Recap: ‘America’s Next Top Model’ Cycle 12 – ‘Put Your Best Face Forward’

03.26.09 9 years ago

Jim DeYonker/Pottle Productions Inc

It”s episode four of cycle 12 of “America”s Next Top Model”! Too many numbers for you in a single sentence? Of course! This is a show about models, not crime-fighting mathematicians. Geez.

So Nijah went home last week; Allison got to stick around because she”s less boring than Nijah, who, by the time this sentence has ended, I will have totally forgotten. 

Oh, interesting. Rihanna isn”t featured in the anchor Cover Girl commercial. Do I smell a backlash against the singer because of her personal choices? Do I love a conspiracy story?

[Full recap after the break…]

Sandra is strutting around more than usual, given that her picture was the best last week. It”s obviously hell on the rest of the girls, simply because Sandra is annoying and mean and a horrible soul. But before I can enjoy a real catfight, the doorbell rings, and Toccara is there. Oh my God, her voice could make the beard on the Lincoln Memorial bleed. Just show up and give out the clothes you “bought,” which probably means picked up from a sponsor. The visit is apparently all about nurturing one”s “personality.” And, apparently, walking on the Top Model house catwalk, because that”s all kinds of fun, right? 

Before she leaves, Toccara hammers home that you, like, really need a personality. Kthanxbai!

A dance-themed Tyramail can mean only one thing: Benny Ninja, vogue pioneer and posing queen. The girls all head to Marquee to meet Ninja and a model-turned-DJ named Sky Nellor. This challenge is all about matching one”s poses to music, because, apparently, photographers care about such things.

Nellor spins beats and the models come out in pairs, trying their best to pose to the music. Kortnie and Sandra fail; the former thinks about being funny too much, the latter is too unaware of her body. Tahlia and Allison don”t fare much better, but Celia kills it, as does a cool, jazz-inspired Aminat. Back at the house, Allison vows not to let her poor showing get her down.

Here comes the challenge: At a club called Mansion, a pair of designers who go by The Blondes agree to provide the fashions. A crowd will determine the winners. Of course this is a crowd of extremely elite drag queens — the best posers on the planet, and I mean that in a good way. This is “Paris is Burning” all over again.

Allison gets called out as “sour,” which is good, right away. So is Kortnie and Sandra. Then Celia gallumphs onto the stage and owns it. Girl, you. Can. WERQ.

Aminat gets even eaten alive, as does Tahlia. Natalie wins her round, destined for a pose-off with Celia. Celia has the presence of mind to work with her crazy gold garment, and she wins over the drag queen handily.

Back at the house, Tahlia breaks down. This is because the crowd hated her, and that”s because she isn”t a very confident model, and THAT means she isn”t a very good model. She begins to talk about going home. Will she actually remove HERSELF from the competition? Will she? WILL SHE?

Before we can analyze, it”s off to another photo shoot. Tahlia confesses to the stylists in hair and makeup that, once again, she isn”t sure she should be there. Celia voices what everyone is thinking: We know you”re a burn victim, and that”s just so special, but really. Go home.

The next photo shoot takes place at Ellis Island. Benny Ninja will join each model as she tries to channel an immigrant arriving from the old country. They”re actually using a real, honest-to-goodness, old camera and everything! 

Sandra is up first. Her stiffness makes her more like the way an 1850s immigrant might look right now, as opposed to, you know, back then. Fo gives it her all. London has a naturally dramatic face, and she falls effortlessly into her “character.” Teyona, once again, can do no wrong. And then comes Kortnie. God, honey, you are so pretty, why must you flop like a sack in front of this old, old camera?

Now here comes a surprise: Tahlia”s shoot is actually good. Did I miss something?

Celia — let”s not even spend any more time on her. She just rules. Can we move on? Good. Because Aminat seems to be experiencing some difficulty. She seems to falter with every frame, while Allison works her waifish anchovy eyes to full effect.

Panel comes next. Please, lordy, lordy, let Sandra go home. I don”t care if she adds drama to the competition. She grates.

Teyona just seems to own the judges. They love her shoot. London, inexplicably, fails to impress because she”s looking off in the distance, but Sandra just bombs completely. She”s handed the judges yet another profile, and even I, a 36-year-old shorty with a big ass, knows to give a photographer some range. The judges also like Aminat and Allison. 

Fo is up next. Like London, she does not connect with the camera because she isn”t, you know, looking into it. Natalie is praised and even given a comparison to Keira Knightley. 

Oh God, here comes Kortnie. She can do no right. And she”s so pretty! Are the planets out of alignment. Nigel declares her eyes to be “dead.” Tyra says she “underperformed.”

Tahlia, for her part, looks like a hot mess in person, but she has the best photo of the bunch this week. Celia does meh.

So who goes home? Sandra is in the bottom two. Hooray! But so is Kortnie. And, sadly for the known world, it”s Kortnie who goes home. Next week: More misery with Sandra at the Top Model house! Oh, yay.

And then … OH NO SHE DID NOT. Celia just stood up in front of Tyra and ratted on Tahlia, saying that Tahlia didn’t want to be there. But Tyra and the judges’ decisions stand. Look for Celia to take some serious heat next episode.

Would you describe Celia as more of a “snitch” or a “rat” or a “stoolie” or a “narc”? 

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