You’d think a girl with a “world class ass” would excel at what’s essentially an exotic dancing challenge. But America's Next Top Model Cycle 19 cutie Jessie Rabideau is more than just a booty, and when they made her take off her trademark glasses, hid her butt from the cameras and had her project from a hunting plaque on the wall, all her special powers of individuality were gone. She was eliminated on Episode 2, "The Girl Who Cries Home." It’s too bad. Unless it isn’t?
ANTM Cycle 19 is weird in so many ways, with tons of new rules including one "comeback challenge," where eliminated contestants have a chance to re-enter the competition. Maybe we’ll see Jessie again. That would make us as happy as the sobbing Victoria talking to her mom on the phone. Oh, Victoria. There’s always one.
• This cycle, everything will be graded on a scale of one to 10 — there’s the judges’ scores, the challenge scores, and the social media scores, which will be combined to figure out who will flunk out of the competition.
• In the “sorority” house, there’s a special locked area called The Tyra Suite that only a lucky few will have the key to, after they win challenges. So for example, Yvonne Powless got a score of 10 for winning the stripper pole club dancing challenge and that gave her the giant key to The Tyra Suite. The girl who gets best photo gets to be there for a week, Tyra Banks explained, along with access to “the fashion closet.” This week, that was Lelia Goldkuhl, who is all but guaranteed to make the finals.
• Every week there will be a challenge and whoever wins the challenge will have $10,000 deposited into her own personal college bank account. But you can only cash it in if you win ANTM. So only one person will get whatever they’ve earned.
• P’Trique appears to be the new human Tyra Mail, popping up to give the models teases about the photo shoots. It’s cute, but seems counter-productive to saving money after sinking ratings. Won’t they have to feed him and pay him and have him travel around, when before they could just use a computer?
• Here’s more on the comeback aspect: Eliminated contestants will be allowed to participate in photo shoots along with the other girls. (Guess that’s how they are handling spoilers!) The model with the highest average social media score will earn a spot back in the competition. Unfortunately, all the fan voting was done months ago, before we had time to know any of the contestants or care about Victoria Henley’s uncomfortable female-Norman-Bates closeness to her mother.
Some “fine chocolate men” came to the house to step dance, then the king of such men, new judge Rob Evans, took the ladies to a Hollywood club and made them pole dance. Not really! He had them strut down the runway and pose in swings as their asses literally hung out. As Destiny Strudwick put it, “I feel like no matter how you spin it, you’re gonna look like a ho.” So just call Rob the new Big Pimp Daddy of ANTM. The winner of the first challenge was Yvonne, who did high kicks and connected with the audience. She took a risk by giving major leg and … well, that should set the tone for the cycle.
KIARA VS. DESTINY
Destiny got a low score in the club challenge and wondered why. Kiara Belen helpfully offered that it was probably because she looked like a stripper. Thanks, girl! Destiny told the house about it behind Kiara’s back. Then Kiara got mad about Destiny getting mad because wouldn’t you want to know if someone thought you looked like a stripper — especially if you had spinach in your teeth? Or something? Victoria later called Kiara’s personality “pushy and abrasive” and didn’t think she had the qualities to be a successful model. Like a supportive mom.
THE WEIRDNESS OF VICTORIA
Victoria’s mom is her own Tyra Banks and Rob Evans put together. Victoria cried with excitement just talking to her mom on the phone. Victoria also announced that she’s never had a boyfriend before. She’s a virgin. “I get all the satisfaction of a relationship that I need from my mom. I don’t feel like I should be stigmatized or ostracized for that.” (She's only 18, so it's not like it's odd that she's a virgin, it's just a little different to be in such a passionate relationship with your mom.) Victoria “annoys the f—k” out of Kristin Kagay, who is the house Mean Girl and already primed to sniff out the oddballs for attack.
But even new style director Johnny Wujek, who seemed unwilling to say anything too negative about anyone, told the cameras at the photo shoot, “Victoria is such a character, she doesn’t stop talking. It’s literally 20 minutes of, like, what she’s eaten, where she’s from, what her mom’s doing, every detail — which is cute, but I think it’s just like, enough.” Yeah.
The models were literally thrown to the (dead) wolves in the photo shoot with Johnny and guest photographer Shenae Grimes from 90210. It’s kind of a shame that the models’ first challenge limited them so much. They couldn’t move around, couldn’t pose with their bodies, and just had to put their necks out there and smize (or growl) for their lives! Johnny gave little critiques to the camera, but he’s going a little too soft at this point. He said Victoria is weird, but in a good way, and will probably go far. Nastasia Scott’s name apparently means “resurrection of the dead” and Johnny declared that “perfect.” He called her “a little firework.” He loves her. Kristin “kind of has an attitude,” he said, “which is cool.” (No, it isn’t!) Jessie struggled in the shoot, which is not good because she’s cool and quirky. Destiny gave dead eyes in the challenge, which you’d think would be perfect since it’s all about embodying a dead animal. But no.
THE JUDGES’ PANEL
Here’s the models’ ranking, combining the judges’ 1-10 scores and the social media scores from fans at home.
1. Leila Goldkuhl — Judge Kelly Cutrone loved the photo, her hair, her makeup and the gap in her teeth. Rob said if had a call sheet saying he was working with a hot female model tomorrow, and Leila walked in, he’d believe it. Tyra called her amazing. This random popsicle-eating couple called her head-and-shoulders above the rest. She got a perfect score of 30! She won best photo and got the key to the Tyra Suite.
2. Nastasia Scott — Tyra loved how she went for it. Rob thought it would’ve been a better shot if her mouth had been closed. Kelly is interested in seeing her grow. Tyra and Rob gave 8s. Kelly gave a 7.
3. Brittany Brown — Kelly loved her hair, eyes and collarbones. Tyra liked the shot, but didn’t love it. Rob thought there was too much attitude. Bryanboy said people online were mean to Brittany, saying she looks like one of the mean girls in high school. She comes off as arrogant. It’s just the attitude pose. Kelly gave her a 9. Rob gave her a 6. Tyra went for a 7.
4. Laura James — Kelly and Tyra loved the photo. She has great light and intensity. Tyra said she’s doing something different and taking a chance. Bryanboy read off a rave review. Kelly and Rob gave 8s and Tyra went for a 9.
5. Kristin Kagay — Rob said he’s just getting pretty blonde girl from her. Bryanboy said Kristin nearly broke the Internet because she’s so popular. See? Fans at home like Barbies. Kelly gave her a 9. Rob went for a 7. Tyra went 8.
6. Kiara Belen — Tyra said she looked like an African dance teacher at panel. Tyra loved her photo for her cheekbones and hair horns, but not her pose. Bryanboy said she had one of the lowest fan scores. She needs to step up. The judges liked her more. Kelly and Tyra gave her 7s and Rob gave her an 8.
7. Yvonne Powless — Kelly said she looked like a taxidermied shih tzu. Tyra said she looked like a bull, but she’s better than this. Bryanboy said the fans online love her. They showed a crazy fan endorsing her. The judges gave her 6s.
8. Allyssa Vuelma — Kelly said it looked more like electroshock therapy than taxidermy. Tyra said she gave dead but intensity. (Is that good?) Kelly gave it a 5. Rob went for a 6. Tyra went all the way up to 9.
9. Victoria Henley — Rob giggled at her photo. Kelly didn’t like the pic. It was too intense and too growly. Bryanboy said a voter applauded Victoria’s strong personality. Tyra saw high fashion, weird, uncomfortable and “pissed off, angry, fierce.” Kelly gave a 5, Rob went for 6 and Tyra gave her an 8.
10. Darian Ellis — Tyra said she gave alive smize and she needed dead smize. (Whaaat?) Bryanboy said the fans at home hate her braids. Bad fans! The braids make her memorable. Rob and Kelly gave her 5s and Tyra gave her a 6.
11. Maria Tucker — Tyra said Maria needed to work her angles, but she liked the intensity in her eyes. Maria argued that this wasn’t her best shot. She’s probably right, but it never helps to talk back to the judges. They don’t appreciate. Bryanboy said she barely had a presence online. One guy said “you have a $10,000 shopping spree bag under your eyes.” Ouch! Kelly gave her a 5, saying if she’s not eliminated this week she should take modeling a lot more seriously. Rob and Tyra gave her 6s.
12. Destiny Strudwick — Rob said her shot was boring. Tyra said she doesn’t see a model. Bryanboy quoted a fan who said Destiny is the weakest for him. Kelly gave her a 6. Rob gave her a 5. Tyra went for a 6. She was in the bottom two.
Jessie Rabideau — Noo! Jessie is awesome! Kelly said she looked more like an actress in a horror movie than a model. Tyra said she didn’t take control of her face. Bryanboy said fans want more personality from her. Kelly gave her a 4. Ouch! Rob did too. Tyra gave her a 5. Way to show faith, Tyra!
However, since there’s this whole comeback challenge, we may see Jessie again. But we don’t really have the chance to vote for her since all the filming was done months ago. What a shame they can’t do “live” voting, so people watching the show now can support their favorites.
What do you think of the judges’ and fans’ decisions … and Victoria’s special love for her mother? Is it sweet or too much?
Catch the next episode of America's Next Top Model Cycle 19: College Edition on Friday, September 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
Gina Carbone is a contributing writer at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @ginacarbone.
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