America’s Next Top Model 8, Episode 5: Clothes Make the Manby Jenn Brasler -- 03/29/2007
Regularly scheduled recapper Phil has been kidnapped by Renee and forced to listen to her cry over how the other girls never put the cap back on the toothpaste tube, but he managed to text message me and ask me to cover this week’s recap for him. Let’s hope Renee whines herself to sleep so he can escape. I’m expecting him to scale the side of the building on Brittany’s hair.
Previously, Natasha was lost in translation. Renee tried to be nice but it didn’t quite work out. At panel, Dionne’s style wasn’t edgy, but Felicia’s decision not to think during the crime-scene shoot got her eliminated. Nine girls are left.
It’s night at the house, and Natasha is on the phone with her husband, Stuart. She asks if he misses her and if he remembers her. She mentions that this is the first time they’ve talked in three weeks. Natasha interviews that models are away from their families a lot. She baby-talks to someone, and at first I thought it was Stuart and got grossed out, but it sounds like there’s actually a child there She has a kid? Oh, dear. Natasha interviews that she’s not bonding with anyone in the house. They’re not becoming friends because they’re so different.
Outside, Whitney talks to Diana about Natasha getting married so young. Inside, Natasha purrs and meows to Stuart. Diana wonders if Natasha was a mail-order bride in order to get her visa. She and Whitney think that’s gross. What’s really gross is now Natasha really is baby-talking to Stuart now.
In the morning, Diana eats and says she wants better food. Whitney notes that Diana wants to lose some weight. She interviews that it’s easier to have Diana around because she has someone to relate to. She thinks living in that house with all those skinny girls could give her a distorted sense of reality otherwise. No kidding.
The girls get some Tyra Mail. Sarah reads it, sporting some major bedhead: “Looking your worst can be the best thing to ever happen to you.” Jael says she’ll win this one.
The girls head to what looks like a fashion studio but which we’ll learn later is a Sears warehouse. Cathy Gould, the director of Elite Model Management, greets them. Sarah is happy to meet her because Cathy could be holding their career in her hands. Claudia Mason, a model, is also there. Claudia says it’s important for a model to know how to dress. Dionne interviews that at the last panel, the judges didn’t like her outfit, which shocked her. Today she’s going to try to listen and pay attention to what Cathy and Claudia tell her.
Claudia and Cathy have some clothing “examples” for girls to try on. When they’re dressed, the girls talk about what they like about their outfits. Natasha likes her skinny capris and tank top. Whitney likes her accessories. Jaslene likes her plaid pants. Cathy tells the girls that the clothes are actually examples of how not to dress. Oops! “Oh, snap!” Dionne interviews. “We were looking kind of jacked-up and busted.” More Dionne, please.
Cathy and Claudia tell the girls why they shouldn’t wear what they’re wearing. Diana’s shirt is too big. Natasha looks like a streetwalker. Natasha replies that she made it work, though. She thinks a model should always like the clothes she’s wearing for a shoot. Cathy and Claudia just stare at her. Renee interviews that you should always listen and apply the lesson people are giving you.
Claudia and Cathy have the girls trade clothes so they’re wearing outfits that actually work for them. Cathy says they’re maybe not perfect, but close enough. Dionne says that she’s learned that simple is better.
Back at the house, Renee asks Whitney if she really thinks a plus-sized model could ever be on the cover of Vogue. Renee herself doesn’t, no matter how much she wants to. Yeah, I bet she wants to. Whitney interviews that she could be on the cover of Vogue and look darn good. Yes, you could, Whitney! She promises Renee she’ll be find in the competition, then tells her to shut up. Later, Diana and Whitney complain about Renee. Whitney thinks that Renee’s trying to say that she and Diana aren’t models. Diana is mad.
The girls head back to the Sears warehouse, where they find two male mannequins… who are actually men. They’re identical twins Lawrence and Gregory Zarian, and though they’re wearing different clothes, I already can’t tell them apart. Their clothing line is Z squared, so I’ll go with that. The girls have learned how to dress, and now they’re going to have to create fashionable looks for an in-store display. They’re split into three groups - Dionne, Sarah, and Renee are together, Natasha, Jael, and Whitney are together, and Jaslene, Brittany, and Diana are together. Dionne doesn’t like her group much because she’s not close to Sarah or Renee.
Z squared tells the girls they’ll be evaluated independently and as a group. Natasha says she, Whitney, and Jael are different, so she’s not sure how they’ll work together as a group. The girls have 20 minutes to dress themselves and arrange their displays. If they’re not on their platforms and in their poses in that time frame, they’re disqualified.
The girls get to it, grabbing clothes and props. Dionne tells us she’s worked in retail, so she thought it made sense to pick out her group’s outfits. While she does that, Sarah collects a bunch of props. Jaslene interviews that she’s never won a challenge and wants to win. Sarah finishes up with the props and looks for her outfit.
Time runs out and everyone is ready… except Whitney isn’t on her group’s platform. Natasha whispers to her to get up on it, but Whitney shushes her. Not that it would matter, since time is already up anyway.
Sarah, Renee, and Dionne’s display has a spring theme but Z squared think it’s too busy. They do like their colors, though. Diana, Brittany, and Jaslene also have nice colors but Z squared don’t think they complement each other. Jael, Natasha, and Whitney have made up a sign but misspelled “Aphrodite,” which Z squared point out. Natasha says they can spell it however they want. Sarah interviews that Natasha is a used-car salesman. Wow, she’s right. Z squared like their display, but the girls didn’t listen - they were supposed to be in their places, and Whitney wasn’t, so they’re DQ’d. To add insult to injury, their team would have won, and Whitney would have been the individual winner. That sucks!
Instead, Sarah, Renee, and Dionne win, and Sarah is named the individual winner. Dionne isn’t happy about this, since she’s the one who picked out Sarah’s outfit. She wishes she could get some recognition for that. Z squared like Sarah’s blue scoop-necked top and accessories. Renee interviews that she picked out the accessories and Dionne picked the clothes. Sarah tells Z squared about picking the blue shirt. She interviews that she’s happy about winning but surprised that she did.
Sarah’s prize is a great one - she gets to do her next photo shoot twice. She’ll do it once, then get to look at her frames and get some feedback from Jay. Then she’ll get to use that feedback and do the shoot again. Dionne and Renee probably want to cry. Whitney interviews that Natasha was actually telling her something she should have listened to, but Natasha usually talks a lot, so Whitney tuned her out. Natasha complains that Whitney didn’t listen to her.
At the house, Natasha keeps complaining in an interview, saying that no one ever listens to her. Renee and Whitney whisper about Natasha not having a wedding ring despite being married for three or four years. She seems to overhear. She interviews that no one in the house respects her. Natasha calls Stuart again and cries about the other girls. He tells her not to get upset and to toughen up. She says if everyone picked on him every day, he wouldn’t be tough. Who’s picking on her? They’re whispering about her behind her back. That’s completely different. I mean, it’s not okay, but has she ever seen this show?
The girls get more Tyra Mail: “Dude, where’s my lipstick?” Hee. They’re happy that they might get to work with boys.
Natasha looks through some fashion magazines, telling us that the Jays suggested she study up and practicing her facial expressions and poising. She thinks she’ll do better at the next shoot.
Once again, the girls head to the Sears warehouse, this time to meet up with Jay. He says they need to style themselves, so they rush to pick out clothes. Of course, they don’t know what the clothes are for. When they’re done, Jay wonders if things are like this at the house. He doesn’t like their style and suggests some accessories - specifically, male models. God bless America. Jay says the girls and guys will trade clothes for the shoot. The guys are actually drag queens, so they know what they’re doing.
The girls are made over. Renee interviews that she looked over and saw a guy, then realized it was Natasha. It’s confusing. Jael thinks she looks hot. Whitney is happy to learn that she’ll be a frat boy, since she’s used to seeing those around Dartmouth.
Jaslene is up first as a “nautical boy.” She’ll be enjoying the beauty of nature in a yacht. She directs her male model and Jay says she knows what she’s doing. He thinks she looks sophisticated.
Brittany is a redneck… er, outdoorsy person. She’s hilarious. She says it’s hard to play rugged and serious when there’s a drag queen next to her, cracking her up. Jay says Brittany didn’t flinch and was entertaining.
Renee is a glam rocker, which she likes because she’s always wanted to be a rocker. Jay shows her how to set her jaw so she’ll look more masculine. Her male model definitely looks like a drag queen. Renee likes the positive feedback from Jay and hopes to be called first again.
Jael is “bohemian.” Diana says she looks like a crack-head. Jael interviews that when she allowed her soul to be captured on film, she was opening herself inside-out. I can’t tell if she’s staying in character or what. Jay says she’s a cuckoo crazy cocoa puff.
Dionne is half of a power couple. Her male model says they’re too busy to be married. They don’t have much interaction, and Dionne says it’s hard to pick poses. She’s trying to think of men in suits in magazines not doing much. Jay doesn’t want her to limit herself. He interviews that she needs to learn how to step it up and be a Top Model.
Sarah is a rocker. Jay tells her that after she takes her photos, she’ll get to look at them and then go back and figure out how to make her shots better. She starts, and Jay says she’s getting too posey. She looks at her frames and Jay points out the problems with her body language. Renee tells Diana that she Sarah pick out her stuff in the challenge. If she were Dionne, she’d be mad. Dionne is - she thinks she should have won this challenge.
Sarah redoes her shoot and looks a lot better. Jay says she’s made great strides. This win may have saved her.
Whitney is half of a collegiate couple. She’s motivated by Renee’s comments. Jay thinks she shows too much control; she doesn’t want to let go. She overanalyzes and is guarded and awkward. He tells her she’s pretty and has a great body, but he wants to put someone else in it.
Natasha looks the most like a man. She and her drag queen are a hip-hop couple. Natasha is totally in character and asking Whitney and Dionne for advice. She’s also been practicing. Natasha grabs some foil gum wrappers and makes a grill out of them. Awesome. Jay says she scares him. Natasha rocks the shoot out like you wouldn’t believe. Jay says there’s a reason Russians always win gold. Natasha interviews that it was great to have positive energy and see people having fun. The other models are having a great time watching her. Sarah interviews that she’s blossomed. Natasha interviews that she loves modeling because it gives her the possibility of being different characters.
Diana and her partner are a red carpet couple. She says she didn’t think it would be that hard to pose as a guy. However, her male model outshines her; Diana just stands there. Think A.J. as Marc Anthony last cycle. Renee thinks Diana feels pressure from the other girls to be thinner. Of course, by “the other girls,” she means herself.
Jay asks Diana why she wants to be America’s Next Top Model. “Just ‘cause,” she replies. Nice. Jay says he does think Diana wants to be there, but he wishes she knew why she wanted to be there. Since she doesn’t know, it doesn’t come across in her pictures. She needs to find the passion. Diana interviews she doesn’t know what to tell Jay to make him believe. Whitney tells her they already have obstacles to overcome, so she can’t let this hurt her, too. Diana is disappointed in herself because this could send her home.
Back at the house, there’s Tyra Mail. After the next panel, there will only be eight girls left. Whitney notes that she didn’t do her best, so she’s nervous. She hopes her personality and potential will carry her through. Diana is worried, too, but understands she needs to appear confident in front of the judges. If she breaks down, they won’t think she’s strong enough to handle this.
At panel, Tyra is wearing… is that a jumper? Okay. She gives an overview of the prizes and introduces the judges, as usual. The guest judge is Cathy Gould. Ms. J’s ruffles are threatening to strangle him.
Dionne is up first. Tyra likes her look this week jeans and a black tank top. Tyra says she looks completely different from the person she was last week. Nigel says Dionne’s photo is “so wrong, it’s right.” Ms. J likes that it’s relaxed. Dionne says she learned how to be a man from him. “And drag queens learned how to be women from me,” Tyra replies happily.
Jaslene is next, wearing a huge plastic belt that Tyra makes fun of. Without the belt, Jaslene is dressed just like Dionne. She says the shoot brought out the boy in her. She does look like a boy, and Nigel says she’s a good-looking one. Tyra says it’s effortless and is coming from inside.
Whitney is up next. Her male model has great body language, but Whitney’s not as great. Cathy thinks she looks uncomfortable. Whitney says she was trying to be pompous. Tyra says it’s one of her few shots where she’s clenching her jaw and looking masculine. She might be doubting herself. Tyra reports that Jay said Whitney was the worst of the day and needs to let go. Tyra thinks she should have more control now. Interesting, since Jay said she had too much control.
Up next is Jael. Tyra wonders if making her bohemian was typecasting. Her picture isn’t that great, and Nigel thinks that if Jael didn’t have a mustache, she would look like a girl. Twiggy says this is the first photo where she looked at the girl (meaning the male model), not the guy (meaning the female model). Cathy doesn’t like Jael’s pose. Tyra says she couldn’t break her femininity, which was shocking. None of Jael’s shots showed a man’s body language.
Sarah is next. Thanks to her redo, she looks like a rocker. Nigel and Twiggy like her photo, but Cathy doesn’t think it works. Sarah says it helped to go back and be less posey. Tyra tells her that otherwise, she would have had a horrible shot.
Up next is Renee. Her photo is kind of boring. Nigel thinks it works, though, and compares her to Linda Evangelista. Twiggy likes the angle. Ms. J notes that Renee even has an Adam’s apple. Tyra says that men hold tension in their mouths.
Tyra says Diana and her male model partner are both working their shot. Twiggy thinks Diana’s face is slightly dead. Nigel says she looks like a mannequin. Jay, via a card, relates his conversation with Diana. Diana says she was mad that she responded the way she did. Tyra thinks Diana needs a passion for fashion, and Jay doesn’t see that in her eyes.
When asked for a nickname for her outdoorsy counterpart, Brittany quickly comes up with Bob. Twiggy and Ms. J both love her body language. “Bob, your boyfriend’s got very big hands,” Twiggy says. Ms. J makes the inevitable “big hands, large gloves” joke.
Finally, we have Natasha, whose photo is awesome. Twiggy says she has a wonderful, joyful spirit and brings it to her photos. Tyra asks if Natasha has been studying. She notes that it’s obviously working. Nigel notes that she’s upside-down again. Tyra tells us Jay said Natasha was one of his favorites of the day, and she entertained everyone. Natasha talks about making the grill out of foil.
Time for the judges’ deliberations:
Twiggy says Natasha lights up the whole room and is positive. Nigel thinks she looks great but is weird. The judges talk about how Natasha takes criticism and turns it into something positive. Tyra thinks that if they told her she’d taken the worst photo ever, she would thank them and say she’ll try to do worse next time. Heh.
Nigel says Jaslene is the most photogenic of the girls. And that’s it, apparently.
Twiggy notes that Dionne listened to what Tyra told her about her clothing. Tyra says she’s trusting that the judges know best. Nigel calls her the most improved.
Ms. J loves Brittany, male or female. Cathy says she’s beautiful but not a model. However, she’s showing improvement.
Twiggy loves Renee and thinks she looks like a model.
Sarah has potential, Cathy thinks, but she’s not convinced. She doesn’t think Sarah gets it.
Nigel thinks Diana looks great and has lots of potential. She has the perfect full-sized figure but no fire or oomph. Twiggy says she’s bland.
Whitney is sweet, Twiggy says, but not really a model. Nigel doesn’t think she’s delivering great pictures. It’s hard to hide her figure, which was her problem in this shoot. Tyra says she’s can’t help her breasts.
Jael had the worst photo, according to Nigel, but she’s improving. Cathy says that if Jael showed up at an open call, she’d dismiss her.
Tyra has eight photos, and one girl will be leaving tonight. The first photo goes to… Natasha! She really earned it this week. Tyra gives her praise in hip-hop speak and Natasha gives her a peace sign. Next to get photos are Dionne, Brittany, Jaslene, Sarah (who could have been out without her extra shots), Renee, and Jael.
That leaves our two plus-sized models, Diana and Whitney. I’m not at all surprised. Tyra only has one photo left. She has wanted to have two full-sized models for many cycles, and finally they’ve found two. However, she’s disappointed because both Whitney and Diana have tons of potential. Diana is strong and beautiful, but the judges aren’t seeing passion in her. Whitney loves herself and knows she’s beautiful, but it’s hard to capture that on film. So which of them is out? It’s not Whitney, thank goodness. Sorry, Diana.
Whitney tells Diana she loves her, then gets her photo. Tyra tells her she’s a great representation - an Ivy League, full-figured, beautiful, strong woman. She needs to show the judges that keeping her around was the right decision.
Diana gets her hug from Tyra, who tells her she shouldn’t doubt herself or want to change who she is. Jael practically attacks Diana with a hug, followed by everyone else except Renee. Diana interviews that she’ll miss Whitney, and it was hard to be in the bottom two with her. She’s just glad Whitney gets to stay for both of them. One of the girls left is going to be America’s Next Top Model, and it won’t be Diana, but she promises we’ll see her again.
Next week: the girls go to a party with Nicole Ritchie, Paris Hilton, and 50 Cent. That’s a bizarre combination. Jael gets pushed into a pool, then fights with Renee about disrespect.
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 email@example.com. Jenn is not surprised to see Diana go, as she kept forgetting Diana was even in the competition.