**Ahoy mateys, there be SPOILERS ahead.**
I think it’s time to talk about how clients may be choosing Naomi Campbell and not her girls. Hey, I get it. She’s an icon - a fabulous terrifying icon - but she is not in the competition. Just something to note. A tasty little thought to chew on.
Moving on to the (sparse) happy moments of this episode…
I so love Coco’s gold sequin jacket.
There’s a dance portion! I dance rather like the hippos and crocodiles in Fantasia only with less grace so this makes me ooze sympathy. I admire anyone who can control their limbs and face in some kind of fashionable synchronicity. Also, Synchronicity - such a great album! That said, if you say you can dance then I do sort of expect a kind of elegance in motion to appear before me. So I don’t think ‘dance’ means what Jocelyn thinks it means. Ebony, on the other hand, has emerged from last week’s elimination with her game face on. So after witnessing some flailing, a lacklustre attempt at The Robot, and a handful of slick moves, Coco justly names Ebony as the individual challenge winner.
The team challenge involves shooting a spring lookbook full of motion, expression, and playfulness. A stylist whose name I thankfully have already forgotten represents the client, Marshalls.
Here are the two nice things I can say: Zi Lin’s black and white color block dress is delicious. Team Coco and Team Karolina both pull off some genuinely fabulous shots.
And here is the rest:
Quote, Naomi to Sandra in rehearsal: “Are you looking at what you’re doing because if you were you’d be afraid.” But the real thing to fear is the dragon lady stylist. She is snarky and critical and comes out swinging at Team Coco. When Coco throws her shade in the briefest of sideways glances I want to cheer. She is not quiet in her criticism of Stephanie (this is how dragons end up slain, you know?) but she does like Margaux’s effortlessly lovely posing. Coco and Karolina both coach their teams into some wonderful photos but Team Naomi wins it. Again. Which begs the question of whether a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Sandra needs to learn the subtle art of not being a hysterical drama queen every time Team Naomi wins. She’s like Tigger bouncing all over the loft in glee only her gloating is neither ‘fun fun fun fun fun’ nor ‘a wonderful thing’. She continues her tactless rejoicing in the team room which starts a huffy confrontation which leads, ultimately, to this bon mot from Naomi: “This is not playschool. This is bullshit.” Agreed. Then this: “We are the most miserable team here.” Sometimes these recaps write themselves, you know?
In Team Coco’s room, Coco about breaks my heart when she says she has lost faith in herself and questions her mentoring. She wonders if she is failing her girls. Margaux and Stephanie are utterly downtrodden. I just… I want to give the three of them a group hug. Girls, you are collectively killing me! Forced to choose between a rock and a hard place, Coco sends Stephanie to elimination. Karolina chooses Madeleine. And we have tears. Madeleine may actually be as delicately fragile as her beauty.
Elimination. Dun dun dunnnnnn. Naomi is a gleaming tower of cool. She asks Madeleine how she feels and then plays Twister with every sentence uttered. The words are turned to pretzels before us! Madeleine, just stop talking. There is no way to win. You are trapped in a labyrinth of ice and judgement. Stephanie, who really should hold seminars on How To Avoid The Axe: Land On Your Feet Every Time, gives a savvy plea and winds up saved. Girl, thank god. I literally cannot take this stress week by week.
I will pause here to address the inane. Ebony, somebody has to go home so that in itself is a legitimate reason to send Madeleine away. Two go in, one comes out. This is some straight up math right here.
And then IT happens. The glorious moment. The moment I knew would eventually be revealed - like the pulling back of the curtain to reveal who Oz the Great and Terrible truly is. Naomi admits to the camera that she saved Stephanie because she’s “keeping the weaker girl”. Did you see that? That is ace! She just threw down the gauntlet. Stephanie must now win.
Well, I will accept any win that is not Team Naomi just on principle but I have always been and will resolutely remain Team Coco. Stephanie and Margaux, rise up! There’s a song for this moment, isn’t there? “My money’s riding on this dark horse, baby…”
Tune in next week when, from what I can tell, we will surf a tidal wave of tears together.
**Ahoy mateys, there be SPOILERS ahead.**