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America’s Next Top Model 7: Why Monique is not a Top Modelby Jenn Brasler -- 10/10/2006
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The only thing that surprised me about Monique’s elimination was that it occurred so quickly. On reality TV, the troublemakers, divas, and drama queens tend to stick around for a lot longer than anyone wants them to. I figured we (and the other girls) would be unlucky enough to have to put up with Monique for at least a few more weeks. I was pleasantly surprised to be rid of her so quickly. We never have to deal with her again! (Well, at the reunion, we’ll just mute the TV whenever she talks.)
It would be easy to say that Monique was eliminated because she was so difficult to deal with, because the other girls hated her, because she wasn’t living up to her potential, etc. But the judges wouldn’t be able to justify letting her go just because she was causing problems in the house. Monique was booted for a number of reasons, many of which have to do with the Top Model Tips. So let’s take a look at why Monique was really eliminated and what she really shouldn’t have done.
The first tip says that the girls should be welcome and open change. In this category, Monique failed miserably in almost every circumstance. She caused problems from the get-go, both inside the house and out. When the girls received their makeovers, Monique was disappointed that she wasn’t getting a huge change in her hair, but then she cried because she didn’t want the others to see her without her weave. She said she wanted a change, but when the time came, she wasn’t ready for it. Monique also didn’t adjust very well to living with other people, especially people she didn’t like, like Melrose. Instead of dealing with a new situation the best she could, she made things more difficult for everyone. (More on this in tip #5.)
Tip #2 is to know something about the fashion industry. It’s unclear how much Monique knew before entering the competition, and she didn’t get to show her stuff in the Queen makeup challenge because she missed the elevator and never made it to the top floor. We didn’t get to see Monique enough to find out her knowledge of the industry, but I don’t think anyone is complaining about that.
Tip #3 says that girls should practice their walk. This week’s challenges were all about posture and walking, so we got to see which girls were comfortable walking a runway and which need more practice. Monique did well in the cobblestone-walking challenge, managing to keep her composure (and balance) on a tricky surface; she did better than about half of the other girls. We don’t know how well she would have done in the water runway challenge, however, because she didn’t participate. Since she was sick, I would think she wouldn’t have done well. It’s hard to be able to tell if Monique practiced her walk, but it may not have mattered, since she did well walking anyway.
The fourth tip is that personality counts. Perhaps I should specify - a winning personality counts. Monique has personality, but not a good one. She’s memorable, but not in a complimentary way. She’s definitely one of the most annoying, combative, difficult contestants to ever appear on America’s Next Top Model. In the future, I predict that we’ll list other diva contestants’ bad qualities, then follow up with, “But at least she’s no Monique.” Even if Monique had made it all the way to the final three, I doubt that Tyra and the judges would have picked her as the winner because, well, she’s not very likable. They’re not going to choose someone who is going to be hard to work with, demanding, and vindictive.
Tip #5 tells the girls to focus on themselves, not the other models. Of course, Monique did horribly with this tip as well. From the very beginning, she caused drama in the house when she didn’t wind up with a bed. She chose to take this out on Eugena (who, ironically, became her only friend in the house). This quickly earned her the reputation of being difficult, not something one wants to be known for. Monique was also alienated in the house because of her attitude and behavior, especially towards Melrose, which probably made it hard to focus on the competition and leave the others alone.
Melrose, of course, became Monique’s Achilles heel. Monique spent so much time focusing on Melrose that she wasn’t able to do anything about her own performance. Had she spent as much time practicing her walk and making herself into a model as she did thinking of ways to torture Melrose, who knows what would have happened? And her plan backfired anyway - last week, while Monique was plotting against Melrose and spending three-and-a-half hours complaining about her on the phone, Melrose was working. She wound up shining in the photo shoot while Monique came close to landing in the bottom two. In fact, Monique was so unfocused that the judges sang an entire song about how she didn’t want to be there. She wanted to drive Melrose crazy, but she wound up signing her own death warrant.
The final tip tells the models to roll with the punches and not fight with the judges. We never saw Monique fight with the judges (though I would have to name her the model most likely to out of this cycle’s contenders), but she definitely didn’t roll with the punches. When she got sick, she moped around the house, not wanting to do anything. Even after she went to the hospital and learned what was wrong with her, she didn’t do much about it. Monique went to the water runway photo shoot but wound up leaving without participating, a decision that contributed to the judges’ belief that she didn’t want to be there. As Michelle pointed out, when Danielle from cycle 6 got sick, she didn’t lie around in bed and skip photo shoots - she fought through her illness and not only shined in that photo shoot, she wound up winning the whole thing. Instead of wallowing in her sickness, Monique should have fought like Danielle did and proved herself to the judges anyway.
The judges ultimately eliminated Monique because she hadn’t done enough to keep herself in the competition. This is partly because she didn’t do anything the Top Model Tips tell the girls to do. It looks like the judges do really follow these criteria when considering who to keep around and who to cut loose. Monique failed in almost every aspect and wasn’t worth keeping in the competition. Thanks to her behavior, her unsatisfactory talent, and her failure to complete the last photo shoot, Monique 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 she’s a spy for a covert branch of the CIA. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She hopes Melrose goes next because no one needs that much drama.
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