Saturday, May 12, 2007

America's Next Top Model (Cycle 8) - 8x11 "The Girl Who Does Not Want To Dance"

If Natasha had done heretofore nothing before to make me a fan of hers, then I'm firmly in her corner now since all the other girls conspired to try to get her eliminated. Unless the editors left on the cutting room floor some damning footage of "Nata" stealing granola bars or wiping her woman juices across Melrose's face, then . In fact, I suspect that Jaslene and "Wholahay" were infected by "Néné's" (supposedly abandoned) pernicious attitude. Renee, I've found you out!

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Anyway, Natasha's diplomatic performance at the judging was nothing short of amazing. When the other three girls each called Natasha the weakest remaining contestant and some kind of phony to boot, she thanked the other girls for their criticisms with grace unseen before on this show, turned it back around on them, and even put the smack down on one Gisele Bundchen. Now that Dionne and her "Haaayellll no!" have been reTyred, Natasha bumps herself up in the running towards becoming the girl whom I want to win America's Next Top Model.

Onto more series-wide themes. During elimination, we briefly saw a clip of Renee's Tyra-imposed dunk tank session where Renee had to sit there and hear everyone bitch her out, which continues the shotgun moralism that Tyra makes up as she goes along. A lot of reality programs are partly founded on a kind of moralism -- in Survivor, many of the show's jurors vote for whom they believe "deserves" -- or use morals in their inter-episode discourses -- on The Amazing Race: All-Stars, witness how virulently Eric & Danielle complained about the unfairness of getting Yielded; ANTM builds its own every season. Some cycles, girls are persecuted for being weak (and stupid; file under Gina), for being phony (Natasha, this cycle), or for being atheist cutie indie geniuses. Seeing that ES's LJ has resumed, and buying a buttload of Amazon stuff, I've lost my train of thought, but it probably had to do with how these shows build their own specific realities, particularly how moralities define and (in)form these reality worldviews. At this point, mostly an observation, nothing approaching a thesis.

Indie rating: Isis - "Celestial (The Tower)"

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