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This season has brought a bunch of changes to freshen up the tired series (now in its 19th cycle), not all of which were explained in the first episode. Maybe it’s because I’m a visual learner, but the scoring system finally made sense once it was put into use. Each model is given a score out of ten for the challenge, for the fans’ responses through social media, and from each of the judges on the weekly photo. The judges’ scores still count for more than the challenge or fan votes (since they add up to 30). While the winner of the best photo used to have her winning picture displayed in the house as digital art, now the winner gets to sleep in the Tyra Suite (of course it’s named after Tyra, it wouldn’t be ANTM if everything wasn’t named after the host/executive producer).
Whoever wins the challenge each week will have $10,000 put into their “Scholarship Bank.” It sounds generous, but only the winner of the entire cycle will actually get the money they’ve banked. As noted in last week’s review, all of the women (aside from one who leaves early) participate in all of the photo shoots, even after they’ve been eliminated. Each model will return for each photo shoot, and the one who received the highest social media score for the next six photo shoots will be able to return to the competition.
This week’s challenge was a walk-off on a runway that included hanging hula hoops. Some of the models used the hoops: challenge winner Yvonne held a hoop as she performed a dancer-like leg lift, and Brittany spun in one. The photo shoot was held among taxidermied animals; the models had to put their heads through a fake wall to look like their heads were mounted on plaques. Since the women were modeling with just their faces, they had to smize. But since they had to look like they’d been shot and stuffed, they had to “dead smize.” It sounds ridiculous, but there was a difference between the models with dead eyes and the models with “dead smizing” eyes.
The photographer was actress Shenae Grimes of 90210 and Degrassi: The Next Generation (I will never pass up an opportunity to remind the world of Degrassi). The examples of her photos looked like self-portraits taken with a timer, but apparently she’s qualified enough to act as a shutterbug on the show.
Continuing with last week’s theme of Victoria’s weirdness: she’s super close with her mom, so much so that she doesn’t require romantic relationships (no really, she said that). She’s a virgin who has never had a boyfriend, and sobs from the excitement of calling her mother on the phone. No, not from the sadness of hanging up the phone; she was crying as she dialed the numbers. To make it all worse, she did an aerobic routine in the backyard, which was shown without any music (whether she was listening to any is unknown). I predict that every episode will be edited to make her look insane and the other models will start calling her out on her weirdness.
Speaking of calling out, Kiara is indicating that she may be the one with the attitude this season. I thought it would be Kristin, the woman with a history of violence, but Kiara has already had a falling out with Destiny and showed off her tough attitude to a few other models.
Another recurring theme was how Maria wasn’t putting a lot of effort into the challenge or photo shoot. She even talked back to the judges as they critiqued her. Maybe she’s not dedicated to modeling? I’m not into spoilers, but the voting site has a pretty big one for next week if you didn’t already pick up on the hints being dropped on the show.
Leila, the gap-toothed gal with unique beauty, scored all 10s from the judges and won best photo (and the key to the Tyra Suite). Jessie’s “world-class a**” (Tyra’s words, not mine) wasn’t enough to keep her in the competition and she was sent home instead of Destiny, whose lackluster photo landed her in the bottom two.