America's Next Top Model
The Girl With The Worst Photo In History

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Brandy, You're a Fine Girl

The next morning, the girls load up in their van and go to a restaurant called Il Cielo. They walk in and see one Miss Beverly Johnson, the world's first black supermodel. She introduces herself; some, but not all, of the girls clearly know who she is. We see photos of Beverly, one of which looks like a recent nude one, and is kind of scary if you pause on it for too long. Present-day Beverly has long, straight hair that is parted down the middle, and a face that looks like it's no stranger to Dr. 90210. In short, she is Black Cher. I know she's beautiful and all, but I can't look at her without going, "Oh my God! A black female impersonator doing Cher!" And I really believe that, and am not just mentioning it as a way to get in the fact that I impulsively bought tickets to see Cher's penultimate concert in L.A. I'm coming for you, Mama! Beverly tells us that she was the first African-American to grace the cover of Vogue in August, 1974, which made history. Beverly Johnson is certainly not shy about her accomplishments. Keenyah says that it's empowering to be sitting next to a woman who's accomplished so much.

Beverly tells an anecdote about going on a shoot with a verbally abusive photographer for Glamour, and how she was practically in tears. Foreshadowing tugs its ear. Tiffany commiserates, and says that she would have broke down like a baby, or else thrown up in the photographer's soup. She interviews, "Miss Beverly Johnson's really an inspiration to me. And I think she looks like me a little bit." It appears that the editors have chosen to downplay Tiffany's retinitis pigmentosa. Brandy then proves that there is such a thing as a stupid question by asking, "What kind of attitude should you have?" As if Beverly Johnson is going to say, "You should be a complete and total asshole." Idiot. Brandy says that she wouldn't say she has a bad attitude (at this the other girls give each other glances that say, "she is so full of shit"), but that sometimes she gets to the point where she wants to tell people off. Beverly says that in the modeling industry, there are photographers and editors and stylists who are very temperamental (read: gay), so one shouldn't take anything personally. Lluvy interviews that Beverly answered all of the girls' questions and was amazing. Beverly bids the girls adieu, and goes to watch the video of her tearful and heartfelt eulogy for Black Sonny.

Tyra Mail! "You are in control of your own destiny. Be ready at 1:00." The girls talk once again about how they can never guess what the Tyra Mails mean. We see a tennis court with a photographer and a few assistants. Michelle notes that The Dowager Jay Manuel was nowhere to be seen. And I think we all know that this is too good to be true. Cut to a shot of Jay watching a small television. He voices over (undoubtedly because he kept flubbing his lines on camera) that what the girls don't know is that this is a challenge, and that he's going to be watching them to see who can handle extreme pressure. Photographer Alex Reznick tells us that he was instructed to tear the girls to shreds. And I have to say: nice. Jay -- using the theatrical acumen he picked up during the Cover Girl Tip of the Week years -- tells us that the situation is realistic, and that sometimes the photographer is a jerk and the clients hate you. All you have control over, he says, is how well you do: "Prove to them [hand motion pointing behind him]...that you're [hand motion pointing at us] the star." Sigh. He's such an idiot that I'm almost growing bored of mocking him.

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America's Next Top Model




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