America’s Next Top Model
Episode Four Recap June 11, 2003
Few things are as clichéd New York as Strawberry Fields in Central Park so it should come as no surprise that this week’s installment of America’s Next Top Model opens with a shot of the memorial to Lennon. I defy anyone to hypothesize what this landmark foreshadowed.
We’re next whisked up to the penthouse of the Flatotel to find our contestants in deep slumber. It’s some ungodly hour (I think around 8am). Just then, with an energy that would put Richard Simmons and Tony Little to shame, personal trainer Jon Silverman plows into the ladies’ bedrooms and thunderously claps his hands to wake the troops. “Oh yeah,” he shouts. “It’s time to go. Come on!”
The girls look beat. I myself have never greeted a morning in a penthouse (not that I can remember, at least) but I’ll go out on a limb and say it would be a good night’s sleep. In any event, we get our first commentary from Giselle. “The last elimination was the worst for me,” she says. We’re treated to never-before-seen footage of Tyra’s expanded constructive criticism of Giselle at the last Photo Ceremony. “Constructive criticism?” asks Giselle. “Yeah, right.” I’ll keep count of the number of times Giselle rolled her eyes this episode. (It’s 42,000 for the impatient among you.)
Oh, and in keeping with tradition, let’s re-acquaint ourselves with the contestants.
Working Hard at the Gym
Jon Silverman doesn’t mess around. He’s got the girls doing jumping jacks, step, hip gyrations and something involving holding a stick on their shoulders yoke-style. As you can tell, I haven’t used my Bally’s membership in three years.
Adrianne says she “busts my balls here every week, telling myself every week I’m going to be the last one standing.” With hopefully more bikini photo shoots coming up in future episodes, she definitely will not be the last one watching. Adrianne is Jon’s star pupil. He praises her “level of commitment” for just being there. It’s “impressive” because, after all, she just had food poisoning. This is especially significant for me because earlier tonight I may have eaten an undercooked pork chop but so far, so good.
After a quick trot through the streets of chilly Manhattan back to the penthouse, we witness the early stages of what will become Lotiongate. Ebony is sitting on her bed in a white bathrobe applying industrial-strength moisturizer to every patch on her body. I haven’t seen anyone lay it on that thick since reading about Rob’s hot tub antics in CaliGirl’s “For Love or Money” recap. But I’ll stick with one network for now.
“[My skin] will be flawless,” Ebony exclaims proudly. Giselle, however, has a major gripe. “She uses so much grease on herself,” Giselle complains, “it gets on the doorknobs.” Plus, “she’s loud.” Ah yes, we will have battle coming up.
Meanwhile, in the Bible study room, Shannon doesn’t seem to be concerned with the lubrication issue. And no, this is not a double-entendre about her being the virgin of the group. “I think each week is definitely a new playing field just because you have a different task,” Shannon says. “So some may excel in this area and some may excel in that area, so things can change most definitely.” She’s certainly definite, I’ll give her that.
Time for Tyra Mail! Giselle reads that everyone is to go to the lobby. Yet they are not given any details. What does Ms. Banks have in store for our hopefuls?
Act Like a Model
The girls hop into BMWs and their next stop is The School for Film & Television. They sit down in an empty theatre and Tyra greets them, wearing an ultra-cool leather jacket.
Today’s lessen is on “how to incorporate [acting] into modeling,” Tyra informs them. She introduces them to acting coach Alice Spivak. Alice, we’re told, has worked with Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford. At this point, I must salute the manager of Jamie King (another model) for getting her name mentioned in what sounds like a post-production insertion. It so sounds like Tyra said “Jamie King” over a cell phone from Aruba.
Alice Spivak commences acting exercises to loosen the girls up. It will be an “imaginary little scene, maybe wrapped around an object—prop or person.” I’m surprised drooling men everywhere did not answer the call to be the “person” in this case.
Ebony takes Alice’s direction literally and wraps a scarf around her head while holding an imaginary hand-mirror. Shannon sits at a table and sprays an invisible can of hairspray. Adrianne shakes hands with a four-foot tall ghost and Giselle does a dance, pretending to slip and fall. Ouch.
The acting coach wants “improvisational work.” Robin starts twirling and Elyse pretends to dress in front of a mirror. “I’ve never done any acting,” Elyse admits, “except for the fabulous production Black Elk Speaks in the seventh grade.”
Alice gives us her impressions of the newbie actors. “Elyse really needed to open up and she did open up a little bit at a time.” We see a scene where Adrianne and Shannon are fighting off something that’s not there with chairs. Next, Kesse and Ebony are bickering about a made-up problem at the table. Then Giselle is standing up on a chair, ignoring Elyse’s pleas to get down, because “I’m seeing mice.”
Alice continues with the comments. “Shannon needs to take it more seriously.” “Giselle is very good.” “Robin surprised me in her total freedom.” “But who moved me in terms of being private and being in the moment was Ebony.”
On that note, class ends. More tomorrow.
Tyra says that “for models first starting out, living space is at a premium. So with three girls already gone, I had the girls from the Miami Room move into the Tokyo Room to keep it real.” A few summers ago, I slept on a bunk bed in the East Village about six inches from the ceiling so I can relate.
Robin is happy to hear the Miami Room—which is next to their Milan Room—is being vacated by Ebony and Adrianne. “God is good,” she says. Apparently Robin likes her side of the penthouse to be Christian-only. How incredibly generous.
Giselle, sleeping in the Tokyo Room, isn’t keeping any secrets. “I was excited to hear that Adrianne was moving in,” she says. “It was okay that Ebony was moving in because we hadn’t had any kind of problems yet.” Cue the rolling eyes.
J. Alexander’s Surprise Visit and Some Serious Butt Shakin’
All the ladies are clad in their pajamas when we hear a familiar “Hey…!” It’s runway trainer J. Alexander who we met back in Episode One! There’s excitement all around and Robin says to him, “Don’t we look fabulous tonight?”
She’s right. J. is wearing a denim trench coat and sporting a Christian Dior leather messenger bag. He’s got a scarf around his neck and his hair is loose. He truly is “Da Bomb,” as Shannon says.
J. is here for a walking lesson. “I just want to see where you guys left off and what you picked up,” he states. The soundtrack becomes a snare drum dance beat and the parade begins. Our ladies have clearly been practicing and developing their own styles. Giselle looks good, Elyse has a hand on her hip and Robin is doing fine too although she appears to be really close to blowing kisses to the public that’s not there.
And then there’s Ebony. “I need long steps from you,” J. instructs. He guides her by the shoulder and immediately pulls back in shock as his hand has been slimed with Ebony’s moisturizer.
“Girl, you’re about to be fried,” J. exclaims. She’s greasier than pork rinds and J. is so astounded, he holds his hands up to the camera. “There’s grease all over because of her new moisturizer regime,” Elyse comments.
With the walking lesson complete, Robin asks J. Alexander to please stay a tad longer to be a celebrity judge for their Ga Donk Ga Donk contest. “Ga Donk Ga Donk,” Robin explains, “is a dance.”
Everyone except Elyse then jumps up on the living room table and begins to shake their asses like it was a Jay-Z video on MTV. Again, in the spirit of bringing you accurate recaps, I found out that Ga Donk Ga Donk’ing originates from a Missy Elliot song called “Work It.”
And working it they are. J.’s expression tells us he’s witnessing this for the first time but he’ll go ahead and judge, probably so he can get out of there as quickly as possible. We’re really getting up close and personal with the behinds of Kesse, Shannon and Adrianne. After a few minutes of pained judging, J. declares Kesse the champ, based on a split she does. He mentions something about “picking up a quarter,” but I will so not go there.
Adrianne feels she’s been slighted. “The only reason I didn’t win,” she states, “is because I didn’t do the splits, which I don’t think has anything to do with the butt.” You’re a winner in my eyes, Adrianne!
Later, Elyse informs Adrianne that Giselle is going to have “a little discussion with Ebony about her greasy hands.” Elyse tells us she wants to be there to witness first-hand the “Giselle vs. Ebony Anti-Grease Showdown.”
A Messy Penthouse
The camera pans around the various rooms showing piles of clothes and unmade beds. We see Adrianne vacuuming and Robin cleaning the oven. Robin tells us “we have a couple of people that don’t clean up after themselves. Our side is clean.”
Adrianne sees it differently though. “The wonderful Christians that think they are better than everybody and think they are holier than thou, I clean up their messes all the time.”
Meanwhile, Ebony is again oiling up. Giselle is sleeping and pinned as the lazy one by Elyse. Ebony adds about Giselle, “I think she can be a little annoying, but what do you expect? She’s eighteen.”
Alice (Spivak) in Model Land
Acting coach Alice Spivak pays a visit to the ladies, informing them a competition is at hand. Effort and desire will determine the winner. The contest is to do a cold read and show what they learned in yesterday’s acting class. The winner will then be able to choose two roommates for some much-needed spa treatments.
The other four girls will have to clean up the apartment. How cruel!
Each contestant cold reads from a different short monologue and Alice lets us know what she thinks about each performance.
Giselle: “Most worried about doing as well or better.”
Shannon: “She kind of jumps in, dives in, splashes around a bit and maybe it’ll come out alright.”
Adrianne: “Softer, smiling and became relaxed almost like a professional.”
Elyse: “Lovely girl, she can really do different things. She can be strong, she can also get emotional.”
Kesse: “Wanting to do it. Her tendency is to push too hard.”
Ebony: “She’s very aggressive and very frustrated which can make her very angry.”
Robin: “She really can act.”
Alice quickly declares Robin the winner. Robin, of course, picks her roommates Shannon and Kesse to join her at the spa. Giselle is being a sore loser and Elyse is saying how it would not have been much of a reward “to get my nails done,” but she “wasn’t necessarily looking forward to cleaning” either.
The Showdown, at Last!
Right after Adrianne rants about how clean her own house is, Giselle gingerly (she thinks) draws first blood. She asks Ebony,
“Can you do me one favor? Just this one favor? And I hope it’s not like a bad thing or anything. After you’ve put your stuff on, could you make sure you thoroughly clean your hands, just because it gets on the doorknobs. And it’s, like, slippery.” (I left out a few “likes.”)
Ebony is incredulous. “Um, okay,” she says. “I’ll try to concentrate on that.”
Giselle doesn’t know when to quit. “Just that. That’s all I have a problem with,” she continues. “And it’s not in a bad way at all. Like, at all.”
Later, we see that the spa is coming to the penthouse. The massage tables and footrests are set up in the Tokyo Room so that while Robin, Shannon and Kesse are being pampered, the four other cleaning girls can see exactly what they are missing.
To their credit Elyse, Adrianne and Ebony are hard at work. But Giselle is loafing on the sofa and doing nothing. Then Giselle finally gets up, but not to clean. Instead she asks the masseuse if he can give her a quick neck rub, between girls. “I can do that,” the guy says.
“You have to be kidding me!” Ebony shouts.
Ebony and Giselle then get into a big fight. Ebony accuses Giselle of not cleaning and of being immature. Giselle asks her why she has to make an issue out of age. Ebony walks away saying, “I’m very intelligent and I’m not going to play this whole slow game with you.”
Seconds later, intelligent Ebony is whining to Adrianne about this. Adrianne is about as interested in hearing this argument as J. Alexander is in judging Ga Donk Ga Donk contests.
“I’m not here to be a role model,” Ebony says to Giselle. Ebony’s not here to make any sense either because where this came from, I’m not sure. “I’m here on a competition,” she adds.
Elyse describes this as a typical “Ebony freak-out” and Giselle rolls her eyes yet again.
Ebony Invites Her Girlfriend Over to the Penthouse
Ebony gathers everyone in the living room to ask if it’s okay for her to invite her girlfriend for an hour or two. Shannon is speechless and just sits there with her mouth open. Robin gives us her opinion on the matter.
“Ebony’s a lesbian and I find this offensive,” Robin says. “But I cannot pass judgment on her. I just know some people that proclaim that they love the Lord and are Christians are not always cut the right way.”
Shannon asks Ebony, “Where would you guys be at?” Shannon also tells the camera, “My views on homosexuality, I think that definitely it is wrong. It says in the Bible that it is an abomination to the Lord.”
Robin continues to go on about not agreeing with “lesbian and gay relations” and Adrianne is appalled by her closed-mindedness.
In fact, Adrianne asks, “What are you going to see in this industry? Are you going to preach to these people and tell them they are going to burn in the fiery pits of Hell because they have a gay lover?”
Robin doesn’t want them in their “living quarters” and sighs that “everybody has to deal with their own sins.”
Ebony says she understands and excitedly awaits the arrival of her girlfriend. Ka is her name and there is a sweet reunion when she arrives. Giselle, Elyse, Kesse and Adrianne all introduce themselves to Ka, but Robin and Shannon rudely stay in their room.
Adrianne says about Ka, “she’s really cool and she loves her girlfriend.” Elyse really likes her too and sees “she obviously loves her a lot.”
Ebony says that “having her here was great. It really let me know she’s okay and she’s in this for the long run.”
There’s a darling peck goodnight between them and Ka leaves.
Later that night, the girls find Tyra Mail. They are to be ready at 8am tomorrow for a shoot and wear no make-up.
We’re back at Pier 59 Studios, where last week’s snake beauty shots took place. This time, however, the girls will be doing a commercial.
“A commercial,” says Tyra, “is where your stardom is solidified. Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer and myself got famous by entering people’s homes.” Yeah, and hooking up with Richard Gere and David Copperfield had nothing to do with it.
Director Loren Haynes is here and Tyra tells the girls that he’s in charge. The product is Ciba contact lenses. Haynes tells them there is copy and they must learn it.
In addition, choreographer Tracy Straus is there to show them the walk and moves they will do as they deliver their lines and sell the contacts to all who are watching.
Kesse does pretty well with Tracy but then Giselle says to us, “Okay, Lady. I’ve been a dancer for fifteen years. I know what you’re talking about so I kind of got a little cocky. But I didn’t show it. I was just thinking it. I was like ugh.” You guessed it, another rolling of the eyes.
As we get ready for the cameras to start rolling, we spot make-up artist Jay Manuel working on the girls. Then we see Adrianne poking Elyse’s not quite prominent boobs with her index finger jokingly asking, “Are those silicone?” We got more action in this scene than we did during Ka’s visit to Ebony.
The girls are wearing different styles of cropped tops and playful jeans or skirts. They deliver their lines and director Loren Haynes has these comments.
Kesse: “Great. Wonderful. Personality.”
Elyse: “Character. Energy. So much likeability. Nothing forced.”
Shannon: Cannot get her lines down. “Tough time,” Loren says.
Giselle: “Fantastic. Great emotion.”
Adrianne: Loren repeatedly tells her to lose her Chicago accent. She must say “passion” but it comes out as “peh-shun.” “Unable to lose the homeboy attitude,” Loren says.
Robin: “Wonderful. Fantastic. She’s great. Face is beautiful. Her movement was fantastic. She was virtually a pro.”
Ebony: In typical Ebony form, she tells us “I’m very good at selling products.” But her shoot goes so haywire. She forgets her lines and has forced, un-girly movements because she forgot the choreography too.
Later at the Penthouse, Worries and Concerns
Tyra Mail alerts the girls that the next elimination will occur tomorrow.
Elyse says that initially she though Ebony “would win the competition. But today she didn’t do a good job memorizing her lines.” Elyse further adds that “the biggest limitation to Giselle as a model is Giselle and her discomfort around the people that are criticizing her.”
Giselle doesn’t feel confident. “I have a gut, gut, gut feeling it’s my turn to go,” she says.
Shannon tells us, “I really want this.” Ebony admits, “I’m just as scared as them.”
In Front of the Judges
Loren Haynes, who directed the girls in the commercial, is this week’s guest judge.
Tyra is all smiles as she introduces the usual judges. Janice Dickinson retained her “one of the world’s first supermodels” title this week. I’m sickly fascinated by that. Beau and Kimora wave hello.
It’s a “new arena” this week because the girls were “not just posing stiff like mannequins.” They “actually filmed a television commercial” and then they roll it!
Robin looks great, as does Giselle. Ebony and Shannon really look awkward. Elyse, Adrianne and Kesse all look good.
The test in front of the judges will be a cold read. Shannon sounds stiff. Kesse does a good job. Adrianne doesn’t do so hot. Elyse is good, Giselle stutters and Robin does really well. Everything goes pear-shaped for Ebony who messes up delivering the single word “water” for heaven’s sake.
The girls now go before the judges one-on-one for their critique.
Shannon is told she has a “welcoming look” by Tyra. Janice says “she looks like she landed from another planet because you have so much teeth.” She breaks “into that big grin thing.” Tyra tells her she herself has a big smile and must practice in front of a mirror.
Kimora tells Kesse she really has the sex thing going. Loren tells her, “The camera loves you.”
Robin is told by Janice her commercial was “great” and she has a “killer smile.” The problem is that Robin keeps saying “Yes, ma'am” to her after every comment Janice makes and Janice can’t stand it.
“I don’t like when you call me ‘ma'am’,” Janice lashes out. “I think it’s condescending. Just say ‘ok.’ It’s not a pageant.”
Loren comes up with the line of the night, however. He says, “Robin, just one more thing. You can call me mam every time.” Tyra squeals with delight.
Kimora tells Adrianne “when you talk, it makes me want to grit my teeth.” Tyra tells Adrianne that you can deliver one word so many ways. She demonstrates by saying “passion” with a sexy delivery, a soft delivery and an excited delivery. Tyra is really damn good. Loren tells Adrianne he was a little worried about the commercial until he got to the close-ups. “Boy, did your face and your eyes carry it!”
Beau tells Giselle, “it’s your self-confidence again.” Giselle thought she did well and Kimora agrees. Tyra says not to hold back and to give it all. “I can kick, I can spin, I can twirl, I can stand on my head. What do you want?” That’s the attitude she needs.
Ebony gets torn a new one. Janice says, “I think that was the worst reading I’ve even heard. The reading sucked. I’m sorry.” Loren tells her it took a long time to shoot her. And that’s not good.
Elyse gets a good review. Tyra says her quirkiness was a bit awkward at times but “every now and then it worked and played in your favor.” Beau agrees and Janice advises, “You’ve got to practice!”
Tyra says what Elyse did “worked.” Janice says, “She has what it takes as far as staying in the competition today.”
Janice says Adrianne “has to take speech classes to work on that mouth thing.” Kimora is “not impressed” and Loren says, “she tried but she’s not a natural.”
About Kesse, Beau says, “there’s something a little bit pedestrian about her.” Tyra was “floored” by her commercial and Kimora says that Kesse has improved and that’s a plus.
Tyra thinks Robin is “beautiful” and “represents America.” Obviously she wasn’t there during Robin’s homophobic ramble.
Shannon could be “America’s sweetheart,” says Tyra but needs to work on her sexuality and that smile. Janice says she should “have a few teeth removed.”
Ebony…oh god, that is just painful to hear. Kimora says she has a “harshness.” Beau says she’s gone through so many ups and downs. Loren nearly has something positive to say but not quite.
Giselle is raked over the coals for her self-confidence. She needs to overcome that, all agree.
Photo Ceremony To Decide the Final Six
Tyra says this elimination is even harder than before with enough sincerity that we either believe her or know that she too trained with Alice Spivak.
“Somebody has to go,” Ms. Banks says.
The names are read…
Kesse, Elyse, Adrianne…and laugh of the night!
Tyra does a perfect impression of Adrianne by gritting her teeth and mumbling, while barely opening her mouth. “Open your mouth!” Tyra tells her!
Back to the drama…
Robin…and a Tyra moment again!
“You’re not Miss Tennessee,” Tyra tells her. “Top models hate beauty queens because we are constantly getting compared to them. And I ain’t no beauty queen.” We hear Janice cackling in the background.
Tyra reads the next name and it’s Shannon!
“They are just lines, relax,” Tyra tells Shannon. “Just because you ain’t done it yet, don’t mean it’s not there!” Shannon looks so embarrassed when she realizes what Tyra means by “done it.”
Now it’s down to Giselle and Ebony. One of them is going home. But who?!?!
Giselle’s name is called and Tyra tells her that even now as she’s standing there, she doesn’t look confident. She’s got to believe in herself and Tyra goes into a nearly allegorical tale of a girl in a club that all the guys want to be with. I’m assuming this is a dance club and not a strip club. Anyhow, the moral is that this girl isn’t necessarily the prettiest but because she thinks she’s “the finest” (confidence, get it?) then that’s what counts.
Now Ebony’s name is called. “You are beautiful,” Tyra tells her. Uh oh. “But there’s a chip on your shoulder and makes you push too hard. You lose focus and that makes you difficult to work with.”
Need I go on?
“Giselle,” Tyra says, “congratulations. You’re still in the running to becoming America’s next top model.”
Ebony is eliminated!!! Who didn’t see that one coming? This time we get a piano dirge, full of lament. It sounds like one of Tori Amos’ cuts before she got too wacky.
Ebony storms out of the Judge’s Room without saying anything to anyone! This is unprecedented! She gets on her Nokia and talks to Ka.
“You never know how you’re going to feel,” she later says. She’s feeling really hurt about what Tyra said. “She couldn’t see how happy I was to be here,” Ebony whimpers. She grabs her suitcase and leaves the penthouse.
The portrait is looking a lot slimmer now as Ebony’s photo fades away. Hard come, easy go.
The previews for next week show the girls “sex it up” for a photo shoot with some dude. Do we really need that?
Oh, and controversy about Elyse and her eating habits. The girls are worried about her and Elyse comes right out and says, “I’ve never had an eating problem.” We see some shed tears too. I hope it’s just an editing teaser or else I’ll have to research this stuff on WebMd.com.
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If you missed them or just can't get enough, read the Episode One, Episode Two and Episode Three recaps!