In last week’s premiere, we heard no less than ten times that it’s all about high fashion this cycle – nothing safe, formulaic, or familiar. The fifteenth cycle of a show on a major network is about something more, something strangely posed, and anti-pretty. We have our final fourteen. God speed, girls.
The House That Tyra Built: Ah, Venice Beach. The girls run screaming into a house made of glass, sand and color. Giant photos of Tyra provide the home’s structural support. So much is quickly revealed within the confines of these transparent walls. Ann would like to marry a warlock who spits fire. Kayla is a lesbian. Anamaria feels she is the best and does not need to gain weight. This all appears to happen within the first 90 seconds.
Run(a)way (if you can) Challenge: The girls have to model Diane von Furstenberg fashions on a runway four stories in the air. The runway itself reminds us of photos we’ve seen of the Grand Canyon Skywalk, but instead of the Colorado River below, it’s just a sea of nervous people all invited to watch a potential accident. We understand that producers are trying to avoid injuries, in as much as you can be trying to avoid injuries when asking people to walk across an unsteady glass plank in the middle of the sky, but the harnesses they’ve attached to the girls aren’t exactly subtle. If we’re going to pretend this has something to do with the clothes, maybe they should have gotten the ones used for productions of Peter Pan and Mary Poppins. Anyway, the girls do their own hair and make-up and the show begins. Ann is afraid of heights and stumbles. Sara does really well. Anamaria thinks she does really well. Kacey attempts the walk without her glasses and does amazingly well. Everyone is horribly, horribly frightened. Jay and J tell the girls they did OK, but still have a lot to learn. About what, we’re not entirely sure.
Let’s Take Some Pitchas: Tonight’s photo shoot is all about teen bullying. The girls have to pose in bathing suits with a bully word and a power word painted on them, turning what was once a source of pain into something positive. Tyra and Jay demonstrate this through the use of rip-away t-shirts. Jay’s “Band Geek” shirt becomes a “Creative Genius” shirt. Tyra’s “Big Forehead” shirt becomes a “Supermodel Turned Businesswoman” shirt. We wonder if they purchased all four in bulk to get a deal. This shoot understandably makes some of the girls very emotional, particularly Ann (who was chastised for her height) and Kayla (who was forced to switch schools after coming out in tenth grade). Terra also breaks down while posing. Some of the bully words to power words include: Big Face to Big Square Head (Jane); Elf Ears to Unique (Lexie); Bucktooth to Sexy Mouth (Anamaria); Bony to Slim (Chris); Queer to Free (Kayla); Giant to Amazon (Ann); Lanky to Fierce (Kendal); Casper to Fearless (Chelsey); and Soup Cooler to Luscious Lips (Terra). Teen star Demi Lovato stops by the shoot to talk about her own experiences with bullying and how she’s trying to help others combat it. Apparently, she was called fat and promiscuous when she was 12-years-old, which is pretty intense.
The Firing Squad: Nigel Barker is sporting a suit; Diane von Furstenberg is wearing turquoise drop earrings; and Andre Leon Talley is wrapped in a sequined cape. The world is as it should be. The panel swoons for Ann, Kayla and Chelsey. They express concern over Terra’s obvious poses and Anamaria’s incredibly thin frame. They all hold hands in the end, like a fashion prayer group.
Call-out Order: Ann (best photo), Kayla (runner-up), Chelsey, Kendal, Lexie, Liz, Jane, Esther, Chris, Rhianna, Kacey and Sara. Terra and Anamaria are the bottom two.
Rollerblading Out of Venice Beach and Into the Sunset: Anamaria. After spending much of the episode criticizing her competition, she is sent packing for being too skinny. Tyra says something about avocado and buttered bread as she exits.