By admin|Thursday, April 27, 2006 | 12:57 pm | 36 Comments
America’s Next Top Model is now down to the final six, and that means that it is time to send the girls overseas to another exotic location. Last week we got rid of Brooke, the busted model that nobody could fix. The only model that Tyra was able to fix was Joanie, who got a new set of porcelain veneers that fixed the only thing that was really holding her back, which was the jacked teeth. The judges have always put a priority on girls who have shown that they can improve, and Joanie sure has that ability. She’s risen so far, I think we can call her the favorite. Then again, leaving Los Angeles is a whole different world, or continent as the case may be, so you never know what kind of surprises Tyra and crew are going to have waiting for us.At the beginning of the episode, Jade, Nnenna, and Furonda are imagining themselves as the final three. That final thee being the winner, the runner-up, and Tyra. I thought that it was a little odd that Jade chose herself to be Tyra, but maybe that’s because she was the oldest one there. Actually, I am surprised that Jade even invited Furonda and Nnenna to join. OK, I guess Nnenna makes sense since the two of them are BFF, although if I were Nnenna and Jade had brought that slack-jawed yokel she calls a boyfriend to my house, we would be enemies forever.
A lot of people got upset with Tyra for criticizing Danielle’s teeth, but for the love of me, I wish that somebody would criticize Furonda. I freely admit that Furonda has been taking great pictures, and her personality isn’t all that bad, but just watching her walk made me want to hire a private investigator and FedEx her whopper or at least some rice or something. Reading through my posts on various topics, you probably have realized that I am more of an ass man, but it is preferable that the boobs at least exist. All I’m asking for is an A-cup here folks, perhaps some evidence of puberty; I’m not looking for a miracle.
The first task this week was a visit to MPRM Public Relations where they got to sit and chat with Rachel McCalister. When these girls win, they are going to be the face of Cover Girl, and will get a lot of press; therefore, they should get a taste of what it’s going to be like. Rachel McCalister, who is about as exciting as that half-empty bottle of water you’ve left lying on your desk all afternoon, is not quite up to the task, so they bring in George Wayne from Vanity Fair to do some fake interviews. Actually, Rachel did get Nnenna to squirm when she mentioned cheating on her boyfriend, but it was a complete accident, so I don’t count it.
This task could have been very interesting if I hadn’t seen it LAST WEEK. Yes, I know that the actor last week was not trying to be a reporter, but it was essentially the same task. The main difference is that in this setting, the girls didn’t think they were in a job interview, so the answers were slightly different. Other than that, George was trying to make them flustered, and they were trying to keep their composure. On the intimidation scale, George was able to surpass Rachel McCalister and reach almost “Hello Kitty” levels. In other words, I was fairly bored. I mean, who asks a model to spell out a word? Did he think they were worried they might not make it into the cast of Akeelah and the Bee 2: The Silent K?
OK, who left Nolé Merron out in the sun again?
Still, I am going to give George some props for making fun of Jade and her stupid scarves, and also telling her that a little humility goes a long way. You know I have never really liked that saying. If a little humility goes a long way people need a lot of humility might not understand how much they have to change to stop sucking. And it’s a little too ambiguous with what a lot of humility does. Does it go a long way? longer way? short way? Does it go a short way and then catch a bus or taxi for the rest of the trip? It just makes no sense.
Anyway, Nnenna won the challenge, which I thought was strange because George called her snobbish, but I guess it makes sense for a model to be hot and snobbish. Nnenna picked Jade to share in her prize, which was a special spa treatment, and as an added bonus, the girls who didn’t win would be the ones that would be servicing them.
Although the PR thing was plenty of drama, Danielle was still struggling with her decision last week to leave the gap, and the way the judges reprimanded her for not getting it taken care of. There was a lot of gap vs. anti-gap talk in the comments last week, but it really comes down to one thing. The girl who wins gets a Cover Girl contract and I’m sorry, but the gap does not work for Cover Girl. That being said, you can understand where Danielle is coming from. The gap has been part of her and it took her a long time to get comfortable with it, but is that part of her identity enough to risk a potential modeling career?
Danielle decides to call her mom to get a little advice, and I have to say, it’s really nice to see somebody other than Nnenna talking on the phone for once. Danielle’s mom says that she should “remember that girl from Texas” who was sent home because she didn’t listen to the judges. That girl, as you may remember, was Cassandra, who wasn’t quite down with the whole Rosemary’s baby look that Tyra envisioned for her. Mollie Sue proved this year that you could rock that look with the right attitude, but I don’t want to send myself into a frenzy talking about how she was robbed, so I’ll stop now. Danielle’s mom didn’t push her in either direction, but said that it was up to her to make the decision what to do.
In the end, Danielle decided that it wasn’t worth the risk of losing the competition just to keep her jank teeth. She heads to the dentists office, and to fix it completely, they probably needed to add some veneers like Joanie received, but since that took so much time, the dentist decided to try a different method. He grafted a couple of porcelain pieces to the inside parts of he front teeth to close the gap. Unfortunately, the gap couldn’t be closed all the way or else it would look like the had taped Chiclets to her gum. When it was all done, the gap was narrower, but still quite noticeable to tell you the truth. It might have been perfect for Danielle because the judges can’t complain about it now, but there is enough of the gap left for her to feel like she didn’t completely sell out.
The girls went to dinner in what Nnenna described as a very cultural place. I think she meant to say very ethnic, but basically it looked like they were in some sort of fancy Indian restaurant. When they were seated, some sort of drag queen came in. It was their makeup artist Two Tone, and the girls all started screaming because he was dressed up to be like Tyra. I would consider myself as in love with Tyra as any of these girls and I am for sure that I would barely be able to handle myself should we be in the same room, but I definitely wouldn’t be all aflutter over Two Tone, especially if there wasn’t any drink specials. Soon my questions were answered when Tyra came in, and Tyra and Ty-ra started arguing about who was the real Tyra. It was all just a big excuse for the two of them to say “Ty” back and forth. Why?
Because they are all going to Ty-land! Oh, I mean Thailand. Danielle expressed the feeling in the room perfectly. Anything the girls were worried about, they could leave behind. “Forget the gap sucker, I’m going to Thailand!” Now, I never knew that Thailand was known for high fashion, but then again, I still have trouble matching my socks in the morning (that’s why I like to wear sandals), so my fashion knowledge shouldn’t be considered “all encompassing”.
The girls pack their bags and then head for LAX and the Tom Bradley international terminal. I hate to be a xenophobe, but I can’t stand that terminal because it is the smelliest in the whole airport. I guess I shouldn’t be so harsh because most of the people coming in have been on planes for fifteen hours or more, and many of them haven’t been shamed into adopting Western hygiene standards. Two cycles ago, they gave us a nice little graphic to illustrate to all of us how far South Africa was from Los Angeles. I guess last cycle they didn’t think it was necessary with London. The plane graphic returns, and was I the only one who noticed how their pictures were bopping up and down during the flight? I don’t know, but it made me laugh.
Click on the picture to play
When they went to Tokyo for Cycle Three, I thought that was a nice place, but the hotels in South Africa and London were not all that great. When the girls got to their place in Thailand, it was absolutely gorgeous, although I couldn’t say the same thing about their transportation. I thought the huge ANTM Excursion limousine that they drove around last cycle was kind of gaudy, but it was nowhere near to being as awful looking as the pink van the girls were going to be riding in. It is so ugly, I have dubbed it the Whore-ient Express.
The next day it was spa time. Nnenna and Jade would be getting the traditional Thai massage that consists of a bath and then a session with a masseuse. The other girls were not exactly thrilled to be helping Jade and Nnenna, except perhaps for Joanie, who was taking things very seriously. She was very conscious to try and learn how to do things the correct way and be mindful of differences in the cultures. Meanwhile, Danielle was reprimanded for not being careful enough when she was placing the flower petals into the bath. She was sort of sprinkling them all around, but was told that she has to put them in one by one. It took only a few minutes for Danielle to get bored with that and simply throw the entire collection of petals into the bath and walk away.
As disinterested as Danielle was, Furonda was even more out of it. She said that she was a model, and not a masseuse, and her job was to help and rub down Nnenna, but it’s hard to give somebody a massage with only one finger, don’t you think? I guess Furonda was too busy thinking how she was going to spend all of the money she had. She was so excited earlier when she learned that she had about 3000 baht to spend and started learning some basic phrases in Thai. What she should have started with is the exchange rate, because 3000 baht is only about $75, which is probably enough to feed an average Thai family for a month, but does nothing for you if you are looking to get into a pair of Jimmy Choos. Furonda may laugh at the customs, but remember that tea ceremony that took out our darling Norelle in Japan.
I was wondering what sort of local flavor Tyra and friends would bring to the first photo shoot, and we learned that whatever was happening, they would probably be strung out when they were finished. OK, actually, they were really going to be strung up. The photo shoot had the girls pretending that they were mermaids that were trapped in a fishing net and were being pulled out of the water. They were going to be attached to a harness that would hang them upside down, and to make it realistic, they would have dead fish in the net with them.
Oh, and did anybody else think it was funny that the sponsor was Banana Boat? I guess they didn’t count on half of the of the contestants having almost no need for any of their products. And I’m not an advertising executive, but if I sold tanning products, I would probably hold out for a photo shoot on the beach before shelling out my money. Jay had almost no way to relate the product to the shoot, but what was he going to say? “Three out of five mermaids prefer the waterproof protection of Banana Boat!” I don’t think that’s going to sell very many bottles.
The shoot was original, and it had a high degree of difficulty, but I have to say that I really didn’t like a lot of the pictures that came out of it. The shots were from such a wide angle and there was so much going on in the background, that it was hard for the models to stand out. Some of the close-ups were nicer, but I thought they could have done better.
Danielle was really worried as the photo shoot started because she was afraid that perhaps there was a piranha that might be caught in the fishing net with her, and she said the thought of it made her throw up a little bit in her mouth. I’ve started to notice that sometimes Danielle uses the same look in her photographs, but like Jay said, she always knows her angles, and she seems to always know what to do with her body. I think she also gets some of the best make up week in and week out as well.
A lot of the girls got sick with Nnenna early on because she was winning everything, and they are still a little upset that she gets all of the attention, but none of them seem to be intimidated by her anymore, and they all believe they can win. Nnenna can take a great picture, but if there is something that is even the least bit difficult, she kind of caves in. Her face was once again strong, but she had trouble with her body. Eventually she is going to have to start standing out once again, instead of just coasting through.
I knew Jade would feel right at home in Bangkok. She could make a lot of money from all of the tourists that come and pay to have sex with men that dressed up as women. That being said, her picture was pretty good and she had good body control. Jay praised her for finally bringing a softer look to her shoot, but I have to say that I didn’t really note that huge of a difference.
Sara had lots of problems with this shoot, starting with her hair, which made her look like Jase Wirey from Big Brother. She has been getting upset lately that people are questioning her desire, but she has improved a little bit during the shoots. I still think she has a great face and would really kill on the runway if she could get any diva attitude.
I’m not exactly rooting against Furonda, but I am really struggling to figure out why she is still here. Then I take a look at her photographs, and she has been doing very well. She was complaining a lot and seemed to be in a lot of pain. Jay said she looked like fish bait, but she pulled it together for a decent shot at the end.
Joanie had my favorite picture from this week. Her face is great, and she was sexy without being slutty, which was difficult because she does have the biggest boobs of the remaining models, and her girls were threatening to free themselves all the time. She almost sabotaged her shoot by drinking a bunch of coffee right before, which is not smart when you are going to be hanging upside down. It sounds cheesy, but I really like watching Joanie as her confidence grows a little bit every week.
As we all know, becoming America’s Next Top Model takes more than just great pictures, and over the next few weeks there will be a lot of situations where the models will be tested on their personality. This week, the judging test had the girls attempt to sell their persona.
The two girls who are the best speakers are Nnenna and Sara, but they suffer from the same problem, which is that they both seemed rehearsed and they don’t look like they are enjoying themselves when they are in front of you. Sara is intelligent, and I almost feel bad that she thinks intelligence is what is going to set her apart in the industry. Nnenna is definitely smart and speaks well, but is so very robotic. The judges were absolutely bored with her two minutes into her little speech, but she continued on and on, obvious that nobody is going to give her a job because her goal is to be recognized in the Nigerian embassy.
I think by far the most natural girl and the one most comfortable with herself and everything about her is Danielle. You can see that she is having fun and doesn’t take herself too seriously. If there was somebody that you just wanted to kick back with, I think Danielle would be the choice. There’s just more energy in the room when she’s talking. Jade might not be the best personality in person, but she has no trouble selling herself, and that is what you need to be able to do in modeling. She may be a bitch, but it doesn’t seem forced and it’s definitely not an act. You may love her or hate her, but at least you have an opinion. Twiggy, who was having a ton of fun for some reason, loved that she caught Jade in a contradiction. Jade said that “what you see is what you get”, but that “you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover”, which was almost as bad as when she said she fits all of the modeling molds that she wants to break. Neither of them was as funny as hearing her say that her body was “proportionable”. Also proportionable: Jades vocabulary and her intelligence.
Joanie had a hard time with this judging task as well. It seemed like she knew what she wanted to say, but just couldn’t find the right words to say it, and instead relied on a bunch of clichés to get her point across, which made her sound completely unoriginal. The judges warned that she doesn’t want to be known as the bumper sticker model, which I guess is bad, but is really better than being known as snaggletooth and people making elephant noises when you open your mouth. At the bottom of this challenge was Furonda. She wants to model, but had no clue what she was talking about. The only thing the judges noticed was her awfully gaudy dress, which must have been made by somebody who though Furonda was going out on the town with Prince…in 1987.
I have to admit that I was a little surprised at how the judging went. Danielle’s name was called first, and you could tell she wowed everybody with her personality. Nigel gushed about how she was the one to beat, and the judges liked how she mentioned that her (now smaller) gap was her signature. As for the pictures, they marveled at how there was very little strain in her face, but plenty of strength in her eyes.
After Danielle came Jade, which surprised me because I didn’t think her picture was that awesome, but I guess the judges liked her personality, even as crazy as it was. The big surprise was when they called out Sara’s name after Jade. Sara’s picture wasn’t outstanding but maybe the judges believed that she showed enough potential to put her ahead. Joanie came next, and the only reason why she was not the top is that the judges still don’t think she is enough of a model in person. She is starting to remind me a lot of Kahlen, who had great confidence and was really fierce in the photo shoots, but could never open up enough to impress the judges.
That left Nnenna and Furonda. Nnenna’s big problem was that the judges called her safe, which is the kiss of death in this competition. Twiggy said she sinking fast and Miss J. said he only heard crickets whenever she was in front of them. It wasn’t that funny, but was really enhanced when he brought out a toy box of fake crickets, which wasn’t that funny, except that Twiggy had the funniest laugh that was one part Nelson, one part Mrs. Krabapple, and one part Bart Simpson. I swear I played it at least 15 times in a row. Furonda was in the bottom two because the judges finally realized that she is just not a model in person. At the beginning, Furonda was overconfident, people saw through it, and she worked hard to do better. Now, she sees herself on top and is doing a lot of complaining during the shoots.
The choices are always tough when there are this few left, but I thought there was no chance that they would send Nnenna home. Putting her into the bottom two was just to scare her, right? Not quite. The judges actually sent Nnenna home, which I understand, but thought it was a mistake. How ironic that both of these girls were practicing being in the final two, and they were actually in the bottom two this week? I guess they should have been practicing something other than acceptance speeches.
Although Nnenna’s ouster is the biggest upset since, well, Mollie Sue, but as long as she leaves Houston and her clingy boyfriend, I think she could have a modeling career. Of the girls left, I have to say that Joanie and Danielle are the favorites to win. I think Sara has an outside shot because she is so tall, and I think her face is more suited to Cover Girl than any of the rest. I would say that Jade is going to be the next to go because despite what the judges say, she looks old in her pictures.
What did you think of this episode? Did Nnenna deserve to go home?