“America’s Next Top Model” Recap (18.11): Don’t Rub That Bottle

Last week!
Alisha got super tired of Modelland all at once and tried to sacrifice herself, but Eboni got kicked off along with her anyway. Wow, that was cold.

Modelland East!
Laura says she needs coffee and wine — she can’t go to bed after that crazy, tear-filled elimination. Annaliese interviews that Alisha and Eboni’s exit was traumatic, as she knew it would be if either of them got kicked off. We see old footage of Angel Falls in Venezuela – no, sorry, that’s Alisha crying.

Laura interviews that Alisha’s spirit broke, which, hell, yes it did. Right in two, all at once. The only clues the show gave us were that she did not care for heights or anyone contemplating the possible enjoyment of sex. That can’t be what snapped her. She had moxie once! Curse you, show, for not giving us the real story. Unless the real story is something really not funny, in which case, um, thank you.

Sophie is oddly proud of Alisha for stepping out, but bummed that she did so after she got so close. She thinks Alisha could have been the winner. Sophie says she would never walk out on the show because she’s a fighter. We re-learn that she’s tried to model since she was 11 years old, that she had no financial support from her parents, and that she worked as a model, waitress, and hostess all at the same time. It looks like the producers already used up everyone’s hard-knock life stories, so brace yourself for some repetition this week and next.

(Oh, did you think it was the finale just because we’re down to three this week and that’s always when the final is? SPOILER: Wrongo.)

Annaliese says she’s the underdog because of her age and height but she says she makes up for it with her personality. We’re certainly heard about her personality, but I believe her height has only been mentioned once before, way at the beginning of the season. Did Tyra fire all the editors halfway through shooting? They seem to be having extra trouble creating coherent story arcs this cycle. Giant boxes of treats no one gets to see, weird competitions with no consequences, and then bango! Major model crises just sneak up on you.

I’m not complaining, it’s just strange. Stranger than usual, anyway. Put down the branding and catchphrases, Tyra, and go back to the radiant core of what once worked for you: Goading young women into catfights because you deliberately didn’t give them enough beds.

Laura is the last American standing! (Not to mention the remaining member of Team LezBiModel! Go, Laura, Go!) Laura is proud of her back-to-back best pictures and the fact that she made it past all the other fine American competitors and all the British girls too. (especially, one assumes, the ones she openly could not stand). Laura says she had to grow up fast, always starting at new schools. Wait, what? Why? She says that her ascension on America’s Next Top Model proves that the American Dream is real, because you can do anything you put your mind to.

I want to invent time travel just so I can go back to 1952 and walk around telling people that in my era, the American Dream involves posing in a silk evening gown after someone has stuck a bucket of caterpillars all over you.

Tyra Mail!

“Get up and go for it in the Pearl of the East. Fierce and Love, Tyra.” I am not even going to try to reproduce the insane typography and capitalization in this one, so don’t even ask. It’s like it was written by Edgar Allen Poe’s weirder Goth brother after a night of absinthe and energy drinks.

I immediately get excited about the pearl and hope that the models are going to have to do an underwater photo shoot while trying to snatch prizes out of a giant clam, but no such luck. (Oh, clams can too make pearls. Cut me some slack. Besides, snatching things from a giant oyster would be ridiculous.)

The models immediately know that it’s more damned go-sees. Laura says a blurred F-word. She can’t stand it. In her defense, she accurately points out that they’ve already done this in Toronto and Beverly Hills. On the other hand, it’s a modeling competition, and this is one of the few things they do that seems to have at least a vague connection to actual modeling. Still, I’m kind of with Laura on this one. What happened to the challenges like the one when they had to crawl through a maze of lasers?

Annaliese says Laura is very much in the top slot, but has a complex that she can’t walk, like Annaliese’s “complex” over being short for a model, which has been mentioned exactly once, right at the beginning of the season. Tyra! Don’t fire all the editors at once! You need someone who has some sense of a through line! Anyway, Annaliese says that if Laura can’t build up her confidence about that, she’s probably going home.

I’ll admit it: I’m going to miss these when they’re gone. I still love you, Louise! And fear you! Call me!