“America’s Next Top Model” Recap (18.5): Things Get Sticky

Sometimes you just have to learn to trust in a benevolent universe. For example, after last cycle, I was pretty sure there wouldn’t be a more ridiculous photo shoot than when the models were made to pose in giant bowls of Greek salad. I quietly made my peace with the fact that Top Model had hit its apex and assumed it would be all downhill from there. 

This Wednesday night, I was proved deliciously wrong. America’s Next Top Model, I am sorry for doubting you. 

Last Week!

Candace (Team USA) got booted for only ever making one face. That brought the totals back to even, with five Brits and five yanks. Really, Tyra? We can’t let a team get two up? Too crazy? Fine.  


AzMarie (Team USA, Team LezBiModel) won last week, and looks stunning, always, even when she is flossing. I think she may be a legitimate field of study for physicists: Does she bend light, or what? This week, her winning photo is captioned “Looks like animation,” and “Fierce with a capital F.” The font they use is called, I believe, “Cutesy 80’s Game That’s Secretly a Space Invaders Knockoff.” 

AzMarie interviews, with sunglasses on, that it’s her second week in a row winning. She says she’s getting into her element. She’s low-key about it, which is the only thing that ever makes me worry for her. Tyra likes a certain amount of perky groveling in her models. Think terrier at a barbecue. 

Also: AzMarie’s hair is growing in, so she soon won’t have a discernable “ANTM” shaved into it anymore. And then she will grow more powerful than you can possibly imagine. 

Sophie, as the alpha Brit, sets her sights on AzMarie and decides she’s going to get in her way. 

We flash back on Kyle (Team USA) being super repetitive about wanting to go home and Eboni (Team USA) disliking her. Kyle says staying will piss the models off, but says she doesn’t really care in that high school way that really means you do care, but cannot coherently explain your actions and motives. 

Laura (Team USA, Team LezBiModel) interviews that a friend died in a motorcycle accident just before she came to do the show, which has added some life perspective and lowered her tolerance for trifling nonsense out of these women. She suggests that they need to understand that it’s a blessing just to be here. I am guessing that she will not have phenomenal success in passing that wisdom along. 

Annaleise (Team UK) shouts, “There’s something on the [product placement] phone! It’s a video message!” Way to shill, Annaliese. I hope the producers are paying her bonuses – she’s brand dropping a ton. 

Catherine says Annaliese “found” the [product placement] phone, which is charmingly disingenuous, because we clearly saw Annaliese coming from a mark no farther away than just behind the corner, which she’d gone back to after the last totally spontaneous take. 

It’s a video. And it’s Jay Manuel! He’s in Toronto, where he’s getting ready to present – heaven help us all – his “second collection for Attitude Jay Manuel.” Yes, he has his own fashion line. Called “Attitude.” Of course he does. And I’m sure he designed it his very own self. 

Anyway, they’re all invited to Toronto Fashion Week. They’re going to go to castings with several designers. We cut back to the models, who are preparing to freak. Annaliese is so pre-excited that she’s making the same frozen extended arms that Scooby-Doo characters make when they run. Either that or she got bit and is now one of the walking dead. Kyle is fanning herself with her fingers. 

Jay says it’s just like the real world of modeling and we get multiple shots of the models freaking. 

Alisha says that this is her element. She loves catwalk and says she could tell from the very first week that the Americans couldn’t walk for – well, her lips were blurred, so we’ll never know. But we get an idea when she says, “These bitches are about to get cooked.” 


Do you ever wonder about the shot in which Tyra slaps her own ass? Do you think there were conversations, like maybe it was a director’s suggestion? Or was it just a spontaneous moment? Was Tyra in the editing room, going “No, the ass slap stays! If that goes, then so do I!!!” No, you’re right: I’m sure everyone recognized it for the little slice of perfection that it was. 


The models and Jay are, for no reason whatsoever, in the CN Tower, which Jay says is the tallest freestanding structure in the Western hemisphere. Because if there’s one thing Jay loves more than designing things with his own two hands, it’s architecture facts. I’m pretty sure they’re only up there in the hopes that one of the models will turn out to be afraid of heights and flip out. No such luck. And, really – the models totally thought they were going to be dangled off that thing and are relieved to hear they’re not in some nightmarish piñata shoot. 

Jay reiterates that they’re going out on real castings with real designers (and him) for real shows that are happening at Toronto Fashion Week. Laura interviews that she hasn’t done real runway before and is a little nervous. Jay says the girl who books the most shows (and rocks them) will win the amazing prize of some pieces from his clothing collection, whereupon we cut to a woman in white trousers, a white beach fedora, and a blouse that’s what camouflage would be if forests were pink and mauve. 

I guess if you think heavy combat is about to go down in your azalea bushes, Mr. Jay is your man. The model also has what appears to be a cat toy hanging by her head, which, it occurs to me, would be a good way to keep the models amused. We’ll get more clarity on what that hanging thing is in a bit. 

Oh, and also the winner will get to come back to Canada for a special event. Please let it be something to do with curling. 

Sophie says she sucks at runway, but hopes to win by faking it. I’m pretty sure she’s actually got one of the best strategies in the bunch. 

We see a shot of the back of Jay’s head as the producers cover the fact that he had to redo his line. He voiceovers that the models will see a total of eight designers, (Including himself!), and that the models could get booked for shows that very night. Because real designers in real fashion shows just wait it out and see who they can get that day.