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Americaís Next Top Model 7: Why Christian is not a Top Modelby Jenn Brasler -- 09/25/2006
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Last season Phil started taking a look at why each eliminated model was asked to leave the competition. He laid out six specific rules that the girls should stick to in order to stay on top. Those rules havenít changed at all. Now there is a whole new group of girls who can make new mistakes and learn from what past eliminated models have done. So letís look at why Christian, the first model booted, was sent home.
The first rule is that girls should be open and welcome change. The first competitive photo shoot really challenged this rule - the girls had to strip and pose nude, not only in front of a photographer but in front of all of their competitors. Christian seemed to have little difficulty exposing herself to the other girls, and she even remarked that she liked how the photos were done tastefully. In this way, she was very open. As for change, Christian didnít make it to the makeovers, which is the point in the competition when the girls are really challenged by change. Itís hard to say if Christian was open to embracing change, so Iíll skip that part for her.
Rule #2 tells models to know something about the fashion industry. Christian was singled out as knowing all about Tyra, and who better to imitate in the fashion industry than the person she was most trying to impress? Unfortunately for her, this didnít work in her favor. Tyra isnít looking for a clone, sheís looking for the Next Top Model. Still, Christian had obviously studied the industry and knew something about modeling. The true extent of her knowledge was never tested, but she probably would have done well if it had been.
The third rule is to practice your walk. We only really got to see Christian walk once, during the menís clothing challenge, but she did well. She also remarked that the runway is her specialty, which means that she either has experience with walking on a runway or sheís practiced it. She was one of the few models who comes into the competition knowing that walking the runway is an important skill to have. However, Christianís walk wasnít as impressive as Melroseís seemed to be, since the guys of Elmer Ave. picked Melrose as the winner of the competition, not Christian.
The fourth rule tells the girls that personality counts. This is where Christian started to falter. Though she seemed nice enough, Christian was labeled early on as boring. She didnít show enough of a personality to really stand out among the other girls. During the judging panel, two of the judges called her boring and admitted that that contributed to her being in the bottom two. Christian had the looks and the talent, but those can only get you so far. Personality is very important in this competition - no one wants a boring cover girl.
Rule #5 is to focus on yourself, not the other girls. Some of the other girls in the competition - namely Melrose and Monique - started off on the wrong foot, antagonizing the other girls (either accidentally or on purpose) and creating drama from the beginning. Christian was not one of those girls. Though she wound up without a bed, she didnít pull a Monique and steal someone elseís. Christian was not only focused on herself instead of the other girls, she was focused on the competition. She knew that not having a bed wasnít as important as making sure she took the best photos she could. She could have thrown a hissy fit and caused a lot of drama like Monique, but she kept her problems to herself.
The final rule says to roll with the punches and, more importantly, not fight with the judges. As I stated above, Christian lost out on getting a bed, but she rolled with the punches by not whining and complaining about the situation. Itís not clear what she wound up doing - probably sleeping on a bean bag chair or couch - but at least she didnít ďmark her territoryĒ like Monique! Instead, she just went along with what happened and didnít let it affect her too much.
As for fighting with the judges, Christian only had to face them once in the judging panel, and she handled them fine. She took their criticism, harsh as it was, calmly and listened to what they had to say. She also let Tyra mess with her hair without complaining. At the photo shoot, Christian didnít bicker with Jay (unlike some immature people, Melrose), instead focusing on the task at hand and trying to make her photos look as good as possible. She was a professional throughout the competition, and that showed especially when compared to some of her competitors.
So why did Christian get eliminated first? I think itís because of rule #4 more than anything else. Christian just wasnít interesting enough for the competition, at least from the judgesí perspective. Though she was professional and handled everything maturely, this worked against her rather than for her. She didnít stand out above the other girls. Their personalities and attitudes made them more interesting. Never mind that Christianís photos werenít as good as some of the other girlsí - a lot of the models were criticized for their bad shoots or their inability to change up their poses. But Christian was singled out instead of them because she just didnít strike anyone else as interesting.
And remember, this isnít just a modeling competition - itís TV. Melrose did poorly in her photo shoot, talked back to Jay, and held up the shoot by spending too much time enjoying her diva prize. But she had a personality that stood out and the judges knew it. Melrose just makes for more interesting TV than Christian does. Plus, Melrose has already gotten on some of the girlsí bad sides, which means that there will most likely be some drama in the house between her and the others. Christian was laidback and, yes, boring. People donít watch Americaís Next Top Model for the boring girls. This is why Melrose was allowed to stay and Christian is not a Top Model.
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 sheís a spy for a covert branch of the CIA. You can e-mail her at email@example.com. She really liked Christian and was sad to see her go, especially over Melrose.
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