'America's Next Top Model' Recap: Fear Factor Edition

Sona Charaipotra
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America's Next Top Model
Pretty just doesn't cut it on this season's Top Model.

For the third week in a row, quirky, 6'2" Ann took the best photo title on America's Next Top Model. That spelled doom for her less-edgy look-alike Rhianna.

But before the self-proclaimed wild child from San Diego got dismissed, there was plenty of drama to keep us guessing.

First things first, though. This year certainly seems to be a throwback to Top Model's tall, skinny past. It feels like everyone's 6-foot-plus and a size negative two -- do they even make that? Am I the only one who's a bit disappointed, given Tyra's preaching about healthy body images, et al?

The girls' first challenge was a roller coaster -- literally. They got all made up, then plunked down front-row center for a wild ride on the Silver Bullet at Knott's Berry Farm, a local amusement park. It was essentially mission impossible, given that each girl was commanded to effectively display an assigned emotion at breakneck speeds. Most didn't fare well -- even can-do-no-wrong Ann "looked like an iguana," according to Mr. Jay.

Drama queen Liz took the best photo title here, because she managed to actually flash a grin at the critical moment. Her prize: a quick shoot and chat session with Tyra and two fellow contestants. She chose Kayla, the now-shocking redhead, and Chris, the sister with the impossibly full mouth.

But it turns out that was the easy part. Next up was a challenge with a super-high intimidation factor -- and I don't mean because of the eels and octopi and other creepy undersea creatures the girls had to pose with. This challenge paired them up with one of the most renowned photographers of our time, Mr. Matthew Rolston, and he was exacting beyond measure, controlling each girl's look to the point of judging facial structure and pointing out flaws before they got in front of the camera. Ouch.

Perhaps it was a good lesson for them to learn, because they did surprisingly well, especially given the less-than-stellar performance last week. The standouts were the usual suspects: Amazonian Ann, Kayla, Chris -- and surprisingly, Esther, who's just been eking by till now. Judge Andre Leon Talley was clearly smitten with her image this week, repeatedly pronouncing that she was "a young Elizabeth Taylor."

That left us with the bottom three: Chelsey, whom Tyra dubbed "an amateur drag queen" (ouch) just escaped the exit row, but drama queen Liz and flower-powered Rhianna weren't so lucky. They both got a dressing down from Tyra and the gang -- Liz complains too much, they say, while Rhianna offers up the same poses and faces every time. Alas, that seems to be the bigger downer, because one-note Rhianna is sent packing. But I'm betting Liz won't be around much longer either.

Next week, we can expect in-house tension between Liz, Lexie, and Kacey -- whom apparently no one likes -- to come to a head. Can anyone say girl fight?

Do you miss the "plus-sized" crew on this season's Top Model? Or are Tyra and the gang right to focus on high fashion?

 

Image via the CW

 

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