America's Next Top Model

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Kicking the Hobbit

Tyra Mail! "Who says u can't fit a square peg in 2 a round hole? Luv, Tyra." The girls take a big purple New Zealand bus and wonder what's going on. As Raina tries to figure it out by repeating the Tyra Mail verbatim, Krista mocks her by saying in a very annoying voice, "My name is Raina and I know everything word for word!" Raina seems to accept that Krista and Alex don't like her. She says that all the crazy catfighting isn't even getting to her right now. Turns out Raina was picked on a lot her whole life, in part because she was a dorky looking kid. But weren't we all? She was saved by volleyball. Weren't we... oh, wait. Raina is happy to be in glorious New Zealand, and isn't going to be brought down by some jealous hos.

The girls meet up with Jay Manuel, who asks if they're fans of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Many of them are, and Jay tells them that they're in Hobbiton, which is the location for the shire portrayed in the films. The girls get really excited, which I find suspicious. If Peter Jackson himself came out and announced that the girls were going to be featured in a Hobbit-sized shot-by-shot remake of Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time" video, it might warrant such joy. As it were, it's cool but I don't quite get the extreme reaction. Actress Sarah McLeod, who played Mrs. Hobbity McHobbitelli in the film is there as well. Angelea is with me, and says, "I don't know what the hell a hobbit is, right."

Sarah tells the girls that when you're on a set, whether for a movie or a photo shoot, you can be put in uncomfortable situations. To wit, Sarah is 5'7" and had to go in and out of the small, uncomfortable door frames of hobbit houses. But it's the job of the actor to sell the performance, and so you must develop a hunchback when called upon to do so. The girls are going to have a photo shoot challenge to help them understand how to pose and model even in a cramped situation. They'll each get five frames, and pose in the doorways of the Hobbit houses. They'll be wearing outfits from World Designs, which is based in New Zealand. World makes some puffy-ass shirts, is all I'm saying.

Alexandra is up first. She and all the other girls are being shot by photographer Guy Coombes. Alex says that when you're a plus-sized model there's no room to have huge issues with body image. There is, however, room to have a huge ass, which is why it's a pretty good deal. She says that her size has never hindered her confidence, especially in the competition. The hindering of confidence was left to a giant swinging pendulum instead. Alex at first has some chic shots, but then lays on her back and stretches her legs up to the top of the hobbity doorframe. Jay notes that he's never seen harem pants sold quite like that. Krista is next in her pink, puffy shirt. She tells us that she thinks she can definitely make it to the top two, and beat anyone out. Her biggest competition is Angelea. Krista notes that she and Angelea are having some kind of separation and aren't as close as they used to be. The personal drama is riveting, but it's hard not to get distracted by how small Krista's head looks when jutting out of her giant puffy shirt. Krista suspects that the change in their relationship might have its genesis in the fact that Angelea now sees her as competition, where she didn't previously. As Krista celebrates a job well done with a quasi-obnoxious, "Yay, me!" Angelea interviews that Krista needs to get over it, because she's not the only girl there.

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America's Next Top Model

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