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'America's Next Top Model' Recap - Season 18, Episode 1 - British Invasion

Alison Caraotta Alison Caraotta
March 1st, 2012 4:56pm EST

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The first real event was a 3-D photoshoot which was kind of cool. There were 60 motion capture cameras set up in a half circle designed to capture the models while they jumped on tiny trampolines against each other while simultaneously embodying an iconic figure from their country. Yes, the concept was a bit muddled. It seems like maybe the producers should have just settled on either the 3-D trampoline jumping or the iconic figure shoot. But maybe that was the point. 

The most successful pairing appeared to be Michelle Obama (Seymore) and MArgaret Thatcher (Sophie). Catherine also rocked her Queen Elizabeth costume, and poor AzMarie was assigned George Washington which was not as stunning a victory. Someone put her in a gold skirt and gave her a telescope or something which she brandished as a prop weapon and pointed it at the queen like a gun. Awkwardly. Eh. Rhythm Nation-era Janet Jackson (Candace) and Mel B. (Annaliese) were even less successful. Candace ended up coming off as a dominatrix, and Annaliese looked like she was en route to a 70's era Swingers' Party. Laura's krimped hair worked to her advantage as Madonna, circa "Like A Virgin," but her tall, lanky, African American partner, Alisha was unfortunately assigned Elton John and ended up looking more like Flava Flav in a Tina Turner wig. Not satisfied, Jay Manuel kept yelling nonsensical things about bottle service and "Thriller" at her, and hen accused her of spoofing Elton John and not bringing a more fashionable sensibility to the shoot, but it seemed kind of inevitable. I mean, how would a talk, black female embody a short, white, flamboyant gay man without a bit of whimsy? Especially when she's dolled up in a florescent glitter suit and a Whitney Houston wig. I don't know, it seemed a little destined for failure. It just got stranger after that. Andy Warhol (Kyle) went up against Amy Winehouse (Louise) in a nondescript match. Eboni was assigned Jacquie O., stuffed into the tightest zebra dress on Planet Earth and somehow ended up not killing it. The Jacquie O. I know was black and often clad in tight stripper clothes, so it seemed like a victory to me too, but somehow she managed to miss the mark. Her competitor, Ashley got Princess Di, and that seemed a more natural fit, but couldn't seem to relax, and cried about that for awhile. By far the most uncomfortable and bizarre pairing was Pocahontas (Maria, obvi) versus John Lennon (Jasmia). Not only was this strange onus placed on Maria to be the best Native American model ever, but what the hell to those two have to do with each other? And Jasmia, another lanky and ambiguously ethnic (her words) model was forced to play an average looking white man. And then, on top of that, that idiot Jay kept yelling things like, "interact in a more fashion way!" Yes, like the way Pocahontas and John Lennon would have naturally interacted upon running into each other in Bryant Park at Fashion Week. Go with that. So that was weird. 

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