Jeff Tells Liz What Happened In “Top Model All Stars” Ep 8
Liz, I’m filling this recap with links and you’re going to sit there and like it.
We open with everyone relieved that Bianca is gone. ME, TOO. Allison interviews that she is somewhat introverted. Maybe this will come up again, but probably not! I mean, this is reality television, not “lives mercilessly edited into a narrative” television, am I right?
Tyra Mail! What? Already? The Tyra Mail is a video message from Madison who is a YouTube sensation that I had to look up just now. She is cute as the DICKENS. Madison shows the girls how to use makeup for a bit, and then ominously says “Listen up, Aaaaaall Stars! My makeup lessons are a TREAT! But *I* really hope you can keep a beat! BYE BYE!” I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that Tyra should just cede the show to Madison. “Two booful girls stand ‘fore me, but I only have oooooooone photo in mah HAND.” You know it would be better, admit it.
The girls meet with Jay, who tells the girls they’re going to get an opportunity to go viral. The girls will get to WRITE THEIR OWN SONG and then STAR IN THEIR OWN MUSIC VIDEO. Man, this seems like a difficult challenge to mess up, as far as audience entertainment goes. We’ll see if it lives up to my lofty expectations. Jay introduces Tom Polce from CBS records, who will help the girls co-write their songs. Ah, so he’ll be writing the entire song for them. I mean, I’m sure the girls will have input. I’m just saying it’ll be like when the girls “created” their own fragrances last week by picking two jars and saying “Mix these!”
Jay reminds the girls how YouTube helped launch the careers of Rachel Black and Justin Bieber. Really? Of those two you decide to list Rebecca Black first? Oh wait, Jay already knows these videos are going to be trainwreck camp classics like “Friday”. Sorry, Jay. I get it now. Lisa interviews that she’s already put out an album, so she’s ahead of the pack. I’m getting mildly worried that Lisa might win this whole thing. Will she invite Cousin It to her coronation?
Jay says that while the video is equivalent to a photo shoot this week, there is a challenge embedded here. The girls will have 20 minutes to listen to the tracks that have been written for them (told you so), and in those 20 minutes they will have to write their lyrics. YEESH. That is rough! We were never going to get Dylan or Simon here, but I think at this point we’ll be lucky to top the English translation of an anime theme song. (Liz, let me know if you ever want me tell you what happens in Nana, because Nana is the beeeeeeeest.)
Allison is super nervous about the challenge, pointing out that she doesn’t sing. Aw, Allison, that’s why God invented auto-tune! But seriously, I don’t care how funny this episode turns out to be; if Allison goes home because of it, I will RIOT. Jay says that once the girls write their lyrics, Tom will judge which of the girls “brought the most to the table”. I don’t think the parameters of this judging are quite vague enough. The best lyricist will have a special loved one flown in for a visit. Shannon really wants to win so she can see her husband. She just needs someone that can see her in her underwear! She’s probably spent her whole time in the house as a Never-Nude.
Writin’ time! Angelea thinks her track sounds like battle music, so she writes some confrontational lyrics. She sings a bit for Tom, and Angelea has a pretty good voice! She will not need any auto-tune. Alexandria’s lyrics are “I’m never gonna stop / I make my own clock / Now watch me go, go, go!” Congratulations Alexandria, you just wrote the Speed Racer theme. (Liz, do you need me to tell you about the Wachowskis’ 2008 classic Speed Racer? Can you tell my mind is kind of wandering this cycle, Liz?) Alexandria caps her interview thusly: “I kind of learned something. That some great masterpieces can be made in 20 minutes.” And I learned that with Bianca gone, Alexandria is reverting right back to awful.
Lisa’s lyrics are about how if you want to hang with her, you better hold on tight. I will take that as an excuse to post Robyn’s video for “Hang With Me”, which is a great song.
Anyway, Tom is blown away by Lisa’s work. She does have a distinct experience advantage, after all.
Allison, meanwhile, is totally stressing out. She’s literally rolling around on the floor and making mega-pouty faces. When Tom comes over to check out her lyrics, she says “Tell me if you think this blows.” I WANT ALLISON TO BE MY FRIEND. Tom looks at Allison’s lyric sheet, and says “So this has a special meaning to you. I love it.” Aww! Allison interviews that the song is about her father, who died last year. Well, shit. On the one hand, that’s awful, obviously. But on the other, I now feel totally confident that Allison will make it through this episode okay! Can you imagine Tyra saying “Allison, your song about your dead father was pedantic and joyless. GET OUT OF MY SIGHT.” Okay, I can totally imagine that, but still.
Tom and Jay announce the challenge winner. It’s Lisa! Well, that’s not much of a surprise. I mean, she did turn to music when she washed out as a model. How could the other girls know that this modeling competition would have an crazy sing-off episode? So Lisa will get to spend time with her fiance.
To the studio! Tom tells the girls that there will be a twist. What is this, Project Runaway? “Girls, we want you to create a shorter song that compliments your initial song. You have ten minutes to write lyrics, and then we’re going to Mood!” Tom says Tyra has come up with a hook that each girl will need to incorporate into their song. That hook? “Pot Ledem”. I am not kidding when I say that the hook the girls must incorporate into their song is “Pot Ledem. That’s ‘Top Model’ backwards.” Yes, that whole thing. Yup. Listen, I can’t make this up. Allison is despondent about how she will fit “Pot Ledem” into her ode to her dead father.
One by one, girls step up to the mike to record their tracks while Allison sobs silently to herself. She finally reworks her song to incorporate Tyra’s nonsense. When it’s Allison’s turn to record her song, there is an AMAZING shot of Alexandria doing the goofiest dance as Allison whisper-sings about her shattered family. Alexandria and decorum are two streets that will never meet. I should mention that Allison’s voice isn’t strong, but it’s nice. In an interview, Angelea despairs that Allison is good at EVERYTHING. Bow down so that Allison can dominate you! (You’re going to want to watch that whole thing or else consider yourself my enemy.)
Dominique’s track is called “Tooch Your Booty” because apparently Dominique is a huge kiss-ass. Nice voice, though. Laura gets up to sing and… look, I love Laura. So let’s just say her pitch and tempo could be better and all move on with our lives. Lisa’s track is called “I Be Like Whoa!” To be fair, I could imagine no more appropriate title for a song about Lisa. She busts out a full-on ROCK RAP. Liz, remember when Blondie invented rap? When are today’s hip-hop artists going to thank her for that? I ask you.
Video shoot time! Jay once again stresses that they want these videos to go viral, and how huge that could be. Huger than being on a national television show watched by millions of people? That’d have to be crazy viral, like Outbreak viral. (Sorry.) “Why don’t they all just a release a sex tape and be done with it?” asks Laurel. We’ll see if any of the losers of this cycle go that route!
As the girls are getting ready, Jay brings in Game (formerly “The Game”, according to Wikipedia) who is one of those rap talkers that the young people love so much. Angelea flips out, just like she always does when introduced to strangers. Game will be directing the videos. Dominique is up first, and Game’s helpful direction is “booty back, chest out!” Game knows how to make it in America. Alexandria’s shoot is awkward. Game sums it up as “Not enough time to put oil in the tin man.” I think that made a kind of sense.
Tyra arrives for a pep talk. And how can I even describe what Tyra’s wearing? I won’t. Here it is.
Tyra says that she is there to be the girls’ posse, backing them up on their videos. Because God forbid one of these videos go viral without Tyra in it. And as you might have noticed from the photo above, Tyra has brought YouTube sensation Keenan to join the posse. I can’t imagine a more touching tribute to Allison’s dead father than Tyra flapping around as a neon super-bird, accompanied by 2011’s answer to Jonathan Lipnicki.
Shannon does fine. Lisa does great.
Laura’s shoot has her in short-shorts face-first on a bed, writing in her diary. At the very start of the shoot, Jay asks “Can you move slighty diagonal so I can see your… there you go.” See what, Jay? Ass? Cleave? He absolutely meant one of those. Laura’s shoot is ham-tastic. Angelea lacks energy. She’s got the dead eyes.
Game and Allison have a heart-to-heart about dead relatives. Game talks about his dead grandmother who believed in him and tells Allison that he just wanted to take a moment to tell her that he’s rocking with her. “Aw, The Game’s rocking with Allison!” says Laurel. It’s oddly touching. Allison’s shoot goes great and, God help me, her song is kind of good? I wish I could pin down which actual singer the song reminds me of, but I’m drawing a blank. At the end of the shoot, Game and Allison share a secret handshake of mutual love and respect.
Panel! Game is the guest judge. As if Dominique’s lyrics weren’t kiss-assy enough already, they also include references to Cover Girl and “Lashblast”. UGH. The added Tyra footage is as bonkers as you would expect.
Laura’s video is crazy, and I won’t leave you hanging. Here it is.
Nigel finds it lovable. Andre Leon Talley clearly hates it, but won’t admit it. I think he’s checked out of this judging, since music videos are out of his wheelhouse. Angelea’s video is as disappointing as expected. Alexandria’s is super stiff. She does, however, have the unquestionably best take on “Pot Ledem.” “Pot Ledem, we roll / Top Model, you know / it’s backwards, fo’ sho’ / you silly broke hos”. Ladies and gentleman, I give you Alexandria’s 20-minute masterpiece.
Truly something special.
Shannon’s song and video are extremely Taylor Swiftian. Or perhaps Faith Hill-ian? I could actually imagine it on Top 40 radio, which may sound like I’m condemning it, because I am. Lisa kills it, as she’s been doing. Game even says he wishes he had Lisa’s song on his iPod. It’s very Black Eyed Peas-y, and all that that implies. And now, Allison!
Game puts it amazingly, “You are… weird. [Allison guffaws] And it is the greatest thing in the world for you. You are the most weirdly beautiful person that I’ve ever seen in my life and your eyes, they’re weird too, but they’re great.” Well said, sir. Tyra puts it filthily, adding “There’s something that penetrates me emotionally with this. It’s touching something inside of me.” So there you go.
If you want to see the other videos, you can find them here You probably want to watch them all. For science!
Judging! Tyra basically forces Game to admit he has a crush on Allison. Game steals the screengrab from Allison’s video for his scrapbook.
Elimination! In a stunning upset, Allison is first called. Lisa had decent flow, but alas, Game did not fall madly in love with her. Lisa’s second, obviously. You probably don’t need me to tell you that Angelea and Alexandria are in the bottom two. Alexandria is eliminated. Not a surprise. Alexandria vows to “Go, go, go!” Ha, get out of here, you.
Next time! The girls go to Greece just in time for its entire economy to collapse! Laura gets sick! And Shannon faces her underwear waterloo!