|by Syrone Harvey
Last week on America’s Next Top Model, Kim nailed the “go-see” challenge and landed a guest role on the UPN Show- Veronica Mars. Lisa was miffed she didn’t win the challenge, but gave a half-baked effort congratulating Kim for winning at least “one” challenge. Later, Lisa continued to get on everyone’s nerves by dressing up in freaky outfits then acting like a clueless ditz.
Jayla and Nicole barely missed elimination. Tyra gave them a scare by letting them think they were being eliminated. Instead, Tyra revealed neither of them would be leaving. Then she surprised everyone and announced they were all headed to London. Both Jayla and Nicole were pretty shaken up after coming so close to elimination.
Excitement’s in the air as the models prepare for London. Tyra Mail arrives with the instruction: “Get ready to meet someone whose modeling career has been based on individuality and self-awareness. Listen for a knock at the door at one p.m.”
The girls open the door to renowned top model, Jenny Shimizu. “The reason for my visit,” she explains “is to give you some information and perhaps answer some questions you may have.” Jenny tells them modeling wasn’t her original aspiration. After a chance meeting with Calvin and Kelly Klein she was fortunate to land a cover shoot for Vogue magazine. She shares the struggles she’s faced as a tattooed, 5 foot 7 minority as well as the challenges of being a gay model. Kim identifies with Jenny. She wonders how Jenny’s handled being a tomboy while modeling feminine clothing. “I take it as that’s a piece of art that I’m going to wear. There’s always room for someone who’s going to add flair to fashion,” Jenny explains.
Back at home, the girls kick back and relax. Kim and Nicole are in the spa. As Lisa walks by Kim says, “Lisa, you look thirty…maybe you should go to bed.” She and Nicole share a giggle. Bre realizes Kim talks about everyone behind their back. She thinks it might be a good idea to leave all the petty stuff behind before they leave for London.
Tyra Mail arrives. “Prepare to meet the ghosts from your past,” it says. The girls are guessing they might get a chance to see their loved ones, but instead the limo takes them to a studio where they meet ET Correspondent, Kevin Frazier. “Their challenge,” he says “is in dealing with paparazzi without letting down your guard.” He shows pictures previously taken of them as they were totally unaware. “Perception is reality. You can’t travel the world without being ready for pesky paparazzi…they’re always watching you,” he says.
In the intimate room Kim and Nicole are slamming the rest of the girls. Kim says, “We’re the only sane ones in the house. Nik is sane, but a little boring. Lisa- alcoholic, “and insane,” Nicole chimes in. “And Jayla…ugly, annoying, bad joke deliverer, but a wee bit sane…almost too sane…..but not. Who else are we going to talk about?” They share another good laugh at the other girls’ expense.
With most of her close friends being eliminated Kim bonds with Nicole. She serenades Nicole with a song about the time she was almost eliminated. (She plays a sad tune on her harmonica.) Then she whispers, “This is a song about if Jayla had been eliminated.” (She plays an upbeat tune.)
Bre wonders whether Kim talks about her whenever she leaves the room. She approaches Jayla and asks if she’s talked about her behind her back. Jayla admits she hasn’t talked about her or anyone else. “I can’t say the same for some of my other friends in the house,” Bre says. (No need to give names….It starts with a K and ends with an M.) Jayla says she’s overheard others talking smack about her and usually it’s being led by Kim. “That bitch isn’t right,” Bre says.
Nik and Bre are hanging out while Nik talks on the phone with her friend Visa. Visa asks Nik if she’s been opening up. About that time Kim walks in and says, “Let me talk to her.” Nik’s friend has no idea who she’s talking to. She takes a guess. Kim gives her a hint, “I’m like the gayest person in the house,” she says. “Your girl,” she continues, “is like the most careful person in the entire world. She won’t tell anyone anything. It’s like a joke. It’s like her mouth is stapled shut.”
Nik resents the things Kim has said about her. She feels Kim doesn’t respect her simply because Nik doesn’t open up in the same manner she does. “That was basically like the last straw,” Nik says.
The next Tyra Mail says, “You’re on your way but snap one more fierce photo before you go.” They assume they’re headed for another photo shoot. Instead the limo takes them to a 1 hour photo place. “I hear you girls are getting ready to go on a trip and you’re going to need some passport pictures taken,” the store photographer says.
He tells each of the girls where to stand and then takes a casual shot of each girl. The models wait for their photos to print. In the meantime, the passport photographer calls the girls together and confesses he isn’t really a passport photographer. He is actually well-known celebrity fashion photographer, Mark Anderson. He says they were being tested to determine what their best look is even if it’s for a passport photo. Mark feels Bre came prepared with her hair pulled back and took a nice clean photo. She is declared the winner. Once they arrive in London she and the person she selected, (Nik) will have a chance to enjoy their prize.
Before they leave Mark shows them a phone that is a TV, camera, phone and video camera all in one. They each receive a message from a loved one before leaving on their trip. The girls are even more jazzed about their trip. “Let’s go to London already,” Lisa says.
In the limo Nik and Bre sit off to the side whispering (obviously) about Kim. Kim clears her throat and moves towards them. She tells them she knows they’re talking about her. And the verbal fight is on! Bre tells her that she can’t be trusted since she talks about everyone behind their backs. Kim denies her accusation and says when she develops a good friendship with someone, she doesn’t talk about them. Nik jumps in and says, “That’s not true. I have heard you talking about every single person in this house.” Of course Kim continues denying it. They accuse her of lying and having an “ugly” character.
Lisa is enjoying the heat not being on her for a change. She takes it all in. (Please pass the popcorn.) Kim stammers and says, “I guess I got here and I got nervous and I messed up.” Then, Jayla jumps in the middle of the conversation. “I liked you from the very beginning. When I found out all this time you were talking all this “stuff” about me, how do you think it made me feel?”
(Here come the water works…) Kim says, “I don’t know…I’m stupid…I just say these things for comic affect….” Nicole sticks up for Kim. “I know that I’m a little bit guilty of it too. I mean…like….everyone said things about everyone….” Kim sobs an apology. Bre tells her she needs to “just work on it.” Jayla rolls her eyes. All is forgiven, at least for now.
They finally arrive at the airport. Although Bre seems forgiving, she plans on keeping a close eye on things with Kim. “You’re not going to walk all over me and then expect me to be your little puppet. It’s not going to happen like that. You’re playing me and I’m playing you, and in the end, I’m winning.” (Fasten your belts; we’re in for a bumpy ride.)
In London they’re greeted by Ms. J who is standing on top of a double decker bus. He welcomes them to London and tells them they are in one of many fashion capitals they will be working in. He takes them on a tour of the city. Kim hopes London will bring about a new dynamic among the Top Models.
They arrive at the Savoy Hotel. Suddenly they’re surrounded by paparazzi who frantically snap pictures of the shocked girls. To avoid any bad pictures Lisa keeps her head down, while the rest of them scramble to get inside the hotel. They’re given a realistic first hand look in dealing with paparazzi.
As they settle into their luxurious suite, there’s a knock at the door. Two British men walk in and introduce themselves to Bre. They tell her because she won the challenge they will be taking she and Nik out on the town.
The guys pick them up in a horse drawn carriage. (They girls are clearly in awe.) They ride through Piccadilly Circus and explore London’s night life. The guys are true gentlemen. Nik and Bre are amazed by their manners and kindness. As they dine they share casual chit chat. In the end, the girls have a wonderful night.
Meanwhile, Kim writes a letter to Nik. She hates when people have the wrong impression about her.
In the wee hours of morning Tyra Mail arrives. “Who will be America’s Next Top Model? It’s your call. Be ready at 7:30.” Even though the girls are puzzled they’re too tired to worry about it.
Nik reads the note Kim left her. Kim feels the air has finally been cleared, but Nik is still feeling uncertain.
The models are driven to an alley. Standing in front of them is a little red phone booth. Jay reminds the girls how important it is for them to be aware of paparazzi. He tells them they will be posing, (all 6 of them) in the phone booth. The photographer Nick Maroudias is introduced to the girls. As they go though hair and make up the models realize these next photo shoots will make or break things from here on out.
They walk out wearing a robe, (Which will be removed) and galoshes. Jay hands them a newspaper and tells them, “This is your wardrobe.” They try to squeeze into the small phone booth. “Tyra wants all of you in the picture,” Jay tells them. They finally manage to close the door. The objective is to do a photo shoot with all the girls in the booth while remaining focused on each individual girl.
Constantly, they rotate, reposition and change poses. They discover how difficult it is to be “pretty” while squeezed up in a phone booth. After awhile the girls become a little snippy. It’s no longer fun posing in the booth.
When they arrive at the hotel Tyra Mail is waiting. It’s a reminder someone will be eliminated the next day. Bre looks around and realizes that even though she is around friends, she is also surrounded by her competitors. The competition is really heating up.
The girls stand before the panel of judges. “This week you guys had an interesting lesson. No matter where the camera is, or whose holding the camera, you need to look fierce….It’s so important for a model to always be on. What you didn’t know is that the paparazzi shot your pictures as you entered the hotel. That will be your judging test for this evening…..how well your photos turn out when you may not expect it,” Tyra explains.
They start by reviewing Kim’s paparazzi shot. Unfortunately they catch her in an unflattering pose. They also evaluate her phone booth shot. The judges all agree her shot is gorgeous. Bre is up next. The judges feel her paparazzi shot isn’t bad; but her phone booth shot is even better. Between the bad hair and facial expression, Lisa’s shot doesn’t fare as well. Though Twiggy thinks Lisa’s phone booth shot is one of the best she’s seen.
Nicole’s paparazzi shot also isn’t bad. Her phone booth shot is good but Tyra feels Nicole needs to kick it up a notch. Jayla has a decent paparazzi shot, but her phone booth photo is lacking. Ms J tells Nik, “If you’re going to be ANTM, you have to come prepared. Fortunately, the judges all agree her phone booth shot is wonderful. The girls exit as the judges begin deliberating.
“I think this week you all learned a very valuable lesson. Modeling is not just on the set. In order to get to the top you never stop modeling,” Tyra says as she calls the first name, Kim. The next name called is Bre. “You are improving so much,” Tyra tells her. Nicole is called next. Then Nik is called. Tyra cautions her about being stuck in just one position.
Lisa and Jayla are the only models remaining. Tyra addresses Lisa first. “Lisa. Lisa’s the spunky girl. The girl with so much energy, the girl with so much fire and the girl that takes gorgeous photographs. But, some of the judges are put off by your fire. Some of them think it’s cocky. Some of them are like “it’s great, but it’s too much.”
“Jayla. The judges think you take nice photos. The judges think you have a nice personality. But, they’re not super convinced that you can take it all the way. So who goes home, the girl that’s the spitfire or the girl that’s straddling the line, kind of mediocre?” Tyra pulls a picture. “Jayla,” she says. “I know you got it in you…middle…safe…you got spunk. You gotta prove it.”
Lisa is eliminated. She heads to the hotel to pack. “If I didn’t win or I didn’t make the top three like I expected I would…oh well, I gave it all I got. I stayed true to myself the whole way through and…no regrets. This whole thing was pretty damn cool, man. To go through an experience like this where I actually get to live a dream is real exciting. It’s good. And if it’s over then it’s over,” are Lisa’s parting words.
Hmmm… That was a shock. I didn’t expect Lisa would be eliminated. But… sometimes those things happen. (BG)* Big Grin. Are you glad to see the wild child gone? Tell me about it. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org Until then… bye man!