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Americaís Next Top Model 10: Why Claire is Not a Top Modelby Phil Kural -- 04/07/2008
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Claire was this close to becoming one of ďMYĒ girls. I loved everything about her from her look to fiery personality. However, Tyra and company had different plans for her, and Claire ended up being the sixth girl sent packing this season on Americaís Next Top Model. I still do not think Iím over it, but Iím dealing. I just donít know, though.
In hindsight, it looked to me like Claire was doing a good job at following the Top Model Tips, but maybe there was more than that involved. As always, we will try and break it all down to see if Claire was following the tips properly, and what led to her demise.
As always, we begin with the first tip, which says you should be open to and welcome change. Thereís no doubt that Claire was open to change, since she was willing to leave her baby for a few months with just her husband so that she could chase her modeling dream. On top of it, I think she easily looked the best after makeovers this season, and her new blonde hair really made her already unique look stand out even more. Claire never seemed to back down from a challenge, and never seemed uncomfortable at a photo shoot. She was definitely a chameleon who time after time impressed the judges with her look and photos, so itís pretty obvious that Claire definitely succeeded at following this tip well.
Every girl should know something about the modeling industry, and that is tip number two. Really, though, this tip never applied to Claire, since it was never addressed. Iím going to assume that she had at least done some studying, since Claire always knew how to strike a fierce pose. It was her face that the judges had some issues with, when it came to always giving them the same look. I disagree, but what are you going to do?
In most shoots, though, Claire served it up, modeling all the way down to her fingertips in the first photo shoot. I think in order to do that well, you must know a little something about what you are doing, so it wouldnít surprise me to find out that Claire either had previous modeling experience, or knew what she was doing based on what she has read up on, so Iím going to pass her on this tip as well.
Our next tip says that you should practice your walk, posing, and working on your flaws. This may be the one area that Claire needed work on. There was never really anything wrong with her walk, from what I can see, but the judges decided to eliminate Claire saying that she was continually giving them the same look. Now, this was never addressed previously on the show, but Iím not sure if it was given to Claire in panel ever before and we just didnít get to see it. I feel that itís important, though, and we would have been told.
However, if Claire was told that she needed to work on her facial posing, we never saw her do it, and Iíd have to hold that against her. If you know you are having issues with one particular thing, thatís the one thing that you should be in the mirror practicing every day. Tyra told Claire to do this when she eliminated her, so Iím not sure it was ever told before. Either way, thatís still something you need to pick up on if you notice itís a flaw, and just work it out until you have it down. It doesnít appear that Claire ever really did that, and it was the main reason she was sent home.
Tip number four tells the girls that they need to have a personality. This was definitely never an issue with Claire, since she had a very high presence in the house, but for good reasons. Besides Dominique, it seemed like Claire got along with all the other girls. The judges never said anything negative about her personality, and always complimented her on it. In fact, the girl won Cover Girl of the week five times in a row, so she must have been doing something right for America to like her so much. Personality really can be your savior, which is why I donít really understand why she was sent home before Lauren, who has next to no personality. I definitely donít think it was the reason she was sent home, though, and I donít think it played any part in it at all, so itís not an issue. Let us just move on.
The next tip says that you should focus on yourself, not the other girls. In a small way, I think Claire failed at this tip. There were several times that Claire was caught up in Dominique bashing, and thatís all fine and good, but the problem was that it was really a one-way fight. Dominique was so caught up in herself that the other girls hating her didnít really faze her at all. Claire led the group of herself, Lauren, and Whitney in the Dominique bashing, and even though it never really seemed to affect her performance, she was still investing way too much time in it. I say that she failed at it a little bit, since I donít really think that it helped get her eliminated, but I still think she would have been more focused had it never been started up in the first place. At least be a lackey like Whitney or Lauren, but when you are the leader of the group, you have to put more effort in the hatred. Believe me, I know! Um, yeahÖ anyway.
Our sixth tip says that you should not fight with the judges and roll with the punches. Iíd say that Claire did a good job with this tip. It never seemed to me that she was ever giving the judges any sass mouth, and they generally liked her, other than the photo this week and when they ragged on her a little last week as well. Claire always came across humble to the judges, showing personality and poise. When the judges didnít really like Claireís photo and thought she was giving the same face all the time, Claire didnít do anything crazy and insult anyone, but did speak to the judges to defend herself. Thereís a difference between defending yourself and being all crazy-like to the judges. She rolled with the punches, but spoke up when she needed to.
Number seven says you should show the judges you want to win. I definitely think Claire succeeded at this tip. I mean, she left her daughter to be on the show! If that doesnít show that you are there to win, then Iím not so sure what would qualify! Claire was always determined to do well and never came across as arrogant or cocky. She soaked in what the judges told her and week after week turned out great photos. I have no doubt that Claire was there for all the right reasons, and to pursue a career in modeling, so thereís really no reason to go on about it.
The final tip says to show confidence, not cockiness. I donít think Claire was cocky at all, and she most definitely always showed confidence. I think she was very good at showing viewers that she was there to win, but also had a presence. What I liked most about Claire was that she stayed in the background when she needed to, but had no problem speaking up when she had a problem. I actually really admired that about her. Claire was one of the girls who I think the others looked up to, and when she was sent home, it truly was a shocking elimination. She was very confident, and I donít think this tip played a part at all in Claireís untimely elimination.
In the end, Claire was sent packing by the judges because they felt she continually served up the same face in every photo. It had nothing to do with her personality, posing, walk, or determination, but the fact that the judge didnít think she would be able to change it up when it was time for a different type of photo shoot. If you canít turn it around and prove the judges wrong, they will send you home without thinking twice. Claire wasnít able to turn it around after having a less than stellar photo shoot, so when the judges once again questioned her facial expressions, it was time to go. I still donít think it was the right choice, but Iím not one of the judges, even though I should be. However, thatís the reason that Claire is not a Top Model.
If you havenít already, be sure to check out these other recent Americaís Next Top Model articles:
Phil Kural is an office manager at a dental office, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. You can send feedback to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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