Wednesday, November 16, 2011

ANTM All Stars: Greece, Love and Happiness

How do you say "smize" in Greek? No time to learn, because our five remaining ladies are ready to explore the country! But first, they must go home and eat while backstabbing each other in confessional.  Tonight Lisa is a confusing shade of marigold, as though her ridiculous hair color has bled into her skin.  But our focus tonight is Angelea--she doesn't understand why she keeps winding up in the bottom while Dominique never does. Her competitors are happy to explain that she's too tense and guarded, and we get a flashback to one of her earlier shoots where Jay is badmouthing her to the photographer. (He's so supportive.)

TyraMail! Laura tells us it's the scariest TyraMail ever--excuse me, "the skerriest Tahrahmeeul evrrr"--because it says they're going to meet with the judges again, right after they've been to panel!  Relax, Laura, it's not a firing squad yet. Mr. Jay meets them and says, "Usually you're judged by the panel. But now you're going to be judged by your peers." Basically, they're running a "casting" except that they're all judging each other. Apparently there wasn't enough catfighting in the house since Bianca left.  They start by walking for each other, and although they start out nice, Lisa's a little pointed and Angelea's a bit bitchy. Mr. Jay is still there, but says nothing.  Then it's time to review their books, but we see only a couple of specific comments about a few pics, all of which seem valid.

Mr. Jay asks Laura, "How do you feel you are doing so far in this competition?" (I cannot even describe his hair. Wait, yes I can--it's like he's wearing a turban with a braided border and a giant curtain tassel on one side.) Laura says she's learned a ton since her first cycle and thinks, "Why can't I win?" Mr. Jay asks her to pick one girl who doesn't deserve to win...but Laura refuses to do so. Cut to Allison, asked the same question, gives the same answer. Lisa claims that they're all so different that it could go to anyone. Dom is asked who's the weakest, and begins by saying "I think honesty is really really really important." Wheeee! This means she's about to throw someone under the bus! Bad idea, good TV.  Now if you've ever watched a reality show before, you know that tonight is about Angelea...who is, of course, Dom's weakest link. She tries to dress it up by telling Angelea that she seems so much potential in her, but not confidence, but Angelea is sitting there with that tight "I don't care" smirk that means she cares so very, very much.

Laura and Lisa jump in, which only makes matters worse, and Angelea gets more and more defensive. This works up Laura, who's crying in frustration, and eventually sets off the other girls when Angelea gets up to take her turn. The whole scene devolves into Angelea marching off shouting, "Y'all bitches, I know what y'all tryin' to do." Oy.  Mr. Jay looks fake-concerned, and goes after her. He works some mind jujitsu on her which I don't even follow, but gets her to come back inside and tell him that she thinks "none of them" have the least potential to become ANTM. I'm confused, because the double negative means I don't know if she's being nice or mean. Judging by her face, I assume "mean."

Now the girls are all sent away with little scorecards to rank everybody's walk/look/attitude anonymously, as if we haven't sown enough dissent already.  When they reconvene and Jay tallies the votes, the weakest girl is...Allison! She gets an "Oopsie!" face, but doesn't seem overly concerned. I suspect the girls stomped her because they don't get why the judges adore her without her even trying. The girl voted the strongest is...Laura. Huh? I mean, I find her adorable, but she's only had one top pic and is probably the most unremarkable-looking of the bunch. Think she just won Miss Congeniality?  Ooh, Lisa brings the bitchy confessional by saying, "I'm not surprised that everyone put her first, because they don't feel threatened by her." This is both mean and probably true.

Enough of that! Let's all make up and tour Greece! The girls will be escorted by a former model/current socialite with the amazing name of Twylem Pyper. Can't you imagine how much different your life would be if you were named Twylem? No wonder she's on a yacht in a bikini. Twylems don't work retail, y'all. (Nor do they edit, as far as I can tell.)  Angelea looks a little pouty still, but is keeping it together. They take the yacht to a pretty cove for swimming, and Laura, Angelea and Dom all seem to be wearing life jackets. Not big swimmers--Laura tells us that the underwater photo shoot she had on her previous cycle actually made her even more scared of the water. Good one, Tyra.

After swimming, they all go out to a bar, and the girls are simultaneously amused and appalled by how much Twylem wants to drink.  She's giving them all shots of raki, and they're all turning down the drinks, passing them to the boys that cluster around like flies, or in Allison's case, just tossing the shots over her shoulder when Twylem's back is turned.  Oops...looks like Laura's drinking them.  Slow down, honey! Lisa says, "I choose to not drink because I want to be healthy." Er, also, because you've been through alcohol rehab, yes?  Cut to Angelea's talking head where she says, basically, "I don't care what the other girls say, they can believe I should be here or not. I had to believe that I should be here." Um, you nitwit, that's what the girls were saying to you! Sheesh, I was enjoying Angelea, but I can't hang with defensive and dumb.

Strangely, there appears to be no fallout from the night of carousing...I thought for sure it was a test and Twylem was going to rat out the girls who got sloppy. The next day's TyraMail has no words, just a picture of a Grecian urn. Allison predicts a beauty shot a la statue or Greek goddess. They drive to the set, which is on a hilltop next to some fallen columns (which I suspect are not originals, but have been whipped up for the photo shoot). Turns out their theme is "ancient Olympic sports"--javelin, shotput, etc--recreated with fashion accessories. And their photographer is none other than...Esteemed Fashion Photographer Nigel Barker! He tells the girls that he wants them to embody that classical athleticism. (Since Shannon has already gone home, there's no need to point out that if they were truly classical Olympic athletes, they'd be nude.)

Dom is first up, in a gauzy turquoise halter-neck with her hair twisted up into a...not a ponytail, exactly, more of a stick? It's bound up in gold cord and sticks straight out from the back of her head. I dunno, Google it. Nigel shows her the javelin she'll be holding and how to throw it (and then carefully emphasizes that she should NOT release the javelin, less she spear a luckless PA). She is concentrating on not being too J.Lo or Beyonce, and leaping gracefully and cautiously on the rocky ground. Jay has wandered up to look bored and kibbitz, more or less interfering with Nigel's actually-decent direction. Nigel tells us that at the end of the shoot, he loved her poses, but he doesn't know "Who Is Dominique?" in person.

Allison is next, and she's handed a quilted black clutch to be her "discus." They've done her hair like Demeter with little sprigs at her temples, and she's in a dark green, sheer gown that I think is a bit matronly on her. Nigel shows her how a discus thrower moves, and off we go! Strangely, Nigel is "not feeling feels like you're spinning with a purse." Um, possibly because she's spinning with a purse? Sigh. Nigel expresses displeasure with Allison's awkwardness, and Jay tries to help by slowing her down--which I will concede works. By the end they're happy.

Lisa is in these crazy gladiator sandals that go all the way up to her knees, and a black shoulderless gown with a beyond-keyhole neck. More of a skankhole neck.  Anyway, I find myself in the shocking position of sympathizing with Lisa (I know!) when she points out that she has been assigned "hurdles" as her Olympic sport, but has also been told by the judges to cool it with the jumping. How to resolve this issue? (Also, why would you put her in a more-than-floor-length gown and then ask her to jump? Are you trying to kill her? Oh, wait...) Well, she tries some stretches that aren't jumps, and then Nigel asks her to actually jump...which leads to her trying to explain her dilemma and her fear that they will select a bad jumping photo just to teach her a lesson. Nigel instantly rounds on her, denying that such a thing would ever happen, that anyone would ever NOT want her to jump and OF COURSE she should jump and Nigel picked jumping ESPECIALLY for her and this is all in HER head. So basically he's gaslighting her. Can't wait to see what comes up at panel.

Laura is going to be an archer in a one-shoulder dress with a full-face netted veil. She strikes many great poses with the bow and arrow she's handed (how is that a fashion accessory?), and both Nigel and Jay are pleased.  Jay says, "She looks like Athena." No, you idiot, she looks like know, the huntress? In general, things seem to go smoothly and we don't get much time with Laura. How much you want to bet she somehow gets a "best photo" that's kind of awkward and ordinary? Always seems that on these "everyone's happy" shoots that we see nothing and then the poor girl gets shafted. (Ha! Shaft? Arrow? I crack myself up.)

Finally, it's Angelea. She's handed a little purse that I'm guessing will be a shotput, because it's sort of squat and round, and the stylist tells her, "Be careful because it is very precious, it's a shell." I am worried this is foreshadowing for her breaking the prop. Angelea's in a rich red tunic over leggings, and doesn't show as much skin as the others.  Angelea is so puzzled by the shotput movement that she actually begins the shoot facing the wrong way, and Nigel has to say, "Without being...obvious...I would like to take a picture of your face." She doesn't seem to be able to move gracefully or make good shapes, and even she knows it. Is the show just setting her up to toss her? We shall see...

My husband has joined me, and says, "Ooh, is Creepy Chan still here?" Sadly for him, he missed her shoot. Creepy Chan's his favorite.  Cut to panel, and Tyra greets us by saying, "It is so weird to see less and less girls!" Gordon says, "Yeah, it's called math," and I add, "And it's called grammar, and it's 'fewer and fewer girls.'" When it comes to judgment, panel ain't got nothing on the Zobles!

Allison is up first, and they've done the photos in black and white this week. She likes Allison's awkward high-fashion look, but ALT feels the fact that her back heel has sunk into the ground is "a terrible, terrible moment." Apparently ALT has had very little tragedy in his life. Miss Jay likes her kewpie doll eyes, as always.

Lisa's next, and the judges all think her photo is beautiful. I have to say, the front leg looks great, but her back leg gets lost in the folds of the dress, I think. Also, her head is at a weird angle, which no one comments on, but I notice we don't get to see a close-up shot. I think the fix is in on this one.

Dom's photo is a bit weird--they chose a crappy pose, I think. She's reared back on one leg with her near-to-camera leg in the air so her thigh looks huge. Tyra thinks it's awkward, ALT thinks it's more Masai warrior princess than Olympic champion (is that really a problem?), and Nigel tries to defend her, which shocks ALT even more. Tyra urges her to bring more power, not just pretty, to her shoots.

Time for Angelea, who comes out singing her "I ain't goin' nowhere" song from a few weeks ago, but when asked what her sport was, can't remember the word "shotput." She tries "pitshut," and is bailed out by Nigel. Miss Jay isn't really feeling it, because she sort of looks like she's hailing a cab, ALT looooves it and thinks it's totally high-fashion. Nigel thinks the shot works, but it was lucky. Tyra tells her that she has to bring it even if she's doing something unfamiliar, because her film was mostly dead.

Finally, Laura. Her photo looks great (though technically, I don't think they had the compound bow in ancient Greece). She's drawing the bow, looking straight through her face netting, and has one knee cocked in the opposite direction which makes a good shape. Nigel adores it, and Miss Jay thinks it's quite strong. ALT, however, doesn't like the rogue knee...not because of the knee, but because of the way it makes the dress look like spandex. I think that's more the fault of the dress than the model, no? Tyra loves the knee, though, and sends Laura off with congrats for being the challenge winner. 

Who will be our goddess of the evening? The judges are mixed on Allison's photo, like Laura, get tougher on Lisa's photo (including pointing out the face issues they didn't bother to tell her in person), and for some reason ALT and Tyra are now giggling uncontrollably. Also, I see that they're all looking at the photos on iPads now.  For Dom's photo, ALT trots out his Masai quote again, and the rest of the judges are a little meh, though Tyra has her back. ALT, in turn, is defending Angelea while Nigel complains about her--and Miss Jay tells us she was pissed off at the challenge. Apparently that's enough, because the judges have reached a decision!

Our first picture called is...Laura! Girlfriend is having a good week. Next up is...Allison! (Ooh, that must rankle with the girls.) Next is...Lisa! No surprise--but she's clenching her jaw. Someone's not happy about being called third. Down to our last two...and it was probably inevitable. Dom and Angelea are basically the same type, so we don't need them both. Will they pick strong photos or high drama? I'm thinking they keep Dom, because they still have Lisa to bring the pain.  SHOCKER! It's Angelea. Kind of surprised by that, since I thought Dom out-photoed her. But apparently, we're moving on to the "memorable" part of the competition, and the producers finally noticed that Dom never says two words. Gotta say, her portfolio is not so impressive when they do the out-montage. Bye, Dom! Good luck! Go home and see your kids :).

Next week: the girls are dressed as dragons, cuddle with baby dolls, and shoot with Tyson Beckford! Shiny!

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