Friday, November 4, 2011

Recap: America's Next Top Model Season 17, Episode 8

Time to stuff some jellybeans in your ears, Top Model is getting MUSICAL!

To the list of things Top Model has ruined (fashion, photography, faith in humanity) you can now add Madison. She has been forced (presumably by Tyra, who is off-camera holding a knife to her dog's throat) to record a message for the women in the house. Leave Madison alone!
If you have a bad feeling about this, it's about to become justified. Mr Jay comes to the house and tells the models they are "going viral", ie making a music video. The people who make ANTM seem to think that "going viral" and "posting a clip on YouTube" are the same thing. They also have a somewhat skewed idea of the results of "going viral"; as Mr Jay chirps, "Thing of how going viral worked for Rebecca Black and Justin Beiber. It made them megastars!" Yes, when I think of respected musical artists who will have a long and successful career, I think of Rebecca Black.

 The models have 20 minutes to write lyrics to pre-recorded tracks, which is probably how most hits are made. (Just kidding! Singers don't write lyrics.) The winner will have her Loved One flown in, which makes me think of Evelyn Waugh. A record executive is there to help them with their songs. He crouches behind a chaise-longue and tells Alexandra to find the emotion in her song.

Alexandra comes up with "I'm never going to stop, I make my own clock, now watch me go go go." She then modestly admits, "I kind of learned something: that some great masterpieces can be made in 20 minutes." So true!

Lisa has recorded songs before. The executive says her song is "so awesome." What the fuuuuuck, is Lisa going to win this one too? I begin to sob quietly. 

Allison isn't doing great; as Lisa puts it, "It's just like freakishly freaking her out." She writes a heartfelt song about her father's death, which makes making fun of her rather awkward.

Lisa wins the challenge. God damn it.

Now it's time to record the song, and Mr Jay has a surprise for the girls. "Tyra's come up with a really fun hook!" Now the girls have to work in the words POT LEDOM into their songs, and also explain that this is Top Model backwards so that the song can be enjoyed by the mentally impaired. (To be fair this is their key demographic.) This is particularly awesome for Allison, who now gets to trivialise her father's death! And then of course they'll be making a music video, or as Mr Jay infuriatingly insists on calling it, "a viral video."

Most of them sound pretty awful, but don't worry, they'll be autotuning and adding "background" singers till you can barely hear it. Laura and Shannon are particularly bad singers. Alexandra is taking her new career Very Seriously and wears sunglasses in the studio.

Still modest and down-to-earth, she confides that "I feel like I could be a recording artist after I learn a few things." I'm sure there's a correspondence course you can take.

Lisa raps her song. Of course. "I'm the queen of all trades," she announces, as though that is a phrase.

As the winner, she gets a visit back at the house from her Loved One. She tells the camera how different they are. "I'm the loud, crazy, insane, artistic one, and he's the quiet, organised one." Wow, you must make him feel great about himself!

But that's enough of that, because it's time to go totally viral up in this bitch! The video will be directed by a rapper called Game, who Mr Jay describes as "Grammy-nominated." That is the saddest accomplishment. As soon as she sees him Angelea loses her shit and starts screaming. Game looks terrified.

He does give excellent direction, however. "Booty back, chest out!" he barks at Dominique. Even better is his advice to Alexandria, whose video features her getting out of, then dancing next to, a classic car. He tells her to pretend the car is a short guy that she really loves. When she fails to meet his expectations, he tells her he doesn't believe the car is her husband. I agree. Also, Alexandria is completely terrible and dances like a hella white girl.

Shannon's song is about how much she loves her husband. Her video has her singing while a bunch of white sheets flutter around. It is the most boring thing ever until I notice the lyrics "My love goes out of bounds." Are we talking about... anal?

They are half way through the videos but Mr Jay has an announcement! "I thought it would add a lot more excitement to your videos if Tyra was in them!" he exclaims. Oh, did you, Mr Jay? You thought that? It was all your idea? Suuuuuure.

But it's not just Tyra. She's brought along viral video star Keenan, and two huge-ass hair extensions. Tyra and Keenan will be the models' "posse" and lip-synch in cutaways. I bet Allison is really glad she decided to write a song about her dead father now!

It's Lisa's turn. "I'd better nail this one out of the park," she says, blithely unaware that everything she says is NONSENSE. She flails around and everyone thinks it is wonderful. Her song is called I Be Like Whoa, because of course it is.

Angelea wrote an aggressive song about how she's been kicked or something. She grabs onto a wooden fence and flops around but she has the dead eyes.

For Allison's shoot, they have her clutching a toy rabbit and sitting on a swing in a little-girl dress. Can you say 'infantilisation'? They have sped up her song so it's less of a dirge and more of a romp.

Some divine force takes pity on me and Lisa does NOT win (it's Allison). Angelea and Alexandria are the bottom two and Alexandria finally goes home. That's okay, she'll just have more time to learn those few things that will allow her to be a recording artist!

You guys, I didn't think this show could get worse and it DID.

1 comment:

  1. Your recap is the best, but wasn't this episode the absolute worst? Every time I thought things couldn't make any less sense, we seemed to descend down into another circle of he'll.

    To turn a modeling competition into a singing/dancing/writing competition is one thing, but then to allow an arbitrary 20 minutes for lyrics, then shoe-horn in the batshit insane choice of adding the unfun and not clever POT LEDOM in each one, and then add the craziest hyped up arm-flapping desperate attention-whoring Tyra into each video... I was absolutely astounded.

    If Tyra's own performance was to be judged on the same terms then she would have been sent home for actingblike a crazy person and making the audience uncomfortable. She seems bored, restless and devoid of creativity. I do honestly believe that she did come up with the POT LEDOM thing just because it's so mind-numbingly moronic. Next week she'll have the fun idea of everyone sticking there face in a bear trap. Send her back to the Klingon home world.

    Game had such a boner for Allison too. I hope the "game" he's referencing is "Ludo".