America’s Next Top Model 10, Episode 2: There’s No Place Like Homeby Kari Kennedy -- 02/28/2008
Whee! Here we are again with America’s Next Top Guilty Pleasure… err… um… Model. Remember that the rules of the game are for us to enjoy the show, but never reveal who else is in this secret society. The others just don’t get it, do they? Wink. We know.
First off, I have to send out a huge thank you to Jenn for filling in for me last week for the initial show. That one is difficult to recap with all the faces of people who may or may not end up on the show. Thank goodness we had a true pro in charge of ensuring you all were able to get the scoop on who made it to the show and who crashed hard. Jenn, you are this week’s Top Model superstar.
Now this show has never been credited with much in the way of editing genius, at least not in same league as Survivor, but the editors do usually have one or two things that stick out regularly. One thing I’ve noticed through the past few seasons is that almost always, the girl who is given the first confessional of the episode is normally the one who goes home. It doesn’t work all of the time, but it’s a decent rule of thumb.
This week’s opener is Marvita from San Francisco. You can remember her as the one who just missed making the cut for Cycle 9. She tells us that she’s back and excited to be there.
Token blonde Kim is up next telling us that she’s not the typical dumb blonde, but that she’s really down to earth. To prove the point that she’s not dumb, she uses the word “expecially” in a sentence.
We move on to a quick, uneventful sound bite from skinny Fatima before we move to show all of the girls gathered around a table somewhere, sounding like a hen party. They’re asking deep, probing questions about each other like, “Why are you named Amis?” I roll my eyes, yet I lean in for more.
A cute messenger boy shows up with a tube which contains a note from Tyra. In it are directions to the new house. More squealing as they check out their new pad. They find out that there are only two rooms with beds, one with a bunch of bunk beds and another with one huge bed that could hold the entire Osmond clan. That should be interesting for our male watchers, don’t you think? Well, then on second thought, probably not.
The house is peppered with pictures of past winners posing with Tyra (minus the black sheep, Adrienne from Cycle 1). Each of the winners stepped up to a cause which they supported. Remember how Jaslene became a spokesperson for abuse? So you get it.
Oh, we get another comment out of Marvita talking about how she once was homeless. This doesn’t bode well for her staying around past this first episode. We’ll see.
Fatima, the one who everyone notes is strikingly similar to one of the original supermodels, Iman, tells us that her platform is to be against genital mutilation. I can’t crack about this issue as it’s a common problem over in Africa. It’s brutal and is forced upon women in that part of the world. I can’t even imagine what it would be like. Good for Fatima for opening up her experience to the viewers.
Back to lightness, sticky sweet Atalya snitches to the cameras (highlighted with a little Tinkerbell magic wand sound) about how there is a No Smoking symbol on the doors of the apartment. She then watches as Kim, Fatima, and Aimee go outside to smoke. Something tells me that Tyra won’t allow this again this cycle.
The claws come out early as Fatima faces off with Amis (formerly Amy) about absolutely nothing. Amis is apparently rambling on about the modeling industry when Fatima haughtily tells her that some people might see her as a clown. Well, now we’ve figured out who one of the season’s villain edits will go to, right?
Just in time to break up the hissing felines are Ms. J and Jay! They tell the girls that they’re off to take them around New York City for fun. But you just know that there is probably a challenge involved here somewhere, don’t you?
Sure enough, they make a final stop in Times Square. For anyone who hasn’t been there, it’s pretty amazing. The girls are even more excited to find out that they’re there for an impromptu runway show featuring the designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka, who design simply stunning gowns.
Marvita leads the lineup in a beautiful red, white, and black gown. The foreshadowing fairies let us know just before she heads out that she’s worried about stepping on her gown. Sure enough, she stumbles slightly and her head is down the entire time. She’s just awful!
The next few girls do well for their first show. The gowns are just stunning on most of them. Kim comes out in a shorts and jacket outfit, but is clomping down the runway as if she’s a kid stepping in puddles to make them splash. She doesn’t even do the sort of cross-legged walk that we see most models doing. She then tells us that she doesn’t believe in spending $500 for shorts or $700 for a purse. Honestly, Kim, I’m right there with you, girl. It blows me away that people will pay that much money for stuff like that.
Amis steps out onto the runway and performs a gawky move, thrusting her hip out to one side. Ms. J’s reaction is about the same as mine with a pinched face. She’s very tomboy. Lauren doesn’t fare much better, but earlier in the episode she at least admitted to us that this will be the first time for her to wear heels in her 22 years of life. Oh boy, you can really tell, too! She’s clearly uncomfortable; looks like a five-year-old playing in her mother’s shoes, and she knows she didn’t do well on the runway.
Fatima and Marvita go at it for a moment. It is something minor like Fatima’s arm swung out, hit Marvita, and she didn’t apologize for it.
The next day, the girls head out to Elite Model Management, where they will be given an assessment of the first impression from someone in the management company. This is also where we get our first impression of the newest judge this season, Paulina Porizkova, who will replace Twiggy. Some of you may remember her as an ‘80s supermodel; others as an early out on a recent season of Dancing with the Stars. In either way, you’ll remember that she’s just simply a beautiful woman.
There is some news out there that Paulina has some objections to ANTM, in that it tends to favor those with more personality, rather than how someone shows up on camera. She has been quoted in The Post as saying, “Models are not meant for TV - that’s the nature of the work, that you’re one-dimensional... You can be as dumb as a log and just look great. But being America's Next Top Model, you have to have some personality.” The producers obviously looked at getting her onto the show as a challenge, and surprisingly, she agreed. I think she may be a good balance to some of the schmaltzy commentary we get from the rest of the judges. We can only hope.
Paulina doesn’t pull any punches. She tells Amis that she has bad skin and needs to correct it. Dominique is buttered up to say that she looks a little like actress Robin Penn, but a transvestite version of her. Yikes, that’s harsh! She tells Kim that she must let go of the high-school look and bring out her dark side. Then Paulina makes this scary face like she’s choking up a snake! Seriously, it’s something that might wake me up in a nightmare. Finally she tells Marvita not to clench her jaw or she’ll end up with a square face. Will the girls take this advice to heart?
The girls are shushed away to their first photo shoot by way of a giant yellow limo-cab. It’s the FAB Cab! In it, Fatima once again starts pushing the big red button clearly displayed on Marvita’s chest. It’s only going to get worse.
We’re treated to a Cover Girl commercial with last cycle’s winner, Saleisha. She shows us a new, improved hair-do and a bland personality. Jenn, you were right about that. Good thing Paulina’s going to be around this season to make sure we get another girl with no personality, but possibly one who looks great in photos.
Holy cow, we’re only 26 minutes into the show and we’ve already had a runway show and consultation. I guess we still have to get through the first photo shoot.
The first photo shoot will be taken on the streets and will include homeless people. Oh no, I can’t believe what I’m hearing. I realize that these people will likely be paid for their time with the models, but it just sounds so degrading to me. The founder of Reciprocity Foundation comes in to tell the girls about her charity, which helps people realize that homelessness is a pattern that can be broken.
So this season’s theme is obviously about social obligations and using your newfound fame to do well. This could be good as long as it doesn’t get too preachy. I hope some of these organizations are able to get the word out to raise funds or awareness to their causes.
The homeless ladies are dressed up much more fashionably than our models, but they are more background. They are actually beautiful, and through the course of the shoot, they stand out. Alternatively, the models are dressed much more somberly. They must find a way to tone down their personalities to match the mood, yet still show off the clothes that they are wearing. This may actually be a difficult first shoot to pull off.
A few of the girls start the shoot and make rookie mistakes while Jay coaches them through some points. Fatima gets into herself emotionally and it looks as if she’s producing good shots.
At this point, it’s interesting to me that the two models who are most at odds, Fatima and Marvita, truly have quite a bit in common. Both are from poor backgrounds. Both have lived in meager, homeless conditions at one time or another with nearly nothing to their names. Yet they are the source of tension. Finally the two realize the connection and appear to make up.
Most of the rest of the girls continue to do well. I am really enjoying this season’s plus-sized model, Whitney, in both her appearance and her attitude. Her shoot appears to go well also.
Then we hear the music change to the clownish tone we hear when someone is just being a dolt. In walks our resident buffoon, Amis. I don’t see this girl lasting long either. She fumbles her way through the shoot, unfocused and downright dingy.
The remaining girls, including Marvita, manage to get through their first shoots without much fanfare.
The foreshadowing fairies come back to sprinkle some of their famous dust on a few of the contestants who, over these first few weeks, will probably be leaving the nest early. Amazingly enough, Marvita isn’t one of them and I’m mildly surprised.
Back at the models’ crash pad, Amis tells us that she hope she’s not going home. The way she performed in the shoot will certainly come up with Jay in the judges’ deliberations. Next we get a snippet again of Kim not getting completely into the world of modeling. She says that she doesn’t like high fashion and just can’t imagine paying huge money for outfits.
Finally, we’re on to the final judging. Our usual cast of judges is back, supplemented by Paulina, of course. This season’s Ms. J gimmick isn’t a huge ‘fro or neck ruffles. Now he has a Sgt. Pepper-type jacket on with each of the girls’ names embroidered on a chest stripe. (For you younger folks, Sgt. Pepper came to life with The Beatles… long before your time.)
The judges go through each of the models’ pictures. To me, Lauren, Fatima, Whitney, and Claire stand out the most, while others are just average. The worst photos easily are taken of Amis and Stacy Ann.
Finally the judges get to our resident blonde, Kim. Ms. J notes that on the runway, she just looked outright snotty and bored to be there. Kim then flat-out admits that she just doesn’t like fashion and it doesn’t interest her. Obviously, everyone in the room is taken aback, and I yell at the screen that she’s an idiot! She actually has the nerve to continue to ramble on. Tyra is on fire as she tells Kim that she had to leave six girls back who really did have the desire to be in the modeling industry. With that, Tyra asks her if she just wants to go home. Kim shrugs indifferently, turns, and walks away. Everyone is visibly stunned, jaws on the floor. Her photo actually turned out beautiful, in a bit of irony. Too bad.
But wait, it’s only 48 minutes into the show. Will someone else go home, or how will these last ten minutes play out? Tyra does confirm that there will still be an elimination as she tears up Kim’s photo and Ms. J rips her name from his chest. Whoa! I guess that works out well for the producers with a larger cast this season, huh?
The judges debate; Tyra goes through her dramatic, breathy dialog before she reveals the order. Finally, first up this first week is Anya, followed by Claire, Whitney, Lauren, Aimee, Fatima, Marvita (well, that blows my editing theory), Katarzyna, Stacy Ann, Dominique, and Allison.
In the bottom two are Atalya and Amis. Interestingly enough, both photos had the girls in similar poses with vapid looks up into the lights. We’ve seen a lot of Amis tonight and hardly anything of Atalya. Unless the editors are Survivor: Micronesia editors hiding the loser, I have a strong suspicion that Amis is a goner.
Holy cow, they are moonlighting! Wow, I didn’t see that one coming. Crumple, crumple. There goes my rulebook on ANTM editing, joining my Survivor editing rulebook, into the trash. I’m sorry to see Atalya go so soon, but the girl must’ve been a wallflower who rarely had much to offer the cameramen to shoot.
Well, that certainly was a great start to the season with plenty of drama, cat-fighting, tears, and even a quitter! Next week is my favorite -- the makeover episode, which always provides some form of drama and laughter. And Fatima, surprisingly, gets into a spat with another girl. Tune in every Wednesday for all the catty fun and we’ll see you next week!
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