You know, something has been nagging at me for the last few weeks. Why is it that Tyra can pronounce Katarzyna’s name just fine in the recap the previous week’s show, but ends up calling her “Neutrogena” at judging? Is she just lazy or is it a power play? If it was me, I’d be getting annoyed. You know Tyra would be getting ticked too if someone called her “Torah” or Teerah” (or “Tyrant”) for weeks. Not like this has been keeping me up at night but, really, wouldn’t you be pissed off at this point too? No? Maybe it’s just me.
Last week on the show, we saw Lauren make an awkward exit. It’s too bad this show isn’t called America’s Next Top Print Model, because she would have had that competition locked up. Sadly, the walking and talking did poor Lauren in. Things will be a lot less colorful on the show from here on out without Lauren swearing a blue streak and cutting her digits off. My only hope is that one of the remaining five has a great, big hissy fit. Soon. I love a good hissy fit. It’s my favorite thing on reality TV.
After Lauren’s elimination, the girls head back their apartment. Whitney admits her Cover Girl commercial sucked eggs, but says she was nervous. She adds that she pretty much almost breaks into tears every week during panel. Could someone please push her over the edge, because I think panel could use some more drama. Fatima boasts about how well her commercial went and jokes (only not) with Dominique that she doesn’t see any of the other girls as competition. Katarzyna knows the competition is getting tougher and vows to work on showing more personality. Both Fatima and Whitney agree that Katarzyna doesn’t have a personality. In fact, Fatima often forgets about Kat and thinks perhaps she should just become an accountant, so she’ll have a dull job to go along with her dull personality. MEEE-OW.
”In Rome, you must play for the masses if you want to pose for the classes.”
This week, the challenge takes place at the site of some Roman ruins. The girls emerge into a sort of arena and happen upon a shoot for Xena. Okay, it’s more like a cable access version of Xena. Good Lord, is that a man or a woman? Whitney is already stoked. She’s an aggressive girl, that one. Fatima immediately freaks out: she hates fighting of any kind. Alex Mariotti, an instructor at the Gladiator School of Rome welcomes the girls. He’s going to teach them how to fight. Alex reminds them they are models, so they need to show strength, but with elegance.
Each girl is given a sword and Alex begins teaching them some moves. First, he shows them how to take someone’s head off….. in a model-y way. Fatima is totally confused, but Katarzyna really starts to get into the whole fighting thing. Alex teaches the girls a sequence of movements and then pairs them up – he works with the fifth girl – so they can play fight each other. Fatima is paired up with Dominique, who is just plain annoyed at Fatima because she didn’t pay attention when they were being taught the moves.
Alex reveals that he has one more surprise for the girls: he has costumes for each of them. They all go to change into their costumes, which probably don’t resemble real Roman armor in any way. Dominique is sure they’ll be doing a pose-off. The models emerge wearing their faux gladiator gear to see Mr. Jay and Miss J. Mr. J. explains why he and Miss J are there. At panel each week, the judges have asked the girls for specific body language and facial expressions and every week, they don’t get what they’ve asked for: strength and gracefulness. Mr. Jay says he hopes this teach helped and will enable them bring those qualities to their next photo shoot, which is, oh….NOW!
So who will they be battling in this shoot? Cue the beefy gladiator. He shouts, he bashes his shield and his sword together, he flexes his muscles. It’s all very 300. His name is Fernando, by the way, which is perfect. Since this is a challenge, the girls will only get five frames. Mr. Jay wants to see what they learned at the teach. The photographer for the challenge is Marianna Bertagnolli.
Anya volunteers to go first. She looks fearsome (not) in her little gladiator tube top. She thinks the shoot is easy and Mr. Jay compliments her fierce moves and model poses. I don’t know how fierce she could possibly be. The girl probably weighs 100 pounds….soaking wet….holding a brick. Katarzyna follows Anya and really works to impress Mr. Jay. Mr. Jay urges Whitney to give him a pretty picture. As he observes Whitney, Mr. Jay praises the way she keeps her body open to the camera. Fatima admits she’s afraid of the gladiator and it shows. I half expect her to shriek and run away. Fatima stays in front of the camera, but forgets all the moves she learned earlier and obviously just wants to be somewhere else. Dominique works hard to NOT look like the other girls. She really wants her poses to stand out, so she pulls out all the stops, including the Karate Kid crane move. Fancy.
Mr. Jay gathers the girls and tells them they all did very different poses in this challenge. Anya definitely used the poses Alex taught them and Mr. Jay compliments her ability to take direction. Mr. Jay thinks Katarzyna made the sword look very heavy and that made her poses look weak. Whitney did a good job and Mr. Jay compliments the way she kept her body open to the camera. Fatima, on the other hand, did everything to keep her body and face away from the camera. Mr. Jay says Dominique’s face was pretty, but she forgot about the fighting and the action. While this was her prettiest shoot, that wasn’t the point of this challenge. After giving the models their individual assessments, it’s time for Mr. Jay to reveal the winner. While two of the girls were neck and neck, only one can win. The winner of this challenge will get $1,000 Euro to spend on a shopping spree in Rome. That’s like $10M American right now. The winner can pick a friend to split the money with OR she can keep all the money to herself. The winner of the challenge is Whitney. She chooses to take Anya on the shopping spree with her.
Whitney and Anya hit the streets of Rome for their shopping spree. They buy so much Whitney’s arms hurt from carrying the bags.
” By now your inexperience should be a thing of the past.”
This week’s photo shoot takes place at a castle in Rome, The girls greet Mr. Jay in the courtyard, where he explains that, while this place might be old, the frescoes are only from the Renaissance. I love that – ONLY from, like, 500+ years ago. For this shoot, they will be doing a modern interpretation of the Renaissance. Apparently, “modern” means two tone wedge haircuts and 80’s-style shoulder pads. It looks more like a modern interpretation of Dynasty to me. This week’s photographer emerges and it’s Tyra herself.
Whitney tells us shooting in front of Tyra is huge and any mistakes they make will definitely get back to the rest of the panel. They all seem to know it’s important to impress Tyra. Did they not know this before? I thought impressing Tyra was the whole point of the show.
This time, Katarzyna offers to go first in front of the camera. She vows to work on being more vibrant, since the judges don’t seem to have a sense of who she is. Tyra urges Kat to give her a sense of an exaggerated Renaissance woman. Like a Renaissance woman going to a club on Hollywood Boulevard. So what is it with Tyra and all the fake accents? It’s like some weird form of Tourette’s. Unfortunately, the parade of accents does nothing to help Katarzyna, who channels the Bangles and walks like an Egyptian in front of the camera, even after Tyra tells her to change the way she’s holding her arms.
Dominique seems to be channeling the ghost of Krystal Carrington with her white wedge shaped wig, black and white dress and white jacket with big black fur trim. Hello, shoulder pads! Dominique knows she has to nail this photo shoot since her Cover Girl commercial sucked, big time. (<---opinion….mine). Mr. Jay tells us he thought she looked like Cruella DeVil, but that is was obvious she came to set with a mission. A surprised Tyra says Dominique was so good, she deserves a hi-five….and a low-five. After her shoot, Dominique gloats and brags about how great her shoot was. You know, just when I think she’s going to become likeable, she opens her mouth.
Fatima is up next. She tells us that the competition comes down to who looks like a model and who doesn’t, and Dominique doesn’t. Mr. Jay knows Fatima struggled with this week’s challenge and urges her not to over-think this shoot: he’s obviously worried about how she’s going to do. Turns out Mr. Jay had nothing to worry about. Tyra is impressed with Fatima’s poses and likens her to a prima ballerina.
Whitney and her breasts are up next and she cannot stop herself from showing them off. She keeps posing with her back arched, which pushes her chest forward and her butt back. It’s very cheesecake and Tyra tries to demonstrate how Whitney can pose to de-emphasize her chest. She wants more fashion, less sex. Whitney tries, but she doesn’t manage to excite Tyra as a photographer.
Anya nails her shoot. Tyra is impressed with Anya’s poses and how comfortable she is with her body. She also really understands her angles. Tyra spends almost this entire shoot on the floor, so Anya has to get down – she practically lays on top of Tyra – to give her a hug. You know, sometimes I can’t understand a word that girl says, but she’s really too sweet.
Back at the apartment, the models get the usual Tyra Mail about the impending elimination. Fatima isn’t at all nervous about panel this week and is confident she’ll be called first. I instantly want her to be called fourth just because I hate it when the girls get too confident. Kat, Whitney and Anya discuss the elimination and Kat confirms what I think: it’s not really clear any more who’s going to be eliminated. Whitney is worried because she knows her shoot wasn’t phenomenal. Anya says the only one Tyra really loved today was Dominique. The look on Fatima’s face at hearing that news is priceless. She looks like she ate a bug.
Tyra welcomes the girls to panel with a “Bon Soir.” It’s like a little Paula moment: she doesn’t even know where she is. She quickly corrects herself with a “Buon Giorno.” Tyra introduces the judges using more of her lame accents. There is no guest judge this week.
Anya: Paulina thinks Anya’s photo is beautiful. Miss J thinks it evokes Italian Vogue. Nigel says her expression is stunning and in control – not confused at all. Tyra tells Anya she rocked and didn’t need a lot of direction. Anya admits she was really comfortable working with Tyra.
Tyra breaks out a little sharing and caring moment and admits she was really nervous about this shoot. This was her first time shooting with natural light. Her mother, a photographer, taught her everything she knows and one of the lessons she taught is to always use natural light if you can. Paulina compliments Tyra’s photos and says she’d be happy to take over this show so Tyra can be a photographer full time. I can’t honestly say I think that’s a horrible idea.
Fatima: Nigel thinks it’s a stunning photo and comments that it definitely does not look like Iman: it looks like Fatima. Miss J loved Fatima’s “busted, broken-down waistline.” Tyra repeats her ballerina comment. Paulina explains she knows when a photo is really good because she wishes she had been in the shot. This is second time this panel that she’s been jealous.
Dominique: Tyra takes one look at Dominique standing in front of her and says her outfit looks more “mall in the middle of America” than “Italy.” Ouch. Nigel thinks this is the best photo of Dominique yet and the most interesting shot of the three they’ve seen so far. Paulina says her face looks gorgeous and wishes they could see her like this every day. Tyra admits she wasn’t really excited about shooting Dominique at first. She expected Dom to be the weakest of the five girls and she turned out to be the strongest. This proves she has modeling in her. Did you hear that? It’s Dominiques head swelling.
Katarzyna: Nigel thinks it’s a pretty picture – the lighting, styling, etc. are all pretty, but Kat is just not punching through. Paulina thinks the problem is her face. Kat looks like she’s trying to give a high fashion haughty expression, but just looks sleepy or bored instead. Tyra says Katarzyna has so much potential, but she seems to get stuck and really needs to push herself.
Whitney: Miss J thinks it’s a great pic, but expected more from Whitney. Paulina agrees: she also expected more. She comments that staring into the light makes Whitney look mad and explains that she could have avoided that by angling her face toward the light, but then looking away from the light. Nigel says staring into the light is too obvious. Tyra thinks the photo is interesting. She thinks Whitney is beautiful when standing in front of her, but she doesn’t seem to be able to bring that beauty to her photographs.
Tyra dismisses the girls and the judges deliberate.
Anya: Miss J thinks Anya really delivered this week. Paulina thought Anya was fabulous in the beginning, but she’s getting even better. For Nigel, Anya’s personality is weak. While he thinks she could be a great model, he’s not sure she could be Top Model.
Whitney: The judges all agree that she’s more beautiful in person than in her pictures.
Dominique: Paulina thinks she’s getting better and better. Nigel thinks Katarzyna looks more like a model in person than Dominique, but thinks Dominique’s pictures are much better. Unfortunately, he’s not sure Dominique could book jobs based on her appearance alone.
Fatima: Tyra thinks the way the light hits Fatima’s face is remarkable.
Katarzyna: Paulina doesn’t think Kat knows how to work with her eyes and wonders if she is just thinking too much. Miss J agrees: Kat’s eyes don’t work because her brain is working too much.
The girls are back and here’s the call out order:
Katarzyna and Whitney are this week’s bottom two. Tyra says this kills her because she has maternal feelings for both of them. Unfortunately, the judges agree that they are the weakest of the remaining five models. With Katarzyna, the judges see a beautiful girl, but feel like she’s coasting. She takes nice pictures, but not fantastic ones. While she has a nice personality, she doesn’t stand out. Whitney has a bangin’ body and a gorgeous face and she has taken great pictures. The judges think she’s stunning in person, but wonder if she’ll ever be able to bring that to her photographs. Whitney is in and Katarzyna is eliminated. Tyra urges Whitney to let go of the cheesecake poses and show her beauty instead of, I guess, her booty.
Tyra hugs Katarzyna goodbye and tells her she has talent, she just can’t be so scared. She has IT, but that’s not enough. Katarzyna hugs everyone goodbye and returns to the apartment to pack. Kat tells us she’s had a great ride: she had an amazing experience (why have I not devised a drinking game for this show yet?), has learned so much and is so proud of herself. Coming into the competition, Katarzyna wanted to be the best she could be and is sad that the fact they didn’t get to know her got her sent home. She knows she’ll do great things in the future.
Next week: Fatima is surprised that Dominique has made it so far. Dominique and her huge ego begin to dominate the house. Plus, Nigel runs into problems with the girls at the photo shoot.