Americaís Next Top Model 9, Episode 4: Flower Powerby Phil Kural -- 10/12/2007
Last week, I was in Tampa and had the week off recapping! The girls got a taste of Ms. J.ís bedside manner learning runway with him. Yum. The girls scaled the heights of fashion in their photo shoot. Some soared, like Jenah, while others hit a wall, like Kimberly, and she was sent home. Eleven girls are left, and Iím almost in love with Victoria, so letís see if she can become one of MY girls this week!
The girls are hanging out at the house. Victoria tells the other girls that she isnít a model, and this hasnít been her dream until a few weeks ago. Oh, great, you know how I feel Ė the first girl to speak in the episode is always in the bottom two. I hope Iím wrong! She continues saying that she came into the competition having no clue about modeling. She wants to win, though, and Iíd love to see it!
Bianca talks about being in the bottom two, and how it wasnít a good feeling. Saleisha is telling Jenah that she will never be in the bottom two. When Jenah says that Saleisha doesnít know that, Miss Saleisha tells her she wonít. Uh-oh! Tyra mail arrives and hints towards makeovers. Everyone is excited, but Chantal is nervous that she will lose her hair. Regardless, she is ready to take what Tyra gives her and win.
The next day the girls arrive at the salon, greeted by Tyra. It is, of course, time for makeovers! Tyra has a TV behind her with the girlsí photos from the semifinals, which will morph into their new looks. Ambreal is first, and she is very elegant, so she will go to almost no hair. Sheís ready for a change, though. I really like Ambreal.
Bianca will be going long and wavy gold, while Sarah and her strong face will have to support VERY short blonde hair. Victoria is going edgy with longer hair and Chantal will be getting bangs and a new weave. Lisa is going short, too, and I think it looks good on the image. Jenah is getting very long and soft hair, and Iím not sure how I feel about it yet. Although Iím not sure how I feel about Jenah, either!
Janet is told that she needs help in person, so her hair will be shorter and changed to black. Ebony is told that she has glue in her hair and will be getting a new weave. Saleisha looks too catalog and will be going very high fashion with a bob cut. Iím not so sure itís going to look great! Heather is hardly changing, since the judges already like her color and length. Sheíll get a little brown in her hair, but thatís it, and Heather is happy with that. Once they are finished, the girls will have a photo shoot showing off their new looks.
So the girls head into the salon and the cutting begins. Bianca states that sheís a black girl going platinum, and isnít happy about that. I love ungrateful girls. Sarah didnít want to look like her mom as a blonde, and she doesnít Ė so sheís happy! Victoria says that she will be a smart blonde, and she loves her makeover. Iím still not so crazy about it.
Ebony is such a mess. They pull her wig off and it looks like itís being held on by rubber cement. Itís one of the most ghetto moments on this show Iíve ever seen. She even tells Ms. J. that it was free, and I totally believe it! Heather gets her makeover and she looks great. Love her. Janet is rocking her new look and Iím in love with it!
Ambreal admits that she is ready for her new look and is already posing with it. Jenah doesnít think her hair is as edgy as she is, but sheíll live with it. Meanwhile, Jay is telling the stylists that Biancaís hair will not be able to change to blonde. Uh oh. Lisa says her hair isnít want she expected, but itís a fresh new look. I donít really care for it either.
Ebony gets her new weave and itís so much better than that ratís nest she had on her head before. Jay is now telling Bianca that they need to cut off all her hair because itís so damaged. She will be wearing latex wigs in her photos. Sheís not happy about it, but they do begin to shave. The whole time, Ms. J. is taunting her with Kleenex, and I want to punch him in the back. So rude. I think it actually looks good on Bianca, and when they give her a wig, she says she feels like a drag queen. I wonít argue with that. Sheís not crazy about it. Finally, Saleisha says her new look changed her to fierce. It doesnít look terrible, but itís not my favorite.
Back at the house, Tyra mail tells the girls that they will need to work their way from the backstage to the front. They arenít quite sure what it means. Bianca is bitching in her room that she grew up being told that girls who cut their hair are ugly. Where the heck was this? Chantal likes her hair, but says that Saleishaís doesnít make her look high fashion. Cocky, huh?
The next day, the girls arrive in the fashion district and meet up with Nigel. He introduces them to his wife, Crissy Barker, who is a makeup artist. Also present is Brent Poer, a representative from Cover Girl. Itís time for a makeup challenge, and the girls will be preparing for a runway. They have five minutes to get changed, and fix their faces, eyes, and lips. The winner will have a look uploaded to the Cover Girl website, and will shoot a video on a new feature located on the site. Very cool! Kidding.
Nigel sets the girls loose, and they run around like crazy people. Everyone is pushing and Victoria says that she rarely wears makeup, so she knows this is tough. Bianca feels like her new look makes her look like a boy and itís hurting her. [Assistant Editorís note: Shut up, Jaeda.] Saleisha knows that they other girls donít want her to win this challenge because she won the other two, while Janet canít find the rack with the correct clothes and puts on the wrong dress. She looks great, though, Iíll admit it!
Once this clusterf**k is over, the judges give critiques. Ambreal and Victoria went too overboard with their eyes, and Iíd agree. Ambreal looks borderline drag. She must be hanging out with Bianca and her assortment of wigs. Saleisha is told that she needed more color in her eyes, and Janet wore the wrong dress! Out of nowhere, the judges say that Sarah is the winner. That was random! Sarah is happy and Lisa is glad that someone won besides Saleisha.When the girls return home, Tyra mail says that they should be ready to be deflowered. I (and the girls) wonder if itís time to get nakey!
Jay greets the girls at their shoot the next day, in the middle of the woods. He tells them that they will each be a flower or some type of plant life. Bianca says she is getting used to her hair, and Jay loves that she is smiling. Sheíll be a sunflower, and I have to say she actually looks good. Jay liked her on set, too, and says it took a meltdown for her to appreciate herself.
Janet is next and sheís a hydrangea. I have no clue what that is, but she looks great. Jay likes her body but wants more from her in the face. Heather, of course, is a weed. I love that they are making Heather stick out as much as possible. She looks great, though, and Jay and the photographer seem to be happy with her.
Lisa will be bamboo, and Jay thinks that she is going the same look over and over. Saleisha is a tulip and her new hair is hiding her eyes. I thought that I liked the new look on her, but Iíve changed my mind Ė it hides her face! Sarah is ivy and has problems, but seems to work it out in the end. I have to say that her look makes her look ten times better than before!
Ambreal is a rose and looks great, but she is told that she needs to work it in the face a bit more. Victoria is a cactus and she thinks that itís ridiculous and very strange. Sheís not giving expression and she comments that she is over it all. Now, Victoria, I do like you, but the attitude has to go. Why be there if you feel that way?
Ebony is a bird of paradise, and she totally has the bird part down. Jay loves it, though, so I canít argue. Chantal says that she was born to do this and she is babyís breath. She looks confused and is struggling with taking directions from Jay and the photographer. She cries after the shoot, saying she wished they would shut up since she can do this on her own. I will admit that they talked the whole time and didnít let her do anything on her own.
Once the girls are finished, they head home where Tyra mail is waiting for them. Of course, it says that tomorrow they will meet with the judges and someone is going home. Saleisha thinks she did well this week and wonít go home, while Victoria is talking to some of the girls outside, saying itís ludicrous with some of the things they have to be and do. Sheís not ready to go home yet, though, and needs to figure out and change why she did so poorly. Umm, maybe itís the attitude? Chantal says that she has wanted this since kindergarten. Iím sorry, but if thatís her biggest aspiration since kindergarten, then we have a problem in our school system.
Tyra greets the girls at panel, and in her typical way, reminds them of the prizes. She introduces the judges, including Lionel Deluy, the photographer from this weekís photo shoot. Victoria is up first for evaluation. The judges like her look but want the hair to be more relaxed. In her photos, they see wrinkles on her neck and feel she is too posed. Twiggy begins to say, ďI think itís interesting that you were the prickly cactus, sinceÖĒ but Victoria cuts her off with, ďI donít have a prickly personality!Ē Yes! Iím so glad someone is putting Twiggy in her place. The judges feel that Victoria needs to be more personable and less abrasive.
Sarah is up next and they like her new look. She looks elegant, and the judges feel her photo this week is great. Lisa is bamboo and the judges feel her as well, although Tyra mentions that sheíd like to see Lisa take more chances in her photos, instead of always playing it safe.
Next is Saleisha and the judges love her new look and think she looks more like a model. When they see her photo, though, they think her eyes and neck were lost in the shot. Tyra says she was disappointed with the eyes. Umm, yeah, since her ďnew lookĒ hides them! Jenah steps up and they tell her that she needs to balance out her hair. They love her photo and feel she took chances.
Janet has a great new look and the judges feel that her hydrangea photo looks good. Nigel thinks she has showed the most improvement this week, but Tyra wasnít happy with her posing this week. Ambreal looks too corporate for the judges, but Nigel is digging her photo. She feels Ambreal moved around a lot but needs to work on the face.
Heather got her hair trimmed and the judges like it. They feel her photo this week is haunting and Nigel loves that she blended in but still stuck out. Bianca is next and says she went though hell with her hair. She shows them how she looks without the wig, and the judges are in ecstasy! Nigel isnít crazy about her photo and Twiggy thinks she looks stiff. Tyra tells her to embrace her look the same way Ambreal did.
Chantal is in love with her new look. They look at her photo and Twiggy is bitching about it. Chantal says that she was being directed two ways and it was confusing. As usual, Tyra doesnít show remorse at all. I actually like her photo. Tyra adds that itís not the best she has had.
Finally, we have Ebony. They love her new look and Nigel says that she has what it takes when they look at her photo. He isnít sure if he likes her as a person, though, since she has no charm. Tyra even demonstrates to the judges and Ebony how she acts in front of them. She tells Ebony that her photos this week blew her away, but her attitude really needs to change. I agree, but do they know how Bianca acts? I think Ebony is timid compared to Bianca! Time for the judges to deliberate, and hereís what they had to say:
Victoria is liked by the judges, but they arenít sure about her attitude. Nigel goes as far as to say that she is smart, but not wise.
All the judges favor Sarah, but Tyra is concerned that she is losing weight, which is not in her favor. Twiggy agrees, and I have to roll my eyes. Iím sorry, but Twiggy hates plus-sized girls, if she admits it or not.
Janet is looking ďmenís magazineĒ to Twiggy, but she can see a model in there somewhere.
Jenah is turning it out and everyone seems pleased with her.
Bianca looks like a dying sunflower to Ms. J., and Nigel adds that he really likes her newly shaved head. I do, too!
Heather has great eyes and the photographer felt she was one of the best.
Ambreal is wilted for Twiggy, but Nigel thinks that she looks very dramatic, and thatís what he likes about her.
Lisa has the bone structure, but Tyra says once again that her poses are too safe. She wants to see more danger from her.
Ebony has to change her attitude and Ms. J. isnít happy with her at all. I think all the judges are put off by her, and I still donít really get it.
Chantal is missing something. Nigel thinks that she has the pretty gene, but isnít so sure that she has the modeling gene.
Saleisha could have given more, and the judges are disappointed. Tyra wants her to translate her personality into her photos, and then sheíll be on the right track.
The girls walk back into the room. Tyra says that there are 11 girls, but she only has ten photos. The first girl called this week isÖ Jenah! She is followed by Sarah, Heather, Lisa, Janet, Ambreal, and Ebony, who is told that she had the best photo of the bunch according to many of the judges, but she needs to relax and show a softer side.
Bianca is called next and is told to embrace her new look. Next is Chantal, who is told that she was called so late because the judges are having doubts about her. She had a pretty bad photo and is making the judges nervous.
Saleisha and Victoria step forward. Thereís one photo left, and the girl not called will be sent home. Tyra tells Victoria that they love her look, and admire that she is a smart girl with no experience who gets in front of the camera and makes it look like she does. However, they look at her and feel sheís not very appetizing. She canít be abrasive, since nobody will want to work with that.
Saleisha is told that after her makeover, she looks great. Her photo is just okay this week, and the judges arenít sure she has it after looking at the photo. The girl who is called isÖ Saleisha, who immediately begins to sob. Victoria, in the meantime, is taking off her shoes. I love it!
Tyra hugs Victoria and tells her that she is smart but has to listen. The girls all cry over Victoria leaving and hug her goodbye. Victoria gets back to the loft and packs her bags. She is glad that there are no more high heels, makeup, or people messing with her hair. She gained an appreciation for modeling, and recognizes now that itís not an easy thing to do. Her heart wasnít into it, though, and sheíd rather go home than take someone elseís dream. Thatís admirable, but Iíd still like to see more of her!
Next week, the girls will face off in a posing challenge that will bring fear and danger on ice. I guess Tanya Harding will be there. At the photo shoot, Ambrealís fear of heights threatens to derail her dreams Ė that means that she wonít go home next week, and Iím happy for that! Hereís how Iím ranking the girls at this point:
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 email@example.com.