TV Recap: America’s Next Top Model – You’re Beautiful, Now Change

I thought this season’s theme was supposed to be The Future. So what’s with the random fairytale motif Tyra uses this week to kickoff the much-anticipated makeover episode? Whatever. I’m just excited to see who’ll look great, who’ll look questionable, and who’ll cry over a cut and color.

My girl Sheena gets highlights that soften up her appearance and Hannah receives a precision cut with bangs. Marjorie and Clark go dark, while Analeigh and Lauren Brie lighten up. Isis, Joslyn, and Brittany gain some length, while Samantha and McKey get their locks chopped all the way off. Although Sam sheds a few tears, the real winner of the Cycle 11 bawl-athon is Elina who’s forced to wear fiery red curls whether she likes it or not. By her reaction, it’s obviously not.

With their new camera-ready looks all set, the girls compete in a Wal*Mart/CoverGirl challenge where they’re asked to put on make-up and then sell it in an improvised filmed ad. Marjorie doesn’t win because she doesn’t even know what store she’s in (Walgreen’s isn’t the same thing, honey). Analeigh doesn’t win because she’s just too much of a “hoodrat” – huh? Hannah is declared the winner and is awarded $1,000 to spend in Mega Mart, plus her video will be posted online.

Back at the Top Model house, the girls can’t help looking for issues. What can we fight about this week? Brittany and Elina get into it over some mama drama: Britt loves hers and Elina can’t stand her own. So what? I couldn’t care less who hates their mommy. So long as mine keeps baking me banana bread, I’m happy.

For the photo shoot challenge, the girls meet Jay Manuel in Malibu for a beachside swimsuit shoot. Their photographer this week is Russell James who shot Tyra’s groundbreaking 1997 Sports Illustrated cover. They’re also joined by swimsuit designer/former supermodel Susan Holmes whose designs they’ll be wearing and who will be sitting in at panel as a guest judge.


Sheena looks soft and serene, but Nigel Barker wants to see more power in her future pictures.


Analeigh worries about her posing ability and comfort level in front of the camera. She poses in the water against a large rock; Nigel thinks her face is dull and Paulina Porizkova finds her arms “monstrous.” Paulina goes on to say that the problem seems to be that the judges want her to have more potential than she actually has. I don’t know about Ana, but my self-esteem couldn’t deal with a statement like that.


Tyra compliments McKey’s strong face that can carry any hairstyle, and she likens her look to Linda Evangelista. Susan says she was the only model to think outside the box.


Gives a bit of crazy eye to the camera which deeply disturbs poor Russell on set. Nigel likes the Euro-sexy vibe to her pose but wants her to get a little more messed up in person – think that just means her bob is too precise and she could do with some product and a tousle. Tyra advises her to work on her range.


Pauline cautions Clark against pulling her already thin lips too tight and Susan doesn’t find her very photogenic. Nigel thinks her persona on film and presence in person are night and day.


This girl is so pretty but has absolutely no concept of natural movement – Russell asks her to walk down the beach as he photographs her but she thinks way too much of the request; she tries to pose with each step so her walk ends up looking robotic. Tyra points out how vacant she looked in most of her film, and Susan doesn’t see any “wow factor” in her.


Paulina loves the slight frown she wears on her face in the shot; her expression makes her look like she’s thinking of something. Tyra admires that she knows how to turn it on for the camera.


She dries her tears and finally embraces her brand-new style. Tyra claims that Elina’s transformation is the most interesting makeover ANTM has ever done because it makes her ”racially ambiguous” – her look transcends racial and ethnic boundaries to appeal to all girls. Paulina nitpicks about a forearm tattoo that can easily be photoshopped out of any picture if need be, but Tyra sticks up for El’s ink and stubbornly keeps it visible in this week’s shot.


It’s so perfect that Wardrobe decides to dress awkward, semi-introvert Marjorie in a flesh-toned, rhinestone-encrusted bikini. Despite her shyness and anxiety in person, she always manages to transform before the camera and look great – she’s definitely the dark horse of this competition. Tyra thinks her pic looks like a high-end boutique hotel ad, but J. Alexander would’ve liked to see more bikini (kind of difficult when the swimsuit is crafted to make the model look partially naked).

Lauren Brie

Her new bleach blonde hair makes Lauren Brie look ethereal. She reminds Ms. J. of Cycle 7 winner CariDee. Paulina finds her the complete opposite of Clark: she doesn’t look great in person but looks amazing on film.


Isis is understandably nervous about posing in a swimsuit considering she’s still packing heat between her legs. Despite carrying some of that anxiety into her pictures, she still looks gorgeous. However, Tyra sees too much sleepy-eye and not enough variety in her film.


I do not like her pose in this week’s picture at all. Ms. J. totally calls it when he says she’s one step away from the cheesy crooked stance girls take to look like models when they’re clearly not. But she’s always so pretty in her photos. And Tyra likes the sense of power and motion in her pic.

Although the judges don’t declare an overall winner of the challenge, Elina is chosen first to receive her picture. Bottom two: Brittany, for being a beautiful face that doesn’t scream model on film, and Analeigh, who seems to be penalized by the judges this week for not bringing an ice princess quality to her photos – when did being a skater mean you’d make a great model? No more Viva Las Brittany as our pretty wannabe heads back to Sin City.

Next Week: Ms. J. provides the girls with a coveted runway lesson.