You know, I have to start giving Tyra Banks more credit. While I love America’s Next Top Model and have always believed that our host is one of the most gorgeous people on the planet, I also thought she was a figurehead. I imagined that she was the leader of a puppet regime and there were much more influential people behind the scenes. That still may be true, but after the emotion she put into her speech last week, I have a sense that she not only is interested in making good television for Bankable Productions, but she is also interested in changing the lives of the young women that she finds. Maybe I am falling for an act, but I took notice. The remaining seven contestants also took notice, and they started this week with the elimination of Rebecca and Tiffany fresh on their minds.
[Yes, the Amazing Race recap is coming - so simmer down!]Everybody was saying how Tyra’s rant from last week was so very much unexpected. I think some of them could understand why Tiffany left, because a lot of them admitted that she didn’t seem as interested in it. But when Rebecca goes, you know that it is a competition. In the early part of the season, it was good enough to just look pretty on camera, but as things progress the models are going to have to show something. They don’t have to be perfect, but they will have to start getting better. Tyra came in to say that she went a little overboard, but that she really cares about everybody and what they are doing.
Luckily for our potential top models, their competition is giving them a crash course in everything they need to know to be a on the runway or at a shoot, plus everything in between. This week everybody visited, Jann Carl, of ET, to learn how you should act when you are being interviews, as well as being able to interview somebody else. Now before you say “What, did she play Drew Barrymore’s mom or something? What does she know about interviewing?”, ET means Entertainment Tonight, and Jann Carl is the host. Suffice it to say, she knows a thing or two about giving interviews.
These sorts of things tend to be great to watch, because, well if you watched them try to read a TelePrompTer last week, you would already know. It’s a disaster waiting to happen, and if that wasn’t enough to lure you in, the girls are also the ones going to be doing the interviews. If we were to create some sort of unintentional humor threat level scale, we would be talking about DEFCON 15, which is like 10 more DEFCONs than the military would use.
With that being said, I would like to say that I was a little disappointed with how things went. The best unintentional comedy moment happened when the cameras cut away to Michelle, who was wearing an “I’m With Stupid” shirt, and the arrow was pointed right at Tatiana. During the segment, Michelle actually wasn’t half bad. She is so very emotional, but when the challenge rewards being honest with your feelings, she comes across like she has nothing to hide and is just being herself. Tatiana, who has been complaining about being isolated from the rest of the group, complains that she doesn’t know enough about any of her roommates and feels this is going to be difficult. We don’t really hear much from Tatiana in any of the other episodes, so this has me feeling that she is going to be in trouble later in the episode.
Most of the other girls mostly got pointers in what not to say. Stuff like don’t repeat yourself, don’t be too cocky, try not to repeat yourself, don’t talk about other people, don’t repeat yourself and try and act like you are something you are not. Did I mention you shouldn’t repeat yourself? I only mention this, well besides for comic effect, because when Christina and Tatiana had their interview, it seems like they couldn’t stop saying “actually”. “Acually, I wanted to ask you a question.” “Actually, I was thinking that actually, this would be better.” “Actually, somebody told me that something else would be better actually”. Actually, we even got a nice little “actually” counter on screen. And even after Jann Carl actually told them they can’t say “actually” again, Tatiana actually had the nerve to say actually again, actually.
We got to the part of the show where the girls go out somewhere in LA to have a little fun. This is also about the time in my recap where I drop some LA knowledge on you but I had some complaints, so I won’t tell anybody about the club they went to, El Centro. Just kidding, I am not the club type and have never been there, but if you are in the area, there is this great Karaoke bar called Amagi just a few blocks away.
At El Centro, we learned a couple of things. First of all, we can add Kahlen to the list of girls who have horrible tattoos, as she got some very generic lettering on her right side. We also learned that Michelle is a sort of a freak. OK, we kind of always knew that, but it was really evident this week. She has always been kind of introverted and lacking confidence, but put her in a room with a few guys, and it seems like she was born to boogie. I wouldn’t say she got rhythm, but she was grabbing a hold of anything that moved.
The next day, everybody got shipped off to some random offices for an interview competition. That got to practice the previous day with Jann Carl in a mock interview, but this time they were going to be evaluated by her in a real interview. Continuing with the incest that they absolutely love on UPN, Eve was there to promote her new fashion line, called fetish. I am not sure if it will even be worth anything, but I have to say, it is a great name for a clothing line.
During the session, the girls had to overcome a number of things. Some were simply star struck that they were in the same room with Eve. I thought after working with Boris and Rib last week, they would realize that they were going to be meeting famous people quite often, but I guess that is not the case. There was also the problem of just coming up with the some questions to ask that would make the interview actually make sense. Jann had told them that whenever she couldn’t think of something to ask , she would simply ramble on for a little bit until she thought of something to say. Keenya tried this approach, and too call what she did rambling would be an insult to all of the people out there that never shut up. Ramblers at least form sentences and complete thoughts, Keenya was just throwing out a bunch of syllables. When she finally used her inflection to make the words sound like a question, Eve just sort of stood there without knowing what to do.
The most impressive girls in this competition were two people we don’t often see at the top of any of them, Christina and Tatiana. You sort of expect it from Christina because she just has that clinical look about her. If she wasn’t trying to become a model, she would be in some research lab, looking very intensely at something while she held a clipboard and chewed on the back of a pen. We didn’t expect that much out of Tatiana because, well, she doesn’t really have that much to say. Other than getting in a fight with Brandi, she is well, detached from the rest of the group. Christina ended up winning, and if I were her, I would have been pissed at my prize. She won an interview on Entertainment Tonight with Jann Carl and Eve. Even $50 at the GAP would have been worth more than that lame prize.
If you didn’t catch on that Tatiana would be featured this episode from her earlier comments, we got a nice little interlude before the next Tyra mail of everybody(well, Keenya actually) complaining about Tatiana leaving shit around the apartment. Her room, Bel Air, was almost empty, so a few of the girls moved in there. Instead of trying to make Tatiana feel like she was welcome, they complained while she read books. She then could be heard on the phone doing the “We have nothing in common speech” to explain why she didn’t make any friends.
Earlier in the episode, Kahlen had learned that one of her friends had died. She was trying her best to stay motivated and keep her focus. You could imagine how she felt when she learned the next day that her photo shoot was going to be in a cemetery. And this shoot wasn’t simply going to be next to a tombstone or outside of a crypt. There were seven girls left, so that meant seven deadly sins. They would actually be put in a coffin and lowered into an eight foot grave. When you are trying to get your mind off of your friend’s untimely death, you can understand how this could be a little troubling. Kahlen didn’t want to tell Jay, but when he found out, he immediately realized how difficult it would be for her and let her have some time to gather her thoughts.
What I wanted to ask him was, if this was the seven deadly sins, how far ahead did you have this planned? As far as he was supposed to know, eight people should have been around, right? Maybe he works fast, but it must take at least a week to find a cemetery to shoot in, not to mention find an empty grave people don’t mind you using, not to mention hire all of the people on the shoot. That tells me that while Tyra’s outbreak may have been spontaneous, the move to eliminate two girls at this stage in the game might have been planned well in advance.
So, for the sins, Brittany was sloth, Michelle was pride, Tatiana was greed, Christina was lust, Naima was envy, Keenya was gluttony, and Kahlen was wrath. The concept of this shoot was OK, but I am not sure if the girls were up to the task. They haven’t had too many straight glamour shots and a lot of people seemed like they had trouble getting a handle on exactly what sort of emotions they were trying to convey. These are girls that didn’t know the meaning of “crack of dawn”, how do you try and get them be fierce and fabulous while conveying sloth? Naima came back with a strong photo this week, with nothing but a sheer piece of fabric to work with. After her, I would say Christina and Kahlen did the best., and then Tatiana. With wrath, Kahlen was able to let out a lot of frustration, and the photographer was encouraging her to grunt like Monica Seles. Her are the pics:
When everybody got before the judges, they learned that they were to pretend that they were at a press conference promoting a new line of clothing, and the judges would be the press asking them questions. Nolé started things off right away during Michelle’s interview by asking if she was bisexual. Keenya seemed to be having fun with it when they asked her if she liked to pick boogers, even giving us a little demonstration. Brittany’s question had to do with double fisting and Paris Hilton, I will let you fill in the rest.
Now the judges said that the questions would be based partly on rumors that they heard from the makeup staff, and partly from rumors that they just made up. Christina was asked about IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, so it made me wonder if somebody was using a little extra charmin and people started to notice. And seriously, if it was after the Indian food, who can blame them? Tyra was either playing the judge or being truthful when she raised her hand and said “I have it!” when they were talking about IBS. I bet Tyra reads the Wall Street Journal whenever she wants to get down to business, so to speak.
Last week, the judges really complained about the picture quality, but I thought this week’s were much worse. Naima was praised for her great picture, and I think it may be one of her best. The judges liked Christina, but they said that lust was a chance to go over the top, and she simply brought sexy. Janice once again did a demonstration with Nigel, this time of lust. Recently, pictures of Janice’s nipple were posted on the internet. I lost a bet with somebody because I figured that she would find a way to let the girls loose at least once a week. Who knew Janice was so relatively modest.
Anyway, somebody who did take their chance on being over the top was Kahlen, and she seemed to nail the wrath shoot. Janice was going to make fun of her mope, but Tyra cut her off to tell her something serious actually happened. Great to know our judges aren’t just all fire and insults. I think Keenya looked the worst in this shoot. I think she is beautiful, but gluttony is not something you want to make sexy, especially if you have been a little gluttonous yourself (as we find out from next week’s previews).
As the names were read, it came down to Tatiana and Michelle. Both of these girls have been taking decent enough pictures, but it was going to come down to potential. The judges decided that Michelle had more, and let Tatiana go. Michelle is a wreck, and she has little room for error, but she does have a personality, and even if you think she is ugly or annoying, she wants it badly, maybe more than anybody else, and the judges rewarded her for that today. She has always been hard on herself, and she said that she would have been fine with any criticism, or even going home because she believes she is beautiful now. When she was in front of the panel, she really let it bother her, but as Janice said, they were just trying to shock her into getting to that next level.
I didn’t think Tatiana was ugly, but she wasn’t a bad choice to be eliminated this week. She did take a good picture and was OK during the interviews, but she has been take it or leave it all year. The biggest problem with feeling detached is that she didn’t let a lot of personality show as a result, and that really hurt her when she was in front of the judges. I would like to say more, but we have seen so little of her, I don’t really have that much to say.
Up next week, Keenya is getting a little chubs, and the models go for their first little bit of travel.