America’s Next Top Model 10, Episode 1: Class is in Sessionby Jenn Brasler -- 02/25/2008
Your regularly scheduled recapper, Kari Kennedy, ran into some problems with her cable this week, so yours truly will be subbing for her for this season premiere. This works out well, since I love the casting episodes. If you haven’t already, you may want to check out Kari’s preview article, but if you want to experience the season premiere without knowing who the chosen girls will be, don’t peek!
We start out as we often do, with Tyra telling us that this show has always been her dream. We also get some clips of past memorable fights, like Coryn vs. Lisa (Cycle 5), Renee vs. Dionne (Cycle 8), Brandy vs. Tatiana (Cycle 4), Anchal vs. Monique (Cycle 7), and the unforgettable pouring of beer in Tiffany’s weave. We also see some unforgettable makeover breakdowns, some medical emergencies (like Rebecca collapsing in Cycle 4 and Joanie getting de-snaggled in Cycle 7), some falls, “five fierce plus-sized models” (I’m sorry, Diane from Cycle 8 does not qualify as “fierce”), and other various memorable moments.
Marguerite (19, from Cincinnati), is our first new contender. The hopefuls are all on a school bus, screaming their fool heads off. Marvita (23, San Francisco) is back after being cut in the semi-finals last cycle. She says she wasn’t ready and was too angry; she’s been through a lot, including molestation and rape. Cheery. Amy (20, Bartlesville, Oklahoma), who looks a little like Lisa from Cycle 5, tells us that they didn’t know where they were going. Whitney (20, Atlantic Beach, Florida), this cycle’s plus-sized girl (yes, another plus-sized girl named Whitney) says the same thing. Two people appear - I’m guessing the two Jays - and the girls start screaming. And… commercials? Already? We’re not even four minutes in!
Indeed, Jay and Ms. J are in attendance, and Jennifer (24, Orlando) says Ms. J is fabulous and Jay is fine. Jay tells the girls they’ve excelled over the other contenders, and they’re about to attend Top Model Prep. Shaya (18, Country Club Hills, Illinois) is excited about school because she studied fashion and likes to create beauty, because she’s beautiful. And modest. Jay warns that only 13 will “make the grade,” and “the rest will be expelled.” Remember that number 13, by the way.
Ms. J sends the girls to change into uniforms and have their photo IDs taken. More screaming. The girls run into a locker room and start getting dressed. Amy tells us that a lot of her friends think she’s weird, but in a good way. She wonders why she’s here. The girls get their photos taken as Katarzyna (22, Roslyn, New York) tells us she went to Cornell, so she thinks she has an edge on the other girls. She definitely has a model look. Marvita tells us she went to therapy and has been working on herself. Somewhere Tiffany from Cycle 4 is going, “She stole my hook!”
Lauren (22, Brooklyn) tells us she’s a punk and an artist, and she’s always gone against being a model. Allison (18, Waunakee, Wisconsin) is ready to “annihilate the competition.” Various girls pose and we don’t hear from them. Fatima (21, Boston) tells us she was born in Somalia but grew up in America, so sometimes she feels like an outcast, especially in the African-American community. A blond just stands in front of the camera, then asks Jay if she’s supposed to pose. Yes, dear. When she’s done, she tells Jay he’s cute.
The girls file into a classroom, where Ms. J plays angry schoolmarm, then tells them it’s time for Runway 101. More screaming. They’re going to be evaluated on their movement with heavy backpacks containing a “history of fashion.” Lauren is nervous. Ms. J shows a few moves the girls shouldn’t do. Shalynda (23, Washington, D.C. - holla!) tells us this is her eighth - EIGHTH! - time auditioning, but she’s determined. Girl, get a job! Ms. J doesn’t like her turns. Claire (24, New York City) is a mother and wife with really weird hair. Various other girls walk. I’m always bad at evaluating walks. Lauren is… not good, and Ms. J isn’t surprised. Lauren laughs that she doesn’t think she’s discovered her walk yet. Ms. J she walks like she doesn’t have any circulation in her feet and she needs a miracle.
Dominique (23, Columbus, Ohio) tells us she has the attitude and spirit. She loves the runway. Fatima is really slow. Ms. J tells the girls to walk like they’re late for class. Anya (18, Honolulu, obviously this season’s Natasha) says she needs this because modeling is her passion. She thinks about modeling all the time and she has to take an hour to breathe every night. Huh?
Class is over, so the girls head to a football stadium for a bonfire. Amy is excited. Amy seems to be our resident narrator. Cheerleaders cheer, and Marvita is the first to recognize them - they’re past contestants. They’re Furonda from Cycle 6, Michelle and Amanda from Cycle 7, Jael from Cycle 8 (with a weird wig), and Joanie from Cycle 6. Jay tells the girls it’s time to celebrate, because they’re leaving L.A. and going back to New York. Aimee (18, Spanaway, Washington) is excited about this because New York is one of the fashion capitals of the world. The cheerleaders give another cheer, and this is really not Amanda’s forte. But I still love her.
It’s time to crown a Homecoming Queen. Dominique thinks it should be her. Instead, it’s Tyra, in a bring yellow dress with crazy hair and running makeup. “She’s so special,” Dominique says. Yeah, you’re not kidding. Whitney says Tyra has a commanding presence, where you can’t take your eyes off of her. Tyra thanks the girls for voting for her and apologizes for sleeping with all their boyfriends. Heh. Allison replies, “I slept with yours.” Double heh. She interviews that she just wanted to do something to stand out. Tyra tells the girls that the next time she’ll see them will be at casting. Amy is really excited and is willing to do whatever it takes.
Tyra and the Jays are ready for casting. First up is Anya, and Tyra establishes that her accent is a surfer accent, not… you know, a Russian accent. Anya says she has fire in her eyes, so Tyra asks her to demonstrate. I’m not convinced. She says God gave her a purpose in life and she’s going to fulfill it. Jay says he sees a model, but not so much when Anya talks.
Atalya (18, Brooklyn) is excited to be here and likes the idea of doing new things every day as a model. She tells us her sister is a doctor and they’ve always been compared. She hopes the judges see her passion. Allison tells the judges she’s from the smallest town in Wisconsin and refuses to go back since there are no opportunities there. She knows the industry is competitive, and she has experience. Jay says she seems smart and articulate, but she doesn’t have everything figured out.
Shaya tells the judges her uncle is Muhammed Ali. She wants a career in fashion, and she wants to do something with potato-sack dresses, which Jay says were last season. Oops! Shaya talks about herself in the third person, making Jenn tune out. Back in the waiting room, Amy goofs off and asks the girls if they want to see her hair. And not the hair on her head. Oh, honey, the answer is always no. She goes to see the judges and tells them her thoughts come out without a filter no matter where she is. She’d rather be crazy than boring. Ms. J thinks she’s just cuckoo.
Whitney tells Tyra that the past plus-sized girls just lose it when they get into the competition. Jay asks if she has what it takes to not lose it. Whitney says she does because she’s confident in herself. She says she represents a healthy American woman, which should be the ideal American woman. Jay thinks she talks like a beauty-pageant contestant. Yeah, but she’s still right. Some blond (is that Marguerite? I’ve already forgotten) decides to do some “white girl freestyle” for the judges. Sorry, but we already had a Brooke, and she was awesome. You are not. ‘Bye-‘bye.
Back in the holding room, the girls talk about Dominique. Specifically, how she might be a transvestite. Katarzyna thinks she tans too much. Dominique heads to the judging room and says she’s ready to bring it. Her breasts certainly are. Jay wonders why she’s so serious. Dominique becomes the first model of the season to pull out the “what I’ve been through” card, citing an abusive relationship. She tells us she sees modeling as a platform to inspire people. Jay isn’t sure that’ll work.
Kristen (18, Portage, Michigan) tells us her brother and boyfriend are both in the military, and her boyfriend is in Iraq. He’s proud of her for being here, and she’s obviously proud of him. In the holding room, Shaya does some booty shaking, but Fatima thinks some of the girls are acting dumb. She tells Shaya she’s acting “ghetto” and can be both black and smart. Shaya brings the third person again, saying she’s going to be herself. She interviews that “the girl from Africa” insulted her. Fatima tells Shaya she looks like “a typical ghetto person.” She interviews that the others have called her exotic-looking and said she’s going to win. Yeah, I bet. She tells the girls she’s a proud African person with manners and class. Is it classy to call someone ghetto? Shaya says she’s American, so she doesn’t care.
We get Saleisha’s first “My Life as a Cover Girl” spot. Did you know she has no personality?
Katarzyna is next before the judges. She was born in Poland and has been working with an “executive search firm,” but she wants to model. She says her job pays well, but she doesn’t think it’s her calling. Tyra likes her look. Shalynda tells the judges she’s from “the D-dot-C,” which I’m totally using from now on, and reminds us that she’s auditioned eight times. Tyra notes that she’s not a quitter.
Shalynda then heads back to the holding room to fight with Fatima over the “ghetto” comment. She says she’s been called every name, but she knows who she is. Fatima asks if she can call Shalynda a bitch, since she seems okay with people calling her that. Shaya has to actually pull Shalynda away from Fatima before there’s a beatdown. Shalynda proceeds to paraphrase Janice Dickinson by saying, “Shut up, bitch, you’re dead in my book.” Lauren interviews that it’s fine to have an opinion, but screaming doesn’t get it across. Suddenly Lauren is my favorite girl.
Speaking of Lauren, she’s next before the judges. She’s a little awkward and is wearing heels for the first time. Jay asks why she thinks she’s here. Lauren wants to represent the weird girls. Tyra notes that most current top models are weird. Lauren tells us she likes watching zombie movies and going to punk shows. Tyra has her strike an edgy pose, which Lauren interprets as… well, turning her back to them.
The very excited Stacy-Ann (22, Miami) is next and says everyone likes her. She got married at 17 but wasn’t pregnant; they were in love. She’d love to know what it’s like to give a lap dance. Ms. J quickly grabs a chair so Stacy-Ann can entertain Jay. There’s no music, so she sings some herself. Okay, now Stacy-Ann is my favorite girl. She also ushers in a montage of various girls dancing and contorting as she and the judges all dance together. Jay says that was his first and last lap dance.
Tyra asks Aimee to tell the judges about her relationship with her mother. If you think this is leading to a “my mom isn’t part of my life” sob story like we usually hear, you’re wrong - they’re really close. Aimee’s mom was 18 when she was born, but also a Mormon and not sure about her daughter being a model. Kim (20, Worcester, Massachusetts) was the girl who didn’t know she should pose for her picture. She works at a bank, and Tyra asks if she ever takes money. After a beat, Kim says she does a lot. Yeah, she didn’t understand the question. She tells us a lot of people think she’s a dumb blond (well, she’s not helping), but she’s actually down-to-earth. She’s into psychology and would like to go back to school. Ms. J thinks she’ll fit the “Barbie mold.”
Fatima becomes the first girl to cry in the judging room. She tells the judges she’s lived in America for seven years and goes to NYU. Tyra compares her to Iman. Fatima tells us that she was circumcised when she was seven, and it’s a positive ritual in Somalia. Yeah, I obviously can’t make fun of that. Tyra has Fatima explain female circumcision to everyone. She says she couldn’t control it, but she wants to make sure it never happens to anyone else. She’s here for herself, and she wants to get her voice from this competition, though she knows she herself can’t change what’s happening. Jay likes Fatima’s energy and thinks she’ll do something incredible.
In the holding room, Fatima announces that she doesn’t see herself ever getting married, then explains that she can’t have sex. She starts crying and Shaya comforts her. So I guess all is forgiven? Marguerite tells us that the other girls all felt like they needed to help her feel better. Marvita, however, decides to ask if Fatima feels like less of a woman. Way to read the room, Marvita. She and Allison start arguing, and Marvita threatens a beatdown.
Marvita then goes to see the judges, telling us that after seeing her on the last cycle, her pastor told her, “You need some more Jesus.” Her pastor watches this show? Awesome. Marvita admits to the judges that she almost got into a fistfight a few minutes ago. She thinks people come around with love. Tyra notes that Jaslene did well after getting therapy and coming back for a second try, but Jay doesn’t think Marvita has made the same changes, and she’s trying to present herself as someone she isn’t. Also, Jaslene didn’t have anger issues, she was just kind of weird.
Jenna (20, Boston, and more ghetto than anyone Fatima has given that label to) gives us the rundown on how she wants to trick out her Impala. This ends with her singing out, “Flyyyy!” I love her. She interviews more about wanting an Impala. Tyra says she’s pretty but Jay thinks she needs to not talk. Jennifer is insecure about her stretch marks but is proud to be plus-sized and Latina. Jay thinks she’s sweet and there’s a maturity about her.
Claire wants to be a “global warrior” and doesn’t want to be a coward for her daughter. She says it’s hard to be away from her daughter, especially since she’s still breastfeeding… so she’s drinking the milk. She’s drinking. Her own. Milk. Excuse me, I have to go throw up. It’s called pump and dump, Claire! The judges say they’re thirsty and drink some (hopefully cow’s) milk. Ewwwwww.
The girls are back in their uniforms, and the Jays are ready to hand out midterms. There are 35 girls, but only 20 will get “pass” grades. Whitney, Jenna, Marvita, Katarzyna, Jennifer, Kristen, and Stacy-Ann are some of them. We also see that Claire’s full name is Claire-Aimee, because Aimee/Amy is apparently this season’s hot name. Dominique wants to set the standard, saying that some of the girls going home are taking a little bit of her with them. And if they don’t want to? Marvita tells some of the cut girls not to cry, but to come back next season like she did. Shaya is one of the cut girls, and she says God puts obstacles in your way so you’ll grow. Shalynda has been cut AGAIN. Marguerite is also out and says, “I’m done.”
The lucky semi-finalists are about to pose for their last photos, their senior-class portraits. Fatima is going to give more than 100 percent and go all the way. Jay tells the girls they’ll be doing their own hair and makeup, but all wearing the same black tube-tops. Allison paints on purple tear tracks of makeup, knowing that’s hot in Asia. Lauren isn’t sure what to do. Jay tells the girls they’ll also wear stoles.
Allison goes first, and though Jay isn’t sure about her makeup, he likes her posing. One girl paints on a bruise, for some reason. Kristen doesn’t want to go home. Anya appreciates everything that’s been given to her, especially the food. Fatima thinks too much about her shot, which she seems to keep forgetting is just a beauty shot. She interviews that she didn’t care that she took so long because she wanted to do well. Kim growls. Whitney does a cute “surprised” shot. Jay likes Marvita’s confidence. He tells the girls that all the judges will look over their photos, and some girls will pass while others will fail.
Sometime later, Tyra and the Jays look over all the girls’ photos from the week, in alphabetical order. Aimee looks like a model, but doesn’t know how to model. Allison’s makeup confuses everyone, and Ms. J thinks she was confused, too. However, she at least stood out. Ms. J thinks Amy is a little dated. Anya is the quintessential model but won’t do well with speaking. Atalya’s audition photo wasn’t good, but her final shot was good. Ms. J thinks Claire has potential and is different. Jay thinks she’ll decide the business is too vain for her.
Tyra seems to like Dominique’s attitude, but Jay thinks she’s so perfect that she’ll become boring. Ms. J loves Fatima’s face but not her walk. Jenna… wants an Impala. That’s about it. Jennifer gives a lot of different faces in her photos. Katarzyna is sexy and looks a bit like Paulina Porizkova (foreshadowing alert!). Kim/Kimberly/whatever we’re calling her gets a little squinchy in the face. Kristen has a European vibe and Jay says you’ll want to know more about her. Lauren is a tad hopeless, but Jay thinks she could pull it together.
Marvita wasn’t ready last time, but now she’s back, though Jay thought she was more impressive last cycle. The judges imitate Stacy-Ann, and Jay says he likes her walk. Whitney is pretty, and we don’t get much more about her. After the judges make their picks, Jay says he thinks New York will turn a Top Model out.
The girls gather for graduation, but only 13 (remember that number! Seriously!) will be graduating. The girls girl (the valedictorian?) is Allison. She’s followed by Fatima, Katarzyna, Kim, and Stacy-Ann. Tyra says “Amy,” but she and Aimee aren’t sure which she means. Tyra says both of them get to come to New York, but one has to change her name. Also graduating are Claire, Whitney, Marvita, Lauren (who gets props for her originality), Atalya, and Anya. The girls who’ve already been chosen seem really excited for her. The other girls… not so much.
But wait! At the last minute, Tyra decided to cast another girl. That lucky 14th model is Dominique. She says she feels blessed and humble, but she’s going to rock this. Tyra tells the ungraduates that they should try to prove her wrong. Jennifer seems to be taking it well, but Kristen thinks she wanted this more than a lot of the girls who made it through. Those girls will be going to New York. Anya thinks she has what it takes. Whitney says it’s surreal and she’s sure she’s going to win. Sorry, Whitney, but I don’t think so. We know what always happens to the plus-sized girls.
Next week: New York, New York. The girls walk a runway show in what looks like Times Square. Something shocking happens at elimination, and Tyra asks why someone came there.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent America’s Next Top Model 10 articles on RealityNewsOnline:
Jenn Brasler is an Associate 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. Jenn wonders when “I went to therapy” became the new password to get yourself on the show.
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