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Thursday May 8, 2008 12:35 pm

America’s Next Top Model Cycle 10: Ready for My Close-Up

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On this episode of , the remaining girls had their multi-tasking skills put to the test.  Not only did they have to learn how to take direction, they had to learn how to give it as well.

Who proved they were good at dishing it out…and who just wouldn’t stop talking? Read on!

America's Next Top Model, Dominique

With only four candidates still in the running, the girls knew they were in control of their own futures.  The competition was incredibly stiff and they couldn’t afford to screw up.  Having been in the bottom two weeks in a row, Whitney knew she was a very lucky girl.  No person this season had managed to hang on after that many close calls.  She had to focus on being natural and not “posey” from this point on.  Meanwhile, Dominique was feeling pretty good about her chances.  After viewing some photos of the Cycle 9 winner, Dom couldn’t help but make her own comparisons.  “I remember the first time I saw Saleisha, I said ‘This girl is gonna win.’  I guess I’m the Saleisha of this competition.”

For their challenge of the week, the girls traveled to a park where they found and photographer Francesco Licata waiting for them.  Paulina told the ladies that learning what things look like from behind the camera is quite useful to those who want to be in front of it.  So it was Francesco’s job to give them all a crash course in photography.  Once they had learned some basics on composition and lighting, the women were then given some time to use each other as practice subjects.

Later, the judge and (Editor-in-chief of Seventeen magazine) explained the real part of their challenge.  They were now going to take turns shooting Paulina.  After five minutes, the person who turned out the best photo and worked well with their subject would win an extra 50 frames at their next shoot.

First up was Fatima.  The Iman look-alike did a great job directing the former supermodel and spoke to her in a respectful manner.  She wasn’t afraid to try different things and was vocal when she wanted her subject to smile.  Paulina felt she was very strong and a good leader.

Dominique, on the other hand, had problems giving specific instructions.  She didn’t have a clear vision in her head and would often blurt out vague concepts like “be fun.”  Paulina knew her photographer wanted to accomplish something brilliant, she just didn’t know how.  Her sense of composition was horrible as well.  In several cases, a large plant wound up overshadowing the model’s face.

America's Next Top Model, Whitney

Whitney didn’t hesitate to ask for what she wanted.  Surprisingly, Dominique even admitted her plus-sized challenger came off as a professional.  She communicated well and wasn’t overly verbal.  Paulina said she was a lot of fun to work with and had a firm hand.  She also had a good eye for light.

Anya was the complete opposite of Fatima and Whitney.  The other two girls were very calm during their shoots, while Anya was all over the place.  One second Paulina would be throwing leaves, the next second she would be tugging on a plant.  Her photographer was so full of energy; she just didn’t know how to channel it.  The blonde had a lot of crazy ideas that weren’t fully realized.  Either they worked or they didn’t.

When it was all over, the two judges chose Fatima.  (This was her first challenge win.)  They liked that she gave a potential editor a lot of different options to work with.  Now it was up to her to make good use of those extra frames.

Back at home, Fatima moved on to practicing her runway walk.  She came there with a mission and that mission was to win.  Unfortunately, Dominique not only used that moment as an opportunity to criticize her opponent (again), she used it as a moment to talk about herself:

“I’ve always believed that I would make it all the way.  There are some people who sometimes had better pictures than I did at certain photo shoots and I’m still here.  Wow, it’s so amazing when you believe in yourself.  It’s like it sends out this powerful energy….reaffirming what you already know.  It means so much more when you believe in yourself.”  (That’s nice that you that you believe in yourself, Dom – but why can’t you also keep it to yourself?)

America's Next Top Model, Anya

The next day, the girls met up with for the main event of the week.  For this night shoot (helmed by none other than Nigel Barker himself), the ladies were going to be styled like movie stars from the 1950’s.  The goal was to pretend like they didn’t want a paparazzo snapping them while they were out with their boyfriend.  (Key word here is “didn’t.”)  Jay told the ladies their frames should be cinematic; he didn’t want them standing around and just posing.  It was now time for them to take it to the next level.

Anya – who was fortunate enough to have a previous shoot with Nigel – felt more comfortable than the other models from the start.  Unfortunately, her calmed nerves didn’t translate into breezy experience.  She looked too posey from the start – as if she was an actress who wanted to be shot.  It was only when Jay purposely interrupted her that Barker managed to get something that appeared natural.  (Her foot slipped at one point and the moment genuinely surprised her.) The distracted look worked in her favor.

Fatima, who had never had a boyfriend and was scared she couldn’t look sexy around men, was up next.  Although Nigel spent some time demonstrating some possible angles, the dark beauty couldn’t seem to translate those instructions in her head.  She went back to Modeling 101 and kept turning her body away from the camera.  At one point, Jay actually stopped the shoot and had her come look at her awful frames.  Unfortunately, things still didn’t get much better from there.  The Somalian failed to deliver anything inspiring for Nigel and looked bored stiff.  Despite having an extra 50 chances, the girl seemed completely lost.

Whitney – the girl who needed to become more “natural” – did she does best: pose.  She was so focused on being pretty, she forgot what the goal of the assignment was. The point wasn’t to stand around and look good for the camera, it was to look good while running away from it.  As Nigel noted, she needed to learn how to work within an idea.

Last up was Dominique.  Although Jay and Nigel hoped someone would finally deliver what they needed, she too was thrown by the overall concept.  Her frames looked quite staged and completely lacked the element of surprise.  Given her spectacular job last week, Manuel regrettably said the improved model had taken a few steps back.

America's Next Top Model, Fatima

When it came time for the final panel, Anya managed to luck herself into first place.  While her photo was clearly the best of the bunch, Nigel knew that she had lucked into it.  She didn’t consciously turn her slip into a surprised expression – that was genuine surprise on her face.  She had to learn how to be in control of her emotions.

Coming in second was Whitney.  They thought her photo was stunning, even if she didn’t look stunned.  It was the first time they had seen a still that did her face justice; they just wished her body wasn’t so stiff.  She still didn’t quite know how to model and act at the same time.

Falling in the Bottom Two this week were Dominique and Fatima.  Although Dominique had definitely shown great improvement of the last few weeks, they were still having a few issues with her.  Not only was she failing to impress them with her looks before the panel, they were still having difficulties getting over her tranny look in the photos.  They weren’t quite sure if her angles were quite soft enough, especially for a client like CoverGirl.

As for Fatima, they didn’t like her “I’ve never had a boyfriend” excuse.  That was no reason for her to have a difficult time.  Models are constantly hired to do things they’ve never done before.  While her smiling photo might have been great for a print ad, it wasn’t what was asked of her.  They also didn’t like what they had heard about her on set.  Nigel felt that she came off as quite snooty; she never seemed like she listening to their suggestions.

In the end, the judges apparently felt a she-male could only go so far.  LOSER:  Dominique.

(You can review last week’s episode here.)
(You can read next week’s finale here.)



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