We open as the girls return to the house after judging, and Angelea revels in her photo on the wall. She tells us, a little wistfully, that she thought she popped on her original cycle, but no agencies wanted to sign her after the show (cue sad horns, wah-wahhhh). Then Bianca mopes at being a loser, and it goes on for a while, but I'm busy yelling at my husband for not coming to dinner when I call him, and thus not appreciating my cooking. Good times.
The girls draw numbers for who's going to use the phone, and somehow Bianca makes Shannon cry because...I think someone did the math wrong? Anyway, Lisa decides this is a good opportunity for screen time, and jumps in to yell at Bianca (who was actually fairly calm, by Bianca standards). They each get off a couple of good lines, which I will render in script format:
Bianca: You 30 years old, you don't know how to mind your business.
Lisa: I don't care about minding my own business!
Bianca: [indeterminate shouting]
Lisa: [also shouting]
Lisa in confessional: Bianca's a bully, but she's scared of everything. She's scared of water? I'm the deep end. She's scared of dogs? I'm a pitbull, and I'm coming for her!
The next day, the girls go to Santa Monica pier and hope it's a sign of sunnier days to come. Who do they meet on the pier but...Miss J! Clad in hip waders and a fisherman's vest. Bre gives us a delightful side-eye in confessional as she asks, "Who dressed Miss J today? I feel like she's missing panties, a jacket...whole lotta things."
Today's challenge is a runway challenge, on a carousel (a la Chanel's Paris show, apparently). However, this will be a little lower rent in lots of ways, including the fact that their designer du jour is the Kardashians. Kourtney K is a giant. All three KKs come in to say hello, painted into an assortment of leopard print fashion. The models are excited, but worried about the challenge of walking onto and off of a moving carousel. It's still a merry-go-round, girls, it's not like you're jumping onto a centrifuge.
Lisa is the first to go, and has only a little hesitation before hopping onto the carousel, and then immediately onto a horse, where she kicks up a leg of her glittery harem pants. Then she scrambles along the carousel for a bit before hopping down again. I guess that was...good? I can't really tell what their path is. After Lisa, we get a montage of stumbling models that reaches Bambi-on-ice proportions.
Angelea hoots and hollers and makes a scene, Kayla almost skids off the runway as she lands, Laura looks cute but we see neither her ascent or dismount. Alexandria appears, and Gordon starts making perplexed groans as he wonders why someone hired the Kim Cattrall impersonator for this show. At the end of the show, the K girls are too perplexed to choose a single winner, so they award the win to both Bre and Lisa. Requisite product placement over, Miss Jay comes to see why Bianca looks so bitchy. Luring her into a false sense of security, Miss Jay gets her to spill her guts (i.e., wind her up so she'll fight with the other girls) and then leaves, but I won't be surprised if Tyra mentions this at panel. Shannon gets worked up again, and Lisa's stirring the pot, but Bre physically stands herself in front of Bianca and declares, "Everybody's good" until everyone backs down.
Bre has taken it upon herself to be Bianca's defender (remember, they're best buds back in Chicago), and takes umbrage at all the "so-called Christians, and good people, and survivors" who want Bianca gone so there's less competition. And then, because Bre only wants to see justice done (snort), she runs upstairs to interrupt Bianca's mopey phone call and tell her that everyone is in the kitchen talking smack about her. Thanks, Bre.
Amazingly, we are spared a scene of Bianca running downstairs to tear people a new one! Instead, we cut to the next day, and receiving our photo shoot marching orders from Mr. Jay. He's waiting in the studio with a replica of Michael Jackson's red leather jacket...this week they'll be portraying Michael Jackson through the years. (I think this is a nod to the "Forever MJ" concert they did in London this past weekend? Maybe?) The girls are excited, but I can just picture the endless comments of "you look too much like him, you're not interpreting it" followed by "you don't look like Michael, MJ did it this way." Lisa, obvs, is already thrilled because she dresses that way already. Laura is nervous because her outfit is an original, not a replica (black and gold military top). As she says, "No eating, no drinking, no sitting..."
The girls are getting hair and makeup done when--omigod! run! it's some sort of lizard! Oh, never mind, it's just LaToya. At least the girls recognize her, unlike Ashley Simpson. LaToya better plug her book (Starting Over, available from Gallery Books!).
Bianca is up first, in Michael's red and silver jacket and Jheri curls. She looks cute, and she's doing that toe-stand move he did.
Bre's turn, and she's wearing the blue spangled jacket with the epaulets, and the big sunglasses. She also has a lot of great movement, and Jay seems happy.
Alex is up next, also in a red top and black pants, but she looks like a Beefeater. This is making me realize that Michael had less variety in his styling than one might think. She's flashing her silver glove.
Angelea gets the "boots with big buckled straps" ensemble, and looks more "greaser" than "Michael," if you ask me. She's struggling, and keeps pretending to sing, which gives her what Mr. Jay graciously calls "Neanderthal mouth."
Dominique gets the white suit and fedora, and has some nice spinny moves. Kayla gets the "Billie Jean" white tee and sparkly jacket outfit, and even does his classic rip-the-jacket-open move.
Shannon is wearing something covered in studs, all red white and blue (I can't even find a picture, but at panel she says it's from the "Bad" era), and LaToya herself selects a sequined belt to wear with it. (Yes, LaToya, it was lacking a little something.) Shannon looks visibly out of place, and I should take the opportunity to note that all the white girls are made up in what is technically bronzer, but is functionally blackface. Classy as always, ANTM!
All the girls are basically doing the same three poses: hunch over and grab the hat brim, flash jazz hands with your gloved hand, or up on the toes. Has Michael left no more legacy than this?
Laura's turn--we already know she's wearing the black top, which is completely overwhelmed with gold braid. She hopes to let the child in Michael shine through, she tells LaToya, who is polite but doesn't seem to care all that much. On set, Laura announces that she will do a "tribute to Michael" and gets onto her knees...to reveal that she can do that dance move where she lifts up onto her toes! They get a couple of frames, at least, and seem to like it, before LaToya says, "OK, that's enough for her knees." Aww, LaToya's so sweet!
Creepy Chan's turn! Of course, since the show only wants to see Allison as a five year old, she's dressed as MJ from the Jackson Five era, including the afro. (This is a culturally questionable shoot.) They play music box music behind her, and she bats her eyes and smiles like one of those naked greeting card kids from the 70s. Remember "Love Is"? Shudder.
Lisa's in the red "Thriller" jacket with the black V, and begins doing the Running Man as soon as she gets on set. We hear from the stylist, "What is she doing?" and someone else says in bafflement, "I dunno." She grabs her crotch, and people seem to like her energy. Bianca says resentfully that Lisa photographs old, but people love her on set anyway.
Even the show doesn't care, and we leave it at that. Judges tonight are the usual, plus LaToya, clad in a glittery iridescent jacket that rivals anything in her late brother's closet. Tyra is wearing a fedora in MJ's honor.
Shannon's up first, and I think will benefit from being the first photo the judges are seeing in the "grab the hat" pose. They love her angles and energy, but her face is a bit obscured. Kayla's photo is up next, and her head is thrown back as she grabs her t-shirt. They like the tension, and thinks it looks like she could have been onstage performing. Dominique? Was doing a serious "Smooth Criminal," and they don't seem to mind that a curl has fallen in front of her face.
Woosh! On to Angelea. (We are not spending much time on these photos, that's for sure.) She's the first one to get some "meh" from the judges, because her body isn't conveying much energy. Allison is next, and LaToya says, "You captured the era. I see the Jackson Five...and I also see Donny Osmond." Heh. Fair cop. I don't think it's a great photo, just great styling--but Tyra says it's Italian Vogue. Bre is next, and Nigel says, "I don't see Bre, I see Michael Jackson, and that's making me nervous." Whatever, dude. Tyra praises her for keeping her face perfectly relaxed while standing on point.
Alex is one of the few shots taken straight to camera, even though she's still hiding behind the hair. We get one eye, at least. Nigel likes that it's still Alex, not a copy of MJ, even though the pose is great. Now it's Lisa's turn, and HALLELUJAH! ALT finally says something about her atrocious outfits at panel. Today she's in a "Lucille Ball moment," as he describes it--her hair's in a kerchief, she's in another trashy bustier, and she's wearing cats-eye glasses that are NOT working. He tells Lisa it's physically painful. As they move to her photo, Nigel calls her out on once again doing the splits (though it must be said that she gave them other poses to use, they just picked this one), and points out that if MJ were doing it, his form would be better. ALT still looks distressed at her wardrobe, and says he thinks the picture was a miss. Tyra tries to coax him into saying something nice, but he's not having it.
Laura! I wish they'd gotten her one second later, because she looks like she's still mostly on her knees, but the panel all adores her face, which is turned to camera, and looks almost saintly in a way. She has a quality of repose in her features, even as the shot is energetic.
Will Bianca bring it home? Not really...they picked kind of a weak shot for her, and I think the judges are setting her up. There's not enough tension, even though she's doing the toe-point move. Even LaToya calls it timid. And...here we go. Miss Jay called Tyra! And told her that Bianca doesn't know why she's there. Ladies, NEVER tell the Jays anything! You KNOW they will rat you out! Bianca starts bitching and tattling and gives a little speech, and Tyra...just doesn't care. Dammit, Tyra, hold up your end of the bargain! Where is the woman who did this:
Fine, deliberations. Who was the best MJ? Tyra tells the girls, when they reconvene, that LaToya got to choose the entire order tonight. (Seriously? Either that means not even Tyra cares about this anymore, or LaToya had no opinions strong enough to be problematic.) The first name that Tyra is going to call is...Laura! Yay! I don't actually think this is the best picture she's taken, but I'm happy to see her win first. Next we get Shannon, Dominique, Allison, Alex, Kayla (finishing way too low in the order, I think), Bre, and Bianca. (In the safe zone, Shannon's shoulders sag.)
Our last two on the block are Angelea and Lisa. Honestly, does anyone think Lisa's going home yet? Angelea's going to get dinged for her inconsistency...you only get one "worst to first," honey. Tyra tells LaToya that she has to deliver the final blow, and it's...PSYCH!!! It's no one! LaToya says that Michael was about love, and so she's not sending anyone home.
That? Is lame. What, did they extend the season a week? Angelea is sobbing with relief, while Lisa's all, "Go figure!" Probably because we all knew Lisa wasn't going anywhere.
Well, Michael, it was fun seeing you in photographic history again! Keep smizing, y'all. Good night!