'America's Next Top Model': Bird is the word

Celia_americasnexttopmodel_s12_240 It's a house divided in Brazil on "America's Next Top Model." Four modeling moppets, two against two, and the only way to solve the problem is ... a dance off. Samba, everyone! 

The Bones

Teyona brags she is "no longer the silent threat," which would be sort of annoying ... if we didn't get to contrast that with Celia picking apart her winning photo one minute later. 

(Celia, here's a hint: when someone out-models you, it's not because "her set up was easier." It's because she was better than you. Just saying.)  

The girls have divided along skin color lines -- Aminat and Teyona vs Allison and Celia. Just for one cycle I would like them to divide up along other lines: straight hair vs curly, earth signs vs water signs, North vs South. Oh well. They at least seem to be tolerating each other fairly well in-person, though the knives come out in confessional; Allison is the only person not actively dissing someone else.     

The models get a samba lesson with Paulina as well as some of her Jedi wisdom: like the samba, modeling is about looking good and faking it. Or something. Okay, Paulina, if you insist. Aminat dances very well, earning kudos, while Celia looks good but "desperate." Paulina confesses she was very scared for Allison, not for naught: Allison and Aminat share four left feet between them. 

The challenge the next day is to samba at "photographer" Paulina, giving her fierceness and freshness. Here's the catch: there is no actual camera, except for the tiny, imaginary one in Paulina's mind. Clearly some of the girls were better at this challenge than others, but it seems only fair there be actual photos instead of "Paulina just knowing who would've had the best shot." 

Our imaginary photographer picks the much-improved Celia, who twirled her way around the set like a pro. Runner up Aminat is a little pouty that she isn't chosen to join Celia in picking out some jewelry (that would be Allison), but in a refreshing show of constraint doesn't have a complete hissy fit.  

Our next shoot is also for a model -- alas, this time it's for Tyra herself. Whatever Tyra wants, Tyra gets ... and Tyra wants the girls to be transformed into birds. Ten pounds of ratted hairpieces and feathers later, Tyra gets her wish. The girls take turn posing inside a nest; seriously: if you haven't seen it, I know this is hard to believe. But it all works beautifully, so props to The Almighty Ms. Banks for pulling off an ambitious shoot. She took some spectacular photos, and finally had a chance to interact on-set with her little proteges. 

Plus, in what was probably my favorite moment this season, a very excited and geeked out Allison gives Tyra a hug after her shoot and sort of whispers/blurts out, "You're pretty." Wait, what? Allison is clearly sort of mortified with herself, and you can tell Tyra is amused. It's sweet. 

Panel is subdued. The girls are good enough that no one stands out as especially bad, and their photos were all pretty fabulous. Allison's in particular looks like it was torn out of last month's Vogue. Aminat's and Teyona's photos, while nice, weren't inspirational ... yet they are enough to keep them in the contest. 

Celia just ultimately looked "too old" according to the judges. I mean, if twenty-whatever is too old for modeling, why accept her at all? Silly question. Celia, you went far and your exit was a class act. Best of luck.

The Pretty

I may be alone in this, but I love the Tyra shoots. It's nice to finally have the head judge working with the girls on a shoot, and she almost always brings out the best in them; plus, she takes amazing pictures. Outside-of-panel Tyra is -- dare I say? -- even likable.  That moth attacking her was must see TV ("It's a bat! It landed on my head!"); I rewound that, like, 3 times.     

The Ugly

Every week I forget to mention the elephant in the living room: ALLISON'S WEAVE. Holy smokes, what does that girl have on her head, and what has she done to deserve it? 

Poll Dancing

Wow -- 68% of you thought Allison killed it in the swimsuit shoot. She was followed by Teyona (18%), an Aminat/Celia tie (5% each, hey, something they agree on!) and Fo (4%). 

It's the moment of truth ... who do you think is going to take the ANTM crown?


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