America’s Next Top Model Cycle 18, Episode 4 Recap: Kyle vs. Eboni
It was like Candace’s attempt to sell breath-freshening coffee: The modeltestants just kept repeating the same mantra over and over again onAmerica's Next Top Model Cycle 18, Episode 4: “J. Alexander,”: Leave, Kyle! Quit, Kyle! Seriously, Kyle! Just go, Kyle! And buy the coffee! Buy the coffee! Buy the coffee! Once again, the message was too forceful and no one was buying it — including Kyle. Kyle stayed. Candace left. And like Louise Watts last week, Kyle had a point. It’s not like the pressure of the show just got to wimpy Kyle, Eboni and the other jealous models got to Kyle. The Texas “girl next door” was attacked for being preferred by the judges and random strangers with bad taste — and instead of just ignoring Eboni or getting into a shouting match, she threatened to quit. (Points to ponder: Has Eboni always been an insufferable baby or is that new? Will AzMarie ever display an emotion beyond apathy? How many one-color head-to-toe wraps does Miss J. own? And are all focus groups filled with judgmental rednecks? Are they why we have pajama jeans?)
In lieu of a traditional recap, we’ll be ranking the girls (and judges — we see you, too!) based on their charisma, uniqueness, attitude and all-around fascination level. Check out our ANTM Power Play below, starting with our Top Model loser.
Ranking: 15, Candace (US) Rank on show: Eliminated Called it. Last week we said Candace was on borrowed time and would’ve left if Louise hadn’t walked out. So no wonder Candace was so ticked at Kyle for not quitting — she could’ve been saved again! It’s a shame, though, since Candace tried out for ANTM eight times and never gave up. She knew her last photo shoot was "a wreck” but for some reason she could never get herself to do any better. Or any different at all. And her attempt to sell coffee just scared the focus group. (That’s what happens when you pay other people to do your presentations for you!)
At first it looked like her photo shoot with The Sexy Nigel Barker and equally sexy cars was going well — and she even smiled thinking Nigel would defend her at panel — but then she got to panel and Nigel said he was disappointed. He said Candace’s “superpower” name is Exotica but she was anything but exotic in terms of bringing it. "Exotica was forgotica,” Tyra Banks said. Kelly Cutrone added that Candace “makes me cry” with her mediocrity. Tyra put the final nail in Candace’s ANTM coffin with "I almost wish we would've given you AzMarie's hair. So you wouldn't have anything to hide behind." Miss J. Alexander’s reaction to that said it all: "Ooooooohhhhh chiiiiiillld." Candace showed the most personality she’s had all season when telling Tyra it was unfair for her to go home when certain people in the house want to leave and she’s worked so hard to get there. She may have worked hard to get there but she should’ve worked twice as hard to stay there — and she just never did.
Ranking: 14, Eboni (US) Rank on show: Safe Eboni believes the judges want to portray her as a baby — and it’s true, Tyra is way too rigid about her own bizarre Intoxibella superpower names. But Eboni is helping Tyra’s “30 Never” argument with her own childish attitude. This week she started the episode in tears — and in pigtails — because 1) she thought her Episode 3 photos were better than she got credit for, 2) because she was mad at Tyra for wanting her to be a baby instead of an adult and 3) because she didn’t appreciate being compared unfavorably to Kyle. That started a theme for the episode and just got worse when the focus group of random people making snap judgments liked girl-next-door Kyle and didn’t like Eboni and her obsession with her own prettiness. One guy even sniffed that Eboni wasn’t that pretty. Ouch. Instead of getting mad at the focus group or herself for coming off as haughty and conceited in her ad, Eboni turned further on Kyle, proving she is, as Seymone put it, “a rebellious baby.” But the judges liked her photo, even though Tyra insists she should stick with trying to be a baby. Sometimes it’s important to ignore Tyra.
Ranking: 13, Tyra Banks Rank on the show: Host/creator/diva (un-ranked) As much as Eboni deserves blame for acting like a baby, it doesn’t help when Tyra insists that Eboni stay in her baby box. Tyra said Eboni reminds her of the 13 year old girl that wants to be sexy. To Tyra, 18-year-old Eboni doesn't look like an adult and that's OK because the fashion industry is obsessed with being young. (So you feed into that?) Tyra just seems to fall in love with her brand assignments, never seeing them as limiting. Tyra thought Kyle looked like the girl next door rebelling against her parents in her car shot, even though that seemed like a stretch just to fit Kyle’s “Next-Doorsia” brand. To give Tyra credit, she defended Kyle’s decision to stick around after saying she wanted to leave, saying she herself has had weak moments and wanted to quit but she’s pulled herself together. You’re not a quitter until you actually quit.
Ranking: 12, Seymone (US) Ranking on show: Bottom two The focus group liked Seymone and how she sold her product, but she annoyed The Sexy Nigel Barker to the point where he even lost some of his own focus during the photo shoot. Jay Manuel told Seymone to laugh and interact with the car driver but she just flapped her arms like a bird instead. At panel, Nigel said it was frustrating trying to shoot her and he got a little upset. Tyra said Seymone looked like the wife of the head of the Rose Bowl who was riding in the parade. (!) Kelly said "I'm not a fan of mediocrity. It's not fierce enough for me." Kelly said she hasn’t seen Seymone be a model yet. Miss J said he wasn’t even sure if Seymone was comfortable in her own skin. Even though the judges said her photos don’t represent the person they see in front of them — and they said that to her before — she got to stick around while Candace hit the road. Still, if she can’t get another hit like she had on the premiere, she may be headed home soon.
Ranking: 11, Kelly Cutrone Rank on the show: New judge (un-ranked) Gotta give Kelly credit — she wasn’t that annoying this week and some of her criticism was fair, or at least understandable. Alisha focused on her legs —since she was given the superpower name Gam-A-Tronica — but Kelly said she was a little weight-liftery, like she was at the gym. She liked Alisha’s face but other than that she looks like she's in a protein shake commercial. Of Catherine’s pic, Kelly said the cars were sexy but the picture was not sexy and her face was tense. She also had a good assessment of Kyle — she doesn’t like the way Kyle looks when she walks up to them on panel, but she takes some great shots, like the one this week on the car: "You look like a nasty power bitch in this shot with this guy." And she’d know about nasty power bitches!
Ranking: 10, Kyle (US) Rank on show: Safe People threaten to quit all the time and they usually do what Kyle did — get over it. If only Louise had done the same thing last week. After Eboni and company attacked her for being liked by the focus group — who apparently didn’t mind that she stammered and looked like a deer in the headlights though her ad — Kyle walked out and told Miss J., "I'm just sick of them, especially Eboni, that little bitch. If I stay here I will be pounding someone's face in. I can't handle her anymore." J. said if she goes home it should be because the panel sent her home, not because she quit. She called home and told her mom she really, really, really wants to go home. Her wise mother suggested she get some sleep before making the final decision. She apparently packed her bags and never stopped telling everyone she was ready to go … and then just didn’t leave. She had a gorgeous photo this week but her “I wanna go home” and “I’m not here to make friends” drama is not going to endear her to anyone in the house and she may be in for a rough road with the rest of the modeltestants. But good for her for standing up for herself and not just letting Eboni bully her.
Ranking: 9, Alisha White (UK) Rank on the show: Safe Poor British Alisha got shot down by the focus group for her “African accent.” Obnoxious! It led her to believe if you don’t have the girl next door look, you can’t sell anything. So no wonder she joined the herd to lash out at Kyle. Then, during the photo shoot, she focused on her #1 asset, her legs, and was called out for being too athletic looking. She can’t seem to catch a break. At least Tyra said it was her prettiest face picture to date.
Ranking: 8, Catherine Thomas (UK) Rank on show: Safe For the first time ever, Catherine took an off photo. It wasn’t bad and Tyra even said she looked “handsome” and “manly” — in a good way — but Kelly said the cars were sexy and Catherine’s pic was not. Also, Catherine managed to pick a hair dryer as her item to sell in the branding challenge and the focus group noted that she looked messy (her hair was pretty trashy that day) and didn’t like her.
Ranking: 7, The Sexy Nigel Barker Rank on show: Judge and noted fashion photographer (un-ranked) Nigel pulled double duty this week as the shoot’s photographer and a judge. He got moody when shooting Seymone but said it was an extreme pleasure shooting Laura. She made him hot and sweaty and he even hurt himself, but he liked it. Is Nigel model-crushing on Miss Laura? Maybe.
Ranking: 6, Ashley Brown (UK) Rank on show: Safe The adorable freckled Scottish girl is still working her charm on everyone. Nigel loved taking her photo and said she had charisma and transformed like a chameleon. Kelly said she has to bring her “Charismia” brand to everything. And she does! She had a ridiculous ad selling scented toilet paper, adding, "You can wipe your bum and then your boyfriend can come smell it!" Gross! And hilarious! Even though the focus group said she was a lousy salesperson, they still liked her.
Ranking: 5, Sophie Sumner (UK) Rank on show: Safe Honestly, they probably could’ve found a photo of Sophie where she wasn’t pushing her body out like she was pregnant. Nigel said it was frustrating to shoot Sophie because when she looked good, the car didn’t. He couldn’t get everything right together. Kelly said she looked like she was in a maternity ad and wasn’t connecting with the hot guys. Tyra said something about how modeling is about creating negative space and she should’ve turned more to match the guy's angle. Or something. Seemed like nitpicking. However, the ad focus group loved her — they all thought she was “cute” — and when they asked what she should advertise someone said “CoverGirl.” That’s exactly what you want to hear on this show!
Ranking: 4, J. Alexander Rank on the show: Guest judge and runway coach extraordinaire (un-ranked) Of the two, we prefer Miss J.’s purple full-body wrap with matching headband/turban to his tan one. But both were fierce. J. is always original and it’s always good to have more of him on the show — at the challenges and at the judging panel. Loved his coaching of Eboni about their shared wonky eye. Loved hearing him call out Alisha’s “bologna and cheese” — her toes hanging over the edge of her sandals. And REALLY loved his spot-on impression of AzMarie’s I’m-sexy-and-I-know-it attitude. “I know. I know.”
Ranking: 3, Laura (US) Rank on show: Called second Once again, Laura is crushing it. At one point it looked like she was going to get top photo, since Nigel was basically ready to propose and Tyra told her "You are modeling. You're not just a model, you're doing the verb." For some reason Kelly’s assessment was, "To me you look like a drunk Mae West." And she said made a weird comment in her ad about slipping antibacterial trash bags up her skirt, leaving the focus group to declare her “too ghetto,” with Alisha adding that she was “a little bit gone with the wind." But whatever. Tyra’s superpower name for Laura was “Zagilicious” and Laura was the only modeltestant to get down on the ground for the photo, kind of like how she tilted her body upside down in that creepy toddler shoot on Episode 2. She zigs when others zag, Tyra noted. That’s her job and she’s doing it well so far.
Ranking: 2, AzMarie (US) Rank on the show: Called first Az is turning everyone on .. except herself. Unless she’s so turned on that she’s turned off by anyone who is not her? She’s doing great so far — popular with the judges and her fellow contestants — but when she was called first last week she gave the same blank expression she gave when she was called first this week. Nigel said she has this grumpy thing about her, like she's too cool for school. However, the judges adored her car shot. Kelly said "The pose is fierce with a capital fashion F." Tyra said it's so amazing it looks like animation and not a real human being doing the pose. So no one thought it was a wee bit drag? No one at all? OK.
Ranking: 1,Annaliese Dayes (UK) Rank on show: Safe Effervescent Annaliese was one of our early favorites and it’s good to see her finally have a strong week. She didn’t have top photo — or even the second best photo — but it’s arguably more important that she won the brand challenge with her witty and endearing universal remote control ad, earning this assessment from one guy in the focus group: "I'd buy anything from her!" Since her superpower name is “Excite-To-Buy” — and the entire challenge was about getting people to buy things — that’s very good news. Annaliese had a rough week last week but she really shined in her ad, earning herself and her U.K. team a bunch of diamond bracelets. She said the American girls can be jealous if they want, she can't be bothered 'cause she's too weighed down by diamonds. She also chimed in with another one of her classic disses that are funny without being mean-spirited, called “dry” Kyle "toast with no butter.” At panel, Miss J. said Annaliese needs to learn to look taller, but Tyra said her face looked great and she was using her muscles well. Although she didn’t have the best pic, Nigel said he would book her again because the business is about liking people and being a team. Kelly said Annaliese is more of a television presenter than a model most of the time, but she thinks she thinks she's growing every week. Even if Annaliese doesn’t win ANTM, this cycle has been a great showcase for her as a person and will probably lead to bigger and better things.
Catch the next episode of ANTM Cycle 18 on Wednesday, March 28 at 9 pm ET/PT on The CW.