Chapter by Chapter review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Chapter 18

What? The chapter title’s “La Lumiere”. I have to use this video.

At the end of chapter 18 I expressed my stupid hope that “Modelland” might somehow free itself from the tight fist of Id!Tyra and take an entirely different direction from what we’ve been getting from the past few chapters. It’s the human thing to do, right? To hope for something better.

Of course, if there’s anything that Tyra Banks has excelled in over the years, it’s crushing whatever hope any of us may have had in our hearts — e.g. Elyse Sewell and Allison Harvard — and then reminding us that she’s the only thing we should focus our attention on.

No, Tookie and the gang aren’t going back home. All that claptrap was for nothing — kinda like ANTM All-Stars — and Tookie and the Bellas are still in Modelland. Let’s just get this chapter over with.

I’m trying, you guys. I’m really, really trying. But when it’s revealed that the girls haven’t been sent home but are instead gathered in front of their dormitory, I wanted to take a dump and maybe play around with it for a while. Because that would have been more interesting than the inanity that follows.

The girls find ZhenZhen in front of the D — because dormitory starts with a “d”, eh, eh? — and they have this conversation about the lack of a fashion show at the end of the THBC that just makes me want to pull out my eyes and roll it around on the bathroom floor of a Philippine public restroom.

ZhenZhen tries to make it sound like not walking the runway was such a tragedy for these girls, who had to go through the horror — the horror! — of not being really, really good-looking. Walking the runway is heaven, heaven! she says.

Tell that to these girls.

Oh, oh, oh, an you know what they call the rooms in the dorm where all the girls get to hang out together? UnCommon Rooms. Look me in the eye and tell me that Ty-Ty didn’t crib that from Harry Potter.

The girls are also given their wands Senturas, which are basically scarves that enhance whatever powers and modeling ability the girls have. The girls are also assigned their Houses rooms, and Tookie gets Shiraz Shiraz, Kamalini (of Chakra), and Zarpessa for her roommates.

Oooohhhhh, gurl, there’s gonna be some catfights up in here!

But rather than give us a full-on bitch fight — I mean you might as well, Tyra. What else do you want us to do with this thing? — all we get is Zarpessa being your typical basic bitch. It’s all passive-aggressiveness and poorly executed sarcasm that would just probably get edited out if this were on ANTM.

Before the Bellas go to sleep, we also find out what the lumiere is. Let Zarpessa explain it for you guys.

“The Lumiere is the special light that shines on Bellas at night. It’s whatever their most flattering light is — candlelight, sunlight, whatever.”

And as if she’s reading my mind, Tyra herself points out the absurdity of this whole shebang. One of the nameless Bellas asks “Are we really supposed to sleep with these on us all night?” and we get this conversation between Zarpessa and Kamalini.

“‘But Kamalini,’ Zarpessa said in a patronizing tone. ‘It’s an honor. The Lumiere is supposed to give you all kinds of restorative gifts throughout the night. Plus, it helps your skin fresh and dewy!’

‘And so does sleep!’ Kamalini protested.”

I’m imagining Tyra’s editor happily crying into a pile of puppies after reading this. After which she reminded Tyra that something useful has to happen in the chapter so Tyra tacks on this last bit before ending “La Lumiere”: Tookie stumbles on something while sleepwalking

“A figure was on its knees, rocking back and forth and mumbling ‘It’smyfaultIt’smyfaultIt’smyfault’ over and over and over. The figure held a wooden plank in hand, and their back was bruised and bloody.”

At one point the figure goes “AAAUGHH! SORRY SORRY SO SO SORRY SORRY SORRY!” and all I heard in my head was Super Junior.

So who is this figure taking its cues from Silas of the “The Da Vinci Code”? It’s Ci~L


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