Thursday, September 29, 2011

America's Next Top Model

Angelea and Allison show off their "booty tooch," an illusion to create both height and curves.

Angelea and Allison show off their "booty tooch," an illusion to create both height and curves.

Being a model is so much more than just being a pretty face, as explained in Wednesday night's "America's Next Top Model: All-Stars."

They have to be role models, spokespeople and mini-moguls. Solely modeling and trying to scrape by posing in front of a camera is so passe. In "ANTM" terms, "so eleven cycles ago."

So thank the fashion gods above that these wannabes have a good-hearted fairy godmother like Tyra Banks to show them how to really stretch out 15 minutes of fame. This time around, she wants them to get through an interview and impress newly-shorn judge Nigel Barker, who thankfully got rid of his ridiculous coiffure last week.

The contestants arrive at The Grove outdoor shopping mall and are split into two groups chosen by last week's winner and runner up: the rabblerousing and "Celebrity Rehab" alumni Lisa and the histrionic Bianca. The task: to impress the judges through mini soundbyte answers.

Lisa chooses Alexandria, Lisa, Laura, Dominique, Isis and Angelea on her team, while Bianca selects Allison, Shannon, Bre, Kayla and Camille.

Nothing new or out of the ordinary here - a task which requires models to talk to a reporter (Mario Lopez for "Extra") -- except that the winning team is safe from elimination. The news puts added pressure on the girls, like Lisa, who becomes overly excited. She proceeds to hog the attention, cutting in whenever she likes, and 
obnoxiously high-fiving her teammates after every answer.

Bianca's team fares just a little better. Kayla, Bre and Camille are expectedly boring and dry, but the true shining star and redeeming member surprisingly is Allison, who answers her question with confidence, quirkiness, and overall cuteness. Bravo.


The gang gathers with guest judge Kristin Cavallari. (Jaimie Trueblood/The CW)

When Nigel provides feedback he tells each girl what they need to improve. Angelea, he says, needs to show more of her personality.

Later, in the bus when the girls are being transported to their photoshoot, she has none of it and spews anger of his disapproval to poor Alexandria. Apparently, she's not just, in her words, a "hood bitch." 

At the photo shoot, they're told they will be placed on stilts with a partner: one person from the winning team and one from the losing team.

Bianca - who has a phobia of heights - remembers her shoot from her past cycle (which she opted out of) and begins having a mini crisis in the bathroom.

Meanwhile, the shoot goes on. While some girls like Allison shine others fade to the background like Isis and Camille who fall flat in their photos.

"How am I going to have someone who's transgendered do a better job than a real woman?" deadpans Camille to the camera.

At panel, Tyra goes through her same spiel and introduces the two other judges, Nigel Barker and Andre Leon Talley. Then she introduces guest judge Kristin Cavallari, the former "Hills" vixen now competing on "Dancing with the Stars."

First up is Alexandria and Shannon. The judges rave over Alexandria's pose with one foot bent in the air.

"So Lady Gaga, so exciting," Talley quips.

Next is Angelea and Allison. But before their judging, Angelea has that bone to pick with Barker.

"I just have to address you, Nigel. I tried to be more professional. You should've been more silly, I don't know what you want," she tells him.

Barker then tells her that she needs to come out of her shell more and show off her "wonderful" personality.

She's satisfied with the answer - for now - and judging goes on.

The four judges aren't too impressed with her photo this week, but are pleased with Allison and the position of her bum.

Apparently, Allison is doing what Tyra labels the "booty tooch," where her backside is shoved up into the air making an illusion that she's taller -and curvier - than she is.

"Say tooch the booty," she instructs her class of models while giving another example of it.

"Do you know how to tooch the booty?" she asks Cavallari.

"Like that?" the confused blonde demonstrates not quite knowing what she's doing, her bottom kissing the air.

"Yes, that was a great tooch," Banks replies.

And like that, as quickly as "smize" became a new Tyra-ism, so was born the "booty tooch."

While Dominique and Kayla both received okay reviews, Tyra and the gang also pointed out how the latter model should've done a little more with the booty. A tooch perhaps.

Laura and Bre receive rave reviews as well for being a contrast between masculine and feminine. But Cavallari is not a fan of Bre's robotic, expressionless face.

Isis and Camille are, expectedly, the worst in the bunch.

"It's clubby," Talley points out. "There are girl on stilts, there's one with silver leggings." Nothing special.

Finally judging begins. Tyra first calls out the girls who won the challenge and proceeds to tell Allison that she had the week's best photo.

"Say tooch," she instructs.

And like a good little Top Model, Allison squeals ever-so-cutely: "Tooch!"

Next is Bianca, Shannon, Bre, Kayla, then Camille.

Out of the losing team Alexandria, Lisa, Laura and Dominique are deemed safe, leaving Isis and Angelea as the bottom two.

In the end, it's Isis who is sent home.

This cycle really does prove that the second time around isn't any easier.

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