Um…now what? The frontrunner for America's Next Top Model Cycle 18 just floated away like that teddy bear's ear. AzMarie is gone. Eliminated on Episode 6: "Jessica Sutta and Nadine Coyle." Why? Because of she had too much self-respect to wear a “booty tooch training pad" (yes, that's a thing in Tyra's world). "I was just having a problem with them tooch pads,” Az said. “I'm a grown-ass woman. I don't have time for that sh-t." The horror! A model speaking her own mind! Next she’ll object to rapping about “Pot Ledom!”
At first it looked like this was just going to be Az’s “teachable moment” — along the lines of past ANTM winners like CariDee English and Brittani Kline, who clashed with the judges, apologized and learned enough from their “mistakes” to be welcomed back into the modeling fold. Not Az. Yes, she had an ego. Yes, she could’ve brought something other than a smirk and a yawn to the challenge. But she was a star. And she *did* apologize at panel. She seemed to mean it, too. When it came down to Az vs. Kyle it seemed obvious that Kyle would be going home. Kyle is a teddy bear MURDERER! (Sorry, Laura cut in there for a minute.) Kyle is a teddy bear herself — eyes wide with one permanent expression that never alters. So what if Kelly Cutrone said she was “over” Az? They should’ve learned from the Louise Watts incident. When a model has a dissenting opinion, give it some consideration for a minute, before proving that your own egos are 10 times bigger than the one you’re trying to school.
OK. Rant over. In lieu of a traditional recap, we’ll be ranking the girls (and judges — we see you, too!) based on their music videos, attitude, and all-around fascination level. Check out our ANTM Power Play below, starting with our Top Model loser.
Ranking: 17, Tyra Banks
Rank on the show: Host/creator/diva (un-ranked)
First of all, why does a girl need a booty tooch pad to tooch? AzMarie wasn’t putting her foot down about the tooch workshop, she was just trying to stick to her brand — remember the labels you forced on them, Tyra? — and argued that a booty tooch pad didn’t stick with being androgynous. She was firm yet polite in her refusal, but Tyra pulled rank by telling Az that if she didn’t wear her pad she had to leave the class. Tyra was trying to make a point at Az’s expense instead of realizing that not everyone is built the same and maybe it’s OK for Az to have a normal flat butt if that fits better with her brand. Plus, Tyra still insists on making Eboni wear those pigtails when Episode 5 proved Eboni shines when she’s not forced to look and act like a “30 Never” baby. Tyra is officially getting in Tyra’s way.
Ranking: 16, The United Sirens of America
Rank on the show: Music video losers
More like The United Snoozers of America. You could have a seizure watching the U.S. girls’ music video too many times. Dark club. Flashing lights. Blurred camerawork. How could you even see anyone well enough to know which girl was doing well? Or was it the point to distract us from Kyle’s crazy eyes and Laura’s “nasty mechanic” face?
Ranking: 15, Jessica Sutta and Nadine Coyle
Rank on the show: Guest judges
Jessica, a member of the Pussycat Dolls, mentored the American girls for their horrible music video. Nadine, a member of Girls Aloud, mentored the British girls. Jessica loved everything although she wanted Sophie to get more comfortable in her own body. Nadine’s Irish accent was even harder to understand than Ashley’s Scottish brogue, but she seemed to like everything, too. They made us miss the wise insights of Kelly Osbourne from the premiere. But at least they supported AzMarie and didn’t want her to leave.
Ranking: 14, Kelly Cutrone
Rank on the show: New judge (un-ranked)
Dang it, Kelly, you almost had us. We were starting to like your comments — like comparing Eboni to one of Matisse’s exotic girls and saying Sophie was a Warhol superstar. But then Kelly, like Tyra, saw the size of Az’s ego and apparently felt like it threatened the status quo power structure. As Kelly sniffed of AzMarie, "I have to say she's a boaster, a coaster and I think it's time to toast her." Meanwhile, she made excuses for Kyle, saying Kyle will never be a pop star but she did a good job of letting her personality come through in the video. (Really. When was that? Which video was that?) Kelly also wanted Eboni to (cringe) grab her pigtails and do a robot baby dance. She called a lot of modelstants “nasty” in a good way, but this week her criticism was on the wrong side of nasty and instead of supporting a potential winner she joined Tyra in supporting whoever toed the line.
Ranking: 13, Kyle (US)
Rank on the show: Bottom two
She gets a pass for TeddyGate — she probably didn’t mean to tick off Laura, who may or may not be “a complete psychopath,” as Kyle put it. She was just trying to get the teddy bear’s ear out of the pool. But never mind that. Kyle is Kyle, nothing has changed — her gigantic eyes always impress people the first time they see her, but by the second, third, fourth and fifth time…you realize you’ve seen it all. This week, she was stiff, self-conscious, uncomfortable and a standout for all the wrong reasons. Ironically, during the music video shoot Kyle took a break to collect herself in the bathroom and AzMarie went over to comfort her and offer support. Don’t bother! Kyle, like Seymone, is indestructible.
Ranking: 12, Seymone (US)
Ranking on show: Safe
Nigel thought Seymone owned her portion of the video. Tyra thought she was cartoonish, but not cartoonish enough. Kelly complained that she didn’t want to get up and tooch with Seymone. They are all crazier than a booty tooch pad covered in maple syrup. Seymone was just meh, which is a step up from bratty on Episode 5, but there was really nothing great to say about her this week. If Kelly wants to rhyme about someone being a “coaster,” it’s probably Seymone.
Ranking: 11, The Sexy Nigel Barker
Rank on show: Judge and noted fashion photographer (un-ranked)
Nigel kept calling Alisha “professional,” gave props to sweet Catherine, and said the fair truth about Az this week: "What a let down. She just wasn't present." But considering how much Nigel gushed about Az in the last episode, you’d think he’d fight to keep her.
Ranking: 10, Jay Manuel
Rank on show: Director of photo shoots (un-ranked)
During the music video shoot, Jay singled Kyle out for not bringing enough expression, as if he'd never noticed before that she just has the one expression. (Candace was sent home for lack of expression but for some reason it’s OK for Kyle.) He also told the cameras Az has to make sure to keep her ego in check. "'Cause in the world of fashion your attitude will spread like a brush fire and then no one will touch you no matter how great you are." Really? Then how have Tyra and Kelly gotten so far?
Ranking: 9, Eboni (US)
Rank on show: Safe
Because she’s young, she has trouble controlling her energy. But instead of encouraging her to mature and grow, the judges want to push her down into her “30 Never” perpetual baby zone. Tyra loves Eboni’s pigtails, although she was “smoochie tooching” too much. Nigel said Eboni needs to know where her moments are. Eboni actually has some potential, but the judges don’t seem to know what to do with her. There’s no clear direction — beyond the bad direction to keep her in her baby box.
Ranking: 8, Laura (US)
Rank on show: Safe
Laura just jumped up the list of potential frontrunners to win this cycle — she and Sophie were probably celebrating right around this time. Although, scratch that, Laura is too caught up in her own emotions to be celebrating. Laura is the anti-Az. What Az holds in, Laura unleashes. She came into this cycle raw from the death of her best friend, Kevin. Apparently Kevin gave her a teddy bear named Alan (or however she spells it) and when Sophie pulled a prank to give Alan a “bath” in the pool, a friendly scuffle broke out until the teddy lost an ear. Laura flipped out and somehow Kyle got blamed, because her foot was caught pushing the ear away and, to Laura, it was as if Kevin was being pushed away from her and she couldn't get him back. "You are disgusting,” she said of Kyle. “I don't want anything to do with you." She should just befriend someone on Project Runway and have them sew the ear back on.
In terms of her actual modeling this week, Laura was a standout for the U.S. women. No idea why Seymone was called ahead of her when even Mr. Jay said Laura stole the attention from the other U.S. girls, even when she was in the background. Nigel said she has to control her face, but Kelly is still a major Laura fan, calling her a rat-a-tat-tat rapper dance girl. "It was kind of nasty, dirty, punk."
Ranking: 7, Lisa D’Amato
Rank on show: Song writer (un-ranked)
The (somehow) winner of ANTM: All Stars returned to present the music video challenge. When she first arrived at the house, she shouted out instructions like they were all standing at the back of a crowded nightclub. Lisa and Tom the producer guy wrote the songs for the girls and some of the lyrics were pretty cute and fit the modelstants’ personalities. Lisa brought a lot of energy and seemed very supportive and gave some good direction, like telling Sophie to be more sexy. But Allison Harvard still should’ve won All-Stars. Sorry.
Ranking: 6, AzMarie (US)
Rank on the show: Eliminated
She’s written 10 of her own tracks, but said she would never be in a girl band — or a boy band. So she didn’t want to do the group video. She didn’t want to wear the booty tooch pad. She didn’t show any commitment at all. There’s no question her attitude could’ve used some adjustment. But it’s also true that she *did* show adjustment. She regretted her headstrong decision to sit out the tooching class. She was right to stand up for herself, but she missed a lesson that ended up helping some of the other models. She tried to make it up to her U.S. group. She supported Kyle when she needed a confidence boost. And, at panel, she told the judges she had taken some time to think about her declaration that a tooch pad was crossing the “line” for her. She apologized. She didn’t mean to come off as disrespectful. So it’s not like she just crossed her arms and pouted, even though Tyra said it felt like “a mood and a moment” as opposed to standing for something. Not true. Az didn’t jump up and down with excitement, but she seemed to want to be there and probably would’ve come back next week with a “lesson learned” approach. Instead, the lesson learned was never to stand up to The Powers That Be because they don’t respect your opinion. Whatever. She’ll be fine and get plenty of work after this.
Ranking: 5, Fiercely British
Rank on the show: Music video winners!
They’re like The Tooching Spice Girls! The Brit pop video was pretty fierce indeed. Tyra said she felt like she was watching a real music video. Everyone shined.
Ranking: 4, Annaliese Dayes (UK)
Rank on show: Safe
This challenge was right up Annaliese’s alley, since she is pure personality and her photos are usually her weak point. She and her amazing presenter voice were perfect both singing lyrics and in her music video choreography. Kelly, who has not been an Annaliese-iac, said it was the first time her movements seemed really in sync and she was believable as “Excite to Buy.” Tyra said she's the girl in the band the parents will want their daughters to be. Jessica said she’s Baby Spice mixed with Scary Spice. Annaliese couldn't believe Az said no to Tyra when it came to the tooch pads, since Tyra was the whole reason they were there. She said Az needed to loosen up ‘cause she takes herself too seriously. True. But Tyra takes her own tooch too seriously, too.
Ranking: 3, Catherine Thomas (UK)
Rank on show: Safe
“I’m Queeeen Catheriiiine. I’m elegant and supreeeeeme!” Mr. Jay said Catherine had a "shining, magical moment" in her video. Nigel said she rocked it in her own way. Tyra said she was perfect smize tooching. Kelly said she came to life and was beautiful and nasty. Loved the gloves on gloveless arms. This was a strong week for Catherine and it’s a good sign to see her do well in a non-photo challenge, since photos had been her only positive points to date. Now she’s showing she can do more than take a good shot. She has some spark to her. Keep an eye on Queen Catherine!
Ranking: 2, Alisha White (UK)
Rank on the show: Called first
Finally! We’ve been waiting for the judges to appreciate Alisha’s sharp wit and powerful personality. She owned that music video. (No “dead eyes”!) At the start of the episode we saw the frustrated Brit hold up a notebook reading, "I’m not talking until I'm picture of the week. **** sake." Well, she got it, even if it wasn’t technically a picture. Nigel said her dance moves were totally professional. Tyra said every moment was milked by Alisha and that's what a star is to her. She was badass. Can she keep this momentum going?
Ranking: 1, Sophie Sumner (UK)
Rank on show: Called second
Gurrrrrrl, do you know what this means? With AzMarie gone, you just shot to the top of the list of frontrunners to win this puppy. Sophie’s a merry prankster who doesn’t mind sassing her fellow modelstants (sorry, Laura) and she’s not too awed of Tyra to hold back jokes about tooching her own cooch. Sophie was a waitress for four years before modeling; she said she had never been in a recording studio before, but she was a natural. In the music video, Nadine called her a blonde bombshell. Kelly said she was a Warhol superstar. It was her favorite performance. "Sophie to me stole the show today,” Kelly said. “I mean, she really looked like a Warhol superstar. She's what Edie Sedgwick would want to be today.” Tyra still wants to see more from Sophie, but that just gives her room to grow. As she sang in her video, “They all know me, I’m Sophie, I’m the one they talk about mostly.” Yep!
Catch the next episode of ANTM Cycle 18 on Wednesday, April 18 at 9 pm ET/PT on The CW.
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