America’s Next Top Model 7: Why CariDee IS a Top Modelby Jenn Brasler -- 12/12/2006
I was thrilled that CariDee won, and I’d been sure the past few weeks that she would be the one to win the title of America’s Next Top Model. CariDee had “model” written all over her, and she didn’t disappoint when it came time to test her skills. She was confident, passionate, and comfortable throughout the competition, not to mention gorgeous and talented. I don’t think many people were surprised that she won. So let’s see how well she followed the Top Model Tips on her journey to the top.
The first tip tells the girls to be open and welcome change. Much like her final-two competitor Melrose, CariDee attacked each challenge in a positive way, approaching each with an attitude that said she was excited to try her best and show her stuff. She had no problem adjusting in every situation, taking the opportunity to show how versatile she was. While other girls struggled to master skills and try to appear pretty at the same time, CariDee did almost everything with ease. Even modeling while wearing an elephant trunk wasn’t a challenge for her.
The second tip tells the girls to know something about the fashion industry. CariDee did exhibit a little fashion knowledge in the interview challenge, though the girls weren’t tested much on this aspect of modeling. Still, we know that CariDee was a photographer before she pursued modeling, and if she studied fashion photography, she probably also studied fashion itself. She herself had a great personal style and showed that she knew what a model should wear.
Tip #3 is to practice your walk. The only time I recall CariDee practicing her walk was right before the runway reward in Texas, but the reward itself gave her the opportunity to practice. Unfortunately, she could have used some more, since as we saw in the final runway, she didn’t really have a developed walk, let alone a signature walk. Still, that was about the only place Melrose trumped her in the final challenge. As the girls weren’t tested or judged much on their walks this cycle, CariDee’s poor walking abilities in the final challenge weren’t given much weight in the final judging.
Tip #4 is that personality counts. CariDee had no problem here. She and Brooke both had personalities that stood out the most, and after Brooke’s elimination, CariDee had the most distinct personality of anyone in the house. Thanks to her positive attitude and overall general happiness, she was constantly praised for not only displaying a great personality, but for showing the personality of a model. She was definitely someone the judges wanted representing Cover Girl and America’s Next Top Model. I think this was one of the main reasons they chose her over Melrose. CariDee was genuine, and that really shined through.
The fifth tip says to focus on yourself, not the other girls. CariDee avoided a lot of the drama in the house, even when she and Melrose practically declared each other arch-nemeses. She was so poised and focused that even fighting among the other girls didn’t distract her, no matter how often they tried to get her involved. She was even able to give Anchal some advice without getting too caught up in her personal drama. I think that like Melrose, CariDee wanted to win so much that she wouldn’t let anything get in her way. We rarely saw her falter, and when she did, she was quickly able to recover and move on. That’s a great skill for a model to have, and I think the judges noticed.
The last tip tells the girls to roll with the punches and not fight with the judges. Of course, CariDee got herself in trouble for joking around with Nigel, but even that wasn’t such a big deal. (Later, he was one of her biggest advocates, so I guess there were no hard feelings.) Other than that small stumble, CariDee handled everything thrown at her with ease and confidence.
Despite being freezing cold in a pool during a photo shoot, CariDee pushed herself and kept going. (And I think it was really stupid that she landed in the bottom two that week.) When the judges told her to think about how she looked before coming to panel, she listened and made sure to follow their directions. Not only did she roll with the punches where the judges were concerned, but she made sure to take what they had to say into consideration. She went above and beyond to make sure she was giving her best performance possible.
Even with a couple of minor setbacks, CariDee flew through the competition, performing well in almost every photo shoot and earning praise from the judges for her photos, her personality, and her attitude. She won the whole competition because of those three things, as well as because she actualized her potential (rather than just showing she had some) and showed how hard she was trying. CariDee took the judges’ advice, she paid attention in challenges to do what she was asked to do, and she demonstrated the talent and characteristics a Top Model should have. The judges were always impressed with her and wanted to see her do well, which she did. That’s why CariDee is a Top Model.
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 she’s a spy for a covert branch of the CIA. You can e-mail her at email@example.com. Mainly she’s glad Melrose didn’t win because CariDee vowed to puke all over everything if she did.