Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Let the Drama Begin! - Episode 4

Woo, tonight the drama really began, and I have a feeling it is only going to heat up from here. With only 10 models left in the competition, the claws and the insecurities are coming out. Sandra really set the tone for the episode when she walked in, saw her picture on the screen and exclaimed, "My picture shows that I'm better than all the other girls." We'll see about that.

The guest stars this week included Tocarra, the big, black beautiful model from cycle 3, and famous pose instructor Benny Ninja. Tocarra showed up at the house for a sleep over, bearing gifts of night-wear from Mira Kelis. I have to just mention that these were some of the hottest and cutest little sleepshirts and shorts I have ever seen. I want to run out and buy some for myself ASAP!

Tocarra was there to talk to the girls about "personality", something she herself has in spades, but which is lacking from most of the girls of cycle 12. Out of everyone, I would say that Fo seems to have one of the cutest personalities. I just wish she would step up a bit and really show it, because right now she's blending in a bit more than she should.

Sky Nella, an austrailian Model turned DJ spun some beats of different styles while Benny showed the girls how to pose with the music. WHen he let them all give it a show, only London, Aminat, and Celia stood out to me. Everyone else, especially Allison, Tahlia, and Sandra, fell flat.

Their challenge, of course, was then all about posing. They were sparkly sexy dresses from "The Blonds" and participated in a model pose-off in front of a huge crowd at The Mansion. Although something about Celia's face kind of creeps me out (and she looks a bit too old to be a new young model in my opinion), she simply "fragged off the energy" of the crowd and came up with a very dominant win. Natalie came in second, and I think Fo showed herself well. Tahlia was the one with the most boo's from the crowd, prompting her to run home and drown herself in a sea of "I want to go home" tears.

Here, my friends, is where the drama begins. All of the other girls were pretty much pissed that she is ready to give up. There seems to be one every season that doesn't take things seriously or doesn't really have what it takes, but the truth is, we all have insecurities. It doesn't make Tahlia worthless in the competition. It just makes her a scared, scarred 19 year old girl who is still finding herself. If the models in the house were smart, they would realize that she's not going to win if she doesn't have the confidence to feel good about staying... so they should just let it go.... More to come so hold that thought.

No group photo shots this week... oh wait, yes there were! Is it just me or is this the year of the group photo?? Although the models did not have to pose in groups with each other, Benny Ninja was posing as their husband and there was a gaggle of small children around them as they all pretended to be immigrants landing at Ellis Island.

To capture an authentic photo of immigrants, the photographer used a special old camera (can't remember now what it was called) that shot very slow frames in a very authentic antique style. The models were asked to bring somewhat of a modern twist to this antique photo, but most simply couldn't relate to the rest of the group. Sandra, whose photo was the best last week, ended up in the bottom of the pile this week. Bottom two in fact.

Fo and London gave profile shots while everyone else in the group was staring at the camera, making it look just wrong. Natalie and Celia did not really come alive in their photographs either, which was a big disappointment after some good photos from them in the past. Aminat's photo was one of her best to date, and Teyona's was actually stunning. It's too bad Teyona never really looks good in panel. They "fixed" her makeover weave last week, but now it's all stringy again. I am thinking she just doesn't have a clue of how to take care of it.

In the end, the best photo of the bunch was.... ready for it?? TAHLIA!! Little miss, I want to go home, was able to pull herself together and give some of the best photos of the competition thus far. Tyra told her she needs to work on her confidence, and I am hoping that this win will start to help her to believe in herself. If she really wants to go home, she should step up and quit. Allison's photo was also worth mentioning. She may not have done a great job with her posing, but damn, she can take a stunning and interesting photograph!

Kortnie's photo, which was completely devoid of personality and poise, put her in the bottom 2, battling with Sandra for a precious spot in the final 9. I guess the judges just see more potential in Sandra, asking her to stay even though she was in the bottom 2 for the second time. Kortnie took the criticism well and even kept a great attitude when she was eliminated.

Celia stepped forward when Kortnie was told she was going home, and my heart almost stopped. No! She's not going to do what I think she's going to do! But then she opened her mouth and said, "Tyra, with all due respect, I think you should know what Tahlia has been saying all week. She wants to go home and she doesn't think this competition is the right career move for her. I just think it isn't fair to send someone home when they want to be here and she doesn't."

There was total silence in the room as everyone waited to see what Tyra was going to say. If I was Tahlia, I might have tackled the bitch, but Tahlia, true to her personality, did not say a word. Tyra, however, did. "You want to know what's not fair?" she asked. "You saying this now in front of everyone when Tahlia has not expressed any of this to me or the judges. Our decision is final, you may step down."

I was half expecting a Tiffany moment when Tyra tore her a new one back in the day. I agree with Celia that it's totally unfair for Tahlia to be there and to be doing well in the judging when she doesn't want to be there anymore. However, life (and modeling) is unfair. You better get used to it honey. Because when you step out and "tattle" on someone like that, it only makes you look like a bitch who is jealous and out to sabotage someone.

You could see on Celia's face (probably because of the tears) that she was very very sorry she said anything. I think she was shocked by Tyra's reprimand, but she's 25 freaking years old. She should have known better. She should probably also realize that Tyra's watching clips of them at the house and she knows exactly what's going on. It just was the WRONG time to say something like that. Especially since the judges were lovin' them some Tahlia at panel. If she had been bottom 2, okay maybe say something. But Top picture of the week? Shut your mouth! I have a feeling Celia could be the next to go.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Runway with Miss J

Miss J showed the girls just how fabulous his runway walk really is when he took them through his etiquette and runway course. Past antm models, Chantel and Bianca, were there to help demonstrate what it means to show respect to the models who are with you on the runway. I, for one, thought Chantel was an interesting choice for this particular episode since she knocked a dude off his stilts during her final runway challenge for the top model crown on Cycle 9 in China.

But this is Cycle 12, so who had the best runway walk and who bombed it? Natalie impressed J the most with her confidence, and even though the rest of the girls thought Natalie was being a egotistic bitch back at the house, she really is good at runway. Celia does a great job too and models from head to toe. I think runway is a strong point for Aminat and Sandra as well.

Tahlia needs to work on her confidence because other than that, she looks good on the runway. Fo needed some work at practice, but later she showed that she can take advice well. The worst was poor awkward Allison. I think she has the potential to get better, she just needs a little practice.

Drama ensued back at the house before the runway challenge the next day when the girls were playing "truth or dare" and Natalie pulled the truth question..."Who do you think had the worst photo other than Jessica last week?" First of all, let me say that whoever fucking put that question in the hat is an evil bitch. Come to think of it, it was probably Sandra or Natalie anyway... but Natalie's answer was Tahlia. I might have personally chosen Kortnie for that title, but Tahlia's was nothing to cheer about either. She took the comment personally, but felt so much better after she had a chance to talk to her sister on the phone for support later in the week.

The runway challenge was to walk in a show for famous American designer, Jill Stuart. Also judging the challenge was Ann Shokett, seventeen magazine's editor in chief. Natalie did a crazy twirl in the middle trying to stand out, and even though they dogged her for it, they still gave her the top prize for looking so confident on the runway. Celia was sort of the runner up, but she didnt get anything for it. When they announced the Natalie was the winner, all the other girls sort of clenched their teeth. I don't think most of them like her too much, and I forsee some crazy arguments to come. Overall, I thought the clothes were really beautiful and the girls did a pretty good job.

The photo shoot was a fun idea. They all piled onto a big red bus and parked in different famous Manhattan places where they were asked to portray a certain type of person. Allison and Naija ended up in the bottom two this week as neither of them were able to get into character and play their part. Naija was paired up with Kortnie and was supposed to be a soho artist. Kortnie's picture showed potential, but Naija just looked flat and uninteresting again this week. Allison was paired with London on Fifth avenue, portraying high society snobs. For some reason, Allison just sort of freaked herself out and couldn't produce a great photograph. I was so relieved to see her stay though, because she really does seem to have some potential.

At the top of the pack was Sandra who was paired with Celia as a nanny on the upper east side. I think both of them look fabulous, but personally, the picutre of Fo and Aminat was my favorite. THey portrayed wall street stock brokers and for me, there is just so much attitude and awesome in this photo. I was so glad to see that Fo got over her baby shit about her hair cut.

In the end Naija was the one sent home. Next week, Benny Ninja takes the models to a transgender strip club? to teach them all about posing. That should be fun. I hope there's a Tyra impersonator.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Makeovers! Week 2

I always love watching the makeover shows. It's gotten a lot more fun since Tyra and the Jay's stopped telling the girls what to expect and just starting DOING it. There's a lot less whining and more excitement. This year, the show is in New York, so of course, the girls headed to the John Barrett salon at Bergdorf Goodman's. There was no doubt they were in good hands.

Sandra got the shortest hair, since hers was already super short, Tyra had them even it out and dye it blonde. I think it serves her well, but the problem with Sandra is that she doesn't have enough passion on her beautiful face when she takes pictures to really be as strong of a model as she has the potential of being. Several of the girls got long extensions, which is usually my favorite look. As a shock, though, Fo and Celia got their hair chopped off. Celia was really the one who had more reason to cry, I thought, because he long blonde hair was truly beautiful. Instead, though, I was very proud of her when she took it all in stride and said that she found her new shorter hair "liberating". She owned it in her photos this week also.

Now Fo is a different story. She is the one girl who got an F- on her makeover exam this year. She looks cute as hell, but simply felt "butch" and couldn't get over the fact that she looked like the "girl next door's brother". She once again proved that attitude is 90% of this competition by falling short on her photo shoot with Nigel simply because of her makeover angst.

My favorite makeover? Allison! THey took the bug-eyed dark haired freakish girl and turned her into a goddess. She still has a freak in her, but her new long blonde locks give her something special. I also like London's super short blonde hair now too. It accentuates her face much like McKey's haircut helped her out last season. Surprisingly, for the first time ever, Tyra had nothing she wanted to change about a model: Natalie did not even get a makeover. Mister Jay told her she was a model from "head to toe" and they wouldn't change a thing. We'll see in time if that helps her or hurts her. I kind of tend to agree that her hair is really very pretty the way it is.

The modeling challenge this week was another Walmart makeup display. Since there are no Walmarts in New York (What?? They can't afford the rent or what??), Covergirl brought their typical Walmart display to the girls and tasked them with finding a suitable "model" on the streets, introducing her to the wall of covergirl, then putting the makeup on her in a flattering style. The girls were paired up, and the winning group this week was Aminat, Sandra and Celia. I thought it was cool that the group was able to keep from arguing, especially after Aminat told Sandra point blank that "the better girl went home" and that the house was hoping Sandra would get the boot. It's a good sign that they didn't start arguing. Of course, Sandra didn't say much of anything. She more or less road Aminat and Celia's coattails and won a feature in a Covergirl Walmart display.

Nigel Barker was this week's photographer. Their photoshoot was also about being in groups (of 4 this time) as the lead girl in the photo held up two curling iron looking lights and held them up in order to light herself in the picture. I thought it was a good learning/teaching exercise that would quickly show which girls were good at finding and creating their own light and which girls have skills when it comes to posing. The best photo of the week this week? Teyona! Girl owned that photo shoot. She was all over the set, had passion in her eyes, and she knew how to light herself up.

Some of my other favorites this week were Celia, Allison and London. TO me, everyone else fell a little bit flat. It was honestly a shock to me that Tahlia and Kortnie weren't on the chopping block after their photos went sailing down. Neither of them have shown much potential in my opinion. They better step it up or get ready to step out.

In the end, it was Sandra and Jessica who ended up in the bottom 2. To be fair, Jessica's picture was terrible. You could see that she was completely clueless about where the lighting was. I think that out of all of the girls, she was by far the prettiest as far as traditional "pretty" goes, but if you are a fan of top model, you already know that pretty only goes so far. Being a model is so much more than that, and Jessica just couldn't get there fast enough and was eliminated.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Episode One: Sandra makes Friends

The 13 finalists arrive in New York City and go straight to the iconic Empire State Building to meet with Nigel and Paulina. Nigel told them where to find their apartment and handed the key to Celia. When Paulina announced that Celia getting the key also meant that Celia could pick the first bed. DRAMA. I could feel it coming.

Their amazing apartment on the Upper East Side is incredibly chic. Sandra, not Celia, was the first one to pick a bed. Of course, it also just so happened that later Celia also wanted the same exact bed. I guess in an effort to save money (or to create drama) whoever decorated the house decided to only put 12 beds in the house for 13 girls. Maybe they just assumed one girl would only be there for a week, so screw her. Anyway, the fact that Celia picked the same bed as the one girl in the house who is ready to start a fight and has already said "I'm not here to make friends, I'm here to win." is just hilarious. The first ANTM cycle 12 argument!!

Fortunately, before the argument got too boring, jesus freak London stepped in and offered her bed to Sandra saying that she would sleep on the floor. (London cracked me up when she said "I know I'll have a bed eventually" and I think she's got a good point there.)

So far this cycle, the most vocal person in the house is Sandra, by far! I think they keep playing her clips just because she is so obviously delusional. First of all, she thinks she is going to win the title at the end simply because she's African. WTF? Sure, her accent sets her apart, but no one from Africa has ever won ANTM, so I don't know what she's thinking. I also think the producers find it funny that she keeps talking about how great she is in one scene and then showing that she's completely incapable of doing things right in the next.

The next drama also involved Sandra, who alienated and pissed off all the other girls in the house when she told them to go in the living room if they wanted to continue their "dumb" conversation, because she was trying to sleep and couldn't. Good thing Sandra isn't into making friends... cause she wouldn't know how.

The first photo shoot was about an issue very close to Tyra's heart: young women who are growing up too fast. They were all given tasks that were typical of young girls like "hide and go seek" and "ring around the rosie".

In their judging panel, here's what the judges thought:

Sandra - After calling her out for a terrible runway performance earlier in their first task (she didn't even walk down the runway all the way!), we got to see her photo. Horrible. She didn't look like a fun and fresh young girl. She looked terrified.

Celia - Looking amazing at judging, the judges loved her hula hoop photo.

Fo - very sweet and beautiful face.

Tiyana - Her face was almost missing from the shot entirely, so it didn't really show her potential.

London - One of Nigel's favorites. The motion was great and her face was fresh and young looking. In person, the judges were not totally convinced that she has the proportions for a model.

Jessica - Her photo was stunning and very "model" but it had nothing to do with the photo shoot's issue, which kind of killed it for the judges.

Aminat - She almost looked angry in her photo, and while I was thinking she might have the most potential so far, she really didn't come through with a photo that made sense. Paulina complimented her runway walk, but is afraid that she only has one note.

Isabella - Her shot looks more dancey than anything else. Tyra mentioned that her hands were in front of her face a lot. Mister Jay didn't like it either, but I wouldn't say she's the worst!

Naija - Her face and hair turned out great and very sweet and innocent, but they thought it looked more like hopscotch than musical chairs.

Kortnie - Liked her face too, but something weird about her legs.

Allison - The judges loved it with her very wide-eyed innocence.

Tahlia - One girl that needs a makeover, let me just say. Her shot was okay, but she also had some leg issues. Tyra told her that honestly people aren't going to want to see her scars and other people will want to flaunt them. SHe needs to reconcile that with herself.

Natalie - Her shot was sweet, but Paulina said that she could not see her potential from the shot.

The models headed off to a holding room while the judges looked over their photos one more time.

"13 beautiful girls stand before, but I only have 12 photos in my hand."

Best picture of the week: ALLISON (unanimous decision from the judges)

2. FO
3. Tiyana
4. London
5. Celia
6. Naija
7. Kortnie
8. Natalie
9. Aminat
10. Tahlia
11. Jessica

The bottom two in the very first week were Sandra and Isabella.

You know Sandra had to be trippin' cause she thought she was going to win. Isabella has a beautiful spirit, but she was lost on set. Sandra was the biggest disappointment on the runway and then her photo was a disappointment as well. So who stays in the competition?

I was so ready for her to say that Sandra was going home. I certainly didn't expect Isabella to go home first, but in the end, you just never can predict what will happen. Isabella is just a victim of not having a great photo shoot. Her runway was okay. Maybe the producers just basically said, keep Sandra cause she's adding a lot of sass and drama to the show this cycle! In some ways, I have to admit that I'm glad she's still in for that exact same reason.

Who is your favorite so far this season? What did you think of McKey's CG commercials?

Cycle 12 Begins!!

As Goddesses in the city of sin, 34 women made their way to Las Vegas in hopes of becoming America's Next Top Model. All of the girls had their chance to impress the judges with their interviews, swimsuit body and their posing. I think the first cuts seemed to be pretty clear.

When breaking the news to the girls, Mister and Miss Jay let them go up to small boxes with their names on them. Inside was either a golden crown or not... In honor of Vegas, they chose 21 semi-finalists. Those 21 girls were given one last chance to impress the judges in a "Goddess" photo shoot.

Each girl was given a Goddess to emulate. For example, "The Goddess of Love", "The Goddess of Justice", "The Goddess of Pride"... and so on. For the most part, you could see which girls already had some experience modeling and which ones did not. Of course, ANTM is not about how much experience a girl already has, but rather how quickly they can learn to become a better model.

The highlight of the entire photo shoot was what was going on behind the scenes. Ghetto-fabulous Angelea with her long crazy fingernails and her fake hair showed us all that she "Won't let people pull her buttons." I myself have never pulled a button, but sometimes I do like to push buttons. /shrug. Sandra said something about the way she looked and Angelea went nuts. Lesson number one of how to make it to the finals of any competition is don't argue and show your ass in front of the judges and the people who matter in the competition.

When the final decisions were announced and of course there were the usual tears and cheers. Cycle 12 finalists are: Aminat (the cool black girl with a fro); Natalie; Fo (the Blaxican with freckles and my personal fave); Allison (of the bug eyes aka the token awkward girl); Tahlia (the not skinny, but not plus-size burn victim); Celia (25 year old beautiful and fun blonde); Najia (very pretty but doesn't really stand out for me); London (the interesting Jesus-freak); Tiyana (wind-tunnel face girl); Kortnie (plus size ex of Dale Earnhardt junior); Isabella (fresh and fun dirty blonde who also has epilepsy, but doesn't seem to want to let it hold her back); Jessica (the "prettiest" who will probably become known as commercial); and finally Sandra (the African girl who thinks she's got this whole thing in the bag and has DRAMA written all over her prominent forehead bone)

This season will be taking place in NYC again and the girls will be living on the Upper East Side for the very first time. Hell, just getting to live there for a few weeks (or months) would make it all worth it for me. This is shaping up to be a great and drama-filled season.
Header Image by Colorpiano Illustration