Previously: There was avant-garde fashion in a meat aisle! Courtney illustrated how she was not complaining by extensively complaining! Rita thought they were making a mistake, but Giah got cut anyway! GODDAMMIT. We miss you, Giah!
Back at the Model House, Kyle says she’s not doing great because she’s in “mad trouble.” The other models deny it, but Kyle is correct. She interviews that last week, she was in the bottom two. She calls the competition “emotionally taxing,” which I don’t doubt, and says she would like have someone to comfort her. She also says that Marissa is both hot and distracting. Kyle sees something in Marissa that is not in herself, which Kyle finds attractive. As Kyle and Marissa sneak off from the rest of the group, we hear Kyle say that she definitely wants to get to know her better and get closer.
KYLE. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? (Finding a distraction and emotional focus that serves as an excuse for not trying your hardest and thus also an excuse for why you got cut. That would be my theory as to what Kyle is doing. But I’m guessing some parts of Kyle’s brain are not telling the other parts about that.)
Out in the yard, Krislian, Paige, and India discuss the insane wait-we’re-making-a-mistake panel, which had to have been excruciating for the contestants. Paige didn’t like having two people she was fond of in the bottom two. (Presumably she means bottom three, since Krislian is right there.) Kyle and Krislian, who know that Rita wanted Giah in over at least one of them, have to be especially tense. Krislian interviews that last panel was really hard, but she’s going to use it to push her forward.
Kyle finds Marissa on the couch and asks Marissa to rub her head and calm her down.
Kyle. KYLE. Marissa strokes Kyle’s hair. Ladies, no good will come of this. ANTM contestants who mack on the air get used for drama for a couple of episodes and then kicked off.
Marissa interviews that Kyle is sweet and mature. She says that love has no gender, which is very cool of her. I hope she remembers that this is reality TV, where love often has no brakes.
Marissa asks what Kyle is thinking. Kyle tells Marissa she’s very attracted to her presence. Way to be careful, Kyle. Marissa, who is no dummy, says upfront that she doesn’t see her personality meshing well with Kyle’s…but opposites attract. Marissa says she likes what she likes. Kyle, who apparently can’t not push, says “And that’s me right now.” Marissa, needing a boundary, says “Possibly,” and heads off to bed.
Someone is walking right into the house! That must be disconcerting. It’s Ashley Graham! She’s there to cook dinner and hang out with them! This week is all about body and strength, and she will be their mentor.
Ashley says she’s been in their position – trying to work her way up while competing with other models and having her body constantly scrutinized – and she wants to make it clear that eating right, “not not eating,” is key.
Let’s just go ahead and admit that this episode is weird and we’ll be skirting around a lot of issues for a body confidence episode. Anyhoo, Ashley will be making them her signature kale pesto pasta.
Ashley checks in with Krislian. Krislian feels like she and Ashley have some similarities, and she wants to know what’s up with being called “too sexy” her whole life, whether she’s trying to be sexy or not. I know that sounds like a cry-me-a-river sort of problem on the surface, but that can certainly be a problem with being taken seriously or just getting through your day. I remember reading about a movie star bombshell who said that that aspect of her life was fun sometimes, but not so much when she needed to go to a parent-teacher conference.
Ashley seems to really listen, and is empathetic when Krislian brings up sexual harassment, which is yet another issue I wish they hadn’t glossed over this week.
Ashley says that she’s using her body to break a barrier and to let women who look like her know they’re beautiful as they are and don’t have to be overly sexy to achieve that. Which wasn’t quite Krislian’s original question, but OK.
YOU GUYS, COURTNEY IS IN A UNICORN ONESIE. FOR DINNER. FOR DINNER WITH ONE OF THE JUDGES.
Ashley takes a good-natured swipe at the unicorn onesie, because how could she not? I am not saying I wouldn’t own one or wear one. I’m saying I’d think twice before wearing it to my televised dinner with someone who is judging me in a competition.
Come to think of it, I would wager Courtney did think twice, which makes me a little sad. I think she packed carefully and went into this thinking she would be Whimsical Animal Onesie Pajama Girl, the girl you can’t help but loving! Instead of, you know, the talented-but-brittle fightball.
Paige jumps in and says a long and pointed grace. That’s a fine thing if everyone is into saying grace before a meal, but kind of uncomfortable if some people aren’t. Which is probably the case in such a large group. Not that anyone will burst into flames and start vomiting pea soup. Just maybe if you’re throwing down some grace for a mixed group, keep it short and sweet.
Binta asks Ashley how to make the judges see that she’s a boss. Is that a weird thing to try to game the system on? I don’t think Ashley’s going to tell her to walk in wearing a change-making belt or anything. I feel like Binta should go back to the Zen wisdom of DJ Khaled and just be a boss. Ashley says the judges will start to truly see the models as they go through the challenges.
Ashley admits that the last elimination was rough. Kyle brings up the fact that Law didn’t like the way she stood last week. Ashley challenges Kyle to wear heels to the next panel and says she’ll call Kyle out if she doesn’t.
Kyle interviews that Ashley was fun and is giving her another chance. Kyle vows to change their minds and fight for it. Get in there, Kyle. As the ladies clean up from dinner, they feel excited. Tatiana says the visit was fun and a good vibe.
Binta demands a deep clean of the house because it’s getting funky in there and she was embarrassed to have Ashley Graham walk into that. Everyone jumps in and starts cleaning, which is way more than one can usually expect of a Top Model house. But Binta either has not been watching back cycles or is not thinking about that, because she moves on to make several enormous tactical errors.
Binta does start off well. Since she’s the one who asked for the deep clean, she takes on what she considers to be the hardest job: Mopping all those hardwood floors. And that’s good. Showing that you are ready to pitch in on the front lines is good. That is the last smart thing that Binta does, assuming that her goals are 1) an ongoing level of cleanliness in the house and 2) no one lacing her corn flakes with arsenic.
Binta, at least by the looks of the edit, almost immediately makes sure that everyone knows that she is the hardest worker and the martyr of the cleaning process, because nothing brings people onto your cause like devaluing their contributions.
After a series of cuts of the other models cleaning the house, we get interview shots of Binta bitching that no one else did anything. Holy Vesta, I love it so much when the editors get irritated with someone.
(Part of the problem is that Binta demanded a deep clean, apparently one that would last for hours, but what the other women actually agreed to was jumping in for a 15-minute whirlwind clean. Never forget to define your scope.)
Binta interviews that nothing was cleaned and now she’s re-cleaning. And also yelling at everyone about it, which Binta does not mention in her interview. And, yes, cleaning disparities suck, but if you are The Cleanest Person and you want other people to pitch in, there’s a point where micromanaging is counterproductive and yelling just means that the other people are going to start spitting out sunflower shells and emptying their Ped Eggs right in front of you.
Binta, have you thought about praising the team and then gently encouraging better efforts over the next several da—No? OK, maybe a chore wheel—No? OK, sure, how about some extensive berating of fellow adults? That should work.
Binta takes a sharp left into paranoid obsession, telling the confessional cam that she can’t stand Tatiana, that Binta was the one who cleaned the bathroom last time, and that Tatiana’s stupid hair is all over it now. We cut to Binta going Full Mommy Dearest in the shower.
Tatiana does not enjoy being the current focus of Binta’s bitching. As Binta spins and cleans… something, saying “Does this look clean to you?” in a tone of voice that suggests Tatiana left a live ball of tapeworms in the shower, Tatiana counters that she sprays the shower down every day. Tatiana interviews that Binta has chosen the wrong target this time, because Tatiana will go from zero to 100 before you know it.
And indeed, I think Binta assumed she was coming after a more pliable target.
Binta pursues, which is a mistake. Tatiana points out that everyone has hair. Binta says Tatiana is the one always in the bathroom. Tatiana reasonably says that everyone is in and out of he bathroom as Binta repeats, “Just say it’s you. Just say it’s you. Just say it’s you.” OK, that is extra nuts with a cherry on it. I believe Binta has learned that she can usually shout people around her into submission and is not used to pushback. Hello, Binta. Meet pushback. Since Binta won’t stop talking, Tatiana just yells “SHUT UP! SHUT UP!” Tatiana hits the confessional cam to say that you can yell, but she can yell louder. And indeed she can. Sweet holy Bacchae, this fight is still happening. When did Binta decide that following people around while yelling at them was awesome conflict resolution? Tatiana turns and yells at Binta that she’s not taking the blame for something that Binta has done. Binta asks if Tatiana has been helping to clean the bathroom, and Tatiana says literally every day.
Binta says “Bite my ass, bitch!” which brings Tatiana back out with a vengeance. Tatiana says Binta leaves the whole bathroom soaking wet every time she uses it. Binta, now on the defensive, says Tatiana lying and it’s bullshit. Binta huffs into bed. She’s not used to fights turning out like this.
Tatiana interviews that technically, they aren’t even fighting, since Binta doesn’t have a point beyond “bitch bitch bitch.” Paige and Kyle listen at the stairs as Binta starts to yell accusatory but less Tatiana-drawing things to the walls.
Binta loops back around into how the other women have not cleaned as Courtney and Coryanne roll their eyes so hard they sprain their corneas. Coryanne interviews that Binta is arrogant and does not know how to control her emotions. Well, certainly the second part. She’s not great at handling disagreement.
Binta continues to scream down the hall after Tatiana, now lecturing Tatiana on how she’d better not be going there to talk about Binta. Tatiana says “She’s crazy!”
Marissa and Kyle want to hang out with each other before bed. Perhaps away from the others, who are either screaming or hiding from screaming. Kyle interviews that she just wants to get away from all the drama. (With the girl to whom she is hugely attracted.) Kyle interviews that she didn’t expect to hit it off with anybody in the house, which is a tad disingenuous, since Kyle fell in love on the first day. Remember her?
Marissa, cuddled in a comforter on the floor, says Kyle is adorable and has a sweet side. Kyle, who is 23, interviews that Marissa is only 18, which gives Kyle pause. As it should. That five years won’t be a big thing later, but that gap is a pretty significant one now. Kyle hedges that Marissa is almost 19 and is very comfortable with having an alternative sexuality.
Marissa gives Kyle a little peck and, impressively, brings up the issues that she and Kyle should be discussing. Marissa asks if her age makes Kyle uncomfortable, and says she doesn’t want to do anything they’re uncomfortable with. Kyle says “I just want to kiss you and lay on top of you,” which is both grammatically and ethically suspect.
Marissa points out that such an activity might make someone who is uncomfortable even more uncomfortable. Seriously, points to Marissa for trying to actually bring things out in the open while Kyle seems to be just horndogging.
Kyle says “I just like you, so… Kiss me now!”
They kiss, and Marissa responds with “Wow, I wasn’t expecting that,” which is an odd follow-up to being kissed after they’ve been hovering their faces inches away from each other for the last several minutes. While Marissa is at least taking a shot at it, I don’t think either woman has taken the time to sort out her feelings and be honest with herself. Which, admittedly, must be tricky when you’re living together in a group house while competing against each other and also being constantly surveilled.
It’s got to be a weird, time-accelerated situation for romance, but, I dunno, maybe make the calculation that you’re probably not the front-runners, flirt for two weeks, and then make out all you want once you’re in the bunker where they keep the girls who got eliminated.
Time for Queens and trampolines!
More specifically, we’re in Queens and Ashley Graham is on a trampoline. Today will be extreme posing, leaping into the air. Cody is nervous because she can’t even remember when she has last been on a trampoline.
Ashley says sportswear is hot hot hot, largely due to lots of people who are not designers suddenly being designers now, so you’d better learn to model in the genre.
The models have to pose at the top of the jump and they will only one chance to get it right! This would never be the rule on a real photo shoot! THAT’S the old Top Model spirit!
Krislian has a lot to prove. She’s scared about the single take. Ashley says she looks high-end editorial, not sports.
Krislian cannot win.
Binta says she’s less confident because she thinks the judges are being tough on her. She’s also less confident because she’s not so much with the trampoline judging. Marissa interview-laughs at her and brats that maybe Binta didn’t have trampolines to jump on in Gambia. Well, yeah, maybe, Marissa. Do you have no maturity without your comforter? Binta looks strong in her shot. Too strong, according to Ashley.
Tatiana wants everyone to know she has boss qualities. Her shot looks great. Ashley says her face was strong, but she wanted to see Tatiana go into more emotion. Cody’s body looks great, but her face looks unsure. India looks like you just tried to hand her a lukewarm pulled pork sandwich from under your car seat.
Paige does a totally planned, unspontaneous pose… And Ashley loves it. And it’s true: Paige thought out what would look good and it worked for her. Props where props are due.
Courtney looks like Courtney always does, but jumping. Coryanne looks like she’s disembarking from a particularly high and challenging SUV.
Marissa stands next to a nervous Kyle. We cut to an interview in which she says she “sort of kissed Kyle,” but she is absolutely not Kyle’s girlfriend. Marissa says there is chemistry there, but she needs to focus on the competition. One hopes they will both follow this sound plan. (Spoiler: No.) Marissa ends up with an OK body pose, but an unformed facial expression.
Kyle’s body pose is OK, but oh, dear, her face.
Ashley is not amused. She says Kyle had no plan and no control over her face.
Ashley says this challenge was important because we saw the models’ muscle definition, because jumping. Body week! So who wins? Krislian has a good body, but not the face. Binta was trying to think outside the box, but was too edgy. Paige looks like an athletic campaign. Marissa looks athletic, and her growth is impressing Ashley. Paige wins it!
Attention to meticulous planning must be paid.
Paige wins a 90-minute deep tissue massage at the house for herself and another girl. Paige splits the massage with Tatiana because she figures Tatiana must be stressed from fighting with Binta. It’s a solid impulse.
Paige and Tatiana get massaged and also discuss Marissa and Kyle, who are suddenly all booed up together. Paige asks what will happen if Kyle gets home, and Tatiana astutely says that nothing will happen to Marissa. Cold, but probably true. Paige, in an interview, thinks that the quiet girl and wild child opposites can’t help but be attracted. Paige asks if Tatiana thinks it’s just a fling, and Tatiana says “A really cute fling.” I like Tatiana. Tatiana says Marissa is not being stupid about it and is keeping her mind on the competition.
Paige and Tatiana, visibly more relaxed as they reverse-Slinky up the stairs, say that was the best prize ever.
Morning in the Model House. India says she wants to be more toned. Cody says her body wants to have a six-pack.
Rita says she’s been known to KNOCK OUT her competition in business and this week’s competition is all about body and strength, so DO YOU GET IT? The models deduce that it’s a boxing shoot. Cody is psyched. She thinks this is going to be her moment. Marissa says if the others get in the ring with her, they’re done.
They go to Gleason’s Boxing Gym. Because it’s nominally Body Week, so, yay, working out and stuff! Ashley says your body is your business when you’re a model, so love it, treat it well, and improve it. Also boxing is super high-fashion trendy. I would love to see more runway shows with models pulling out mouth guards to spit streams of fake blood. Drew says today they need to remain beautiful while being in motion.
Kyle interviews that last week she was in the bottom two, so she needs to focus, but the situation with Marissa is super distracting. Kyle. This way lies madness! Kyle says that she knows she has failed but, she has also had super-star moments. OK. Back in make-up, Kyle talks to patient friends about how she needs to show up and be redeemed. In the interview, Kyle says she has control over her emotions, but it’s hard with Marissa. KYLE! You have known each other for, what, two weeks in real time? Exchange numbers and put it on simmer.
Ashley introduces a dear friend, a supermodel, a boxer, a Sports Illustrated model… It’s Chanel Iman!
She’s excited! And she’ll be shooting with models aspirant. So the challenge is to look good boxing and also out-supermodel the supermodel. Drew wants the models to be in action and have connection and be in balance. Let’s do this. Ding ding!
Tatiana kicks the heavy bag. Chanel says she was confident and comfortable and went for it. Binta is irritated by Tatiana’s skill. Coryanne knows she needs to stay at the top. Courtney seems to do fine, but Paige can’t sell punches. Drew has Paige jumps rope and it’s much better.
Binta and Chanel fight over a medicine ball and then high-five.
Marissa heads into the ring. She says it was a little nerve-racking, but she had good vibes for the shoot. Kyle watches too closely.
Kyle looks sad, like she’s thinking too much about really getting punched. I don’t know why she can’t muster up her tough face now of all times.
Ashley hates it. Kyle interviews that she was distracted by Marissa, which is sounding like a more and more tenuous excuse. Whatever she;s thinking about, Kyle is thinking too much and one-dimensional. Kyle says she was not getting the shot they wanted. She knows she might be out.
Krislian says she has never boxed and she’s not really an athlete, more of a dancer. Ashley says it’s clear what Kris wanted to do, but nothing translated. Uh-oh.
India really wants best photo, but she’s not going to get it with this. She doesn’t commit to any of the physical stuff. It’s like she’s a teenager refusing to believe that her arms really work.
(Speaking of teenagers, Kyle, do you know who’s a teenager? Marissa. Marissa is a teenager.) Cody, in contrast to India, commits like blazes. Drew and Ashley love it. That’s a wrap!
We’re back to the house at night!
Coryanne says the judges have high expectations, so she has to do well. She and Cody talk about how much the waiting for panel messes with your head.
Kyle is cuddled with Marissa. She says she wants Marissa to rub her head and comfort her after her tough couple of days. Marissa asks what Kyle is thinking about, and Kyle says she’s turned on. Marissa, channeling all of us, says “Like, what the fuck, Kyle.?”
Marissa interviews that Kyle is very affectionate, but Marissa usually needs space, which is a totally fair position. Marissa elaborates that: She flips it on and flips it off. What?
Kyle says “I just want to fuck you.” Marissa pulls away, which of course she does, because she and Kyle have known each other for like two weeks in real time and Marissa is too smart to want to make night-vision underblanket footage on television. Or maybe she just doesn’t feel like having sex with Kyle. Kyle makes a gesture like Marissa is being unreasonable, which is bullshit.
Kyle interviews that Marissa has a temper, which I don’t think is the issue at this particular moment. Kyle says she’s going to try to work on Marissa’s temper with her, which is straight-up creepy. Kyle goes after Marissa to talk to her and fake-reasonable asks “What have I done wrong? What am I apologizing for?” Courtney watches as Marissa unhelpfully says Kyle should apologize for “being needy and annoying” instead of “for pushing so hard for sex when it’s clear I’m not ready for that.” Courtney still seems to be watching/openly eavesdropping, though who knows with editing? Courtney interviews that Kyle and Marissa are around each other 24/7, so of course things are going to get cray.
Kyle, in a total manipulative neg, calls Marissa difficult. Because “does not wish to have sex with you in a house full of cameras” is difficult. Marissa, to her credit, says she’s not being difficult, and she doesn’t jump when Kyle says jump. Kyle calls Marissa out of her mind, which is just shitty at this point. Gross, Kyle. Marissa knocks a tray over and takes off.
Courtney counsels Kyle to separate herself and go to bed because that wasn’t a calm conversation. She makes a psycho knife gesture to drive home her point. Poor India is trying to do something completely unrelated with an electronic gadget in the middle of all this.
Downstairs, Marissa tells Coryanne that she doesn’t know that came from. Well, that’s not entirely true. Marissa is no stranger to outbursts when she’s feeling pressured, as we’ve seen. Maybe she doesn’t know where the outbursts come from? Like whether they’re from heaven or rage elves?
Kyle, who does not know when to give it a rest, follows Marissa to another floor of the house again. Marissa would like Kyle to back off just go to bed so they can wake up and pretend this never happened.
Courtney came down too, which was a terrible idea. Marissa says to buzz off because she just added fuel to the fire. Kyle gestures to Courtney to go, and Courtney says “Got it, Kyle,” which completely sets off Marissa. Marissa starts and then continues to scream at Courtney to walk away, apparently because she wants Courtney entirely out of her eyeline. Courtney, for some unfathomable reason, does not take her own advice about separating and going to bed and instead stands there in profile picking at her face.
When Courtney finally snaps at Marissa’s spiraling rant, Marissa goes beyond batshit and straight into platypus-shit while Kyle clamps her arms over her head and, I hope to Venus, re-evaluates this relationship she’s been pushing so hard for. Can you imagine living in the place next door?
Kyle, what are you doing? I keep wondering if she’s really good at hiding her calculations that some onscreen ladykissing will buy her more time in the competition, or if she really does just fall head over teakettle in love every ten minutes. Kyle, you seem like a cool person, but there’s this thing you can do where you exchange contact information and rekindle the spark (or not) under more clearheaded circumstances. Also you may want to look into these things called “red flags.” Marissa seems like a lot of fun to hang out with, but those screaming rages, the ones that make you go fetal, are flying more flags than the United Nations.
Per Rita, this week was all about body image and body strength. Was it? ALL about? OK, fine. The judges are still our judges, and the prizes have also not changed.
Cody is up first. She looks like she’s in charge.
Courtney looks kinda meh. Drew notices that it’s that same face she always makes. Uh-oh. I believe we have the start of an arc.
Kyle does show up to panel in heels. She looks angry in her photo again, which is way better than what I feared after seeing her shoot. Ashley said it was a rough day and Kyle needs more openness. Rita would like to see more variety.
Marissa looks OK. The judges like it better than I do. They say she looks strong and fun. Tatiana is kicking, literally and figuratively.
Rita calls it her strongest photo, and that is saying something. Ashley wanted more different takes.
Paige is also dominating her shot. Drew notes that they had to change the shoot to something more cheerleader to get a good photo, so Paige needs to learn to nail it every time.
Solid advice. Paige seems like she has a good heart. I hope she goes on a vision quest or something and breaks out of the Achiever!!! ice cube mold. She’s gonna be okay.
Binta looks powerful. Law says he’s a little bored with her. He wants her to turn it up.
India looks completely wussbaggy, and also makes the mistake of making excuses to the judges. Rita says she’s not “elevating,” even with purple hair. Law notes that India is styled much better, but Chanel dominates their shot. Krislian is short for a model, and thus needs to learn to elongate her body. (Wouldn’t that have been a good discussion for body awareness week? No?)
Coryanne makes them applaud. She’s got long long long long legs and a good face.
Rita is relieved. Let’s hope Coryanne is off the rollercoaster.
Time to deliberate!
Krislian is not making it to the end, says a blunt but necessary Drew, but Ashley says there’s something special in her. Drew says that Ashley just identifies with Krislian’s story.
Rita says that India is cute, but has no grit. That is exactly the right phrase. Everyone loves Coryanne and wonders what the hell with Kyle. The judges have decided. Bring in the models!
Best Photo: Coryanne! She’s officially one to beat.
Runner up: Cody! Rita says it was a dead heat. Go, Cody, go!
Then we have:
Kyle and Krislian are left! Krislian and Kyle!
Krislian has made a huge transition. But has he reached her peak? Kyle’s week was a bust, even though she’s trying hard.
Kyle is in! One more chance! PULL IT TOGETHER, KYLE!
Krislian is sad. She fought and practiced and changed her style. She says she knows she won’t stop and will make it. Good luck, Krislian!
Next week: Dance! With Beyonce’s personal choreographer! And a music video! Oh god, oh god, it looks hellacious. Also Marissa does not listen at the shoot and gets scolded. Yes, I’ll see you here.