|by Syrone Harvey
The last episode of America’s Next Top Model- Cycle 5 left the sparkling beauties covered in mud and grime from a photo shoot involving a mud pit. In the end, the judges voted to eliminate wholesome and charming, Kyle. Kim, Kyle’s closest friend in the house, feels the pain of her absence especially after reading Kyle’s tender farewell note.
Bre is left shaken after another close elimination call. She calls her mom who offers support and encouragement. It’s just what she needed. She realizes how important it is to take advantage of every moment possible. Lisa, meanwhile, scurries to print out her pictures. She feels the other girls are threatened by her so she claims they are erasing her pictures.
Tyra Mail arrives with the message, “Have you ever thought what it would be like to be a diva? Be ready at 11:00 a.m.” They immediately piece things together and figure their challenge will somehow involve former Top Model Cycle 3 winner, Eva.
They arrive at the Poodle Parlor Studio. Walking in, they discover Eva in the midst of a photo shoot for Elle Girl Magazine. She breaks away to welcome the anxious girls, recalling her own experience competing for Top Model. “When you work,” she says, “you will have an entourage all the time. So, learning how to get along with people is something very, very important.” She introduces her personal entourage, consisting of make up artist, Terrell Muller (her cousin who’s been in the business for over 10 years) Jonathon Hanover, hair stylist and fashion photographer Kareem Black.
Eva speaks candidly to the models about life as a Top Model. The girls are grateful for the chance to get an honest perspective on things. While the girls are left to mull things over, Lisa is out “networking” with Eva’s entourage. She says, “I would love to be like all the other girls and just sit around being boring, but the truth is time is a wastin.” She feels the other girls are hating on her and resolves to be friendless.
Back at home the girls sit and enjoy a little chill time. Lisa feels the air is a bit too intense, dresses up in some wild and crazy costumes. Her attempts to loosen things up fall flat with the other girls. Could it be her obnoxious choice of clothing, the weird bucked teeth or the ignorant way she is talking? Although she is amused by her own behavior the other girls are feeling leery and think Lisa is totally psycho and out of her mind.
The next Tyra Mail says, “Have you ever fantasized about being the head bitch in charge? Be ready at 1:30 p.m.” The limo takes the models through L.A.’s Fashion District where they arrive at yet, another studio. The girls are surprised to walk in to a room filled with clothes, make up and lots of people standing around. BJ Gillian, Cover Girl Make Up Pro, clears up their confusion by explaining their challenge. “Girls, yesterday you learned how Top Models work with an entourage. Today, you’ll get to pick your own entourage.” In addition, each of them will direct their hair, make up and wardrobe team. They will be given a chance to design a collage that describes their own personal uniqueness. They will then present them in a go-see with a top television manager.
And they’re off! They choose their entourage who assist them in choosing their wardrobe, make up and hair style. Most of the girls are gracious, open and appreciative all except for Lisa who rejects her team’s ideas. “When you don’t see eye to eye on things, you have to let them know,” Lisa spouts, preferring her own clothes to the designer fashions.
With their finished collages the girls head off to Handprint Entertainment where they meet Jean Kwolek who works closely with top entertainment manager, Benny Medina. Each of the girls will meet with them individually. The one who displays the most star power will win a guest role on the UPN TV show, Veronica Mars. It looks like Benny doesn’t plan on making things easy for the models.
Nik enters first. She sets up her collage but before she gets started Benny interrupts her and asks if she realizes why she is there. His stern expression and interruption causes Nik to get thrown off. “Thirty seconds left…” Benny says. “Why do you think you should earn a guest role on Veronica Mars?” Nik talks about being a positive and responsible young woman….Benny interrupts again and says, “But can you act?” Nik answers, “If I can’t act I will sure try.” Later, she realizes she should’ve bluffed about her acting ability. Although Benny thinks Nik is beautiful, he doesn’t get much from what she’s said.
Nicole is next. She points towards each of her pictures offering a quaint overview of her family, friends and hometown. She is stumped when asked what she has that reveals true artistic inclination. He gives her 30 seconds to explain why she should be chosen. “I have basically two sides to me….I have a crazy wild side who also likes to have fun….” She says. “What about the talent?” Benny asks. (Oops, she forgot to mention the talent.)
Bre shares her collage stopping to “regroup.” “I’m a little bit nervous,” she explains. “Why are you nervous? This is your life you’re talking about here…” Benny replies. (He is a tough one.) A rambling Jayla enters next. From the start Jayla energetically tells about her life, her goals, talents etc….(Benny looks bored.) Later he says, “I still can’t remember Jayla. She just somehow didn’t have any personal residence….”
Kim walks in cautious but prepared. She talks about being versatile, previous acting and modeling experience and the diversity she brings to the competition. Benny is impressed by her angst and passion. Lisa, “the mouth” is up next. She rambles on about the many obstacles she’s faced and handling difficulties in life….then gets a bit tearful. “Why are you near tears?” Benny asks her. “Because I’ve been waiting for an amazing opportunity like this my whole life and you guys are right in front of me,” she gushes, leaving Benny puzzled by her response.
Jean announces that Kim is the winner with the most star potential. She is jazzed at landing a guest role on this week’s episode of Veronica Mars.
“Yeah, it seems a little bit that Kim won and I didn’t, but that’s okay,” Lisa says. (It seems??? Kim DID win, girlfriend.) Kim arrives at the Veronica Mars set anxious and excited about the opportunity. She meets starring actress, Kristen Bell who gives positive feedback and offers help if Kim needs it. Kim nails the part with ease.
When she gets back, she shares details of her exciting day on the set of Veronica Mars. She talks about how excited it was winning the challenge. Lisa says, “I must say I wanted to win, but if I didn’t it’s all good. I’ve won …like two challenges…so I’m happy. Congratulations Kim. You deserve to win one. When your name was called,” she continues, “I was like proud of you…good job. You must’ve said things I didn’t say but you know what, congratulations Kim.” Later Lisa says, “Me, jealous? No.”
The next Tyra Mail comes in. It says, “Don’t let your fears of the wild keep you from looking fierce.” They wonder if they might be dressed as animals. They pull up at a posh pad in Hollywood Hills. Jay Manuel is on hand to greet them. He says today’s shoot will be about high fashion mad where the models will have a chance to cut loose, get crazy and have some fun. Nadia Pandolfo, photographer is ready to capture their amazing photos.
Once they finish with hair and make up, Jay calls for them. He says, “I want you to be angry in your shots. I thought I needed something to antagonize you and clearly I’m not enough, so….” Out walks MTV Wildboyz of the famed TV show Jack Ass. Jay explains, “The Wildboyz will be your entourage gone wild!” (Um, where’s the nearest exit?) Wee Man is totally psyched. Bre is scared and dreading having to work with them. “All you need is the Wee,” he says, “You look like you’re gonna be a problem,” Bre says. “A problem?” Wee answers, “I’m going to be the answer.” He drops his trunks and moons them.
Ironically, the first model up is Lisa who is totally in her element. She is directed to look “irate” as the Boyz have mischievously gotten into her make up. In this shoot, Lisa is a natural. Bre is not too thrilled about being next. It seems the Boyz have gotten a hold of her underwear (she is wearing a towel) and since she needs her underwear she is supposed to scream. The Boyz not only goof around in girlish underwear they also wildly juggle them and toss them at Bre. “Steve-O is throwing panties in my face and now I’m really pissed off,” Bre says.
The next shoot has Kim under the covers with one of the Boyz. Nicole, the “faux” girlfriend is surprised to walk in and find them together. Nicole plays it to the hilt and has a blast hitting them with her purse while her photos are shot. Jayla’s shot involves the Boyz and a ferocious looking bull dog. Jay warns her against really screaming because it may frighten the dog. So, Jayla does silent scream poses instead.
Unbeknownst to Nik, the Boyz are behind her as she feigns anger. They’re lifting their clothes, jumping around and doing hand stands all without wearing any underwear. In spite of the rambunctious ness, Nik remains composed throughout the shoot. A brightly clothed Kim stands near the side of the pool while the Wild Boyz summersault into the water. The shoot is finished but the Boyz are still in playing mode. Against Jay’s warning, Kim is thrown into the pool. She resembles a wet duck.
Surprisingly, Nicole is getting along wonderfully with the Boyz. Steve-O is rubbing her feet and having a great time. Not to be outdone, Lisa walks in and announces, “I’m wearing you guys’ underwear.” Are we not surprised? Lisa walks out wearing a diaper. “I have to see if they work,” she says. Before she can be stopped, Lisa audibly pees in the diaper.
“No woman of class, especially a super model in the making is going to do something as disgusting as pee on herself at her job,” Bre says. Nicole feels disgusted. “Oh girl, it’s dedicated to you man,” Lisa says to her. Lisa shows off to her homies. “If she wins this competition,” Bre says, “I hope she uses that $100,000 dollars and checks into a psych ward ASAP.” (Just when we thought we’d seen it all.)
“You will be meeting with the judges tomorrow…” Tyra Mail announces. After winning the first challenge, Kim is feeling more confident than before. She doesn’t doubt herself this time.
The models are greeted by Tyra and the judges. This week’s guest judge is photographer, Nadia Pandolfo. “This week you learned about having entourages and about star power. And being a star is about being versatile especially with being a model. It’s about being commercial and edgy; it’s about endorsing a product,” Tyra says describing the life of a super model. This week’s evaluation challenge is for the girls to endorse three products off the cuff.
The first product they endorse is a tube of toothpaste. Classy sunglasses are the next item. Finally the girls have to pitch chocolate. Each model offers a personal slant on things. Together they review their photos and endorsement skills. Nik did the best with the Wild Boyz shoot Tyra says. The judges deliberate.
“The first name I’m going to call is someone who’s progressing. Bre.” Tyra says solemnly. As Bre approaches, Tyra says her photo shows like a true model. But she warns her, “What you need to break out of is trying to be perfect…” A relieved Kim is called next and then Nik. Lisa is the final one called leaving Jayla and Nicole.
“You two are exquisite, beautiful girls. You take beautiful pictures. But today when you opened up your mouths, I said there is no way they can represent a product. You two were at the top of the pack, but now you stand before me at the bottom. With modeling you have to be on point. You have to be fierce; you have to be ready. But the judges were so disappointed in you that tonight, both of you must pack your bags….” a somber Tyra says. The girls suddenly become teary eyed and upset. “Because,” Tyra continues, “We’re all going to London! And you and you and you and you…You’re going to London and nobody’s going home!” She exclaims as confetti falls from above. They follow Tyra in a joyous sashay. “Going abroad means we’re really getting close to the end and that means we’re all going to have to seriously step it up,” Kim says. It’s a festive celebration on the Top Model runway.
Who would’ve “thunk” it? As we near the end of the competition, I’d love to hear what you think. Are you as tired of Lisa as I am? You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments. Later!