‘America’s Next Top Model’ Recap: An Avant-Garde Photo Shoot Separates the Strong from the Weak


In this episode of America’s Next Top Model, “Avant Garde,” Law Roach helps the girls identify their signature styles, a high-fashion photo shoot knocks one of the women off her feet and a dramatic judges’ panel has Ora second-guessing who to send home.

The girls barely have time to lick their wounds after the latest judges’ panel before the pile on of Courtney club convenes another meeting. This time, Kyle goes after Courtney over leaving the contents of the first-aid kit scattered in their bedroom. But Kyle doesn’t seem to specifically dislike Courtney; it’s mainly people in general. She admits to not having many friends outside the house and likes to be by herself. She confides in Paige that she’s over the whiners and the pity parties.
Name That Style
The following morning, the ladies get a visit from stylist, aka image architect, Law Roach. If this guy wants to pump some self-importance into his title, so be it. But he picks out clothes for other people to wear … BFD.
Roach wants to talk to the girls about personal style. It’s not all about what goes down on red carpets anymore; girls are getting famous for their street style as well. He gives each of the girls a chance to describe their personal style. Cory Anne continues to take a beating when, after describing a look as “model eclectic,” Roach says he can’t recall anything she’s worn to panel, ever. And she’s the only one who has proven to be completely unforgettable.
The girls have to use their own clothes to convey their personal style, and they only have 15 minutes to dress and impress. Each model explains her outfit and does a little runway walk, earning either a thumbs up or thumbs down from Roach.
Most of the girls receive some form of constructive criticism on how to better achieve their signature looks, but Law can’t find anything resembling “Hippie Chic” in Giah’s outfit, but he does appreciate that Giah knows she can improve, is eager to please and wants to be in the competition.
Krislian gets called out again for being too hoochie, Kyle’s “Gender Bender” look needs to be elevated, and while Roach thinks Cory Anne looks like a model, she hasn’t quite figured out her personal style.
The winner of the challenge is Tatiana, who gets a collection of Daya shoes, which is a line designed by Roach and his number one client, Zendaya — neither of whom I had heard of until this season of America’s Next Top Model. I’m not going to hate on these D-Listers selling their brand because Tyra promoted herself ad nauseam for 22 seasons and just pimped herself out on The Celebrity Apprentice.
High Fashion in the Frozen Food Aisle
The girls get a Rita Alert, and she tells them to wear the clothes and not let the clothes wear them. The girls think they might have to put on some pretty extravagant gowns, and Kyle dreads the idea of having to don some seriously girly attire.
The models head to Harlem and meet with Drew Elliot at a local grocery store. And this is your Piggly Wiggly variety, not something upscale like Whole Foods. Elliot explains that this is the site of their photo shoot, inspired by Chanel’s runway show. Gwyneth Paltrow also posed in a grocery store wearing lingerie for the November 2016 issue of Harper’s Bazaar.
Elliot explains that fashion is art, and some of the most amazing editorials take mundane tasks and turn them into amazing imagery. Designer Nicola Formichetti is on hand to take all of the women out of their comfort zones and into the world of avant-garde fashion.
The outfits, hair and makeup are all extreme, and some girls embrace the looks better than others. Cody, Binta, Paige and Cory Anne are standouts, while Giah, Krislian and Kyle fall flat. Kyle actually can’t stand in the heels and busts her ass. Courtney takes a fab picture, but Elliot comments that it’s a difficult process to get her there.
Judges’ Panel
India finally delivers the spectacular photo that Ora has been waiting for; Krislian manages to not “over-sexify,” but the clothes swallow her up; Graham thinks every photo of Binta is exquisite, and she is an editorial fashion girl; Paige manages to elevate it and never stays one-dimensional; and Roach wants to look at Cody’s photo forever and ever while Ora says it gives her goosebumps.
Giah gets props for showing up looking amazing at panel. But Elliot reveals that during the shoot, he came to the realization that while Giah is a beautiful woman, she’s not a model.
Law cannot deny that Courtney was born with one hell of a face, and Graham is blown away by Courtney’s photos, but she’s a bit put-off by the girl’s frosty personality. Elliot warns Courtney that if she can’t suck it up and stop complaining (this time, she was concerned about the outfit aggravating her allergies), he’ll make it his mission to get her out.
Cory Anne finally gets some much-needed adulation. The judges are shocked at how great her photo is, and Ora tells Cory that the picture is the definition of a “boss.” She assures Cory that there’s no way she’s going to be in the bottom two this time.
Elliot believes that Tatiana is definitely a contender, and Graham tells Tatiana that she is the “looks, the brain and the business.”
Elliot thinks Kyle is consistent, but she needs to expand her brand into something that will shock the judges. Roach has a problem with Kyle’s attitude, and she is definitely putting off a disrespectful vibe. This competition is about model and mogul, and he doesn’t think Kyle can pull off the mogul side.
Cory Anne gets best photo. When Ora gets down to the final three, she hesitates, telling her fellow judges that she’s afraid they’re making a mistake. Ora turns back to confer with the judges, and while no one seems to agree, the majority rules.
Ora calls Krislian’s name, putting Kyle and Giah in the bottom two. Ora explains to Krislian that the reason she had such a hard time putting her through is because they’ve reached a point in the competition where one failure is so crucial to the judges’ decision-making. She expects Krislian to blow her away next time, and it appears that the sexy social media star’s future in the competition depends on it.
Giah is eliminated.
Who do you think is the biggest threat to win ANTM? Will Courtney’s attitude be her downfall? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
America’s Next Top Model season 23 airs Mondays at 10/9c on VH1.
(Image courtesy of VH1)