America’s Next Top Model 10, Episode 10: When in Rome…by Kari Kennedy -- 04/25/2008
Last week, gangly Lauren once again showed how uncoordinated she was even while cutting onions. She lopped a sizeable chunk off her thumb and had to go to the hospital for stitches. Meanwhile, we thought we might lose Fatima due to paperwork and consulate issues. Despite not having a photo to shoot, the judges thought she had a better body of work than Stacy-Ann, so she got a chance to fly to Rome.
The first time we see the girls in Rome they are going through the airplane terminal and getting onto a bus. I have to say, for them being up all night packing, then doing a shoot, then getting onto a plane and flying to Rome, they look really good. The times I’ve traveled back and forth from Europe, I felt like a train hit me and probably smelled like it too! That’s probably too much information, huh? In any case, they look great after being up all this time.
Most of the girls are in awe at all the sights and amazing architecture found in the city. They’re glowing. Well, everyone’s excited, except gloomy Lauren. I bet if she just gave things a chance and attempted to enjoy herself, she might just actually have some fun!
Just as I’m typing about Lauren, I watch Anya take a face plant as she steps off their mini-bus. It’s hysterical enough to rewind a few times! She says, “My first step in Rome and I eat it on the ground!” Priceless! So much for grace, you think? She hops up quickly, so she isn’t hurt, thankfully.
My girl, Whitney, tells us that it’s “huge” that a plus-size girl has made it this far in the competition (her words, not mine, folks), so she’s excited and grateful to be there. Wait – was that a foreshadowing fairy flitting around her shoulder? I hope not.
As they are seeing the sights and stopping for pictures, the bus driver gives them their Tyra mail. It’s really sad to see the card itself, as it’s a picture of Tyra as if she were the Mona Lisa. Leonardo Da Vinci must be rolling in his grave right now. The mail tells them to go around the corner where they’ll find their new Roman apartment. They must look for a flag. Reality fans probably can’t help but laugh as the girls turn the corner. The flag they see looks remarkably like one of The Amazing Race flags!
The apartment is beautiful, of course, and it even has a small pool in one of the main living areas. The artwork and furniture are stunning. Fatima becomes really familiar with one of the beds pretty quickly as she seems to be coming down with the flu. Whitney and Dominique think she needs to suck it up and just get on with it. Anya is empathetic enough to go check on her and bring her some food.
The next morning, the girls are still in bed and Fatima is still not feeling good. Lauren rudely wakes all the girls up by stomping around and throwing stuff everywhere. Whitney thinks that Lauren is just over the competition.
More Tyra mail arrives. It says, “Be careful how you roll. You may miss the beauty in Rome.” Sweet, yet clueless, Anya deduces somehow that they’ll be on the river. What? Okay, I’m blonde, but that was a seriously blonde moment. I have no idea where she could’ve gotten that. It’s a good thing she’s pretty.
The girls are greeted the next day at a piazza by their beautiful Italian guide, Claudio, who is one of the assistant designers for Gai Mattiolo. He’s there to educate them about how Italian women look and dress, as well as show them around Rome. Oh, and he has that Italian accent that just makes me melt. The women who he points out seem like they are planted by the producers rather than just real random women on the street.
Once the tour is over, they get to meet designer Gai Mattiolo, but they have to present themselves with Italian style. They’re each given a dress made by the designer and get a chance to model it for him. Of course, this is the challenge, so someone will end up winning a great prize.
All of the girls’ dresses are just beautiful and they all look stunning. Whitney isn’t comfortable as all the sample sizes are a size two, which she is nowhere near. They manage to come up with something for her though, and she ends up looking like she stepped off the page of Italian Vogue.
Each girl walks for Gai and he comments on each of them. Fatima is elegant. Dominique is natural, but didn’t look fresh. Katarzyna is beautiful. Anya is so blonde, skinny, young, and fresh. He stumbles a bit while trying to talk to Whitney, and only manages to tell her that she is so American and has a beautiful face. What, does he think we’re all plus-sized? Sheesh! Well, yeah, many of us outside the ages of 15-17 are, now that I think about it. Finally, Lauren clomps around in her dress. He recognizes that she is tall and has long legs.
Once again, Anya is declared the winner and is given a striking white beaded gown. She’s excited. Whitney and Lauren are visibly stunned that Anya, who just won $10,000 and a photo shoot last week, won yet again. I think this is three challenges she’s won this cycle. We may be seeing the edit of our eventual winner here, folks.
Back at the apartment, you guessed it, there’s more Tyra mail. This time it simply says “easy, breezy, beautiful” in Italian, which Katarzyna picks up on almost immediately. She also quickly notes that this could be a challenge where they do a commercial in Italian.
Lauren, yet again, isn’t happy. Is she ever happy? Between her pouty, lifeless face and Fatima’s illness this week, I wonder if we’ll be seeing these two in the bottom this week.
Jay Manuel greets the girls at their shoot, telling them that they are going to do a 30 second commercial in Italian for Cover Girl. As they get their hair and makeup done, the girls rehearse their three lines. Fatima wants to prove to the judges that they were right to keep her around. She seems to be feeling better and is ready for a fight. Katarzyna is fluent in a few languages, so she should be able to do well.
The director shows them exactly what they need to do. It seems simple enough, but I can imagine that trying to do the moves, walk well, and remember the lines in a different language has to be difficult.
Dingy Anya is up first. She looks smoking hot, moves well, but she butchers the language enough to make all the guys on the crew howl with laughter. She can’t even get the word “grazie” out to thank them -- she unknowingly thanks them in Spanish. You can’t help but like her. She can charm anyone, I think.
Katarzyna is up next. She delivers the Italian like a pro, as expected, but she just doesn’t have the energy you’d expect to see in one of these Cover Girl commercials. She looks like the real deal, but she’s dull.
Back to dingbats; Dominique is up next. She’s vibrant, but she, too, butchers the language, this time with an over-exaggerated accent. What’s worse, she is so animated that she almost looks like a badly drawn cartoon character.
Lauren is a train wreck. She walks into her scene, putting on lipstick like a Vegas hooker, and delivering her lines as if she were one of the zombies in a bad horror flick. There is no energy or enthusiasm. She’s given up trying. Oh, and of course, she has her trademark sideways leaning walk. If she doesn’t go home this week, I’ll really be surprised.
Fatima breezes through her shoot and actually sounds fairly decent with her pronunciation. For someone who wasn’t feeling well the past few days, she brought her A-game this time.
Up last is my Whitney. I love the girl, but she’s losing her shine in my eyes. In her take, she’s so over the top and plastic. She overacted and really reminded me of Anna-Nicole Smith. I hang my head and sigh. I believe she’s going to get clobbered along with Lauren at panel this week.
Both Whitney and Lauren have confessionals where they tell the audience that they don’t feel safe. Lauren isn’t sure how she did, but thinks she might be her own worst critic. Whitney realizes that she may have given too much energy, but is frustrated with the lack of good feedback from Jay.
It’s judging time. This time joining the main judges is the director for the commercial shoot, Piersandro Buzzanca. Ah, I just love to let anything Italian, like his name, just roll off the tongue. It’s such a delightful, playful language.
The judges watch the best of each commercial. I think we already saw the best and recapped it earlier so there’s not much sense in talking about that, but I will highlight some of the judges responses while the girls are standing in front of them. I can’t wait to hear what they say behind their backs!
Fatima’s commercial was the best of the bunch, according to Jay, which scares the rest of the panel about what the other commercials will look like – because Fatima’s commercial wasn’t great. Paulina and Ms J call Whitney out on her fake performance, but surprisingly Tyra liked it, though it was a little over the top. With Anya’s, the director said he was laughing the whole time during her shoot; the rest of the judges tell her that the commercial was really bad.
I never thought I’d see Nigel or Ms J go into full-out belly laughs, but both were nearly in tears while watching Dominique’s rendition of her commercial. Even Tyra laughs when Dom puts on the lipstick. Paulina says that she was scared. Too funny!
The panel is stunned to watch Lauren’s death spiral. Ms J holds up a sign that says, “Hell to the No” and Nigel says that it’s painfully obvious she didn’t try. Do you hear that? That would be the fat lady warming up to sing for Lauren.
Katarzyna is up last and shows a bit of personality as she re-teaches the panel how to correctly pronounce her name. The director and Paulina love her, but Tyra and Ms J think she’s boring.
The panel sends the girls off, while they deliberate. Nobody aced the commercial. Fatima was one of the best; she looked like a covergirl. Whitney was fake. Anya is a model physically, but as Nigel says, “…you can hardly understand her when she speaks English. She’s even worse with Italian.” Lauren’s commercial stunk, but she takes some of the best pictures without even trying. Katarzyna was the director’s favorite, and they give her credit for showing more personality. The panel laughs yet again at Dominique’s antics, with Ms J thinking aloud in a raspy,deep voice that she may be a “brother.” Snort!
My turn to guess… I think that the panel is finally seeing how useless Lauren is. She can take a beautiful picture, but she’s only a shell. There is very little personality there, and she can’t continue on as stiff as she is. Whitney or Dominique will vie for the other position at the bottom, mostly because of their over-the-top personalities, and their work not being up to par with the rest of the girls. Who will it be?
Tyra calls the girls back to read them their fate. First up is Fatima, followed by Katarzyna, Anya, and Dominique. This leaves Lauren and my girl, Whitney. Whitney is told that she normally takes great pictures, but the judges think she’s not real. Lauren doesn’t know who her real self is, but takes beautiful pictures. She gave up in this completion. Sure enough, Whitney’s photo is drawn, sending Lauren back to the States.
Looking back on Lauren’s photo montage makes me wonder how good she really was. She looked great in most of the photos, but she had the same pouty, serious side showing in most of them too. She never looked like she was having fun. She may have just lucked into her great pictures. I’ll be curious to see what she says when she’s interviewed later this week by our own Phil Kural!
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Kari’s favorite photos are taken spontaneously in photo booths. Which were your favorite girls for the week? You can send her comments at email@example.com
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