America's Next Top Model
The Girl Who Can Cry At The Drop Of A Hat

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Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

If you think you're fine, if you think you're great, go to the Warren-Tricomi Salon, eleven blocks down from 68th. Indeed, we're on 57th Street right next to Bergdorf, on the 12th-floor-minus-eight. Once ensconced in Suite Four, they encounter Tyra "The Bold And The Bootyful" Banks, who introduces the owners of the salon and reads the last bit of copy that was written juuuuuuuuuust before the cameras were set to roll, after the story editors had already blown their collective creative loads on the translated-directly- from-the-Latin "forty-five 'til 8": "They are going to take you from ordinary to extraordinary." Tricomi and Warren are both hairstylists, clearly, but when Tyra introduces them, Tricomi (whose genetic makeup is that of a Steven Cojocaru cocktail with an Elliott Smith chaser) holds up his right pointer and middle fingers and does a "snip snip" scissor thing with his hand. Oooh, charades! I love charades! Okay, is it a movie? One word? Three syllables? Is it three syllables? Barbershop? Is it Barbershop? His partner Warren, meanwhile, is wearing a hat a little too close to a trucker hat to keep me from thinking I'm about to get punk'd.

And dammit, I'd held up "paper." You win this round, Tricomi!

"I really feel like I need to pinch myself every second of the day," a pre-op Catie tells us in a stand-alone confessional captured on the production's brand-new IronyCam. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I'm not gonna care what they do with my hair." That's enough confessional now. The camera works fine, guys.

Tyra then reintroduces her makeup guy Jay Manuel, he of the dyed blond hair and skin tone I thought only existed in early TBS colorizations of the most orange-y ornaments on the whole Bedford Falls town square Christmas tree. Tyra reminds us that Jay makes her pretty for her "photo shoots and personal appearances." Did Tyra just do a commercial for Tyra on a show executive-produced by Tyra? Jay ups the awkward banter ante by stumbling through what must have been a scripted "And I'll be really honest with you, it looks like we need the makeup police here today." The girls stare back at him with that perplexed look I always get when I tell people I sneeze when I stare into the sun.

Tyra takes a quick run-through of what the new hairstyles (or barbershop cuts, according to the Traveling Tricomi Shadow Puppets Theater) of each of the girls will be: Catie's is reminiscent of Twiggy, so her hair is coming off entirely. Judging from that earlier confessional, I have little doubt but that this will work out fine. Sara is going blonde; Yoanna gets a Mohawk; Mercedes gets extensions. Jenascia gets briefly chided about her height (apparently, they think she's too short) and told her hair has to be chopped. Xiomara is going to be "wavy and wild"; April is getting bangs; Camille is getting something that isn't her braids. Shandi's name is called, the announcement of which is followed by a chorus of sympathetic "awwww, Shandi," which sounds nice and filled with camaraderie at first but really means, "Awwww, we like you because of how little you threaten our own chances!" Tyra does a little imitation of Shandi's hair, which to her says, "I'm stocking the shelf at Walgreen's." I think she means "Wal-Mart," if I've been watching correctly, no? Maybe in crazy Tyra-math, you can come up with "Wal-Mart" if you say "Walgreen's" and then subtract forty-five. ["According to yourself, it is Walgreen's. Now you apologize to Miss Banks. I'll wait." -- Wing Chun] Anyway, she's going platinum blonde and getting contacts. And, finally, Heather is going "a little more blonde," which bothers her because she's the only person not getting a whole new look. Hey, Heather? If you think you're fine, if you think you're great, you're the only one who thinks we'll still be watching you next week at the time of PM 17 minus eight.

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America's Next Top Model

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