Monday, May 07, 2012

America's Next Top Model: British Invasion (Cycle 18) - 18x09 "Barney Cheng"

Ah, Macau! China's newest den of vice and corruption, though it's probably been corrupt for ages, so you know that ANTM is right at home.

Case in point: Catherine's elimination, which, from the perspective of the naif, is inexplicable (she's struck me thus far as the perennially underappreciated indie favorite), while the cynic would remark on the breathtaking (and heavy-handed) predictability of cutting a Brit because the show would never let the competition foreground four Brits against the lone Yank. (Though if the producers had let the numbers skew so mightily Blighty, they could've constructed an exceptionalist narrative where the solitary heroine of the story demonstrates essential American fortitude by overcoming the oncoming invasion of suspect foreigners. We'll just call this a "missed opportunity.")

I happen to fall on the cynical end, because given the particulars of this instance, it's hard not to, even without benefit of tin-foil head-wear. In her latest recap, Catherine herself notes that the obviously terrible photo used in her judging is a test shot (the stylists/makeup people hadn't even finished sprinkling her with silkworms yet). When someone gets saddled with this despite having previously shot this and this, I have a hard time resisting the notion that a production poobah decided Catherine had at last confronted the unflinching pragmatism of their agenda, which cannot involve such a drastic diminution of Americans. It's enough to make me gag, if I weren't inoculated to these editorial shenanigans years ago.

Instead, I'll leave it to Annaliese to express primal disgust:

Speaking of Annaliese, this episode we got to see just how ripped she is:

And I'm just fantasizing that Sophie tried desperately to find two sais to go with her Elektra outfit.

Finally, I'm trying my damnedest to make variations of Broccoli Dog until people start reblogging it on Tumblr:

Though you know what? This is probably more apt:

One of these has got to catch on!


Ana said...
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Ana said...

Clement is a sight for sore eyes and Barney is charming.

This season guest judges are way better than the regular ones (tough competition there, I know). Not all of them, of course, but there were quite a few, compared to previous seasons, that offered good critique.

As I said over at Annaliese's: their photo choice is not just shady anymore, it's blatantly wrong and biased.
Yes, they are here to sell us a show, not really to choose the best competitor, but I'd say they have to at least maintain the illusion.

Gossip time: have you seen Kelly's anti-Louise video?
At first I couldn't believe it was real because I haven't seen that kind of behaviour even from the cruelest teen girl gangs O_o .
And those aren't a 50-year-old business woman with a bunch of her employees...

Leee said...

The funny thing is (re: how the show is barely trying to hide its prejudices), I sort of don't care! Mostly because Catherine wasn't one of my dearest favorites (Sophie and Annaliese, if I haven't been obvious enough), but also because I'm so used to it now and I've pretty much bought into the idea that the show isn't about modeling -- the show is about a show that pretends to be about modeling.

Oy, I've read about Kelly's video but haven't been able to bring myself to watch it. Given that video, and what I've read about her unleashing ("unleashing") her employees after bloggers/tweeters who are critical about her (she went after Fourfour Rich!), I think it's fair to say that despite her professional success, she's deeply insecure, and in fact her behavior casts doubt on her professional acumen as well. Someone in PR has to realize that for someone in her position, punching down (i.e. going after internet nobodies) has no upside for her, and so I almost hope that she comes after me, because that could help to raise my own profile.

So this is my Kelly Cutrone bait: her blunt cruelty is dull to watch -- her insults are lifeless and have no imagination -- and the only way she's interesting is as a source of contempt and derision.