Previously on America’s Next Top Model, the runway challenge had some girls strutting their stuff and other girls struggling. The photo shoot involved raw meat and me swearing off steak for at least 6 months. Also, Amis was sent home. This week, we pick up the action in the FabCab after the elimination. Fatima is not happy about having been in the bottom 2: she thought she did extremely well in the photo shoot and vows to step up her game and practice. There’s no room for mistakes now.
Back at the loft after Amis’ elimination, the girls all mull over the judging and how they feel they’re doing in the competition. Dominique has now emerged as this season’s Jade. She talks about herself in the third person (a sure sign of delusion) and tells us that she is going to win the competition. Whitney, along with everyone else, is completely over Dominique and all her talking. While we can all pray for laryngitis, I think we’ll be hearing more from Dominique.
The next morning, Marvita and some of the other girls talk about Marvita’s inability to do the whole sharing, caring relationship thing. She attributes this to her tough upbringing and the fact that she always had to hustle and protect herself. Claire tells is she thinks there’s a model inside Marvita…there are just lots of layers hiding it. One of the themes for this week’s show is “Hey, Whitney’s plus-sized.” Example: Whitney offers some banana bread to Stacy-Ann, who claims she doesn’t want to eat it because she doesn’t want to get fat. Whitney is annoyed, but tells us she likes her curves and doesn’t want to look like a little boy.
”You all know your ABC’s but what about the 3 C’s?”
You know, New York City is full of beautiful architecture and world-class cultural institutions and all we’ve seen so far this cycle is a bunch of warehouses. It’s pitch black inside this week’s warehouse. Someone shouts out “Commercial!” and a spotlight hits someone in a pose. Another spotlight hits someone posing “couture” and a third “catalog.” The third spotlight falls on posing guru, Benny Ninja. The girls all clap and scream. With Benny is supermodel and former Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition model, Vendela. Vendela explains that she and Benny will be teaching the girls about the 3 C’s: Commercial, Couture and Catalog. Benny strikes a pose to exemplify each “C.”
This week’s “teach” will require the girls to show they can express the 3C’s. Each girl takes her turn in front of Benny and Vendela. Vendela thinks Fatima will go far and that Aimee would be good in commercial. When Whitney strikes a pose, Benny actually says “Okay, Anna Nicole.” She’s appropriately offended. Benny tells us he has nothing nice to say about Lauren, so he won’t say anything. I think he just did. Vendela believes Marvita is a beautiful girl, but she needs to be toned down. Stacy-Ann gets props for her couture pose. Both Benny and Vendela thinks Dominique is great…..and so does she, for that matter.
Where’s the Saran Wrap?
Back at the loft that evening, the girls take turns using the phone. Apparently, Whitney made up a schedule so that they could all have time to call their loved ones. Dominique, who appears to have been lounging in bed, misses her time and is mad that no one came to let her know it was her time to use the phone. She blows up at Whitney because she didn’t get to talk to her child. Claire quickly stands up for Whitney: it’s not Whitney’s responsibility to remind her when she is scheduled to use the phone. The argument devolves (as most arguments this cycle do) into a debate about who is more educated and, soon enough, Dominique actually calls Whitney a racist. Whitney takes serious issue with the racist label: she’s from the South and that’s a serious accusation. Plus, her best friend is black. Dominique digs herself in deeper, saying that Whitney could be racist against anyone, even white people. Whitney admits to us that she probably said things that were out of line because she was so angry at Dominique. .
”The battle is on. You better bring it to the center and WORK!”
Vendela’s back for this week’s challenge. The FabCab delivers the models to Brooklyn and the loading dock of what appears to be, yes, another warehouse. Also back is Benny Ninja, who has brought some of his posing friends with him. When the girls see Benny and a bunch of posers, Dominique tells us this is where she belongs….with a bunch of posers. Seriously.
Benny breaks the girls into two teams that will battle each other with the continuous poses they learned the day before. The teams are: Whitney, Stacy-Ann, Katarzyna, Claire and Marvita vs. Fatima, Aimee, Anya, Dominique and Lauren. Benny will call out one of the 3C’s and girls will have to freeze in that pose. The team that wins this challenge will get a trip to the swag tent where they will get lots of free stuff. One girl on the winning team will get something even more special.
The first posing battle is between Dominique and Claire. It’s like some weird street fight. They’re out on a loading dock while the others – the models, as well as Benny, Vendela and Benny’s friends – all cheer them on. This first battle ends in a tie. Marvita thinks Dominique did well in this challenge because she’s pretty much a drag queen. Next up are Lauren and Marvita. Lauren, surprisingly, steps up and beats Marvita easily. Anya wins over Stacy-Ann in the next battle. Whitney and Fatima are pitted against each other and it’s just weird. As the battle goes on, Fatima moves closer and closer to Whitney and, in sort of a bizarre Twister-like moment, Fatima ends a pose with her crotch right in Whitney’s face. “Getting to know yooooooou.” ---singing Whitney wins the battle in spite of Fatima’s grab for attention. Aimee is nervous about going up against Katarzyna, since Kat’s pictures have all been so good. Katarzyna goes for pleasing the crowd and ends up writhing around on the ground. Aimee wins the battle, but Katarzyna’s team wins the challenge. Vendela and Benny give the big prize to Claire as Dominique fumes.
In the swag tent, the winning team meets Karen Wood from Celebrity Backstage Creations. She invites them to take whatever they like from the tent, including sunglasses, shirts, purses and even pink guitars. She then congratulates Claire on being chosen as the winner of the challenge and reveals Claire’s prize: a trip to Bora Bora. Claire beams: she and her husband were never able to take a honeymoon and now they can. I happily imagine Dominique having a seizure when she finds out about Claire’s prize.
Back at the loft, most of the girls are relaxing and hanging out, but Fatima is practicing her poses. She tells us that Marvita is too ghetto and isn’t in the house to become a model. The next morning, the girls all get ready for the day. Marvita tells us how much she likes living in the loft, but says the competition is getting to her. She also worries that she’s too ghetto.
”LA is all about your car. NYC is all about your coat. Love, Tyra”
Ever notice how, after the girls read the Tyra Mail right before the photo shoot they all try to figure out what they will be doing and how they’re always WAY wrong? This week’s Tyra Mail has Marvita wondering if they’ll be posing with coats….or naked with coats on. Yeah, no. Mr. J greets the models and tells them that, this week, the photo shoot will be all about stripping away all the crazy elements they might deal with in the modeling industry. These will be close-up shots. To add an edge to the photos, the models will be splattered with paint and pieces of colored Plexiglas will be affixed to their hair or face. Oh, and their hair will be wrapped in wire and twisted into all sorts of fun shapes. Just to strip away all those “crazy elements” they might encounter, right?
Even before she gets in front of the camera, Marvita has checked out. She slumps down in a chair wearing a turtleneck, dark glasses and a hat. Mr. Jay asks her to repeat what the judges had to say about her last photos. She replies that they said she did the same thing she always does. He urges her to work harder and try this week. Fatima looks on and tells us that Marvita doesn’t know how to just be pretty in front of the camera.
Mr. Jay introduces the models to Peter Buckingham, their photographer this week. The girls get into hair and makeup and paint and we’re ready to go. Dominique brags to us that she isn’t Tyra yet, but will be soon. Seriously. That’s what she said. The shoot is pretty much more of the same: Whitney still doesn’t know how to work her face, Fatima overanalyzes and that causes her problems in front of the camera and Marvita checks out during the competition, leading Mr. Jay to call her photo shoot a disaster.
Schick Will be Calling About Advertising Space Any Second Now
This week’s guest judge is Vendela. This week’s panel is going to be like a battle of the supermodels.
Dominique: Tyra is surprised by the softness Dom brought to the picture. Paulina says the photo shows a real vulnerability. Nigel thinks it reveals her intellectual side.
Anya: Nigel wants her to express more power in her eyes. Tyra agrees – it’s all in the eyes.
Katarzyna: Tyra points out Kat’s eyes to Anya: this is what Anya should be doing. Paulina calls the photo more relaxed, but sophisticated.
Fatima: Instantly, everyone zeroes in on her hairy armpit in the photo. Fatima seems surprised: she doesn’t shave at all. Nigel lectures her – retouching is expensive, a razor is cheap. Paulina tells the models that this is the only job in the world that requires you to show up clean and shaved….for money. Well, maybe not the only job…. Even with the hairy pits, Tyra thinks the picture is beautiful and the other judges agree.
Lauren: She steps forward wearing Black Chucks (Converse) and admits she can’t find her shoes. She thinks someone stole them. Paulina calls her photo gorgeous and Vendela agrees, adding that Lauren has lots of presence in the eyes.
Whitney: Paulina thinks Whitney looks self-conscious in the picture. Vendela wonders if Whitney is taking this competition seriously, especially at the posing challenge.
Claire: Tyra wishes Claire had elongated her neck more in the photo, but Nigel praises her strong face.
Marvita: Tyra thinks Marvita looks defeated. Marvita tells the judges she really wants this, but it’s not that convincing. Miss J thinks she just looks sad in the photo. Tyra says that at least that’s an emotion. Paulina thinks the picture is like an orphan modeling and Vendela doesn’t like the photo at all.
Stacy-Ann: This is one of Nigel’s favorite photos this week. Tyra says Stacy-Ann’s film was weak overall and cautions her about “losing” her neck, which tends to make her face look too round.
Aimee: Paulina would like Aimee to show up in front of panel looks like a model. Tyra praises Aimee’s skin in the picture. Nigel calls her a chameleon.
It’s time for the judges deliberation:
Dominique: Miss J didn’t think Dom could be this soft in a photo.
Anya: Tyra thinks it’s not a strong close-up and wonders if Anya just can’t carry all that paint.
Katarzyna: For Nigel, she is losing that “wow” factor.
Whitney: Paulina says she has a fabulous face, but is getting dull. Nigel thinks she’s different and represents a section of the modeling industry that they don’t see (unless you count Diane and Toccara and Sarah and….)
Claire: Nigel says she’s a perfect example of a model not needing to be an obvious beauty.
Marvita: Miss J says she’s almost uncomfortable in front of them. Tyra wonders if she’s giving up before she can be eliminated.
Aimee: Paulina says she photographs like she’s 20 different people.
Stacy-Ann: Nigel thinks she needs to continue to improve.
Lauren: Paulina thinks she photographs beautifully, even though she clomps out like Frankenstein at judging.
The girls are called back in and here’s the call out order:
Whitney and Marvita are the bottom two. Tyra tells the girls they are there for similar reasons. The notes from the judges both focus on whether or not they seem invested in the competition, which is sad because they both have such potential. Marvita may want it inside, but she’s not showing it. The judges feel one of them may want this a little bit more. Whitney is in and Marvita is out. Tyra tells a relived Whitney that, even if the fashion world seems crazy, she still needs to take it seriously.
Tyra hugs Marvita and tells her the judges feel she just gave up. She urges Marvita to learn to bring out what’s inside of her. Marvita tells us she sees herself in a different light now. She wants a better life for herself and is proud that she overcame her fear of doing what she loves most. She calls the show one of the biggest experiences of her life and is happy to have been given the opportunity. She vows to keep knocking on doors until someone answers.
Next Week: Tyra teaches the girls to strike fierce pose and the entire house comes down on Dominique.