It was hard to choose a line for the title on this one. I had so much to work with: “Plain Jane’s brother,” “How many models does it take to screw in a lightbulb?” “You have to make sound effects in your head,” “Do you people look in the mirror before you come here?” (to which the answer, tragically, is yes. For a very long time).

Was this show always this bad? It was, wasn’t it? I’ve wasted HOURS of my life. Up to days by now, I imagine. But really, I could swear that it didnt’ feel so dirty for the first 3 cycles or so. I think that once Naima won, it was all over. And do girls really think this has anything to do with getting a modeling job any more? Hasn’t it become clear that this is a one-way ticket to obscurity. Or, best-case scenario, the Cover Girl factory in Baltimore, where they’ll have to wear a hair net? But…can’t…turn…away…Tyra…crazy…

We open with the girls bitching about Sandra still being there after twitchy Isabella was sent packing with her 3 month supply of epilepsy meds. It has a “The wrong boy died!” feel. They haaaate her. And, really, she’s pretty hateable. But damn if she’s not gorgeous. Doesn’t seem to photograph well at all, though. Let me rephrase…doesn’t seem to inspire the producers to choose good photographs of her at all, though.

A gigantic pink plaid SUV limo pulls up for the girls.  So….the whole “green” thing is over then?  Gotcha.  Then we cut to J and Jay in Bergdorfs, holding a phone that has a video of Tyra superimposed on it with Get Smart (the TV series)-like graphics capability.  Tyra’s a Super Spy! (in addition to goddess, space alien, robot…) and she has sent dossiers containing each girl’s new look that will take her to new heights of–no kidding–femme fatalism.

Makeovers have never been this soon, but at least we got some drama this time.  I mean, if–every season–we get girls who are stunned–STUNNED–that they’ll have to walk in heels/pose in a bathing suit/share a room with other girls, surely we’d get a few surprised that there would be haircuts.  As they were presented to us, and as I reacted when I saw them:

Jessica–shorter with layers, same color–looks pretty, but not at all “edgy.”  A haircut I would get.  In fact, it might be the haircut I have.  Note: I am not a spicy latina teenager.

Sandra–removal of the Grace Jones flattop, died blonde.  Color doesn’t really suit her, but the shave looks great.

Allison–I was skeptical when they said “big blonde weave” but it really does look good.  For now.  White girl weaves always go south, and quickly.  But it does bring her from “odd looking” to “interesting.”

Naija–long boring black girl weave.  So tired of this look.

Fo–Super short. GORGEOUS.   I actually spoke aloud this looked so good.  Fo was not in agreement with me.

Celia–Short back, long front, they swooped it back like a pompadour.  Hideous.

Aminat–Her gorgeous Afro was a weave!  They remove it and give her the same, tedious long weave that everyone else gets.  She goes from really cool looking to Meh.

Kortni–She gets red hair to clash with her orange skin. Really, she is SO skanky looking.  pit lizard indeed.

London–short and blond–looks like the same cut as Celia, but hers gets brushed forward, which is much cuter, and is a white blonde.

Natalie–after much drama about her freaking about cutting her hair, they do nothing to her.  I thought for sure that was a ticket home.  Jay lies “We’re not making decisions for shock value.”  Uh-huh.  You guys try to find ways to recreate past hair freak-outs.  Do not lie to me.

Teyona–Tyra actually said that they were shooting for a jherri-curl look.  Really.  and they acheived it.  Awful.

Tahlia–Massive blonde hair.  She’s not even a little pretty and might be bigger than “the plus size” one.

Fo, watching all the ratty weaves, is overcome–not with schadenfreude about how much better she looks, but with self-pity.  She actually interviews that she has to hide her hair “to feel pretty.”  Oh shut. up. She is no longer cute to me.

Years of indentured servitude have paid off (?) and Sutan the Make-up Man is getting lines!  He gets to introduce the WalMart challenge (bless his heart, but you have to start somewhere).  As the quote in my title indicates, there are not Walmarts in NYC.  Apparently, this cycle, they aren’t allowed to leave city limits.  So they’ve set up a Cover Girl Wall o’ Paint in some other building and the girls have to go out onto the streets and convince someone to come be on the teevee.  Ostensibly they’re pitching some crap product with sparkles to make your eyes pop out or something.  I missed the make-up learning window and now can’t put on eyeliner without looking like it was done by a blindfolded drunk.  With epilepsy. Hey, too bad Isabella got sent home!

Kortni looks like a HAG.

Back at the house, they get Tyra Mail (or, as they get on the far superior RuPaul’s Drag Race, “SheMail”) that says “How many models does it take to screw in a lightbulb?”  Oh!  Oh!  I know!  Two, but the lightbulb has to be big enough to hold them!  Um, Three, one to screw it in and two to talk about how fat it makes her look when she turns sideways and you can see that she has 3 dimensions!  Two–one to screw it in and one to interview in the confessional how much she hate that stank ho that think she all that just cause she know about ‘lectricity and shit.  With her stank ass weave.

Oh, it’s just a dumb photo shoot where the girls have to hold their own lighting.  Please, they can barely smile with their eyes and not lose their necks at the same time!  First they have to learn to do make-up, now lighting? Cut-backs much?  Anyway, they all stink and Celia looks JUST like Patsy Stone.  Fo continues to be a whiny crybaby, saying that she looks like “plain Jane’s brother” which is kind of a great line, but shut it.

Among our judging panel delights:  Tyra informs the girls that they have to make sound effects in their heads while posing in order to acheive “tension” and proceeds to make DC Comics noises.

Nole Martin is back!  I rather hated him back in the Janice Dickinson days, as she did crazy bitch SO much better than he (or anyone on earth), but now he’s a needed breath of fresh snark.  Complaining about the lame crap the girls show up wearing (and again, 12 Cycles in, have we not learned to show up with our hair pulled back, faint make-up, no jewelry, wearing a tank top and jeans and heels?), he said the above line about looking in the mirror, which was awesome.

Aminat and Sandra’s delight whenever the other was criticized.  It was pure and wonderful to behold.

Next week: more drama.  More barely attractive girls complaining about their good fortune.  Tyra will likely act nuts.