We enter a new episode of “America’s Next Top Model” with the resident chub reigning supreme, a screen grab of Kasia’s retro faux coffee commercial flickering in greeting as the girls arrive home. But lo! It appears that Kasia is not the only girl who has modeling experience; Dalya reveals that she’s been modeling since age 16.
Another reveal: Alexandria has been a domineering condescending harpy since age birth. Last episode, she got schooled for, once again, trying to boss around her bosses on set. Nonetheless, Alexandria doesn’t seem to understand what the hell the world’s problem is with her. (Open note to Alex: The world’s problem with you is you. And that gray Blossom beret you’re always wearing in confessional. But really: It’s you.)
Poor Molly. First she gets a terrible weave. Then she gets it removed and replaced with a painful rash and an only slightly less terrible weave. And then Alexandria decides that someone has stolen her towel and the world must burn for this sin.
Sweet escape comes soon enough, in the form of a challenge. It’s another jape involving Cover Girl. Mr. Jay and a flaming flat-top named Vincent tell the girls that they will have to create a book-report-style video presentation about Cover Girl foundation makeup.
The girls are divided into teams of three. For some reason, only one girl gets to be the “talent” on camera. The other two get to be director or writer. Because everybody totally knows that Brooklyn Decker got her start as a writer for one-minute Web videos about drugstore makeup.
Once again, Alexandria tries to do Molly’s job, prompting Molly to pretend to shoot herself in her rashy head. Then Molly and Monique both inform Alexandria that she needs to shut her yap forthwith until it’s time for the camera to roll, but Alexandria will be having none of it.
Hannah is directing Dalya with a screenplay by Jaclyn. We already know that Dalya can’t sell Fierce Roast Coffee, and pitching makeup doesn’t seem to suit her much better, even when her eyes have been done up with smoky green hotness.
Brittani is directing Mikaela; she has only one chance to get it right because there is no editing. Whenever Mikaela flubs, she cusses, and for some reason this causes Mr. Jay to clutch pearls. Overall, however, the writing (courtesy of Kasia) and book report presentation are just fine.
Dalya goes for a more improvisational style, but she’s so improv-y she forgets to use the name of the silky-luxe-like-smooth-coverage-gosh-I-feel-almost-naked makeup. Mr. Jay is not amused. They essentially get gonged before they can finish the whole book report.
Alexandria is next. At first, she can’t even blurt out a single sentence. But Alexandria sure can bark a single word: Action — which is not her word to say. Monique shows class and calmness behind the camera, a positive trait that is not lost on Mr. Jay.
Team Brittani/Mikaela/Kasia wins. Dalya blames herself for her team’s loss. Alexandria’s teammates blames Alexandria.
“Just send the girl with the bad attitude home,” Brittani declares. And she ain’t talking about Tyra.
As for Alexandria herself, she tries to explain her attitude to the camera. Her parents split up, see, and that caused Alexandria to grow up quickly and “grow wise beyond my years.”
Well that clears that up.
The rest of the house seeks answers not from Alexandria’s amazing font of uncanny wisdom, but from much-realer Alexandria’s diary. Live readings and many Brady Bunch-like moments ensue.
“I feel really bad, like, should I tell her I looked in her diary?” Monique mulls.
The girls are brought to the old Los Angeles zoo at Griffith Park. They will be transformed into fashion versions of animals. Baldomero is the name of the photographer, and the designer is Rachel Zoe, who is supplying faux fur from her own collection for the shoot. (Zoe will also be the guest judge.)
“We’re gonna tape up your eyes,” a makeup artist tells Mikaela. “It’s pretty much what the drag queens do.”
Squeeee! ZOMG! Mr. Jay brings Murato, a real live bebeh jaguar! Monique is, like, sooooo not a cat person and is not impressed by what has to be the cutest little thing on this planet.
Hannah, however, loves Murato, and Mr. Jay loves Hanna. Brittani also wins raves, but Mikaela forgets how to pet a kitty and model at the same time. Poor Kasia has no pets and doesn’t know how to hold a cat, or a pose, or much of anything.
“Her photos just went downhill fast,” Mr. Jay hisses.
Jaclyn turns into a little lioness herself, much to Mr. Jay’s pleasure. Monique is still at first, but wakes up as soon as the camera starts to flash. Dalya, however, looks like a catalog model who wandered into a Vogue shoot.
“I think I just got lost out there,” Dalya weeps.
Molly gets the cat toward the end of the shoot, when Murato is tired and cranky, which causes Molly to be tense and cranky.
“Remember, the cat is not your lover or your baby!” Mr. Jay crows triumphantly. So Alexandrian starts barking instead. Murato, being not stupid, hisses right back. It’s unclear who is being cattier.
Panel time, my kittens! Nigel, Andre, Rachel Zoe — all the big cats are there, gurl.
Jaclyn is up first, and it’s pure 80s, in a great way. Sure, Jaclyn may look like she’s pleasuring herself. But really, like any photographer would object. Mikaela looks like Joan Jett had a baby with Daria Werbowy, but her overall film is a bit weak.
Molly gets a promise of a brand new weave — again — if she survives this panel. She looks a little not-present. Not a great shot. Monique pulls off her photo fine, but it’s not exactly a revelation.
Here comes Kasia, and she looks like she is about to drop the cat. (She also looks, per Zoe, “a little … inexpensive. Reer to you too.) That must be high-fash, because Rachel Zoe likes it. But it’s a lucky shot. Dalya looks like she’s posing for an Express poster at the mall. Brittani looks like a more regal Victoria Beckham — and in better clothes. Everyone wants to buy her fake fur jacket.
“If I took the animal away, I don’t think you look genius in this shot,” Nigel snipes.
Still, Tyra likes it OK.
Hannah, Hannah, Hannah! Hannah looks so good that Zoe doesn’t care that she can’t see her fur in the shot.
So who goes home?
The callout: Hannah, Brittani, Jaclyn, Monique, Alexandria, Kasia, Mikaela.
Bottom two: Molly and Dalya. With that kind of bottom two, there’s only one who should leave, and it’s clearly Dalya. Bye, Dalya. Molly will get her new weave, and maybe a lotion or something for that rash.
Next week: The girls are forced to mingle with ordinary people.
By Leslie Gornstein – The models shoot a commercial and pose at the Los Angeles Zoo