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America’s Next Top Model 8: Why Samantha is Not a Top Modelby Jenn Brasler -- 03/13/2007
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Samantha was one of the least memorable girls in this cycle of America’s Next Top Model. In fact, the only two things I can remember about her are that she’s from the south (which you would know the second she opens her mouth) and that she’s missing a tooth (ditto). But there were many other reasons Samantha was eliminated this week. For starters, she didn’t exactly listen to the Top Model Tips.
The first tip tells girls to be open to and welcome change. Since Samantha didn’t even make it to the makeover episode, it’s hard to tell how she handled change. I’m guessing not very well, judging by her reaction to living in a house with a bunch of girls she didn’t have much in common with. Instead of embracing getting to know people she probably otherwise never would have met, Samantha called her family and complained in interviews that she didn’t fit in. That’s not so much welcoming change. What could have turned into a great opportunity for her became a chance for her to complain about what was going on around her.
Tip #2 says to know something about the fashion industry. Samantha had no experience modeling, and it’s unclear what she knew about the industry. She probably didn’t know much beyond what she would learn from reading fashion magazines. Other than at “boot camp,” the girls were never tested on their industry knowledge anyway, so it doesn’t seem like a lack of experience hurt Samantha at all.
The third tip is to practice walking, posing, and working on your flaws. When Ms. J had the girls walking on the football field, Samantha didn’t swing one of her arms, stating that she knew that was a problem. As recapper Phil Kural stated in his recap, “Why didn’t you practice and start moving it?” Samantha knew she had a flaw, yet she did nothing to fix it, even when it came down to being judged. Not only does that make her look unpolished and unrehearsed, it shows the judges that she didn’t care enough about winning to try to improve her walk.
The fourth tip says that personality counts. Samantha did very poorly with this tip. In the first episode, the judges expressed worry about her personality (or lack thereof, as the case may be). As I stated earlier, the only things I remember about Samantha are where she’s from and what’s missing from her mouth. That doesn’t exactly scream Top Model. Samantha stated in her interview with Phil that the judges kept Natasha around because she causes drama, but at least Natasha has something of a personality. There’s always at least one model who’s cut because she doesn’t seem to have one, and this cycle it was Samantha.
Tip #5 says to focus on yourself, not the other girls. Samantha didn’t do well with this tip either. She didn’t preoccupy herself with worrying about what the other girls thought, but she did seem to spend a lot of time thinking about how she didn’t fit in with them. Well, who cares? She wasn’t there to fit in, she was there to model.
Samantha should have taken advantage of the fact that she didn’t fit in to stay focused on the competition. Not dealing with Jael’s craziness or Jaslene and Felicia’s rivalry or Renee’s gigantic collection of issues should have given Samantha an edge because she wasn’t distracted by having to play peacemaker for anyone. Instead, she used them as an excuse for keeping to herself and not getting to know anyone. While it’s a good idea not to get too caught up in the drama in the house, keeping herself completely isolated worked against Samantha, not for her.
Tip #6 tells the girls to roll with the punches and not fight with the judges. Again, this is something Samantha struggled with. She stated in her interview with Phil that she felt that if one girl was taken out of her comfort zone in a shoot, all of them should have been. That’s not how modeling works. A great deal of modeling is acting, and Samantha, cast as a “girl with a bad reputation,” couldn’t pull off the act. Just because she wasn’t comfortable with the role didn’t mean she was doomed to fail. She should have worked harder to make herself fit into the role, not just complain later that she didn’t do well because she wasn’t comfortable. Does she think the girls in cycle 6 were comfortable dressed as mermaids, hanging upside-down in a fishing net?
The seventh tip is to show the judges you want to win. There are many ways to do this - fighting through difficult shoots, trying to make each frame count, being passionate at panel - but Samantha didn’t do any of them. Not only did she barely give anything in her shoots, but in panel and on the set, she was so quiet that the judges wouldn’t have been blamed if they’d forgotten she was there. How can they remember the greatness of a girl who is barely there?
In addition, Samantha didn’t make an effort to work on her flaws, as I mentioned in tip #3. If she’d spent some time practicing her walk and looking in a mirror to find her good side or practice some facial expressions, the judges would have been able to see that she wanted to win. Instead, she did poorly in her shoot and in the walking challenge, and she did nothing to try to improve herself. The judges won’t put up with a girl who doesn’t make them think she actually wants to be America’s Next Top Model.
The last tip says to be confident, not cocky. Of course, a lack of confidence can be just as bad as being cocky. Samantha had little confidence, as seen in how unsure she looked in her photo shoot. She gave no indication that she knew what she was doing, and in the end the judges decided that she wasn’t ready to be a model because she was so unsure of herself.
Samantha did have some potential to be a model - she was pretty and at least wasn’t too crazy to work with. But other than that, she didn’t exactly scream “model.” Her lack of personality and inability to figure out what to do in shoots led the judges to believe that she was way too green to make it in the industry. With some work, Samantha could return to the show in a few cycles and do better, but until then, she won’t be gracing the covers of any magazines.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent America’s Next Top Model articles:
Jenn Brasler is an Assistant Editor of Reality News Online and an aspiring writer from Falls Church, Virginia. By day she works for a court reporting firm, and by night she’s a spy for a covert branch of the CIA. You can e-mail her at email@example.com. Jenn didn’t realize until she wrote this article how much she actually disliked Samantha.
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