I said last week that maybe Claire can't do commercial, but that as far as fashion goes, that's a lack of versatility that Tyra should be able to live with -- but you see, there I go again, trying to apply steadfast logic to this situation, especially since I should have learned by now that the lack of logic is the show's double-edged sword. When it's used for good, you get gems like the far-out narrative twists from the legendary Dominique/Whitney face-off. Used for evil, you have Tyra unexpectedly using bizarre criteria to eliminate the fierceness of Claire (and Jenah from last cycle).
Then again, Claire was also taking some of the shine off herself too, dating back to the episode prior with her fight with Dominique, and also when she exulted whlie escaping from the bottom two before Aimee even had time to break into tears:
(I meant to mention the Claire's lack of tact in my previous entry, but fortunately, taking this scene plus when Lauren called Dominique "[flippin'] crazy," ANTM has actually been quite good this cycle about recapping things that slip my mind, which is yet another reason why the show has been easy to recap this time around.)
While I'm on the subject of oversights, Claire apparently went to Columbia(!). I'm shocked that the show didn't play up her education to cater to the Ivy fetishists out there. I try not to think about the hot Cornell-on-Columbia action that could've been.
I'm actually amused that the girls all eat together at the table to create some semblance of non&8211;reality tv normalcy as some Tyra Mail interrupts them. Note, however, that Anya is the first to bolt from the table.
I may have lost count, but the third completely unnecessary fight went down in three weeks, and I'm almost starting to get snarl-fatigue.
Fatima, we all knew, is the queen of passive aggression out of this year's bunch, but over the last couple episodes she's been lost in Dominique's bluster. Fortunately, Fatima reminded us that she's a bitch of a subtler vintage, though no less pugnacious than Dominique. She does get points for not flinching at Lauren's storm, though.
She might look completely harmless -- you know, just this cycle's gawky savant -- but within Lauren's meek demeanor hides the heart of a killer who speaks daggers and maybe even uses them. That screenshot? She's actually making a move to rip off the cameraman's jewels. Speaking of: I am man enough to admit
But I heard or read somewhere that the only way to master your fear is to confront it, so:
I was skeptical at first, but I've decided that Paulina was on to something when she described Katarzyna's old 'dos as "Eastern European tackiness" -- takes one to know one, I guess. But check it -- Katarzyna has never been so adorable as when her hair is completely covered by a hat:
Which almost makes me feel bad about posting this (but I kind of had to since I sort of jumped the gun last week with this):
Another girl to whom I'm gradually coming around:
Anya just got fierce praise from the judges for the week's photo, and I'm actually tickled by her child-like self-assurance, which would look like smugness with anyone less brain-dead, but with her cloud-drifting speech patterns, general frailty, and downy white hair, she's really kind of adorable in a baby duck way.
Also, the the juvenile awe with which she described Jay at the shoot was priceless, because, you know...
Not to be outdone in the cute duck department...
Drag or not (I side with drag), Dominique is definitely reflective about the industry itself as evidenced by this short scene where she expounds on how the photo shoot will bear on the competition and to the girls' portfolios. I disagree with her on the supposed difficulty of the shoot, however, since all the shots were great, at least from a photography perspective (the colors more than the composition).
But what interests -- or bothers -- me most about that scene is that she seems to be talking to herself, which is either hilarious or full of pathos. What she says wouldn't be out of place in a candid interview, but since she's not interviewing and the editing suggests (fairly or not) that her her uncooperative interlocutor might be Katarzyna, Dominique is like that kid who has no one else to play with and so she ends up in private pretending to be an authoritative talking head in an interview as though her opinion actually mattered. Clearly, she doesn't lack self-importance to offer her (seemingly) unsolicited meta-commentary. (Blogs are obvs exempt from ridicule omg lol!!)
Yet this situation illustrates a paradox between public and private spheres in reality tv, or maybe only on ANTM, even considering how reality programs generally collapse private and public. In Top Model, girls go to the confessional booth to air their uncensored thoughts and present their public, official faces as they "directly" address the viewing public, while outside of the booth in the common, shared areas of the house, they don't talk to the camera but instead to each other. Outside, they're often caught at their most unguarded as their crazy, hidden prejudices come out. So when Dominique discourses in the private space of the bedroom in an officious manner that's more fitting to the confessional, my wires got crossed in the twin impulses of derision and sympathy; I immediately wanted to dismiss her as "lol crazy dominique," but her unironic earnestness has been pulling me towards outright sympathy. (I also have a hard time shaking how Claire and Whitney treated her.) So for arousing pathos, and for how she restrained herself from getting in another fight for the third week in a row, she deserves a pat on the back.
Sympathy or not... This Week In Drag:
The Travails of Dominique's Hair: An Epic in Four Parts
At the end of the day after an especially challenging photo shoot, Dominique relaxes and lets her hair down, or as the case would have it, up and out and sideways.
But alack! No chance for respite, as the girls must all go to bed with the burdensome awareness that they'll meet with the judges the next day and only seven of them will continue on in the hopes of becoming America's Next Top Model! Thus with mind heavy with anxiety, Dominique sought relief as any guy would, though still too preoccupied to thoroughly clean up and groom herself by the time of the panel.
In the interim while the judges deliberated, she realized her faux pas and quickly restyled her hair. No mirrors for her!
After panel, much relieved, to still be in the running towards becoming America's Next Top Model, she prepares for bed:
Indie rating: Harold Budd and Cocteau Twins - "Memory Gongs"