America's Next Top Model
Erin Wasson

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Life's a Ball

Our final fourteen are herded to the basement, where their luggage is unceremoniously piled. A producer tells them to get their stuff together, and they'll be taken to the bus. Carrie, a casting producer, tells the girls that Tyra always feels bad dumping girls at this stage, so will be down to say a final goodbye. Hannah, 20 from Houston, who is the prettiest and also has my dream hair, says that she would normally love to see Tyra, but at this point it just makes matters sadder. Tyra comes down wearing a shirt that I may be unfit to describe. It's a really puffy short-sleeved blazer with blue leopard print, and there's a giant satin bow tied around her neck. It's like if Pebbles Flintstone grew up and went to work at Vogue Bedrock. Tyra talks to them about rejection, and how the road to success is a zigzag line. And then she drops the news -- they do have to go home now, but they don't have to go far. In fact, they are ALREADY IN THEIR NEW HOUSE! Tyra pushes a button and a curtain falls and the screaming and it's the model pad and jumping and crying of joy commences.

Dalya, 21 from Corona, California, actually falls over like she's been hit by the holy spirit. I think that should be immediate grounds for elimination. Dalya can't even stop crying when she talks about it in an interview. Sara is so overcome that she has to put her head between her knees for a moment. This would be the perfect time to just yank the rattail right out of her head. Angelia, 20 from Miami, is ready to work it and tells us that she is America's Next Top Model. We should recognize her face and get used to it, she says. This is true, but only so we can correctly identify who is fading from the group photo at the end of the episode. Tyra calls all the girls together and says she knows everyone thought it was weird that the fiercest fourteen were going home. "Why are we going home?" she thinks they asked. Her answer: "Because you weren't going home!" I mean, it's about as sensical as anything she's ever said. "Why are we having eggs for breakfast?" "Because we're not having eggs for breakfast!" Try it out with your friends and family. The house is gorgeous, per usual, and since it's Cycle 16 it's filled with photos of Tyra when she was 16. In case you're keeping track, that's ten years younger than Kasia is now.

Tyra leaves and the girls go about settling in. Brittani tells us that she normally lives in a trailer park, and so a penthouse in downtown L.A. is quite an improvement. Also, everybody here has teeth! Freckle-faced Dominique calls a house meeting, which involves some rule about only talking when you have a ceramic elephant in your hand. I don't need to tell you that Dominique is clutching the elephant with claws of death. Alexandria, who comes downstairs wearing a feathered mask, seems to call bullshit on the elephant rule right away. With any luck, one of these two will have had a weave forcibly removed by the end of the night at the hand of the other. Mikaela, who is 21 and from Boca Raton, has insane bone structure, and also finds living with 13 other girls to be insane. Dominique thinks she owns the place, and Alexandria thinks she's the shit. Both of them are clearly huge pains in the ass and will likely continue to be so for quite some time. However, Mikaela says she's obsessed with Jaclyn, who is the most adorable sprite to ever emerge from the magical forest. Sara has a really interesting look, Mikaela says, but has no confidence in that look. Mikaela commits to not letting all the madness of the house interfere with her goal to win. What may interfere with her victory is the fact that she can't seem to fully open her eyes.

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America's Next Top Model




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