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Big things happened in this episode. The girls had their first fashion show challenge, which surprisingly didn’t include any ridiculous safety hazards like swinging pendulums, inflatable hamster balls in a pool, or blindfolds. They got thrown in the air by shirtless male cheerleaders and no one talked about how cute they were. We also didn’t hear anything about Victoria’s mother, nor did we see Victoria cry (she even judged Laura for crying at a challenge). See, it was an episode of new things and big developments. It’s also the first time we get to see why the new scoring system is awful.
Tyra arrived at the house with special guest Alicia Keys to wake the girls. I would be so embarrassed if a Grammy winner saw me as soon as I rolled out of bed, but the models were oddly dressed and made-up (maybe it was a house-wide midday nap?). The two have put together a charity fashion show for Keys’ charity, Keep a Child Alive. The girls had to plan their looks for the show based on the title of Keys’ new album, Girl on Fire, and outfits donated by designer Mara Hoffman. Spectators bid on their favorite outfits and the girl wearing the outfit with the highest bid won the challenge. Since Laura had best photo of the previous week, she was put in charge of the show.
While that could have provided another contestant with a strategic advantage, it seemed more like a punishment for indecisive Laura. Kelly and Johnny were not impressed with her lack of planning, but it all worked out well enough. Kiara ended up winning the challenge, so she’ll get to attend an Alicia Keys concert with Nastasia.
The photo shoot was a little tough on the girls. They were thrown in the air by male cheerleaders and had to model H-to-T, elongate their necks, and smize while being tossed around. The judges were pretty harsh, as if they didn’t understand that the models were thrown. Of course the models have tension in their necks and their faces are weird – I imagine anyone’s would be when being thrown in the air with no training. Kristin was a former cheerleader and takes to the challenge naturally. Nastasia wound up with best photo for a bold, tough shot, and Laura got second best despite being afraid of heights and crying for most of the shoot.
I feel so bad for Leila. She was accused of being obsessed with Laura (the one model she considered a friend), got shafted by Laura when Kristen was chosen to share the Tyra Suite, and got called out by Tyra in the middle of a runway show. She had a tear-filled argument with Laura when she finally confronted Laura about the obsession rumors. From the very first episode, I was convinced that she was going to win the whole thing. It wasn’t just that her university is in the state I live in – it was because of the fashionable gap in her teeth and her odd yet beautiful looks. Then this week she couldn’t get her arms to move when she did a runway walk (forcing Tyra to scream, “Move your arms!” while she strutted the runway, how distracting/mortifying), and she couldn’t get rid of the “duck lips” in her photos. I hate to report this, but Leila was eliminated.
I can’t help but think about how she would have stayed with the old scoring system. The judges would have discussed how much potential she has and decided to get rid of Brittany or Allyssa. She lost by a mere half of a point to Brittany. The judges spent a few minutes discussing how Brittany may not have the edge or attitude to make it as a model, yet she’s still there and Leila, Bryanboy’s favorite, is gone. Luckily, the new rules could allow Leila to come back thanks to social media votes, but she’ll probably be screwed if social media darling Kristen ever gets eliminated.