America’s Next Top Model 10, Episode 11: Star Qualityby Kari Kennedy -- 05/08/2008
We start out this week with my girl Whitney in confessional and voiceovers. She is stunned that she was allowed to remain as Katarzyna was sent home. She realizes that she has to relax and not be to posey. She has to bring it on to make it to the final two. The entire scene is about Whitney which makes me think one of two things. She may actually win this thing or that she will go home tonight. I really hope it’s the former, rather than the latter.
The girls get back to the apartment and it’s completely adorned in giant photos of Salisha, last cycle’s winner. Dominique tells us that when she first saw Salisha, she knew she was going to win. Dom says that she is just going to win this competition, just like Salisha! Yikes!
As Dominique heads back to the bedroom, the remaining three girls decide to have a snipe session surrounding Dom and her habits. She eats too much. She shouldn’t be this far in the competition. They don’t understand why she’s still in. She’s annoying. To back that up, we see snippets of Dominique looking for candy and talking about how she’s improving from week to week.
There are two more small bits with Fatima and Anya both talking about how much they want to win it all. The producers are just trying to show us that any of the girls could stay or go, I suppose.
The morning brings us beautiful shots of Rome and awful shots of the girls getting primped for the day. The girls are off to their challenge for the day in a large park. Paulina and the photographer are going to teach them the art of composition and lighting. This time, the girls will be the ones taking the photographs using the other girls as their models.
For the challenge, the girls will get five minutes to work with Paulina as their model, working with her as if she were their own model. They have to work with the model, not against her. The winner gets an extra 50 frames in the next shoot. I suspect Paulina won’t make it easy on them and will role play the difficult model stereotype.
Whitney has one last sound bite where she tells us that she wants to be sure that the judges know she’s serious about the competition and that she won’t go down without a fight. Sigh, I think this is the end of my girl this week, based on editing.
Fatima gets to shoot Paulina first. She seems to do an adequate job of directing Paulina through shots that she thinks will do well. She remains calm and is quietly directive in her requests. After five minutes, Paulina complements Fatima (through the camera) on her work.
The music changes to a subtle bumbling tone and Dominique is up next. She doesn’t do nearly as well as she doesn’t really tell Paulina what she should be doing. She was tentative and didn’t know what it was that she wanted to do.
Whitney gets it. She realizes that Paulina is not only a model, but the judge of this particular challenge. She guides her through concepts and communicates well. She even complements Paulina on how she’s doing. Even Dominique says that Whitney did a good job. Paulina says that she was fun to shoot with as a photographer.
Then there’s Anya. Anya is considerably slower about the poses and is all over the place with her direction. She has good energy, Paulina says, but she needs to focus better.
In judging, Paulina and the editor from Seventeen go through the film. They compliment Whitney right off the bat for not only her direction, but her composition and lighting. Anya’s photos were all over the place. Fatima’s photos gave the editor a lot to work with in terms of backgrounds and scale. She also was complimented on her direction. Dominique wasn’t quite there and many of her photos made Paulina look like she was wearing a cactus hat.
So the winner of this competition based on the judges’ input is Fatima. She’s thrilled that she finally won a challenge, breaking Anya’s long streak.
Back at the house that night, we see Fatima working her runway walks. Dominique tells us that Fatima brings “it” but she doesn’t know how to hold it. In Katarzyna’s RealityNewsOnline interview, she even said that Fatima would constantly be in motion in shoots and not hold still for the photographers.
Dominque tells us more about herself. I tune out, but once again, it’s in the third person and she thinks she’s going to win. Even sweet Anya says that Dominique drains her energy.
I think this may be the most competitive final four in a long time. They all give strong confessionals and voiceovers about how much they want to win this and how they have no room for error. This may truly be the tightest group in a long time.
Their photo shoot for this week will be taken at night and the girls will be dressed up as ‘50s movie stars being swarmed by the paparazzo. This week’s photographer is, of course, Nigel Barker, so the girls should have good shots this week.
Fatima tells us that she has a boyfriend, so she can’t be sexy and hanging on her escort as if she likes him. Oh girl, that’s a dumb move!
Anya is up first, looking like a bombshell. They’ve dressed her in a tiny gold dress and darkened her normally blonde eyebrows a dark brown. She does look like a movie star. She tells us that she’s comfortable around Nigel, as she did the nude shoot with him early in the cycle. This time, he tells her to have lots of energy, as if the paparazzi are chasing her. She gets very posey until Jay distracts her by talking to her while Nigel continues to shoot. Jay tells us that she looks the part of a model, but she still has her training wheels on. What will she do when she has to do a real shoot?
Next is Fatima and I just cross my fingers that the wheels fall off for her as she drives me nuts. She has the extra 50 frames available to her for winning the challenge, so surely she’ll manage to pull out a good shoot somehow. Nigel wants her to have action, but be sultry.
She’s not doing well with the shoot and tends to look like just a pretty girl. She forgets about the lighting and camera angles. Jay snorts that she’ll need the extra 50 frames this time. He’s not happy with her and as they review the film with her, she realizes how bad she is. The last 50 frames aren’t much better, even with coaching from Jay to tell her to get angry. Nigel tells her he’s just bored with her and that she seemed lost.
Whitney follows and is radiant while coming down the stairs where they’re shooting. She looks like a movie star, complete with a giant Christy Brinkley smile. Again, she realizes that she is not only working with Nigel as a photographer, but as a judge as well. Her first few shots have her butt sticking way out as usual and she gets posey in some shots. She knows that it wasn’t her best shoot, but she looked pretty.
Finally, Nigel gets Dominique where he tells her to be any kind of diva she wants to be – bitchy, giggly, strong – whatever it takes. She also goes through her film and to me, it looks the best of the night. Unfortunately, Jay and Nigel both think that she also has gotten too posey and unnatural. He thinks she’s actually taken a few steps back from the level of her previous shoots. He says that none of the girls really impressed him this time.
Back at the house, all of the girls are disappointed in their shoots. In fact, Whitney sums it up best when she says that this week, it’s the best of the worst who will get to stay.
Fast forward to panel this week, where Tyra tells us about all the fabulous prizes. Anya is up first for judging. Her photo is amazing and it does look as if she were captured by the paparazzi. Nigel says that she benefited by having shot with him before and that they already had a relationship. He says that she wasn’t in control of the shoot, but did okay. Paulina adds that during the reverse shoot where Anya was the photographer, she was all over the place, but so real and energetic.
Whitney takes the heat next. Her photo is stunning where she looks as if she were just caught kissing her Italian lover and is downright pissed that it was caught on film. Nigel thinks that she found it hard to get into character and that she needs to learn to act as well as model in a situation like this. Her male model nearly upstaged her in this particular shoot.
Dominique’s critique starts on the runway. Her panel outfit this week is only slightly better than last week’s ‘80s, soccer mom getup. The panel struggles to tell her to pull her shirt up to about her hips as opposed to the level of her hoo-ha, where it’s at now. She’s really dense, don’t you think?
For the photo, they show her softest shot, which is really awful! Paulina nails it when she says that she’s a beautiful trannie and I snort with laughter! In this photo, Dom’s angles are so severe. If this is her best shot, she’s really in trouble this week.
Fatima brings up the end of the road and when the photo comes up, it’s beautiful. She really has an incredible face, but I wonder if she hit the point of the shoot. It almost looks like an engagement shoot. Nigel pounces first with my thoughts saying that while the shoot is very Cover Girl, it’s not what they were looking for as an essence to the shoot. The panel doesn’t think she brought it to the next level.
This is a tough call this week as to who may go home. The only one who I think is actually safe is Anya. But each of the other three have been featured so much this episode and each had issues in their shoots. All of them have their strengths and weaknesses. If it were just based on the challenges for today, I’d say that Dominique will go, but will the judges?
Comments from the debate start with Anya. She’s the best of the bunch, but still not great. They love her, no matter how bad she is.
Fatima took a beautiful photo, but she didn’ look “caught.” Nigel comments that she seemed a bit snitty on the set, especially towards Jay.
Whitney has a beautiful face, but they once again don’t think she brought it all to the shoot. Her photo and attitude aren’t critiqued near to the extent Fatima’s was so I hold out hope.
Finally, they come to Dominique’s photo. I love it when they get to her and she’s had a trannie shoot. They always deepen their voices when they say her name and it cracks me up. They think that if she was signed as a makeup model, she wouldn’t do well. Ms. J chimes in with the quote of the night when he jokes, “Cover Girl makeup covers the man in you.” I think she and Fatima may be in the bottom, with Dom going home.
Tyra does her dramatic voice to call the names. First up is Anya to no surprise. Tyra tells her that her photo was the best in the bunch, but it wasn’t great. The next name called is Whitney and I let out a little shout. She seems surprised and as I freeze my TiVo for a moment to type, I see Fatima in the background with a stunned look on her face.
Fatima and Dominique are called to the front. Fatima got an extra 50 frames but she didn’t pull out an overly amazing shot. The judges feel she talks over them too much and doesn’t listen. Dominique’s pictures went from bad to great, then back to bad this week. She listens to direction though. With that, Fatima’s name is called and she pours out her crocodile tears.
Dominique was definitely one of the main characters this season with all her inane chatter. She even got so wordy that she ended up on E!’s Talk Soup one week. She’s proud of her progress and how much she learned. She thinks she’ll be able to go on and do well whatever she does. Good on her. Part of me is sad to see her go with all her antics and part of me is relieved. Now if we can only get rid of all the Fatima drama. UGH!
Next week, there’s another Italian Cover Girl commercial, followed by a high fashion runway walk. This is where my girl Whitney will probably fall as her body type will just not work with the fashion show and all the skinny 0’s and 2’s. It’s sad that they set her up to going so far, yet she’ll come up short.
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Kari’s favorite photos are taken spontaneously in photo booths. Which were your favorite girls for the week? Please send any comments, questions, and thoughts about America’s Next Top Model to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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