America's Next Top Model
The Girl Who Is Afraid Of Snakes

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Tyra mail! Tyra mail! Tyra mail! Since four of the girls (Heather, Camille, Xiomara, and someone who is way too short to see between the rest of the girls' gangly, angly shoulder blades, so really, it's anyone's guess) take it upon themselves to prove that they can use their context clues and at least figure out this whole "reading" thing by the magical power of phonetics, they all crowd around the card and read it with overlapping "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" cacophony, so we're forced to read it for them when it's held in front of the camera. Here's what it says: "Venustraphobia: The fear of beautiful women. Ophidiophobia: The fear of snakes. Algophobia: The fear of pain. What are you afraid of? We'll find out tomorrow. Be ready at 7 in the morning." Tyra voices over, "April went into a panic when she thought there would be snakes at the shoot!" And, sure as man walks upright with the exception of Sara during her totally respectable audition tape, we cut to April wearing a blue hoodie pulled tight around her face, leaning against Jenascia for support (what kind of support can she offer from all the way down there? Arch support?) as they walk into the shoot. "I need to know where they are. They can't sneak up on me!" she mutters, and the man who lives on the bench at my subway station who thinks I'm the Ayatollah looks up and is all, "Ssssh! Man, that girl is crazy!" I guess they didn't air this in a real episode because it would have undone the whole Jenascia and April bitterness thread. And also because there weren't actually any snakes at the shoot. And also because it struck the producers how great it would have been at this moment if they really had done a Fear Factor-y photo shoot that took place inside of what people's darkest fears were. Like, Catie's is the one where she's suspended. And April's is with a million snakes. And Sara is clothed in a burka and denied education.

Catie starts to cry on the phone to her father that she's scared of heights. She diva-ishly sits in a corner until Jay starts begging her to do one shot, cajoling, "We're running out of light." And he totally knows just what to say to her, because he must deal with this behavior all the time, but in those cases he's dealing with people who are already working models. This time, he can say whatever he wants to them and make them feel better, but it's ultimately going to mean that they're not taking this thing home with them. Anyway, Xiomara steps in and asks if Catie would rather that Xiomara go first. As Xiomara goes in, she tells us that she had "no attention," and we cut back to Jay babysitting Catie during Xiomara's entire shoot. And then Catie goes in, weeping all the way, her legs dangling. She pulls herself together in time for Jay to get a few quick photos in, and he pulls her up to the raucous applause of everyone around her. I still think this should be her doom. Xiomara's picture doesn't work for anyone. And then, this is a problem: "I didn't really have much direction...because he was comforting Catie." No one likes a complainer, so they all tell her that it was her responsibility to call Jay back, which is kind of a gray area, if you ask me. Tyra predicts that Catie's shots are going to be much better, "because Catie was thinking about herself and [Xiomara was] thinking about Catie." And sure enough, Catie steps out just then and waves a finger in the face of the jury, saying, "He never said a word to me. He was directing Xiomara." Janice leaps in and screams, "Boarding school!" Catie's picture comes up and is deemed "fabulous" by all of the panel members, and as the girls leave so that the judges can deliberate, Janice huffs, "Oh, my god. Drama!" like the fabulous drag queen he is. Isn't it funny that I used to think she was a woman back in the first few episodes of this show?

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America's Next Top Model

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