America's Next Top Model
The Girl Is Here To Win

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The Gospel According To Elyse

But first, what actually happens. Robin interrupts Elyse from putting on makeup (a scarlet "D" for "disagreement and how no one should ever do it," smeared right across her face) and calls Elyse into the living room, hading her the book and indicating the passage. Elyse tells us in a confessional (in which she totally gave me my hair back and replaced it with Pat Benatar's) that she found the whole exchange "offensive," and she tells Robin that she doesn't know what to say. Robin has her response at the ready: "When I read that, it made me think of you." Elyse slo-mos a face of dismay as Robin smiles really, really snidely in a Battle Of The Edited Facial Expressions That Never Actually Happened. But then, right here, it did happen. It's...a miiiiiiiiiiiiracle!

I love how only on The Reality-Show Expressway is crossing the Brooklyn Bridge a required part of getting from Manhattan to Manhattan. Because in my universe, that's actually not the case at all. A van pulls up to what appears to be a lower Manhattan loft of some kind, and in walks Tyra. She's wearing flare-cut jeans, a plain white tank top, and...oy, there's always something, isn't there? On her shoulder is a brown blob of what actually appears to be crinoline, fashioned into a poofy floral orb that's been affixed to the tank top on the right side. She looks like she ate a first-year ballet student. And wiped her lips with an ostrich.

The girls sit on and around a couch that faces a runway in the middle of the room. Tyra hops up on it and asks, "It's obvious what we're doing today, right?" Not to the Algonquin Rectangle Runway, who respond in a dirge-y unison, "Fashion show?" like no one's done the reading so they answer, "Who's the main character in Catcher in the Rye?" with, "Uh, the catcher?" This whole thing is the fashion show. They might just as well have responded, "We're...embarking on further activities that will nurture, aid, and guide us in our ultimate intent of becoming America's Next Top Model?" Well, you're cloooooooose. But Tyra, similarly, wants a bit more specificity, chiding, "Runway? Catwalk?" She explains that every model has a "personal style," and shows a quick video that appears on the wall at the front of the catwalk of her own "personal style." It's edited oddly, which we know because she introduces it by calling it "the last example of my personal style." The final one? What if she were like, "...because I'm dying." No, Tyra! We neeeeeeeeeeed you! Anyway, the clip reel mostly consists of shots of her walking down the runway wearing other people's clothing. And the eyes. It's always about the eyes. She tells the girls that they each have to find their own personal styles, with the added guidance of "a few runway don'ts." She does her impersonation of a girl who can't walk in heels, one who "thinks she's sexy but she ain't." She does a theatrically spinny one called "the church fashion show," after which you can see Robin being all, "Is that wrong? The fool has said in his heart there is no church fashion show." Tyra finishes her exhibition (and I kid you not that I could have watched that all day) and screams that all of those approaches to the finer nuances of catwalking are "WRONG," which segues into her introducing "J. Alexander," whom she calls "the one and the only runway trainer." J., who we all know well by now, looks sheepish for the first and last time ever in his diva-ass life.

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America's Next Top Model




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