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Is the Robot Human? – America's Next Top Model 5, Episode 2


by Syrone Harvey

It’s wake up time for the new group of top models. Sarah breathes a sigh of relief since she barely missed elimination. Ashley earned a one way exit ticket instead. In order to win, she has to be even better than before. The remaining girls are left scratching their heads over Ashley’s elimination. They suddenly realize the game is on and competition won’t be easy. Lisa is charged up and determined to make something great for herself. Some of the girls are becoming more leery about their fellow competitors. Ebony says, “You can’t underestimate for one second one of these skeezers here. If you show any weakness, they’re going to pounce on you like a pack of hyenas to a carcass.”

That evening, the girls receive a Tyra Mail which says, “Don’t bitch and moan about this hairy situation. Be ready to leave at 8:45 a.m.” Putting two and two together, the girls suspect they’re headed for image changing makeovers. At least Cassandra is feeling confident. But says she already has a great natural beauty, so they won’t have to change much to enhance it. The beauty queen is in for a huge surprise!

The girls arrive at the legendary Louis Licari Hair Salon where they are greeted by Louis Licari, Tyra and Jay. “We’re going to turn each of you into bling, top models somewhat like Linda Evangelista after her hair was cut short,” Jay explains. This raises a few eyebrows from the girls.

Tyra tells the girls about the ideas they have for the models’ makeovers. She begins first with Nicole. They plan to give Nicole a hair weave to make her hair curlier, more fabulous, and add more volume. Next Tyra tells Coryn, “You’re actually going to be a blonde.” (I hope they don’t forget the thick fuzzy eyebrows.) Next, Tyra tells Diane they intend to make her hair a wheat-like color. Lisa’s hair will become richer; more chocolaty adding more contrast to her eyes. Ultimately the goal is to make her blue eyes “pop!” Lisa says, “I’m like Linda Evangelista man, I’m a chameleon.” She is game for doing anything drastic.

Next Tyra wants to give Ebony more glamour and more pizzazz so she can represent her people. They plan to give her French braids hanging below her waist. (She squeals.) Kyle’s blonde hair will change to a chocolaty brown. Jayla’s shorter hair will develop some length. Since they already love the length of Kim’s hair, they feel a change from brown hair to red will bring out her olive skin tone. Louis Licari says, “People who choose to be red, choose to be noticed. So watch out!” Tyra, who’s also sporting red hair likes the sound of that. Sarah will receive an edgy, symmetrical haircut. Nik’s honey colored complexion needs a hair color that will brighten and make her look sun-kissed. Bre’s hair is going to be bone straight and sexy. Tyra shocks Cassandra by saying, “Cassandra you have poise. You are a beautiful woman, but in the judging room “all the answers are right because you’re a beauty queen.” She continues, “It’s kind of bland; it’s safe, it’s kind of like, who is the real girl underneath all that hair?” Cassandra is looking pretty nervous at this point. Then Tyra asks if she’s ever watched the movie Rosemary’s Baby starring Mia Farrow. The plan is to make Cassandra’s hair lighter and give it a short cut. She is going to have to say goodbye to the beauty queen look. (Tears well up in Cassie’s eyes.) “We’re not cutting your hair just to cut it, “Jay explains, “We feel the cut will be more suitable for the shape of your face.” They also feel her face is strong enough to handle a short cut. Cassandra begins to cry. When Tyra asks why she’s crying, she says it’s because she loves her hair. Tyra reminds her that it will always grow back. Ebony says, “It sucks for her, but you gotta do what you gotta do ‘cause this is the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Later in the day, the girls will have a photo shoot to represent their new looks to the tenth power. Each of the girls will be given a special style look to adopt. The girls are ecstatic, all except for Cassandra who is singing the, “I love my hair” blues. The other girls don’t give much sympathy. They tell her its time she had a new look. Lisa sys if Cassandra is serious about staying she needs to commit to whatever it takes.

Cassandra dabs at tears as she prepares for the big “snip.” Ebony is relieved that Cassandra is finally showing some emotion. She’s been such a robot that it’s good to see her do anything that is even remotely human. “Are you ready?” the stylist asks? “No. sniff, sniff…I don’t want to watch…sob…. (We hear the sound of hair chopping.) Poor Cassandra grieves her traumatic loss. (Suck it up chick, it WILL grow back.)
Jay attempts to console her by telling her how great her hair will look. Then he reminds her in casting she said she would do whatever it took…blah, blah, blah. She is just shocked she says, but at least she’s brave enough to do it.

There is a flurry of activity going on in Licari’s Salon. Eyebrows are being bleached; hair is being chopped, colored and washed. The girls are in full transformation mode. Cassandra is looking a little numb. She’s not thrilled at being connected to Rosemary, the woman who gave birth to the devil’s child. There’s a tad bit of irony underneath all of this.

While Lisa is gushing about her hair and how wonderful it is, Kim is concerned that her hair looks too feminine. She wants to maintain her own personal expression and feels it might make things harder with the red hair color. “No boy has this color hair,” she says. “So, you’re not a boy,” says one of the girls. “I know, but it’s like my thing,” she answers.

The finishing touches are almost done. Bre’s nose hairs get a trim. (Too much information) Ebony is glued to the chair while three stylists weave and braid her hair into micro minis. While waiting for her color to set, Cassandra shoots an envious glance at Jayla as she swings her long, flowing hair. She tells Sarah, “If they want you to be something that you’re not then I don’t want to do this.” She must be delirious from losing her hair. Why audition if you aren’t prepared for a drastic change?

Meanwhile Jay approaches the girls individually to explain how they can incorporate their personal style with their makeovers. He tells Bre she is more like the ghetto fab girl. “I guess that just mean I am fabulous one way or another because there was nothing drastically done to me, so no one could come up with a conclusion on how to make me more beautiful,” Bre says matter of factly. Her photo shoot comes across as super model glam.

Nicole’s style is a 90’s wide eyed super model. She is kind of reminiscent of a young Brooke Shields. Interestingly nothing much was done aside from adding more length and giving her more volume. She’s totally pleased.

Lisa has the look of the earlier supermodels, except with a twist. At her photo shoot she is amazed at how good she looks.

Sarah experiences major improvement as a replica of a Ralph Lauren girl. She is also amazed by her look and thrilled at the change. “I just love it in general,” she says.

Boyish Kim has the fortune of staying within her own personal style. Aside from the red tinted hair, her look is that of femme boy. It’s a cute look, but a bit confusing with the boy/girl thing going on.

Jayla wanted her hair to be blonde but is at least content that her hair is longer. Previously her look was more like a rocker girl. But her new look is more chic; kind of Yves St. Laurent.

Diane is pleased with her new look. Her new style is casual chic. During her photo shoot she appears more confident.

Coryn the eyebrow girl is sporting a sophisticated Beyonce style. She models long, honey colored tresses. Our thanks to the person who painstakingly tweezed and shaped Coryn’s brows, making them more appealing.

Since Kyle already has a fashionable casual kind of style, Jay wants to expand further by giving her a classic look “Chanel with an edge”. She too is content with the outcome of her makeover.

Nik isn’t a sophisticated or fashion forward girl so Jay envisions bohemian chic with added colors and textures to further enhance her look. My goodness she’s got a Phyllis Diller-Tina Turner thing going on. She says, “It’s cool, it’s different and it clearly attracts attention. Maybe it’ll tone down a little with time.

Ebony’s hair braiding process took 13 hours. But she’s pleased with the look even though her butt and legs are numb from sitting for so long. Her look is sophisticated with an edge.

Jay tells Cassandra she needs to work with her new look which is mod with an edge. “Obviously I’m still going to be a feminine person cause that’s how I am, but what bothered me the most about the makeover was Jay said, “No, you can’t be feminine anymore. You have to act edgy.” The finish product is a big change from before but it’s an overall nice look. It’s just going to take a little while for her to get used to it.

With the makeovers completed, Jay encourages each of the girls to adopt their new looks and really take on their new supermodel personas.

Tyra’s Mail is waiting when the girls return home. “Get ready to rack up some fashion cred. Be ready at 6:30 a.m.” Obviously the models are headed for a shopping spree. They turn in for the night. Cassandra misses her hair so much she wants to sleep with her pony tale beneath her pillow. “In the middle of the night I’ll feel it on my shoulder and it will be comforting” she says. In the bathroom, Ebony and Nicole use puppets to act out Cassandra’s obsession with her hair. “I’m complaining. All I want to do is about my hair. Make everything about my hair,” puppet Cassandra says. The real Cassandra says, “I can’t play with my hair. When I go to brush my teeth, I’m going to look in the mirror and it’s going to be…it’s not going to be pretty.” She realizes a lot of the girls don’t understand why she got so upset about her hair. She thinks they should be able to understand and sympathize with her. In the bathroom, the puppet Cassandra is singing a song about her hair. Kyle feels Cassandra might be at stake for elimination. “We’ll see how far I get and we’ll see how this hair is going to work for me.”

The next morning the girls are chatting without Cassandra around. Kim can’t believe how much Cassie’s been complaining. She’s still not adapting to her hair style. She makes a mad dash to phone her boyfriend so she can complain to him about her hair. The girls pamper and primp before heading out to their next challenge.

They arrive at the Luxe Hotel on Rodeo Drive. On the rooftop they are greeted by a whimsical looking bald guy who is wearing a bright orange jacket with a white dress with bold yellow polka dots on it. The girls think he resembles a clown. He says, “Hello ladies, I am James St. James, club kid extraordinaire, fashion provocateur and definition of personal style.” (Could someone please interpret?) He explains that with personal style you can be fat, forty, bald and dress like a clown and still be the most fashionable person in the room. He says, “It means you have a look, and a point of view behind your look.” The girls are headed on a personal style mission. Each of the girls will be given $500.00. They will go shopping for an outfit that best fits their own personal style. Only the winner will be able to keep their outfit. James reminds them to keep in mind the personal image Jay has given them.

The girls embark on a frenzied shopping spree in Beverly Hills. They have an hour and a half to carefully select an outfit that totally portrays their fashion personas. They rush off to Club Monaco where Cassandra begins grabbing clothes. Since Ebony isn’t into shopping there, Cassandra asks for her help in choosing something “mod.” The other girls hurry from one store to another trying to find that special outfit. Lisa, the wardrobe stylist assistant feels none of the other girls take fashion as serious as she does. They finally head to a shoe boutique. Cassandra keeps bugging by asking, “Do you think this looks mod?” She is getting on Ebony’s nerves. Everyone completes their shopping mission and heads back to the hotel.

James St. James explains what he is looking for. He wants to see how well their outfits represent their new look and what they bring to each outfit. He has each of them step forward and tell what persona they are representing.

First, Kyle’s look is Chanel but edgier. James St James gives his critique and says although she did well she could probably accessorize to make a bolder statement. Jayla, “Yves St. Laurent chic steps forward with flared jeans and a hot pink jacket. James doesn’t feel it’s as sophisticated as Jay wanted it to be. Cassandra steps up next. Her look is supposed to be mod. James says she needs to be a bit bolder, take some risks and own her new look. The “femme boy” Kim is next. She needs to embrace her femininity a little bit more. Sophisticated Coryn has too many accessories. James suggests she gets rid of her shawl. Sarah is Yves St. Laurent Chic. He tells her she can do preppy and do Polo without looking so washed out. Lisa, supermodel with a twist really nails her new style. Ebony walks up as sophisticated with an edge. “Two words,” James St James says, “Ew, yuck!” As Nicole steps forward the heel of her shoe suddenly breaks. James tells her that she can use the broken heel to be the 90’s wide eyed supermodel. He also suggests she be more deconstructive and rattier. Dressy Casual Diane receives a thumbs up from James. He likes her shoes and her overall look. James tells Nik that although her bohemian chic look is okay, she needs to be careful about over accessorizing. The last girl up is Bre. Her style persona is ghetto fabulous but the belt she is wearing is definitely more 99 or 2000. Finally the winner is chosen and it’s Lisa.

Lisa chooses two partners, Ebony and Kim. Because Lisa is the winner, she can select three items off the other girls to keep, while the other two girls get to choose an item a piece. Kim figured she’d be the winner since she thought she showed much better style.

The girls especially Sarah struggles with Lisa’s win. She tends to be a bit of a know-it-all, very bossy and a little snotty. Back at home, Lisa is giving the girls pointers to make them look more interesting. She has become the self-appointed expert and somewhat big-headed in the process. She wants the competition to be as fierce as possible and wants to win knowing the other girls also tried their best. (She’s a confident kind of gal.) She shoots directions at the girls…. Feet together, knees straight, bend forward, and touch your toes…” (Let’s all play “Lisa Says.”) She doesn’t seem to notice that none of the girls like listening to her go on and on. Behind her back Kim does a close imitation of Lisa.

Tyra Mail the next day prepares the girls for their next challenge. They will be paired up with another girl where they will model the exact same outfit, and attempt to capture the style persona as close as possible. The girl with the strongest photo will be the winner in that pair.

It’s Nik versus Bre. With a black, vintage style dress, they are to portray a high fashion look. Nik does well with her shoot, while Bre needs a little prodding. Sarah and Coryn are up next. As they each pose with a horse, Jay wants them to bring a simple, pretty look to their poses. Both of them do well although working with a horse is a bit of a challenge.

Off to the side Lisa and Ebony wait. Lisa asks if Ebony has seen their outfit. Ebony tells her she hasn’t and asks if she’s seen it. Lisa tries to psych her out by telling her they only wanted Lisa to see the dress since they didn’t think Ebony would be able to wear it as well. Ebony is ready to throw down. Lisa laughs and tells her she’s just trying to mess with her mind. They’re up next. Lisa says since Ebony has big ta ta’s and she doesn’t, they have to do a lot of pinning and altering to give the outfit a better fit. Lisa is boasting about how she knows every single pose in each of the magazines. Is anyone else gagging? Ebony isn’t feeling the pose. She requires a lot of chiding.

Diane and Nicole are next in front of the camera. Jay tells Diane to take a little leap so she can “feel” the pose. She does and ends up falling. But, it’s all good. She takes it all in stride. Nicole accomplishes her shoot with the intensity in her eyes that Jay is wanting.

Kim and Kyle are the next pair to shoot. Kim worries she might look like a boy in a dress. Kyle struggles with the poses. Jay wants soft and feminine, but she’s not giving him the variety he wants. As Kim goes up, he tells her not to get too cocky. She says, “Believe me, I won’t.” She tries to work her masculinity in with her femininity. Overall Kim does the best job.

Cassandra and Jayla are next to go up. Cassandra is hoping Jayla will struggle with the shoot like she did with the last competition. Instead she does pretty well. Cassandra needs a little guidance from Jay since she is clueless and doesn’t know how to hunch. As she finishes, Jay mumbles, “She needs a miracle.” Cassandra feels good about her photo shoot and hopes it’ll make up for her attitude about the makeover.

Tyra Mail awaits the girls as they return from the photo shoot. It tells the girls to be prepared to face the panel of judges tomorrow. The girls try to shake the tension by soaking in the spa. Lisa says, “I told you guys I was going to win!” Lisa is confident she won’t be chosen to go home. Cassandra says she is hopeful she’ll do well in front of the panel. But if not she’ll go back to doing pageants. She feels pageants develop you more into a woman while modeling is more like a career.

The models stand nervously before the panel of judges. They are one step closer to determining who will be America’s Next Top Model. Tyra introduces the panel of judges with James St. James as a guest judge. This time they will be evaluated in pairs. After a brief critique, the judges will deliberate and make a decision.

Sarah and Coryn approach the panel a little hesitantly. Nigel calls them on it and suggests they walk with a bit more confidence. They are amazed at how Sarah’s hair cut has changed her look. They’re amazed to discover Coryn resembles Tyra a little bit. Kim and Kyle approach next. Twiggy likes Kim’s walk, while Tyra notices Kyle’s make up. Tyra suggests Kim should’ve posed forward since her pose is a side shot, the same as her last photo. Nicole is told she looks as if she is trying too hard.

Cassandra and Jayla go before the judges next. Nigel compliments Cassandra on her new look. But Tyra isn’t pleased because it’s not quite the look she wanted. She intends to have them re-do her look to make it more like Mia Farrow. They feel Jayla’s long hair pulls her down too much. If she survives this elimination she will go in for a restyle. The judges notice Jayla’s eyes are squinted. They suggest she pull them more open when posing in the sun. Cassandra, they say looks as if she hasn’t gotten over her hair issues.

Ebony and Lisa step forward. Tyra suggests Ebony loosen her hair which is pulled away from her face. She says it makes her look like someone who teaches modeling but isn’t a model. She let’s her hair down which gives a sexier look. Tyra says Lisa is stunning. This leaves Lisa beaming and the other girls rolling their eyes.

Diane and Nicole are next. James says Nicole gives a sex kitten kind of look. They like Diane’s makeover except for the belt she is wearing. They examine the pictures and think Nicole has taken the best picture so far. Diane is a bit too reserved Tyra says. She’s a beautiful woman with high self-esteem and a great body but she’s not coming across as confident enough.

Nik and Bre are the last ones up. The judges feel both girls are successful in showing off their poses and looks. They don’t seem bothered by Nik’s frizzed out hair.

The judges deliberate their choices. As the girls re-enter the judges decide the strongest girl from each pair. Cassandra is the first one called. Nicole is called next, and then Coryn. Next Kim is called, then Lisa and Nik. The 6 remaining ladies have the weakest pictures. Tyra calls Bre. Jayla is called. Sarah is called, and finally Kyle. This leaves Ebony and Diane up for elimination.

The judges feel Diane has a gorgeous face and a beautiful body but they haven’t seen the beautiful body captured in a photo. At the casting audition Tyra was impressed by Ebony’s obsession with modeling. The judges are wondering if modeling might just be a dream. Tyra pulls out the photo and names Diane. Ebony, “Don’t get it twisted” is eliminated.

Ebony is sad to be eliminated. She doesn’t understand how some people don’t realize how important modeling is to her. She has walked the first step in becoming a top model, but realizes she still has a few more steps to go.

The makeovers were cool, although somewhat unusual. Hopefully, next week Cassandra has gotten over her hair cut. Anyway, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to contact me at Syrone@realityshack.com – Keep it real!


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