After many episodes, the sad diagnosis must be brought out into the open: Sundai, you are not a model. You are extraordinarily gorgeous, and your eyes are the stuff of legend, but you stand there in panel like a junior high school band major who plays Warcraft with all of her free time, and in this business, you need to be a level 80 mage in front of the camera, not just in front of your computer. There. I said it. You’re cute, Sundai, but no.
[Full recap of Wednesday (Oct. 28) night’s “America’s Next Top Model,” with spoilers, after the break…]
Luckily for you, there’s Erin, who, at the beginning of this eighth episode of “America’s Next Top Model” Cycle 13, is reminding us of what a hellish time she had with her Cover Girl TV commercial last week. Maybe she’ll go home, Sundai, and not you. But really, no, Erin isn’t going anywhere.
Actually everyone is going somewhere. The girls arrive back home from somewhere to a house that has been “condemned” by a bunch of fake hazmat dudes. The real purpose behind all these low budget theatrics is, of course, that the girls are being sent to their exotic travel location. This cycle, it’s — Paris? Sao Paolo? No, it’s a recession. They’re going to Hawaii.
“I never get to go anywheeeere,” Sundai explains, which is bull, because, Sundai, we all know you go to Azeroth and fight orcs every day after band camp. Erin and Brittany aren’t getting along, either, and we’re seeing that right now ,which means one of them is probably in the bottom two.
Squee! The girls’ new house in Hawaii is like sooooo … squeeee! Let’s not clean it and wait for the ants to come!
The first challenge for the remaining girls: a surf lesson. A couple of models show up on the beach to help the girls learn. Bend your knees, tiny models! Fiercely! Then the girls must do a shoot, working in tandem with dude models.
The sun is “frying me like a little piglet in a skillet,” Laura notes, but she does look hot. Nicole makes surfing look high fashion, and Jennifer manages to barely survive. Brittany impresses Mr. Jay; Erin kills. Sundai is a big flop. Erin wins the challenge, earning herself a helicopter tour of the island with Brittany and Nicole. It’s lovely, but it’s not enough for Erin, whose negativity seems to be growing with every episode. Erin wants a necklace or a dinner or something. Laura, meanwhile, is cooking in her own skin, she’s so badly burned, and she’s worried she’ll flop in the next challenge, but she manages to be sunny and lovable. Are you paying attention, Erin? The industry, it loves a sunny girl, even if that girl is so sunny she’s red as a lobster.
Next day, the girls arrive at a sugar cane factory. Mr. Jay is there in a sleeveless shirt. Tyra bounces out of the sugar and announces she will be shooting the girls again. Tyra says she’s doing a second shoot because these girls are sooooo inspirational, but really, just say it’s the recession.
Added twist: Each girl is going to be turned into a multiethnic model. Different eye colors, skin colors, hair textures — the girls get the works. Brittany gets a feathery headdress, because you can”t be Native American without one of those, and Laura gets the big, sad, wet, expressive, hazel eyes of every tragic Greek heroine since Cassandra. Every single one of the contestants is unrecognizable. Erin is overthinking things again, this time as a Tibetan. Tyra is not impressed.
After some brutal honesty from Tyra, Laura kicks some ass within her Greek Egyptian getup, working her big wet tragic eyes to Homeric epic proportions. Nicole also is very impressive as a multicultural something something; somebody put a big chunky necklace on her made of grass, because there is nothing more multicultural than rattan jewelry, and Nicole acts like she was born in it.
Jennifer is half African now and apparently she doesn”t know how to rock that, at least, not at first. Then Tyra lectures her about the very moving music of the Batswana, and that seems to sort of do the trick. Brittany is hit and miss; Tyra doesn”t like her shoot as much as Mr. Jay does. And Sundai — well, have I been wrong about you, Sundai? I think I have! She looks great as a half Russian, albeit great in a 12-year-old kind of way, and Tyra is very pleased.
Supermodel Kirsty Hume is the guest judge. Jennifer is the first to be judged. She gets a middling review. Laura, up next, is amazing and a completely different person in her photo. Challenge winner Erin presents a meh photo; looks like a cover shot to me, but the judges see nothing in particular.
Brittany also presents a shot that lacks energy and personality. Sundai’s photo is OK; it doesn’t reflect all the initiative she took at the shoot. Nicole is the final girl; she gets universal praise. She also appears to be the major threat from this point out.
The callout: Nicole, Jennifer, Laura, Sundai. Bottom two: Erin and Brittany.
Erin is getting in her own way; Brittany is meh. The meh sends Brittany home, meaning that Erin must step up or ship out.
Coming up next episode: Looks like someone doesn’t like to pose underwater …
What’d y’all think of the ethnicity-mixing shoot? And should Brittany have stayed instead of Erin?