America’s Next Top Model 2, Episode 2: Gurrl, You Walk Like You on Crack!by Phil Kural -- 01/23/2004
Last week on America’s Next Top Model, all the girls assembled and met in New York City. They were also hit by the surprise that they would all be in a runway show on their first day. The girls found their swanky loft, but not before several of them rubbed each other the wrong way. Jenascia overslept when it was time for the photo shoot, but still got there with enough time to do her shots. Anna, on the other hand, opted not to do the shoot and ended up being the first girl eliminated. (If you missed my interview with Anna, click here to read it now.) Meanwhile, I was brought to tears because I liked her so much and had to see her go. Oh well though, that’s the bad part about this business. But that was last week, and here we are now, this week. Let’s take a look at what went on.
We begin this week with thoughts from Jenascia. She remembers how close she came to being the one to go home last week because of her lateness. Before we can get any insight on those thoughts though, we are interrupted by Camille, who is lecturing some of the other girls on how hard model life really is. That’s not it though, because she also lectures the other girls on how great she is. Oh, that Camille. You learn to hate, yet love her at the same time. Bethany feels that Camille is very high maintenance and Yoanna seconds that opinion, also noting that she doesn’t like Camille and she drains the positive energy from the house. Damn Yoanna, calm down. When it comes to Xiomara and Shandi though, they are happy with each other. Both think the world of the other. Shandi hasn’t come all the way from Missouri for nothing. She wants a change and is tired of her life from before. Now she is ready to spice it up. You go, girl!
Apparently, they needed filler this week, so we see the girls at the gym. First they are doing their floor exercises, and several of the girls note this is a competition and they are there to win. At this point, each girl gets weighed and measured. One of the funniest things about this is that Camille weighs in at 124 lbs. and she decides to dispute the scale. She apparently thinks that debating her weight will change something. Go figure. Yoanna lost 48 lbs. before coming on the show, but is still nervous about being weighed in front of the other girls. As Yoanna is being weighed, it gives Camille the chance to say that Yoanna lost all the weight because she was insecure with herself. Catie used to think that she was pretty thin, but then she watches Shandi get measured and weighed and learns the true meaning of skinny. Bethany gets measured, and some of the girls hmm and haw about her chest and waist size. Poor Bethany wants everyone to get past her boobs and move on.
Later that day, the girls go to a place called “The Show” and that’s where they meet up with runway extraordinaire, J. Alexander. Of course, he is wearing a stocking on his head, high heels and a shirt that has the body of a woman on it. This guy is too much. Maggie Rizer, some supermodel, is there. She demonstrates how the girls should walk. I have no idea who this girl is. Apparently, Yoanna does, because she states how much she loves her, and also notes that she loves J. too. I think everyone loves J., Yoanna.
Now it is time for each girl to walk the runway. Shandi is up first and J. says that she has problems with looking at her feet, instead of straight ahead. Heather is up next, and she falls. I try not to laugh, but I do anyway. I like Heather, so that was rough, but J. tells her to get up and keep going. Xiomara lets us know that Bethany has a voluptuous body as we see Bethany strutting her stuff. As April is walking, J. says she has a timid stride and looks embarrassed. Catie almost falls too, but J. sees something natural in her. Oh, and honestly, when Sara walks down the runway – she looks like a fish flailing for its life. Now is the funniest part. Camille takes her walk down the runway and J. refers to her as Ms. “Bling, Bling.” The he continues with, “Black girls always have to give that extra, but I ain’t mad at chew,” as Camille struts her stuff. Yoanna is up and I swear it looks like someone in the army marching. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life, and J. basically calls her a horse, galloping down the runway. Camille thinks that Yoanna isn’t comfortable with her own body. This may be the case, as much as I hate to agree with Camille. After this, we get a little more of Camille talking some sh*t on Yoanna to Sara. However, Ms. Yoanna gets wind that this is going on, and decides she will confront Camille on it later.
So here we are, back at the loft. Yoanna finally confronts Camille on all the crap she has been talking. Poor Sara just looks on, saying that this is just like high school. Yoanna goes on and on about how she doesn’t trust Camille and that she is negative and fake. I’m sorry, but this is getting a little petty. Yoanna refuses to let it go! But of course, Camille just thinks Yoanna is jealous of her because she has a nice body and she is comfortable with herself. This is starting to remind me a of an episode of Sally Jesse Raphael, where the girls go, “Ya’ll don’t know me – you just jealous.”
Interestingly enough, we get a clip of Catie mentioning how she admires Camille’s confidence and how she doesn’t want to make friends. She is strictly there for the competition, and has made that known. Oh wait, Tyra mail! The girls have to put their runway walks to the test and meet a fashion designer the next day.
Fast forward to tomorrow, where the girls are introduced to designer Carmen Mark Valvo. Everyone is excited as Carmen tells them that they will each demonstrate their walks to him in one of his dresses and whichever he likes the most will go to his house that evening for a cocktail party. Each girl is amazed with how nice the gowns are as they begin to get dressed.
The girls are nervous as they stand and await their turns. Carmen goes up to Yoanna and tells her that she has too much makeup on and that only ugly people wear so much makeup. Mercedes is the first to walk, April second, and then Shandi. Carmen notes that Shandi is unsure about herself and needs to get over that. Camille is up and Carmen feels that she has a good presence. After Jenascia goes, Carmen says that she needs to glide more, and he also feels that Yoanna needs to build up more confidence. Catie was good, and Bethany had issues with the dress, but Carmen was pleased with her walk. Then we get a good one-liner from Bethany when she says, “I wish people would start noticing my talent and not my t*ts.”
When everyone has gone, Carmen gathers the girls and gives them some constructive criticism. He tells Camille what was wrong, and she decides to come up with several excuses, telling him that was the way she was taught. She is very aggressive and Carmen notices that as well. Anyway, Carmen chooses Catie as the winner, saying that she walked with composure and grace. He lets her take two people with her, and Catie chooses Mercedes and Camille because they are her roommates and friends.
In the car on the way home, Yoanna decides to go on a tirade to some of the other girls about how sneaky and manipulative Camille is. Catie is hearing all this for the first time and doesn’t understand what is going on. When they get back at the house, there are dresses waiting for Mercedes, Camille, and Catie for the party that evening. Catie wants to keep the letter, but Camille is not done reading it and basically refuses to give it up right away. This is where Catie starts to notice the “real Camille.” To solve all the drama, a house meeting is called to try and settle everything.
If you have the weird plastic hand, you can talk. Catie goes first and tries to figure out what is going on. Camille takes the hand and basically says everyone wants to bitch about her. I guess she is right, because Bethany is next to speak and tells Camille, in front of the other girls, that she can’t take responsibility for anything she does. Mercedes tries to lighten it up a bit and tells Camille that she goes from hot to cold sometimes. Yoanna, of course, has to yell, which makes Camille angry as well. Than, Catie gets her nails on the hand again and lets Camille know that since she won the competition, there better not be any spotlight-stealing on Camille’s part. A promise is made by Camille that she won’t steal the spotlight and she is still going to the party, followed by sticking her tongue out at the other girls.
When the girls get to the party they are introduced to the crowd. Mercedes talks about how good Camille is when it comes to networking the crowd. Catie seems to be having a good time and can’t believe she is there. Carmen gives her a 10 karat diamond ring to wear that he has designed. Of course, it’s just for the night, but that ring is amazing. It looks to me like a good time was had by all.
The next night, Tyra comes over to the loft and hangs out with the girls. Shandi asks Tyra for advice on her walk because she knows it isn’t so great. Bethany wants to know how she can change things, and not always make her chest be the focal point of her shots. Camille, of course, tells Tyra that Yoanna is talking crap about her, and when Tyra talks to Yoanna, she tells her the same thing about Camille. Basically, nothing is settled as we see Tyra leave the loft after Yoanna promises that she really wants to win this thing.
Looks like it’s time for the shoots! Each girl has to bring an outfit and do her own makeup. They are then introduced to Jay Manuel, Tyra’s makeup artist, who will be helping the girls. Jenascia thinks he may be prettier than she is. The girls see several pairs of Steve Madden shoes lined up near the window. They each have to choose a pair and then do their own makeup and hair. Basically, for this shoot, they are in control of their own image. That’s when the madness begins. A mad dash is made for the shoes. Camille hogs three pairs as the other girls pretty much only have one. They start working on their makeup and hair.
Mercedes is the first one to go and she wants to look “tough and cute” in order to match the orange shoes she is wearing. Heather goes second and looks hot! Camille is wearing boots and jumping all over the place trying to get jump shots while some of the girls look on and laugh. Yoanna goes next and wants to look on cue and aware that she can move. Jenascia has this pair of blue boots and looks a little awkward in them, but seems to be having fun. Sara is all over the place for her shot, and Catie looks like a zombie – that’s how pale she is. Xiomara goes for a sleek, biker look and is definitely pulling it off. April is in all pink and looks pretty hot as well. Shandi is in all black with knee length boots and sort of resembles Cat Woman! Jay isn’t fond of her makeup. Bethany pulls off a good pose and looks less busty. The shots are over and the girls head home.
Back at the ranch – I mean loft – Xiomara reads Tyra mail telling them that eliminations are the next day and someone will be sent home. Yoanna doesn’t know who will be going this week and is nervous. Jenascia is worried that being short will play against her. Shandi talks on the phone with her boyfriend who so encouragingly says that he hopes she is eliminated so that she comes home. However, Shandi isn’t ready yet.
They get to the elimination room and see the judges sitting there. Tyra reminds them of what they are playing for and tells them that J. Alexander is the special guest judge for that week. However, first they each have to put on a slip dress and do a runway walk. Bethany goes first and J. tells her she goes too fast. They look at her photo but don’t feel it shows enough of her booty. Shandi is next and her walk is horrendous. Janice snips that Shandi needs to “eat, sleep, and sh*t” in heels if necessary, but definitely needs to practice. The look at her shot and like her pose, but the face is odd. April is next and apparently, according to Janice, her walk is repulsive. However, they like her photo but want more face next time.
Heather has an okay walk but the judges think her shot makes her look like she is on the toilet. Sara has too much jiggle in her walk, but they love the photo. Mercedes’ walk is admired by Tyra, but the judges feel her shot is a bit awkward. Jenascia doesn’t look that sexy in her shot and Janice isn’t happy with her height. They really aren’t sure about her shot either.
Here comes my absolute favorite part this week. Xiomara does her walk down the runway and after she is done, J. Alexander, with the quote of the week, says, “Gurrl, you walk like you on crack. Eyes all bugged out, you look like you was possessed.” Despite this, they love her photo and think it really sells the shoe.
Catie has a strong walk, but they compare her shot to a mall picture. Camille goes and they compliment her. J. calls Camille Ms. “Bling Bling” again, and I’m liking him more and more. Tyra thinks Camille has a bit of a drag queen in her, but that is a good thing. They love her shot as well. Yoanna does her walk and Tyra gives her an A+. All the judges feel she has improved but don’t like the shot she chose and show her one that was better. That’s it, time for the judges to decide.
They like Mercedes, and are on the fence with Yoanna. They still like Shandi, but don’t know if they can fix that walk of hers. April is amazing and Catie is a bit pinched but worth keeping around. Jenascia may not have what it takes, especially with the height thing. Camille is loved by all, and Heather is thought of as Nickelodeon. Everyone agrees that Sara needs to smile more. Bethany needs to lose some weight, according to Janice. Xiomara is also on the fence.
The girls come back in and Tyra informs them that she has 10 photos in front of her. The one who does not get a photo will be eliminated. Catie is first, than Yoanna, Camille, April, Mercedes, Sara, Xiomara, Heather, and Jenascia. This leaves Shandi and Bethany. They step forward, and the judges tell Shandi that her photo was great, but her walk was one of the worst they had ever seen. Bethany was told to pose differently so that her chest wasn’t the focal point, but still has an amazing face. The one that will stay in the competition is… Shandi. Bethany starts to cry as she leaves. She didn’t think she would be going this early, if at all. This was her dream and she wanted it bad.
Next week, Heather struggles to fit in as we see her crying on the phone. Everyone is getting platinum blonde hair, and fear takes Catie for a ride. However, it’s Shandi who can’t handle the pressure as we see her collapsed on the ground in a pile of tears. This should be good.
I’m not really sure how I feel about all this. My three favorites are still Mercedes, Jenascia, and Xiomara – even if she does walk like she is on crack. I think Mercedes is going to win, and I don’t really think Jenascia will be around that much longer. I still love her though. Besides that, all I have to wonder is if Camille will ever realize that all she does is think of excuses. After seeing all this, she better. She is a very pretty woman, but the inside isn’t looking so great. That can be worked on, though, and hopefully in the next few weeks, she will calm down. I can’t wait until next week.
Phil Kural is a senior at Temple University, and can be reached at email@example.com.
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