Remember on Episode 1 of this highly anticipated America's Next Top Model cycle, when Tyra Banks told the girls the key to being FIERCE was for them to be their own three B's: Business, Brand, and Boss? Well, what she meant to say is that a boss sells the brands of other businesses (not their own), because this episode wasn't about modeling, it was about Universal Studios. (Apparently, Rimmel London needed a break.)
Yes, the episode acted as one long promo for Universal Studios, Paper Magazine, and Rita Ora. Yeah, you read me right: Rita Ora! She's actually a part of this episode! Ms. Tyra 2.0 has been notoriously M.I.A. this season, only showing up for panels and her sleepy RitAlerts (which seem to have been filmed in one day). But the girls of ANTM are blessed with Ora's presence this week. And in episode 23, Celebrity Life, Ora confirms this season isn't really about modeling, but about bein' famous, gurrrl.
(Well, let's be real: Ora's only a superstar in the United Kingdom, right? Did you really know who she was before this show? Like, were you a big fan? Do you care? HMU in the comments if you do because I'm still waiting to meet a diehard Ora stan.)
The producers know what you've been thinking: Can Rita Ora offer these girls anything substantial? Why is she here? Well, this week's episode starts with a surprise visit from Ora to the girls' home, where she delivers a monologue about the trials of being famous. It's
deep predictable, so I've offered some edits to spice up the drama:
Rita Ora—OG Text:
Thanks for having me. I wanted to come here because I feel like you guys haven't actually got to know me one-on-one yet. I know. And these final fewmoments that we have with each other, because thereare really a few left, and they'regoing quicker than I ever imagined. And it's like, now is time for me to see these girls.Cuz nobody can see me. Nobody. Not even my parents.
so much ofyou guys in me.And I see so much of myself in you. When I was 17, I moved to New York City. On my own.My parents were like literally not talking to me cuz they thought, 'There's no way inhell this girl is not gonna get an education.'And I just thought, 'That is not my life.' And I never once doubted myself. I was like, 'There's a reason why I'm here.' It was tough.It's just acrazy world cuz you have to start looking out for yourself.But this is what you wanted. This is exactlythe dream you want ed.
Rita Ora—Alternative Text:
Moments are going quicker than I ever imagined. Cuz nobody can see me. Nobody. Not even my parents. I see you. And I see my parents. There's hell and it's crazy. But this is the dream you want.
There you have it, y'all. In my post-truth ANTM, Rita Ora's a ghost. That's why we never see her on the show. Not even her parents can see her. It's tough AF, but that's why we love Ora. She's a fighter.
After Ora teaches the girls about being a celebrity
ghost, the girls have their first challenge: Be photographed by paparazzi. And be pretty.
The girls, who are constantly followed around by cameras, pretend to be challenged by photographers following them around. Courtney, our bushy-browed drama mama, wins the challenge. AND YOU KNOW WHAT SHE WINS? A trip to Universal Studios in Orlando!
Courtney gets to take one girl with her to Orlando, and she chooses India because India's the only girl in the house who hasn't told Courtney she's "always playing the victim." (Let's keep in mind that Courtney is still a growing young woman who's faced some very challenging situations—homelessness, poverty, scoliosis, absent parents. But yes, Courtney's a whiney baby snowflake victim.)
India and Courtney are whisked off to Orlando to
film their advertisement for Universal Studios, and it's kind of endearing. If you've been following along, Courtney's worn a necklace of the Deathly Hallows (from Harry Potter) this whole season, so I like to think her trip to Hogwarts was sweet and well-deserved. (Yes, I'm sometimes sincere.)
For the main challenge this week, the girls pose for a Paper Magazine cover. Overall, they all look striking but Drew Elliot spends the shoot yelling at them to stop making creepy hands. He tells Tash to quit pretending to be a cloud. It's confusing. Mostly, Elliot won't shut up about the girls' hands. My favorite looks are Cody, India, and Tatiana, who makes it seem effortless to model a very difficult hat.
Ultimately, the episode is focused on the drama between the twins. The arguments aren't new. We've heard them since the very first episode. I ranted about this unnecessary fluff last week, so I won't rehash it. Basically, it's either Tash or Cody. One can't succeed without the other failing. It's boring. And, by the end of the episode, we finally get our champion. Cody, who's been winning all along, sends her sister, Tash, home for good.
WINNER WINNER: Cody
BYE BYE: Tash
Next Week: Literal drama. The girls take acting lessons.