Goodbye Monique, ye of the couture perma-scowl and a voice that only a boutique owner in Malibu could love. You were a ray of sunshine, that is, if the sun were a black hole made of tar and the nightmares of child slaves.
Speaking of misery, oh hi, Alexandria! You’re still here, I see, and still driving Brittani to the brink of grand mal seizure with every new day.
“There’s no words for how much I just don’t like this girl,” Brittani says.
Oh come, on, Brittani, cheer up. You have a haircut like Louise Brooks and the best photo gracing the Top Model house upon your return from panel! How bad could things possibly get?
And look: There are little prezzies waiting for the girls, too. It’s red clothing for breast cancer awareness — a clue! A clue.
But in the meantime, though, the girls are forced to chew on pieces of watermelon and bear with the fact that Alexandria still lurks among them, shooting her negativity rays at them through her crocodile eyes and her grey crochet beanie of doom.
Finally, the time for the challenge arrives. Off to Smashbox Studios again! Nigel Barker greets the girls; he will be shooting them for a breast cancer awareness shoot. He reads an obviously pre-written monologue about breast cancer and the symbolism of the red clothes and all this.
“What are you thinking about right now?” Nigel asks Jaclyn as he shoots her.
“Beating the the crap out of breast cancer,” Jaclyn mewls.
Kasia finishes her shoot right quick with apparent satisfaction from Nigel. But Brittani doesn’t seem to be able smize in a way that raises awareness. She cannot verbalize how she’s thinking about awareness. This displeases The Nigel. Brittani promptly breaks down into the tears she should’ve produced exactly 10 minutes ago.
For her prop, Hannah gets a pink ribbon on a stick. But the spirals she makes with it make her eyes glaze over. This is not lost on Nigel. Mikaela, too, is a whole bunch of nothing.
When Nigel asks Molly what she’s thinking, she wisely mentions a breast cancer patient she knows. (And that’s how it’s done, Molly. How are your photos? Who cares? You can talk about awareness!)
Alexandria also does fantastic, and she wins. Ergo, there is no God.
She also wins a new Ford Focus.
“I don’t have a car,” Alexandria weeps. Well, take a look at the manual. It says the vehicle shall run on the sheer power of the crude oil in your veins, girl.
Brittani goes off to her friends in a corner, bitching about Alexandria’s refusal to be mediocre.
“I can hear you,” Alexandria trumpets.
A verbal smackdown ensues, in full view of Nigel and the clients, with Brittani leading most of the assault.
Back at the house, the girls all agree that Alexandria is a disease, but there’s just no getting rid of her.
At 6:45 the next morning, Miss J busts in to wake up the girls. He has arranged a VIP tour of Universal Studios. When they arrive at the Bates Motel, Mr. Jay, dressed as Norman’s mother, emerges to announce the next challenge: an insanity-themed photo shoot run by Miguel Starcovich and Gossip Girl stylist Eric Daman.
Molly is supposed to be crazy for accessories. She snarls because she thinks that looks crazy. Brittani jumps up and down amid a small sea of shoes, and the photographer likes it. Hannah (crazy for handbags) lacks energy for the most part; her work does not please Mr. Jay.
Jaclyn (crazy for makeup), channels sad clown hooker quite naturally. And Kasia (crazy for hair) takes risks, also in a good way. Buried in furs, Alexandria screams her way through her shoot, which is much better than how Mikaela interprets insanity for sales.
Back at the house, no one is talking to Alexandria, and Brittani indicates she will lose her mind if her mortal enemy remains another week.
Nigel Barker, Andre Leon Talley, Tyra and Daman are there.
Hannah is up first. She has terrible film, but one good shot. Molly, however, has a fantastic shot, though it took a while to get there. Still better is Jaclyn, who brings both comedy and editorial sensibility to her Joker-channeling photo. Next is Mikaela, who does not, in fact, look obsessed with shopping or sales. Kasia looks deranged — you know, in a good way.
And here comes Alexandria. She doesn’t look insane, but she does look high fashion. The critique doesn’t last, though; Nigel brings up the argument between Brittani and Alexandria, putting Brittani on the defensive. She breaks down into hysterics.
“What you have done is one of the weakest things that a role model can do,” Tyra scolds Brittani. “This is a business. You have respect the client, the co-workers and yourself.”
It’s a disappointing moment in this cycle, given that Brittani has so much potential; she could be a star if she knew how to hold back her feelings in key times like this. But it gets worse: Brittani actually turns heel and leaves the set.
“I’m having a panic attack and can’t really talk,” she hiccups upon her eventual return.
As for her shot, Brittani does show some emotion in the eyes — if that helps her at all at this point.
During deliberation, Tyra makes it clear she wants Brittani to go home. She is alone in that opinion, however, which means that she, technically, at least, is outvoted. But Tyra also mentions that she was outvoted several cycles ago, when she wanted Toccara to stay in the competition. Toccara was sent home then — a decision Nigel now says he regrets.
Finally, the callout: Jaclyn, Molly, Hannah, Kasia, Alexandria.
Bottom two: Brittani and Mikaela. Brittani, of course, has better photos. But she’s also the one with mascara running down her nose in panel this week.
In the end, Tyra’s democratic government has its way: Brittani gets to stay.
“I have a serious issue with how these judges voted,” she tells Brittani. “If this was just a monarchy … you would be going home.”
By Leslie Gornstein – Noted Fashion Photographer Nigel Barker shoots the girls