Editor’s note: this is, regrettably, a week late, through no fault of the author. We mention it only so you aren’t rooked into thinking this is the recap for episode 6. You’ll get that tomorrow, so hold your horses.
Previously: DJ Khaled stopped in for Social Media Week! The models learned about social media via, naturally, wearing underpants on the street. Courtney complained a whole bunch and fought with everyone in the galaxy and Tash went home.
It’s nighttime at the Model House! Cody is bumming out about Tash getting axed, but Cody says she can’t cry now. She has to push through. Cody is clutching a black-and-white composition book which I’m assuming is her journal. Did that just bump your love for Cody up a notch, or is that just me?
Cody is bummed about Tash going, but not all that bummed. She’s excited to have some time to focus on herself. I guess Tash is a little intense.
Krislian is excited to have moved out of the too-sexy trap and into top photo. Coryanne, in contrast, is in a serious depression spiral over being in the bottom two again. She tries to cheer herself up by saying that America loves an underdog. Well, yes, but if you came into the modeling competition as a signed model with a supermodel mom, “underdog” is a tough sell.
Paige calls Courtney to clean up and put away the first-aid kit, since Courtney is the one who used it after her devastating fall down the stairs. Courtney bitches that she’s not the one who brought it there, so she doesn’t know where it goes. OK, but since Paige and Kyle brought it while tending to Courtney’s bruise-based injuries, the least Courtney could do is pitch in and figure it out. How bad was Courtney bruised, you ask? I believe we have a marvelous gif from last week that will illustrate the gravity of the situation.
Kyle notes that Courtney is the reason the kit is out. Courtney snots that Kyle is PMSing, which is gross for multiple reasons. How about we not escape consequences for our actions by attributing real, earned emotions to a bullshit sexist stereotype, ladies? Kyle snaps that Courtney should stop making assumptions about her cycle and says that she’s not PMSing, she’s annoyed with people.
Kyle interviews that she usually has much more alone time and is tired of living with 3,000 people in wall cubbies and especially with whining. She makes some good points.
Law arrives! He wishes to chat about the importance of personal style. He says girls are becoming famous just from street style alone. (Ugh.) As examples of becoming famous from street style alone, Law cites Zendaya and the Kardashians.
Are we sure that’s just from street style? No help from, say, having a rapacious conniving matriarch and way too much money? Just asking.
Giah interview-worries that she comes from a rural area and not much money. She doesn’t think her clothes are good enough.
Law says it doesn’t always take a bunch of money to build your own style. Just gumption and a sense of presentation. We go around the room so that every contestant can sum up her personal style in a single phrase, as one does. Most people I know go with “most of the lint brushed off” or “office-appropriate without making me want to set the breakroom on fire” or “I just bought this and I like it, dammit,” but bad-ass-boss-bro models have to go with a little more.
Tatiana says her personal style is “model chic.” She reminds us that she has her own skin care line. I feel like the show is making Tatiana do this with weights on her ankles so we won’t all be pointing at her for the win the whole cycle. Law says she does indeed have a strong idea of who she is.
Marissa says fresh and young.
Kyle says gender bender.
Cody says tomboy chic
Courtney says ‘90s grunge. Seriously?
Binta says sexy royalty.
India says fem rock while throwing devil horns. Aww. Sweetie, no.
Paige says “youthful sophistication.” Settle down, Paige.
Giah says she’s hippie chic. Wait, what? Giah. Girl. I love you, but what? I don’t think Giah is real clear on what hippie fashion was. Law also begs to differ. He says that Giah makes him cringe at panel, but that’s fixable. Hey, for real: If she’s at a disadvantage because she had fewer resources going in, put the contestants on even footing and give them a budget for some clothes.
Krislian says she’s eclectic. Law suggests a different phrase. They go with “sultry glam.” You know what? It’s not a bad target for Krislian to shoot for.
Coryanne says “model eclectic,” which you’ll notice is a combination of two things that other girls said. Law asks her WTF that means. Coryanne says it means modelesque, but eclectic. Oh, pumpkin. Law silently counts to ten in his head. Courtney mentions past panel outfits as an illustration of how eclectic she is, but can’t name a single look she’s had that Law can remember. (Law says he can remember what every other girl had for every other panel. Oh, my lord, that sounds exhausting.) Coryanne does not agree that she’s unmemorable. She’s not doing herself any favors in that department right now.
Challenge! The models have 15 minutes to show their personal style with their own clothes that they have right there. That shouldn’t be too tough? Since it’s their authentic personal style? (Except for Giah, who has already said she doesn’t have much in the way of her own wardrobe. This sucks.) Marissa says the challenge is 15 minutes to gather the cutest outfit they can find, which is not what Law said.
Tatiana worries because she’s already worn her best outfits to panel. Coryanne stresses out because she has so many different styles of clothes. Once again, I am concerned that “underdog” will be a tough sell for Coryanne. Krislian puts a giant Cleopatra necklace on over a neckline that plunges to Antarctica.
The Angels of Foreshadowing hover and weep. Time to show off the outfits!
Tatiana goes model chic, saying her outfit takes her from casting to the club. Kyle interviews that Tatiana is fierce competition and seems to already have it in the bag. Yup. Law loves her.
Krislian is wearing the plungiest plunging neckline that ever plunged. I drops to the crotch and is a half-inch and two sleeves away from just being a pair of suspenders. It dawns on Law that Krislian may not have entirely learned where the boundary of “too sexy” is. He tells Krislian to go “more classy” and warns her not to get stuck in club girl sexiness. Kris says that she’s short and if she wears loose stuff, she looks smaller. Law actually has to take a moment to process so he can be diplomatic and not just shout “you have to stop being a walking nip slip hazard!”
Law calls Cody to give her runway walk and says she’s feminine rather than tomboy chic. Do you think that could have anything to do with the show giving her a butt-length weave, Law? India is not giving him (or any of us) female rocker, but Marissa is indeed fresh and young. Paige needed to take her braids down for the full look.
Law says Courtney needed a flannel shirt for ‘90s grunge and is 100% correct. You know what? I like the judges this cycle. I haven’t agreed with every last word, but they all come up with astute and usually helpful notes. I have not one whit of yearning for the cycles where Jay Manuel or Yu Tsai would tell the models that they were stinking up the photo shoots and then give them zero advice on how to improve.
Giah! What are you doing? What are you doing? Law is as kind as he can be about this outfit: “You don’t look a mess, per se…” he starts. Law says Giah looks like she’s going hunting or fishing, not hippie chic, which is true.
Ohhh, I just put it all together. Giah thinks “hippie” means “outdoorsy” rather than “groovy flower child.” Oh, to go back in time and whisper the phrase “spunky outdoor spitfire” in her ear. Law says Giah’s face is saving her. He makes her take her vest off and promise to shoot it into space. He isn’t mean, though, and Law tells Giah that he likes it that she listens and she’s there to learn.
Binta’s look is “sexy royalty,” which she of course nails. Law likes it that she has the sexy contained with a trench coat. Binta says she got that trench from Goodwill, and she’s going to fake it til she makes it. Well done, Binta.
Kyle looks great. Like WHOA NELLY great.
Law says she had it the easiest, though, and wonders if she can elevate her look. Kyle interviews that doesn’t like being told that she’s unoriginal. Kyle has not had more than a blip of screen time since the premiere when she and that other girl fell in love for ten minutes, so even though she’s a smart and self-aware interviewee, I’m concerned about the sudden upswing. That usually means someone is about to be in trouble.
Coryanne is in denim. Which is not eclectic. Law gently explains that “eclectic” means “an intriguing blend of styles,” not “whatever the fuck I feel like wearing.” Marissa interviews that Coryanne is used to praise and doesn’t handle critiques well.
The winner of the challenge will get an entire collection of the shoe line Law created with Zendaya. Binta feels good about her chances, but it’s Tatiana who gets the win. Tatiana is indeed one to watch. India objects that she doesn’t like Tatiana’s style that much and that “model chic” could mean anything. That’s called smart positioning, India.
Tip for today: Wear the clothes. Don’t let the clothes wear you. Sounds like the models will be released into the most dangerous game. Kyle is already barfing at the thought that she’s going to have to wear “girly-ass” clothes. Which I understand, but if Kyle has seen the show, she should be prepared for that eventuality.
The models arrive at a supermarket! No shopping, though, it’s time for their next photo shoot! This one is, um, “inspired by” a Chanel shoot. Drew has invited Nicola Formichetti to be the photographer. He’s responsible for Lady Ga Ga’s look, so strap in.
Courtney monotones that she is so excited to shoot avante garde with Nicola. The models ooh and ah over the wild clothes they’ll get to wear.
Kyle is happy that she’ll be styled as an avante garde rock chick. Nicola says he wants to get into each girl’s essence. He says Giah has a really good face, and should be styled as a bombshell. Nicola talks about Courtney’s brows. She jokes about shaving them off until she realizes that Nicola totally might.
Nico also says that Krislian is sexy and – let’s all say it in unison – can slip into too sexy. Krislian is annoyed and wonders if she’s being stereotyped because she’s Latina.
OMG. Cody is dressed in disco inferno chainmail and the vacation slides of a thousand 70s sitcoms.
It’s perfect. Cody interviews that she’s coming into her own. Drew is thrilled and says Cody pulled a bit ahead of the pack today.
Kris is in a dark murder-duchess body-covering outfit. It hits right in the Venn diagram intersection of black widow and Old Spanish. It’s a little weird and definitely out of her comfort zone. Krislian struggles with the huge headdress and all the hanging lace. Nico says the outfit took over. Oh, no! She broke the cardinal rule of the RitAlert! IT WORE HER.
Drew loves Paige and thinks he finally squeezed the cheerleader out of her. Binta didn’t move well, but looked great in all the shots. Giah is in insane high heels and a red vinyl dress studded with balloons and a metal flower crown.
She can barely balance and sits down rather heavily in the meat cooler. Drew tells her to work the meat (KEEP IT TOGETHER, PEOPLE) and not look like she needs a chiropractor. OK, that is some of his less helpful advice. Giah is struggling.
Kyle looks at the gargantuan heels she’s been issued and lies that she’s not nervous about walking in them. Hey. Those heels are supposed to avant garde, but they are clearly the silhouettes of the Detroit Red Wings logo.
Kyle takes what sounds like a hard spill, but does not call for bandages, Courtney. Marissa interviews that Kyle is really sweet, but Marissa couldn’t run to Kyle’s aid because she would have laughed her ass off.
Kyle gets a new pair of shoes. She says she maybe should have warned the crew that she is not great at walking in heels. Kyle gets a new pair, but is still in danger of breaking an ankle.
Coryanne loves her dress and she is working the blazes out of it. She climbs the meat shelf like she was born in the frozen foods aisle. Drew says she had one of the hardest dresses to work with, but she was spectacular.
Courtney bitches that she can’t see with her headpiece and tells the wardrobe mistresses that they are hurting her scalp.
She interviews that she was worried about her allergies, but even though her outfit was too hot and her headpiece was too heavy, she is not complaining. Oh, Courtney. You are going to be an A+ crazymaking elderly lady someday. Drew says that Courtney nails every shot, but getting there is no treat. We cut to Courtney saying she can’t look down because of her headpiece.
Tatiana looks head-snapping good. Drew can’t even stand it. India is wearing an iridescent cat toy.
Drew is happy with how magical she looks. Marissa can’t breathe in her dress but doesn’t care. She gets into a hilarious character and pours milk on herself and looks like she has a ton of fun on her shoot. Now that is how you deal with a nutball dress.
Kyle is super bummed and does not look happy to be there. Her look is Las Vegas Showgirl Death Angel, which is probably not what she was hoping for. Plus she’s afraid she’ll break her kiester in those heels. Drew is trying to explain that she’s portraying a person who is in the grocery store in a headdress, so maybe go with loopy and expansive or wildly happy or literally anything other than her usual grumpy bad-ass pose. Not smiling in fashion photos seems to be so firmly drilled into Kyle that she can’t process that direction.
Kyle is frank in her interview. She says she knows that she’s one of the weaker girls in the competition, but says she does have a fire inside. Even though she’s tanking this shoot, I’m impressed with that. She sees where she is in the pack and she’s not making excuses; she’s just hoping her hunger will help her make up ground.
Rita reminds us that this week is about personal style. I guess they all took that in, because Law says everyone look amazing. They do look good.
Rita reintroduces the judges and recaps the prizes. I just realized that she pronounces VH-1 as “V-haitch one,” and swooned a little bit.
India looks way edgier in her photo than she did while in motion. The judges love it. Krislian is called sexy again, but Ashley says it’s classy sex today. The photo is less good. Rita says the Black Widow dress is wearing Krislian, and Drew says she was lost in every picture.
Law says it’s a disappointment after last week. Truth.
Binta’s photo composition is weird, but Binta herself isn’t. The judges love her. She may be the second most likely to get into fights, but attention must be paid to Binta’s modeling chops.
Paige’s photo also gets oohs and ahs. She looks like a frozen bride.
Cody gives everyone goosebumps. She rocked it. She’s like a futuristic Thunderdome Tin Man. Drew asks what it’s like being on the show without Tash and Cody says she likes being her own person. Apparently Tash wanted them only to be twins and pressured Cody to be part of a duo instead of her own self. Yikes. I hope that’s just a dynamic that’s being played up for the cameras. At any rate, Cody does seem to like being a solo act. I think it’ll be worth that difficult conversation when you get home, Cody! Rita says Cody has the face of the boss. Drew reports that Nicola said it was one of his best editorials ever.
Law loves Giah’s look at panel today… But her shoot wasn’t great. Drew calls her a beautiful woman, not a model. Rita says that she, Rita, didn’t come into the industry as a model, but you have to get in there and do it all. Law and Ashley praise Giah for listening and learning and working. GODDAMMIT, DO NOT TAKE GIAH AWAY FROM US.
Marissa’s shot is playful and fun. The judges give it the props it deserves. Courtney’s face looks great again. Ashley says she doesn’t get “warm fuzzies” from Courtney and Courtney interrupts her. Oh, Courtney. Ashley reasserts her turn to talk and goes one step more blunt, saying she doesn’t know if she likes Courtney. Courtney says it’s difficult to be in the house because she has trouble connecting with other people. Gosh, you think? Drew jumps in and tells Courntey not to mess this up with her incessant complaining. Holy crap, Courtney must have been a colossal pain in the butt during her shoot. Drew is all but shooting death rays out of his fingertips.
Coryanne’s photo makes everyone scream. She climbed all the way up the meat case.
Rita says it’s the definition of a boss. Law says it’s amazing. Tatiana is riding a shopping cart like a frozen foods Valkyrie and holy crap, that’s just a close-up of her cleavage. But yeah, she is a good illustration of how you can be sexy but also eight other interesting things. Ashley says she has the brains and the business.
Last up is Kyle, who, oh dear, looks like a bird who smacked into a supermarket window. Drew tells her to expand the Kyle brand and Law again says she has it too easy. Just as I’m thinking that Law is a tad hard on Kyle, Law continues and says Kyle stands disrespectfully when she’s in front of the panel. I would argue that she’s just a tad uncomfortable and very guarded, but then again, he sees her standing for much longer than we do. Time for the panel to discuss!
The panel discusses Courtney. They don’t want to work with her or to have her out in the industry as the first new-look Top Model winner. Oh, sweeties. No one in the industry works with Top Model winners. Law says Giah isn’t a model. BUT SHE IS US. Rita doesn’t want to give up on her yet.
Krislian is not timeless to Rita, and Rita doesn’t want her repping Rimmel London. Savage. Drew says she’s not high fashion, but a lot of brands live in social media spaces.
And does Kyle have a chip on her shoulder? Rita says she’ll be thrown to the side if she doesn’t fix her attitude.
Backstage, Kyle doesn’t like her character being attacked. Courtney claims she’s not upset because Drew getting that heated with her means that he believes in her. That, or you drove him up the fucking wall. One of those. And we’re back in!
Best Photo: Coryanne! Is this woman a judging panel rollercoaster or what? And are we done with her and Krislian switching first and last places? Because that’s losing some of its drama.
Runner up: Cody!
And then we have:
Binta (I really do think they always put Courtney and Binta neck-and-neck to mess with them.)
And the next name is…
Rita stops. She thinks they’re making a mistake. Ashley says “NO” with the firmness of someone who thought this interminable argument was finally over, goddammit. Rita goes back to the other judges. Rita whispers that she doesn’t think it’s fair, and you can build someone’s social brand. Ashley says majority rules. It looks like they’re going back to the original plan. Would Tyra have put up with such a thing? Rita goes back to what she was doing, but she makes it clear that she doesn’t like it.
Krislian is in, which she almost wasn’t. Rita makes it clear that she didn’t want to put Krislian through. Rita says one failure in this competition is crucial and tells Krislian she’d better kill her next week.
That leaves Kyle and Giah. God. Dammit. You were right, Rita! I’m not happy with either of them going home. Kyle hasn’t been slaying in photo rankings, but it would be nice to get to know her before she goes. And Giah is working hard to improve and also my favorite person in the house, so there. Good luck keeping things grounded and positive without her.
Rita makes it clear that the judges are not in agreement. Damn. How nice for the girl who stays.
Kyle has a distinctive edge, but can’t just coast on a cool look. Giah has a great personality, but hasn’t nailed her photos. Even if she’s learning, can she catch up with the others?
Kyle is in! Which I’m glad about, but, dammit, that means Giah was out and she was the loveliest person in the competition. Rita clearly adores her. AND IS CLEARLY RIGHT.
Giah, wonderful to the end, says it was a blessing to even get into the competition. cries and says she knows that she can be something even if she doesn’t believe it all the way. Oh, Giah, you so can. You deserved better. Someone give her a job on V haitch one, won’t you?
Next week: Boxing. And kissing! Wait a minute: Kyle and Marissa kissing?! Also, Binta fighting! You’re damn right I’ll meet you here.