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Please, somebody tell me, what is behind the crazy clown obsession on AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL? Is it because Tyra Banks fancies herself the ringleader of a three ring circus? Or is it because she insists on torturing me and the many others who suffer from debilitating coulrophobia (i.e. fear of clowns)? It’s not a joke: I hate those bright-white-faced, red-ball-nosed, big-shoe-adorned child predators with their buckets of glitter, their penchant for polka dots, and their frozen rictus grins dripping with twisted delight as they play their cruel games on an unsuspecting audience. They don’t call them fright wigs for nothing! So just when I thought it was safe to go back to the catwalk (and that this may just be the one of the first clown-free cycles in a long time) Tyra goes and breaks out the krumpness…I haven’t slept a wink since the last broadcast and am starting to hallucinate (see below for hallucinations in Creepy Clown-o-Vision)!

Bitterness, the Hot New Accessory

Must be that time in the cycle: every girl in the house is either crying or cranky or crazy. Oh, I don’t mean the series’ cycle, I mean the menstrual cycle. Someone needs to airdrop these girls a drum of Midol and a case of Ding Dongs before someone gets hurt.

Even heartless ol’ Jade is crying. After being in the bottom two for a second time, the “Undiscovered Supermodel” actually weeps upon returning home, although whether those are the tears of a peacock humbled, or a crocodile, remains to be seen. “I feel like a damn fool,” she cries to Leslie, who attempts to listen politely while poorly concealing the fact that she probably wouldn’t piss on Jade’s head to put her out if her brassy blonde noggin was on fire. Not able to garner much sympathy, Jade is still determined to redeem herself this week.

Poor Leslie’s shoulder must be soaking wet, because everyone seems to be crying on it. In the next scene, she and Brooke are having a heart-to-heart chat in which Brooke shows a less than attractive bitter side. Aside from complaining that Jade irritates her, Brooke reveals that she really, really has some kind of beef against Nnenna, all for the unforgivable crimes of having once called Brooke a “crybaby” and laughing at her admittedly sucktastic CoverGirl commercial (although, if you watch the scene carefully, you’ll see Nnenna wasn’t the only girl laughing). “I’m supposed to be ‘sweet and nice’ but I have a temper,” Brooke says, like a ticking time bomb of atomic bitchiness, “I don’t think [Nnenna] likes me, and that’s fine, I don’t like her either.” Reeeeooowrrr, kitty has claws!

The next morning, Miss J. shows up for a surprise runway lesson. “It’s all about accessories today,” he says, bringing out high heels, handbags, gloves, and jackets. He gives them some practical tips on how to work these items on the runway, like unbuttoning a jacket from the bottom up so that when you finish your hands are positioned high on the collar, making it easy to open and display it. He demonstrates how to do this with ease, walking gracefully and undoing the fasteners without once looking down. I’m impressed as I myself tend to have trouble removing clothing items, which is why I favor wearing Velcro-sided rip-away clothing when I’m “working.”

The girls try their less-agile hands at doing the same moves J. has taught them, and alas there is more awkward fumbling than a 16-year-old boy struggling with a bra hook as he tries to get to second base for the first time. Steee-rike! No one has more trouble walking than Leslie, who Miss J. dubs “Tressy Messy. I’m not sure what he meant by it, but when she walks, Leslie does like there is a freshly-lodged suppository in her behind. Even Leslie admits her walk “is probably the worst [and] the funniest out of all the girls.”

Next it’s time to work with gloves and purses. J. peels his gloves off with the fluid elegance of a heroine from a Hitchcock film; the girls, for the most part, yank them off like O.J. Simpson fleeing the scene of the crime (and no, there is no statute of limitations on O.J. jokes, thankyouverymuch). Brooke has butterfingers and drops her purse, causing Nnenna to laugh. Brooke is not pleased to hear Nnenna’s mirth, and says that she feels that she’s tried to be respectful to Nnenna and Nnenna has not reciprocated. Brooke seems to have had enough and it sounds like the gloves are off, so to speak.

Finally, J. puts the girls in long, flowing skirts, and gets all Tetrarch on them by ordering them to “Make that skirt do the dance of the Seven Veils!” The girls look more like salami than Salome, limp pieces of meat moving lifelessly around. Sara, in particular, is “still awkward in her body,” according to J., who adds that she looks like “Gumby on a bad day.”


What are you talkin’ about, bitches? I’m fly!

Swirling Dervish

Miss Jay says the girls still need help, so they are sent away for more intensive twirl training with Richard Harris and Ron Harris, the “Aswirl” twins. As the two identical, portly, older gentlemen glide in unison down a staircase, I wonder if our girls have been sent down the rabbit hole, as the twins for all the world resemble a black, flamboyant, campy version of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. They are like Miss J. squared. Apparently, however, they are renowned masters of the swirl, who even taught Tyra how to give a twirl back in the day.


Light skinneded versions of the Aswirl Twins

We are then transported from “Wonderland” to “Fantasia” when the twins, in matching preppy-meets-Hogwarts uniforms, glide in perfect harmony together, with a light-footed grace incongruous to their hefty size—like a hippo ballerina in a tutu executing a perfect pirouette. All the while, they dispense their wisdom on beauty and fashion in an ultra-dramatic fashion, talking about how to make a garment move and flow, and always bringing it back to the “swirl.” I have never actually heard the word “swirl” so many times in one day. Swirl swirl swirl! Try saying that ten times fast, it’ll give you a headache (or, at the least, anyone within earshot).

It’s the girls’ turn to try, with varying success. They mostly look like an army of spinning dreidels. With all the swirly twirls, I’m surprised no one got dizzy and fell over, but our Aswirl Twins seem less than impressed. They find Leslie too tense and Sara too stiff, and believe everyone could use improvement. Furonda’s swirl turns into a “two-step” or “electric slide,” which means she would look right at home at my wedding reception, but not so much on a Milan runway.

The session ends with one of the twins exhorting with operatic emphasis, “When you go to that next level, remember: The movement, the fabric, the swirl. It is about Aswirl!” Yes, words to live by.

The girls return home after a long day o’ swirling. The Nnenna backlash continues: she gets on everyone’s nerves by bogarting the phone. Even Danielle has her dander up, saying, “You see the sun rise, you see it set, you see the Eiffel tower, you see the crows caw, all that going on and she is still on the phone.”

Brooke bolts up from the couch, where she and Danielle have been waiting, and finally bursts into the phone room to shout at Nnenna, “How can you not understand the concept of the phone?” In her defense, Nnenna insists she didn’t see anyone waiting. Brooke asks, rather heatedly, “You’re a chemist, you can understand all that and you can’t understand the simple concept of a phone?” Brooke seems to be asking the wrong question—I think Nnenna understands the phone quite well, since she seems adept at operating it. If you mean to address her monopolizing of the phone, you should ask if she understands etiquette or the concept of sharing.

Nnenna matter-of-factly says she is not “moved” by Brooke’s words and “I really don’t care.” In fact, while Brooke seems just about to confront her on her smack talkin’, Nnenna simply ignores her and picks up the phone to make another call. Brooke, aghast, storms out of the room with a Neanderthal-like stomp that Miss J. would abhor, yelling to the whole household that Nnenna is a “bitch” and “I’ve had it up to here…everyone thinks she’s sweet, everyone thinks she’s nice, and she is not.”

Brooke then goes back to dump on (guess who) good gal pal Leslie, going on and on about how Nnenna’s whispering and laughing at her, adding, “What makes her so much better than me? She’s from Africa? Go back to Africa if it’s so damn great!” Hey ho, whoa, wait a minute! Those words just cannot sound anything but nasty coming out of anyone’s mouth, much less a girl from Texas!

In another room, Jade gets Nnenna’s side of the story, who calls Brooke “an emotional wreck” adding that “she cries every day.” Out in the hall, a livid Brooke walks by shrieking, “I don’t cry!” like a raging harpy, and then calling Nnenna a “[bleeping] bitch.” What did I tell you? We need Midol, stat! Or, hell, lithium for Brooke, who has by now shocked everyone in the house with her crazy behavior—if Jade is the “biracial butterfly,” then Brooke is the “bipolar butterfly.”

Later on, Danielle tells Brooke that everyone always thought she was sensitive, but now people are thinking, “Dang, she can wig out on you.” Brooke regrets her blow up, saying that she feels “ashamed.” Danielle, however, feels that even if Brooke feels she did the wrong thing, if she is going to “go off” on someone, don’t make apologies, “go full force.” Is Danielle one of George W. Bush’s White House advisors?

Joanie, clearly the comic relief in the house, announces a new TyraMail by running through the house with a laundry basket on her head. When asked why, Joanie quickly quips, “I’m a basket case.” Wokka wokka! The envelope contains the simple message, “Sashay, chanté.” Brooke asks Danielle, “You’ve been to Paris, what does it mean?” Girl, ain’t you never heard of RuPaul? Those trademark words appear as lyrics in his smash hit, “Supermodel” and you do not have to cross the Atlantic for that, this Glamazon is homegrown!


Fun Fact: SFG was born in the same hospital as RuPaul, but swears she is biologically female.

Now that they know tomorrow they will definitely have to give a twirl, the girls practice runway. Leslie is still struggling, saying, “I don’t even have my walk down, I definitely don’t have my signature walk down. I don’t know what I’m going to do.” She tells everyone that she doesn’t understand how she’s sticking her butt out. J. calls it a “Duck booty walk.”

Meanwhile, Sara is also stressed over all the criticism over her not “owning her height,” but she doesn’t know how to remedy that. Later, she gets on the phone with her boyfriend, saying that she feels lonely despite being in a house with a bunch of other girls. Her boyfriend, who by the way sounds much more understanding and supportive than Nnenna’s psycho love knife, tries to reassure her; she says that because she was found in a mall, it makes her feel she must now prove that she belongs there as much as anyone else.

Fashion: A Religious Experience

Since “Sashay chanté” was RuPaul’s phrase, Leslie wonders if they’re going to do drag. I myself think maybe RuPaul might make a guest appearance—I mean, RuPaul was just on “Top Chef” for pete’s sake, so it’s not like this would be beneath the self-proclaimed “Queen of the Universe.” Oddly the girls are taken to a church, and I wonder what the TyraMail author has been smoking.

As they enter the church, Jade blesses herself with holy water and amazingly does not melt! I guess she’s not possessed by Pazuzu after all. Joanie, if you’ll recall, is the daughter of a preacher man, so she’s comfortable there since “out of the womb, I’ve never missed a Sunday.” They are met at the altar by Roy Campbell, a producer of special events and fashion shows, who goes way back with Tyra; in fact, he met her after her debut in Paris.

Roy informs the girls that today they will be tested on all the elements of movement they have learned in a church fashion show in front of an entire congregation. He also explains that in the early 40s black people were not allowed to go to fashion shows, and so presented their own fashion shows in their churches, an interesting part of fashion history that became a tradition in the black community.

They must twirl, whirl and make the clothes of fashion designer Lloyd Klein “come alive,” as well as do justice to the embellishments provided by diamond designer Sol Rafael. After Roy introduces both these gentlemen, Sol informs them that the winner of this challenge will be getting a $25,000 diamond ring. Holy [bleep]! I’m sorry to swear in a church, but that is one tidy little prize. Screw the Sears clothes, who gets the ice? Suddenly, all the girls smile a little bit brighter.

The girls get done up purty in Gloria Swanson turbans and the diaphanous drapery of Lloyd Klein’s garments—perfect for swirling, I might add. Danielle comes out first, and looks wonderfully noble to me, but to Lloyd, she lacks personality. Leslie looks super cute in a short, 40’s inspired outfit, but still seems to be pokin’ out that booty. “I’m working my hips,” Leslie admits, “And if Miss J. doesn’t like that, then too bad.” Too bad for whom?

Brooke, in a big long robe, is worried that she’s going to end up tripping, and it shows on her face; Lloyd finds her “absent.” Nnenna doesn’t have much to twirl in a corset and short shorts, but she does successfully work her jacket. Furonda has miles of fabric to swirl; in fact, she whips one of the audience member’s heads when she does her turnaround. Ouch! But no more painful than it is to watch Sara’s mincing walk; she admits she kept tripping over the train of her long gown.

Joanie feels that the competition today is really against her and Jade, so she is determined to work it. “Gonna work it out for God!” she hoots. She looks like a fabulous, hyper-glam version of a nun in her black and white ensemble, and expertly whips her cape around like a toreador, adding extra hip wiggle to her sashay. She looks like she could very well be the winner.

That is, until Jade comes on. Dressed head to toe in black, the appropriate costume for the girl cast as this cycle’s villain, Jade swoops in like a bat from the night, only with much more style, and a sassy spin that makes the congregation go wild. “I was twirling my butt off!” she says, and the effort does show. She is the swirliest girl down the aisle, and she rouses everyone into a frenzy. “That’s what a community fashion show is all about,” Roy remarks.

Joanie is still convinced, “I definitely won that one,” up until Lloyd announces that Jade did the best job showing off the clothes and jewelry. So that’s how the girl named after a gemstone actually wins one. Jade gets to pick a friend who will receive a $10,000 diamond ring, and selects Furonda (even though people might recall that last week Furonda publicly declared she was no friend of Jade’s). Furonda is then told she must pick one more girl who will get an $8000 ring (aw, is that all), and (as she did last time) she picks Nnenna.

On the car ride home, the girls are split into two groups: the bling winners (and Leslie), and the sore losers. Joanie says that when they were about to announce who won the challenge, she thought “I don’t want Jade to win.” Brooke, still the bitter pill, grumbles that she doesn’t think Jade should win the competition, and “even though Nnenna’s won a lot of mini challenges, I don’t think she’s going to win the competition either.” She repeats that she doesn’t like Nnenna (okay, we got it the 20th time you said that) and adds, “Just because I handle my stress in different ways than others doesn’t make me a crybaby.”


Are you blind? It’s a lonely tear drop!

Oh ho ho, the editors on this show do have a sense of humor, because right after Brooke’s declaration, they cut immediately to a shot of Brooke, now at home, on the phone crying to her Daddy. In a whine that reaches pitches only dogs can detect, Brooke sobs about how much she hates being there, while her father kindly tells her that perhaps she’s worrying too much. Brooke talks about her scuffle with a fellow housemate and said something she shouldn’t have said. She clearly does feel bad about what happened earlier, you can’t help but feel sorry for her as she wipes the snot off her face with her bare hand—ew, don’t they keep tissue in the phone room? What, Tyra couldn’t get sponsorship from Kleenex? She tells her dad she will try to stick it out.

Leslie thus far has not gotten much onscreen time, except as the girl everyone cries to. Well, a good way to increase your chances of appearing on the show is to get in the hot tub; and the surefire way to get a cameraman’s attention is to take your top off. Leslie does both, and chills out in the tub topless (pixellated, sorry!) with Jade (not pixellated, sorry!). She scoffs at the thought of returning to her “everyday mundane life” back in Arizona which is “not exactly a fashion capitol…after all I experienced here, I can’t just settle for that.” Way to alienate everyone back home, Les! I’m guessing they’re canceling the ticker tape parade they had planned for you.

Big Homey Don’t Play That

TyraMail arrives saying, “Sometimes on the morning of an important job, I used to get really bad stomach krumps…” TMI, Tyra! Take a Midol and a Hostess snack cake! It turns out it’s not cramps, as I and Danielle had at first believed, but krumps. The next morning, the girls are brought up to a rooftop in downtown Los Angeles. Jay asks why they look so tired, and as I see the soupy air in the distance, I’m thinking the LA smog is giving them chronic fatigue.

Today’s shoot will be for Payless Shoes. Can you get any more down market with the footwear, guys? Not unless you’re buying flip flops at Sav-on. There is a super-long dub of Jay trying to justify the Payless Shoes by calling them “hip” and “fashion forward,” then mentioning they appeared on the runways of fashion week in New York.

Jay asks them what they think they’ll be doing today to sell these shoes. Nnenna guesses, because they’re on a rooftop, jumping off the building. No, Jay says they have been studying movement, they will be doing some dancing for this shoot—but not just any dance, they will be krumping with Tommy the Clown and his four fellow Krumpers. If you’re not familiar with this dance form, it is a “high energy style of hip hop dance reminiscent of break dancing” only its participants look like crazed clowns on crack having an epileptic seizure.

From kloofing to krumping, what other nutty things beginning with a K will Tyra think to ask of these girls? Well, Tommy might be a legendary innovator of hip hop dance style, and krumping might be an international sensation after David LaChappelle’s Rize and countless music videos but—call me old school—I’d prefer good old b-boying for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that I @#$%in’ HATE CLOWNS!!! But I digress…


Look at this picture, then tell me this fear is “irrational.”

Trevor O’shana, their photographer for the day, says they need to bring Tommy and his dancers’ energy to their pictures. Leslie knows she can get a good shot because, she says, “I used to dance.” Jay sparks when Joanie tells him she can dance, challenging her with, “So the white girl can dance, we got to see this.” They get the girls urbanized in hair and makeup, then throw them up on the rooftop with Tommy and his crew.

Joanie, with a fresh head of cornrows, is first. The question is, can this preacher’s daughter dance? Sure she can…but the real challenge is can this ex-stripper of a preacher’s daughter dance with her clothes on? (Again, another reason why I favor wearing Velcro-sided rip-away clothing when I’m “working.”) Joanie does an awesome job, looking good with lots of energy while she follows Jay’s direction to show off her Payless boots. His only criticism is that while she was dancing she’d occasionally adopt a “mean mugging face,” that when he replicates it, looks like Popeye.

Next, Jay tells Furonda that if she does poorly “your black sisters are going to shame you.” After a few minutes of being tossed around by Tommy and his boys in what looks like a prelude to a really sick porno, Jay tells her she’s looking a little too much like a “limp rag doll.” He then yells “Show off that Payless boot!”

Backstage, one of the stylists tells Jade, “Let’s get that Payless shoe on.” Are these people getting paid by the mention? How annoying, you can almost hear the “Cha-Ching” every time they say it. Brooke is letting her personal problems with Nnenna get the best of her, and according to Furonda, is “losing it.” Jay tells her not let her nerves consume her. Jade is practicing her dance moves in the mirror with all the ferocity of Travis Bickle asking, “You tawkin’ ta me?”

Jay tells Danielle she has to her black sisters proud. “You know they call me ‘white girl’ back home,” Danielle says, causing Jay to gasp, “So you can dance?” Danielle just says, “I’ma do what I do.” She does dance a little like Paris Hilton, arms high up in the air, and lots of shimmy-shaking, but she does well enough to make Jay chastise her for lying to him.

Next up is an actual white girl. Jay says that while Sara’s body positions are good, she forgets about what’s going on with her face in the meantime. He mimics it back to her, a slack jawed face with a rogue tongue like someone withdrawing from meth. Sara says, “I was definitely conscious of my height and trying to get the right angles.”

They move on. Jay says to Nnenna, “I wanna see some of that African stuff,” but eventually has trouble getting her to really dance and not just pose. Leslie, despite thinking she’d rock the shoot, unfortunately leads Jay to say, “You’re giving me two moves.” This doesn’t seem to help, in fact she becomes even more nervous and freezes. “Is this how you dance with a man?” Jay asks, then says he wants to see her dance like she’s in a club “trying to get a little something.” Then, Leslie does the exact same two moves Jay was talking about. “I really thought she was going to nail it,” Jay whispers, “I thought she was going to be like, sex kitten.”

Brooke’s already looking nervous and like she’s on the verge of tears before she’s even begun. The “shorts” she’s wearing are basically just chonies with sequins and her barely there top, as nicely as it displays her shiny bike rack, just does not look decent. It doesn’t help that once she starts dancing, her hip swivel gyrations make her look like a MAJOR HO. Trevor thinks that “Brooke has a killer body but I think she went off into those stripper poses.” Cue the burlesque music and watch Jay wince!

Jade, having just won the challenge, is feeling pretty good, saying, “This is my genre of a photo shoot.” Oh so you don’t know what “façade” means but you do know “genre”? You are a mystery wrapped in an enigma shoved in Payless shoes. She goes balls out with the dancing; Trevor tells her that she has “great energy” but needs to “slow it down.” Jay says, “This is the first day you actually have impressed me.” Then, Jay says enthusiastically, “Jade picked a water bottle up at the end and threw the water off her chest…It was so classic Tyra, doing something like that, just to make it extra special.”

Back at home, Danielle and Joanie seem to have their own show going on in the kitchen, with Danielle doing an impromptu rap that she passes on to her “Jo Jo.” These are the girls we seem to get the funniest comments off of, they probably could have their own show. The fun and games end when TyraMail arrives announcing someone’s imminent doom! As usual, everyone’s nervous, particularly Leslie, Brooke, and Sara.

Tyra: Master Turntablist

The inevitable elimination ceremony begins with a picture of three Tyras in a Hip Hop dance battle to the death. Talk about your triple threats! The regular judges are joined this week by Tyra’s buddy Roy Campbell, who apparently wrote one of the first articles about her in fashion. Quid pro quo, apparently. Tyra says that this week was not just about movement, but being “soulful,” citing the church fashion show as the first time she ever said “Wow, this is theatrical, this is amazing.” Cut to footage of Tyra stomping on the runway, as Tyra says that she took some of those elements (the sashay, looking to the left and right) and incorporated into her own signature walk. She wants the girls to do the same, to take inspiration from the church walk and make it their own, creating a walk that’s completely and undeniably their own.

The challenge this week involves showing the judges their own signature walks, but with a twist—or, more specifically, a turn. Tyra demonstrates a long, slow, exacting 360 degree turn, as if she is on a turntable, without once picking up either of her feet. It is truly impressive, and even prompts Twiggy to exclaim, “Brilliant!” like the lady in those Orbit gum commercials.

The girls do not fare as well. Jade’s one of the only girls to come close to executing the spin correctly, without picking up either of her feet, but the turn is still rather rough. Furonda’s almost got it, but halfway there, she has to stop and pick up her foot to complete the turn. Brooke clomps out looking angry, and her turn has a little trouble at the end, maybe because of her weird pigeon-toed feet. Joanie looks great sashaying her heart out during her walk, and her turn almost replicates Tyra’s (she’s the only girl to copy what Tyra does with her hands as well) except for when she slips up at the very end. Danielle does a competent walk, but her turn is doomed from the start. Leslie induces laughter in some of the judges when she struts out, this time looking like she’s got a load in her diapers; her turn is the oddest, choppiest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Until I see Nnenna’s: she does a weird half swivel then midway, switches to swivel right back. Sara just does a quick twirl like she can’t wait to get offstage.

Evaluations begin with Jade; Miss J. says it looked like she got “stuck” in her turn, like she was “turning in gravel.” Tyra thinks she has a good walk, but not a great walk. Tyra announces that they will look at the photos from their krumping session, but makes sure to ask if everyone knows what krumping is. “I don’t,” Twiggy says, who more likely to be familiar with a crumpet than a krumper. Tyra not only explains what it is, but demonstrates (with Miss J.) a dance that looks like she’s getting shocked with a thousand volts of eeelectricity. They finally turn to Jade’s picture; Miss J. says it looks like she was “humping” more than krumping. She did catch Nigel’s eye, but Tyra feels she forgot she was a model because in her film, she focused so much on the dance that she allowed her face to make some crazy expressions she wasn’t aware of.

Sara’s walk is described as being “like a tank”; her photo is deemed “quite interesting” by Twiggy, who asks “Is that clumping?” J. thinks her picture looks like she slipped on a banana peel (quite appropriate considering there is a clown in the vicinity). Like Jade, Sara forgot her face is the money shot (that came out sounding wrong).

Furonda’s the one girl with the most distinctive walk, thanks to her “paralyzed” right arm. “Whether one likes it or not, it is a signature,” Nigel observes. She gets a hearty “well done” from the panel on her picture because her “face is slammin’” and she connects with the camera.

Nigel feels Brooke walk is “dreadful” but Roy vehemently disagrees, saying he loved it and found it “sexy” and “chic.” They love her tough, sexy photo. Twiggy finds it “raunchy” in a good way, and Nigel declares it “the real deal.”

Tyra commends Joanie’s “soulful” walk today, saying, “I saw some signature” there. Joanie’s so happy she does a little dance at the mention of krumping. Tyra eggs her on, so Joanie works it out, causing Roy to ponder, “Uh oh, your father’s gonna get you.” “Or get us,” J. interjects. Her lively picture is deemed “incredible” by the panel, with Roy saying, “That’s pops.”

Danielle has a “beautiful walk” that Nigel feels she “owned.” Tyra thinks it’s good but not signature. With her picture, Nigel again likes it while Tyra finds it good, not great. Nnenna’s “half turn,” “back and forth” move gets scolded universally by the judges, with Roy supplying the harshest admonition: “When Tyra demonstrates something, pay attention.” They do like her picture, with Nigel telling her that her “relaxed, comfortable” smile will make her “a lot of money.”

Last up is Leslie, whose turn is “pretty dreadful” and Twiggy feels she’s not showing off her body to her best advantage. Tyra tells her to position her neck more like a “turtle” since her tendency is to stand with her head lolling back. Her photo is seen as more “salsa” than krumping. Twiggy thinks it’s a “good fashion shot” but Nigel says she’s not projecting the same energy the other girls did.

The judges deliberate. They love the personality that Joanie shows in her picture, which they think is one of her best; however, Tyra observes that in person she is reluctant to smile, perhaps because she is self-conscious about her teeth. Leslie is “photogenic” but they don’t like her in person; Twiggy wants to keep her to see what develops, but Roy writes her off as a “fabulous fit model” but not a Top Model. They love Nnenna but find her slightly bland. Danielle is “a little too natural” to Tyra, who wishes she’d put on some makeup, and maybe some moisturizer because she looks “ashy.” Furonda is a “ghetto diva.” Jade “can photograph a little too old, but she’s almost growing younger before my very eyes,” Tyra remarks. Sara “has the height but doesn’t know how to use it,” according to Roy, who adds, “Back to the mall for her.” Brooke is Miss J.’s “favorite broke down model” but “can she be fixed?”

Tyra hands back photos to the returning girls: the first photo goes to Joanie, who is congratulated for taking chances and incorporating what she’s learned about “soulful modeling” into her photo and signature walk, earning her a “Bravo” from Tyra. The next pictures go to Jade, Nnenna, Furonda, Danielle, and Brooke. This leaves Leslie and Sara in the bottom two.

Tyra says that the judges are finding her struggle with height to be “awkward” and one wants to “send her back to the mall.” Leslie is a “beautiful girl” with “beautiful pictures” but they don’t see a model when she stands in front of them due to her poor “posture” and lack of “presence.” Ultimately, it is Sara who is saved from the chopping block, warned that she must own her height or suffer the consequences.

Leslie is thankful for the unique experience she’s been through, and seems to understand and agree with the judges, speculating that perhaps the doubt she had in the back of her mind all along might have shown through. She says that she gave her all, but it unfortunately wasn’t good enough. Blowing a kiss goodbye, Leslie returns to her life back in Arizona, which hopefully with all this new experience and a fresh outlook will not be as “mundane” as she thought it was before.

We all float down here, and you’ll float too: snowflakegirl@fansofrealitytv. com