America’s Next Top Model 2, Episode 9: Wine and Hot Tubs Are Always Trouble Togetherby Phil Kural -- 03/17/2004
You may be wondering why there was no recap last week. Well, last week they had that little “reminiscent show” that really didn’t shed any light on anything new, so instead, I wrote an article critiquing the final four and what I thought were their best and worst shots. With that being said, previously, we learned that Shandi and her boyfriend were struggling with the distance barrier between them. The girls headed to Milan and participated in several go-sees, and Yoanna was rattled by comments that her body needs work. However, it was Camille who got the ax, and sent millions of people into joyous praise. I guess her signature walk will have to come in handy elsewhere. If you haven’t read my interview with her, it’s a hoot and I suggest you do so when you get a chance. With that, on with the recap!
The girls wake up the morning after the elimination ceremony. They are still in Milan. Yoanna says this is not easy. April is so tired, but knows she is close to winning. Shandi thinks the whole thing is very intimidating. Tyra Mail tells them that they must be ready to leave a little later that morning. Yoanna is just happy that Camille (she calls her the witch) is gone. Honestly, Yoanna needs to get over Camille. She’s gone – move on with your life, Yoanna. Mercedes reminisces about how she was almost eliminated the night before. Yoanna also reflects on how the judges at the go-sees talked about her stomach. Poor Shandi just misses her boyfriend, but still wants to be America’s Next Top Model. They all get ready and head out the door. Shandi is wearing the glasses she wore for her last photo shoot, so apparently they got to keep them. That’s pretty sweet!
They arrive at the house of fashion designer Stephen Fairchild. Mercedes is excited because she “knows this one.” Okay, I love this girl. Yoanna is thrilled and knew who he was right away. He tells them they will be looking for each girl’s best asset today and hiding their worst. They have to find one outfit in the room that makes them look sexy. BAM! All the girls are changed. April is told she needs to show more leg. Shandi’s clothes are too baggy and she needs to show more leg as well. Mercedes is told she has to elongate her legs more and Yoanna gets the stomach speech again. She isn’t shaken this time though. He corrects all the girls’ mistakes and shows them how to look “Italian sexy.” They find out that tomorrow, they will each get 200 Euros and head to the flea market to get an outfit that makes them look sexy. The winner will get an evening with him at his villa.
That night, Yoanna calls one of the guys who rode them around Milan the day before. He is going to come over with some friends. Mercedes is thrilled because she is single, and so is Yoanna, who is ready to smooch. Shandi wants to have fun, but misses her boyfriend. The girls quickly clean up and the fellas arrive. Uh-oh, they brought wine. Everyone is mixing and mingling but April states that she is taken. Mercedes is flirting away and Shandi doesn’t know what to do, so her solution is to drink more. Everyone is flirting and Yoanna takes one guy in her bedroom with her. They get all lovey-dovey and start to make out. April and Shandi listen on the other side of the door like two giddy little school girls. Soon, everyone busts into the room and jumps on the bed with them. What a perfect time for the hot tub!
Everyone piles into the hot tub except for April, but after the others nag her, she joins in. Shandi sure is having fun – in the arms of another guy. April says they have been like caged monkeys so when you drop a big banana on them, of course they are going to want to peel it. She’s also pretty certain Shandi is going to hook up with someone despite having a boyfriend at home. Mercedes says Shandi is just having fun and Yoanna doesn’t seem to care either. On that note, Shandi and the guy get out of the hot tub and head for the bedroom. The next scene we see is the guys leaving and getting kisses from all the girls. Shandi is in bed crying, saying she can’t believe she did what she did. I’m not even sure what she did yet. The girls go over and comfort her while she says she cheated. April stays with her through the night, but that is all the information we get on the situation thus far.
The next morning, the girls are getting ready. April says that Shandi knows what she did was horrible. Shandi is a little confused as to why nobody pulled her aside and let her know what she was doing, but then again it’s her own fault too. Yeah, Shandi, like they will be there every second to make sure you are doing the right thing. If that were the case, you wouldn’t have a police record under your belt already.
Off to the flea market! Each girl is looking for an outfit, trying to use Stephen's feedback from the day before. Shandi isn’t sure what to do though, because her mind is elsewhere. She can’t focus on the competition and is worried about that as well. After shopping, they get in a van and head to a small city outside of Milan where they will get to see Stephen's villa. Shandi is all depressed in the van, wondering if every time she finds someone who is proud of her, she will screw it up. No time to worry about that now though, they have arrived! Stephen greets the girls and takes them on a tour of the house. The losers of the competition will stay in a small room while the winner will have an amazing room with an awesome view. The girls head off to get changed in their new outfits.
Time for the revealing! April goes first, and then Yoanna. Yoanna tells Stephen she could have done better as he comments on her outfit. Mercedes says she tried to work on the legs, and Shandi also says she showed off her legs and does a walk. Stephen says April did a nice job, but the skirt ruined her outfit. The winner is Shandi. Shandi is happy she won, especially knowing her mind was somewhere else. Yoanna is somewhat disappointed and thought she had it nailed. Stephen says he picked Shandi because she listened to him the most and took his advice. She’s allowed to pick one person to join her and she chooses Yoanna. They are to meet Stephen for dinner at seven.
As the girls arrive at dinner, Shandi and Yoanna are guided to the main table, while Mercedes and April have to sit at a very small table. It’s like they are the children at Thanksgiving who have to sit at the “kiddy table” and can’t listen to the grown-ups talking. Yoanna says that at dinner it’s obvious that Shandi is still thinking about what happened. Dinner ends quickly and the girls get Tyra Mail saying that they have gotten to know each other well, but prepare to get to know each other even better tomorrow.
Now it’s time for the drama. Shandi is dialing her boyfriend and is ultra nervous. She starts crying on the phone and he gets worried. When he asks her if she had sex with someone else she says yes. YES? Holy crap, she had SEX with the guy? Okay, I’m not saying that has never happened before, but what an idiot! Of course, he’s very upset and who can blame him? He tells her she has changed and he doesn’t want to be with her. Shandi, at this point, is crouched in the corner crying. He hangs up on her as we fade out to a commercial.
The next morning, the girls meet Jay Manuel for their shoot. There will be two teams. One team is April and Mercedes, and the other is Shandi and Yoanna. There will also be two photographers, who will shoot them at two different angles. Nolé Marin is there too for style tips. Each girl gets a straight weave that makes them all look oh so hot. Jay says that in true Italian style, they will be nude, with Yoanna stating the only accessory they will have is the weave! Oh, shoes too. Whew, good thing. I was worried they would be totally nude! April is happy about all this and can’t wait, while Mercedes was ready for art, but not art with April!
As Yoanna and Shandi begin their shoot, April says that she and Mercedes may not be as high fashion as the other two, but when it comes to getting boys, they would win. The photographers love Shandi and Yoanna, and Jay even comments on the way Yoanna is hiding her midsection and taking direction very well. Shandi, however, is having a tough time with the direction thing. She’s exhausted. Mercedes and April step up and although Mercedes is somewhat uncomfortable, they are doing alright. However, April is starting to direct the shoot and Jay isn’t happy with that. He says Mercedes is a little off and allowing April to boss her. Mercedes just wants to finish, and on that note, they do just that.
That night, they meet up with Tyra at a little cappuccino café. Tyra talks about how she had to do the girl on girl shoot before, and the girls are doing all the same shoots she has done in the past. Shandi asks Tyra if she ever cheated on anyone. Tyra, the perfect woman that she is, replies that she never has, though she has been cheated on. Shandi eventually tells Tyra she cheated on her boyfriend, but instead of going off on her, Tyra tells her that everyone messes up but you have to fight against that. Shandi does deal with it though, and vows to move on.
April says she has changed because she used to work in business and is now starting to remember what it’s like to live with emotion again. Mercedes never thought it would be this hard, and Yoanna says that there is so much to learn, and she is catching on more and more each day. All the girls thank Tyra for the talk, and head back to the apartment where some Tyra Mail tells them that someone is going home the next day.
Shandi goes outside and calls her boyfriend. They talk a little and she tells him that she wants to stay together because he makes her happy. He’s mad, but doesn’t want her to give up. He is going to stick this out. Aww, I’m happy about that. Everyone does make mistakes, and I’m glad he’s going to talk with her and work it out.
So the next night, the girls get to the elimination ceremony. They are reminded of their prize, which includes a modeling contract with IMG and a spread in Jane magazine, along with other prizes. We are also introduced to the judges as usual, which include Janice Dickinson, THE first supermodel. There is famed photographer Nigel Barker, Jane fashion editor Eric Nicholson, and guest judge Stephen Fairchild.
For individual evaluations, each girl will have to take a t-shirt, and mark it up with markers, paperclips, pens, scissors, and other stuff to make it looks sexy. The girls quickly do so and return to the room.
Shandi shows off first and says that since she couldn’t show off her legs, she’s showing some back. The judges like it a lot, even Janice! Yoanna keeps it simple with a bow on her arm. Janice says it almost looks like a strait jacket. There’s the Janice we love! April tries to show off her legs, but Janice feels like April is going to a nightclub. Mercedes wants to show her shoulders and does the plunging neckline. Janice adores it. Tyra and Eric are impressed as well.
Time for picture evaluations! Shandi and Yoanna step up first. The judges look at the picture and love it. Shandi is so thin and Yoanna looks hot as they mention she showed in the photo that she can be versatile. They adore Shandi’s legs in the photo, but her face is lacking.
Mercedes and April step up. In the photo, they look like sisters, and much softer then Yoanna and Shandi’s photo. Janice says it could be an ad today for perfume or anything. She loves it. Nigel also says it looks great. Tyra mentions that the photographer didn’t like how April started being bossy during the shoot, so the judges give her advice on that.
The judges deliberate, saying Yoanna amazes them at times. Janice remarks that even though she has rolls of skin over her jeans, she’s still a good model. Shandi has great legs and the look for this competition. She’s a true wildcard. Her only problem is the fact that she is too passive – she’s a follower. April has no life to her and looked like the queen of disco tonight. However, they feel she is very consistent with her shots. Mercedes reflects erotic in her shot, and for the first time, really looked high fashion tonight. Janice just adores her. Nigel says the fashion industry won’t catch on to her.
Our four remaining model wannabes enter the room. Tyra is holding photos of the three girls who will continue on. Yoanna is called first. She looks beautiful in the shot but needs to work on her sex appeal. Shandi is next. Tyra tells Shandi that she gives hope to girls everywhere that anyone can achieve their dreams. However, they wonder if she really wants to win this thing. April and Mercedes step forward. Mercedes is told that for the first time, she showed that she is high fashion. April poses the best of all the girls, but is too mechanical. Her emotion needs to show. The one moving on is – Mercedes! Ugh, I’m so happy I can’t control myself at this point. Two weeks in a row and I’m scared out of my seat.
Anyway, April breaks down and all the girls hug her. She’s even crying as she walks out the door and in the apartment. She doesn’t understand why she’s gone because she always wins. Wow, what a way to learn the lesson that you can’t win EVERY time. She says that she wanted this badly and doesn’t want to go back to what she was doing before. Geez, you would think she was a high school janitor or something. Finally, she promises that she will become a top model because that is what she is destined to become, just not that way.
Next week is the season finale. With nine cuts down, only three girls remain. The finalists will compete in a show and the judges will have to decide who will be America’s Next Top Model! Who do you think will win? Do you think it will be Shandi the hot tub vixen? Could it possibly be fashion obsessed Yoanna? Or will MY Mercedes take the prize? Only one way to find out – tune in next week as someone walks away with the prize. Wow, I can’t believe how excited I am. Let me go do a rain dance for Mercedes, and I’ll be back next week. Until then!
Phil Kural is a senior at Temple University, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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