TV Recap

The Battles of Tokyo

On ''America's Next Top Model,'' amid a lot of low-grade catfighting, Tyra gives the girls a supermodeling lesson and shows her celebrity skin

END OF AN AIRHEAD Norelle got ditzrespected
Image credit: entertainment weekly daily Image edit
END OF AN AIRHEAD Norelle got ditzrespected

''America's Next Top Model'': Tyra's celebrity skin

Forget the modeling competition — this week's episode seemed like a Real World knockoff, complete with the culturally ignorant character (Norelle), the codependent couple gone bad (Eva and Ann), lots of gratuitous skin (all the contestants, with a jiggly cameo from Tyra!), and headache-inducing bickering (Yaya and Eva). Which is fine, because since Toccara got eliminated, it's been hard for me to think of any of the remaining competitors as actual model material. The interpersonal dramatics at least keep things interesting.

Norelle dropped her usual array of bon mots ("I don't eat Japanese food. If I do, I eat Panda Express''), while Ann reeled from her disillusionment with Eva, which was apparently caused by hearing Eva say something mean. Girl, where have you been? Eva's been catty since episode 1! Perhaps the ''Eva the Diva'' nickname should have tipped Ann off. In any case, the honeymoon is over.

The highlight of the episode was a photo shoot in which the ladies donned lingerie and, in a nod to the Japanese setting, kimonos, accessorized by (product placement alert!) a T-Mobile cell phone. Because nothing says ''ancient Asian tradition'' like cell phones. Tyra gave them pointers by donning a fright wig and evoking the Karate Kid's climactic pose during her own boobie-flashing photo shoot. Just so we didn't forget that she is nothing if not a professional.

The bickering spawned some choice lines. ''You really make me want to study psychology more,'' Yaya said to Eva, while the always literary Amanda compared the catty comments to ''a lioness hunting in a pack.'' In the end it was Norelle who was sacrificed. Her typically eloquent parting shot? ''I'm not crying,'' she sobbed, '' 'cause like I'm sad or anything.''

What did you think? Did Tyra's modeling demo look fierce or foolish? Should Ann have gone instead of Norelle? And since when do models need to know how to pour tea?

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Originally posted Dec 02, 2004