Now that we are a little ways through this fourth cycle of America’s Next Top Model, the decisions on the girls are starting to get a little tougher. On the whole, I am among those that says that this year’s cast was not as great overall as last year’s cast, but does that really matter? The more that I look at it, the more that I believe the top four or five from this season could easily stack up again last year’s top five. True, this time around we have a few more people that were a little rough around the edges, but it is a learning process, and so we will wait for that true potential to show. Still, while they are learning to let their potential show, we have no problem laughing at them as they try and get there. And we have Tyra Banks to lead us through that journey. AWESOME.The two girls still hurting from last week are Michelle and Lluvy. Michelle found a doctor who took care of her skin problem. Although she is still crazy, at least her face is beginning to clear up. Soon, her main problem is going to be history. That’s not a statement that we can make about Lluvy. The more I look at Lluvy, the more I get used to her unique look. But let’s get serious for a moment here. She has such a small margin of error with her pictures, and she is way outside of the standard deviation when it comes to that mug of hers these days.
Our first bit of Tyra Mail this week asked the girls to see how “bankable” they were. Everybody thought it was going to be something about an endorsement, and when they arrived, some random black guy who sort of looked like Eddie Murphy’s Nutty Professor walked in and asked them to sign some contracts. He wasn’t very intimidating, but he said that anybody who didn’t sign would have to wait outside. Therefore, none of the girls really read the contract, and they all walked inside to find…
TYRA! (I bet you were all really fooled.)
Bankable meant Bankable Productions, which is Tyra’s company. Modeling is a business, and the girls learned that they would have to treat it as a business. Tyra introduced them to Carolyn London, Tyra’s mom, and Don Banks, Tyra’s dad. Looking at the two of them, you start to wonder if the looks skip a generation in the family. Either that, or she has some sibling out there that got all of the ugly and fat genes. It’s understandable, my sister got all the good looking genes too, but at least I got the brains (Hi Sis!). My mom is tiny, and my dad is pretty tall and thin, so you could understand how at least one of us ended up looking so good. You cannot say the same for Tyra. Then again, however unholy that union was (and I sure hoped they replaced the boxsprings in the honeymoon suite the next day), the ends justify the means.
Anyway, the girls learned that they should read everything before they sign it, like the contracts that they just signed. They found out that they basically signed their entire lives over to Bankable Productions, and as an added bonus, they were required to jump five times whenever somebody said “model”, and yes Tyra had them jumpin’ jumpin’. It reminds me of the time in college, there was this kid named Neil, and he was supposed to say “Get in my BELLY!” like Fat Bastard every time he walked into the basement. Listen, it sounded a lot funnier when you are drunk and/or stoned. Luckily for the models, the contract also said that all of the terms were null and void, meaning that it wouldn’t hold up in court or anywhere else. They were off the hook.
Business lesson over, it’s now time to start learning about other parts of the modeling world, like staying up all night partying and drinking so you are too sick to eat the next day and won’t gain any weight. Everybody piled in to those big white vans and headed over to the Electric Lotus, a nice Indian place on Franklin in Los Feliz. For some, it was a chance to have some time out of the house and enjoy each other’s company. For other’s it was a time to get bombed and have some fun. Brittany fell into the latter category.
I have never believed that it would take Brittany all that much alcohol to get her to go wild and crazy. She is insane when she is sober, and quite a riot when she is drunk. Tonight, she was drunk. Like so many other people, the first thing to go when you are drunk is your inhibitions. Brittany began to speak her mind, saying things like “Lluvy, you have taken like 3 bad pictures out of 4, does that bother you” or “Rebecca, why are you such an uptight bitch?”. As much fun as that was, it was even better when she started dancing on the table. Tiffany, who has been subdued a little since Brandi left, loved every minute of it. You can tell she liked dancing on tables. Tthe tables at the Electric Lotus were about six inches off the ground, so it was no big danger, but that didn’t stop a lot of girls from complaining about Brittany acting unprofessional. I thought Kahlen was going to die on the spot, and Rebecca looked down her nose at Brittany as well.
To top the evening off, Brittany pulled one of my favorite tricks in the book – the pressed ham. Ahh yes, the pressed ham. One of the more charming little pranks in the book. You know how whenever you pass a car, you just have to look at the car next to you, even if just for a fraction of a second? The pressed ham ensures that a driver passing you will get an eyeful. Basically, you drop trou, and press your butt against the glass, for a nice little image of your ass under glass. If you are worried that you or your friend might make a little bit of a mess with an ass on the window of your car, it is just as fun to do it to a stationary car. Try it sometime. As you are walking home or to your parked car after a night out on the bar, drop your pants/raise your skirt, and press your ass against some unsuspecting windshield. There doesn’t even have to be somebody in the car when you are doing it, but it’s a lot of fun.
After Brittany and her full moon antics, the girls had another Tyra mail the next day, and they were told to be prepared for a party. Making their way to Brentwood, they learned that Cover Girl was throwing a party and they were going to get a chance to meet some people from the industry. What they didn’t know was that this was yet another secret challenge. Hidden among the executives of magazines like Elle and Mademoiselle, were judges who were going to rate the girls based on their confidence, how well they worked the room, and how well they could let their inner beauty shine through.
Some people were pretty good at this. Keenya seemed to engage everybody and Lluvy was her goofy self. Other had some problems. Poor Tiffany seemed intimidated by all of the rich people, so she kept to herself looking at all of the products. Naima was well spoken, but she was criticized for being too reserved. Christina didn’t recognize one of the models in the promotional photography, even though she met her just a few minutes earlier. And then there was Brittany.
If I was at a party with Brittany, I am sure I would be having fun, even if I wasn’t talking to her or staring at her top waiting for her boob to pop out. You know that she is not going to be at a party if it is boring, so if she is there, you are safe. And in all likelihood, if the party was boring, she would try to spruce it up a little bit. BTW, did I mention how HOT her voice is? I can hear her now Her voice is Darth Vader deep, but still drives me crazy. “Luuuuuuke, I am your girlfriend.” Brittany double fisted her drink and was really out there, and the judges were not impressed. They thought she wanted to know more about the drinks than Cover Girl.
Keenya wins, and for her prize, she gets to sleep at a luxury hotel and take a friend along. She chooses Brittany and the two head somewhere in Malibu for their prize. While they were their, they were treated to cheese and dessert plates, and room service like none other. The rest of the girls got home, and were greeted with a message that they had to be awake and ready by 6:30 for the next day’s shoot. Keenya and Brittany were allowed to arrive fashionably late – they needed some time for their breakfast in bed, a deep tissue massage, and some frolicking in the ocean.
The photo shoot was way the hell out there. Palmdale. I mean, it’s not Barstow, but it may as well be the Amazon for as much as I would ever want to be there, not to mention it would make the commute to the TVgasm offices about two hours. Every shoot is supposed to give the girls a new challenge that they would have to work through, and this shoot featured the elements. They were in the desert, and there were wind and rain machines to pelt them during the photos. The theme was the old sexy greasy gas station mechanic in the middle of nowhere coming out to change your oil, replace a tire, or just fill you up, so to speak.
It looked like the girls had a lot of fun with this, although they were really bothered by the rain and the gale force wind machine really had them being pelted by the rain and soaking wet. They also couldn’t hear instructions. Some of the people felt more natural than others, particularly Tatiana, who said she loved cars. Kahlen looked great, and so did Michelle. As awkward and strange as she is, her legs go on forever. Surprisingly, this wasn’t one of Naima’s strongest shoots. Unsurprisingly, they were playing clown music in the background for Lluvy. At this point, I am feeling bad for this girl, so much of modeling is feeling sexy and confident in your body. Unfortunately, Lluvy said she didn’t feel sexy, and it really shows in her pictures.
Brittany and Keenya came on to the scene, did their shots, and then everybody was on their way. I am sure they couldn’t of been happier to get out of that place, but you have to admit, Palmdale is probably better than Van Nuys, or Oxnard or something. It is heartbreaking to say, but I don’t think Naima or Keenya had one of the best three or four pictures this week. Naima had this strange head angle going on, and Keenya simply did a safe pose. Here are what I thought were some of the best shots from this week:
For the judging the girls were given the task of creating their own perfume bottle under a given time limit, and then come up and sell their product to the judges in an effort to show their bankability and marketability. During this challeng, the judges even took on assumed personalities and asked the girls questions based on their stereotype. Janice was Babs Firestein from Brooklyn, Nolé was Nolé Le Pue from France (quite the stretch, I know), Nigel was Johnny Hott from Chelsea, England, Mathu, the guest judge and this week’s photographer was Igor Slutsky from Russia. And Miss Banks, she was Precious Tang from Louisiana. The concept was good, but the only person who was really in character was Tyra, and it got old after awhile. I thought it would have been hilarious for Nigel to let a little of his soccer hooliganism show, but he really disappointed me.
When it came time to judge everybody, they really were in love with Brittany and the way she handled herself and all the questions. She is a fool, but a lovable fool, a term of endearment I must say I would readily approve of, and I bet so does she. Tatiana was kind of lost during her perfume presentation, but had a great photo. Michelle was also similarly lost, but also had a striking photograph. The judges keep saying there is something about her that pulls their hear strings and just makes them want to love her. I think they really like the type of girl who was into a sport before coming into modeling. They have a raw energy that you can build from. Although I think Anne is prettier than Michelle, I think they kind of fit into the same mold, and it’s one of the reasons I think Michelle could last another three or four weeks, although she really needs to lay of the crazy juice as the competition moves along.
This week Christina finally seemed to have let go some of the intensity in her eyes, and I didn’t feel like she was trying to read my thoughts every time I saw her. She even broke out of her robot existence, and shed a little tear explaining why she seemed so cold and distant. Tiffany had no clue what was going on with her fragrance, and barely spoke a word, but Kahlen stuck through all of the strange questions and just smiled along. The judges never have much negative to say about Naima, but the idiot Mathu thought she could lose five or ten pounds. I am really starting to feel bad for these girls.
Tyra began to read the names, and in a little bit of a surprise, Rebecca was in the bottom two along with Lluvy. The judges have constantly complained about Rebecca and how she is gorgeous to look at, but is not pulling off anything exceptional. She would be an all-star, but never an MVP. We all know what Lluvy’s problem is. The judges love the potential that her unique looks bring, but can’t wait around for her to learn how to make it work for her. In the end, it was that lack of improvement that sent Lluvy home. Again, I sort of felt bad for her because she had always wanted to be a model, knew she was never going to be a cover girl, but didn’t find that feeling within herself that she could compete with the other girls.