Americaís Next Top Model 8: Why Dionne is Not a Top Modelby Jenn Brasler -- 05/13/2007
If youíve read any of my articles this season, you know that I really liked Dionne and wanted to see her do well. To be honest, though, Iím surprised she made it this far. I was pretty surprised to see her stick around a week longer than Brittany - Brittany had a temper and couldnít book a job, but she still took better photos than Dionne, who was just starting to realize that she often photographs angry. So why did Dionne get to stay until fourth place? Letís see what she did wrong and what she did right.
The first tip is to be open to and welcome change. Remember how Dionne entered the competition, talkative and full of energy? She was definitely ready for anything that came her way. (Ironic that the girl who was so bubbly in the initial episodes wound up being criticized for looking angry in her photos.)
Dionne was met with some challenges in relation to this rule. Most recently, the girls had to dance for a challenge, and Dionne really, really, didnít want to. She was in the final four, though, and it was important for her to show the judges that they were right to keep her in the competition this long, so she should have just done the challenge without complaining. Earlier, Dionne had done this well - the week she had to kiss Cycle 5ís Kim in a photo shoot, she was very nervous about kissing a girl, but when she went for it, she realized that it definitely wasnít as objectionable as sheíd feared. Dionne was called first that week, partly because she had welcomed a change.
Tip #2 says to know something about the fashion industry. Dionne was about on the same level as the other girls as far as knowing about the industry. She learned more from the competition, and since the girls were never challenged to show what they knew, Dionne gets a pass on this.
Tip #3 tells the girls to practice walking, posing, and working on their flaws. Though I donít recall seeing Dionne practice, she did know what she needed to work on - the judges told her she was looking mean in her photos, and she tried to change that. Though she wasnít practicing, she was trying to do better. Iíll talk about this more in tip #6.
The fourth tip says that personality counts. Dionne had a great personality that showed itself from the very beginning. In fact, I was surprised when, in the third week, the judges said that she didnít seem to have much of a personality. One of the reasons I liked Dionne so much was because she was funny and gave such great sound bites. That personality just didnít come through in her photos. Fortunately, Dionne showed it in her go-sees, which was a huge difference between her and Brittany. It may have even saved her from going home over Brittany that week.
Tip #5 tells the girls to focus on themselves, not the other girls. Dionne just had a couple of run-ins with Renee (who didnít?), but mainly she was able to focus on the competition and not what was going on around her. I was impressed that Dionne didnít even mention that she had a daughter until the sixth week of the competition; obviously the fact that she was missing her child didnít take her away from the challenges and shoots. In fact, I think Dionne was the only person who distracted Dionne. She sometimes spent too much time thinking about her shoots and what she was doing wrong, a problem many of the girls had this cycle.
The sixth tip says to roll with the punches and not fight with the judges. Dionne adjusted pretty well to everything thrown at her, and she tried to be flexible and change what the judges asked her to change. For example, when the judges criticized her clothes at panel, she kept trying to dress better until they were satisfied that she got it. Dionne could have complained that it didnít matter what she wore to panel as long as she took good photos, but instead she listened and tried to give them what they wanted. That showed that she knew what it took to portray herself as a model.
The seventh tip is to show the judges you want to win. Though many of the other girls in the competition showed more passion for modeling than Dionne did, she still did all right with this tip. Even when she didnít want to do a challenge or she wasnít comfortable with what was being asked of her, she did it, and that showed the judges her desire to be Americaís Next Top Model.
I think Dionneís best way of showing her desire to win was the way she applied what she had learned in previous challenges. After winning the party challenge in week 6, Dionne got to do a shoe photo shoot, and she used what she had learned two weeks earlier from Benny Ninja. That same week, in the four-emotion photo shoot, Dionne specifically chose emotions that would allow her to redeem herself from her high-school photo shoot in the second week. She didnít quite hit ďbad girlĒ in the high-school shoot, and she wanted a chance to show the judges that she could do it.
Tip #8 says to be confident, not cocky. Dionne definitely wasnít cocky, but she didnít show that much confidence either. The only time I can remember anyone commenting on her confidence was when she was on a go-see and a designer told her that she walked confidently. Thatís fine and all, but Dionne needed to show that same confidence in her photo shoots and in the way she carried herself. Still, I think Dionne was trying to soak up all the knowledge she could in order to become more confident. She just didnít quite get there before her elimination.
Dionne made it very far on personality and potential, but the competition got to the point where potential didnít mean as much any more. When the other girls left are taking stronger photos each week and getting more and more compliments at panel, each model has to try harder every week to show her talent and desire to win. Dionne just didnít do that. Though the judges liked her, they saw that Jaslene, Renee, and Natasha were overshadowing her and giving them more in challenges and shoots. Theyíre looking for a girl who is either consistently good or always improving, and despite some good shoots and the demonstration that she was learning and trying, Dionne wasnít really going anywhere. Thatís why sheís not a Top Model.
If you havenít already, be sure to check out these other recent Americaís Next Top Model articles:
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 sheís a spy for a covert branch of the CIA. You can e-mail her at email@example.com. Jenn thinks Renee might win this, and she would actually be okay with that.
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