'America's Next Top Model' Cycle 19, Episode 8 Recap: Crack, Cholas, and Cattiness

americas next top model recap

Hello all, and welcome! Before I get down to recapping this week’s eventless go-sees and subsequent waste of a good prison rental space, I’d like to discuss the Tyrabomb that was dropped this week (which I saw via terrifying Instagram post): namely, that the theme of Cycle 20 of America’s Next Top Model (yes, it somehow got renewed) will be BOYS AND GIRLS. Yes, you read correctly – Tyra, assumedly in a scramble to salvage the rapidly sinking SS ANTM, has revoked her pledge to never have male contestants on her show (Isis excluded) and swallowed her claim that there are no name-recognition male models. I admit, there was a time when I had dreams of becoming a model, but Tyra had shut her doors to my unfortunate gender. I feel slighted, overlooked, and frankly, disappointed in ANTM. All I can say is THEIR LOSS.

Now on to this week’s episode! Little Latina (is that what she is?) Nastasia had best/trashiest photo last week, and bland blonde frontrunner Laura found herself in the bottom two. As Laura pledges to try harder (in a typical winner’s edit), Brittany pouts her cartoon-face and whines about always coming in second and how she misses her fam (in a typical loser’s edit). There’s a lot of edited banter about the house regarding the eliminated contestants, which can be taken to mean that one will be returning imminently.

Home-schooled food-hater Victoria still steals some spotlight this week for her eating habits, or lack thereof. Hovering over a sparse plate of untouched vegetables, she claims that she’s eaten a brownie cookie once, inviting the other girls, Kristen in particular, to assault her with mean logic and openly label her weak and unstable. Kristen is a shady bitch whose sole merits are looking generically pretty and cool; I suppose that’s what happens when Nylon replaces CoverGirl as your target brand.

The final six floozies book it to Smashbox Studios, where Kelly Cutrone and some one-time gay inform them that they’ll be sent on go-sees, in groups of two. The participating designers are Guess, Whitney Port, Cecilia Cassini, Charlotte Ronson, and Lulu Guinness – each designer will book one girl, and whoever garners the most bookings will win. We barely see the girls walk or model clothing, but we are treated to a handful of conversation moments, mainly those that contrast Victoria’s social clumsiness with the relative charm of her peers. The ladies pose with oversized lip-purses and try to impress a 13-year old, and Laura has a meltdown about the time budget, but in the end everyone arrives back at Smashbox in a timely fashion.

Kelly and that robohomo read the results: Kristen and Laura are pretty but stiff, Brit and Kiara have positive energy but amateur skills, Nasti photographs well but looks busted in person, and Vicki has good manners and the personality of an anxious broom. I find it ironic that in this particular cycle the grading system has been stripped from the go-see portion of the ANTM experience, but perhaps there are only so many numbers to go around. Regardless, the designers’ choices are as follows:

Cecilia Cassini: Kiara
Lulu Guinness: Nastasia
I Heart Ronson: Kristen
Whitney Port: Laura
Guess: Laura

So, Laura wins the challenge once again, adding $10,000 more to her imaginary jackpot. At this rate, I don’t think the producers will let her win, or else they’ll have to actually shell out her amassed prize money. The challenge scores range from 6.5-7.5, proving how truly mediocre this competition has become. At dinner, Brit and Vicki are sullen about their performances. However, their self-pity is overshadowed by the unwelcome appearance of P’Trique, who drops a few trite hints about the upcoming shoot before vanishing into the extras room from whence he came.

The next morning, the wannabeontops arrive at a correctional facility, where they’re greeted by a butch female officer/actress in clear-framed glasses. When I saw that the girls were being BOOKED (fingerprinting, jewelry-relinquishing, makeup-removing – the works!), I smugly reclined, expecting a trashy, regal adventure into lawless depravity. I pictured tattooed ex-cons in the background, shanks for props, territory brawls in the weight room … but no. The shoot, although deliciously-styled with leopard-print eye shadow and leather crop jackets, was nothing more than a series of “retro” mug shots photographed by supposed Nylon regular Mike “The Cobra Snake, ” or as Brittany described him, someone who “knows what’s IT.”

Pre-shoot, Kiara reveals her own criminal history of shoplifting a bracelet, yet the faux-crime they crassly assign her blackness is CRACK. Vicki’s is theft, although her bizarre country character act takes over, as she drawls and rabidly spits about the room. Kristen got drunk driving, which is maybe why she couldn’t keep her eyes open during her shoot. Brit, although styled in an LDB and pearls, is booked for indecent exposure; her poses are catalog at best. Nasti has the best styling by far, representing chola glamour with lip liner, a drawn-on mole, and tattoo tears, but Laura gets the trash award for use of her tongue and a pay phone. You can see all the photos here, under Week 7.

An unrequested photo of Tyra and Rob Evans seizes the screen, which can only mean one thing: Panel Time. Introductions are rushed through, because TyTy means business in a textured pink dress with sharp shoulder-pads. Boring pictures reap boring critiques – Kristen is yawnfully pretty, Kiara has an old, long man-face, and Nasti has hilariously dead ceiling-eyes. Vicki’s explains her overly campy picture by (correctly) alleging that she’s being bullied, prompting Kell to make several uncharacteristically considerate comments. Brit’s dead fish face pushes her to the bottom, while Laura’s tongue work propels her to the top. It looks like Ty is trying to curve the grading system, as she changed two of her scores over the course of this week’s judging, with rationale like “no neck” and “body of work.” The scores line up like so:

Laura: 41.0
Kristen: 35.8
Kiara: 34.8
Nastasia: 33.3

And so it goes. Two of my picks for winner once again find themselves on the chopping block: Disneycentric Brittany and ano nano Victoria. Tyra tells Vicki (32.6) she needs to distinguish between character and car-i-ca-TURE, before briskly shooing Brit (30.0) back into darker obscurity. BUT WAIT! Now is “the moment of truth” – the eliminated contestants emerge from the curtains one-by-one as TyTy prepares to announce which one will reenter the hellhole that is Top Model. We won’t find out until next week, but tune in for that reveal, as well as an arbitrary trip to Jamaica, where girls of all racial backgrounds will attempt to move their hips. ‘Til then, fierce and love, Nick ~

"America's Next Top Model" airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

America's Next Top Model