America's Next Top Model

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Cirque du So Lame

In a flash the girls arrive at the Treasure Island Resort and Casino in Vegas, and they soon see a sign advertising Cirque du Soleil's "Mystere" show. Oh, great. As if the freaky clowns on panel aren't enough, we have to deal with this. The girls enter the Cirque du Soleil auditorium where they are treated to two emu-like humans dancing on stage. And then before you can say "giant tie-dyed snail," a giant tie-dyed snail rolls out. Of course. It is led by a fucking freakshow in a pink suit, terrifying pancake makeup, and a bowler hat. Thanks, Jay Manuel, for finding another manner in which to weasel your way into my nightmares. Jay says in his creep-o-rama Cirque du Soleil voice that this is Mystere, a world full of inspiring imagery and drama and whimsy. And creepy nightmare clowns and people with no bones in their body. And certain death. And today, the models will enter this world for their photo shoot. Ugh. I freaking hate Cirque du Soleil. Tyra, of course, is a big fan, and wants the girls to experience a new environment while pushing their boundaries as models. She also apparently wants to get back at me for all those rib jokes. Jay is carried away to hair and makeup via a stack of balloons. Gah, Canadians.

The girls get some whack teased out fuzzy hair courtesy of stylist Jason Stanton, and freaky/romantic clothes from wardrobe stylist Vanessa Geldbach. Makeup artist Vincent Oquendo wants them to be hot and spicy. Jay gathers the girls together to tell them how and where they'll be posing. The "where" is answered as a giant platform featuring three tie-dyed Mystere characters is lowered to the ground. The girls will be posing in groups of three along with the Cirque extras. Nicole is concerned about having to coordinate with other girls as well as the photographer, and notes that it might be a little messy. Throw in some colorful contortionists and I imagine things will start to look like roadkill. The photographer for the day is Top Model veteran Mike Rosenthal.

The first group to pose is Brittany, Jennifer and Rae. Jennifer tells us that everything -- the hair, the outfits, the photographer -- is amazing, so if something goes wrong, she's fucking it up. The smoke machine goes crazy as the girls balance around and between poles that the Mystere creatures climb upon. No one is yet getting strippy with the poles, which is both surprising and refreshing. Jay gives some kudos to Rae for looking amazing as she poses underneath one of the creatures. Brittany is also great. And then there's Jennifer. At one point Jay quietly says, "Ooh, you guys look good but Jennifer looks crazy." And this time it can't just be blamed on the eye. Jay tells Jennifer to remember that as a petite model you have to work your proportions to make yourself look longer. Everybody else in the frame -- including the creatures with the extra long face masks -- is doing it, which makes Jennifer's poor performance stand out even more. Jennifer tells us that even though she was getting negative critiques, she was still giving her all and trying to use Jay's criticism in a constructive way to make her performance better. The shoot continues, and Jennifer continues to look crazy. Though, really, it's kind of hard to tell given how much is going on in the shot. Once the shoot is through, Jay tells Jennifer that the big lesson here is that she needs to bring everything she's learned onto set every week. Really, though, so far all she's learned is to put her crazy eye far from the camera. Jay tells us that Jennifer has left all the work they've been doing in the dust. She fell flat.

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America's Next Top Model

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