America’s Next Top Model 3, Episode 1: New Weave + Beer = Throw Down!by Phil Kural -- 09/24/2004
Yes, I’m a little giddy! Besides The Amazing Race, America’s Next Top Model is easily my next favorite reality show. The bitchiness, the drama, the fights… it’s all here! We begin with Tyra telling us that it’s no picnic trying to become a top model. It’s a cut-throat competition, and many will have to endure catfights and tears, all while maintaining a sense of beauty. We see some shots of the girls from the past two seasons crying and fighting. Tyra says Yoanna went from a babysitter to America’s Next Top Model last season. This season, thousands of girls applied, but only one will be the winner!
We see some of the semi-finalists arrive in Los Angeles. Amanda says she just got off the plane from North Carolina and hopes to be ANTM. Toccara feels she is great and fabulous, and wants to do well. It’s already obvious that she is “plus size.” Cassie is nervous and stressed, but very happy. Josie has a teddy bear named “baby” and brings him everywhere she goes. A shuttle drops off some girls at the hotel, and we meet Mary, who says this will be a tough competition since they are all gorgeous. Natalie says she loves competing and one girl, Kimberly, says she’s sizing up the competition. All the girls walk into a room where Jay Manuel is waiting for them. He’s the art director of all the shots and also a makeup artist for Tyra. He tells the girls they will meet a panel of judges that will judge them on everything from their bodies to the personalities to their potential. There will be a cut later on in the week and some girls will go home. With that, Jay tells the girls to enjoy themselves for now with food and the pool because the real competition begins tomorrow.
The girls hit the patio for some food and chat. Ann and Eva hit it off right away and mesh well together. Yaya isn’t sure what to say to anyone, and sticks to herself. In comes Tyra! Everyone stands up, claps, and leaps for job. Yaya says that Tyra is so beautiful she looks like a hologram. Some of the girls are even crying. Tyra gets them all hyped up for a little while, and Nicole says she thinks she’s in a dream. Tyra tells the girls that she’s from Los Angeles and knows some of the girls there are from very small town but this is where she got her big break and wants to give them the same opportunity. She admits that this week will be tough on the girls and hopes they are ready. Then, off she goes!
Norelle flips just knowing that Tyra saw her video and chose her to be there. Eva is ready for the competition to get down and dirty. All the girls get into their swimsuits and head for the pool. Some get in but others don’t want to get in the water and have their hair wet. Ann doesn’t care if she gets wet and neither does Eva, so they begin pulling other girls into the water, with some girls screaming that they don’t want to get wet. Geeze, I’m not sure who the bigger babies are – the girls that are PETRIFIED of water, or the Ann and Eva for having to drag them in. Ann feels the other girls are intimidated by her and Eva, but doesn’t care. Mary worries that there are two plus sized girls and isn’t sure how that will play out. Toccara doesn’t really feel that Mary is plus, and that she carries her 180 lbs. much better than Mary carries her 160.
In the morning, everyone begins to get ready. Brianna is really nervous and doesn’t want to mess up. Amanda tells us that she has a son, Elijah, and it will be stressful on her to be away from him, but she has to do this in order to give him a good future.
Time for session one of the auditions. J. Alexander, runway expert extraordinaire, is present, along with Jay Manuel, who will help Tyra with the screening process. Tyra says that J. Alexander is known as Mrs. J, while Jay Manuel is Mr. J.
Ann introduces herself as an all-American sporty kind of girl. Mrs. J loves her legs. Ann admits that she doesn’t like to lose and tells the camera this has been a great experience. Actually, it hasn’t, but she really wants to get in that house!
Cassie is 19 and says she will win the whole thing. She used to be a stripper, which she feels is not an all-American job. Mrs. J disagrees. She feels that she would be stripping and people would tell her she should model. He dad won’t help her, so that’s why she had to do this. She refuses to drop out of college, and the judges question her from the beginning. Mr. J thinks she may be a little to “stripperish” when she walks, and nobody is sure about her.
Julie says she’s a great example of Indian girls. She is there to represent all Indian women. Oh God, here we go. She shows them how to dance and Mrs. J doesn’t look impressed.
Magdelana rolls up in the place and says she’s a junior in nursing school and giving it all up for this. It’s what she always wanted. I like this girl!
Tiffany says she knows she may be ghetto, and in 8th grade she turned into the devil. I know the feeling. She was out of control, and when asked why she wants to model, Tiffany replies that she wants to show people that even though she was a bad egg, she can still accomplish something. She’s sick of disappointing everyone, and wants to soften up. On that note, the first session is over.
The girls pile into a van and head out to party. Amanda says everyone is having fun. Some local girls come walking up and looking at the model-wannabes not knowing who they are. They begin to call the model girls “skank.” Geeze, I feel like I’m on Maury. Yaya says that somehow, a dance competition begins. Tiffany starts dancing with a local girl, and as Tiffany so elegantly puts it, “bitch poured beer on her weave.”
Tiffany says her evil side wins over and she starts yelling. Yaya says glasses start breaking as the locals throw glasses and Tiffany throws them right back! It even looks like one hit Tiffany on the head! Toccara says she was never in a bar fight before, but had fun. Ugh, I’ve been in a few and they are NOT fun! In the van, Tiffany says she’s cool, but all she’s ever known is violence. Sarah says Tiffany provoked the whole thing, and everyone in the van disagrees. Tiffany goes on to call Sarah “Martin Luther King,” but she is more like Malcolm, and will always defend herself. Go girl! Tiffany admits that she’s trying to change, and eventually will. She doesn’t want to go back to the “hood.”
It’s morning, and time for session two! A bubbly Norelle hops in with a smile so bright. It’s clear she has braces, but Noelle says she has “bling bling on her grill.” Oh dear. She’s led a real life Cinderella story. She never met her real mom until she was 13, and always used to play model at home. This one seems a little ditsy, but I like her.
In comes Kelly and she’s very gorgeous – she looks like Trenyce from American Idol 2. Her friends used to call her a white girl with a good tan since she grew up around mostly white girls. Mrs. J doesn’t seem impressed, and after we see some girls doing some horrible walks, Mrs. J says people think he’s a miracle worker but not even he can fix some of these walks.
Mary walks in next and asks “what’s up” with there being no big girls. She really wants to advance with the other big girl, Toccara, to see what happens. Toccara walks in next and the judges love her sass. She says she loves her skin and starts to work it. She wants to encourage all full figured girls to try modeling and adds that skinny girls are the devil – but she’s just playing. When she slips into her bikini (That’s right, a BIKINI), Mrs. J’s eyes light up like light bulbs when he sees her ta-tas. When she leaves, he tells Tyra and Jay that those things are not puppies, they are full grown dogs!
Next, we meet Amy. She’s 5’11 and 115 lbs. This girl looks DANGEROUSLY thin. She says she hates when people think she’s anorexic. She feels great and is working on gaining weight since she’s so skinny. Tyra feels that she is too thin right now, and might send a bad image for women. Amy appreciates the constructive criticism.
In comes that girl carrying “Baby” saying that he wanted to meet Tyra. Wacko. Some girl says she wants to be a model – or a dancer. Some girl has spunk but no boobs. Mrs. J is the funniest because he doesn’t care about half of them. Some girl, in the middle of her audition, decides she doesn’t want to do it anymore and just walks out and says she’s going home! Tyra and the other judges do nothing but crack up. I think I would too!
Next up is Leah, and she’s 24 from Oklahoma. She admits that she’s very excited to be there, and comes from a big Catholic family. When asked if she would oppose posing nude, her reply is, “Nude me up!”
Amanda says she has wanted to model since she was three. She’s a mom kind of girl and Jay says that she’ll be whisked away for a little and won’t get to see her son much. Amanda knows that, but she knows she has to do it for her son. When asked, she says her best feature is her eyes, and then tells the camera that she has a problem with them as well. After she leaves, all the judges comment on how much they love her eyes as well.
At dinner that evening, Eva talks with a few other girls about something being wrong with Amy. She doesn’t believe Amy when she says she’s naturally thin, and looking at her bones makes her gag. Ann says that Amy should be in the hospital for the way she looks. Mary comments that Eva is a bitch, while Eva continues to make fun of Amy. Okay, I officially don’t like Eva, and the first episode isn’t even over. Amy says that the whole thing is just a competition and she lets things roll right off her back and simply hopes that the right girls get cut. On that, it’s time for the third session!
Yaya is up first and this girl is beautiful. She attends Brown University and speaks several languages. Her father is a priest and she feel she is representing the statement “beauty is black” – which is much better than just feeling you have to represent a whole race. Her only physical flaw that she feels she has is her breakouts sometimes. Tyra is very impressed with Yaya, and Mr. J also thinks she is pretty, but isn’t totally sold on her yet.
Jennipher is 22 and from Pocatello Falls, Idaho. She says that Pocatello is not somewhere she wants to be for the rest of her life. This is her chance to get out and she needs Tyra’s help. Listen, Jenn – Tyra’s not a social worker – get out on your own time!
In comes Rachael. She’s from Alabama and recently moved to New York and has done some modeling in the past. Mrs. J loves her look right away.
Kristi is 20 and feels her best asset is her blonde hair. She says she’s a Republican and shows them the dress she wore to the prom – which is designed like the American flag. Amazing flag, but tacky as a dress. Mrs. J says he would have work a sparkling red shoe.
The next girl, Nargis, says she tried out last year and was cut as a semi-finalist. She’s happy to have a second chance. Nargis tells the judges she sees being a model only as a job. She knows she gets nervous and loses her train of though, and as she leaves, the judges all comment they love her body, but aren’t sure about her.
In comes Eva, saying she doesn’t compare herself to the other girls. Tyra says that 80% of the other girls they talked to so far have had something bad to say about her. Eva says they are all ultra-sensitive – she’s not nasty or negative. Okay, she’s a liar too. Then she admits that she DID say that Amy looks nasty, but that’s it! Tyra says that in the past, they cast girls that they thought were nice, then moved into the house and were different people. She’s not trying to cast another “black bitch.” Ha! I love Tyra! Tyra, now going into psychiatrist mode, says that Eva must want to hurt people’s feelings, whether she wants to admit it or not. Eva begins to tear up and then breaks down saying how her parents and classmates always hated her. Tyra tells her to remember when bad things were said to her, and then think how people feel when she does it to them. Oh that Tyra – always the problem solver. They hug, and that’s that.
All the girls are now gathered in a room. Eva stands up and says to the other girls that she knows she was rude, and apologizes to anyone she may have hurt. Everyone claps – even Amy, although she isn’t sure how she feels about the apology and feels it was provoked. In comes Jay Manuel, who tells them in the morning there will be a list posted with the girls that will be staying. Then, they will all do a short shoot for him. He wishes them luck and heads off.
In the morning, all the girls wait. Mary isn’t sure what will happen. Nargis says they are all anxious. Eva isn’t even sure she deserves it anymore. They all walk into a room and a casting director says that 20 will move on. The list is revealed and everyone runs over. Screams of joy are heard and so are screams of sadness. Norelle, Eva, and Amanda shout with joy, as Nargis is also put through and says she knows how the other girls that didn’t get through feel. Some girls are breaking down and Amy seems to be really disappointed – she just hopes that whoever wins, deserves it. Tiffany says she won’t cry, and that some people will never change. She doesn’t want to go back to the people that will say to her “I told you so.” Mary is happy to see that both plus size girls got to the next round.
At this point, Amanda gets the attention of all the girls and tells them that she has a problem. She hasn’t been totally honest with them, and wants them all to know that she is legally blind. She’ll be totally blind when she is 30, and has a rare disease. Some of the girls begin to cry and Amanda tells them that she wants them all to know she will always see them. Then, she tells them not to cry because she got to see her son smile, and that’s all she wanted. The girls give her some love, while Amanda admits that she’s going to have to take some very big steps in the competition to keep up.
Jay welcomes the final 20. He tells them he going to do a small photo shoot of each girl with just his digital camera – no hair or makeup needs to be done. He does the shoot and all the girls look really pretty. After the pictures are taken, the judges have to narrow the field from 20 to 14. They feel that Cassie makes then nervous since she used to be a stripper. They love Amanda’s eyes, and would love to see Julie advance. They are also a fan of Norelle’s eyes, but aren’t so sure about the braces. Ann’s photo makes her look like she might beat them up, while they feel Yaya is very Afro-Centric. Nargis needs more training, while Eva is very insecure, but they like her. Mary is very beautiful, but Toccara has the personality, however, she isn’t proportional. Tyra wants to know which six should go home?
The girls wait to find out their fates. Mary hopes that both plus girls get through. The judges walk in. Tyra congratulates them all and says that 14 will continue on and for six model wannabes, the ride is over. The first name to be called is Ann. Then Leah, Kelly, Cassie, Yaya (YES!), Kristi, Julie, Magdelana, Nicole, and Amanda. With only four names left, everyone is starting to stress. Norelle is called next, and then Toccara. As Toccara breaks down, Mary looks like she knows she’s done for. Two names left and everyone is now squirming. Jennipher is called next and the look of relief on her face is priceless. Only one name left and all the girls not called yet are beginning to cry. The last name is… Eva! Nargis says she’s hurt, and thought she had it this time. Tyra goes into the bathroom and comforts Rachael, who is crying on the floor. Mary thought she finally had a break and is very disappointed.
All the girls who made it rejoice and Toccara says she is ready. Amanda says it will be rough, but she knows she can do it. Eva realizes this is her second chance and she plans to use it wisely. Next week, the 14 girls head to Jamaica for a shoot and Ann freaks out on the plane. They all know how tough the competition is, and Jay tells them that one girl will be eliminated right after the shoot. This should be good, and I can’t wait to recap if for you all!
Phil Kural is a recent graduate from Temple University, with a degree in journalism. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback that you may have.
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