ANTM: The Girls Go To The Great Wall Recap

Nothing too shocking to start off this episode of America’s Next Top Model. Once again, Bianca is all snarky about Heather & not really noticing that she’s gone. Various girls squealing and packing for Beijing. Chantal wonders why she’s still wearing heels while she’s packing, showing her practical side.

And whiz-bang, our models are there. (That is, after their 2-hour flight or 10-hour train ride. Doing my part to bring geography alive!) They meet Kevin their tour guide, who tells our girls that this very large image of Mao in what I assume is Tiananmen Square is the image of their first president. Um, president. That’s an interesting way to look at Mao Zedong and his little red cookbook. I have a feeling their tour guide wasn’t really named Kevin, either.

There’s only four models left, so there’s not a lot of suspense when Jenah’s shown almost having a breakdown and Bianca is constantly bitching — someone’s too perky or whatever they’re doing is too boring while Saleisha and Chantal are both perky, perky, perky. It’s at this point that you know who’s in, and who’s in the bottom 2.

And speaking of judges, Miss J and Twiggy come riding in a couple of jianyus carried by a bunch of extras. They are here to tell the tale of the Four Great Beauties, complete with performers to personify the beauties. Bianca can barely keep her eyes open, but at least she seems aware that this is part of a challenge and not some sort of cultural enrichment class. Funny, Twiggy and Miss J didn’t mention that one of the Great Beauties was supposedly stinky and another had chest pains. Not fierce.

So back at the ‘new’ Top Model house, once the girls have unpacked, a TyraMail mysteriously appears with four packages. The TyraMail cleverly likens the Great Wall to the Great Mall, which should make Bianca happy. In the packages are the four outfits the Four Great Beauties were wearing. So naturally, this episode’s challenge is to be let loose in a Chinese mall to find accessories to complete their Great Beauty look for a runway show.

So the girls are running around being ugly Americans, expecting everyone to stop what they’re doing & pick up their crap. It’s a beautiful moment for us, really. Then Bianca decides to ‘strategize’ and tell Jenah that there’s great stuff across the street. Jenah, silly girl, actually bites & goes wandering around for the ‘great stuff.’ Naturally, she’s a bit miffed at Bianca, although I have a feeling a “why did you listen to me in the first place?” conversation took place. I know I was thinking it.

The runway show for the Seventeen Magazine woman takes place. She thinks all the girls are fabulous and did great things with their accessories, blah, blah, blah. The girls also completely transformed their outfits, which was really confusing to me. I was expecting them to get shoes & a bag, I wasn’t factoring in dress origami to boot. Of course, there can only be one winner, and that girl is — Jenah! She wins a custom-made gown, and she gets to pick a friend to get one. Jenah picks Bianca — not. She so picks Chantal. Even better, Jenah gets one-on-one runway coaching from Miss J, which probably costs more than the dress.

Bianca’s all cranky & annoyed. Jenah’s having bad dreams about her boyfriend. Chantal and Saleisha are riding the positive mental attitude train. The shots of the girls in the house are really boring when there are only 4 of them left.

On to the photo shoot — it’s on the Great Wall, ’cause it’s a rule. I mean, come on, how can you not take a picture of it? It’s huge! As Tyra has supposedly never been to Beijing before, she throws down the trump card & calls this photo shoot. So Tyra the photographer tells the girls, who are playing ‘invading barbarians,’ to be strong, but not ugly.

Apparently that order does not extend to the girls’ hair, which has been turned into some whacked-out, big, poufy, way weirder than the Princess Leia ‘dos. Chantal whacks Tyra in the face with hers when they hug, but otherwise does well on the shoot. Jenah says that she’s trying to find herself over the wall. Jay tells Bianca not to be stiff which just solidifies Bianca into a big stick-straight board. And Saleisha jumped. She jumped! Tyra is very excited about the spontaneous jumping. Never mind that the jumping would serve no purpose to actually get over the Wall, but whatever. The girls then had to do a group shot ’cause barbarians get together all the time for photo-ops. Bianca bitched about Saleisha’s bun being in front of her face.

Cut to panel. Does anyone actually watch the bit where Tyra runs down the ‘prizes?’ I don’t think I’ve actually watched that for months. Jenah gets all weepy & says that she wants her little sisters to look up to her, but she misses them. Bianca is told that she looks awkward, and she does. Chantal is told that she radiates positiveness. And she does! She really, really does! Saleisha get a ‘whoo!’ from Tyra for the jump. And for the group shot, why each judge is drawn to a different girl. How about that?

Off to commercial and Heather the Cover Girl machine is still maintaining her Chinese presidential hold on Cover Girl of the Week. I never vote, but man, if I can keep her on there, I’ll do my part.

The behind-the-girls-backs discussion reveals some interesting thoughts. Chantal looks like a boat model for Miss J. You know what they are — they stand next to products to ‘enhance’ them. I like to think of them as the girls in the really tight, really low-cut ‘suits’ at software conventions. Go ahead, ask them a question. It’s fun. It is also noted that Saleisha is apparently in possession of some evil fairy dust.

Chantal and Saleisha are in, of course. Positive Mental Attitude! Chantal gets the group shot as the ‘winner.’ Jenah and Bianca have to step forward & get the Tyra grilling. The judges decide that weepy trumps stiff and Bianca is sent packing. Tyra wants Bianca to go back to NY and pose, pose, pose! We’ll see how that works out for her.

Chantal has already mentioned that everyone remembers the top 3 girls. Yes, yes we do. But my question is not which one of these girls will become America’s Next Top Model. My question is — who will be the Jade? I’d definitely want to be remembered for that.