America’s Next Top Model 8, Episode 4: Strike A Poseby Phil Kural -- 03/22/2007
Last week, the girls got their makeovers, and even though Brittany bitched about how tight her weave was, she still did amazing in the challenge and photo shoot. Jael got some bad news from home, when she found out a friend died of an overdose. Everyone bared their skin at the photo shoot, but Cassandra failed to deliver and was sent packing. Ten girls are left, and another one will bite the dust by the end of this recap!
Late at night, Whitney comments to the camera that it’s frustrating when the judges don’t see her as a model. She left Dartmouth to be there, and she pays out of pocket, so she’s losing a lot of money. Therefore, if people don’t think she acts like a model, she’s going to work and show you that she is one. Oh, and Tyra mail has already arrived, saying that the girls will have to “strike a pose, there’s nothing to it.” Say it with me: VOGUE!
Outside, Felicia says that she knows Jael is upset, so she’s teaching her a dance to take her mind off her friend who died. Jael interviews that she is fortunate to have friends in the house. Speaking of friends in the house, Renee has none and knows it. She says that she feels like the girls don’t like or understand her, and that they do it on purpose. Yes, because you’re a raging bitch!
However, Renee wakes up the next day and says that she knows she has been getting into it with some of the other girls, and she wants to win, so it’s time to be nice and make a chance, since she won’t change if she’s mean. Okay, that’s a good start – so she draws a picture of Jael in an unzipped straight jacket! Oh geeze. She gives it to Jael, who likes it! Okay, this is just strange.
The girls head out and get pulled over by a traffic cop. Natasha is scared, but it turns out that the “traffic cop” is really Benny Ninja, the girls’ posing instructor! He is there to teach them the art of a perfect vogue, which is adding movement to posing. They are told to exaggerate their posing and don’t waste photos. Time for a fun exercise – it’s a pose-off! The girls will each be battling on certain poses with one another.
Sarah v. Felicia is the first match and Benny compliments Felicia saying she’s a natural. Felicia knows she did well, telling the camera. Diana v. Renee for shoe poses and they get some advice. Brittany goes against Natasha in handbag posing and both do a great job. Floor posing is Jaslene v. Dionne and Benny likes them both. Finally, we see Whitney v. Jael at face posing and Benny says that Whitney is a natural. When the exercise is over, Benny tells the girls to practice at home and Renee tells the camera that they learned so much from Benny in such a short time. Finally, a challenge that isn’t pointless!
Tyra mail is waiting at the house. It reads that the best way to commit the crime is to look good doing it. Felicia and Whitney practice in the mirror (*ding* -- Top Model Tip!). Whitney thinks that Felicia is going to do well in the competition because she does well with posing.
Meanwhile, Brittany is still having drama with her weave and Renee is trying to help. Brittany tells the camera that she knows Renee is crazy and she’s just happy that she’s being nice to her. In the other room, Diana watches, telling the camera that Renee is manipulative and always looking for a girl to control – she doesn’t buy it. Wait a second, wasn’t Diana the girl sitting next to Renee last week, talking trash on Brittany? Hmm…
The next morning, Jael interviews that she burned herself with the curling iron, and she has no hair to cover it. Wow, she really did burn herself – she has a big mark on her cheek! The girls arrive at a building in Los Angeles, where Benny is waiting for them again in a yellow spandex suit. He tells them that Tyra’s posing secrets are locked up, and the girls will have to use their movement posing to get them. One of the girls will end up winning a $40,000 bracelet!
To win, they must slink through a maze of lasers, posing. If a laser is hit, they must restart, and only have two minutes to finish. Each girl who makes it through will get a key, and Benny will decide who the winner is. Of course, Renee is drooling over selling the bracelet to support her family.
Dionne is told she is first, and she says to the camera: “What the hell? Me? You gonna pick me first? How the hell I’mma get through and pose?” Sure enough, Dionne buzzes three times before she just rushes though to make sure she gets her key. She’s followed by Brittany who gets through the first time and poses the whole way. Whitney knows that she has to pose and Benny says that she blew his mind with her posing. Jaslene does her thing, being sexy, and she gets her key as well.
Sarah gets through as well, as does Diana. Jael gets her key, but knows she looked crazy and acted a fool the whole time. Natasha just makes it through, and I have to say, her makeover really works on her. Renee is last and hits the laser twice. She stumbles, and with only 10 seconds left, she is the only girl to not get her key. She feels she failed her family.
Benny gets the girls together and says he chose the best poser as the winner. All the girls have a box in front of them, except Renee. He tells them to open them up, and the girl with the bracelet in her box is – Whitney! She can’t believe it, and even though she owes her dad $9,000 for school, she’s going to keep the bracelet because of sentimental value.
Back at the house, the girls have Tyra mail. It tells the girls not to kill yourself with over thinking the competition – kill with drop dead gorgeous looks! Renee says that her spirit is broken right now because she thought she would rock the competition and hasn’t been. She calls her husband at home and tells him that she doesn’t want to be there anymore, calling all the other girls stupid. Felicia and Natasha want to use the phone and ask when she’s going to be done, but she shoos them away.
When Felicia slams the door, Renee tells her husband that she’s going to beat all the girls down. Back outside, Felicia comments that Renee switches her personality all the time and you never know what you are going to get. From what I’ve seen, I’d definitely say that Renee is bi-polar.
The next day, the girls arrive on the 12th floor of a hotel, where Jay Manuel is waiting for them. He says that today, for their photo shoot, they will be brining life back into dead people, since they will each be a crime scene victim, and will be dead in their photos. The twist? They were each killed by another girl! Felicia is already confused since she isn’t sure how she is going to be dead, but alive in the face. Their photographer for this shoot will be Mike Rosenthal, who shot the girls last season for the circus sideshow photo.
So the girls go through hair and makeup and Jay tells Jael that he can’t believe that she burned herself with the curling iron. Renee is up first and she knows she has to do a good job. She is a poison victim and I have to say she looks great. Jay seems to love it too, but she says she won’t tell the other girls how well she did. She doesn’t have to though, since Jay tells the other girls that Renee was flawless. He then goes and tells Renee that he told the other girls, and when she looks frustrated, he asks her why shouldn’t he? She reveals that she’s a bitch. Well, you can’t fight the truth!
Jaslene goes second and she was pushed off a rooftop. On the side, Renee says that she knows Jaslene is her main competition. Jaslene doesn’t care because she knows she is good and capable of good photos. Brittany does her shoot next and she was electrocuted. Jay likes that Brittany always commits as she suggests to get out of the bathtub and do some body posing. Dionne says that she was so into watching all the other girls with their makeup since it was so gross.
Diana goes next and her organs were stolen. She loves the makeup and thinks it looks great. Sarah was pushed down the stairs and has issues with posing her arm. Jael was strangled and has some problems focusing because she is still thinking of her friend. Jay can tell and tells her that sometime when you think of something too heavy, it takes away your focus. Jael doesn’t think anyone realizes how traumatic her experience really was, but hopes she got a good shot.
Felicia is up and she was decapitated. She has the dead thing down, but isn’t doing much posing. Whitney was stabbed and she knows that she has to pose and show the judges that she’s a model. Natasha is soaked since she has to be drowned and Dionne is shot, and knows that she looks great in her dress. Jay likes her, but feels she didn’t take any initiative, but still got a good photo. He tells the camera that the judges are going to have a tough time eliminating someone because all the girls delivered, and I agree!
The girls have Tyra mail waiting for them when they get home from the shoot, and it says that tomorrow they will meet with the judges and someone is going home. Felicia says that if she gets a good review, she plans on dancing. Jael is worried since she didn’t do her best and she was traumatized during her show. Renee seems worried as well, but she had a good shoot, and I’d say that she’s safe for right now.
Time for panel! The girls file in and the judges are waiting, where Tyra reminds them of the prizes and introduces the judges as usual, including Mike Rosenthal, their latest photographer. She says their shoot was to breathe life into dead poses. Now, it’s time for individual evaluations and Renee is first!
The judges take a look at Renee’s photo and think she is poised and they love her jaw. All the judges like her photo this week and feel she looks great in person as well. Dionne is next and Tyra says that she is dressed as if she is still auditioning to be on the show. They look at her photo and they love the leg and the positioning, however, it turns out that Jay did the positioning. Nigel wonders what would happen if the photo was stripped – would Dionne still stand out?
It’s time for everyone’s favorite Russian, Natasha! Tyra and company look at her photo and feel her face needs work. She needs to switch it around, but she is given real compliments and actually understands what is going on. It’s refreshing! Diana is up next and Nigel loves the execution in her photo. They feel she has grown leaps and bounds from last panel.
Jael is next and Tyra says that she knows this was tough for Jael with everything going on. They look at her photo and Nigel loves it. He says that Jael is showing that she can manage under pressure and be versatile. Jaslene sashays up next and is showing her personality! The judges look at her photo of being pushed off the building and everyone loves it, especially Ms. J. who thinks that she nailed it with her eye contact.
Sarah steps forward next and the judges feel that she is struggling with her posing but she really got it in the face. Brittany’s electrocuted photo is praised by the judges and Tyra commends her for taking control and doing more poses. I have to agree – she really did take charge instead of complaining when her photos didn’t turn out the way she wanted.
Felicia is called up and the judges look at her photo. Nigel says that the other girls did some posing but she simply looks like she is dead. Tyra says that Felicia looks like she gave up and is stuck. Felicia looks shocked and isn’t sure what to say. Finally, there’s Whitney. Twiggy looks at her photo and says for the first time she can see a fashion model. Nigel says she doesn’t look dead, but that’s his only complaint. With that, it’s time to deliberate! Here’s what the judges had to say about each of the girls:
Natasha upped her game this week. Tyra says that Natasha has a big head, and for some reason, that’s a good thing since it helps the camera.
Dionne distressed Twiggy this week with her outfit and lack of presence. Tyra says that she had no “oomph” but she can still see something in here.
Nigel complains about Diana’s smile and Twiggy agrees. I don’t know how this is relevant, but whatever!
Jael has a lot of baggage that Nigel can’t get over as well. They think she might be a little too emotional right now. Umm, yeah! Her friend just died!
Felicia had some issues with the light, but has always done well. They think she is beginning to be a little cocky though, and isn’t really moving in her photos.
Brittany had a great photo once again, but they feel that she is making the clothing look a little chunky. Okay, another “where did that come from?”
Whitney had a very good photo this week, but still isn’t looking like a model to Twiggy. Oh, and you know that Twiggles – once you aren’t on her good side, you never will be.
Sarah is one of those girls that isn’t classic pretty, but she looks great on film, and the judges loved her photo this week.
Jaslene brought back the personality and the judges are happy with her once again. On top of it, she rolled out another great photo that has impressed the judges.
Twiggy says that Renee had the best photo this week and she loves her. Tyra thinks that Renee’s photo, coupled with how upbeat and fun she was in front of them really goes a long way. Wasn’t Renee just severely depressed?
Once the girls are back in the judging room, Tyra tells them that there are 10 girls in front of her, but she only has nine photos. The first name called this week… is Renee! Tyra tells her that she is shining through right now and had the best photo – the judges loved it!
The next girl called is Natasha, who freaks out since she is always called near the end. Brittany is called next and Tyra tells her that she has consistently taken great photos. Whitney is called next and then Jaslene. Jael is called next and she looks shocked. Diana follows and Whitney breathes a sigh of relief. Sarah is called down, leaving Felicia and Dionne as the bottom two.
Tyra says that she only has one photo and the girl not called will need to pack her bags and go home. Dionne has come into panel showing no inspiration to the judges. Tyra says that in a week where everyone took a good photo, the judges start looking at other things, like how the girls look outside of their photos. She turns to Felicia and says that she came in strong, but has been dwindling, making the judges wonder if she is falling apart.
The final girl called is…Dionne! When she goes to get her photo, Tyra tells her that she has to not only look good in the photos, but outside of them as well – she needs to show progression. Felicia is given a hug from Tyra and told that she is beautiful and unique, but needs more time to develop and understand her look and what high fashion is.
With that, Felicia gives the other girls their hugs, saying that she grew attached to them all and they are her sisters. She felt good to see them cry because it made her realize that she had an impact. Even though she’s sad that she didn’t go further, Felicia still plans on trying to model, ending the episode with a saying that I hate: “Everything happens for a reason.”
Next week, Natasha’s home life raises some questions – remember, she was 18 when she got married and her husband is 40. Can you say “mail order bride”? Also, Renee continues to irritate the other girls, especially Whitney, when she asks her if she thinks a plus sized girl could REALLY represent Cover Girl. Hey, I say the same thing! Here’s how I’m ranking the girls for next week: