Confession! I am starting to fall so hard for Tyra. She is such a deranged and delightful combination of avant garde fashion and non-sequitor observations (and often inspired burns), coupled with the nurturing wing of a mother hen. I really don't know where she's been all my life. 

This week opened on reflections of contestants past. Everyone was a little bit introspective about the abrupt departure of Louise (devotees of this little blog corner may know her better under her stage name 'Angela Chases mom, Patty Chase') and vowed to use her tantrum as a lesson to themselves to conduct themselves with gratitude and decorum at all times. And upon recognizing what a strange and rare opportunity they've been granted, everyone took a solemn oath to carpe diem and smell the rose colored coffee, and to give every ounce of themselves to the cause and to their hopes and dreams. And then Tyra flew in on a rainbow unicorn, declared a universal draw, gave everyone championship tiaras, CBS-released hit talk techno singles, a lifetime supply of Cover Girl (sponsored Wet N Wild) makeup and three wishes on her personal genie.

Oh wait, no. That's not what happened at all. Rather the producers awkwardly cobbled some boring drama between Eboni and Kyle together as a bit of a foundation for that ever-running theme throughout the episode. And then molested us with the jarring and ridiculous open. Where guitars are loud and long. Really, can we please put that theme song to bed? Who approved it anyway? 

Anyway, the top of act one was strange. A bow-festooned box appeared for Azmarie as a prize for winning the last challenge. Inside it were a bunch of bags that all the models snatched up and ran off to their corners with, but no one ever showed us what was inside. So that was a bit of genius producing right there, and a waste of 40 seconds. And then Candace told us about her modeling career again, and attempted to prove its validity by showing us some sad photos that resembled Myspace profile pics. So. Hmm. Spolier there?

And then J. Alexander arrived on the soon in his shiniest King Tut costume to introduce the next challenge: spokesmodeling!! Seriously, the costume was this bizarrely draped gold pantsuit and a very Egyptian headband... I don't really know. Far be it for me to ever critique the fashions of others, but, yeah. That's all I'm going to say is yeah. So everyone was assigned brandless products to endorse. The Brits, being more literate than the US, naturally fared a little better. Candace was pretty much illiterate. Kyle was awkward and strange, and seemed confused about the concept of mints in general. Sophie was a little bit adorable schilling hand sanitizer. At the act break, everyone was shocked to hear that these videotaped presentations would be presented to focus groups who would then judge everyone's performance. Which. I don't know. Duh. But, I understand the need to build an act break, so, ok, producers. But still. Duh. 

The shocker here was that the snot-nosed tweens that they bribed into the conference room with pizza and acne medication, allegedly, were mean and said ignorant things like "I don't like her African accent" of British black girls. No, that wasn't a shocker to anyone. They hated everyone's performance except Annaliese's (who did well with a Universal remote/free weight), Sophie's, and, surprisingly, Kyle's. Kyle who pretty much stumbled over her own name, who stuttered over the word mint, who delivered the presentation in Farsi (no she didn't). What I'm trying to say is that she kind of blew it. And the lesson we're supposed to take from it is that everything is always about looks and look alone. Because Kyle has that girl-next-door charm about her. But, I don't know, do you guys get that? She kind of reminds me of the girl next door that my mom forced me to play with when my real friends couldn't come out who was really into 4-H, smelled like canned soup, and sang under her breath. Like that kind of girl next door, not the kind with the wholesome sex appeal. Then everyone turned on Kyle about that which made even less sense and wasn't thoroughly explained. Yes, we were supposed to believe it was based on jealousy, but there had to be more there than what was aired. So she ran away into the lonely hallway with a single flickering florescent light, where King Tut came to console her in all of his gold glory. 

New challenge! This one was kind of cool. Everyone gathered at the legendary Sepulveda dam, aka the place where any drag race in any piece of self-respecting American cinema is filmed (Grease, Paula Abdul's Rush, Rush video ((I wish)), donned their craziest hat, posed in front of some sexy cars and made photographic magic. Generally, the contestants did really well with this one. The only three who perhaps didn't were Seymone, who looked so cringefully self conscious, Sophie, who just seemed a bit unfocused and confused, and Candace, whose face appears to be cast in Blue Steel cement a la Zoolander and is incapable of deviating from that. Oh! My personal favorite was Alisha, who summoned her best 2012 Academy Award-attendant Angelina Jolie's Left Leg. Really, that's all the photo was was Alisha's leg sticking out of the dress in the same vein as Angelina. Oh and Eboni continued to have it out for Kyle for no good reason delivering the winning mixed metaphor of the night, "I think Kyle should step up to the plate and leave."

At the judging panel, living surrealist painting, Tyra delighted us with a geisha chic getup. Kelly Cutrone, ever the queen of lazily-constructed barbs and black-clothed frump, was available to deliver her poorly executed jabs and nonsensical observations, and J. Alexander arrived in a purple variation of his King Tut costume. Of Sophie, the Cutrone offered this helpful nugget, "this looks like a maternity dress for a mom who's hit the road." To which Tyra simply and regally raised an eyebrow thereby silencing the Cutrone's nonsense. Poor Eboni's foot was likened to bologna and cheese which is apparently J. Alexander's code for toes that spill over the side of a shoe. Also at the bottom were Laura who resembled "a drunk Mae West" which was actually a rare spot-on call by the Cutrone, Candace who appeared a tad too avian in a pink falmingo-esque gown and posture, and Seymone who was called out for her mediocrity and appearing, in the words of Tyra to be, "the wife of a mayor at a parade." Genius. And in the end it was Candace we bid adieu to which was long overdue. Azmarie took this challenge which was a bit odd because I can't even remember her photo.