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Tuesday March 28, 2006 1:50 am

America’s Next Top Model: The Girl Who Kissed a Roach

Top Model Kari

This week’s lesson?  It doesn’t matter what situation you find yourself in.  You must always remember to wear clean underwear…  and always make sure you look pretty.  Always.

There comes a time in every season when a girl must finally master the dreaded runway—and this was that week.  Making the lesson more difficult, the girls were asked by their runway coach, Miss J, to walk their walk in formal dresses.  Dresses that could prove quite tricky to strut in depending on the length and size.  Unfortunately, very few were able to walk away from criticism.  Even usually cocky Jade came down the runway a little too ‘safe’ to impress.  Miss J wondered whether her spirit had been broken by all the judges’ comments.  But the highlight of the day was wobbly Danielle.  Had she not managed to quickly brace herself, she would have fallen flat on her pretty face.

After being schooled by Miss J, the girls moved on to their next runway assignment for avant-garde designer, Jared Gold.  Unfortunately, the task would not be as glamorous as some may have expected.  The line of clothes—resembling a cross between a domantrix and a Swiss Miss—called for the girls to be glammed down with goth-style makeup.  To bug the girls even further, the ladies were paired with the latest fashion accessory—a leashed (and bejeweled) hissing cockroach.

Although stunned, most of them accepted the challenge.  They took Jared’s words to heart and were determined to handle the unexpected things thrown at them on the runway.  Surprisingly, their runway abilities proved to be a much bigger challenge than a large pesky bug.  Brooke walked too fast, Kari walked too slow and Mollie Sue was just too clunky.  Jade’s cockroach did give her problems from the get-go, but she immediately took control of the situation.  Instead of letting the roach crawl aimlessly all over her, she grabbed the bug in her hand and continued to strut her way down.  Then she kissed it.  Needless to say, she made a statement.

Another girl who managed to make a statement?  That would be Gina.  Unfortunately, while Jade exuded confidence—Gina was hysterical.  She was practically in tears from the roach’s first hiss.  Had Jared Gold not pushed her out on the runway, she might not have made it.  As it was, she came off looking like a spoiled and pouty Bratz doll.  She even capped off her fine performance with a stumble.  Needless to say, Jade won the task for the week.  She and four friends later received the VIP treatment at a fashion show.

For their next photo shoot, the girls had to maintain looking graceful under fire.  Dressed as characters from famous fairy tales, the contestants needed to remain photogenic while falling onto a mattress below.  Lord knows, we’ve all had enough pictures taken of us with our mouths open—so we can understand how much of a challenge this could be.  Jade as Little Red Riding Hood and Danielle as Snow White both did well with their respective shoots.  Brooke (dressed as the Emperor in his New Clothes) still couldn’t control her unusual facial features and came off looking like a showgirl.  Then there was Gina—the problem child as of late— who didn’t quite come off looking like the ‘sleeping’ beauty she should have.  She came off way to smiley for someone who should have been looking serene. The smiley bug also overtook Kari (Goldilocks) who came off sweet as apple pie.

Right before the final voting, the girls had to demonstrate their runway skills one more time.  Unfortunately being forced to wear incredibly wobbly Vivienne Westwood shoes proved difficult for the models (yet remained quite entertaining for the viewers).  While most of the girls had some trouble with the ridiculous heels, Kari and Danielle made the two most notable falls of the evening.  Fortunately for Danielle, she was able to recover with some humor and grace… unlike Kari, who eventually ended up as a ball of tears.  As for Gina?  She actually did surprisingly well with her walk—it was her face she had a problem with.

Not surprisingly, the two girls facing elimination this time around were Kari and Gina.  Everyone agreed that Kari was pretty, but was she really model pretty?  Gina, on the other hand, was continuously confusing the judges with her personality, or lack thereof.  In the end, the judges decided that we had enough pretty blondes in this world.  LOSER:  KARI

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