Saturday, May 12, 2012

America's Next Top Model: British Invasion (Cycle 18) - 18x10 "Nicholas Tse"

Strangely, the better the episode this season cycle, the less I have to say about it, especially in light of Alisha's seemingly abrupt withdrawal from the competition, which overshadows a lot of the other episode's proceedings. Despite the general disdain that arises when a contestant quits, I have to admire Alisha here; the show has so thoroughly gotten into her head that leaving is likely the healthiest thing she could ever do on ANTM. What's more, I've always wondered why more girls don't follow her lead, considering the psychological toll ANTM takes on them and apparent disregard for the health and safety the show has for its contestants (e.g. going up a more-than-700-foot tower in a torrential downpour to do a photoshoot). (Being someone who likes reality tv and particularly how it commodifies emotional vulnerability and distress, I'm undoubtedly part of the problem, but for the moment allow me to remain in my bourgeois complacency.)

As an aside, another thing I've always wondered is why women so often have such an irrational fear of heights, at least from a cultural standpoint. I do like Annaliese's imminently logical take on it, though: "I'm not scared of actual heights, I'm scared of falling from a height."

But as irrationality goes, the real head-scratching decision has to do with the call-out order, yet again. Laura's face is certainly divine, but as Annaliese mentions in her latest recap, she's sitting down when the apparent difficulty in the shoot is simply staying upright in the storm. I also know that the producers have invested a lot of energy into pushing Sophie as the top Brit, but again, her shot doesn't strike me as clearly superior to Annaliese's (and I realize that the key rationale explaining this inanity is in the first clause of this sentence). And in fact, Annaliese's photo is the best in my eyes this week, and she should've won the kung fu challenge... but the enterprise of trying sense of the opaque and incoherent mechanisms that determine the call-out order and challenge wins is best summed up thusly:

And so is Sophie's hair color, which continues its inexplicable quantum schizophrenia between pink and blond.

At least for this episode, I think we can safely assume that this time the pink is washed out by the rain and, most of all, her tears. (Thankfully, she got to have a spot of fun in between her heaving bouts of utter horror.)

To cap all of this nonsense, here's Tyra doing her best Ms. J impression:

Which is funny and all, but why she doesn't just cut out the middleman and keep the real thing?

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