Wednesday, November 28, 2007

America's Next Top Model: Covergirl of the Week only gets you so far

This week, America's Next Top Model continues a time-honored rite of passage: the Go-See, where aspiring Top Models must try and make their way in the (usually unfamiliar and non-English-speaking) world, pimping themselves out to fashion designers located all over whatever confusing metropolis the models happen to be located in. It's pretty much exactly what you'd expect, based on past seasons cycles, but the final elimination is a whole 'nother thing.

Our top five are very excited for the challenge, and meet up at PT Models, a Shanghai-based agency. Saleisha, she of the bubbly personality, is incredibly excited about the Go-Sees. not. As usual, they have to run all over the city, meet with a bunch of designers, and make it back on time. NOT as usual, they get a translator to go with them, and a cab. Is Shanghai that much more difficult for a non-Chinese speaker to navigate than Tokyo, or Bangkok? Saleisha still claims that "you're on your own trying to find the designer's location." Heather, sadly, manages to get lost. Like, completely lost. Uh-oh.

Chantal, hilariously enough, has to wear a sheer dress while wearing hot pink underwear. She doesn't get great reviews for her walk, since the underwear is rather distracting. The first designer finds Saleisha dull, while Bianca impresses with her personality and her walk. So clearly, China is Bizzaro Land. Oh, and Heather? Still lost. When she finally makes it to her first (and only) designer, she gets praise for her look, but not her walk. Jenah's walk also gets criticized, along with her personality. China is harsh, yo. Saleisha, for her part, refuses to point Bianca in the right direction to her next location. Oooh, the claws come out! And then Chantal slams Saleisha for sucking up to the designers. (Before doing the exact same thing herself...thanks, editors!)

Heading back to home base is difficult, to say the least. Traffic is terrible, and Saleisha and Bianca are the only two to make it back in time. Wow, that may be the fewest ever. Heather, of course, beats herself up about being late. The other girls try to keep her from being so hard on herself, and even allow for a little primal screaming. That night, they all head out on the town, and are met by the lady from PT Models, who names Bianca the winner of the challenge. She lands a very unimpressive billboard for the Beijing Olympics ad campaign.

At the photo shoot location, the girls discover that Nigel will be their photographer (no pressure!), and Chinese lions and dragons will be their co-models, competing for attention in the photo. The styling is an odd mix of East-meets-80's. Jenah busts out the cocky sarcasm with Nigel, which is a bit risky, considering CariDee's experience in the past. She also privately criticizes his style of directing her, which she says threw her off. And it apparently did, since her shoot was way worse than usual. Her final shot is good, because she's apparently incapable of taking a bad picture, but she gets a talking-to from Nigel about her sarcastic sense of humor, and from Tyra about her arrogant attitude. Saleisha, on the other hand, completely rocks it. China IS Bizzaro Land! Nigel says she was his favorite to shoot, and she came up with a really interesting final shot.

Bianca only does an okay job at the shoot, but gets praise for her Go-Sees. Her final photo is strong in the body, but weak in the face. Chantal has a trouble with her posing, and gets criticized for being 20 minutes late back from Go-Sees, and for the aforementioned pink underwear. The judges love her final photo, though. Heather does well in spots, but second-guesses herself. She gets gasps of horror for being so late and making it to so few Go-Sees, and gets a mini-runway tutorial. Her photo gets great reviews, but Nigel says she was too stiff during the shoot. I'm a bit worried for Heather, to be honest, even though she's continued her neverending Covergirl of the Week streak.

In solo deliberations, the judges are all over the place on Bianca's picture. Heather gets praise for her amazing look, but not much else. They love Saleisha's improvement, but criticize Chantal's lack of confidence. Jenah's personality, of course, gets slammed. And now it's time to find out which models will be continuing on to Beijing ("The Fashion Capital of China"), and who will be going home. Saleisha gets the first photo, followed by Bianca and Chantal (what?!), leaving the two most photogenic girls in the bottom two. Wow. If you had asked me last week, I would NOT have seen this coming. In fact, if this were The Bachelor, I'd call this the Most Shocking Elimination Ceremony Ever.

Tyra acknowledges that Heather and Jenah take the best photos, but brings up their communication and attitude issues. Jenah finally gets the photo, leaving Heather out in the cold. I know you guys might yell at me for this, but between the two of them, I think it was the right call. They both took fantastic photos, but Heather really had difficulty functioning in the Go-See and Covergirl commercial environments, and had a weaker walk. Still, tough, tough call. And were it not between the two of them, I absolutely would have sent Chantal home.

And Heather's elimination isn't all we have to cry about tonight--Twiggy, the judge lending the most credibility to this crazy show--will be replaced next season by "international supermodel" Paulina Porizkova, whom I've never heard of, due to "scheduling conflicts." Well, nuts. While I miss Janice for the utter insanity and unpredictability, I thought that Twiggy often had well-thought-out comments, and was far more level-headed (and nicer) than the other judges. We'll miss ya, Twiggster!


Terrie said...

I am so disappointed about Heather's elimination. She had the edgiest look unlike any of the other models who all have such a standard look. She was different and exotic. Such a shame! In addition with assistance and time she would have been able to surmount her difficulties related to her Ausberger's Syndrome. I hope she doesn't give up and nonetheless still becomes a phenomenal success.

Liz said...

Agreed--it was definitely a ridiculous elimination, considering who's left in the competition. That said, by the flawed criteria ANTM judges with (personality, commercials, go-sees, etc.), it made sense that she wouldn't win. But I never would have picked her to go home THIS early!