Every Wednesday night, I grab a blanket, search feverishly for the remote, and remind myself that things, are indeed, going to be okay. I do this as a last-ditch effort to instill some sort of sanity, some sort of tranquility into my quivering soul before I flip to the CW to observe and ultimately be accosted by life’s train wreck we all like to call “America’s Next Top Model”. Last night, like every other Wednesday night, was no exception to this golden rule. However, nothing, I mean nothing, could have prepared me for the lessons that were about to be bestowed upon my fragile psyche. The title to last night’s episode said it all. Just three small words that will forever be burned into my precious mind. “Smile and Pose”. Not just not a silly name, I tell you. No, no. You see, it was to be used and understood as one thing and one thing only…My new mantra. My credo, if you prefer. Only five seconds into the episode, I was well aware of not only the life altering messages that were headed in my direction, but I had a sneaking suspicion that I would cherish this episode and do unto others as it did unto me.
This season has been unusually void of gratuitous crying. Tyra must have sensed this. She must have known that deep down, she needed more drama. She needed more crying. To be more specific, she needed more “grown” ass women crying in front of cameras. So, who was the lucky one? The one and only, Anslee. We got to hear all about how much she “Misses her daughter”. Hell, we even got to listen to her go straight back to her trailer home roots by doing her best Southern accent all while she cried to “daddy” on the phone. As barf inducing as this was, I was happy it was actually happening for once. Come on, don’t you just love seeing people cry on TV? I know I am not the only one! Don’t judge me.
Flash forward to the night’s challenge. As usual, the “challenge” was comical at best. Just when you thought you couldn’t possibly make this shower any gayer, enter stage left….Ross Mathews! The challenge was to be judged by none other than the editor-in-chief of Seventeen Magazine, Ms. Anne “The Nose” Shoket. So what did said challenge consist of? Hold on to your hats! Originality is ahead! Are you ready? The challenge (should you choose to accept it) is to get dressed up in skimpy lingerie, grab Mr. Mathews, and pose in steamy, believable ways. Now, let’s just back up here for a moment. For those who don’t know, Mr. Ross Mathews is proud gay man. How gay? Sometimes he makes Mrs. J look like Denzel Washington. Yes, that gay. Not only was I uncomfortable for Ross, but I am sure Tyra scared the living shit out of him with all the half-naked women pouncing around. Nonetheless, these were the orders. Failure to comply would only result in elimination and a one way ticket back to their old waitressing jobs. Apparently, Jessica did the best at calming the homosexual out of Ross for one hot second and ultimately scored herself some gaudy $6500 earrings for her troubles. I mean, she does deserve a treat for this, right?
Blah, blah, blah. Yadda, yadda, yadda. No, those are not some of the models names. As in all previous episodes, some barking and snide comments between some of the trannylicious models happened after and in-between shoots. Then, out of the blue, what always happens? That’s right, Trya Mail! The show has really progressed over the years with the technology used for Tyra Mail. Only in Ms. Banks world, can you rename the whole U.S. Postal service to suit your own ego. Back in the day, the contestants were just handed a sticky note with sparkly glitter on it. It usually contained a message or had some sort of hieroglyphics on it. Not today. Today, it is beamed straight to a plasma TV located in the model’s lovely domicile. The models gather around the screen and stare at it like the cavemen stared at fire. Then, one courageous model speaks up and actually baffles and wows me with her ability to read the English language. Tyra Mail is made for one thing only. To utterly confuse half-witted models. I mean, they read the words on the screen, but rarely ever get what is about to happen to them. Tyra Mail is one of the only reasons I watch this show. Tyra Mail knows no boundaries. Tyra Mail is fearless. Tyra Mail knows everything about you. So, what did Tyra Mail inform the contestants this time? Fuck if I know. Something about being fake. I was going to write it down, but that would violate the first rule about Tyra Mail. For those of you that don’t know, there is no Tyra Mail. It is only something I made up so you would read this damn recap. My sincerest apologies go out to all those affected by my warped sense of humor.
Super, duper flash forward to the actual shoot. Yes, I just said “Super, duper”. You will live with this and we will move on. Now, gather around. Things are about to get real deep. America’s Next Top Model is about to go political on all of your asses. And just like that, you were served. You probably didn’t even know it. Like most, you probably didn’t even care. The whole hidden agenda for last night’s episode? Something near and dear to everyone’s hearts. That’s right folks. The final shoot of the evening was a set up of biblical proportions. Just when you thought you were going to sit on your couch and witness some good old-fashioned modeling, you were hit up on your skull with a cause. Not just any cause though. Mr. Jay wanted you and America to hear him loud, proud, and clear. Tonight’s shoot would be in honor of all the lost money stolen right out of the hands of fashion designers by the dirty rat counterfeiters out there. Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. You read that correctly. The shoot was to bring to light the injustices of fake fashion. To drive the point home, they set up a passion play with acting fit for Emmy nominations by Mr. Jay and the one and only, Mrs. J. They warned of the dangers of wearing knock offs. They put unadulterated fear into America’s hearts. Thank you, ANTM. You deserve a huge pat on the back for pointing out the worlds most horrific crimes against humanity. Do we really have a problem with world hunger? Do we really need peace in the Middle East? No. None of that matters now. I know the truth. The truth stings. It hurts. Just say no to fake handbags and the world will be a much better place because of it. I am a stronger person now. Thank you again, ANTM.
Now on to the best part of the night! You know what I am talking about. The part where each and every model is cut down and criticized by a panel of four fashion gods. Rude comments will flow like diarrhea out of Tyra’s mouth. There will be a large black man wearing a cape and what appears to be a tiger’s tooth around his neck barking out things like “Honey!”, “Girlfriend!” and “Oooh fierce!”. Nigel Barker will utter things in broken English while he thinks to himself just how sexy he must be to American women out there. The guest panelist will smile, nod there heads, and agree with Tyra, but will never, ever look her in the eye. A commercial break will take place. Something about Vampire Diaries, I believe. Then, Tyra reappears. The camera pans down at her four-inch stripper-esque heels then slowly works its way to her five head. With one quick glimpse, you will then realize that Tyra has been sporting a new jumpsuit with every episode. Each jumpsuit looks more and more like she jumped in her DeLorean, juiced up the flux capacitor, slammed on the gas, an instantly transported herself back from 1985. Monotone is the vibe. With no inflection in her voice, she informs the contestants that one of them must pack their bags, grab their wigs, tuck their peens, and get the hell out of Dodge. Each model that is staying behind is handed an 8 x 10 or their mug and they must stand back while Tyra belittles the bottom two. Poor Alexandra. Poor Tatianna. One is the token “big girl”. One is not. Who stays and who goes? The suspense always kills me. With surgical like precision, Tatianna is cut from the competition. The “big girl” is free to eat another day. Tyra offers her standard encouragement. She offers them a custodial job at the ANTM headquarters. Although generous, they never accept. More tears. I laugh. My wife giggles. Fade to black.