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And Then There Were Nine – America’s Next Top Model 5, Episode 3


by Syrone Harvey

Since “don’t get it twisted” Ebony was eliminated, things have become pretty intense. The competition begins with 11 models remaining. They agree that the last panel was by far, the most emotional one of all. Diane got a much needed wake up call and is determined to win.

Tyra stops by for an informal Q&A session with the girls. They have an opportunity to express their reactions to their new looks. The models are finally adjusting to the rigors of the Top Model Competition. After a short pep talk, the girls have a chance to chill out for the evening. Tyra Mail arrives, hinting that the girls need to be ready to “swim with the sharks.”

Meanwhile, Sarah and Kim are out by the pool discussing relationships. Although Kim is in a committed, yet open relationship, she isn’t sure about where she is headed at the moment. Sarah is obviously interested even though she’s never really considered being gay or attracted to a female. Inside the house, Cassandra continues to reel from her hair cut. (Weren’t we all hoping she’d gotten over it by now?) She doesn’t like her new look and still has a hard time looking in a mirror.

The next day, the girls arrive at a posh location. Miss J pops out wearing a bright, colorful outfit. His sparkling swim fins definitely add the finishing touch. Miss J works with the girls on defining their walk and stresses the need to stay focused while on the runway. As the girls display their walking skills Miss J critiques each of them. He thinks Jayla’s walk is a bit scattered while Cassandra brandishes a stiff beauty pageant stroll. The girls have much to learn about walking. “Kim,” Miss J says, “Looks like a marionette without the string.”

To loosen things up a bit, Miss J has the girls select a zany hat and a skirt. The goal is to become completely enmeshed within the character of the hat. This attitude must essentially appear in their runway walk. When the girls still have a hard time relaxing, J tells them to get giddy and dance hoping it will encourage them to “feel” the character of the hat. Cassandra is unmovable. She can’t shake the gait of a pageant queen. Sarah is totally scattered and confused. Miss J thinks both Kim and Sarah win the prize for having the worst walk.

Back at home, Sarah is worried. The super model walk is a huge challenge for her. Kim also struggles with her walk. But, instead of using the time to practice, Kim and Sarah goof around on the floor. Kim says, “Man my arms are so strong!” She gives a boyish grin and does some push ups. Okay, we’ve got the push ups figured out, how about practicing that walk?

The next morning, Kim realizes Sarah’s attraction to her. She says she has no problem with straight girls crushing on her, but she can’t seem to pick up a gay girl if her life depended on it. Sarah wonders whether she’s just curious, or if she might actually be attracted to Kim.

At the next top model challenge the models meet world renowned fashion designer, Sue Wong. The girls will not only embrace a unique character; they will also focus on walking a moving runway. This leaves Kim feeling more nervous than before. As the girls strut down the runway, Sue Wong calls out different characters for the girls to portray. Nicole is a Mongolian Princess. Bre does a great job simulating a Dorothy Dandridge kind of look. Kim’s attempt at balancing sexy and masculinity results in stiff movements and an obvious lack of confidence. Cassandra is supposed to be playful, but she also comes across as stiff. Sarah models a beautiful gown with a flowing train, but fails to exude gracefulness. Bre ultimately wins the competition. She has the opportunity to wear a fabulous designer gown and choose 4 friends to accompany her on a fancy night out on the town.

Bre chooses Coryn, Nik, Kim and Jayla. The girls get dolled up and stunning, especially Bre, in a fluffy, feathered gown. Upon arrival, the girls are shocked to discover caviar is part of their luxury meal. Good heartedly, the girls attempt to choke it down. Bre says, “I’m really trying to be respectful, but I really feel like throwing up.” It’s definitely an acquired taste.

When the girls arrive home, Tyra Mail awaits them. They are told to be ready at 7am the next day. Kim and Sarah play around in the pool. Things become a little flirtatious. Even though Kim is involved in an open relationship, she is feeling a little “somethin’, somethin’” for the sassy blonde. They end up fooling around under the covers.

Bre pulls Kim aside and warns her to be careful with Sarah. Kim says it was just a “stupid make out.” She reminds Kim about the girlfriend she has waiting for her at home. Bre worries Sarah may have the wrong impression about things. On the phone, Sarah reveals to her boyfriend about flirting around with Kim. (She leaves out a few small details though.) She tells her boyfriend he has nothing to worry about. She’s clearly confused and not sure what she really feels about Kim.

On a side note, Cover Girl Naima is becoming more familiar in her super model role. After touring the Cover Girl factory she is totally impressed by all that Cover Girl Make Up offers.

For the next challenge, the girls arrive at Quixote for a special Hollywood effects kind of photo shoot. This time, the girls will have to “run” the moving runway and follow directions for certain poses etc. Jay pulls Cassandra and Jayla aside. He reminds them that Tyra still wants each of them to undergo a change with their hair styles. Jayla’s long extensions are removed and her hair cut into a shorter, sassier look. When Jay approaches Cassandra she is leery about having her hair cut shorter. He gives her some time to think things over hoping she’ll agree to the shorter style.

Meanwhile, the girls are literally running the runway. They are told to look scared and remain beautiful while wearing 5 inch heels. The huge challenge is running the runway and maintaining their character portrayal. Nik does great and comes across very believable. Lisa’s body language is wonderful but her pictures lack emotion. On the sidelines, Kim realizes the mistake she’s made fooling around with Sarah and is wracked with guilt. She hopes Sarah doesn’t get the wrong idea. (You think?) The run away runway photo shoot continues with several of the models struggling.

Jayla loves the results of her final hair style. Jay questions Cassandra about whether she’s decided to have her hair cut shorter. Cassandra firmly refuses to have her hair cut any shorter. Jay refuses to beg. Cassandra is stubborn and stands her ground. Jay tells her she has no other choice but to leave the set. As Cassandra heads home to pack Jay calls Tyra to give her a report. Cassandra has no qualms about leaving. She is anxious to head home to Texas with plans of getting hair extensions and pursuing the pageant circuit to make it as a future Miss USA. Let’s hope the judges haven’t seen Cassie’s star performance on ANTM. The other girls are shocked Cassandra chose to leave. The competition is winding down to the girls who truly have a passionate desire to be a top model, regardless of the cost.

Once again the girls return home to Tyra Mail waiting for them. She reminds them about tomorrow’s elimination panel. The girls are nervous and wonder who will be heading home next.

The usual judges are on the panel with designer Sue Wong as a guest judge. Tyra addresses Cassandra’s refusal to have her hair cut. Tyra says the next top model has to be flexible and willing to go with the flow of things. Cassandra’s desire to hang on to an inch of hair, rather than continue the competition reveals she really wasn’t hungry enough to be the next top model.

In the final challenge the girls have to create their own signature walk. Bre walks in with large gaited steps while Sarah flounces across the runway leaving Nigel laughing. As Kim goes before the judges, she gives a disclaimer and apologizes for doing such a poor walking job with the previous challenges. “I’m going to do better and practice.”

Jayla shows off her nifty haircut which actually looks great on her. Tyra commends her for being such a trooper. As the girls do their signature walks the judges also review their previous photo shoot. This time, they are able to see Miss J in the background chasing behind them as the fashion police although he closely resembles a purple people eater. Coryn’s walk appears stoic; without emotion. Kim attempts to improve but still doesn’t cut it. Tyra suggests Kim pick up some fashion magazines for men to help in developing her own personal walk.

Each girl is critiqued by the judges. They feel Nik comes off like a bobble head lacking intensity. Lisa’s photo makes her appear neck-less. Nicole doesn’t seem to love the camera. The judges like Bre’s signature walk, except Twiggy thinks Bre walks like she has horsy legs. Although Sarah shows major improvement by not tripping or falling she lacks poise and looks as if she’s in pain.

The judges deliberate. Coryn, they say seems timid and sad. Bre is currently the judges’ favorite because of her super personality. Miss J says Sarah is just a mess. Lisa is contrived while Nicole is sexy but bland. Kim walks as if she’s had an overdose of Viagra.

Finally the girls are called back in. The first person called is Jayla. Tyra compliments Jayla for handling the hair thing without a problem. The next name called is Kyle. (The judges feel she was saved by her runway walk.) Nik follows next. Bre gives a fierce walk. Lisa is the next one called; followed by Diane, Coryn and Nicole. This leaves Kim and Sarah as the remaining girls

Tyra says, “One of you wants this so much that you are willing to spend all kinds of money and do whatever it takes to be ANTM.” Kim on the other hand, is still trying to figure out who she is. The judges advise Kim against giving disclaimers. She is better off not saying anything. She needs to figure out who she really is. The winner is, Kim.
Sarah shares a tearful goodbye then returns to the house to pack her belongings. Sarah has no regrets competing on ANTM. She learned so much abut herself. (“Thanks to Kim.”) Sarah feels a lot stronger and better prepared to continue modeling.

This time it was two models down….with nine more remaining. This is truly anyone’s competition. I have a good feeling only the strongest will survive. What do you think? I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at Syrone@realityshack.com Au revoir!


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