America's Next Top ModelSeason 17 • Episode 2
Apparently, the key to success for ANTM’s All Stars is to be able to build a solid brand, so Tyra hires a brand strategist to help them get started. (Actual modeling potential is just so twelve cycles ago.) This "help" consists of some delightful passive-aggressive snarky counsel, followed by a seemingly random assignment of “key words” that will define each girl's brand identity. These words to live by include “proud,” “candid,” — which Bianca, as expected, takes to mean that she can start drama-mongering like it’ll pay the rent — and “survivor.” Sadly, the lesson does not involve even a single novelty cattle prod or branding iron — surprising, because goodness knows how much Tyra loves zany skits and the chance to dress up like an animal.
For no apparent reason, Ashlee Simpson pops up just prior to this week’s photo shoot. She introduces this season’s “Ty-Overs,” which are mostly very minor changes — so much so that there’s only one set of breathy tears in an off-camera bathroom moment. That tantrum comes courtesy of Bre, who’s so sad and angry about the sides of her head getting shaved that she threatens to quit the show altogether. But then she realizes that such high-strung antics aren't in line with her brand identity, summed up by the word "girlfriend."
And Tyra’s obviously cutting costs as well as hair, because this week’s photo shoot also served as lunch. Since the photographer is all about “timeless glamour,” naturally the models are therefore posing with hot dogs — hot dogs they get to customize with toppings and frippery of their choice. The winner of this week’s best photo gets a prime slot on classic diner Pink’s low-rent website, helping to publicize a new America’s Next Top Model hot dog. You can’t even make this stuff up. And, really, why even bother with Italian Vogue at this point if there’s prizes of THIS caliber coming in only the second episode: amazing in every sense of the word and possibly in some new Tyra-defined ways, too. If this wasn’t already six shades of crazy, all must impart their brand’s ethos into the ambience of their shot; obviously, there’s shades of cheap smut bordering on soft porno throughout too, given the awk phallic props. (Inadvertently hilarious question from Jay Manuel in this context: "How would Kim Kardashian pose on a shoot like this?")
At panel, we notice that Nigel Barker thankfully got a “Ty-Over” too, and is now back to bald and glisteny. But it seems all the processed-meaty goodness renders Tyra too hungry and Nigel too lusty to impart any real wisdom. But André Leon Talley has lots to say. He loves the candid spontaneity of Bianca’s shot — by which maybe he means the half-chewed hot dog bun chunks stuck in her teeth — but he wanted to see more of an artsy “flyaway bird”-vibe from Kayla. Then again, if a bird actually tried to eat a hot dog, it would choke and die. He also says Angelea looked like Melania Trump, that Lisa gave off a Sex and the City-vibe — this in a shot of her in a BBQ-sauce-stained ballgown with her trademark wide, wild eyes and an open mouth full of shredded lettuce — and that even granny-pants Shannon’s shot made him want to head to Pink’s right after judging. (Possibly the single most unbelievable statement made this episode, which is saying something indeed.)
After such illustrious SATC-themed praise, it is Lisa’s “daring” (ding ding! brand identity key word!) pose and bold creative decision to use a hot dog sans bun that earns her the top photo. Kayla and Sheena fall to the bottom of the pack and, despite ALT’s love for her “unexpected” jumpsuits, Sheena gets no photo. But hey, she can add “fast food experience” to her résumé at least — which may honestly be a legit career boost for many Top Model alumnae.
Here's this week's video roundup to enjoy — savor, if you will: