America's Next Top Model

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Super Smize Me
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Previously: Fourteen wee modelettes made their way to LA and were promptly given unspectacular makeovers and forced to recreate photos from their childhoods, with a sluttier twist. Second chance Lisa couldn't manage to work her giant clown collar (rookie!), and was sent home a traumatic second time. Thirteen girls remain! Let this number of doom be a warning to you.

We begin the episode as the girls ride home in their limo after elimination. Bianca finally realizes that she should have kept her damn mouth shut for once. She reminds us that her constant complaining on-set got her sent to the bottom two because, as Tyra reminds her, photographers (AND TYRA) are not paying (OR NOT PAYING) for her opinion. If you have an original, well-formed thought in your head, you have come to the wrong place. And don't you forget it, Mr. Sister. Bianca is taking this as a warning, and vows not to be in the bottom two again. Giant-eyed Rachel opines that no one can expect anything. This telegraphs to us that she should, in fact, expect something, and so shouldn't actually be in too much shock when (spoiler!) she gets an unceremonious rapid-fire boot in mere minutes. Rachel tells us that going from Wal-Mart cashier to America's Next Top Model is a big jump, with 90% fewer blue smocks, and 25% more mentally challenged colleagues.

When the girls get home they see Rae's best-of-the-week photograph displayed as digital art, as promised. The photo actually isn't as big as the words next to it, which read, "Rae of Sunshine / Dreamy / Broken Down Doll." Because the wit and wisdom of the judges is really what we've been after all along. Courtney interviews that she's so over her broken foot, and is taking her boot off this week. Rest assured that she'll get another boot to take its place at the end of the episode.

There is Tyra Mail! The girls yell and scream and jump around just as they were instructed to. Kara reads: "Your career will be short if you don't measure up." She neglects to read the standard, "Love, Tyra," which the other girls point out. However, when she does say it, she skips the "love" part, which may be a sign of the beginning of the end. The next day the girls head to Wilhelmina Models, and are clearly excited to have a visit to the agency where they all want to be signed. Nigel walks in and explains that they'll have a rather special opportunity today -- Sean Patterson, the president of Wilhelmina, has flown all the way from New York City to meet with each and every one of them. Sean enters, and just a bit resembles Jon Gosselin, minus the Ed Hardy gear and most of the douchebaggery. Sean explains that Wilhelmina represents the entire range of the industry, and has a place for all types of beauty. Additionally, they pride themselves on nurturing their talent, so perhaps the winner of this cycle won't end up cleaning mousetraps in Elite's basement with McKey. Nigel reminds the girls how rare it is to get signed to an agency, and adds that Tyra herself had to go to six agencies in L.A. before she got signed. Like Oprah, it's Tyra's hardscrabble past that makes her so relatable. Sean tells the girls that the market for petite models is "more hypercompetitive" than they could ever imagine. They get one chance to impress Sean, and if they fail they're screwed.

We first see Lulu meet with Sean and Nigel. Sean asks her, "Why modeling?" which seems a valid question. Lulu says that modeling is the only thing that makes her happy, and that she loves fashion. Sean asks her who her favorite photographer is, and Lulu says she doesn't pay attention to photographers. 1) Nigel is sitting right there (though does he really even count as a photographer anymore?); 2) For the love, people, just pick up one issue of Vogue to read on the plane to L.A. and remember a few names. Gah. Courtney is next, and tells us that she's planning to be as poised as possible despite the foot situation. Sean asks her what she would do if her entire evaluation today was based on her runway walk. Courtney says she would walk, and then does, in heels, with her foot only wrapped. Nigel is surprised at how impressed he was by Courtney, and Sean (who calls her "sweetheart" and thus gets some Gosselin d-bag points of his own) says he's proud of her for walking through the pain.

Jennifer interviews that her main focus this week is her left eye. She lost her full range of motion in her left eye because of a condition called ptosis, where the eye muscle stretches for no apparent reason. It does not appear to involve the bloodying of the eyeball, so Nicole's distinctive personality trait and unique nickname remain intact. Jennifer walked into the competition hoping that her eye wouldn't be an issue. When she leaves, Sean and Nigel both note that she has a lazy eye. However, if they let Amanda and her retinitis pigmentosa get all the way to the final three, I think anything goes. And she can look at two different cameras at once! Marketable.

Rachel comes in next, and Nigel asks if she's had any acting experience. Rachel says that she's done musical theater, but that's about it. Nigel asks her to perform any song that she feels comfortable with. Rachel stands there blankly and says she's trying to think of the best song. Nigel simply says, "Any song. Just give me a lyric." Rachel's response? "Uh...hmmm." Yeah. The giant bug eyes can't get her out of this one. Nigel tells us that when you're meeting your potential boss, you should really try not to be a total vapid dumb-ass. Finally, a useful piece of advice from one of the judges! When Rachel leaves Nigel kindly says, "She's very sweet," but Sean just deadpans that he got nothing from her. As other girls go in and out, Sean reminds us that models are rejected every day, until they aren't. Um, thanks. Bianca resolves to watch her mouth when she meets with Sean and Nigel, and manages to stay quiet when Sean tells her that her hair is very severe. Combined with her smaller stature, he's not sure how marketable she is. Bianca says that she belongs there, and Nigel wishes her luck.

Sean and Nigel meet with all the girls, and Nigel says that this exercise was really all about first impressions. Sean then drops the bomb -- one of them doesn't have what it takes to be a Wilhelmina model. One of them? Nigel adds the really explosive part -- that girl is going to have to leave the competition immediately. No nonsensical berating from Miss J. at the judges' panel, no bland words of non-encouragement from Tyra as she gives a goodbye hug. The girls, who all thought this was a challenge and that there would be a winner rather than a really big loser, are in shock as we head to commercials.

When we return, the shock has not worn off. Sean wastes no time in announcing that it is bug-eyed, boring, brain dead Rachel who is going home. Rachel looks like someone has jabbed a can of Sam's Choice Diet Dr. Thunder through her heart. Nigel and Sean appear to feel a bit like assholes -- something that has until now been strictly Tyra territory. However, Nigel explains, to be a successful model you have to be charismatic, and Rachel is lacking in that department. Sean adds that she's dumb and boring, in case we didn't get that the first time around. Rachel feels like she's going to be sick, and looks like she's the living embodiment of a pit of despair. She tells us that she expected someone to pop out and say, "Just kidding!" That person never came. Are there other occasions where that's happened to her? Because that's kind of weird. Nigel comforts Rachel by saying that she's beautiful and young, and has a full future ahead of her. Just not in modeling. Which we knew. And she should know. So, in a way, it all kind of worked out in the end.

The other girls are now living in fear, which makes Tyra feel like sunshine and unicorns. Sean tells them that modeling is a very harsh industry, and that Wilhel

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America's Next Top Model




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