Recap: ‘America’s Next Top Model’ – ‘Daniella Issa Helayel’

05.05.11 6 years ago

The CW

Now that Kasia has been eliminated, it stands to wonder whether Tyra and her fabulous friends really ever took their “fiercely real” contestant seriously. She was 26. She was deliberately sent to fashion designers who had no clothes in her size. She was thrown into a cycle clearly aimed at high couture, not potentially “inexpensive” plus-sized models, as Rachel Zoe so tactfully put it. At best, it appears that this cycle was merely humoring Kasia, if not outright wasting her time. 

Speaking of wasting one’s time, the four remaining contestants arrive back at their apartment in Morocco and immediately start saying stuff like, “I am in freaking Morocco.”
[Full recap of Wednesday’s (May 4) “Top Model after the break.]
“I want to change the world one day,” Alexandria declares. Right, right. The way Kasia did? Well, Alexandria, you go girl. Everyone knows that the way we get rid of hunger and poverty and war is to be in Vogue Italia.
Miss J and Franca Sozzani arrive to take tea and eyeball the contestants’ books. Brittani seems to dominate the conversation with admissions that she hoarded Vogue magazines as a kid. 
Then Franca leaves so that a strange lady can glide onto the roof with a tea tray on her head. Apparently there’s a whole Moroccan industry full of ladies who serve stuff from trays on their heads.
“I have very good posture and a very big head,” Alexandria says.
Brittani must have a very pointy head, because she can’t keep anything on there, while the steam cloud of anger that constantly puffs up from Molly’s pate seems to make itself useful eventually, allowing her to balance a tray with a little practice.
Now that the girls have balanced trays on their heads for, like, a whole five minutes, they’re ready to do it live at a Moroccan tea tray dance restaurant alongside professionals. It’s officially a challenge. And oh, one more thing: All the trays will have lit candles on them.
“There’s only four of you bitches left,” Miss J enlightens, adding to the pressure. 
“Please,” Alexandria says, confirming the previous descriptor, “I was made to do this.”
Molly trips on her skirt on the way down the stairs and fails to look cute while doing so. Brittani actually manages to belly dance and smile while not dropping anything. Hannah cannot really dance and balance a tray at the same time, but she’s adorable enough. And Alexandria, being Alexandria, has to drop it like it’s hot, which, technically, I guess, it is, because there are candles. But then Alexandria just drops it. Her tray goes crashing.
“She became too confident,” Miss J notes.
Well, that’s one word for it.
Brittani wins the challenge, earning a private runway coaching session with Miss J. She brings Hannah with her. The lesson happens in a garden, where it becomes clear that poor Hannah definitely needs the attention, particularly in discerning a half turn from a full turn.
Later, the contestants go to a souk where goat heads, brains and eyeballs are on the menu. Alexandria shrieks her way through a meal, but to her credit, she downs innards with the best of them.
Poor Brittani gets sick after eating an eyeball or brain or such, and she worries that her nausea will ruin her upcoming elimination shoot. 
And what shoot is this? A souk shoot — the Medina, specially — styled by Kate Middleton favorite Issa London. Friedemann Haus is the big-shot photographer.
Hannah is too stiff and posed; she can’t open a door and think at the same time. Or maybe she just thinks too much. She listens to the directions but can’t seem to grasp how to look more natural.
“She started getting a little airy-fairy,” Mr. Jay reports. 
“Pretty,” Haus sniffs, “but she’s a little posey.”
Molly realizes that she takes too many profile shots and duly delivers more varied poses. Haus crowns her a “good editorial girl.” A huge crowd of hundreds of people gathers, and Molly keeps her cool. Good girl indeed.
Here comes Alexandria and her hypercontrolling ego; not sure if there will be room for both in the photo. 
She says she feels pretty, but her face looks tight and uncomfortable. First she loses her lips, then her neck, if not her cool.
Finally, the nauseous Brittani arrives on set. It rains! And she’s ill! But she owns every shot. Haus loves her “natural elegance.”
Back at home, the digital skull of death appears, which means that Alexandria finally gets to go home, right? Right?Right?
Daniela Issa Helayel, of Issa London, is the guest judge at panel. Alexandria’s shot is judged first.
“Alexandria, you look as if you’ve lost your mind, in an interesting way,” Andre Leon Talley says diplomatically. (Later, during deliberation, Nigel snipes that she looks like a flight attendant.)
“I’m not necessarily getting high fashion,” Tyra mulls. “I’m getting Conde Nast Traveller.”
Brittani, however, delivers a shot that would be amazing, if she didn’t look like she’d lost an arm. (Fashion does like arms, if not arm fat.) Hannah, ironically, has a shot with good editorial body language, and Daniela Issa loves it. Andre does not.
“Where are you going?” he pouts. “We have not yet had a wow moment.”
But the only girl to offer up a photo worthy of Italian Vogue is Molly. She has the dramatic pose, the body language, all that stuff that makes high fashion people go crazy.
So who goes home?
The callout: Molly, then Brittani.
Bottom two: Alexandria and Hannah.
Alexandria is scolded for being too controlled. Hannah gets flak for having the exact opposite — not enough poise. 
Finally, we get justice: Hannah gets to stay, and Alexandria is sent off into the exotic Moroccan sunset. 
Next week: The final three go mano a mano a mano, with Brittani apparently crying her way through the finale.


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