America's Next Top Model

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Tall Tales

As Nicole and Bianca come inside from the hot tub, Ashley tells us that Nicole is very naïve and Bianca is just playing her and using her for a crutch. The two bitchskateers and their new recruit Kara confront Nicole, who says that Bianca was being very real with her. They do not believe it. Nicole interviews that Ashley has become a prototypical mean girl, and also displays an irritating sense of superiority. Lulu, meanwhile, is the Shaggy to Ashley's Scooby, or vice versa. She's the sidekick, is what I'm saying. Nicole has no desire to be around the negativity. Ashley tries to convince Nicole that some people just aren't capable of changing as we head to commercials.

When we return, there is Tyra Mail. "Objects in mirror may be shorter than they appear. Love, Tyra." The models conjecture that their photo shoot might have something to do with mirrors. They head to a grungy old warehouse decked out with sofas and jungle gyms and lead paint. Jay Manuel greets them and reminds them that even though they're short, they can cheat their proportions and make themselves look really tall. So for today's photo shoot, they'll be using the weird random jungle gym to somehow do this. Did they ever get a lesson on how to cheat their proportions? That would have been really useful, so I'm guessing no. Jonathan Mannion is the photographer for the shoot. He did one of Tyra's early comp cards back in the day. Fascinating. And what does all this have to do with mirrors, anyway?

The girls head to get themselves done up, courtesy of makeup artist Marco Berardini, wardrobe stylist Gena Tuso, and hairstylist Mitch Stone. Jennifer explains that everything -- their dresses, hair and heels -- are designed to give them length. For no apparent reason, Ashley and Lulu are sitting in the corner talking shit about Brittany yet again. Nicole wishes that they could leave the drama at home. This would be a great time for her to unleash the Bloody Eyeball and punch one of them in the throat. Brittany is up first, and all the other girls get to watch her. It puts them at an advantage and makes her uncomfortable, so Lulu and Ashley must love it. Brittany struggles a bit, and Jay tries to give her pointers on how to cheat her whole body and not just her legs, to no avail. Lulu is not impressed, and also hates Brittany's face. Kara is up next, and Jay says that she has the potential to engage into a flow. What that kind of clarity coming from your creative director, how could you do poorly? Once Kara believes in herself, Jay thinks she's going to get it right. Laura is next and Jay wants her to look less like a pageant princess and more like a model. Eventually she seems to get it. When it's Lulu's turn, Jay whips out the classic Janice Dickinson "amputee" line, which indicates that 1) Janice was really the greatest judge and Jay secretly misses her; 2) Lulu's not doing so well. Jay calls this her worst shoot, and says it's boring boring boring boring...ish. He mock-chokes Lulu and she says that's exactly what she needs. I wrote a paper on lesbian S&M in college (thanks, Vassar independent study!), and this was not what I had in mind.

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America's Next Top Model

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