While I haven’t completely given up on this season of America’s Next Top Model, I just haven’t been able to generate the excitement for Cylce 7′s final four like I have been able to for other seasons. However, I think there is hope. I was having nightmares that the judges were going to put the Grudge Twins in the finals, but with Michelle’s ouster last week, that’s nothing that has to keep me up at night anymore. However, with only two episodes left, we are sill looking for the girl that has the right combination of looks, personality, and the IT factor that it takes to make a model. Would this episode bring us any closer to figuring out which model would rise to the top?The last few eliminations really didn’t cause that much of a commotion among the remaining models, but losing Michelle was much different. Twins spend so much time together growing up that they usually become pretty close, but Amanda and Michelle were like freakishly close. Since they are still fairly young, they haven’t spent a lot of time away from their parents, let alone away from themselves. Everything considered, I think that Amanda is doing quite well. And if she is ever going to have a modeling career outside of gimmicky things with her twin sister, than she will have to learn how to do things on her own every now and then.
Now, I am not sure if somebody was asleep at the wheel when they were editing this episode, but it nearly put me to sleep watching it. And this should have been an easy episode to come up with something interesting to say! Not even five minutes into the episode, and we meet Nacho Blanco, esteemed flamenco teacher. Dancing With the Top Models? Sounds like a great spin-off show to me, and how can you go wrong with a bunch of models awkwardly stomping around and trying to learn how to dance?
Well, a number of things went wrong. I know that I shouldn’t stereotype people, but how can you have a flamenco teacher that is so subdued? I thought that Nacho would be running around, speaking incomprehensibly, shouting “AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN!” but he didn’t do any of that. He was surprisingly calm, and other than Amanda, none of the girls were all that freaked out about having to dance. He was slightly amusing when he was going through the steps because he would make these sounds like he was trying to do a little Catalonian beat boxing, but the sounds came more like a short flamenco instructor who was stuck inside a pinball machine. And to make matters worse, Nacho’s translator sucked any energy out of the room.
Oh, and at the end, they had us watching while Amanda picked the blisters off of her feet. WTF? I am not anti-feet, and I don’t care if people wear sandals or open toed shoes, but people who were flip flops don’t normally pick the blisters off of their feet in front of me. It is like a social contract. In exchange for allowing us to get some sun on our little piggies, we agree not to bring any more attention to the feet than is absolutely necessary. This is normally where I would say something like “then again, looking at pictures of her blisters is better than looking at pictures of her face”, but I am going to try and be nice on account of Amanda having lost her sister.
And if things weren’t boring enough, they decided to have Miss J. visit the girls and give them a little bit of advice. Miss J is good in small doses because she really doesn’t have that much to say. Putting her on the panel means she has used up all of her good lines by the third episode. That’s not to say that Miss J has nothing good to say. When she is instructing the models in their walks, she usually has some very helpful things to say. But just because she may be a good runway instructor doesn’t mean she is going to have any personality.
Miss J. emphasized once again how great ANTM was for giving all of them a crash course in modeling like they would not believe, and I get it. ANTM is awesome! I guess they have to keep reminding us how great the show is when the actual models are so sub-par. If there is anything that could inject a little life into this episode it was Melrose. After Miss J. asked the girls how they got into modeling, Melrose went off into this long story about how she studied fashion design and when she was younger she had to make her own clothes because she was too tall and skinny, and several other statements that were basically centered around how awesome Melrose is.
This is one of those times when Melrose gets really annoying. It’s not so much what she says, but how she is saying it. Everything that comes out of her mouth sounds like it was prepared for that very moment. Practice makes perfect, yes, but it’s as if Melrose has practiced everything, including how to act and talk like she is excited. Her pictures are always polished and professional-looking, which is great, and I still think she has showed the most potential in terms of having a future modeling career of any of the girls left, but she is not going to make any friends doing it. That’s all fine with Melrose because she said she isn’t there to make friends anyway.
After the girls left Miss J, they went back home. Caridee and Amanda started practicing because they really weren’t comfortable with the moves they were supposed to. Oddly enough, Melrose said that she didn’t want to practice too much, but that was no problem because Amanda did enough practicing for all of the girls in the house.
The next day, as the girls got ready for their shoot, Caridee impressed Eugena with how smooth her armpits are. I guess she was telling Eugena, because none of the women Europe would share that same appreciation. Eugena and Caridee have become close, mainly because neither of them likes Melrose very much, so maybe Eugena should thank Melrose for bringing her and Caridee closer together. If it wasn’t for Melrose, Eugena might still be wondering how effective Caridee’s shaving techniques are.
No, I said pull my finger
After all of this flamenco talk, it was no surprise to see that the girls would be donning full flamenco gear for their next challenge. I think that the flamenco outfits were some of the best that the girls had to wear all season. The girls were going to be judged on how well they dance, but there was a photographer on the side that was taking pictures of them to be used during the final judging, and so I’ll use those pictures for the evaluation.
Caridee was first and Nacho immediately noted that she had a great attraction to her partner. I think she was just trying to concentrate. Her picture had a lot of intensity as well, but I couldn’t tell from the picture whether she liked her partner or was trying to avoid his hands from grabbing her ass.
Eugena came next, and as a dancer, you can tell she was miles ahead. She knew that she had to follower her partner and her movements were very precise. She also looked like she was having a ton of fun, which I think is what she is missing during a lot of her photos. Although Eugena was the best dancer, the picture they chose for her wasn’t that great. She didn’t look that graceful, and her gown looked more like a muumuu than something you would dance in.
Amanda followed and although she seemed like she was going through the motions, you can tell she was more worried about messing up the footwork than looking elegant. I think she has this pigeon-toed stance that doesn’t look that great. As for her picture, it was amazing. Well, I think waist up was amazing. Looking below her waist, her feet were at such an angle that it seemed uncomfortable. Other than that, she had great lines, and I think it was the best.
Melrose was last, and although she was confident with her dancing, she messed up early and couldn’t really get back on track. She sort of faked her way through many portions of the dance, and you could really tell. Then you got to her picture, which was also great. Once again, it looked like she was the only person aware of the cameras, even though I don’t think she was paying attention, the camera found her at a good angle, and isn’t that what it’s all about?
Although Melrose was fairly calm about her performance, she really broke down afterwards. Nacho said he liked her face, but she wasn’t sound technically. Eugena was judged best in the dance competition, which was a fairly easy choice, and I think Eugena winning upset Melrose more than anything else. She started crying and said dancing was her “soul and passion” and she was so disappointed with her performance because she knows she could do a lot better.
Now I know that there hasn’t been a lot of dancing in this competition, but since when has it been Melrose’s soul and passion to dance? She didn’t talk about dancing when she was telling her stories growing up tall and skinny. I am actually kind of surprised that the judges haven’t mentioned one word of Melrose’s attitude, because they are always talking about a Top Model being able to stand the high pressure world of modeling, and if they sent a Melrose out into the world like this where she broke down after every audition, she would have to hire a publicist and blame her behavior on alcoholism or she might never get hired again. And on top of all of that, she said that she hates that they only got one chance. Oh really? Then maybe she should have, I don’t know, PRACTICED THE NIGHT BEFORE?
Eugena won and in a surprise, she picked Amanda to share in the prize with here. I say it is a surprise because we just finished learning how she and Caridee were like BFF, but she said it was because Amanda never won and so she wanted her to have a taste of victory, even if it was really only a sloppy seconds taste of victory. There were three presents when they got home. Amanda received a jacket from Custo, and Eugena received a jacket AND a shirt from Custo. Melrose was no longer crying about her loss, but she was not being any more gracious to the winners. She complained because the attitudes in the house (specifically Caridee), were getting “a little diva”. This, of course, coming from the girl who wrote the America’s Next Top Dictionary definition of diva.
It was finally time for the photo shoot. The girls were asked if they would drown when faced with your own competition. So, there is going to be water and they are going to have partners. When they got to the location, a couple of things surprised me. Immediately, I noticed that Jay Manuel was wearing a shirt that revealed so little of his chest, I assumed that he missed he either missed a day in his shaving routine, or there was a nation-wide shortage of body wax in Spain. I was trying to think what went wrong and then Tyra came on screen. I love the curves and I am not saying I would have thrown her to the curb, but I’m thinking that this was the show that inspired her to get in shape for her panty party. And what was up with the red bra under the white wife beater? I’m amazed Jay Manuel dared to get so close to her because I hear he is really scared of catching whitetrashicitis.
My thoughts exactly
The girls learned that they would partnering up, Caridee with Amanda and Melrose with Eugena, to take a picture as nymphs in the water and Tyra would be there to give them their on set direction. They would have on evening gowns and their goal was to float together with their heads touching and take a photo together. There was a lot that I liked about this shoot, but I really wish they could have done this a lot earlier. The pictures were so great in the end, it would have been much more interesting if we had many more combinations of girls to evaluate. Whatever crack they were smoking during the circus freak challenge has worn off because I have really liked what they have been doing lately, and it gives me hope that the final runway challenge will also be really impressive.
Is it me or did they airbursh out a nipple on Eugena?
Melrose and Eugena were first. If there is a reason why Eugena should not be a top model, she demonstrated it during this shoot. The water was very cold and both of the girls were literally freezing, but while Melrose was able to take direction, Eugena was distracted by the cold, and she ended up being a distraction for the rest of the people. The girls were supposed to try and float, but despite all of Tyra’s pointers, Eugena couldn’t pull it off.
Then again, if there is any reason why Eugena should be a top model, it is also in this picture. The judges say she has problems getting life in her eyes, but I like the way she looks in this. I think Melrose also looks great, and did a great job in this photograph, nymphs are supposed to be the symbols of youth and beauty. Eugena looks a nymph and Melrose looks like the nymph mother.
Caridee and Amanda were last, and Caridee had a huge problem with the water. Things got so bad that they actually had to stop the photo shoot because she was showing symptoms of hypothermia. On set, Tyra sort of told her that she had to know her own body, but I think it says a lot that Caridee basically couldn’t feel her skin, but her first thought was on making the photo work. As for the picture, this is the type of look that got Amanda up to this point. Caridee doesn’t look old, but Amanda clearly represents the youth. Her pose looks effortless and not unsure of herself at all.
I though that this was going to be a very difficult round of judging. Mr. Jay said that this photo shoot would really step up the level of the competition and they were definitely correct. How were you going to be able to separate the best from the rest? I think you have to go to the intangibles. If they are evaluating from the pictures, attitude, and what happened on set, Eugena would have to go. How surprised was I when Eugena’s name was called first?
Yes, that’s right. Eugena’s name was called first. She was the challenge winner, and did take a great picture, but they had put such an emphasis on her problems connecting with the camera, I was sure she would be the one to go home. During the judging, they asked the girls to demonstrate a bit of the flamenco dancing before them, and when Eugena and Melrose went, Nigel jumped down their throats because he said they did nothing to demonstrate to the two photographers on the panel anything that resembles modeling. I thought the comment came out of nowhere, but I was still stunned when her name was called first.
Eugena’s partner, Melrose, was called next. This was less of a surprise. Despite her breakdown over the dance competition, I think her flamenco picture plus her nymph picture were the best combination of pictures. I think what knocked her down was the judges had been starting to notice little things about her attitude as well. She knows what she is supposed to say and supposed to do, but does any of it come naturally. Melrose’s overall body of work is still the most impressive in my mind, but when her biggest fan on the panel, Twiggy, says that she doesn’t have a unique look, that isn’t a good sign.
That leaves us with Amanda and Caridee at the end. I thought Caridee had done a good job, but Tyra chastised her for not knowing her limits. This translated into questions about Caridee being tough enough to handle the modeling industry. I thought it was kind of ridiculous because I figured that she showed enough toughness to prove that she wouldn’t let anything in the modeling industry stop her in her career. But she really does have to know her limits, especially when people start passing her ecstasy and coke like they are Chiclets.
But in the end, it was Amanda that went home. The judges think that she is great because she has a new look and represents the “fashion forward” theme that America’s Next Top Model has always been about. In the end, they let her go because she does not have enough body coordination. I actually think it was a good choice. She can take the pictures, but looking at the go-sees last week, he walk was a disaster, and with the final competition being a runway challenge, she wouldn’t have a chance in hell of winning.
So we are down to Melrose, Eugena, and Caridee. I think Melrose is the best model, but she still doesn’t scream “Cover Girl” or “Seventeen” to me. If Eugena makes it to the end, I think she has a chance, because she may have the best walk, but I really think she does give up a little too easily, and if she really has trouble connecting with the camera, she doesn’t have enough time to work on it now. Caridee is a wild card. Nigel said there is something unpredictable about her that he doesn’t like, but I think that is her greatest asset. And as I have been reminded, we have never had a naturally blonde Top Model. Is now the time?
What did you think of this episode? Did Amanda deserve to go home? Who do you think will win?