Another week, another fascinating episode of Top Model; an episode that was a showcase for the less-than-subtle techniques employed by the producers...but let's get started.
So the episode starts, and Jade, Nnenna, and Furonda are all in one of the bedrooms together, having a mock elimination ceremony, featuring Jade as Tyra, and Nnenna and Furonda as the bottom two. Jade hands Furonda her photo, and Furonda says "thank you for believing in me". Foreshadowing, anyone?
Nnenna is in her confessional, and tells us that Jade is her favorite person in the house, and that they've formed a friendship despite it being a competition. Sara tells the camera that although they seem different at first, Jade and Nnenna have many similiarities. Furonda is then shown practicing her runway walk, and tells us that she feels that her photos have only been getting better and better, and that she may be a forerunner in the competition. The issue of Danielle's gap is brought up next, and she doubts that she'd like the end result if her gap got closed.
And then the TyraMail shows up, one of the many highlights of the show. It simply reads, "How pressed are you to win?" -Tyra
The girls are shown entering a lobby-like room of a nice building, and they sit down to chat with Rachel McCallister, who is going to teach them the "do"s and "don't"s of dealing with the press. She gives an example of certain questions that may be asked to each girl, and ends up inadvertently asking Nnenna what's up with cheating on her boyfriend, despite not knowing that there had been an incident earlier in the season. The true challenge, however, is to deal with George Wayne, who would be asking them questions.
A montage ensues of certain snippets of the girls' interviews with Mr. Wayne, including one in which he tells Jade that she "looks like an arrogant b!tch" to him, to which she states that that's a belief she's trying to break, and that she's an "exotic bi-racial butterfly". He finishes with the girls and reviews their performances. Furonda had the toughest questions, but handled them well. Joanie was the truest to herself. Danielle needed to improve her speech. George questioned Sara's desire to be in the competition. Nnenna handled herself well under pressure, despite seeming a bit snobbish at times, and Jade made a mistake in "taking on" the interviewer. George makes his decision, and the winner is...Nnenna, who then picks Jade to share the reward with her. The reward? They get to be "pampered" by the other girls later on.
Back to the loft, and Danielle's gap issue is re-addressed. She calls her mom for help, who reminds her of Cassandra's infamous decision to not get her hair cut shorter. Her mom reminds Danielle that the question is "what do you want to do?", as they go to break to build up the drama of it all. Once the show comes back on, she ends up seeing the dentist, who reassures her that getting it closed is the right thing to do, bringing up the fact that "Tyra would say that she wants you to look fierce." She gets the work done, and her teeth come out looking great, although they couldn't close her gap all the way, or it would have looked too strange. Well done, Mr. Dentist. She does look fierce. Problem solved.
Meanwhile, back at the loft, Sara continues to be concerned with her desire being questioned constantly, talking with her boyfriend about it. Nothing really happens with that.
The girls leave the house, and go to what is most likely a building somewhere, although all we're shown is a tiny ethnic-looking room. There's a small table close to the floor, requiring kneeling to sit at it. In walks Sutan, their make-up artist, in drag dressed like Tyra. He calls himself Ty-ra Banks, and the real Tyra walks in. They "argue", and Tyra calls herself Ty Ty Baby, followed by Sutan saying he's Ty, upon which statement Tyra reveals to the girls that they're going to Thailand!
The girls pack, and as they do so, Nnenna says she has high expectations of herself, and that she thinks others have high expectations of her as well. Furonda states that Nnenna is her biggest competition...hmm...more foreshadowing, perhaps? The girls arrive in Bangkok, Thailand, as a rather strange-looking pink van pulls up to take them to their hotel. They get to the ritzy, bee-yootiful hotel and enter their room, and then familiarize themselves with the surroundings.
The next day, the girls head out to the Dulai Spa to provide Nnenna and Jade with their bubble bath and massages. While Joanie treats the girls well out of respect for Thai culture, Furonda's irritated and, in Joanie's words, doesn't give a rat's a$$. After the spa, they get back to the room, where they see TyraMail waiting for them. It says:"I know it's tough being around so many girls. So get some tail." -Tyra
Our models arrive at a floating market, with vendors sitting in boats in a tiny canal. Mr. Jay shows up and tells them that for their shoot, they're going to be the "catch of the day". The girls will be mermaids, hanging upside-down in a fishing net over the market, with dead fish and seaweed in the net as well.
Danielle goes first, and finishes, stating that the harness hurt a lot with the comment, "My uterus is probably as flat as a pancake right now." Nnenna is next, and states in a confessional that she would have pictured a mermaid with long, flowing hair, and that she didn't know what to do since she had no extensions. Jade's turn comes, and she does well. When Jay asks where she learned to pose, she said she listened, watched, and learned. Sara gets in the net, and ends up looking like a "scared guppy" for about the first 20 frames, but from there she got it together and looked good. Furonda's turn came and she started off with a bit of an attitude. That attitude turned to pain, as the harness hurt, and it showed on her face in almost every frame. The day ended with Joanie's shoot, which started off in Nausea-land, since she had decided to drink an entire cup of coffee before being inverted in the net. In the end, however, Jay said she was able to turn it out and do well at the shoot.
Before judging, Jade says she has no idea who could be going or who's the most vulnerable, and Nnenna tells us that she feels her shoot went well. They enter the new judging room, decorated heavily with Thai culture all around. Gold and stuff. You know. Tyra goes over the prizes:
"The first is a contract with top international modeling management company Ford Models. A spread in Elle Magazine shot by world-renowned photographer Gilles Bensimon. And a $100,000 contract with CoverGirl Cosmetics." The judges include "the noted fashion photographer, Nigel Barker. Diva extraordinaire, Miss J. Alexander. The lovely Twiggy; fashion icon," and guest judge Jaturong Hirankarn, who was their photographer.
Their judging test before elimination was to sell their persona to the judges, with an emphasis on the need to be memorable. The girls make their "speeches", and the individual evaluations follow.
We start with Joanie, whom Nigel says needs to deliver her lines rather than just saying them. She also used too many clichés, such as "life is a track meet, not a marathon; it's shorter than you think". Nigel tells her she doesn't want to be a "bumper sticker model". They show her photo, and Tyra tells Joanie that her whole film was beautiful, and she had a relaxed face.
Up next is Jade. Twiggy points out that in the test, Jade contradicted herself, saying "what you see is what you get", and then "don't judge a book by its cover". Tyra critiques her look, saying the combination of too much eye makeup, a head scarf, and her large earrings made her look 20 years older than she really is. They show her photo, and Twiggy says it's very sensual, which she thinks a mermaid should be. Tyra says Jade looks very soft in the face.
Nnenna comes third. Miss J. says Nnenna's speech was a bit too "Miss America's Next Top Model", and Nigel says it was boring. Tyra mentions that there were 4 or 5 times when she though Nnenna was done, but she wasn't. Nnenna explains herself by saying she thought they "were supposed to sell" themselves, to which Tyra says that the sold it but they didn't buy it. They bring up her photo, and the judges tell her she needs to bring something else to the table, something different. Tyra mentions that Nnenna was the challenge winner, and that Mr. Wayne said she had a strong presence and was very smart and aware.
Fourth is Danielle, who the judges said did well at the judging test. She showed them her closed gap, and they all liked it. Danielle's photo appeared on the screen, and they praised it, saying there was no strain, it was effortless, and elegant.
Sara is next, and the judges say she needs to not "show off" so much about her intelligence, because as Twiggy put it, "that's like waving a red flag at a bull". Her photo is revealed, and they say her arms were a bit awkward, although the shot was still good. Tyra tells Sara that her face wasn't "on" very often in the film, and that that seems to be becoming somewhat of a trend.
And last but not least is Furonda, who the judges feel seemed insecure at the judging test. The photo appears and Tyra says it's great since it's striking in both the wide shot and the close-up, although for most of the film, Furonda's shots looked as though she was in pain.
The girls are sent to the waiting room while the judges deliberate. The girls come back out, and Tyra tells them she only has 5 photos in her hands. The first name she calls is...
Danielle, who has a great personality.
Jade is called second, and she says to Tyra "thank you for believing in me". Sound familiar, anyone? (*cough*See beginning of summary*cough*)
Sara is then called, followed by Joanie.
The bottom two stand there, as Tyra calls them forward. Tyra tells Nnenna that she started the competition at the very top, and she had that "It" thing, but that it's been fading ever since. Furonda, on the other hand, started at the very bottom, and worked her way up. However, the judges still aren't sure if they can see a model in her or not.
Tyra reveals the last photo. "Furonda, you need to work on your appearance." She tells Furonda to be very careful, and to be sure not to give the judges any reason to send her home. She congratulates Furonda on still being in the running towards becoming America's Next Top Model, and says "thank you" to Nnenna, sending her home.
Nnenna packs up to leave, and says that she was surprised to be leaving, but that she still wants to do the runway and shoot with as many photographers as possible, since it's her dream. She hopes that Top Model will help her career in the future, and walks down the hall as she leaves the show forever.
Next week's previews start, which is merely "Tempers boil over in Bangkok", since the rest of the previews are a plug for the next hour, which is a special (which I didn't tape and therefore can't cover).
Thanks for letting me do this again, I enjoyed it! I hope everyone else likes it as well