America's Next Top Model, Episode 2: Praise the Editors!by Jamie Goralski -- 05/31/2003
I want to start this off by giving serious thanks to the editors of this show. I thought it would be a fun show to watch but they have really shown a snarkier side to editing than I have seen in other reality shows. Tyra Banks was on Conan O'Brien and she said it wasn't a reality show it was a "dramality" show. Not only am I easily amused by new non-words, but it is very fitting since they are doing a better job at interesting story arcs than most other shows I have seen. Then she said she had a big ass and I stopped listening to her - if my ass looked like Tyra's I'd be going to the grocery store naked... and to church, too.
On to the show. We find Elyse in the confessional for a little venting and peace and quiet. She needs to get away from the noise and vapid conversation abounding in the penthouse. I really hope she lasts and escapes the boot for quite a while since the show would be far less interesting without her insight and soundbites.
Adrienne is first one up and finds Tyra-mail. They will be meeting their first fashion expert at 11:30 a.m. Everyone is cautioned not to be late this time so they are limited to no longer than 15 minutes in the shower. Yikes, I can't even get ready that fast and I don't have model-pressure on me to look good. Ebony notes that this is a competition and she isn't here to make friends. We will see she really means this as the show goes on.
And what would a modeling show be like without religious controversy? Robin is reading her bible and calls Elyse, the avowed atheist, over so she can point out that the bible says, "Foolish is the man who says there is no God." Elyse is offended. Who wouldn't be. Now, I believe in God, but there is a flaw in logic in using the bible as fact to someone who doesn't believe the bible as factual. I have also been around this earth long enough to know the surest way not to get your point across is to present it with self-righteousness while trying to shame the person you are trying to win over.
Back to the superficial... we now find the girls standing around a runway while Tyra tells them they will be getting runway lessons from the best in the business, Jay Alexander. She gives us some runway "don'ts."
We are told again that Jay is a true runway genius and a diva. For some reason this time the term doesn't annoy me. Told you I was liking this show. Tyra tells us that runway modeling is silent theatre. She told us last week that photo shoots were silent movies. Well, sure, except there is no plot, but who am I to point this out? She tells the girls they need to work the crowd. So all the girls take their turns doing a cold walk so Jay gets an idea of their natural style. Adrienne thinks she sucks. Tyra tells everyone not to walk too tight in the booty and keep their eyes straight ahead. I think "too tight in the booty" is an excellent catch phrase and hope it sweeps America. Nicole has a quiet confidence, Robin as a plus size model will be great for her segment of the industry, Adrienne has funny foot work, Shannon has a very commercial look. Kesse is told to take the center, Ebony is too uptight, Katie is very into it and she thinks she has what it takes. The professionals don't agree and think she needs help. Elyse is the one girl who has the natural talent for runway and definitely has what it takes. Tyra tells everyone to "walk like it's for sale and the rent is due tonight." Ha. I think I will start walking like that just for fun, she makes it sound so cool. Jay slips into a pair of high heels to teach them to walk. That is one man committed to his art.
Asking the girls what they want to do with their lives, Katie says that she wants to get into acting, Ebony is also a comedienne, Elyse has applied to med school. Giselle is pissed that Elyse is there because she has other goals. So? Just because she has loftier aspirations and the brains to achieve them doesn't mean she shouldn't try this also, and capitalize on her looks to get a little financial security in the bank before she moves on with her life. Jay points out to Elyse that medical school will be time intensive. Duh. The girl attained two college degrees in three years... if anyone understands the work and time involved, she does.
Foreshadowing of controversy to come? The other girls muse about how Elyse doesn't eat as much as they would like, and when they went out for pizza she ordered oatmeal. You knew in a show like this food issues had to come up at some point for someone.
Elyse back in the confessional - there hasn't been one used this well since Real World season two. She says she has no will to go on. Doesn't want to be a model as it is all so irrelevant. "Eliminate me. Do it." She asks. I think modeling is a fine profession if you can do it but I was wondering how she would deal with the internal conflict of the superficiality versus her more substantial world view.
Shannon wants to better herself. It finally hits me who she reminds me of, it's been driving me crazy... she looks like a young Rachel Hunter. The girls are up for their test of the week, Extreme Runway in a mock fashion show. The winner will get a night on the town including going into the studio with recording artist Wycleff Jean. Pretty cool incentive if you ask me.
The girls have three outfits and have to dress and be out on time, hit their marks, and walk well. Elyse comments that these tasks have nothing to do with intelligence and she has no edge being smarter than the other girls. Didn't she know this going in? Shannon is told to leave her blouse unbuttoned but she doesn't feel comfortable with that so she goes with her conscience. The more screen time this girl gets the more I like her. I'd want my daughter to make the same call. Katie is told to use less sex and more presence. Giselle wins the competition. Adrienne doesn't agree, saying Giselle has no self-confidence. I don't know - she comes off pretty confident to this viewer. Giselle is told she won't be going alone and to chose three friends. She chooses the three runners up in the competition, which I think is the fairest way to have done it. Ebony takes it very hard - not only did she really want to go but she seems to not be able to deal with losing very well.
On the way to the studio to meet Wycleff Jean, Adrienne says she wants to yell out the car window, "hey lady, ever get your (bleeped) licked by a fat man in an overcoat?" She says that's her favorite line from a movie. So I ask you, what movie?
Back at the penthouse Elyse unleashes in confessional. I need to write a love letter to the editing team for leaving this in. She says they have the most vapid conversation and she tells us what she thinks... she wants Adrienne to stop interrupting, wants Robin to stop quoting the bible at her, says that Giselle is wasteful, bitchy, stupid, and worthless. Wow. Anyone want to see these guys chatting it up at a reunion show? She was offended by Jay assuming he had to tell her medical school would take a lot of time. I'm with her on this. Katie is the most insincere person she has ever met.
Oh look more Tyra-mail. And it is a little out of sequence since this apparently happened right after winning girls left for the evening. Mail says their second photo shoot will be at 7:30 the next morning for Stuff magazine. Ebony says she wouldn't go down and tell the other girls what was coming but Robin and Shannon do. That's just common decency.
In the studio, Wycleff Jean asks if this is a dream or reality. Awwww... he's a model ego stroker. Like this guy isn't constantly surrounded by beautiful women.
Back at the penthouse, Ebony is practicing her runway walk. She did not like losing this one.
Adrienne says she gets bad vibes from Ebony. That Ebony was going to keep the Tyra-mail to herself bothers her. Robin tells us there is a difference between good competition and sneaky and conniving competition. Robin the competitor didn't go down to tell the other girls, Robin the Christian did. I do agree one should be fair and a good sport in a competition and it bespeaks character that will hold you in good stead in life, however anything short of cheating is fair so you can't really be surprised Ebony would put her own best interests ahead of doing the decent thing. Ebony makes that point saying that it is a competition and not high school. Actually, I think she is acting very high school, but that's just me, I don't remember high school being filled with decency and fair play. They are having some kind of house meeting about it and Ebony is freaking out very loudly about the whole thing. I was intimidated from here, I can't imagine what it would have been like to try to have a dialogue at that time. So Robin stops trying to talk to her and starts singing. Every time Ebony would speak Robin would sing over her. The whole thing is hysterical and, apropos of nothing, she has a hell of a voice. Ebony says Robin's singing was mixing her up. Mission accomplished, Robin.
Robin now has everyone hold hands and say a prayer. "Remove anything negative thing, anything that is not like you. Not of you."
Okay, the fact that this prayer was said over an argument over a photo shoot for Stuff magazine is too funny. I couldn't make that up. I am not saying Stuff is bad or evil, I just find it amusing that it made the cut to Robin being like God and of God. Ha.
Elyse is so uncomfortable, as is Adrienne. Ebony gives the camera a priceless look when Robin is talking about demonic presence. She says this is not a bible study nor a sorority. Wow, you don't often find those two groups lumped together do you?
At the photo shoot Katie says it's her dream to be on the cover of Stuff. Tyra says that it isn't about the body but about the eyes. The body will follow the eyes. I know what she means but I have seen Stuff mag, it's about the body as well. The photographer shoots her first and she tells the girls to watch the sexiness come from her eyes. Katie tells us she has done Playboy and thinks the other girls would be shocked. Oh, I don't think anyone would be surprised.
The photographer tells us a lot of women are beautiful but don't photograph well so it doesn't translate on film. This makes me want to hug him. Thank you for validating the fact that I am indeed stunning and it is just pictures of me that lie. Elyse is told she has an androgynous look, which I don't agree with. She is very slight of build and has short hair but is certainly quite feminine. Robin is told she doesn't need to cover herself up and she should be proud of her body. Tyra says that she is the biggest girl at the Victoria's Secret photo shoots and she doesn't cover up. No wonder those catalogue trigger my bulimia. Nicole is gorgeous and physically flawless, Giselle is beautifully present and has inner sexuality, Kesse is very self-aware and due to being so self-conscious it is hard to get her to be spontaneous.
Back at the penthouse they get Tyra-mail yet again telling them tomorrow someone else will be eliminated. Someone says that if Kesse wins it will be because she looks like a young Tyra and it just means Tyra wants another her. Meow. See what how cool a show can be when the editors don't mask the bitchiness? Elyse says she is taking this more seriously than she is letting on, she knows she was upset before but after a good night's sleep she is back in the game.
Good, don't leave us, Elyse, and take your sound-bites away. This show needs you.
Tyra tells us again all the winner will receive, but I won't repeat it because I have more faith in your attention spans than she does. They will be judged based on the runway walks and Stuff photos. Jay Alexander is the guest judge for tonight, joining Kimmora Lee Simmons, Janice Dickenson, Beau Quillian, and Tyra. The girls are asked to do a runway walk to the judges to hear their critiques. They have to take off a jacket as they do the walk. This seems simple but I thought it probably is harder than it looks so - don't tell anyone and if you do I'll deny it - I tried it. I tried a runway walk down my foyer taking off a jacket and it is surprisingly hard. And I have a bruise on my hip where I walked into my piano because I was paying attention to getting my jacket off and not pulling the sleeve inside out. I injure myself to research for you, don't question my dedication. At least we know now if I had to rely on my looks or grace for a living, my kids and I would starve to death. I need to salve my wounded ego.
Back to the girls who can actually do this... Robin is told she is making too much eye contact and she says that comes from pagentry. She is told high fashion isn't a beauty pageant. Nicole is told she was making herself too breasty in the photos. Shannon is trying too hard to be sexy, she is sexy and doesn't have to try. Adrienne has flow and a great face. Ebony is told she is posing for catalogue and not high fashion. Elyse has the best natural walk and does a perfect job of taking off her jacket. She comments she feels she needs to mainstream her sexuality and she is told she is edgy and should go with that. She is very thin and pale. Katie needs a lot of work on her walk and she looks cheap - like Miss July in a calendar. Kesse's walk doesn't flow and she needs to consider her whole strut as an event. Janice tells her if she can't take her criticism she shouldn't be there as she will call it like she sees it. Kesse's crying may have hurt her chances.
So it's time to find out who goes. Tyra tells us she holds eight photos in her hands of the girls who will be moving on. Everyone is called and it is down to Kesse and Katie. Bye, Katie. I chose her to win it all if you recall from my preview. See, I know nothing, although I only picked her because she's from my hometown area so it's not like I was even trying to be objective. She says it's okay as her goal is to be in Victoria's Secret and she will be. She is a beautiful girl and clearly driven, I bet her career will be just fine.
Jamie can be reached at JRS5150@aol.com.
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