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Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Shape of Fashion

Watching America's Most Smartest Model, it looks like the co-host Mary Alice Stephenson was expecting a more serious show like ANTM or Project Runway. She not only gives tough critiques, but she also encourages the contestants to be more cutthroat, as modeling is in real life. On the other hand, the producers clearly intended the show to be as light-hearted as it actually is. From the title of the show to the casting of likable, humorous personalities, they created a well differentiated show that provides some light entertainment for a Sunday afternoon. I hope as they cast for the second season that they don't move away from the formula to create another in a line of high drama, bitch-fest shows. AMSM has just enough of that to keep it interesting but so not so much to take it away from its focus on its comedic elements.

Brett NovekEpisode six of the show led off with an Edge Challenge that required the remaining models to pair up into teams and to have each member of the team cut three specified shapes out of paper. The team that accurately cut out all six shapes the fastest would be the winner. An easy task for elementary school students, but not necessarily easy for the masterful models.

As would be expected, AMSMBFFs Brett Novek and Jeff Pickel joined together again to be a team of convivial cocks of the walk. VJ Logan had to pair with Aussie Rachel since his regular squeeze box decided it was in her best interests to team up with the sagacious Daniel Schuman. (She thought Daniel's wits could save her from being, like the Second Defenestration of Prague, thrown out.) Left over, Angela Hart and Andre Birleanu formed the fourth team.

The challenge was devised and supervised by Project Runway's Santino Rice, who missed an opportunity to do a revision of his "Where's Andre?" imitation of Tim Gunn. The Brett/Pickel and VJ/Aussie Rachel teams had no problem with the task. Unfortunately for Daniel and Angela, their teammates blonde Rachel and Andre had trouble. Andre because of his unfamiliarity with the English system of measurement and Rachel because, well if you have seen the show you know why. Santino noted that it was painful to watch them work.

Brett Novek and Jeff PickelThe winners of the Edge Challenge were Brett and Pickel. For the Callback Challenge, which was to use the shapes to design a garment, BP received assistance from Santino as their edge in creating their apparel. The first hurdle they faced was the fact that they were both men and mens' clothing is difficult to create for the inexperienced. They settled on creating basically a fighter's robe with some sexy underpinnings for Brett to model.

Brett and Pickel showed that they were starting to "get it" - understanding the competition as VJ had already done. As the winners of the first challenge, they also got to give one other team only a single shape to work with. They decided to hose VJ by giving him just a circle, (which surprisingly he didn't just use to make a poncho.)

Brett NovekBP realized the clothes challenge was really about the presentation, not the design and workmanship of the clothes. In the end, Brett's sinewy body, Pickel's runway description, and their overheated raging red robe won them the automatic callback.

Blonde Rachel said that Mary Alice and the female guest judge were just two girls who like hot boys. Well, who doesn't like hot boys? With Brett and Pickel, even straight boys got to shout ... baby got pack(-age)! Rachel's dress was criticized but it was just an excuse. It was time for her to go and she ended up getting tossed rather bluntly.

Some extra thoughts:
  • I'll will miss the sound effects that occurred when Rachel thought about things.
  • Did you notice VJ dabbing his eyes after Rachel was let go? Maybe his tough guy image is hiding some deep inner sensitivity.
  • I'm still wondering exactly what VJ said in episode five that got so bleeped.
Considering "most smartest", Angela and Daniel are the smartest contestants and they should have found ways to always be on the same team. They would have killed on all the intelligence tasks. Daniel would be a worthy winner as he follows the rules in general and the Golden Rule in particular. He expects everyone else to do the same and, unfortunately, he gets very frustrated when they don't.

Brett Novek and Jeff Pickel
Brett and Pickel rehearsing Cinderella?

In depth coverage and photos of -> America's Most Smartest Model.


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