America's Next Top Model
Episode Two Recap May 27, 2003
Since we're down to our top nine hopefuls this week, the producers have changed last week's whirlwind intro into a more reality TV-familiar opening title sequence featuring the last ten finalists. Yes, ten. Even though poor Tessa (last week's first eliminated girl) never acquainted herself enough with NYC to get yelled at by a newsstand vendor, her name and face still appear in the beginning.
I'll refrain from overanalyzing the intro photos to come up with theories about who stays until the later rounds by comparing make-up and outfits. But there is some interesting speculation that could be sleuthed, of course.
To help you along this recap, here are our nine lovely contestants:
First we see Shannon (18) proudly showing her Milan Room roommates Robin (26) and Kesse (21) some family photos. Shannon's cheery because she tells us in her Kim Carnes voice that her "confidence [is] back," having barely dodged the fashion firing-squad at the last Photo Ceremony.
Next we find Elyse (20) making great use of the confessional room (but you ain't seen nothing yet). Apparently she's not enjoying the "high volume, high energy" mood of her fellow contestants at their Flatotel Penthouse. "I really just want to get away from everybody right now," she states. "I'm so tempted to just sit in here and be away from all the noise." Hmmm, and this is ONLY the beginning. It's evident Elyse is on the road to a blow-up. Lucky for us it's captured on tape! But I shan't jump ahead.
Day breaks and we see the ladies angelically sleeping. Red PJ'd Adrianne (20) gets up and discovers Tyra Mail. The groggy girls gather in the living room and read: "You're about to meet your first fashion expert who will help you on the way to become America's next top model. Be ready at 11:30am."
The world's luckiest cameramen follow the girls around as they prepare. We see Ebony (24) pumping herself up in the mirror saying, "You know I'm very serious about this. We're in a competition. And my plan is to win." She has the focus of Survivor: The Amazon's Rob, that's for sure. Robin goes back to bed, Adrianne seductively spoons yogurt and we get a wonderful shot of Elyse wearing only a napkin-sized towel around her waist en route to the shower. There's a pink-pantied contestant who teases Elyse about joining her in the said shower but I could not identify exactly who it was. As I'm quite dedicated to my FORT recaps, I did the proper thing and rewound and rewatched this scene over and over but no dice.
Then Robin strikes! She and Shannon are reading from the Good Book and get to Psalm 14: "The fool has said in his heart there is no God." Having learned that Elyse is atheist, Robin charmingly calls her over to the table. We hear Shannon say "Oh God," because this is going to be trouble. Shannon is very religious but she's certainly not pressing her views on anyone. Robin, however, has no such control and asks Elyse to read this verse. Elyse is totally offended by the second punch Robin throws her way when she says, "It made me think of you."
The girls now travel to their next location, a large warehousey-type room. Out of nowhere struts in Tyra Banks and commands their attention on the catwalk. "Every model has their own personal style," she says. "You guys need to find yours."
Cut to a fabulous montage of Tyra lighting the runway on fire at last year's Victoria's Secret fashion show. She definitely has style. And now it's the contestants' turn. Tyra gives them three don'ts:
1. The girl who can't walk in heels (does limping imitation).
2. The girl who thinks that she's sexy but she ain't (does gaudy imitation).
3. The church fashion show (twirling and spinning, blowing kisses to everyone).
But these girls are so green. We need an expert. Call in J. Alexander, Runway Trainer (R.T.)! J. Alexander is known as "The Diva Extraordinaire" and has trained many of the top fashion models. This guy really knows his stuff. J. Alexander wants to see the raw material he's working with so he has them all do a test run. Just walk down and back on the runway.
After seeing the spectacle, including a near-fall for Adrianne when her heel went in a different direction than her leg, J. begins the instruction. First of all, most of the girls "are walking too tight in the booty." He demonstrates by looking as we would thirty minutes after hitting the food court Mexican place and discovering we're as far from the bathrooms as possible. He tells the girls not to take short steps and to keep their eyes looking straight ahead.
Armed with these pointers (and some music), J. has each of them walk again and makes these comments:
Nicole: "Quiet confidence. She wasn't sure of the walk but it's a quiet confidence."
Robin: "Robin is the plus-size. She'll be great in her end of the business."
Adrianne: "Adrianne has the right elements."
Shannon: "Pretty face. Something very commercial about her walk."
Giselle: J. asks her, "Did you dance before?" Giselle is proudly smiling answering yes because she thinks it's a good thing but J. and Tyra shake their heads. "Dancers are always quite difficult to break in," J. remarks because they tend to have over pointy steps, as he demonstrates.
Kesse: She needs to relax because she's too stiff.
Ebony: She's "Trying to stand out. She already stands out. Walk was a bit stiff."
Katie: "Into it. Her walk needs help."
Elyse: "If there's one girl for me that has what it takes. When I look at Elyse I think the body is right for clothes."
J. Alexander's motto, remembering this is all about customers buying clothes, is "Walk like it's for sale and the rent is due tonight." I love that! Now, J. is going to show us how to walk in a tight skirt.
And he does just that! J. takes off his pants, wearing only a long tank top, and steps into black high heels. Shannon exclaims, "J.'s legs look a lot better than mind do! He's got some pretty sexy legs." Kesse says, "If he can walk in those pumps, I know I can!" Elyse points out J. is teaching them a lot of facial expressions but it's hard to see them when you're walking looking straight ahead. Well, it's not like there were eight other opportunities to look while her brethren were catwalking.
J. asks the girls what they want to do after this competition. Katie says she wants to "pursue acting and really [wants] to do TV." J.'s expression is priceless as if acting and being on TV is anyone's safe career to fall back on. Ebony says she sings and is also a comedian. More expressions. Elyse will go to medical school. J. looks concerned and says "That's a lot of work. Boyfriend's a doctor..." To this moment I don't know if J. was asking her if her boyfriend was doctor or telling her that his boyfriend is a doctor so he knows from firsthand experience. It's Giselle's turn to be bitchy and she confesses, "Elyse, I love her, but her dream is to become a doctor. And it's like, why are you here? That really pisses me off." Hey, I said it was her turn to be bitchy, not to actually make sense.
Today's session is over and J. tells the lot to practice back at the penthouse.
Front Street Pizza
The girls head over to Front Street Pizza for lunch and Robin is the guest chef. Ebony is barking orders at her, demanding real cheesy NY pizza. To stir up a little controversy, Shannon mentions that all Elyse got was oatmeal and that the girls are "concerned" for her. Adrianne says, "She doesn't really eat as much as I would care for her to eat." At least I think that's what this babe said because just then we were treated to a great camera shot down her zip-up hoodie. Tuscani meloni!
The next day, we're back with J. Alexander and he throws down the gauntlet. Shannon, looking super hot in her I HEART NY tee is totally excited. It's time for "Extreme Runway." The girls will right now be in a mock fashion show. Backstage there is a bag with each of their names and three outfit changes. They are to walk out every 10 to 20 seconds and will be evaluated on everything that they've learned. The person who does best will get a Runway Reward! The prize? The lucky lady gets to meet Wyclef Jean (formerly of The Fugees) at his recording studio!
J. tells them to start and if last week's bikini wax was reason enough not to blink, seeing the model contenders strip down to bras, panties and LESS is a Godsend! Adrianne fans hit the jackpot with a full sideview of her endowments plus a flesh-colored g-string (not a thong, a g-string). There was so much going on that once again, in order to report as accurately as possible, I replayed and freeze-framed the action. I will leave no stone unturned for FORT.
Shannon buttoned up a red shirt she was supposed to leave open because she didn't feel comfortable. Robin was late coming out because she checked herself in the mirror. But everyone looked GREAT! Yes, in fashion it is about the clothes. The first outfits were panties and hot pants paired with clingy tee shirts. But the last outfit changes were the showstoppers. Here's what they wore:
Giselle: Strapless black cocktail dress
Adrianne: Low-cut long dress
Kesse: Tan evening dress
Elyse: Pink chiffon blouse and knee length skirt
Robin: 50s tank dress
Katie: Two-piece suede outfit
Shannon: Feather miniskirt and white baby tee
Ebony: Sleeveless white long dress
Nicole: Low-rise leather pants and matching bikini top
Ebony and Nicole were definitely standouts as far as just the clothes but everyone looked good. Still, it's for a reward so J. made his comments:
Kesse: Late most of the time.
Elyse: Made a show mistake. At this point Elyse states, "Being smarter than the other girls does not giver [her] any advantage."
Shannon: Should have left shirt open and J. shows her how she could have held it to keep from flashing everyone. Dammit, J.!
Ebony: Late and early. Also she has a strong face already so should tone down the attitude.
Giselle: "Very well done," in spite of "working an ugly 80s dress."
Adrianne: "Did quite well actually."
Katie: "Less sex and more presence," but did well.
Nicole: "You did well too."
And the winner is...Giselle! But she can't go to meet Wyclef Jean by herself so she gets to pick three ladies to join her. She does the fair and uncontroversial thing by picking Adrianne, Katie and Nicole, the next three girls that scored highest on the catwalk. Ebony is quite upset though.
Elyse's Sailor Mouth
Back at the Flatotel Penthouse, the girls are talking about the fat content in salad dressing and about being make-up models. Elyse can't handle these "vapid conversations" and goes to the confessional room to blow off some steam in the same way Mount Vesuvius blew off some steam. The following is not for the prudish:
"Adrianne, stop interrupting me. Stop quoting Jay and Silent Bob right next to my ear. I've had enough of you. Robin, how f**king dare you show me that 'foolish is the atheist' Bible verse this morning and ask me what I think of it. What the f**k am I supposed to think of it? You know what I think of you? Foolish is the woman that who believes that goddamn tripe! Giselle, you f**king worthless c*nt! You are so wasteful, bitchy, stupid, you're worthless! You're parents must be ashamed of you. J. Alexander, you offended me today. I know medial school is hard work. How can I possibly not be aware of that? It takes a f**king ass to cover every seat, you f**king slice! Katie, I don't believe a word that comes out of your mouth. You're the most insincere person I've ever met. Goddamit! Let me just die. Bitches!"
If Elyse doesn't make it as a model, she can reprise Harvey Keitel's role in Bad Lieutenant, no problem!
Ebony's Gambit and A Party at Wyclef's
The next night Giselle, Nicole, Katie and Adrianne prepare for their in studio meeting with Wyclef Jean. Kesse is disappointed at not going and Elyse doesn't care. Surprise, surprise. As the four girls leave the penthouse, Ebony discovers new Tyra Mail. Elyse starts to read it, Shannon interrupts her for the punchline that they all have to be ready at 7:30am the next morning, Elyse treats them to a pouty pause, then continues to read. The next morning they'll have a photo shoot with Stuff Magazine. Ebony says not to tell the girls who just left about it but Robin runs, Tyra Mail in hand, and catches them in the hotel lobby to alert them to be back early.
Giselle, Nicole, Katie and Adrianne have a blast at Platinum Studios in Brooklyn with a very happy looking Wyclef. After some group singing, he breaks out his turntables and things get funky. The girls are kickin' it with each other. Nicole and Adrianne have some hot dance moves and all that's missing is a pole and some whipped cream.
Back at the ranch, all's quiet. Too quiet... Yes, when Adrianne gets back to her room, Ebony 'fesses up to not wanting to tell the girls that just left about the early morning. Adrianne says, "I'm not upset about it at all because I know I'm going to do a great job tomorrow." But then she confesses that Ebony is playing hardball.
The Prayer Circle
The next morning, Robin sings like a canary tattle-taling on Ebony. She says she went down to the tell the girls about the early morning not as a competitor, but as a Christian. A huge argument follows between Robin and Ebony. Ebony is won't let anyone get a word in and then Robin starts SINGING A SPIRITUAL! Everyone is flabbergasted and Ebony can't make head or tail of it all.
To calm things down, Robin asks everyone to form a prayer circle and to hold hands, delivering one of the most "huh?" speeches I've every witnessed on reality TV:
"People are taking the word 'competitivity' [sic] turning the definition around, Lord. And Lord, I ask that you remove any negative things that is anything that is not like you, not of you. And Lord, only one person can win. And the awesome thing about it is that you already know who that is! O, give us a clean spirit, Lord, pure and whole, Jesus! Clean our minds, Lord, and don't let us want to be vindictive and catty and self-righteous that are of demonic presence. Lord, you don't have to believe in order to know that. It's just about being a good person. And I know it's not fashionable being a good person."
Ebony gives that camera a look of "whatever" that is classic! She then says she's all about holding hands to make peace but says to Robin that, "This is not a Bible study program. This is not a sorority. This is a model competition."
Stuff Magazine Shoot
The girls get to the photo studio and Katie says, "Stuff Magazine, that's my dream!" Nicole says her friends would be thrilled. Tyra tells the girls not to think that just because this is a men's magazine, it means to look slutty. It's all "in the eyes" she reiterates. "Pull the sexiness from the inside and the body will follow the eyes."
Barry Hollywood, the photographer, warms up by shooting Tyra. Tyra of course is amazing and Kesse comments that it's a "tough act to follow." Katie is up first and confesses she has done Playboy and that she thinks her fellow contestants would be "shocked." Shocked maybe, but not surprised. Katie definitely has that look and it was commented on last week by Tyra and others. Barry Hollywood says, "A lot of girls are beautiful but when you try to photograph them it's entirely different."
Elyse then gets pads for her bandeau top and says she's not offended but the added size. "I just sat an entire hour in hair and make-up altering the shape of my hair and the color of my face," she says so some extra padding is no biggie. Barry Hollywood describes Elyse as "androgynous."
We get a Tender Tyra moment when she asks Robin why she feels the need to cover herself in a wrap when modeling swimwear. Tyra says that brings attention to hips, not deters from it. Robin starts to cry and Tyra consoles her by saying, "On Victoria's Secret shoots, I'm the biggest girl on the shoot. And I'm not covering myself. You're here because of you."
Um, you're Tyra f**king Banks though! A slight difference between you and Robin.
Barry Hollywood says Nicole is "gorgeous to look at from head to toe, she's flawless." He also likes "the blonde one" (Shannon). Giselle's got an "inner sexuality" but Kesse is too "self-conscious" to be "spontaneous."
A New Elyse?
After the tough shoot, the girls retire to their penthouse. They discover more Tyra Mail. Tomorrow, one of them will be eliminated. Zoinks!
The next morning, Elyse offers to make Giselle some peppermint tea. Wasn't she calling her a c*nt mere days ago? Elyse confesses she was "irritable" and after a good night's sleep she feels so much better.
Giselle fully admits she'll be pissed if she gets eliminated today.
In front of the Judges
After a plug for the sponsors, Tyra announces the girls will be judged on their walking and photo shoot. The guest judge this week is J. Alexander, their runway trainer (R.T.). I think all our criticism of Janice Dickinson has not fallen on deaf ears because this week, instead of being introduced as one of the first "supermodels," she's introduced as one of the first "top models." The game is up, Janice!
The walk will consist of taking off a jacket and sauntering toward the judges. Robin does a messy job taking off the jacket, exposing the lining for all to see. Judge Kimora tells her to stop with the side-to-side eye contact because high fashion is not a pageant! Judge Janice once again reminds everyone she thinks 26 is too old.
Nicole gives Tyra a good impression with her "Bam! I'm here!" pose. Giselle strikes a dancer position again and gets busted, plus she screws up on the jacket removal. Kimora loves the photo but she admits that's because Giselle is wearing specially made Manolo Blahnik shoes for her Baby Phat collection.
Shannon needs to close her mouth when she walks but Janice gives her a 10 on her photo. Adrianne looks like she's ice-skating when she walks, Tyra says. Quit it! Ebony has a great photo and a lousy walk. Janice pleads with her to "walk like your photo" but she's got a "perfect" smile.
Elyse is the best walker Janice has seen out of the group. J. Alexander tells her to just walk and not think about it. He sees the potential. Tyra praises her for her jacket-handling skills. Kimora says she's an "edge girl" so there's no need to tone it down but thinks she's "very skinny and very pale."
Katie is told she needs a lot of work on her walk. Tyra says the photo "cheapens" her and makes her look like "Miss July." She can do better, she knows, because last week's photo of her was more "fashiony." I love Tyra's vocabulary.
Kesse is told she looks uncomfortable with her hands. Kimora says she's got to look sexy. Janice offers up some criticism about lack of flow and Kesse starts crying. Janice, not missing a beat, says, "If you can't handle my critique, you might as well take another job." Kimora says Kesse looks like Tyra.
The Judges Confer
That is, they all talk over one another again. There's a question about Kesse's confidence. Some talk of Giselle's ass size. Janice counters Kimora's comment on Elyse's thinness by saying Irving Penn and Avedon (both photographers of repute) would "love her." Katie is said to be "too Playboyish." Nicole gets an around the table "in" and Shannon is said to have a "magnetic smile." The judges can't decide if Ebony wants to be "hard or soft." Adrianne gets praise and Robin is still said to be stuck in that "church walk."
The Photo Ceremony
Things get super solemn as supermodel Tyra announces she's holding eight photos in her hand. The girl who doesn't receive one is headed to the Port Authority. Well, maybe La Guardia, this seems to be a big budget program.
She begins to read: Shannon, Nicole, Giselle...Robin! Again! Kudos to plus-sizers everywhere! Robin whispers "I'm not gonna cry, I promise."
Tyra continues: Adrianne...but stops to tell ask her if she was present in class during the catwalk demonstration! "Yes, mam" a slightly chided Adrianne answers and takes her photo.
Back to reading the names: Ebony, Elyse...whoa time for more commentary. Elyse is wearing a red peacoat in front of the judges and Tyra instructs her to "strut your stuff" and remove the jacket which Elyse triumphantly lets fall to the floor, her tanktopped frame for all to see.
Ok, two photos left! It's between Katie and Kesse! Tension! Tyra asks them to step up and reads the last name.
KATIE IS OUT! Giselle's jaw drops because from the start she thought Katie was her biggest competition. For all of you collecting the elimination soundtrack I'm sorry to say this week was not a folk song but some acoustic number I could not identify. Sorry!
There's hugging and crying, of course. Katie is disappointed but says, "My goal is to get into Victoria Secret's [sic]."
Two things, babe:
1. It's "Victoria's Secret."
2. Look at the catalog, they are all top models.
So she's sad and her picture disappears from the group shot. I looked for the software in the end credits but came up empty. Oh well.
On next week's episode we've got make-overs for the ladies and "beauty shoots with exotic co-stars." Plus, a curiosity-inducing "some girls can't handle the pressure" Tyra-voiceover.
Join me next week!!!
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If you missed it or just can't get enough, read the Episode One recap.