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‘America’s Next Top Model’ Review: “The Girl Who Gets Pwn’d”

CW

With Leila eliminated from ‘America’s Next Top Model‘ last week, what new drama will the girls get themselves into? Things get shaken up a bit this week as the girls visit a special effects studio to compete for a part in a video game. You read that right — a video game. Nothing says “model” like an analog controller.

Judge Rob Evans and model Chrissy Teigens don motion capture suits and their horribly-rendered animated counterparts explain that the girls will have to perform in motion capture suits to… display their agility? Something like that. Each girl will have a sequence of stunts to perform and the winner will be featured in an upcoming video game. Laura sets the bar pretty high with an energetic performance, worrying her friend and resident mean girl Kristin, who also puts on a rather lively show. Victoria’s acting is expectedly over the top, but her movements are awkward and look like nothing resembling a human. The winner of the challenge is Laura, who receives an additional $10,000 for her college tuition fund.

Chrissy sits the girls down and tutors them on “social media” and how to be real and brush off negative criticisms. Many of the girls seem surprised that social media is such a big deal. Many of them still probably have no idea what social media really is.

The photo shoot this week is steampunk-inspired, putting the girls in front of vintage trains and having them pose with an owl. Some may call this overkill. Tyra might say “put another bird on it.” It wasn’t enough for Laura to be freaked out by the cheerleader-tossing shoot last week with her fear of heights, but now Kristin reveals she’s terrified of birds. Up next: Alyssa will reveal her irrational fear of blenders in a kitchen-themed photo shoot. Brittany confronts blogger Bryanboy about rolling his eyes when Leila was eliminated last week, and he gives her a much-needed confidence boost. A few of the girls express their desire to leave when they’re done with their shoots instead of waiting for the other girls to finish, and Kiara rightfully notes a sense of ingratitude and whininess in her competitors.

When it’s Kristin’s turn in front of the camera she starts cringing about the owl, unable to push through and give any real poses, but the real problem on set is when Yvonne shows up and the photographer and stylist Johnny Wujek decide she needs to change her skirt. Annoyed that she’s had to waste half of her shots wearing a skirt no one thought looked good, Yvonne blows a raspberry and Bryanboy calls her on it, igniting Yvonne’s anger with the snotty sorta-kinda judge.

Victoria brings her particular brand of weird to set when she explains a long and overwrought back story for her “character” in the shoot, including something about being an animal rights activist who frees animals from her cheating boyfriend’s traveling circus. Yvonne has a change of attitude and breaks down in tears, apologizing to Bryanboy, but come on — she clearly had a moment of clarity when she remembered this is ‘ANTM’ and she needs to fake nice and keep her mouth shut if she wants to stick around.

At panel, Bryanboy tells Victoria that her fans are dwindling week after week, and with her mediocre photo shoot, she may be in trouble. Kelly compares Kristin’s photo to that of a waitress at Oktoberfest, and Bryanboy tells her that her fans are also disappearing each week. Nastasia is once again criticized for her inability to elongate her body — her photos always come out making her appear shorter than she is. Yvonne’s pouty attitude on set reads in her final photo, and Bryanboy relishes in throwing her under the bus for her inappropriate behavior. Tyra praises her for apologizing, but reminds her that as a model she’s little more than a product, and even if someone says something horribly mean to her she should smile and take it. Tyra’s views on how models should behave are incredibly disturbing, especially when she’s giving this advice to young women.

Laura rakes in perfect 10s across the board from the judges, putting her in first place yet again, with Brittany following close behind. In the bottom this week are Victoria and Yvonne, with just over a point separating the winner from the loser — and this week, that’s Yvonne, who is sent off to a mysterious place with the other eliminated contestants to compete for a chance to return for the finale.

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