“America’s Next Top Model” Cycle 11 Recaps: Episode 11.4 “You’re Beautiful, Now Change”

I’m still trying to sort out my feelings for the most recent episode of ANTM. Half the time I was grinning like a fool while the 12 remaining models endured their makeovers, and the other half of the time I was getting facial cramps from all my cringing at the…at the…well, “antics” doesn’t quite indicate the agony I was feeling. Oh Top Model, how you toy with my emotions!

Choose your toppings — The show opens with Brittany and Analeigh yammering about their weaknesses how they really need to apply themselves this week to impress the judges. Analeigh wants to show more personality and improve her posing abilities, while Brittany is…uh, constantly told she’s pretty and…that’s…bad? Regardless of what they’re actually saying, however, we know what all the yap yap means: one of them is toast!

I don’t mean to brag, but I’m totally on a predicting streak here. In fact, I may not be around to recap next week — ANTM has shown me that I’ve obviously found my calling as a medium. I may have to set up shop somewhere all Madam Ruby-style. They wouldn’t keep giving the results away in the editing, would they? Surely not — quit trying to crush my dreams!

The girls come home to find Tyra waiting for them, wearing a tiara and brandishing a wand. She instructs them all to put on tiaras (or “little crowns” as Joslyn calls them) and pizza — excuse me, “smokin’ hot and extra fierce” ANTM pizza — while she regales them with tales from TyraLand.

Apparently Tyra didn’t “blossom” until she’d already started modeling, and when all her lovely lady lumps came in she was told to lose weight. Instead, she chose a different route to supermodel status: she ate pizza with her mom, gave up high fashion, and decided to model for outfits such as Victoria’s Secret and Sports Illustrated (a magazine for which, in fact, she became the first black model to grace the cover).

Tune in next week when we present Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore — Just as I’m getting my ‘90s talk show on and thinking “You go, girl!” things on Top Model took an abrupt turn into WhatTheEffsVille. Tyra starts to tell the girls about their makeovers when Miss J slinks around the corner looking like the evil witch in Snow White, complete with the requisite warts and apples. Tyra takes a bite from an apple, Jay Manuel shows up in full costume as “Prince Couture” to whisk her away, and I don’t know where I am or what’s happening anymore.

Surely had Dante lived this long, his Inferno would have included a tenth circle of Hell, and it would consisted solely of this performance by The America’s Next Top Model Community Players.

What, is that too melodramatic? Eh. Honestly, I wasn’t sure whether to be more embarrassed for them or for myself, and it all got me wondering: how much self-awareness does Tyra have? See, it’s like the sci fi nightmare featured on the season premiere: I can’t figure out if they (read: Tyra) know how ridiculous it is and they’re laughing with me, or if they (again: Tyra) think it’s all genuinely funny and clever, and therefore I’m laughing at them and sinking down into my couch cushions.

At the end of the day, I suppose it doesn’t matter: Tyra’s a total kookadook and here she reigns supreme — she sports the biggest “little crown” of them all!

On the whim of a nutter — Makeover time, squeee! In a surprise twist, the mirrors in the salon are all covered over so the girls don’t really know what’s happening to them until it’s all over.

The scissors come out, and Tyra continues the madness by popping up in the corner of the screen like some creepy fairy godmother; soon the tears start flowing.

Some makeovers aren’t so extreme: Lauren Brie’s hair is simply changed from “wicked blonde” to “super wicked blonde, like, so blonde she’s practically translucent,” Analeigh goes from brown to blonde, and Isis, Brittany, and Joslyn get some length and body via the magical powers of the weave.