Previously on America’s Next Top Model, Tyra returned to her kingdom, now with new underlings. Did we mentioned Tyra returned, Tyra Banks, the boss, the boss Tyra Banks, is back. Well she is, and then she put the semi-finalists through their paces in interview/runway/photo shoot challenge before being whittled down to a top 14. Before that though we met Liberty the Trump supporter, old-Erin and poor Khrystyana who was yelled at by Liz for some reason. Ty-Ty then dropped the bomb that instead of a top fourteen, fifteen girls would be moving forward giving old-Erin the chance to prove herself.
(Then Tyra yelled at me and I agreed to time travel back to filming and whip up model meals for the booted girls. And now we are here, so yeah …).
We opened up looking over the majesty that is L.A. before zeroing in on the model mansion where Maggie was lamenting the fact that nobody was given best photo on the way to becoming a finalist. She reminded us she is really into cultural appropriation, which didn’t go down well with Coura and Sandra who felt she was trying to be something she felt they wanted her to be. As an aside, Sandra is by far my fave right about now.
Brendi K then opened up about her tough upbringing … leading Sandra to give her a pep talk. She is my queen.
Tyra-mail arrived – she turns up like Probst aka whenever I start to fall for a contestant – alerting the models that they would need to both chill and glide. Given she knows I’m ice skating royalty, I knew it wasn’t that since I wasn’t approached to guest. Instead, they met Stacey McKenzie at Venice Skatepark for a walking tute before being thrown straight into a runway show through the skatepark as skaters shredded around them. Is shredding a thing?
Law Roach manifested to introduce the models to the Baja East designers who flooded the shit out of my basement. They got to work dressing the models while Stacey found Ivana to give her a confidence boost, sensing she wasn’t feeling herself and her walk. As the show commenced, Stacey and Law announced that the winner of the challenge would win a spot walking for Baja East at NYFW. All the models were doing well before Brendi K went off course, Coura and Jeana dominated, and Ivana also went bush before Khrystyana took out the win … and my heart.
The models returned home where Brendi K discovered a half-eaten apple in the fridge, setting off an epic tirade at the other models given she grew up poor and doesn’t feel like people are appreciating the opportunity they’ve been given.
Tyra-mail returned with a simple, you’re glowing which it turns out translated into a pregnancy shoot. Either being knocked up was a requirement of entering the competition, or there was going to be some prosthetics before they boho-ed it up. This triggered Rhiyan who was told she may not be able to have children and Erin who felt guilty for never doing a pregnancy shoot with her children. Thankfully, they both overcame the emotions. On the flipside, Maggie struggled to get out of her head and get a good shot, and Brendi K couldn’t connect with the shoot after having a miscarriage due to an abusive ex.
At panel, Khrystyana received universal praise – aside from her kitten heels – Rhiyan shared her fertility issues before getting some middling reviews. Rio slayed, Liz was beige, Kyla struggled, Jeana served MILF-realness, Erin killed it, Liberty – despite her political views – gave great toe, Sandra failed to impress, Shanice was boring, Brendi was torn to shreds, Christina got mixed reviews, Coura was perfection albeit boring in person, Maggie was torn to shreds for having conflicting personalities and looking confusing and Ivana’s confidence was once again called into question.
As expected, the dominant Coura was given best photo with Rio nipping at her heels, leaving Brendi K and Maggie as the bottom two. Ultimately Brendi K was saved, sending my girl the white-homegirl Maggie home.
Poor Maggie was shocked and heartbroken to find herself out of the competition first, though bless her cotton socks, tried her darndest to convince everyone she was simply grateful to see them succeed. Though, maybe that could be my Maccie Cheesing talking.
Inspired by the great Goop Queen Gwyneth’s Mac and Cheese recipe, this mildly healthier version of the mac family is pure perfection. I mean, how do you go past bacon … even as a model? You can’t, now eat yo’ mac.
½ onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 rashers bacon, diced (optional, but like … are you mad? Everything’s better with bacon)
2 cups passata
small handful basil, roughly chopped
small handful oregano, roughly chopped
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
½ cup milk
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup plain breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 180C and bring a large pot of salted water to boil over medium heat, cooking the macaroni a couple of minutes less than the packet instructions.
In another pan, fry the onion, garlic and bacon for a couple of minutes. Add the passata and simmer for a couple of minutes. Stir through the basil and oregano, remove from the heat and leave to rest.
In yet another pan, combine the mascarpone, nutmeg and ¾ of the parmesan over medium heat until everything just comes together, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and a good whack of salt and pepper.
Drain the swap pasta and return to the pan. Add the cheese mixture and stir until well combined.
Pour the bacon-passata goodness into a baking dish, and then spread the mac and cheese over the top. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and remaining parmesan over the top, and bake for about twenty minutes, or until golden and glorious.
Allow to rest for about five minutes before serving and devouring, like a pregnant model.