It's hard to believe I've made it through 8 episodes of America's Most Smartest Model. But I can't stop watching . AMSM is compelling and I'm more than a little bit invested in the outcome. My wish is that either Brett or Rachael win. But more likely it will be the "now villain" of the show, V.J. Logan.
The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend
It's another sleepy morning at the Surreal Life/Rock of Love/America's Most Smartest Model house and we see sleepy models rising at an unspecified time because the contestants live in a bubble beyond the time space continuum. It could be 6 in the morning; it could be 10 in the morning. The home audience never sees a clock. We only know that models wake up just like the rest of us.
VJ stretches to life mumbling something like "there must something more to life than being really, really, really, really ridiculously good looking" (No VJ. I'm afraid there isn't more to your life than that). Angela is alone expressing regret at Daniel's departure. While telling us about her desire to stay until the end, we see her opening and closing panels that look like circuit boards. What new torture device is this? I don't know and I'll never know because there is no explanation given for what she's doing.
After VJ and Angela are shown in the house alone, we see Andre, Pickel, Brett and Rachael sunning themselves by the pool side. Andre lets out a big celebratory yell and Pickel replies "All you have to do is get rid of his enemies and now he becomes a nice guy." They have developed a new alliance and they are determined to kick out Angela and VJ. Much cockiness ensued as the new alliance of four, with much false confidence, discussed their plans to pick off VJ and Angela. Pickel was particularly cocky. Leaving that clip in is the REALITY SHOW version of foreshadowing.
Note Du Jour
Angela beckons the other models into the house She's found a table stacked with sneakers and workout clothes and the note du jour. Pickel deduces that "something physical is coming up." Angela reads the note du jour aloud. "Good morning models. Today, you will be put through a grueling test of both your bodies and your minds. Divide yourself (shouldn't that be yourselves? Mary Alice must truly have written this note) into teams of two. Put on this workout gear and meet me in the living room in one hour."
VJ looks to Andre to become his partner. Andre calmly tells everyone to take moment, breath and then choose. VJ camera speaks that this is his opportunity to get to know Andre better. But Andre camera speaks that he doesn't want to join up with him because he's a disgusting and he's a sneaky bastard. In the calm moment that followed, Angela asked VJ to be her partner. Andre joined up with Rachel, Pickel joined up with Brett. And things seem to be going according to the grand plan of the new super alliance.
The Edge Challenge - Survival of the Fittest
One hour later, the models walk into the next room where podiums and treadmills await. I was pleasantly surprised to see Ben Stein awaiting the contestants, because that means there is going to be quizzing and an opportunity for viewers at home to feel mentally superior to the silly, skinny people on the boob tube.
Ben Stein explains that one person from each team of two will answer as many questions as he or she can in one minute and the other will participate in an endurance challenge. The winner of the quiz wins a low setting on the treadmill for their team mate; second place earns a higher setting; third place even higher. Pickel is the first contestant.
Ben Stein signals to Mary Alice to start her stop watch because that is about all she is qualified to do when it comes to challenging somebody's smarts. Ben reads the first question. Pickel answers 10 out of 15 questions correctly. Angela and Rachael each answered 13 correctly meaning that VJ and Andre set their treadmills to 6 and Brett had to run with his treadmill at level 9. And the running begins. And goes on and on. After about 15 or 20 minutes, Pickel tells Brett to stop because he wants him to save his energy for the next day, leaving Andre and VJ to battle it out.
The challenge goes on for so long that both Ben Stein and Mary Alice lose interest. After an hour, they push the settings up to 7. And then to 8. Ben remarks that he never knew this competition would get so intense. That's probably the dumbest thing I've ever heard him say. Eventually, Andre just got tired and stopped running leaving VJ as the winner. Angela and VJ won an important Edge for the upcoming Callback Challenge. Not only did they earn the right to change their clothes nearby for an inhouse fashion show (which will make sense later), they got to choose one other person to go with them. They chose Rachael.
You Take the High Road and I'll Take the Low Road
The Call Back challenge was difficult, for both groups of three. The contestants had to put on a runway show for Mary Alice Stephenson and some random guy who I guess is important in booking modeling jobs but not being into modeling myself, his name didn't register with me. For Angela, VJ and Rachael, the challenge was pretty straightforward. They used a dressing room next to the catwalk to change into three different outfits for their catwalk test.
However, Brett, Pickel and Andre had to change outside and get through an obstacle course before walking down the runway. But they had to act like they hadn't just been through a grueling physical challenge. And on top of that, they had to do it all in a finite amount of time; seamlessly transitioning between outfits.
The only one who wouldn't know would be the visiting guest judge but how he didn't know something hinky was going on indicates that people in the modeling industry just aren't very smart or observant.
VJ, Angela and Rachael all did pretty well. Mary Alice drooled while she told VJ how well he did. I wouldn't be surprised to hear about some scandal involving both of them after a winner is announced in a few weeks.Angela won the challenge.
Pickel, Brett and Andre all had problems. Of course, they did a great job considering they had to run through tires, race through monkey bars and spin five times while balancing on a bat. But they didn't even credit for trying. In fact, Mary Alice seemed to go out of her way to make sure that the visiting guest judge model agent talent booking guy noticed every single thing the three of them were doing wrong.
Mary Alice had huge problems with the fact that Brett looked pissed and went out of her way to point it out to he visiting model booking talent agent guy. There were other things Mary Alice didn't like. For example, she chastised Pickel for opening his tuxedo to reveal a vest underneath because it was to Chippendales. It wasn't that bad and besides models are supposed to show off their outfits. She didn't like that Andre winked and blew kisses at the end of the catwalk.
She didn't like that Brett looked pissed off and she really hated when he tried to defend himself by reminding Mary Alice how much she loved his runway performance before. He told her that in previous challenges he had received good feedback from her for doing exactly what he had done in that challenge. And she got upset because she's inconsistent and she's not very nice.
But mostly, Mary Alice didn't like the fact that Pickel, Brett and Andre are NOT VeeJay. She has a thing for him. And I think it's as obvious as when she's drunk. By the way, I'm happy to point out that Mary Alice did not appear drunk in Episode 8.
Andre, Pickel and Brett were called out as the three worst. And in spite of Mary Alice's badgering of Brett throughout the elimination, she decided to send home Pickel because he only answered 10 questions correctly in the EDGE challenge.
What is Ben Stein doing on this show? I mean I understand why Mary Alice is on the show. She's obviously looking for some kind of validation for the years she's had to put up with people thinking she's dumb because she's beautiful. But Ben Stein is pretty established. My respect for him is dwindling even more than after I found it he's become a spokesman for Intelligent Design.
Couldn't he just bring back Win Ben Stein's Money? Now, that was a good show.