On Friday’s episode of America’s Next Top Model, it was the contestants’ first week in Las Vegas. For their challenge, they had to fiercely pose midair while simultaneously falling into a pool, working some Sin City-related prop, and show off the garment. (The standard for any of today’s fashion icons.) And instead of the weekly photo shoot, the model hopefuls had to tooch and smize for a music video promoting show matriarch Tyra Banks’s own line of cosmetics, TYRA Beauty.
The name of the song: “BOOTYful.” Like beautiful. Because duh. And of course, Tyra herself would be in the music video along with the final seven, doing most of the lip-syncing. For fans of Tyra’s voice in “Be A Star” from the critically acclaimed Life-Size starring the supermodel as a doll that comes alive, they’ll be disappointed to find out that for this music video a musical artist by the name of Stori would be supplying the vocals.
So Tyra shows up, explains what the models will be doing, and also that TYRA Beauty products can be sold by anyone a la your mom’s Mary Kay or Avon bestie. She also has a vocabulary lesson for everyone.
For those of you unfamiliar with the modeling competition or haven’t watched it since the golden age of contestants like Jade and judge Twiggy, you may be a little overwhelmed. ANTM is in its 22nd cycle (yes, it’s still running) and for the past couple of seasons has included male competitors (most of them are hot). Having a music video swapped in for a photo shoot is not the first time this has happened.
True Top Model fans will remember back to cycle 2 when the girls had to dance in Tyra’s “Shake Ya Body” music video, the inaugural moment she stressed the importance of video marketability to the model wannabes. Cycle 17, which featured all-stars, had each of the girls record their own song and music video. Hell, even rapper Game stopped by to help out and to judge at panel. The next cycle had British competitors duking it out with some Yanks, and gifted us with “Stop, Drop N Tooch.”
Point is music videos are very much a part of the present-day Top Model DNA. And they are ALWAYS gold mines for hilarity. The cycle 18 all-stars had to incorporate “POT LEDOM” into their songs, which is “TOP MODEL” (sort of) spelled backward.
Back to Friday’s episode. This music video has everything. Product placement! Finding your confidence! A past ANTM contestant! A past ANTM contestant riding a horse through club!
(This is Don Benjamin who was in the first cycle that featured guys, didn’t win, but now he does music. He lets the ANTM noobs know that even if they don’t take home the title, being on the show will still get you some exposures and teach you some thangs.)
So part of the song goes, “dab it dab it, dip it dip it, pat it pat it, click it click it.” This is essentially what you do with the makeup from the Top Model showrunner, just before clicking selfies.
And remember, this is all in the name of getting “BOOTYful.”
So each of the models have a “role” in the music video, but all that matters is that Lacey plays the insecure girl who finds herself through the power of TYRA Beauty products. She’s sad and timid for most of the narrative until Tyra finally invites her onto the stage. The song also has this slowed-down bridge where Lacey’s face is overlaid with Tyra lip-sync crooning to (I think) represent the transition into fierceness for this once-shy young woman because next thing you know she’s at the club and everything.
And there are lots of other amazing moments. Tyra shows up in the girls’ mirrors, very Disney of her, and they’re like surprised but also like “yasss Tyra!”
Once Lacey is decked out with TYRA Beauty products and goes to the club is when all the noteworthy scenes happen. Everyone’s in Hunger Games-like armor, representing District Tyra.
Runway coach extraordinaire Ms. J shows up and slays per usual—even if it’s just a sec. She’s all like, “deuce.”
Drinks are poured, but instead of booze it’s just more of the TYRA Beauty products. Better make sure they’re non-toxic before you take a sip of that stick, kiddos.
The models spell! But in this world, beauty is spelled a bit differently.
And this all makes perfect, wild sense in Tyra Banks’s reality television world. At the end of the cycle, only one will be crowned America’s Next Top Model. But at least they’ll always have “BOOTYful.”
And I will always have this GIF of Tyra eating a carrot.
Photos via CW’s America’s Next Top Model/Hulu