America’s Next Top Model 8: Why Sarah is Not a Top Modelby Jenn Brasler -- 04/09/2007
I have to admit, I didn’t like Sarah at the beginning of the season. I thought she was cocky (tip #8), and though she knew a lot about the industry (tip #2), she thought the advantage that gave her was bigger than it actually was. But as the season went on, I thought she was much more likable and was improving each week. I especially appreciated her attitude about the competition - she was there to have fun and to learn more about modeling, not cause drama or show up the other girls. Still, I wasn’t that shocked to see Sarah eliminated. The Top Model Tips explain why.
The first tip is to be open to and welcome change. Sarah’s attitude, which I mentioned above, showed that she was definitely open to the new experiences the competition brought. Even though she did know a lot about modeling (having both modeled before and having experience as a photographer), she knew she didn’t know everything, and she was open to learning more. Sarah seemed very open to trying new things, especially if they would help her become a better model.
Tip #2 tells the girls to know something about the fashion industry. Going into the competition, Sarah probably knew more about the industry than any of the other girls. In fact, she used that knowledge to win the first mini-challenge of the season, in turn impressing the Jays. It’s too bad the girls were never really tested on their knowledge of the industry beyond that first episode, because Sarah’s knowledge might have put all the girls ever to be in the competition to shame.
Tip #3 says to practice walking, posing, and working on your flaws. I don’t remember seeing Sarah practice, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she did. She knew the judges thought her poses were too, well, “pose-y,” so she probably spent some time in front of a mirror, trying to make herself look more natural. However, this didn’t seem to help her much - thanks to always being “pose-y,” Sarah wasn’t considered a good model. It’s unclear how much, if any, practicing she did, but she could have used some more work with her posing.
The fourth tip says that personality counts. Sarah didn’t have a huge personality like a lot of the girls in the house, but she was at least pleasant and grew more likable over the weeks she was in the competition. She didn’t cause trouble and people seemed to enjoy her presence. Sarah also had the sort of personality that models are expected to have - she was friendly, somewhat bubbly, and didn’t demand or think she deserved anything. If her photos had been able to keep her in the competition, her personality would have carried her even farther.
Tip #5 tells the girls to focus on themselves, not the other models. Sarah did well with this tip. She was able to avoid any confrontations with Renee, and even when Tyra asked the girls to tell Renee what their problems with her were, Sarah kept calm and tried to be diplomatic. She also avoided all of the discussions about whether a plus-sized girl could win the competition - she was more focused on her own performance and whether SHE could win the competition. She was smart to pay attention to what she needed to do, not to what the other girls were doing.
The sixth tip is to roll with the punches and not fight with the judges. Sarah did well with this as well. Since she treated every experience as an opportunity to learn, she didn’t complain about anything she had to do because she knew it would contribute to her improvement. Sarah took everything in stride, whether it was a challenge in the competition or a chaotic situation in the house. She was one of the more laidback girls in the house.
The seventh tip says to show the judges you want to win. Though Sarah did very well with this tip, she could have done better. The judges told her many times that she was overthinking things, and she knew it. From the second week on, she tried her best not to overthink her poses and to be as natural as possible. For the most part, this worked for her, but towards the end, she was still too pose-y and the judges cut her loose. Still, Sarah’s willingness to listen and learn showed the judges that she wanted to do better so that she could be America’s Next Top Model. If she’d taken their advice and done better with applying it, she could still be around.
Tip #8 is to be confident, not cocky. In the beginning, I felt Sarah was cocky because she knew so much about the industry and had experience with modeling. She came across as having an attitude and feeling like she was better than the other girls. Maybe it was because she was quickly criticized for overthinking, but Sarah didn’t take long to tone it down and become more likable. Towards the end, I think she second-guessed herself too much and became more self-conscious, but she was no longer cocky.
Sarah proved that knowledge of the industry and what to do as a model can only get you so far. No matter how much she knew about modeling and photography, she couldn’t turn out photos like the other girls’. The competition is winding down, and the girls need to be at the top of their games for every single photo shoot and challenge. Sarah wasn’t, and that was one of the reasons she was eliminated. Even though she listened to the judges possibly more than any of the other girls, she still couldn’t be less “pose-y,” and the judges got tired of having to deal with that. Being “pose-y,” combined with overthinking everything and not improving her photos, is why Sarah is not a Top Model.
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Jenn Brasler is an Assistant Editor of Reality News Online and an aspiring writer from Falls Church, Virginia. By day she works for a court reporting firm, and by night she’s a spy for a covert branch of the CIA. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Though Jenn was sorry to see Sarah go, she was just glad it wasn’t Whitney instead.
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