Americaís Next Top Model 4, Episode 1: ďI Went from Americaís Most Wanted to Americaís Next Top Model!Ēby Phil Kural -- 03/03/2005
Tyra starts the show by saying that her mom always thought she was born to be a model. Tyra went from geek to chic, but asks the question if top models are born or made? She doesnít think they were born Ė she had to work for it. The last three winners of the show studied and struggled and went all out to achieve their dreams. 9000 girls sent in their videos this time around, so they better work it to show they deserve to be Americaís Next Top Model!
We begin with 35 semi-finalists arriving in L.A. Noelle says she is ready to compete and Kahlen introduces herself as a small town girl who has never been to L.A. Brittany has always wanted this, while Brandy says it was her first time on a plane. The first thing I notice is the huge gap in her teeth. That might pose a problem down the line. Lluvy says that she was born in Mexico, but is now a California girl. Tiffany is there for a second chance, as we see a clip from last year when she got in a bar fight. She says that she is not a different person, but a better one. Mary is back too Ė sheís the plus-sized girl who said Toccara took her spot last season. Sheís not wasting her time on this one.
The girls gather in a room and Lindsey says that they are all checking each other out. Jay Manuel walks in and greets them, along with Michelle, the casting director. Jay tells them that someone is the room is Americaís Next Top Model. He asks them what they think he is looking for, and they shout out things like unique, real, and one girl even says ďme.Ē Tyra comes up from behind them saying, ďI know what Iím looking for!Ē The girls freak out as Tyra tells them that she saw all their tapes and knows that one girl thinks she was once a cat and is now a woman. She tells them that she wants pizzazz, as well as beauty on the inside and out. She can see right through the fake. Noelle is happy that Tyra came and saw them, and thatís how she knows that Tyra cares.
Tyra introduces us to Mr. Jay Manuel, the creative director of all the shoots, and Ms. J. Alexander, the runway coach and diva extraordinaire. Rebecca is the first girl in the room and says she is on her way to getting married, but wants to have some fun first. Tyra wants to know how sheíll transform, and Rebecca says she has lied and cheated to get her way in the past, but wants to be seen as sweet and innocent. Tyra likes her since she has some grit. I donít like her at all, but thatís just me.
Keenya walks in and says she is studying biology. Her video shows her in Compton and she says that people always have a negative opinion and stereotype of Compton and she is there to show itís not true. She would choose modeling over being a doctor because she loves the way she can express herself without saying a word. Wow, beauty and brains. I love her!
Kahlen is up next and says she has never seen the show since they only have three channels on TV where she is from and she works about 50 hours a week. She tries to walk and Ms. J looks appalled.
Lindsey comes in next and tells them that she is from a Mormon family, and when she told her family that she was atheist, her mom would have rather she was a lesbian or pregnant. The judges like her, but think her hair looks like a wig.
Jennifer meets the judges next and tells them that she had no confidence when she was young, but over the years has found a relationship with God that has made her stronger.
Brittany comes bounding in next telling the judges that she is always wired. Ms. J isnít mad at her. Sheís very outspoken and needs to be the center of attention. She feels like she was a drag queen in a former life, and Jay Manuel wants to put her and Janice in a room together since they look alike. I liked Brittany when I did my preview. Iím not so sure anymore. Sheís beautiful though, thatís for sure.
Tiffany greets the judges again, and we find out again that she didnít make it last season. She doesnít throw glasses on people anymore, which is always a good thing, and sheís glad about that too. Sheís happy with her man and her boyfriend. She does a little crying, and talks about how last season, her grandmother bought her two swimsuits because she needed them for the competition, and spend her last dollar, so her electricity was turned off. When she leaves, Jay says that she grabbed her problems and he believes that she wants to change her life. But can she be a model? I wasnít a fan of her when I did my preview, but let me just say: I. LOVE. TIFFANY.
That night, the girls hit the pool. They play some truth or dare, and some girls get crazy. Mary says that she isnít shy to show her body even though she is a plus sized girl. Lluvy isnít into the whole dancing on poles thing, while Brittney takes off her top and prances around. She says she likes to have fun. That same night, the girls hit the town. Keenya says that if you are over 21, you get to go to one of the two hottest clubs in L.A, and if you are under 21, itís a surprise. The over 21 girls go to White Lotus and the under 21 girls go bowling. I think thatís more fun! Brandy has no clue how to bowl, and Brittany and the other drinking gals toast to being 21. Noelle says that they young girls ended up having just has much fun and got to stay out later!
Jessika is next to meet the judges and they think she is nuts. She goes by Lady Kat, and shows them her cat walk and nails. Tyra says that she looks like a cat, too! LK says that she is aggressive, and touches Tyra when she gets near her. Jay loves her skin tone.
Sarah comes in next and she looks just like Sarah from The Real World in my opinion. She says that she has always felt ugly, but blossomed over time. The judges think she is fun and deserves a chance.
Next is Lluvy, who is nervous. She admits that she is in her sisterís dress, and the judges tell her to get comfortable. She returns in a t-shirt and jeans and thanks the judges. They look at her application and see that she used to be in a gang. Lluvy admits that she used to be very bitter and very mean, but has changed her ways. When she leaves, the judges admit that they love her.
Michelle is 18 and from Indiana. Sheís part of the wrestling federation there. She shows the judges some moves and tells them that although she loves wrestling, she will sacrifice it all to be a model.
We then see a montage of girls and one girl says that sheís not a virgin, I believe itís the Mormon, and Ms. J covers his mouth. She says to him, ďYouíre not one either,Ē which cracks me up!
Naima is up next and does some ballet for the judges. They like her Mohawk and she explains that she got rid of her former afro because she had to shed some of her past, and this Mohawk helps to censor her thoughts. I love her! Sheís BEAUTIFUL.
Brandy meets the judges next and tells Ms. J that she loves his hair. He loves hers too, but she tells him that itís not real, and that itís sewn on. Her mother made it for her. Ms. J tells Brandy to tell her mother that, ďHe ainít mad at her.Ē Brandy is all about winning and says that if a girl forgets her shit, she should have brought one Ė and comes off as a total bitch Ė well, to me!
Tatiana is from Hawaii and heard on the radio that there were auditions. She admits that she messed up earlier in life with dropping out of high school but really wants to be a model.
Estella is from the Bronx and wants to be a model so bad she can taste it. Her baby is almost three. She was married at 18, but her man dumped her and her baby, in February, and left them homeless in the cold. They lived in a shelter, but she is strong and will make it. Jay Manuel says that maybe she is a diamond in the rough.
That night, all the girls have a party for two girls who are celebrating a birthday. Lady Kat goes off for some reason and Sarah gets caught in the middle. Sarah thinks LK is rude, but LK keeps yelling all over the place. Iím over her. Tiffany says she canít believe she used to act that way. The next day, the girls go to the park and Tiffany pulls LK aside and tells her that she needs to tone it down. LK gets the hint and learns to chill, as we see all the girls running around since there are apparently a lot of bees out too!
Mary meets the judges for the first time since last season. She says that this time she is not going to hold back, and will be herself.
Rachel introduces herself and says that she may be a little big, but will do what she can as long as she doesnít have to show a nipple. Her grandparents are dead so there is nobody left to impress.
Alexandria has a little slur in her speech, but Tyra tells her not to worry about it since most of Hollywood does too. Alexandria just wants people to see her for who she is.
Christina is up next and she is looking mighty tan. Tyra tells her she is looking a little ďnegro.Ē Can you say that on TV? Christina admits that she is confident, but not cocky.
In comes Brita next, telling the judges that her family is from Latvia. Wow, this girl is very pretty! She tells the judges how she used to have a nice house and grew up rather wealthy. Now she is a waitress though, and supports herself since her dad hurt his back and lost his job.
Noelle meets the judges and talks about her kid as well. She doesnít regret having a child so young and has Endometriosis, which basically means she isnít supposed to have children. She has confidence and worth and thinks she can do it. I love her too!
The girls all gather for a last impression and have to do a ďwalk-off.Ē Iím a little confused, but basically, all the girls do a little walk in groups of five. The girls strut their stuff and Tyra chants ďFierceĒ too many times to count. The judges tell the girls goodbye and they all head back to hotel, where Jay tells them that in the morning, most of them will be eliminated. All the girls begin to cry and Jennifer says that itís her dream to be there but will take whatever God gives her. Kahlen is petrified and Tiffany says that the girls are crying like they are on Oprah. I LOVE TIFFANY.
All the girls head into the room and Estella doesnít know who is going home yet. Jay tells them that they will narrow the field from 35 to 20. There are 20 portfolios on the table in front of him, and that will be the 20 girls moving on. The girls run over to the table like animals and Tatiana says that everyone was being knocked all over the place as we see some of the girls find their portfolios. Tiffany finds hers and says that things are looking up. Mary has tears of joy as she says that there are no other plus size girls except for her. Estella says that she cried more for the girls who didnít get a book, as we see Alexandria didnít make the cut. Lady Kat is still around and Jennifer says her dream is so close. Sarah is impressed with the girls who have made it and has no idea how the judges will decide.
Twenty girls are now left. They walk into a room and find a photo booth to take their pictures in. Brita is worried about it, as we see the girls starting to do their thing. Tiffany says she forgot about the whole thing and just let loose. Naima sizes up the competition and Noelle just has some fun. Lluvy and Sarah are both happy with their pictures.
Tyra meets with the Jays and tells them itís time to narrow the field down to 14. Keenya is a little flat and isnít crazy like some of the other girls. Tatiana is rough around the edges, but deserves a second look. Jennifer has a bad walk and Kahlen can be molded. Lluvy is loved, but has a pear shape; while Noelle is fun Ė but Jay Manuel wants to say no. Brittney looks a lot like Janice and Naima has some edge. Michele canít show her neck yet and Jay isnít fond of Brandyís wig, but Tyra likes it. Brita is beautiful and everything about her works. Sarah has a great face, while Estella has a great story but thatís not a reason to put her through.
The judges feel like Rebecca is a clean pallet, but somewhat looks like an actress. Lady Kat has a great body and Tiffany can be built. Mary has a commercial look, but Ms. J doesnít think itís fair for one girl to compete with girls who are not her size. Thatís what Iíve been saying for the three seasons that Iíve been recapping this show! Tiffany tells the camera that she is happy to be there, but is used to failing, and there is doubt in her familyís mind that she can do it since she already failed once.
The girls walk out onto the patio and Tyra is waiting for them. She greets them and says that itís time for the final elimination. Fourteen girls will still be in the running to be Americaís Next Top Model. The first girl called isÖ Rebecca. She is followed by Christina, the girl who is confident and not cocky; Keenya, one of my favorites; Brita, another favorite; and Naima, ANOTHER favorite. Noelle is called next, and I couldnít be happier. Michelle the wrestler is called next and is so psyched to have made it. Sarah is next, followed by Brandy.
Brittney is the next girl called and she jumps all over the place. Mary starts tearing up while Kahlen is the next girl called. There are only three spots left and Tiffany looks PETRIFIED. Lady Kat is looking collected as Tatiana is the next one called. She starts crying as Mary looks defeated. Lluvy is called next and that means there is only room for one more girl. The six girls left are all shedding tears except for LK.
The last name called will complete the group Ė and that girl is Tiffany! She falls to the round and Mary breaks down right away. The other girls start to cry and Tyra goes to hug them. Mary looks like she is going to have a nervous breakdown! She knows she came so far and to make it this far and be shut down twice she just doesnít understand. I donít either Ė thatís rough. They are leading this girl on!
Tyra has a talk with Mary to calm her down. Estella says that she and her daughter will come out on top, while Noelle says that she is feeling good Ė as is Tatiana. Tiffany canít wait to tell her granny the good news, stating that she went from ďAmericaís Most Wanted to Americaís Next Top Model.Ē Okay, another great quote from Tiffany!
Next week, the girls get to NY and are put to the test by the best Ė the judges! The new neighborhood doesnít meet the girlsí expectations, and two girls piss Tyra off during their makeovers! I canít wait to see who that is!
Okay, now that Iíve seen the girls in action, I can pick official favorites. Keenya, Brita, Noelle, Tiffany and Naima are all favorites. I didnít think I would really like that many of the girls this season. Brittany and Lluvy are likable, but not favorites. Iím over Brandy already. Next week the eliminations begin, with two girls going home! Check back here to see who it is, and Iíll be right here to call it as I see it!
Phil Kural is a recent graduate from Temple University, with a degree in journalism. You can reach him at email@example.com with any feedback that you may have.
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