Saturday, March 29, 2008
America's Next Top Model (Cycle 10) - 10x05 "Top Model Takes It to the Streets"
Hopefully, now we all know why in the first episode when she Tyra granted a special and (at the time) inexplicable exemption to Dominique at the last semifinal cut: Dominique brings the crazy. The eschatologist in me hopes that, sooner rather than later, she and Fatima set their sights on each other, because the resulting collision of tactlessness and obliviousness would simply be Rapturous, and we could all ascend to Reality Heaven.
But as to the here and now (well, more than a week after the here and now), Dominique and Whitney's battle is total fat-ass—kissing Godhead, a thing of pure beauty worthy of Talmudic devotion, which is why I'm going to break it down in a second. What raises this confrontation above your typical model spat start to occur around a third of the way in: non sequiturs, those twists in rhetorical narrative liberated from logic and reason impossible to anticipate and thus THRILLING.
So, to break it down:
1. It all starts with an unprecedented show of rationalism: Whitney's phone signup sheet is probably the best single idea I've seen on this show. One area of improvement, though, is that she should've instituted a courtesy rule where the girl who just finished her turn ought to give the next girl a heads up, but the size of the house may have presented logistical problems. Also, Dominique would've gotten her phone call, and we wouldn't have had this beautiful mess.
2. At a Top Model summit, Dominique yells at Whitney because nobody told her about the phone rules blah blah blah. Claire steps up for Whitney. Thus far we're still in rational complaint territory.
3. Whitney twitches her head at Dominique! Uh oh! Getting into petty behavioral neuroses, so we're nearing the good stuff!
4. "Now we get the point where you don't got to talk to me like I'm stupid cos you look silly," sez Dom. I still can't parse this, but I think it might have something to do with looking like a drag queen. Yet... No mere anger-addled insult this, but the first example of a non sequitur so finely calibrated as to hold within its breast both the primary substance of debate as well as fire-tinged madness brought on by the touch of Prometheus himself -- you know, the genuine wtf quality.
5. "...no reason to respect you." (Bonus points to Stacy-Ann, who's paying close attention to this rhetorical masterpiece.) I guess Whitney just doesn't like "people."
6. Dominique interviews that Whitney has no respect for anyone. So that's where Stacy-Ann learned it from!
7. Now Whitney says Dominique has no education. Non sequiturs are coming fast and furious now!
8. Whitney: "How mu' eddacay wudda wuh wuh!" A witty riposte, and a turn for the classier!
9. Lauren: "Where does this conversation end? There is no significance in it at all!" Don't you dare try to stop what has become a tour de force! Also, plenty of significance! (Nice glasses though!)
10. Whitney is a racist wall!!! Also: fat!
11. "EXCUSE ME? MY BFF IS BLACK!@@@"
At this point, the extra beats after her STUNNING revelation? A sublime pause to marvel. In those spaces of slack-jawed wonderment, we have the cake (in this postmodern, post-irony world, it's refreshing that there are still people who think this is a legitimate defense) and we get to eat it too (the reactions of the other girls, some of whom are likewise dumbfounded that she'd resort to it, while others are surely stunned at Whitney's argumentative acumen).
12. A graceful parting shot.
13. And finally:
Who slipped Vendela the high-carb muffin, because she was way crankier about Whitney than she had to be about the vogue challenge? Well actually, must have been Whitney.
It turns out that Whitney is racist against orange people too.
As the girls read off the Tyra Mail for the vogue challenge, this shot is remarkable not for the stupid posing everyone's doing, but that Dominique and Whitney are standing right next to each other, even though it occurred after their big to-do. So either their fight wasn't actually as big as it was made out to be, or the fight actually happened after the challenge and the editors had some fun exerting their dominion over time.
When not accusing Whitney of racism, Dominique likes to talk about her favorite subject, Dominique. She'll expound on Dominique to any willing audience, like poor Stacy-Ann, whose entire persona on the show has been defined as pep, and who yet can't even muster any fake interest just to be polite. Not that Dominique cares, mind; she could be talking to a wall/Whitney and probably wouldn't notice.
As much as I enjoy dumping on Dominique, she really looks great here. Here too:
She's like an occasional woman.
Overshadowed in the hubbub is Marvita's departure. She wasn't a favorite of mine, but the timing of her elimination saddens me, partly because she seemed to genuinely enjoy living in that pit of inane vipers -- which makes me shudder to think what hellhole she calls home -- but more importantly, she zinged Dominique:
And, well, this, which I can't begin to describe.
And each zing was punctuated with an expressive, almost charming pull of the face.
Talk about time out of joint -- this has been gurgling in the backwaters of my unconscious for a couple weeks now, but I've only now consciously realized that Lauren's lingerie photo is referencing Vision Creation Newsun.
Since she's an art-punk girl and all, I totally expect that it was a deliberate homage and would be disappointed otherwise. So coupled Amis's shout-out to Franz Ferdinand last week (or is that two weeks ago now?), not only is this cycle destined to be one of the juiciest seasons of reality tv ever, it's also the indie-est cycle since before Elyse was beat up by the Shins! And justifies me giving an extra-obscure indie rating this week!
Seeing Lauren try to defuse the fight between Dominique and Whitney warmed my heart and justified my immediate crushing on her -- she recognized the utter inanity of the fights that occur on the show, and how terribly inept the arguments on both sides were. Then I realized that she wanted them to stop so she could get her drunk on in peace.
Fatima is the nexus of a whole network of hate. I love Fatima for all the unnecessary feuding that she incites.
This episode marks the second consecutive week where I found myself psychically nodding in agreement with the show's pop psychology when it discussed what was up with Marvita -- and the Queen Bee herself mouthed those words, I'm pretty sure this time. Which is not an encouraging sign for me, I'm sure.
Final Racism Tally
She could be racist to a Jewish white girl with blue eyes and blond hair.
She could be racist towards a Catholic girl with red hair and, like, green eyes.
She could be racist to a leather-faced orange drag queen.
Finally, she could be racist to a circumcised vagina.
Indie rating: Neon Pearl - "Urban Ways"