|by Syrone Harvey
On the last episode of America’s Next Top Model- Cycle 5 Kim was found lacking, so the judges sent her packing. (It rhymes!) Now, only 4 girls, Nik, Jayla, Nicole and Bre remain.
Nicole is upset not just because Kim was eliminated but because Bre wasn’t the one kicked to the curb. She says sobbingly, “I’m going to miss her in the house.” Poor Nicole is left to battle Bre on her own.
Bre is STILL whining about her missing granola bar. “I’m tired of people taking my stuff…I’m tired of people being inconsiderate…” She’s concerned about her reputation being tarnished. Both, she and Jayla wonder why they’re still in the competition. Jayla, who is confused about the whole competition, has stopped trying to figure out the judges. “All that matters is that I’m still here and I still have another chance,” she says.
This time Tyra Mail arrives in 4 separate envelopes. Bre’s note says, “Gear up for school. Find out at 7:00 a.m. Dress the part, preppy.” Nik’s note is just as puzzling. It reads: “From every twig a fashion movement grows….Dress the part, mod.” Jayla’s note instructs her to dress “punk” and Nicole’s says dress “Bollywood.” The girls don’t know how they’ll dress for the challenge.
The models arrive at Carnaby Street where they are met by Simon Doonan the creative director from Barney’s of New York. He says he is going to teach them about London fashion. In 1960, Carnaby Street was the epicenter of the fashion explosion. Once they’ve learned about London fashion, they’ll be tested on what they’ve learned. He leads them into an exhibit hall where four fashion trends of London are portrayed live and up-close.
They stop first at the “Bollywood” display. “In India there is a place called Bollywood where they make all the Indian movies. Bollywood is about excess, color and sequins,” Simon explains. Tyra Mail directed Nicole to dress “Bollywood,” but unfortunately she had no idea what Bollywood was. Her black shirt and jeans don’t come close to being Bollywood. He hands Nicole a sari and tells her to put it on. She fumbles with it for a bit until Simon has mercy and shows her how to drape it.
Next, they head to the preppy display. “The Preppy girl is snotty, she’s rich, she’s looking down her nose at everybody. Preppy is a very conservative look. It’s about twin sets, sweater sets and pleaded skirts,” he says. He asks who was chosen to dress “preppy.” Bre reluctantly raises her hand. Simon tells her that her “crotch length skirt” is far from preppy and actually borderlines slutty.
They head to the “punk” display. “Welcome to the angry, crazy, maniacal world of punk,” Simon says. He explains that punk first originated as a very violent style. i.e. girls wearing trash bags or with safety pins through their cheeks. Jayla who resembles a Japanese school girl almost sinks into the shadows when Simon says she is wearing “prissy punk.” Later on, he says Jayla’s attempt at looking punk was a complete disaster.
Then he announces, “It’s time to go stark, raving mod!” He welcomes Twiggy and gives her credit for being the creator and epicenter of mod. When Nik sees Twiggy she becomes highly embarrassed. She knows her idea of mod is nowhere close to the “actual” mod.
Simon and Twiggy prepare the models for their next challenge. For their challenge they are going on 4 go-sees. “It’s important for you to dress according to the fashion and style of each go-see,” Twiggy explains then continues, “When you go to the designer, PPQ you will need to dress “mod.” When you go to Robert-Cary Williams you will need to wear punk. Designer, Ashley Isham designs the “Bollywood” look and finally, when you go-see Ben Sherman, you should look preppy.”
The most difficult part of the challenge will be choosing fashions appropriate for each designer. Once they’ve completed their 4 go-sees, they will individually be evaluated and scored by the designers; based on their style knowledge, general appearance and model look. Fortunately for them they are given 100 pounds to spend at Spitalfield’s Marketplace to shop for items that best match the designer’s style. The winner will receive 100 extra frames at the photo shoot.
They head to Spitalfields, a flea market offering a variety of clothes, accessories etc. The models make a mad dash to find the right items. But once they’ve finished shopping, none of them are feeling confident.
As they head to their go-sees they have no other choice but to change their clothes as they travel in the car. Jayla says, “You gotta do what you gotta do.” Her first go-see is with designer, Ben Sherman. She’s wearing her own interpretation of “preppy.” She is greeted by Sarah Feeney the Ben Sherman rep. She looks at Jayla’s ensemble and says she is more “naval in her striped top.”
Next Nik arrives at PPQ where she meets mod rep, Amy Molyneaux. Amy’s thinks Nik’s outfit is a bit “bold.” Then Bre arrives at Ashley Isham. Her faux paux….she left her portfolio in the car. She runs to retrieve it. The rep browses through her portfolio. Even though Bre’s photos are great, he thinks she lacks confidence.
Nicole doesn’t fare any better when she meets the Ben Sherman rep. She thinks Nicole’s idea of preppy is a bit avant-garde fashion. Nicole says she isn’t feeling the rep, and the rep doesn’t seem to be feeling her either. “Not at all preppy…Not by any country’s interpretation of preppy,” the BS rep declares as she evaluates her.
When Bre arrives at Robert-Cary Williams the rep tells her, “Stop. We’re not going to be doing any of this….this…thing.” He imitates Bre’s signature walk. (Finally, someone’s capable of putting Bre in her place.) Nik arrives at Ashley Isham and receives praise for her use of colors. At Robert-Cary, Nicole models two different styles. The first is English punk while the second is more of a showpiece kind of look. Meanwhile Jayla is nervous and worried. She’s worried she might be going home unless she steps things up. The Ashley Isham rep is actual impressed until he finds out she forgot to bring a pair of high heels. Afterwards he says, “It’s a bit of a shame…a pretty girl, but she isn’t right for us.”
They all meet back at Ashley’s Boutique where they receive their evaluations. Nicole scores well and “looked the best.” Nik is named the most professional. To Jayla’s surprise, she is dubbed the “worse runway walker.” Ouch!! Bre’s critique isn’t much better. Bre’s general appearance is the least appreciated. Her photos aren’t strong enough but at least she is good at following directions. Nik is declared the winner. She selects Nicole who will receive 80 frames. Then Nicole chooses Jayla who’ll receive 60 frames. This leaves Bre. Not only will she be up first for the photo shoot, she’ll only receive 50 frames. Plus, she won’t be able to look in the mirror before her shoot.
Bre wonders why Nik didn’t select her to receive the extra frames. “The whole Red Bull incident was childish and also evil.” Nik reveals. “Even though it looks like me and Bre are extremely close, I know that she is supposedly keeping her enemies close and what do you think I’m doing?” (Never underestimate the quiet type.)
The next day the girls find out they will be divided into two groups to tour London. Jayla and Nik, (Who hate being in the middle of the rift between Bre and Nicole.) decide to tour London together. Bre and Nicole are stuck with each other. “I wanna have a good day. No drama, no arguing,” Nik says. They anticipate the fall out once Nicole and Bre discover they’re paired together. Nicole assumes she’ll either be going with Nik or Jayla, but is shocked she is paired up with Bre. “You know that’s whack,” Nicole says.
Nik and Jayla are off for a day in London. Jayla admits she had problems with Nik in the beginning, but finally she “got over that.” She wants to clear the air before Nik starts hating on her. Nik says she is not out to make friends or enemies. She is in the competition for the opportunity.
Meanwhile, Bre and Nicole set out to tour London. Before getting started, they stop at a sidewalk cafe and have a glass of wine. Nicole admits things sounded pretty stupid…them fighting over a missing granola bar and energy drinks. (Maybe it’s the wine.) Bre says, “I was wrong. If the shoe was on the other foot and you did that to me, I wouldn’t have reacted any differently than you did.” She compliments Nicole and says she handled things maturely, and it was wrong for her, (Bre) to react out of anger over something so petty. She offers to buy Nicole a bunch of Red Bulls and even offers to wrap them in ribbons and bows. (Aw…so touching.)
Tyra Mail arrives. It says, “You never know who will be judging you. Will you be sari tomorrow?” Tyra Mail is as cryptic as usual. The next morning Bre wakes up not feeling well. Jayla offers her medicine for her migraine. Bre takes it and then realizes it’s made her migraine much worse.
They meet with Jay Manuel who tells them they will be doing a Bollywood style photo shoot. Their challenge will be whether they stand out in a crowd or fade into the background. Since Nik won the first challenge she will go last. That means Bre is up first.
Surprise! Nigel suddenly appears and announces he’ll be working with them. He says, “I’m part Sri Lankan. My mother is Sri Lankan and my father is English. The whole Bollywood thing and what India is to England is very deep in my heart.” He will direct and take the pictures for this shoot.
As the girls go to hair and make up, Bre complains to Jay about not feeling well. He finds out that Jayla not only gave Bre Benadryl but she also gave her Tylenol PM. Jay suspects Jayla purposely tried to mess Bre up. She’s suddenly become draggy and exhausted. Nigel encourages Bre to give it all she’s got. He says once the shoot is over she can rest.
Bre needed the extra frames. Jay says, “Bre has left the building.” Jayla also misses the mark with her “stand out in a crowd” shoot. Jay warns her to change up on her expressions, but Jayla decides to play it safe by giving the same expression throughout the entire shoot. Finally Jay says, “Jayla I need your face to go from just pretty to having that little something extra that makes people go, WOW!” They give her the usual comments about her photo shoots being bland. (Which simply means her photos sucked.)
Nicole steps up her game and gives her best shoot ever. Then, Nik’s photos are taken. Since she does so well Jay says she didn’t even need extra photos. After the shoot is finished, the models go out to eat at an Indian restaurant. Once again, Nigel surprises them and joins them for dinner. He introduces his mother who is also a former model from Sri Lanka. Nigel’s mom demonstrates how to wrap a sari.
When they return to the hotel Tyra Mail is waiting, reminding them of the upcoming judges’ panel. The models feel uneasy. “I would know if I was doing good or doing bad if I knew what was going through the judges’ heads,” Jayla says. Bre wonders why she’s still in the competition. She’s had to many close calls with the judges. She feels like the underdog of ANTM, but feels deserving of being America’s Next Top Model. She exclaims, “I’m the 4th baddest bitch in America and ain’t nobody taking that away from me.”
Standing before the judges, Tyra reminds them that this is the 9th Top Model cut. Aside from the usual judges, Barbara Hulanicki is this week’s guest judge. Tyra explains how Barbara, a fashion designer was instrumental in putting mod fashions on the map. For their challenge the girls are given 3 minutes to turn a sari into a modern fashion. They quickly scramble to create their own unique sari style. Nicole presents her unique design which allows a little “booty” to remain uncovered. Fortunately her photos amaze Twiggy and Tyra, but Ms. J isn’t as impressed. Bre is up next. The judges feel her design is the most sari like. They look at her pictures which also receive praise. “You got it girl,” Twiggy says. Not only does Nik’s sari design capture the judges’ attention, but they all are in agreement….her photos are absolutely beautiful. Jayla’s sari ensemble looks like a potato sack. The judges don’t feel her photos popped. (Ms J says they “pooped.”) Nigel feels they don’t stand out enough. Jayla feels the background models crowded her out. Tyra tells her she needed to take command since it was her photo shoot.
The judges take a little time to deliberate. They’re thrown by Bre’s photos and concerned about her height factor. (She’s short.) They examine Jayla’s photos. Tyra says she believes in Jayla but she feels like she’s losing confidence and slowly fading out of the competition. Nicole’s photos are impressive to Nigel. He says, “Nicole managed to come to the set and light it up.” Ms J disagrees, “Light it up? I just don’t see her lit.” The judges feel Nik’s pictures are gorgeous but Nigel feels she lacks a bitchy element and sex appeal.
Finally the girls are called back in. The first name Tyra calls is Nicole. “You’ve taken a pretty picture from week to week. Congratulations.” she says. Nik is called next. “What were you thinking when I called your name? I saw you exhale,” Tyra says. “Nik answers, “I just know that not that many girls are up there so it’s kind of nerve wracking waiting.” “You have shown that you can be a model and work, but it’s up to you and Nicole to show way more personality. Only Jayla and Bre remain.
As they step forward Tyra says, “Bre, you started off rough. You wanted to take a good picture but couldn’t take a fierce enough photo to save your life. But you have progressed, you have learned. You’ve absorbed this whole experience like a sponge and have improved. But, there’s one thing lacking with you Bre and that’s height. The judges are just not sure that your amazing progress is enough to overcome that.”
“Jayla, you had a vivacious, great, strong personality when you came in here but something happened. It’s almost like you don’t believe in yourself. We see the doubt when you walk in here. Top models aren’t short and they definitely don’t doubt themselves,” Tyra says then pulls out Bre’s photo.
“Bre to compensate for your lack of height you need to be more striking and that much more personable. But we see a little something special in you. Congratulations. You’re still in the running to become America’s Next Top Model,” Tyra says to a very relieved Bre.
Jayla begins the dreadful task of packing. She says, “I’m extremely disappointed. I always tried my hardest. I guess I’m feeling a little mixture of sadness, surprise…that kind of thing. I’m going to try to shadow the winner. I’m going to make her look like nothing. That is my goal.”
Tyra’s right, we’re even closer to finding out who’ll be chosen as America’s Next Top Model. Hmm, hopefully they won’t have to resort to eenie, meenie, miney… Do you have a prediction? Let me know who YOU think is going to win. You can reach me at Syrone@realityshack.com – Later, Gators!