hadassah is bent on antagonizing Devin, and the enemy of his Devin is his friend. So instead of posturing like he usually does, Bello spends much of this sequence standing awkwardly next to Hadassah and looking down and to the side — the very direction in which Devin has been forbidden to look! It’s a delicate game he’s playing.
Hadassah, who has asked her new housemates not to stare at her from a distance, can’t understand why people keep coming at her and being so unfair. Apparently she’s been pretty vocal about having had household help most of her life.
Hadassah makes a valiant attempt to flip what looks like a lot of rich-girl bragging on its head, saying that the reason she keeps mentioning her nanny was because of an absent dad. It would have been a good attempt, if only she had built up any good will at all and there weren’t people with much harder growing-up stories in the house.
Bello expertly confesses that he looks forward to seeing what will happen with 13 striking models all in one house, and we should stay tuned. Well done, Bello. Either he’s getting a better edit or he’s done some serious re-thinking about how he wants to present himself. It looks like he’s decided that Devin has grabbed the Big and Difficult Personality niche, so Bello is trying to go for Quiet and Watchful. We’ll see how long that lasts.
Stefano, representing Team Douchebag as hard as ever, says he won’t be in the bottom two ever again. In the kitchen, he looks laser beams at Devin and announces that he never breaks eye contact first because it’s a sign of weakness. And then he walks to the sink and tries to fill his water bottle like a stud horse. Devin and Mikey laugh at him until their spleens explode.
Photo shoot time!
We pull up next to some Army jeeps! Oh god oh god please don’t let this be one of those things where Tyra thinks she’s doing a daring issues shoot and ends up putting models in blackface again. Yu Tsai says models will be posing with real military veterans. Did you just double over with anticipatory discomfort? Me too.
One of the veterans, Melissa Stockwell, lost her leg in and explosion in Baghdad. Alex Minsky lost his leg and suffered a brain trauma after hitting a roadside bomb while on patrol. The models are appropriately quiet after this extra-strength dose of perspective.
Oh, dear. We re-run the footage of Ashley talking about her molestation mostly so we can see Tyra giving a sympathetic “I’m sorry.” Ashley says that says she appreciates her blessings after hearing Alex and Melissa’s stories. OK, that’s impressive. Nyle says he’s inspired and feels a bond with Alex and Melissa.
Alex now models and designs and Melissa is a competing Paralympian. I’m glad we got a little more about them. Nyle asks Alex to talk more about his experience. Nyle says he feels lonely in this competition because he can’t speak with anyone here in ASL. Nyle says he’s feels invisible here. Hey: Where is Ramon? He’s not at the shoots and he’s not in the house and he’s not at panel. Is he really just doing Nyle’s interview voiceovers? That seems jerky.
Yu Tsai introduces Fashion Guru Joe Zee. Joe Zee says everything is amazing one million times and everyone says amazing one million times while describing Joe Zee and his work, so at least we’re all on the same page. Joe wants extreme couture poses today.
Yu Tsai scolds Devin about his cocked eyebrow. Hadassah says Devin thinks he’s too good and won’t listen to direction and all the other models leap away from her so they won’t be struck by the lightning bolt. Yu Tsai humbles Devin about his listening skills. Devin seems to immediately step it up into an extreme posing frenzy.
Hadassah isn’t selling the dress and her core isn’t strong and she looks like she’s taking a poop, according to Yu Tsai. That seems to be the new in way to shame female models this cycle. Let’s hope a new fad arises with all due speed.
Courtney does well. Bello isn’t giving enough high fashion, but he is giving a split.
Damn, Bello. I have to say: He seemed too unstable to do this at first, but he really seems to be re-thinking how he presents himself. I wonder if Devin sees that this makes Bello way more of a threat.
WOW, Yu Tsai really does not care for Dustin. He says Dustin is too boy-next-door and only shows one side of face and is wasting Yu Tsai’s time. Lacey says Dustin doesn’t take things seriously and needs to give more respect. Dustin is so doomed this cycle.
OH, YES, WE ARE SEEING INTERVIEWS WITH MODELS IN WATCH CAPS! IT’S MAKEOVER DAY! THIS IS NOT A DRILL! Gather your weaves and meet me at battle stations.
Justin does well, and Melissa likes working with him. Where the hell has Mamé been all episode? I hope the answer is that she has been giving serious thought to an etsy store with Macramé by Mamé. She does great.
Mikey is asked to do extreme poses and Ashley gets all twitterpated as she watches him work. Ashley. Girl. Check in with Courtney about that. Ashley looks hot and powerful on her shoot. She’s inspired.
Nyle has been dressed in a ridiculous outfit that includes Hammer pants redux – it’s hard to tell with the long velvet blazer he’s wearing over no shirt. Practical!
He does fine. Yu Tsai deems Lacey amazing. Ava is coached to push her body around more. She interviews that she’s only 5’5” – “one of the shorties,” and she’s not feeling great about herself. I think that’s an older interview being cut in, though.
Yu Tsai informs Stefano that he’s being an accessory again. Stefano says he’s still very confident because – He actually says this out loud and with no hint of humor – “I’m extremely good-looking.” Stefano jumps in his picture because he does a lot of dancing. Fine.
The producers weren’t kidding about forcing to the models to be surveilled while they make calls to their loved ones. Stefano tears up even before he gets his mom on the phone. Family is everything, he says, and he says he’s going to win it. How is he such a sentimentalist here and such a cockbasket to every other woman he encounters?
Ashley talks to her mom and is really sweet about it.
The models gather again to talk makeovers. (Eeeee!) Justin, having watched last season, is worried that he’ll have to go blonde or get only half of his head buzzed. Hadassah makes the key mistake of saying she fears the makeover, though as the most carefully pretty girl, she certainly should. Hadassah says that pageant folks in Texas are not into daring haircuts and she says she’ll go home if something crosses her line.
Hadassah may think she is better than everyone else, but she clearly has not figured out that she’s basically pouring a bucket of chum over her perfect hair. Either someone has tipped off Mikey that it’s best not to give them an opening on Makeover Day or his fretting over his locks of power and sex magic has been edited out.
None dare speak of the Beard Weave, but it is hanging over all of their heads. Or, really, hanging just in front of their lower faces.
Yu Tsai welcomes them to Christophe Salon where, we fervently hope, they will be bleached, permed, woven, and shaved without mercy. Hadassah hilariously interviews that her dream makeover would be taking her perfect long pageant hair and parting it in the middle. The producers fall to the ground in bliss like she just shot heroin into their eyeballs and this seals Hadassah’s fate.
Devin is getting shaved “damn near bald.” They actually caption that. Oh, rats, this was a bad gamble. I think the producers made an entirely fair calculation that Devin would be unable to deal with the idea of such a drastic follicular change and would flip the hell out. Unfortunately for all of us, Devin has watched enough of this show to know that he must handle this with grace, and does so. Alas. Well played, Devin. The tragedy here is that there are only so many head-shavings that Tyra can dish out in a given cycle, and we’ve just wasted one.
(Psst! Producers! Ms. Banks! Are there only so many head-shavings you can give out in a given cycle? Because what if next time you gave every single model in the competition a shaved head? You’re welcome.)
Dustin will be getting a touch of honey blonde. Lacey will be getting a “chic bowl cut.” From what alternate universe will they be bringing in a bowl cut that is chic? Also they keep calling these “Ty-overs.” This shall not stand.
Nyle will just be getting a clean-up. Ava, informed that she will be getting a goddamned mullet, jams a fork into the back of her hand and keeps on smiling.
Courtney will be getting grey hair and whiter teeth. Ashley will get the Tyra cut (!!!) and contact lenses. They are confiscating her adorable librarian glasses. Goddammit, show.
Bello will be getting a weave down to his butt. He could not be happier. Well, he could be, but only if Devin were being torn apart by eels. Mamé is getting “Curls Gone Wild.”
Justin will be getting a Fauxhawk fade. He exhibits an appropriate cautious optimism. Stefano will be getting tracks put in so he’ll have floppy bangs with with highlights. Stefano has not practiced bracing himself for difficult haircut news the way Ava has, and so his body language is Egyptian Sarcophagus.
So in weeks past, we’ve established that Mikey loves his hair so much that he should marry it and (presumably) also cheat on it with another part of it. And last week Mikey spent about 68% of his screen time being terrible to a defenseless Courtney. By all that is just and good in this world, Mikey should be getting AT LEAST a buzz cut that’s dyed fuchsia and has a butterfly shaved into it so we can watch him throw a toaster oven into the Jacuzzi.
So what does Mikey get? Four inches trimmed off. Goddammit, show. My guess is they used up all their shaving cards and don’t want to risk Mikey storming off because he’s the most likely candidate to have some totally discreet and secret night-vision sex.
Where did the producers use up all the rest of their valuable shaving points, you ask? Hadassah will be getting shaved on one side of her head. She’s already crying, even before she sits in the chair. Bello coaches her not to leave, but you know who is fresh out of sympathy? Devin.
Christophe tries to reassure her, but all Hadassah can see are the pageants to come when she will be down 50% hair flair. You can’t do it on teeth alone, people. She’s trying to decide.
Devin says his hair makes his personality, but the Ty-over is important, so he will struggle on.
I don’t think I have ever met anyone who as invested in his or her hair as much as this batch of Top Model contestants.
Nyle just get a clean-up. He’s flattered by this, evidently unaware that a lot of the time the contestants who have the least done to them on Makeover Day are soon to be eliminated.
Lacey’s “bowl,” thank goodness, isn’t one and looks pretty OK.
Stefano claims he had the biggest transformation, since he went from short hair to short hair with bangs. Um. He says he still looks good and is still going to rock “The Stefano.”
Ashley looks very different, but still really good.
Mikey has been flat-ironed into Legolas hair and keeps thrusting his crotch during his after pic shoot. Goddammit, show.
Justin was worried that he’d look like a K-pop star, but he turned out fine.
This is disastrous. Tyra has ruined Makeover Day by going to a salon that’s actually making them look good. This is not how Makeover Day is supposed to work. Makeover Day is about snot-crying, weaves that look like moth-eaten sheepskin rugs, and asymmetrical dye jobs. This is like throwing a Halloween party and telling everyone the theme is business casual. And then not giving all your guests crew cuts and weaves.
Courtney – whose hair is not so much grey as Different Patches of 70’s – is our only real hope, but even she seems pretty cheerful when she nods her head slightly and her majestically feathered hair lurches forward to engulf her.
Hadassah is crying. She says “This is my dream, and pageants are my dream as well,” which isn’t really how that works, Hadassah. She says she can’t participate in pageants if she goes through with it. Miss J. tries to comfort Hadassah, which is also what Makeover Day is about. You scold that girl until she gets the round pixie cut that makes her look like a tetherball or walks off the show, Miss J.
Mamé points out that she’s the ranking pageant girl here and will be heading out to compete in the Miss USA pageant after this, and maybe another thing Hadassah could shave is the drama.
Yu Tsai brings up the fact that the models just did a shoot with soldiers who lost their legs and Hadassah snaps out of it and goes to get half her head shaved. Here’s the thing: It does look good. Like really good.
This is not what Makeover Day is about.
Mamé gets a huge and majestic lion’s mane weave. She’s thrilled. Bello get all the rest of the hair in the entire world and is also thrilled.
Dustin gets The Boyband.
Oh crackers, Ava really got a mullet. She’s an extremely good sport about it and pulls it off about as well as any human being could expect to, but it is a mullet. Dang.
Mamé explains that everyone in the house has to put in a daily confessional, so there’s a certain amount of jockeying to get it done. We see the confessional line and Mamé confirming to Ava that she’s after Bello.
Inside the confessional, Bello is feeling the hell out of himself and his new hair.
Back outside, we learn that the rule is you run into the confessional waiting area and claim your spot, and then you can go about your business if you need to and the person ahead of you comes to get you. However, after Mamé claimed her early spot and then went to get a drink, Stefano jumped the line. There is so much I want to know about Stefano’s upbringing.
Mamé explains to a hostile Stefano that she went by the rules they’ve always been doing and he literally sticks his fingers in his ears and sings. Also Stefano is doing that stiff self-conscious thing that all ANTM contestants have done where they thought they were going to get away with something, but forgot that cameras would be there.
He won’t back down, even when Ava speaks up for Mamé. Stefano says “Girls!” like it’s a swear word and then makes the talky talky hand gesture, which is really the only defensive tactic you have when you know you’re demonstrably in the wrong but are too weak to admit it and step back. Ava calls him out on both of those things. I have to admit, I didn’t give Ava enough credit early on. She does not put up with rude nonsense and stands up for herself every time.
Stefano retreats into the mannerisms of cocky dudes on trash talk shows, and boy howdy, is he obnoxious. For real, his only debating tactic is being a dicksmack. He uses aggressive hand gestures, he yells, he blusters, he tells Mamé to flip her hair again. She flips it so hard and so affirmatively that it breaks the sound barrier.
Bello laughs and laughs. Ah, here Stefano is trying to call Mamé “shrill” – another gambit time-tested by sexists who are losing arguments with women – but he can’t think of the word “shrill,” so he just tapers off.
We end the sequence with Stefano giving Mamé a long, slow “Shhhhhhhh,” and Mamé somehow managing not to punch him in the kidney.
Only twelve models will continue. Stefano he doesn’t see anyone else doing better than him (except every other single model last week) and he says he’s staying because people are always getting distracted by the wrong reasons and he’s here for the right reasons: To make people realize that you can become less and less physically attractive just by being enough of an arrogant, sexist pill. Write it down, young people. Write it down.
Hadassah is bitching about her head shave again. To be clear: It’s not bald on that one side. It’s a close crop, but there is hair on it. And, again, she looks really good. Right now she’s not so much proving that she can’t handle her hair as proving that she can’t handle objective reality.
Miss J. took the gray hair that Courtney didn’t quite get.
Also, there was no challenge this week, so it’s all down to the photo.
Ashley has the Ty Ty Chop, so she’ll be here for a bit. Ashley looks great in her photo, but she isn’t connecting with the soldiers and is also maybe resting her arm on Melissa’s head. This photo shoot to honor our military veterans uses background soldiers as scenery. I’ll just leave that thought right there.
Justin looks good. Tyra and Kelly disagree on whether he’s matching Melissa’s energy. Courtney’s photo is not really great. Oh, sweet heaven, she says that since she’s gotten her tooth bleaching, she’s been stepping up the dental hygiene regimen to… Twice a day. She said she used to just forget sometimes. For days in a row, apparently. Yikes. In her photo, she’s one giraffe stretch away from a great pose.
Stefano has a weird neck and Miss J. and Kelly don’t like his jumping pose. Also, Tyra says Melissa is looking at Stefano like he is her warrior. Barf. Miss J. spots (or has been fed) that everyone dislikes Stefano, but couches it as a “loner” personality.
Hadassah walks up with her terrific haircut looking SUPER PISSY. It’s like she hates it so much on principle that she can’t see what it looks like. Her picture blows and she has a dead face, none of which matters anymore because the judges will use this incident of bad attitude to bounce her whenever they please.
Dustin needs to harness his face. Tyra illustrates proper harnessing by showing us one of her “just woke up” Instagram shots. #NoFilter #NoTruth
Mamé did well by taking the initiative to move around the set, but Kelly doesn’t like the shot. Lacey hits the exaggerated posing, but her legs look a little short.
The judges really like Mikey. Feh, Then, in an incredibly staged and extremely uncomfortable moment, Tyra and Miss J. pretend to deduce that because Mikey’s pants look “a little dashiki” to her, Mikey must be trying to get with one of the black girls in the house. STOP HITTING ME WITH CROQUET MALLETS. I CANNOT HELP WHAT THE TRUTH IS.
Mikey says no, nothing is going on, but Kelly says she’s a little psychic. And also she and the other judges have been fed this information by producers. How ever did the producers find out when Mikey was so discreet?
It’s one of the clumsiest set-ups I’ve ever seen on this show and they didn’t even need to do it because Devin immediately rats out Mikey and Ashley and Justin and Mamé. Make a note of it: Do not tell Devin about your illicit romances or bank robbery plans.
Bello looks good. Ava looks super tall in her photo. The judges say she looks edgy, which is true if you take “edgy” to mean “has listened to a lot of Melissa Etheridge.”
Devin does a finger-on-lips pose that he refers to as the Bird of Paradise, like you should just know that.
They like his face. He’s totally doing the eyebrow. Nyle looks good. Kelly loves the shot and says he and Alex look rock and roll.
In the green room after her judging, Hadassah is still bitching about her hair, like she’s a living Vine of hair bitching. Nyle uses his text-to-speech app to remind everyone that there will literally always be better things to worry about than hair, so give it a freaking rest for thirty seconds.
13 models! 12 photos!
Best photo: Ava! Off to the Tyra Suite!
Runner up: Mikey!
Then we have
Aaaaahhhahahahaa Stefano is in the bottom two. Hadassah is the other one left. These are excellent picks even though it looks like there has been some nudging to get them there.
Hadassah like control and perfection, which Tyra finds boring. Stefano is an accessory and can’t be placed as a brand.
Hadassah is in! She needs to loosen up and be fierce!
Team Douchebag is out! Team Douchebag is out! Wow. I did not expect that to happen. Team Douchebag has been routed by Team Pageant, Team Rhyme, Team Virgin, and Team Difficult. Who says this show doesn’t teach important lessons to young people? Oh, that’s right: Me. Nevertheless, write this one down.
Tyra says she wants to see Stefano posing on Instagram and booking jobs. Stefano says he can’t believe he’s out and also he’s an alpha male. (Young people: If you hear the sentence “I’m an alpha male” come out of someone, mentally stamp “DO NOT DATE” on his forehead. You will never regret it.)
Stefano says he likes himself and that’s all that matters. He should certainly hope so. Wow, Stefano, that was quite the run. Here’s hoping you were committing to a persona for TV.
Next week: Unretouched photos (Gasp!) and some weird sports-type crashing around. Also Devin, Ashely, and Mikey are declared mean girls and there is night-vision fighting and looks like bed-sharing. I wish I could quit you, America’s Next Top Model.
See you next week.