‘America’s Next Top Model’ Putting a Model’s Life at Risk?

Emily Abbate

jaclyn america's next top model

ANTM contestant Jaclyn

Imagine bees, everywhere. Except unlike a summer day, you're not allowed to swat or walk away from the buzzing. Suddenly, they swarm. You're feeling hundreds of tiny crawly legs, with stingers attached, creeping up and down your arms, near your mouth, down your spine, and tickling your fingers. The only thing preventing them from taking a detour up your nose is a strategically placed ball of cotton, courtesy of the photographer, of course.

Last night was just another ordinary episode of America's Next Top Model, where the 14 models took photographs wearing expensive jewelry with 100 of their closest buzzing friends. 

No. Way. In. Hell.

It's official, Tyra's losing her mind. My investigation launches now:

Exhibit one: Her spontaneous use of a French accent. Tyra comes into the house with nutritionist Heather Bauer. Both women are dressed up in chef's hats and aprons, and Tyra deems a French demeanor necessary for this exercise. As the nutritionist gives the girls a lesson about "cheaties," larger meals where one can indulge without feeling too bad, Tyra continually comments randomly in quasi-French. The duo blindfolds each model and has them taste two dishes, picking out which one they think is "healthier." The girls learn that a bagel with cream cheese is worse than an English muffin with peanut butter, and spaghetti and turkey meatballs is better than eggplant Parmesan. Astounding, really. I'm still confused why TB's channeling Wolfgang Puck.

Exhibit two: She sends the girls to an acting coach. OK, normally this wouldn't be at all weird or cause for investigation. The models are always taught that they need to be able to perform under pressure. Except this acting coach has them each draw a picture of their "inner critic." You know, the devil inside each of us that tells us that we suck at life and can't do things? And then, in turn, yell at the inner critic. For a majority, this resulted in uncontrollable tears and a few revealing stories. Tyra, why are you making these girls so miserable? Is this entire season going to be a continuation of episode one?

Exhibit three: The bees. In seasons past, we've seen models pose with rather large tarantulas. Although not exactly enthralling, that seems like child's play compared to this. And if I could get over the concept, which amazingly enough none of the girls really seemed too fazed by, what I can't get over is Jaclyn. Jaclyn tells us that she has a severe bee allergy that will make her puff up like a balloon if stung. Hello Tyra! Have you ever heard of a lawsuit? The poor 20-year-old Southern magnolia is too worried about getting "a good picture" to even think about the bees. Banks is lucky she's a trooper. No red puffiness or swelling occurred.

Aside from Tyra's oddities, we learn over the course of the episode that one contestant, Ondrei, has lost two of her brothers within the past year. After the inner-critic exercise, Ondrei decides to go home because she hasn't fully healed from the experiences. And she's not the only one that's out of the house. Model Dominique is sent home after judging (featuring guest judge Alek Wek) because she photographs old. My heart breaks for both of them.

Sigh. I don't know. None of these girls are really doing it for me yet. But next week is makeovers, thank goodness, and that means a serious dose of drama and tears from girls who don't want to change their appearance. Maybe that's what we need, a good dose of drama to rev things up. Let's just hope that Tyra stays sane for this ... because the reality of it all is that a bad haircut can ruin everything, right?

Are you watching this season of ANTM?


Image via The CW, Mike Rosenthal & Pottle Productions Inc.

‘America’s Next Top Model’ Putting a Model’s Life at Risk?

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