On “America’s Next Top Model,” the girls head to their new home of Venice Beach, and manage to move in without any drama that we are privy to. We learn a few key facts. Kayla is an out lesbian — the only one in the house, apparently. Anamaria has an eating disorder– er, is on a “calorie-restricted diet” and “happy with” her emaciated body. And Ann wants to date a 60-year old warlock. She’s in the right place, we guess.
The first challenge of the season has the girls walking in lovely Diane von Furstenberg clothes on a plexiglass runway suspended four stories in the air. They all wear harnesses so no one actually can plummet to her death, which we think really takes the suspense out of the whole endeavor. As a crowd watches below, the girls stomp and try not to look afraid. There are a few stumbles on the steps that lead to the runway, but the harnesses don’t actually get any work. Kacey, who is nearly blind without her glasses, has a few nervous moments, but since season three taught us what’s possible when a person has an actual degenerative eye disease, it’s hard to be too impressed.
This cycle’s first photo shoot has a message, per usual. Tyra is taking a stand against teen bullying, and so has the girls identify a word or phrase that was used to bully them. This word is then written all over their bodies, along with a positive reframing. For example, Ann’s bullying word is “giant,” but her empowering word is “Amazon.” “Mrs. Warlock” was already taken. Kayla gets very emotional about having the word “queer,” which was used to torment her, placed all over her body. But she’s a smart girl and plans to use this emotion, along with the meaning of her empowering word, “free,” to come up with a kick-ass photo. Terra gets freaked out by the fact that she’s being a model, and has trouble bringing life to her luscious lipped “soup cooler” concept shot. Anamaria’s bag-o-bones physique is problematic, and Jay tries to get her to pose in a way that hides her prominent ribcage. You’d feel bad for the girl if she wasn’t such a hag all the time. Demi Lovato also makes a visit to talk about how bullying is bad and people called her a whore.
Panel is a glorious event featuring Andre Leon Talley — looking like the glamorous warlock after whom Ann is lusting — and Miss Diane von Furstenberg herself! Overall, the pictures are surprisingly decent. Kayla and Chelsey have great photos, but in a lovely development it’s Ann who takes best-of-week honors. Soup cooler Terra ends up in the bottom two along with Anamaria. President of the CFDA Diane von Furstenberg says that beauty is health, and Anamaria gets sent home with the number of a counselor that she’ll never use.
Photo credit: The CW