Ah, we’re back in Las Vegas, at the lovely Product Placement Hotel. The models return and Mikey says he’s not sharing the Tyra Suite with anyone because of course he does. Mikey says he finally has Best Photo and wants to win the competition. He says it’s not about where he’s from, it’s where he’s going.

His #TyTyTip to take him to the next level is, at his next photo shoot, to tell the photographer that he does well with motion and then to arrange to do a few shots while in motion.

Devin congratulates Mikey on getting Best Performance like seventeen weeks ago or whenever it was that we had a new show. Mikey says Ashley would have loved the Tyra Suite. OK, sure. Devin reminisces about DMA and says there’s tension between him and Mikey now.

Mikey wants to “capitalize” on his single, neon-bedecked room with a woman. He says Ashley is gone and is not his girlfriend and he also lets us know that he has a way with the ladies and is behind on his “weekly sexual activities,” and good luck getting THAT out of your brain. So now Mikey is looking for a beautiful woman. Did no one involved with the show look at how Mikey comes off before they started shaping him into a contender, or are they altruistically trying to help us expel hairballs?

Hadassah mulls over the critique she got that she’s not letting loose enough. She also says this has thrown her off her pageant game. Hadassah tells Lacey that she, Lacey, always makes the same face in her pictures, and thus we have all three three themes of the week: Lacey, who has been getting nothing but praise forever, is suddenly too repetitive and simply everyone knows it; Hadassah does not let loose; and Mikey would like to have some sex. (Hairball.)

Devin says Lacey is only ahead because of favoritism. Lacey says that she does, in fact, do stuff and isn’t just sitting there being handed everything. She knows everyone is after her, as Tyra once so wisely predicted. We also hear Tyra tell Lacey not to let all the knives that are out throw her – which I can only guess is meant to be an explanation of why Lacey might “do less well” this week. It isn’t, but I think that’s what it’s supposed to be. Lacey reminds us that she’s lost 35 pounds and is now “the butterfly that blossomed.” She doesn’t think the other models should be mad at her for doing well.

Mamé and Hadassah run and take over the Tyra Suite and jump on Mikey’s bed because they think Mikey is already too full of himself. Mikey runs and jumps into the bed with them. He says Mamé and Hadassah both want him and he wants a threesome. HAIRBALL. Mikey jumps between the ladies and says he looks amazing in the mirrored ceiling.

Hadassah notes that Mikey wants a new “cuddlebuddy,” and then justifies this by saying “It’s Vegas, for god’s sake.” Mikey, between the girls, says, “This is what it’s like to be on top.”

The next morning, Mikey says nothing is happening in the Tyra Suite. Yet. Hadassah says she has a baby crush on Mikey. Haddassah. STOP THIS.

Challenge Time!
The models go to meet Kelly Cutrone at Zappos because there is more stuff to write off this trip. They’re going to be shilling for a new luxury line called Zappos Couture. Oh, dear.

Founder Tony Hsieh greets them and we hear about the Zappos “delivering happiness” mission and the models frolic in a ball pit and they really want you and everyone in the universe to know that everyone at Zappos is HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY and please everyone forget about that suicide cluster. -

I’m sure this little bit of P.R. works for everyone with the minor exception of anyone who has already worked at a company where you’re supposed to be relentlessly positive and part of the happy team spirit. Trust me, there is nothing like the corporate policing of your attitude and enthusiasm to make you want to spend your lunch break shooting bottles off a wall while doing shots of Wild Turkey and listening to Megadeth.

So the winner of this challenge is the face of the new Zappos brand launch and also will get a bunch of clothes from guess where. The models meet Kelly in a new location (Never let them take you to a second location!) for the the Zappos Couture Chic Boutique runway challenge. Have all the challenges been getting names and my brain has been helpfully blocking them out, or is this a new thing?

The challenge is that the models will do a ‘50s-style runway show.1 The show will be for a very small house, and the models will walk around the room with several points to turn and show off. They’re calling this “salon-style,” and the models are to have engaging expressions, but make no eye contact. Even though we have just been told that this is a thing from (well before) the ‘50s, Kelly says that salon-style modeling is the “next evolution” of fashion. Sigh.

Oh! And of course we can’t just leave this challenge alone, so Kelly says that the client will ask the models to change their look on demand and the models need to just work with it. Nothing is unplanned, of course, but it’s nice to pretend.

Hadassah asks Kelly about her critique – Hadassah thinks she deserved better than the bottom two last week. Oh, models. When will you learn that arguing with the judges is the kiss of death? Kelly tells Hadassah to suck it up and get over it, which under the circumstances is sound advice. Kelly also says the scoring and eliminations are super fair, so we must, regrettably, move Kelly into the unreliable narrator category. Hadassah says she thought Lacey would be in the bottom two. Damn. Kelly tells Hadassah to quit bitching about Lacey and change up her modeling if she has a problem.

Some of the other models don’t like it that Hadassah homed in on Kelly and tried to throw Lacey under the bus like that, and Hadassah is upset that the models are upset. She tells us one million things about herself, including that her family was rich and then not and that she’s had to struggle and work really hard.

Lacey models first. A designer “chooses” an outfit for her with Cher’s computer from Clueless. -

Lacey re-explains the challenge and calls Kelly “ma’am.” Kelly is not down with being called “ma’am,” which is too bad, because in an alternate universe where there are more seasons, I think it’s something she would really enjoy demanding.

The Zappos execs don’t like Lacey’s first walk, because they are not supposed to. It doesn’t look brilliant, but she doesn’t seem to be in the distress that they’re claiming. Lacey doesn’t give them a good reason to not like it, so they talk vaguely about energy. One of the execs says he’s “not feeling it,” and the show treats it as a critique of Lacey when it’s clearly about her outfit. The execs pretend to edit Lacey’s look on the fly and then say they like the new look better and the whole thing is very transparent.

Another Zappos rep fires up a spontaneous prechosen look for Mikey. -

He says he needs to bring out his “rich boy” look and says he’s never had money in his life, in a subtle comparison to Hadassah’s kind of not having money, so well done editing department. The execs openly ogle Mikey. Hey, Top Model, show that is heavily watched by teenaged girls, thank you so much for constantly floating the idea that a guy who thinks about and treats women the way Mikey does is hot. Quite the proud legacy to leave behind.

Kelly warns Nyle against Zoolander moments. The Zappos reps says he “owned it.” They love him. Mamé walks well and then goes backstage to get her glam taken up a notch. Mamé is lightly freaking out because her shoes are too big and she’s slipping around. Crisis! Kelly, who has seen this exact problem 3,000 times, asks for tape. Mamé goes back out nervous, but the execs think she’s glowing and comfortable.

Hadassah gets a “rocker chic” look. I thought at first that it was Kelly’s terminology, but then the Zappos execs use it too, so it must be a Zappos term. You know, unless everyone has been pre-discussing things with the producers. Miss J. hates Hadassah’s walk, like horrorface hates it, and calls it pageantry and uptight. -

It is true that Hadassah glides around the room so smoothly that you can barely see her head move, but once again, they keep criticizing the models for their walks this cycle and they don’t seem to have given them a full Miss J. training. The show used to be about training up models, and now they expect them to know everything coming in. Probably because Tyra, as a Cathar, believes that we are angelic beings trapped in flesh and must struggle to remember our divine origins.

Kelly tells Devin not to be a kook out on that stage or there will be hell to pay. Devin says he’s done salon-style modeling in New York and London. Were you aware that Devin is assigned to six agencies? The Zappos executives like him. His look needs a little color so Devin gets completely loonball leggings. -

The execs love it.

Who Won?
The Zappos reps say that something was dragging Lacey down, which is quite the emotional-intelligence leap to take with someone they haven’t met. It cannot be – simply cannot be! – that they have been nudged by the producers, and thus we must conclude that even in the Zappos holocracy, only gifted psychics can make it to the top levels of the company. They also say that Hadassah didn’t have energy.

Their favorites are Devin, Nyle, and Mamé. Mamé wins it! This is Mamé’s fifth challenge win. Daaaamn. She truly would have dominated in another season, but I suspect she’s being moved forward to do so now.

Back At The Penthouse!
Mamé gets the 10. Nyle and Devin get 9s. Mikey is in the middle with an 8. Lacey and Hadassah are at the bottom with 7s. Hadassah is bummed. She says she’ll have to work twice as hard in the photo shoot. Lacey does not like being down at the bottom. This is the worst challenge score she’s ever gotten.

Mamé gets her prize, which is a ton of clothes, including the purse she modeled with. She seems genuinely thrilled. Devin is pissed that Mamé got it and thinks he should have won. Oh, really?

Mikey announces that he’s taking a shower so that the ladies will think about him nekkid. Hadassah says that she and Mamé may not let him sleep in the Tyra Suite that night. She heads for the suite and Mikey runs after her, objecting that she didn’t ask to go in.

Hadassah runs into the Tyra Suite and she and Mikey grabass in the bathroom like they’re 15-year-olds on an overnight field trip. -

Hadassah shrieks and giggles while Mikey says that she and Mamé are allowed in the Tyra Suite, but they have to ask. Young people who are into men, know this: There are many, many men in the world who will not treat you like pre-chewed gum. It’s worth holding out for them.

Related: WHY would one flip out over Mikey when there is Nyle in the house?

Mikey says Hadassah is very flirtatious and Nyle confirms that Hadassah and Mikey are the most flirty people in the house. He thinks it will distract them from the competition, as does Mamé.

Photo Time!
Yu Tsai is by a table full of accessories. He announces that the models will be sending – brace yourself because this will hurt – “Fierce-a-grams.”

I know. Walk it off, champ. Rub some dirt on it. We can get past this. The idea is yet another try-and-fail at understanding social media by Tyra and friends. Seriously, just ask one of the production assistants how social media works, for crying out loud.

The idea is that the first picture is a head shot that has been cropped to look innocent… -

…but then you pull out and it’s totally cray-zay! -

Honestly, it’s not a bad idea for a shoot. However, we will, of course, be destroying any possibility of a fun surprise for the viewing audience by having every possible wild detail explicitly pointed out during the shoots, and we will be sucking out any remaining joy by slamming pointless hashtags on everything. Well done.

OK, so the models are each sending a Fierce-a-gram to an imaginary person and then hashtagging them because hashtags are young and HIP and social media and who cares how they’re supposed to actually work?

Also, some of each model’s competitors and Miss J. will be in the background, so good luck not getting overshadowed.

Lacey goes first again and they have made her look fucking horrible, complete with red assless chaps over black underwear and fake tattoos. Christ. Her hashtag is #ResponsibleSpending, and she’s supposed to be sending a fierce-a-gram to her dad. You know, because daddy controls all the money and daughters spend it on frivolous things. Thanks for the legacy, Tyra! Mikey, Devin, and Miss J. come in for the background and there is also a live rooster named Maverick. Lacey has to look innocent but stand out. -

Mikey interviews that Lacey is struggling and only has one look, in case you were wondering whether the themes are ever fed directly for the competitors to spit out. Yu Tsai, in a remarkable coincidence, also says Lacey is repetitive. Jesus, producers, at least open a thesaurus and pick out a few new phrasings when you’re trying to spike someone. Anyway, Yu Tsai is suddenly very concerned and disgusted over how repetitive Lacey has always been, even though he is the creative director of all the photo shoots and has somehow never noticed or mentioned it before.

Hadassah is studying and partying and her hashtag is #StudyingHard. The idea is that she’s sending a Fierce-a-gram to her professor to show what an amazing student she is. Nyle is there and Devin is supposed to hold the rooster. -

Are we all counting down to the cock joke? Me too. Hadassah sprays Nyle with whipped cream and then wipes his stomach down with her hand. Nyle does not seem to feel violated, so…well played, Hadassah. Hey, Hadassah, notice how Nyle is nice to people? Follow that instinct!

Devin is babysitting for his sister’s kids and his hashtag is #EverythingsUnderControl. There is a giant terrifying Baby Miss J. in the background -

There is also Baby Lacey, but then Devin is primarily cuddling a baby doll.

So are Miss J. and Lacey meant to be baby-babies or adult babies? Just how deep into fetish territory is this show going? Devin has to be calm in the face and crazy with his body, which is a genuinely good challenge for him, since he usually has a great body pose and the judges get annoyed that he goes too far with his face. We totally see Devin doing the eyebrow.

Nyle is #GolfingWithTheGuys, sending his shot home to his girlfriend to prove that he’s innocent. What is this cycle’s obsession with golfing? Nyle is in a golf shirt and underpants, as is Mikey, which is interestingly homoerotic – we really haven’t gone there this cycle. -

Nyle says Mikey is more focused on women than modeling, which is fine with Nyle.

Mamé is #MissingYou, because she does, in fact, miss Justin. KEEP HIM IN YOUR MIND, Mamé! Remember how Justin is kind to you and admits to liking you? Also, maybe mention those things to Hadassah. Mamé understands the idea that she’s supposed to have an innocent face and a risqué body. Nyle eats sushi off of Mamé’s leg, which is an agreeably sleazy/charming touch. -

Yu Tsai says Mamé is laser-focused now that Justin is gone. I’m not sure that’s true – she’s always been a strong competitor, and it seemed like the show was holding her scores down so she could have this late-run blossoming. Which is nice for her now, but probably drove her up the walls for most of the season. Hadassah throws Maverick in the air – Hey! A little respect, please – and steals a few shots. Yu Tsai tells her this in front of Mamé, who focuses lasers right out of her eyeballs and tries to burn Hadassah down. Yu Tsai, ever the dick, tells Hadassah she finally let loose in other people’s shots and, he hopes it’s not late because she wasn’t that good in her own shots. He is so deeply fake-concerned for her that mean-girl cliques from high schools across the nation send him immediate bid notices.

Mikey has a suit top on and also no pants. He recalls his #TyTyTip, making sure we know he got it because he was so very awesome in his video shoot. Mikey’s hashtag is #CloseTheDeal (Get it? Get it?), and he’s supposed to be proving to his boss that he’s serious. He shoots with Hadassah and Mamé, because of course he does, and Miss J. is a grey tiger furry. -

Mikey thinks he’s getting Best Photo. Yu Tsai loves him. Mamé, at Yu Tsai’s specific request, is posed lying in front of Mikey with her legs stretched up in a V. -

Devin does not like it. The show plays this like Mamé is soooo eager to be positioned thusly in front of Mikey, but she was asked to do this. Her “interest” in Mikey seems to be cobbled together.

The competitors’ final treat is a limo ride down the strip and they have to act like that’s exactly as awesome as other casts getting to go to Milan and Bali. They pass around champagne since it’s their last night there. (Lacey, who is 18, is pointedly handed a water.) Ooh, they get their Skull Mail right there in the limo! -

Lacey is scared because of her 7 on the challenge. She wants this so bad. She says she’s feeling beautiful for the first time in her life.

Mikey tells Hadassah and Mamé to get drunk. Fucking hairball. He says he’s getting drunk because he wants a threesome and that’s the first step. Ugh. Mamé does say like she’s feeling “extra-friendly.” Hadassah, in her interview, seems a little too straight-laced to actually do anything but vaguely into it, and dude, I am all for non-binary experimentation, but not in reality show night vision that will follow you for the rest of your life and NOT WITH MIKEY.

Devin doesn’t like the push toward Mikey hooking up because he says Ashley is his best friend and feels like nobody is respecting her. For some reason there’s a quiet moment in this pretend buildup to a potential threesome and a drunk Devin calls Mikey on all the flirting. He says Mikey sent Ashley home by ruining her concentration. Mikey says Devin gets jealous like a female. Ugh. Is there a truer marker of a guy who hates women than a man who refers to them as “females?” There needs to be an app where if a guy does that, your phone gives you a powerful enough electric shock to snap you out of it so you can walk briskly away.

Devin is still uncorking truth on Mikey. He says that Mikey cuddled up to both Ashley and Courtney and then smirked when they got eliminated. Oooh, Devin has your number, Mikey. (Devin. MENTION THIS TO THE WOMEN IN THE HOUSE.) As we have seen, Mikey does not like having his dirtball behavior being pointed out, and so he and Devin insult each other.

Hadassah, making her move, sits with a reclining Mikey and says that Ashley sucks. Yikes. Poor strategy Hadassah. If there is one thing we must keep in mind, it’s that the Miss Bingley gambit almost always backfires disastrously. That said, Mikey totally grins when Hadassah says that. Hadassah moves in hard, teasing Mikey about having feelings for Ashley as an excuse to put her hand on his chest. -

Good lord, someone take Hadassah aside and give her some pointers.

Mikey says that Hadassah is too much of a troublemaker to sleep with, but still blames Devin for knocking him out of a threesome. Mikey says some weird drunken thing about Hadassah losing; it’s not clear if he means losing the competition to him or losing the chance to bang him. Either way, Mikey is human ipecac.

The models pack to go back to Los Angeles, because Tyra is not spending one more dollar on something that does not get her product placement money or promote her cosmetics line.

The challenge, as we all know because we are not starring in Memento, was all about creative cropping. We have the concept explained to us again so very torturously that I am genuinely concerned about who Tyra thinks is in her viewing audience.

The judges don’t care for Lacey’s Fierce-a-gram to Dad. Kelly says the full-face shot isn’t great. Miss J. says Lacey was nervous. They give her the dread “low energy critique.” Hmm.

Kelly says Mikey looks like a bad-ass attorney, but what she really loves is Miss J. as a Furry. Not that we hear about Mikey being upstaged or anything. Hadassah’s shot is deemed beautiful, but not sexy.

Kelly says Nyle has a flat affect in his shot, which he does, kind of. I’m not sure I believe this was his best shot. (And there goes the cock joke from Miss J.) Devin, in contrast, has a very odd expression on his face – he’s trying too hard to look innocent and ends up looking like he’s trying to summon angels, with zero connection to his fake baby. -

Tyra says his film was tough to edit. Devin argues with Kelly’s critique, claiming his bone structure forces him to make those faces. What are the models thinking this cycle?

Everyone loves every bit of Mamé’s shot, and she does look great. -

Then the judges jump to Hadassah rocking it in other people’s shots, but not her own. Dun dun dunnnn!

Six models! Five Photos! All the usual things!

Best performance: Mamé. Well done, Mamé.
Runner up: Mikey. Goddammit. Tyra, just to screw with Mamé’s head, says that Mikey has the best photo, just not the best performance this week. Mikey’s smug meter clicks back up to full.

Devin and Nyle are next, and the bottom two, as has been telegraphed since the third minute of the episode, are Lacey and Hadassah.Tyra gives Lacey a weird lecture about her challenge score. Tyra calls Hadassah a survivor, but with beautiful photos… but only with beautiful photos.

Lacey stays! Hadassah is out! Hadassah has known this for quite some time, so she shows us what a pageant girl can do. She skips to Kelly and Miss J. to give them hugs and then fires up her smile. It’s a graceful exit. Well done, Hadassah. And extra well done for not hooking up with Mikey.

Hadassah wonders who Mikey will flirt with now. Maybe Nyle, and then she pageants her way out.

Next week, we’re back in L.A. with the final five to find out who will become America’s last Top Model. The models will get to create and produce their own brand, and, oh, dear, a spooky-themed shoot that was clearly meant to go up right before Halloween.2 -

Even scarier, Mikey says Mamé wants him. Giant werewolf hairball.

  1. Actually, you can see this happening in The Women, so it goes back to at least the ‘30s. If you have not seen The Women, hurl your computer to the floor and watch it immediately. It’s hilarious, and even though it has the incredibly backwards views about gender of the ‘30s, it is still occasionally more feminist and progressive than Top Model.

  2. Which it would have, if not for last week’s totally unnecessary clip show.

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