It’s the most wonderful time of the cycle yet again, when the remaining America’s Next Top Model contestants pack their bags and go to some incredible international location to prove they can model on foreign soil — or boats, as the case was last night when Tyra sent the girls to a land of opulence, decadence, and canals: Italy! Where contestants routinely butchered pronunciations of “Ciao, bella!” and “Arrivederci!”
This week’s shoot in Venice was a Casanova-inspired production on a gondola, complete with Italian male model Mario d’Amico playing the smoldering 18th century bad boy. Of course, it wouldn’t be Top Model without some sort of cruel twist, and so the girls were corseted a la Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette underneath the murderous summer sun. After the gondola, the girls bused to Milan to visit the house of Missoni, which is racking up the reality television credits after also appearing on the most recent season of The Rachel Zoe Project. After Margherita Missoni watched the girls prance about in her fall collection, the girls were instructed to keep the outfits on all day — winter clothes, in the middle of summer in Italy — until judging panel at night. Had the judges grown so tired of the ladies’ bad clothes that this is what it’s come to? Forcing them to drown in fabric in the middle of horrible heat and humidity for hours on end so that Tyra could sit there in her strapless dress to critique them? When some of the girls nearly passed out during panel, Tyra graciously allowed them to sit down on the runway.
Reality television’s best judge ever, André Leon Talley, wore one of his signature russet robes for the sweaty judging. He adored Chelsea and Ann, who he called an “incandescent, luminescent aristocrat,” but said Chris’s expression looked fearful, like “a huge crow is coming into the gondola.” Of Liz, who claimed the rocking boat made it hard for her to pose, Talley said, “That’s so déclassé,” Ultimately Kayla won this week, her coquettish smizing crushing Ann’s glorious awkwardness. Enjoy ALT, Margherita, and Tyra in our montage of the best moment’s from last night’s episode.