America’s Next Top Model Cycle 20 Recap: Jesus Take the Weave

by Shilo Adams / August 17, 2013

america's next top modelWe’re officially down two contestants on The Price is Right America’s Next Top Model and while Chlea could not find two damns at the bottom of her pocketbook to give over Kelly Cutrone’s foolishness, Marvin and Don are cuddling in the Tyra Suite. As has been established by the Top Model editors, who I have a love-hate relationship with, Marvin is a lonely soul with less game with women than I (a gay man) have, while Don is a cocky aspiring rapper from Minnesota. Because when I think Duluth, I think hard-hitting beats and tongue-twisting flows.

Anyway, they go and try to find girls to have sex with, but everybody’s asleep. I’d pretend to be asleep, too, y’all, so don’t worry.

Demonstration time!

The model-testants arrive at a penthouse where they’re greeted by Tyra and Rob holding hands. Are we about to get an acknowledgement of their relationship, which has set the Top Model rumor mill (all three of us) atwitter over the past couple of seasons? Could this greatly change the dynamic of the cycle and bring an added wrinkle to the judging panel? Nope, because it ain’t true. (So much lack of sex this cycle.) However, Tyra attributes the rumors to her chemistry with the younger man and uses them to stage the next Top Model demonstration – three easy steps to having chemistry with another human being. Get out your pencils, ladies and gentlemen, because Miss Tyra is taking us asocial hermits to school.

1. Fresh breath (and then she made it rain gum, because of course)
2. Body tension
3. The Top Model Inhale (if you’ve watched this show for any amount of time, you know what I mean)

After we learn the latest life lesson from Mother Tyra, she pairs the contestants off in teams of two and they’re tasked with following the three steps and showcasing chemistry with one another, something that’s pivotal in male/female modeling setups. And, well, nobody really did great. Marvin creeped poor Renee out; Cory psyched himself out with the masculinity criticisms from last week; Alexandra can’t fake any type of sexual attraction to Phil; Jiana just wants to bang Don on the bathroom floor; and Jourdan is still awful toward Jeremy. Then, Johnny Wujek comes out with a whip and I start to wonder if this Katy Perry video we’re all in took a wrong turn. But, no, he’s here to tell us about the next photo shoot (“sexy fierce,” he says),  which will use the lessons learned today. The models will be posing with Rob and Victoria’s Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio, who is gorgeous (duh) and one of the more engaged mentors we’ve had on the show in a minute.

Photo shoot time!

(Also, Tyra does an impression of Heidi Klum while telling a story of how she did everybody’s makeup back in the day. It needed to last the entire episode.)

Phil and Jeremy are in collars and leather shorts while on all fours in the middle of a kitchen for their shot, with Alessandra assuming the dominant role with leash in hand. Phil’s very awkward and ends up playing with the bowl of milk in front of him (props, Top Model prop people), while poor, sweet Jeremy’s innocence gets further violated and I feel just a teensy bit icky at him going from the nudey shoot to this fetish magazine reject set-up. Go with God, Jeremy.

Chlea and Marvin, meanwhile, have no chemistry, which is a shock because Marvin has all the ladies, and both fail to set the camera on fire as a result. His talking head, of course, talks about how hormonal he is and how the shoot got too real for him, but we all made it through without anything inappropriate happening, so let’s count ourselves lucky and move on.

Jiana and Chris seem to be pretty in synch and actually use the direction that Tyra and Rob gave them to their benefit. Johnny seems impressed with how well they worked together on the kitchen counter (I might as well be writing about Gigolos at this point, you guys) and yet, I couldn’t name you one personality trait, no matter how minor, of Jiana’s. So that’s something.

Don and Alex are in an elevator shoot with Rob and while she’s fairly comfortable, he’s clenched and doesn’t use the confidence that he talks about gaining from his hip hop career while on set, making for a strained shot that will probably send him plummeting down the rankings this week.

While Jourdan, Renee, Cory, and Nina all receive a quickie edit that doesn’t indicate anything too great or too poor at their shoots (America’s Next Top Model: Aim for the Middle), Mike has to push through in his shoot with Kanani, as he’s stuck on the same facial expression and doesn’t exude the type of power that he could. However, with the help of Johnny and photographer Sarah Silver, he manages to find his rhythm by the end and make both Ben and Jerry proud in the process.

Tyra Mail! Makeover Time! I like shouting things!

Let’s all go down to the Cristophe Studio to get our hair did, even though it makes no sense to have a makeover after the weekly shoot. Oh, Top Model, you slay me with your bleary-eyed ignorance to rhyme, reason, and coherency. Here’s a rundown of what everybody got and all that jazz:

Kanani – a bangin’ pixie cut that does wonders for her face and makes her much more distinct/high fashion
Chris – an ice blonde (I KNEW IT WOULD BE BACK) coloring that, like Kanani, ups his model quotient by, like, 6 billion
Jiana – a long bob, because words no longer have meaning (it looks cute, though, and brings more balance to her face)
Don – bleached hair (I see you, Sisqo – also, this made his masculinity drop quite severely)
Cory – shaved head (which initially gave me cycle 6 mannequin realness, but if he can find a way to work it, it could secure him spot in the top 3-4)
Nina – red, with bangs (Florence Welch, in the best way)
Jeremy – trim, lightening (cute, but not much difference)
Marvin – fade (not much difference, but he didn’t need a big alteration)
Mike – amber highlights that will have to grow on me
Alexandra – absolutely stunning chocolate brown coloring that made me say “oh, wow”
Jourdan – blonde (which drew out more insecurities, as she didn’t graduate high school and doesn’t want to be thought of as dumb or some other country song)
Renee – straight and black and pretty but boring
Chlea – long honey waves that, while pretty, looked like a weave
Phil – wavy weave that made him look like Jesus, if He was a surfer

And only one person cried. Sorry, guys, I couldn’t hold it in.

Skull mail! One person is being eliminated this week. I still don’t understand the way this season is structured, but ah well, let’s book it to panel.

No wacky outfit from Bryanboy. Woe is me right now.

Jourdan/Renee: Jourdan has zero energy (again) but looks nice; Renee is extremely disconnected and looks bored. Jourdan gets a 9 (WHAT) and two 8’s; Renee gets a 9 and two 7’s.
Chlea/Marvin: Chlea has let what intensity she was feeling turn to fear (and it reads all over her face); Marvin is booching like the rent was due yesterday. They have absolutely no chemistry. Chlea receives three 6’s; Marvin receives two 6’s and a 9 (WHAT).
Jiana/Chris: From a distance, it looks quite good, but when you see it up close, Jiana’s body positioning is terribly awkward and Chris, while good, doesn’t pop as much as he could. Jiana earns two 9’s (WHAT x 2) and a 7; Chris earns a 6, a 7, and an 8.
Phil/Jeremy: Phil still reads very jokey, has no booch, and doesn’t bring the inhale that Tyra taught; Jeremy’s body positioning is very primitive and the angle he’s holding his face doesn’t do him any favors. Phil gets a 6, a 5, and a 7; Jeremy gets three 6’s.
Don/Alexandra: Don has no confidence, no sex appeal, and no power, nor does he possess a tangible connection to Alex (also, Tyra thinks he should work out more); the glint in Alexandra’s eye winds me over, as does her hand on Rob’s leg, but Kelly makes some convoluted analogy that says she doesn’t like it. Don receives two 5’s and a 6; Alex gets a 6, a 7, and an 8.
Mike/Kanani: Mike’s much improved from last week and has a exhale-y photo with a powerful face/presence, while Kanani is disconnected and disappointing. Mike receives a 9, an 8, and a 10; Kanani receives two 8’s and a 7.
Nina/Cory: He cries about his haircut (because of course the only contestant to cry is the gay one) and has a meh photo that lacks connection with Nina (but improvements on the masculinity front); she looks better, but her face reads very sleepy to me (though the judges are all about it). Cory gets a 7, a 6, and an 8, while Nina takes home a 9, a 6, and an 8.

Top Model Top 14 Leaderboard: Who Are These People Again? (Makeover Edition)
1. Mike – 34.5
2. Jiana – 33.8
3. Jourdan – 32.8
4. Nina – 30.6
5. Chris – 29.8
6. Cory – 28.8
7. Alexandra – 28.8
8. Kanani – 28.8
9. Renee – 28.7
10. Marvin – 27.8
11. Phil – 24.7
12. Jeremy – 24.6
13. Don – 22.6
14. Chlea – 22.2 (Eliminated – the judges doubt her drive and desire to be in the fashion industry)

Average male score: 27.5
Average female score: 29.4

Additional thoughts and observations:
-Will one of you guys please have sex with Marvin? Because goodness, am I already over his quest for vagina.
-Do you think that the Kelly apology to Chlea at the salon was sincere? I want to think it was, at least partially, but when they eliminated this girl for no real reason (why are they doubting her drive?), it made me think that it was Kelly’s way of looking good and then getting the wildcard out before something else could pop off.
-Somebody will be coming back later in the season, a’la Leila from cycle 19. Hopefully it’ll be like that situation and one of the better models who gets taken out early will be put back into the competition.
-Manscaping! I see you, Harry Karp.
-Which comment was more sketchy: Kelly’s remark that Don looked like he was going to rob Alexandra (in their photo) or Tyra telling Don that he needed to get his arms in better shape? (Followed by the obligatory flex from Rob, who lost any type of sex appeal for me long ago.) The former was the second racial incident of the season and the latter was something that I don’t think she would say to a female model; obviously she wouldn’t say to go lift weights, but if they had a fiercely real girl, there’s no way Tyra would say “girl, you need to do some pilates, because your arms are too big for couture.” or something similar.
-Apparently Tyra caught up on Spartacus during the show hiatus, given the outfits everyone wore in their “after” photos.
-I’m convinced that a man will win this cycle. I haven’t read any spoilers (nor do I want to know any, so stop it); I just think they’ll have a man win to validate the cycle’s existence, as well as keep the rivalry between the men and women going as long as they can. Of the men, look out for Marvin and Chris – Mike’s too inexperienced, Phil’s too Phil, Jeremy doesn’t have much edge, Cory’s not masculine enough, and Don’s already fumbling.
-Best makeover/worst makeover? For me, Alexandra, Chris, and Kanani improved their standing in the competition most with their makeovers, while Don, Renee, and Jourdan were the most meh. Cory will depend on what he does with it, because it could either set him apart from the other contestants or it’ll be too much for him to handle.
-Next week on America’s Next Top Model: Mike and Chris have a fight over phone time and the models must deal with a rotating runway, because this show won’t stop until somebody breaks an ankle.

   
Shilo Adams is a contributing editor for ScreenFad whose work has appeared on TVOvermind, TVHackr, and KSiteTV. You can e-mail him at sda2107@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @shilo_adams.