By admin|Thursday, April 14, 2005 | 12:14 am | 73 Comments
So, I know what you have all came for, and yes, we have it. At the end of last week’s America’s Next Top Model, we were given a preview of Tyra tearing into somebody. There was a lot of speculation as to who it would be, and let’s be honest there are plenty of candidates. I am not going to spoil the surprise, but I will tell you that it was well worth the wait. Tyra has solidified herself near the top of the reality speech hall of fame. She was so mad at the way everybody performed this week, she showed not one, but two girls the door.Lluvy was eliminated last week, and in sort of surprise, Rebecca was second to last. She clearly wants to do better, but just doesn’t know how to vamp it up. Let’s all admit it, she is quite bland. The only person who may have less personality is Kahlen, and no surprise, they are best friends.
We really jumped into the recreational portion of the episode when the girls went out to dinner at Dolce. If you didn’t know that is Aston Kutcher’s (part-owned)restaurant, and if you are going to be in Los Angeles, it is on Melrose and Sweetzer in West Hollywood. Dolce is a medium-nice restaurant, and they were shuttled off to the VIP section, but Tiffany had no clue what she was doing. Whenever you are in a situation you can’t control, it is best to roll with the punches. For Tiffany, those punches did not include tuna tartar or calamari (if you go, try the carpaccio, and the penne). But come on, enjoy the moment. What is the worst that can happen? You get sick and throw up all over the place? You already did that, why so gun shy?
Our instructional portion of the episode centered around acting. As much fun as it was to watch the girls pretend to be sick last year, this year’s challenge was going to be even better. The girls had to learn cockney accents, and if you want to know the meaning of hilarious, it is watching these models as they try and perfect that cockney accent. It’s also fun because everybody out there has tried to pull off the cockney accent, and it’s a particular affliction among guys when there is some sort of English or Irish beer around.
After a quick refresher course, the girls were tasked with learning not just a cockney accent, but a whole set of lines that they were going to act out in a scene the next day. And you know what happens when the girls have to act out a scene – they get a gorgeous male actor to do it with them. Last year, it was Taye Diggs(cool guy, B-side introduced me to him at the Ghost Bar in Vegas), and this year it was Boris Kodjoe, best known for his role on Soul Food. Soul Food was on Showtime, and was the place to find high quality dramatic acting among black actors. Well, at least it was until HBO came out with The Wire.
Predictably, the girls went crazy over Boris. I am actually surprised that Tiffany didn’t pass out like Rebecca did a few weeks ago. The excitement was so contagious that even Kahlen looked like she had a pulse. Her eyes were bugging out more than Christina’s:
Kahlen: “Once you go Boris…..”
But this is not a game, this is “ACTING” and things had to get serious. Our contestants were whisked away backstage of this little Shakespeare theater that is on Kings, also in West Hollywood. If you are forced to watch one of your struggling actor friends perform there, make sure and try the margaritas at Marix, just a few block away. If it’s breakfast you crave, try Hugo’s, which is right next door. It’s, uhhh, slightly dainty for me, but some may like the potato pancakes. But enough with my citysearch.com impression. The girls had to get dressed as a peasant and do their own makeup, which included blacking out one tooth to make it look like it was missing. Somewhere out there, Brandi is cursing herself for getting kicked out early. This would have been the perfect challenge for her.
If you didn’t see the show, the acting was hilarious. Most people forgot their lines, and the accents were interesting to say the least. Brittany had a good accent, and Naima had a great performance. But it was actually Michelle who seemed to have locked this one in the bag, or at least she was telling us that it was going to be easy at ever chance she got. Michelle actually had four years of stage training, and let’s not forget that she is a wrestler, which does take athleticism, but also requires you to act in character. Michelle did OK, but she was overacting more than a scene with Ryan and Marissa on The OC.
Naima was chosen the winner, and she picked Michelle and Tatiana to go with her for the grand prize, which had them splitting $10,000 worth of diamonds. You have heard me say Naima is very sweet, but you could tell she has as sense of who she was living with when she picked the people to come with her. Part of the reason was surely because she doesn’t want to seem like she is playing favorites, but I think she could also tell how devastated Michelle was at not being picked first, and knew it would do wonders for her confidence to have her performance validated. She’s gorgeous, seems smart, is a complete individual, and is a good person. I bet she even does her own taxes.
Tiffany has been slowly breaking down over the last few weeks. She feels more and more out of place each week, and since Brandi left, it seems as she doesn’t really have anybody she can talk to in the house. It looked like she tried to reach out to Keenya, who is from Compton, and may be able to understand Tiffany, but it doesn’t seem like it is working. The girls were trying to explain what cockney was and said it was sort of like a white, ghetto slang. Tiffany took offense to the use of the term ghetto as a negative, and thought everybody was trying to make it sound like people in the ghetto aren’t intelligent. I don’t think her roommate’s were trying to be that malicious, they just weren’t linguists. They really didn’t know how to explain their theory that well. I guess Noam Chomsky only comes around once in a lifetime.
The main photo shoot was nothing too exotic, but continued with the theme of acting a role. The girls were whisked away into the hills for a photo shoot for Wonderbra. They also were given probably their most enjoyable prop of the year – this model named Rib. No, I didn’t leave off any letters there, his name is Rib. I am sure it is short for something else, but I don’t want to look it up because it is really cracking me up thinking about calling a guy Rib. Imagine if you were listening to one of his friends talk to him on their cell phone. What a strange one-sided conversattion. “Rib, yo.” “Nawww Rib” “Rib, I don’t care what you say, I like her” “Sure, I’ll pick you up at the airport Rib” What is that?
So, we have Wonderbra and a male model. If you think that sounds like a recipe for a sexy photo shoot, you were right. Everybody got to frolic on the bed with Rib (ha! I’m still luaghing) while Jay used a fan to blow a bunch of down feathers in the air, adding a little bit of action to the faux pillow fight the girls were having with Rib.
This sort of shoot was completely made for Brittany. That girl could look slutty making french toast in a mumu, but throw her and her ample assets into a push-up bra, and it is all over. Asking her to pretend to be having fun with a guy, and that’s just too easy. It’s all so natural. It was also very natural for Tatiana. In fact, most of the girls could relate to the little round of foreplay, except for Kahlen. Somebody please go check the boys in Oklahoma. Perhaps they have been drinking too much Mountain Dew or watched that vasectomy episode of Seinfeld, but apparently Kahlen has never had a boyfriend. I guess she is only twenty, and it’s not so terrible strange. It definitely wasn’t an act, as she literally covered her eyes when Rib walked in wearing only boxer briefs. During the shoot, it looked like she was worried she would get pregnant if they were too close or moving too fast.
Kahlen: “I’m too young to have a baby!”
TIffany also had trouble with the photo shoot. She is slowly becoming more and more detached from everybody else. We already had the “i am so homesick, let me call my grandmother who raised me moment” this episode, and she admitted to not being mentally focused during the shoot. Rebecca had an entirely different problem. She has a fiancée, and was going to get married soon after she got back from the competition. Girl was not looking forward to getting all hot and bothered with Rib. Eventually, she sucked it up, pretended it was her fiancée on the bed with her, and then had her fun.
Judging day arrived, and just when I thought that it couldn’t get any funnier than watching the girls fumble lines with their cockney accents, we had something even better. For the mini-challenge, the girls had to read from a TelePrompTer, pretending they were from ANTMTV reporting from a fashion show.
Admittedly, reading from a prompter, not having practiced the lines is difficult, but not impossible. As long as you know how to pronounce most of the words, you won’t have too big of a problem. So when you saw that words like chartreuse were up there, you knew it was going to be funny. What you didn’t expect was so many girls having trouble butchering other words, like “magenta”. You also might have thought that some of these girls would know how to pronounce some of the names famous models and designers.
Last, but not least, you never expect anybody to read any of the non-vocal prompts. Kahlen proved us wrong when she spoke some of the words in parentheses, which in prompter speak is non-verbal and perhaps a direction clue. So when Kahlen saw “(looks to the left)” she just spoke “Looks to the left”. She caught herself, but it was still funny.
Once again, having a very difficult time was Tiffany. She wanted to quit in the middle of her performance, but the judges convinced her to go on. She kind of went through the motions, but pulled it off. When she left, she said “this is embarassing”, which really upset the judges.
When the comments started coming, the judges became even more upset. They were generally happy with the way Brittany handled herself in the picture, and although she was a disaster as a correspondent, she was a fun disaster. When they discussed her picture, Nolé said it was a “slam dunk in the face”. Oh, so that’s what the kids are calling it now? I am pretty sure it was a compliment. A lot of people don’t like Michelle, but I have to agree with the judges when they say there is something about her that the camera loves. She doesn’t know anything she is actually doing with her body, but she has great shots.
A big turnoff for most of the judges was the way the models used the light. Many of the photos were great, but most of them you could not see the face, or their were shadows. “Know where your light is!” says Janice, and she even straddled Nigel to give a little demonstration. I think they were going to have Nolé demonstrate with guest judge Boris, but where would they put the dog? Anyway, I thought the best two shots were of Brittany and Michelle, and added Naima and Keenya, because I am a biased bastard and you will all love them by the time I am done with this show:
After the deliberations, Tyra decided to give them a little bit of a pep talk to breathe some life into her wannabes. The judges were all upset at the lack of energy and spark, so Bankable herself gave them a few words as they returned. She then cut most of the crap and started reading names. Brittany was first, and Tyra said that the girls should watch her, because she is growing on and off the camera. She is the “it” girl now, but how long before the judges notice that huge cleft in her chin? Michelle, Naima, and Keenya were the next off the board. Throw in Kahlen or Rebecca, and I think that is a pretty solid top 5, don’t you?
Well, think again. Rebecca and Tiffany were the last in the group. Rebecca was once again picked because she is safe and boring. Last week, some of the folks in the comments section didn’t understand what the fuss was with Rebecca and the criticism that she is safe. Rebecca may be the prettiest, but she is boring. You don’t have to be in a gang bang video to know how to look sexy in front of the camera. She’s the kind of woman who you marry and think you are going to have wonderful sex the rest of your life, but start cheating because she only bangs in the mish with the lights off. Tiffany was picked because her attitude has only grown worse. The jusdges believes she is gorgeous, and would be great couture, but Tiffany basically doesn’t care anymore.
The judges were so sick of them both, that Tyra pulled out a blank photo instead of reading off another name. That’s right, both girls had to go home. Rebecca was truly devastated, and so were the other girls. Everybody was crying and hugging, and sad to see her have to go. Tiffany, on the other hand, was joking around, and laughing, like it was almost a relief. Tyra called them back right away.
Our host immediately told Rebecca she respected her emotions, and could tell this whole thing was important to her. Tyra then scolded Tiffany for taking it as a joke. Tiffany tried to say she was just not cut out for this, she felt strange, yada yada, and you don’t know what I’ve been through. Enough was enough. Tyra wasn’t going to take anymore. I would like to describe it for you, but why don’t you just watch the video. I always accused Tyra’s of having rehearsed comments when it came time to eliminate a model, but this looks like the real deal:
Click on Tyra to hear a piece of her mind. (You need quicktime to see the video)
Honestly, what can you say after that? Isn’t it always awkward to have to be in the room when somebody gets chewed out? The girls who made it were all crying, and didn’t know what to do. Both girls seemed happy to be going home. Rebecca will be going back to get married and will find great success doing underwear ads for Wal*Mart or as the 6 o’clock news weather girl in Duluth, or wherever she’s from. She can also tell everybody that she is “drop dead” gorgeous. Tiffany gets to go back, and, well, she was happy that Tyra cared so much to yell at her. I am not saying that Tiffany had to be gentrified, or that she had to change herself at all. She is quite happy being ghetto-fab, but one of the reasons why they picked her was because she had changed so much from last year, and they believed she could eventually learn what it takes to be a model. I thought she was too skinny and her tattoos were gross, so I am not going to complain.
As for the rest, Tyra’s words certainly had an effect on them, and it will be interesting to see if that sparks some great performances in the future, or if people will crumble under the pressure.