One of the most difficult parts about watching America’s Next Top Model this year is that I knew that my favorite, Danielle, could not win. No, I haven’t lost my love of all things Sara, but without the “h” she is somehow a little less appealing, not that I wouldn’t return her phone calls should she decide semi-employed bloggers are better than Senator’s aides. Sara doesn’t have “it” like I think Danielle has “it”. Danielle has been taking the most consistent pictures all year, has a great personality, and sort of actually cares about the other people in the competition. There’s just a slight problem with that mug of hers, specifically the grill. She has a big gap in her teeth and in general, that’s not a feature people associate with beauty. It’s a problem Danielle doesn’t suffer through alone; Joanie has a case of summer teeth: summer teeth go this way, summer teeth go that way. Personality can take you a long way in this competition, but it’s not going to pay for eighteen hours in a dentist’s chair, and it won’t make you a Cover Girl.The girls didn’t really seem to notice Leslie’s absence. Joanie was still raving about how much the judges loved her, Brooke was still talking about how bad her pictures looked and how she really needs to step it up, and Nnenna was still on the phone with her stupid boyfriend. We shouldn’t worry too much about these little preliminaries too much because we had a lot to pack in this episode and we all know that I like to ramble on.
First stop this week was the Strausberg ad agency where the girls were to Deprise, the most sought after creative director in the entire modeling industry. She must get all of these jobs without people looking at her office, because it was an absolute dump. I mean, would you go to a dentist who had jacked teeth or hire a personal trainer that looked like Chris Farley? I guess I just don’t understand the world of modeling.
After handing over their portfolio’s the girls each had a private session with Deprise. The judges have been pretty harsh on these girls, but Deprise took brutally honest to another level. Janice Dickinson prides herself on being honest, but she has got nothing on Deprise who was quick to point out some of the flaws that we knew about, like the gap in Danielle’s teeth, Brooke’s masculine chin, and Furonda’s anorexic-like look, but she was quick to point out flaws that I really didn’t notice. She said Nnenna had a bit of a stomach, Joanie had big ears, and Sara’s bottom lip was much bigger than her top lip. The girls didn’t know if they should be angry or upset and after they finished, they all collected into a conference room and sort of waited for it all to be over. There wasn’t enough confidence in that room to ask Gilbert Godfried out on a date. I always wonder how guys like John can get girls like Nnenna and I guess it means I should get a job at an ad agency to take advantage of moments like what just happened.
Do you like innies or outies
As upset as everybody was about somebody pointing out their worst attributes, they knew they could all sit back and await the joy of watching Jade as she came out of the room. Jade does not take criticism well, even when people know what they are talking about, so I’m sure they were expecting Jade to go absolutely mental and throw a chair or something. The actual result was quite different. Jade went in and Deprise was harsh, but Jade said that she has worked for along time so she is used to that “cut throatedness”, much like we are used to her “dumb bitchedness”. Made up words or not, Jade did very well. Deprise liked how Jade “owns who she is”, which is a nice way of saying that she is conceited, and that Jade is not phased by anything, probably because she is used to people telling that she is ugly.
In the end, nobody even came close to being as good as Jade. When the girls returned home, Jade learned that prize would be a giant box. But this was no ordinary giant box, because hiding inside was Jade’s mother. Jade picked Nnenna to share in the prize with her, which meant that everybody got to see John in the flesh for the first time. You know, we only saw him in old video clips and heard him from conversations on the phone, so it is possible that we missed something and there is much more to John than meets the eye. Well, I am here to tell you that you weren’t wrong. John isn’t more impressive in person, and in fact, he could be even less impressive than I had imagined. And I don’t think I was the only person who felt that way.
PASSION! or PASSION?
Did you notice the look on Nnenna’s face when she saw John come out of the box? It’s was like Halloween when you got up to a house and discovered that all of that hard work walking from the sidewalk to the porch was only good enough for an expired box of Good N’ Plenties. Nnenna even mentioned that she felt indifferent when she found out it was John in the box. Later, she tried to put a spin on the whole “I kissed a male model” thing by saying he kissed her, and the only thing she did wrong was not turn away, but that was because she was on a photo shoot. I wonder what she would say if she had sex with somebody else. “No honey, it wasn’t sex, I just slipped, fell, and landed on his penis.” Overall, Nnenna’s lack of enthusiasm to have John around means he is as good as gone.
Is Jade happy to see her mom, or did she just pass a kidney stone
Jade, on the other hand was so happy to see her mother Diana, she immediately began to cry. If you ever wondered why Jade is so strange, you probably only need to meet her mom to get all of the answers. Jade’s mom said “Can I fluff you down”, which I thought meant that she was going to make her bed and leaver her a dinner mint, but was something entirely different. Jade told us that her mom works with energy. She pulls the energy of the universe through her hands. Yes, the energy of the universe. Not your aura, not the room, not the planet, not even the solar system. Diana pulls the energy of the universe through her hands, which I guess is supposed to put you at harmony with something or another. And as delusional as it may seem that Diana thinks she can do all of that, you know there are people who pay her to control the universal energy. Even oxygen bars are more useful than this shit. But hey, it inspired Jade to write some poetry. What do you think of this:
heaven and hell, earth power wind force
make me listen
and my strength will be my source
I think that Maya Angelou has nothing to be afraid of.
The photo shoot came really early this episode, and the girls went to the studio to see Jay Manuel tell us stories of his childhood. He told us that when he was a kid, his sister used to get him in trouble because he stole her dolls all the time. Wow, finally, I can relate to Jay; I used to take my sister’s dolls as well. Our reasons for taking from our sisters were a little different though. While I would take so my friends and I could melt their heads with a magnifying glass, Jay liked his sister’s dolls because they had perfect hair. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next time we hear about Jay’s childhood, he talks about how he used to sneak into the theater to see Miss Saigon.
Jay Manuel stole dolls from his littlesister
The comment about perfect hair was meant as a transition for this week’s product placement, brought to you by Pantene. The product placement is starting to get a little annoying, but at least they seem to be pretty obvious about it. Since dolls have perfect hair, the girls were all going to dress up like dolls: Joanie – ventriliquist, Sara – teen doll, Furonda – rag doll, Jade – mannequin, Brooke – glam doll, Nnenna – baby doll, Danielle – marionette. Isn’t it a little strange to you that they left out Troll doll? I think Jade is absolutely perfect. Take a look.
Or perhaps Furonda:
Anyway, for the most part the girls had pretty good pictures.
Joanie went first and as a ventriliquist’s dummy, she had the pleasure of working with a male model. I personally didn’t think the shot was that flattering to her face, but I guess her jaw is supposed to look like it doesn’t quite move the right way. She did capture the feel of the shoot in her photo, and although I usually do only the closeup photo, she did a good job moving her legs and arms to make her look like a dummy.
I thought Sara would be a good teen doll because hey, she was discovered in a mall, so maybe she should be able to relate, right? I thought the hair and makeuip looked great, but Sara never got comfortable inside the box, and couldn’t think of any model-like poses she could have used to make the shoot a little more life.
Everytime Brooke shoots, it’s the same old story. Jay tries his best to get her not to freak out, but she has no idea how to pose, doesn’t know what to do with her arms or face, or head. Every week we joke about Brooke looking like a man, but this week it was once again awful. She apparently forgot what the judges told her about keeping her chin down because and was exasperated because she thought Jay was only giving her negative feedback, but the only reason she gets negative feedback is because her pictures suck.
Once again, Danielle really turned it on. Besides the great hair, this challenge was there to get the girls to think about their poses, and Danielle’s did a good job working with the strings that were tied to her body to give herself that marionette feel. Jay praised her for knowing she needed a puppet look, but with model instincts.
Jade had probably the easiest time at this since she was picked as a mannequin. I am pretty sure that Jade doesn’t actually possess any human emotions, and since I don’t see Andrew McCarthy around, it’s probably going to stay that way. I wasn’t blown away by the picture because I think she straddles the line of fierce and fugly a little too much, but she did do well positioning her body and had a great mannequin look on her face.
Furonda’s rag doll was also amazing. I never though Furonda was a model in person, but she has really been taking great pictures, and the rag doll pose was perfect for her because of her huge head and limbs that are so skinny you can’t tell if they are actually attached to her body.
Last was Nnenna. I don’t know what it was about this picture, but I didn’t like any of it. The hair seemed OK, but the makeup just didn’t work. She looked very mannish and it looks like she is about to use her mannish jaw to nail some hammers all night long.
When the girls were finished, Jay told them that Tyra had prepared for them an extra-special treat which turned out to be a trip to the dentist. For most of the girls, they would simply get a laser whitening, but for Joanie and Danielle, the dentist was going to work on their smiles. Joanie, who previously said that she though her teeth were holding back and that she has trained her mouth to stay closed so people don’t see teeth, started crying. I am pretty sure they were tears of joy, but it could have also been tears in anticipation of all the pain she was about to receive.
At the dentist’s office, all of the girls got there laser whitening, and while it was funny to watch them deal with that, nothing was like what happened with Joanie. I guess I should actually start by saying that nothing happened to Danielle. When asked what she wanted to do with her teeth, she mentioned that her gums were receding, but said that the gap was part of her signature and that she wouldn’t get rid of it. I have to say, good for her not conforming to beauty stereotypes, but Tyra doesn’t like it when people don’t take her suggestions, so I had to wonder if Danielle would catch some flack later on.
Alright, so Danielle is comfortable with her imperfection, but Joanie wanted to get it all over with. But come on, you’ve seen her teeth, this is no little job. The dentist was going to place veneers on her teeth, but before that happens, they were going to have to pull out four of those jacked teeth then file a good portion of her remaining teeth down in order to fit the veneers. Total time involved? Just over 12 hours. Watching the dentist pull the teeth out of Joanie’s mouth really made me cringe. I myself am going to have to get some wisdom teeth removed, and while I look forward to the vicodin prescription afterwards, I am dreading the thought of that scalpel.
Although Danielle only had a question about her gums (I think the dentist gave her Listerine, Mentadent, and a Sonicare toothbrush), she stuck around with Joanie the whole time, holding her hand and watching while all of the pulling and the grinding was going on. After it was all over, and Joanie returned home, she got on the phone with her mother. While the end result was going to look good, she still had to go in the next day to actually get the veneers place. To make things worse, the girls had another shoot that day, and although Joanie was in pain, she was still going to have to perform.
After not a whole lot of sleep, Joanie and everybody else went to Club Mood, which fans of TVgasm will recognize as the spot of one of the most shameless nights of TVgasm reality schmoozing in recorded history. There the girls met Janice and Eva, who were in the middle of a photo shoot at that time. Eva talked about life post top model, and said the same thing former winners always say, which is to have confidence, and if you don’t have confidence, pretend that you do have confidence. And if that doesn’t work, sleep with a photographer (or blogger!) that can make you famous.
Janice was there to talk a little bit more about the ugly side of modeling, and right away and although I am sure Brooke was really ready to pay attention, what Janice meant was all of the things that can distract you on your road to the top. She explained how she was working at one Valentino show (she was his muse, trust her on that, it’s all in her book) and she got drunk and when she was walking the runway, she never stopped and turned around, she just kept on walking until she fell of the stage and into Sophia Loren’s lap (those aren’t buoys buy the way). The worst part of all of this was that Janice said she did that after only two glasses of champagne! Did anybody else think she had to be forgetting something? Like perhaps a bottle of Jack Daniel’s or a handful of Quaaludes? Janice said she was drinking since like 12, so I don’t see how that little would have messed her up, even if she was only 105 pounds at the time.
There is another ugly side of modeling that Janice didn’t mention. You know, the one where a former model tries to keep her looks through years of plastic surgeries, only to come out looking uglier after each one until the only thing she has left going for her is that she never gave into the temptation of sleeping with Bronson Pinchot.
The girls left Mood, and they had another small photo shoot. This photo shoot was directed by Tyra, much like one from last year. Since we are talking about the ugly side of modeling, and Tyra wanted them to know that there will be tears in their careers, they applied some a little bit of tear stick, which is basically a little menthol to get your eyes watering to get the fake tears going. Here are the pictures from that shoot:
I thought that Joanie’s picture was the best, and that’s likely because she was in real pain at the time. I liked Furonda’s picture, but her tears looked more like hot wax dribbling down her cheek than anything else. Nnenna’s pictures was very interesting in that it was very masculine but at the same time very striking. Nnenna actually broke down during the shoot while thinking about her family. She has tried to block everything out with her family and friends back home, mainly because her boyfriend has been taking up so much of her thoughts that it became a distraction. I actually liked Sara’s picture as well, but it was a little too fashion-y, and Tyra was really looking for something a little more natural.
When it came time for judging, the panel was once again very impressed with Joanie. Ever since she had the photo shoot with the male models, I think her personality has been strong. She has been gaining confidence each week, and I think that with her new teeth, she becomes one of the favorites. She might be a little short, but still has that slamming body. Joanie was still learning how to smile while showing her teeth, but once she gets the hang of it, watch out. Anyway, Tyra praised her for her ability to show anguish but still be a model and the judges loved her ventriloquist picture.
After Joanie came Furonda, who I would consider the surprise this season. One of the things the judges love is a person who shows improvement over time, and Furonda has gone from faking that she knew what was going on to one of the more consistent performers out there. She had the body for the rag doll shoot and the photographer loved how she improvised on the set.
Nnenna was next, which was a surprise because I thought that her baby doll picture was the worst one after Brooke. I think Tyra might have given her points for showing a little emotion during the shoot, and she showed her dedication when she said that her boyfriend would not be a distraction and if she was to choose between John and a modeling career, it would be the career. Good choice Nnenna, although that decision is not like choosing between Ginger and Mary Ann (I pick…Genie!). Sara was in a similar position, because the judges like her as a person, but there was some question as to her passion. I thought her answer was good; she said that she is discovering a different side of herself and so she is getting more and more passionate about it every day, but it sounded more like something you would say in a college interview. You don’t want to give up the chance at a great opportunity, but there might be a better school around the corner so you are vague on purpose. As for Sara, I wouldn’t see her sticking in the game for a long time if she is not successful, as opposed to Jade, who is a bitch, but dies to model.
Danielle had good pictures this week, but the judges really didn’t like it when she decided not to fix her teeth. To be honest, Danielle’s stance that she can work the gap in this day and age sounds more naive than anything else. I can understand how she wouldn’t want to change something that she is part of her identity, but it’s just a gap in her tooth. I don’t think it’s going to take away her sass or the way she looks at life. Besides, if there were any lessons I would like the judges to force upon the young girls who are growing up and watching this, it is to take care of your teeth. What’s worse? Your daughter watches top model and sees a girl who is forced to fix her teeth and now wants to get braces, or a girls who sees somebody eliminated because they are fat and so they throw up after every meal? She can even do it Flavor Flav style and have a good pair she wears for modeling, and a pair with a gap when she’s trying to keep it real. I don’t know if she’ll go that route, but it looks like she decides to go back to the dentist next week.
Who does that leave us with? That would be Brooke and Jade. I thought Jade was doing pretty well, but she really shot herself in the foot in front of panel. When looking at her crying picture, she started talking about how that is real pain, and you thought she would cry right there on the runway. She probably thought the judges would like how much she enjoyed modeling, but Tyra picked up on how fake it was, the judges saw all the girls behind her rolling their eyes, and now she just looked insincere.
This made a very difficult decision for me. I really want Jade to leave, but she has been taking pictures that have been above average and as long as the competition says America’s Next Top Model, and not America’s Next Best Friend, I have to go with the pictures. Besides, she was going up against Brooke who I didn’t think deserved to be here for a long time, and for the inegrity of the show, they have to get rid of her. Potential, potential, potential, and all she has to show for it is one sort of OK shot. And she’s not getting better each week which would give us hope. No, it has to be Brooke, right?
Brooke was eliminated. Jade was told no amount of beauty was going to make up for somebody that was arrogant, defensive, or fake, and she does not have a lot of beauty to barter around with the first place, so she is going to have to tone down the attitude. Against anybody else, she probably would have gone home, but they decided that they weren’t going to sit around and wait for Brooke to bring the magic that all of the judges think that they see. I can’t say that I disagree.
What did you think of this episode? Was Brooke the right choice to go home?