This week’s episode of AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL is all about versatility. Can you successfully snag the attention of sundry clients? Appeal to different demographics? Be sexy enough to get the attention of menfolk ogling a Maxim, yet sweet enough to sell hair conditioner to a woman reading Marie Claire? Can you be more than just a pretty face? Are you more than meets the eye? Are you a car or a robot, or a robot in disguise? Yes, Tyra wants her girls to be all these things and more, because in her world it is possible to please all of the people all of the time. Tyra can do it all herself; it’s true, she really does have broad appeal—after all, she’s one appealing broad! [Snowy dodges tomato—Okay, so it’s harder to please everyone than I thought] Anyway, Tyra has proven herself to be pretty versatile; she can totally kick Optimus Prime’s ass in a fight, I know that for sure.
Your (Short Term) Memory Will Carry On
The limo is filled with mixed emotions as the girls ride home from last elimination. Natasha is so elated to be in the final five that she is slapping her knees and squealing with joy; Jaslene, looking a little disapproving, tells Natasha she’s “too much today.” Renee, interestingly, is the first one to remark how “strange” it will be “without Jael in the house,” perhaps she misses having an arch nemesis?
Being Renee, however, she has an uncanny talent for always finding something to bitch about. Right now, she has a beef with Brittany: Renee accuses her of using her short term memory problem as a “crutch” during panel, thus unfairly sending Jael home (not to Brittany’s face of course, all Renee’s complaints take place direct-to-camera). Oh sure, that’s a crutch…because that’s not at all as underhanded as constantly exploiting the fact that you have a child to gain sympathy, eh, Renee?
Brittany does think it “sucks” that Jael was sent home, but feels it was expected since “I seemed to be doing a lot better at the photo shoots.” Speaking of, when the girls come home to find “Jael Mail”—cute little notes to each of the girls that say things like “You’re the most beautiful girl I have ever seen” (to Natasha) or “When you win you will owe me $1000 to pay my rent” (to Renee)—Brittany’s says: “If you had gotten cut, you know I would have sacrificed myself for you.” That didn’t turn out to be necessary, but Tyra does keep an extra altar for vestal virgins in the back, just in case.
Like Renee, Dionne takes issue with Brittany not having gotten cut in place of Jael, except Dionne actually makes a good argument. She calls out a huge inconsistency with Brittany’s alleged short term memory problem by pointing out that mere 2 weeks ago, Brittany was “all excited about acting” in the challenge with Efren Ramirez, and “knew every line word for word.” Exhibit A: a damning clip of Brittany onstage reciting her lines with no problem. Busted! Dionne scoffs,”Short term memory? You are lying. She always makes up an excuse for every single thing.” And the prosecution rests.
Priscilla, Queen of the Go Sees
“There’s more to go see than kangaroos and koalas.” TyraMail, or a message brought to us this week by the Australian Tourist Board? You decide. The final five take the short bus on a field trip to Priscilla’s Model Management, headed by Priscilla Leighton Clark, Australian dead ringer for Rosie O’Donnell. Sorry, but this Priscilla looks more like the Queen of Dessert than Queen of the Desert. Priscilla is joined by Jodhi Meares, client and soon-to-be host of Series 3 of AUSTRALIA’S NEXT TOP MODEL. Oh great, it’s not confusing enough that Tyra insists on calling each season a “Cycle” over here, down under they’re being called “Series”? How about a little consistency, please!
Not surprisingly, today is “go see” day, which by now you all know is the equivalent of a model job interview. Priscilla says they will be meeting a number of different designers who represent different areas in fashion. Jodhi says it’s “important to be a chameleon” and make the client see how you can sell their product, therefore it’s good to know who your audience will be and understand what they want.
The judging criteria for these go sees includes: 1) Personality, 2) Portfolio, and 3) Runway Walk; ultimately, the girl who makes the best impression on the designers will win the challenge. The girls will also need to watch the time—they must be back by 4:30 or they will be disqualified. Someone is always disqualified at these things! Let this be a lesson to all ANTM viewers on the importance of punctuality (says the girl who is always chronically “missing” ten minutes).
Armed with maps and a list of designers, the girls load up into different cabs and GO SEE GO! With a little less than 3 ½ hours remaining, the girls start arriving at the different designers. Jaslene, whose strategy is to remain “calm, cool and collected,” arrives first at a designer for swimwear. They think she has a “great body for runway.” Natasha says she’s ”sexy” and will use “everything I’ve learned” to win over the designers. Like grabbing her crotch and greeting them with, “What it do?” Oh Natasha, you nutty Russian! Designer Wayne Cooper thinks Renee’s photographs need “more work” but he would “definitely book her in a show.”
If Brittany doesn’t have a short term memory problem, she certainly has one with navigation. She starts her go see tour by getting lost. The address she is supposed to be at is number 13, but she wanders up and down the street, ringing the bell at wrong address (15-19) several times and declaring, “I’m so confused.” The defense rebuts!
At Anna & Boy, the swimwear designers Lill Boyd and Anna Hewett love Dionne’s confidence. Dionne is so confident, she asks if she can keep the bikini they give her to model. A bit shameless, but it works! They actually let her keep the swimsuit. Score one for Dionne!
Brittany is not scoring at all. She finally makes it to the address she was looking for, and 13 proves to be unlucky for her, as it were. Tina Kalivas, the designer, thinks she needs lots of help with her walk (even Britt admits she has trouble with it during her go see), and says she would not book Brittany for a show. Brittany shrugs off her first go see by saying, ”If one designer doesn’t like you, it’s not the end of the world.”
Designer Jayson Brunsdon thinks Renee has a tendency to look “hard-edged” but she has the potential for a “good future in modeling.” When one designer asks Natasha what her height is exactly, she strangely ignores him. He even calls out “Hello?” to her as she walks away—maybe she’s just concentrating deeply on her walk, or maybe she’s going deaf after so much yelling from Tyra to stop pushing out her lips and squinting her eyes.
Meanwhile, Dionne is collecting outfits like a Pokemon master. She manages to talk one designer into letting her keep a top. “I’m in shopping heaven!” Dionne exclaims, only unlike shopping, everything is free, free, free!!! If Dionne is like an episode of a Japanese cartoon series, Brittany is like a bad episode of I Love Lucy, stumbling around ditzily and bumbling in an elevator—she keeps pressing the button for the 3rd floor, wondering why the elevator won’t go up. Um, that’s because she is already on the 3rd floor.
Renee, meanwhile, hears that the next designer she’s going to see just had a baby, so she decides to oh-so-slyly include pictures of her son in her portfolio. And it works! Kit Willow oohs and awws over the pictures and when she says she just had a baby, Renee disingenuously says, “Oh really?” Like you didn’t know, you calculating little opportunist. Shame on you, using your SON!!! I don’t see Dionne or Natasha licking the backs of their family photos to stick into the back pages of their portfolio.
Brittany, on the other hand, isn’t even trying to be social at her go sees. She doesn’t think the “small talk” is appropriate in a professional setting, hence the long, awkward silences between her, Lill Boyd and Anna Hewett. I mean, the pauses are like bad-first-date-awkward, perhaps even bad-first-blind-date-set-up-by-your-friend-who-thinks-you-two-would-be-perfect-just-because- you’re-the-same-race-never-mind-that-you-have-nothing-in-common-awkward. Because who hasn’t been there? I know I have.
Designer Alice McCall is loving Jaslene’s strong walk, and declares her “a winner.” Brittany’s walk, in contrast, looks unsteady, and no one’s exactly singing her praises. In fact, Wayne Cooper has to coach her to keep her hands at her sides. Even Kit Willow is correcting Dionne’s walk, mentioning that her posture leaves much to be desired. Dionne tries again to see if she can keep what she’s wearing, only this time it doesn’t work. Kit looks appalled, like she’s thinking I know this tacky ho didn’t just ask to keep those shoes! Maybe Dionne should have included some pictures of her daughter in her portfolio?
Wayne Cooper says he likes Dionne’s confidence, and would definitely book her for a show, even despite the fact he worries she’d run away with his designs. “I thought I’d see that hanging out of your back pocket,” he kids her when she brings back his black dress. She gives a mischievous laugh, like he had a right to be worried.
Arabella Ramsay thinks Jaslene is “fresh”—so fresh and so clean, clean! Natasha she finds a bit too sexual and “flirtatious” something she wouldn’t “go for.” To illustrate, there is a clip of Natasha closing in for a hug. Aww, Arabella, you mean you wouldn’t hit that with your hot taco? Whatta prude!
Dionne squeezes in one more designer before returning to Priscilla’s Model Management. She continues her version of trick-or-treating, by asking, “I like this, can I keep it?” This time, the designer retorts, “You can buy it.” Oh snapster! Renee also decides to head back to Priscilla’s because, wisely, she also doesn’t want to be late. She is the first one to get back, followed closely by Renee, then Jaslene (who just barely makes it with one minute left).
Brittany asks her driver how much time it takes to get back to Priscilla’s. When he says 15 minutes, she decides to try one more designer, telling her driver, “I’m going over to Cooper.” She gets lost again, accosting strangers to see if they can tell her where number 25 is. She does eventually get there, but rushes through the go see, saying “I’m on such a time schedule.” Her plan to gain extra brownie points by seeing one more designer backfires. Not only is she pressed for time, but she flips out completely when she doesn’t see her taxi waiting for her on Cooper Street. There is much panic and profanity. Pissed, Brittany claims
she asked him to meet her on Cooper Street. When she finally finds him, he defends himself, “You didn’t say to meet you.” Which is true, at least according to video she never specifically asked him to go Cooper, only mentioned that she was going over there. Wow, maybe Brittany’s short term memory really does suck.
Top o’ the World, Maybe, Top Top o’ the World
At 4:30, Renee, Dionne, and Jaslene find themselves back at Priscilla’s without Natasha or Brittany. Priscilla and Jodhi congratulate the three who made it back on time for showing professionalism. Alas, Natasha is turned away, despite being only 1 minute late. Priscilla scolds her for not being on time, and tells her to wait outside. Natasha feels that had she not been disqualified, she’d have won the challenge because she is confident she would have booked more jobs than the others.
Still, Natasha is not the last one to make it. Brittany runs up, and when she sees Natasha waiting outside for being late, Brittany starts cursing a blue streak, blaming her cab driver for not meeting her on Cooper Street, throwing her book down, crying and freaking out so loudly that it disrupts the meeting between Priscilla and the rest of the gang, who can actually hear her entire tantrum from inside the building.
Priscilla looks tempted to call security. Natasha reminds Brittany that “Some people have war in their countries.” But Brittany’s meltdown just gets worse and worse, escalating into a screamfest of self-pity though she does eventually quiet down enough for the show to finally continue.
Priscilla shares the designers’ comments with the girls. The designers like Renee’s personality but feel she photographs “too hard” sometimes; similarly, they like Dionne’s personality as well, but think she needs to work on her posture. Just like with the story of the three bears, this one’s too hard, this one’s too ungainly, but Jaslene is juuust right. The designers felt she had a great body, a great walk, and was the best overall, making Jaslene the winner! The Cha Cha Diva seems genuinely surprised but delighted to win her first challenge. She selects Dionne to join her for her prize: a bonus photo shoot on top of the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge.
As the girls file out of Priscilla’s they are greeted by a gleeful Natasha who wants to hug the winner, and a bitter, cigarette-sucking Brittany who is still blaming her taxi driver. She’d better hope he doesn’t get Travis Bickle on her skinny ass. Ya talkin’ ta me, Mate? Even Jaslene says Brittany is all excuses, all the time. When Brittany claims she missed being in by 1 minute, Renee has to point out that that can’t be true, as Natasha was 1 minute late and came in before Brittany. Brittany just cries, make up running down her cheeks.
Later on, Jaslene and Dionne undertake the intimidating Bridge Climb to the top of Sydney Harbor Bridge. At 440 some feet in the air, Jaslene says they felt scared yet amazed by the “top of the world” view of Sydney. Who else is at the top of the world? His Royal Baldness, the foyne Nigel Barker, who will be photographing them today. They have a fun, relaxed shoot that results in some great close-up shots of Jaslene and Dionne against the Sydney skyline.
Back at the flat, the girls try to figure out the latest TyraMail: “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, can you rock each planet? Half of your picture perfect future is in my hands.” Will it involve aliens, they wonder, or perhaps drag queens? Will Tyra dress up as a man, or perhaps take their picture? Renee ponders the prospect of having to pose for Tyra, and the pressure of being photographed by the big cheese herself.
At the crack of dawn the girls head out to the beach. Judging by the hoodies and the huddling, it’s a bit chilly out, but it’s the best light of the day. Jay Manuel demystifies the last TyraMail. This week they will be doing a double photo shoot, one for a woman’s magazine, and then one that would appear in a men’s magazine. Mr. Jay says he’d like to introduce the photographer for the first shoot, someone who “understands a lot about women”—Miss J. is shooting this one?!! Don’t get your hopes up, it is, of course, LaTyTy herself, who is every woman (and you know it just burns her up that Oprah got to use that song for her talk show first).
For the Tyra segment everything becomes a strange, sepia tone. Not sure if they were trying to set a warm, fuzzy tone, but it looked more scary to me than soft, like those freaky scenes on the videotape in The Ring. I half expect someone with long hair in a black dress to pitch herself off a cliff, or someone to climb out of a well. Tyra warns them “not to look Playboy” in her shoot, keep it “soft, and beautiful, and fashion.” But with the male photographer, all bets are off, and Tyra demonstrates the kind of booty-poppin’ goodness you can get away with later during the shoot for men. This shoot also gets an extra boost of testosterone from the addition of “sexy men”—male models for everyone, wheee!
The girls change into swimsuits, and everyone gets some extensions. Brittany is, for once, not crying; she says as long they’re not sewn in, they don’t bother her. At least there’s one thing she’s not crying over! She seems shy with her curly-haired Aussie man, David Sciola, who has that Josh Hartnett in Virgin Suicides thing going on. Tyra observes that Brittany seemed more nervous than usual, as if she was “holding back”; after some time, though, Brittany’s natural talent comes out and the shoot goes smoothly.
Dionne is next, and her male model, Brad “River” Hope, is so hunky, I’m surprised she doesn’t try the tactic she used earlier during the go sees, i.e. asking, “I love this guy, can I keep him?” Hell, I’d give it a shot! Dionne says she enjoyed having Tyra as a director and photographer today, but Tyra seems to feel Dionne requires a little too much direction at this stage in the game. She also has a tendency to look mean, and Tyra feels that while a nice shot for Dionne this week is possible, an amazing one is unlikely.
Jaslene and Tamati William get up on the rocks. Tyra says she was “slightly disappointed” with Jaslene; she didn’t feel a connection with Jaslene today, and couldn’t get Jaslene to connect with Tamati. Seems like the end of the shoot gets better, however. “It got magical toward the end,” Tyra admits. Ah, magic! I can almost see GOB climbing out of a casket to the tune of “Final Countdown.”
Renee has a beautiful tattoo I didn’t know about! It’s on her back. By the way, did you know she has a son? She’s doing this all for him! But I digress. Back on the beach, Renee is kneeling in freezing cold water with Adrian Allen (Renee says that to stay warm she is thinking of Hawaii). She actually looks really pretty, and softer than usual, perhaps due to the long mermaid tresses. She does a beautiful job with the “Spanish dancing” type pose Tyra puts her into—hey, Tyra, wrong fashion destination, we’re in Australia! Tyra says she did “great” and Renee has a “natural thing.” Also standing in the water with wet pants, Tyra says in a small, creepy voice, “I made a peepee, Mommy.” I hope she’s kidding. Who do you think you are, Fergie?
Natasha comes out squealing with enthusiasm, not even minding that she has to lie in the sand. “I like upside down pictures,” Natasha says, smiling. She and Samuel Sirena get a little “Wicked Game” on the beach together. Tyra says Natasha will have some nice shots, however she keeps losing her neck; she and Mr. Jay demonstrate the “turtle neck” Natasha keeps giving. Still, Tyra seems to love Natasha’s spunk, and Natasha says Tyra’s compliments make her feel like a Top Model already.
Tyra tells the girls that the models that can get both men and women to love them are—big sluts? [Wait for it…] No, they are the most famous models in the world. On that note, it’s time to bring sexy back. Tyra calls out Michael Omm, their photographer for the men’s mag photo. Now the cinematography gets super-saturated (as opposed to Tyra’s sepia dawn), I suppose to represent the heating up which is about to begin. The girls get their make up smoked up and hair retouched before re-teaming with their male partners for shoot 2 of the day.
Mr. Jay gives Jaslene some snaps for coming in “ready” for her smoldering men’s shoot. There are hoots from the crew, and Jay declares that it’s “hot.” We then go from “hot” to “not” with Dionne, who seems grumpy about having to stand in “cold ass water” and keeps giving “mean” instead of “sexy.” They finally are able to get something “soft and pretty” from her in the end, however.
Renee says, “I like being sexy because that is one thing I know I’m good at.” She has no problem grabbing her guy’s hand to put on her ass. What will your husband think, Renee? I guess he won’t mind, after all, all this ass grabbing is being done for your son. Brittany has some initial shyness in her sexy shoot, then later Jay says, “I have never seen you look that sexual before, you gave it.” Jay says they need to watch Natasha because “she might give us porn star in a second.” Mr. Jay says every now and then Natasha’s poses are “a little awkward” but “overall she got the vibe we were going for.” Natasha thinks this was her best day out of the whole competition.
Back at home comes the nasty little TyraMail everyone hates: elimination. Jaslene wants Renee to go home, because she thinks Renee is only there “for the money” and she looks “old.” Dionne’s not even going to hazard a guess this week; she says she has no idea who’s going to go or stay. Brittany seems to have lost her appetite, despite saying that she “did a damn good job” and therefore doesn’t think she’ll be in the bottom two.
Another One Britt the Dust
Judging begins with a double shot of Tyra: in one she is innocent, hiding behind her long hair, peeking out shyly; then in the second she is on all fours, stalking like a tiger, booty stuck out like a baboon in heat. Which one is for the men’s magazine? I can’t tell! The girls come out, most in pretty, summery dresses. Judges Tyra, Nigel Barker, J. Alexander, and Twiggy are joined by Priscilla this week. The ruffles around Miss J.’s neck look like a giant, carnivorous plant threatening to eat his head.
Brittany is the first up for evaluation. They discuss her performance at the go sees. She explains she didn’t get back in time due to “extenuating circumstances.” Yes, your extenuating circumstance is that you are one daft bird! Priscilla warns Brittany to “contain” herself because “people don’t like the tantrums.” Brittany then breaks out into tears. Grrreat…that’s professional. Tyra announces that not one single client wanted to book Brittany, which Tyra found “odd” because Brittany takes such good photos. Twiggy is “shocked” she didn’t get booked, but Tyra puts her up as an example of a model having to be more than just pretty, but a personality too. Her photos are amazing though. Her sexy men’s mag photo gets “oohs” from the panel. “The camera loves you,” Twiggy remarks; Tyra finds this a nice surprise from a girl she thinks of as angelic and “ethereal.” Her Tyra photo is also a big hit; it’s a “completely different look” but Nigel says that being able give both of these successfully is “what makes a model.” J. advises, “No more model tear droplets.”
Natasha was also late to go sees, but Priscilla compliments her for taking it better than Brittany. “You were a bit cross, but you handled it well,” she tells Natasha. Natasha gives out her indefatigable smile, perhaps the fact that she is aware that other people have it worse puts things in perspective for our resident Ruskie. Her male mag photo gets a collective “Wow.” Twiggy says that Natasha has been “excelling” in the last few shoots. Tyra says this is one time it’s all right for Natasha to push out her lips. Priscilla loves Natasha’s confidence in the women’s pic; Nigel feels she looks like a Calvin Klein model; Tyra says she enjoyed shooting her. The one criticism during this love fest is Natasha’s tendency to do the “turtle.”
Jaslene gets props for winning the go see challenge. They love the smoking hot eye contact in her men’s mag photo, saying it’s the kind that men love. Nigel says that it’s a great face shot, even though half her face is covered in hair. They love her “soft” look in Tyra’s pic. Nigel says that “angles” make her look like she has the perfect body in this shot. Tyra does warn that Jaslene needs to try and connect with the photographer,
Dionne’s men’s photo gets a less positive reaction. “Not one of your best photo shoots,” Miss J. says with a face that looks like he just ate a hamster turd by accident. Tyra mentions Dionne’s habit of giving a “mean face.” Miss J. asks Dionne to give 3 poses on the spot. “Mean, mean, mean,” Tyra describes each one. “I didn’t know,” Dionne exclaims, “It’s just natural.” Her women’s photo lacks the serenity of expression they see on her male partner’s face. “Is that Nigel with her?” Miss J. jokes. Their advice is for her to relax. “You want to inspire the photographer,” Twiggy says.
Finally, Renee. Her men’s pic is deemed “gorgeous” with great eye contact. Nigel says that is a favorite look for men’s magazines because “it makes the reader think you want them.” Tyra says that “booty is the new sexy accessory, and Renee was “tooching” that back area. Phew, I thought Tyra was saying something about Stanley Tucci being the new sex accessory, and I was nervous for a moment. They love her “graceful” shot “flamenco dancing” in the water. Tyra says the conversion from “booty tooch” to “back bend” was “very good.”
The judges deliberate, expanding their earlier opinions. They are mostly concerned that Brittany was the first girl ever in the history of Top Model to not get one single booking and that Dionne seems to be regressing now instead of improving. They reconvene for the moment of truth. Photos go back to Jaslene, Natasha, and Renee; not surprisingly, leaving Dionne and Brittany in the bottom two.
Tyra says Brittany has taken some of the most beautiful photographs, but not one client would book her. “If you can’t get hired, you don’t exist in the modeling industry,” Tyra says ominously. Dionne’s photos are “by far not as nice as Brittany’s” and she has to be “coached so, so, so much like it’s week one of the competition.” Ultimately the pictures go to Dionne, since there is “something special” the clients see in her.
Brittany says her goodbyes to the girls then goes to the flat to pack. She says that she’s never been an “emotional person” so she doesn’t know why she was like this during the competition, and found herself “shocked.” As we look back on her amazing portfolio, I am myself shocked to see her go. Dry-eyed, Brittany says she knows now she needs a lot of work, but is grateful for the opportunity, and happy that she got it. Perhaps this is the maturing experience she needs to get herself together, because her portfolio shows so much promise and natural talent that if her career were to end now it would be a waste. Now that’s something to remember.
Informal poll: What’s your crutch? A) You have this “condition” with your short term memory? B) Constantly trotting out the fact that you have a child? C) Intravenous morphine use? D) Obsessive tendency to recap reality television programs? E) Other? Post your answers or email them to: snowflakegirl@fansofrealitytv. com…bet you can’t guess mine! (Yup, it’s the morphine!)