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Thursday November 29, 2007 3:01 pm

America’s Next Top Model: Cycle 9: ‘The Girls Go on Go-See Adventures’

America's Next Top Model

Lisa’s elimination last week did not come without controversy.  Chantal found it shocking that Heather – who also bombed the commercial – was allowed to have her script fed line by line.  No other model in that home would have been given the same chance, nor would they have been allowed to remain after failing.  Meanwhile, Jenah found it frustrating that had turned into a ‘personality’ competition.  (Pleez – if this was all about personality, Bianca would have been kicked off a long time ago.)  She didn’t feel she needed to be as bubbly as Saleisha to be considered personable.

The episode got off to an exciting start when the ladies were sent on their oh-so-important ‘go-sees’.  This challenge is a good indicator of how successful the girls might be in the real world; it’s also a great measure of the competitors’ true personalities.  How well do they handle stress?  Are they good at taking instruction?  Are they quick on their feet?  If they’re lost, do they know how to get help?  Can they manage their time properly?  Do they prioritize well?  Do they know how to put their best foot forward?

Although Bianca was excited to get this phase of the competition underway, Heather was understandably nervous.  She knew making ‘good first impressions’ was not her forte; it’s unfortunately an important skill the eventual winner would have to master.  As Saleisha put it, the go-sees were “what being a Top Model is all about.”

After arriving at the local modeling agency, the managing director gave them their instructions.  In six hours, the girls had to meet as many fashion designers as possible.  Although the ladies had a translator to accompany them in their assigned cars, the responsibility to find their appointments once they had exited the vehicle was entirely theirs.  It was also their duty to make it back on time; any late arrivers would immediately be disqualified.

Saleisha, the first girl to return to the agency, managed to complete three out of five go-sees in the time allotted.  Unfortunately, her sweet (and sometimes brown-nosey) disposition didn’t necessarily help her win jobs; the designers felt she came off very dull on camera.  Bianca also made it to three of the locations in just enough time.  Although she appeared a bit nervous during her interviews,  the designers loved her runway walk and dazzling smile.  Meanwhile, more than half of the girls found themselves out of time.  Jenah – who actually completed four visits – arrived 15 minutes late.  It probably didn’t matter anyway, the designers were unimpressed with her lacking personality and ‘messy’ appearance.  Chantal, who stupidly forgot to wear nude underwear to her four interviews, returned to the agency 20 minutes late.  Then there was Heather.  (Oh Heather, where do I begin?)  In 6 hours, she only managed to locate one go-see.  She then topped off her stellar performance by returning a whopping 40 minutes late.  Her inability to grasp her geographical situations or have any sense of urgency was completely astounding.  As it was, she couldn’t even wow the one person she did actually meet with.  Sad.

Later that evening, the girls dined at a nice restaurant overlooking the local harbor; the managing director from the modeling agency met them there.  To find out the winner of the previous challenge, the ladies were instructed to look toward the water.  On a ship passing by, they saw Bianca’s face illuminated clearly for them to see. This was (surprisingly) her first challenge win, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.  The go-see reward was on an international scale; Bianca’s face was now part of the 2008 Beijing Olympics ad campaign.

For their next shoot, the ladies had to contend with a very busy background.  It was important for them to make their presence known while working with large Chinese lions and dragons.  Jenah, Chantal and Heather all knew the stakes were high going into this shoot.  Having received zeros for their last challenge, it was extremely important for them to rock their photos.  Unfortunately, having Nigel Barker as their guest photographer didn’t help matters much.  Now they had to impress him on several different fronts.

Naively, Jenah did not feel intimidated by Nigel’s presence at all.  When he first arrived on the set, she acted a bit unprofessional with her sarcastic tone.  Instead of properly kissing his ass, she was busy giving him crap.  She only realized the importance of impressing her photographer when she actually started shooting – but by then, it was too late.  She was unable to deliver any good angles and her energy was completely MIA.  She didn’t receive any amazing critiques.

Afterward, Saleisha turned things up a notch with her stint in front of the camera.  For the first time, Jay felt she was becoming less timid and more confident.  Although Bianca demonstrated great body language, she had problems working her eyes and lips.  Meanwhile, Chantal – who struggled to break from her ‘showgirl poses’ – was easily distracted by any good compliment thrown her way.

After a several disappointing performances over the last few weeks, Heather did her best to not overthink her latest attempt.  Unfortunately, she second-guessed herself through the entire shoot and brought only ‘static’ to the lens.  (It didn’t help that an audible Jenah was making catty comments from the peanut gallery.)

When it came down to major decision time, the judges chose Saleisha as this week’s winner.  They felt the commercial-looking model was finally starting to show some edge.  More importantly, the critical Barker found her great fun to work with.  He thought she was very charming and had a great attitude.  Plunked in this week’s Bottom Two were Jenah and Heather.  Although the judges both felt the ladies took strong photos, they were concerned with their communication problems.  If Heather couldn’t handle making it to a go-see, how would she ever book a job?  Would she even be able to survive in the industry?  Meanwhile, it was Jenah’s attitude that threatened her livelihood in the business.  If designers weren’t drawn to her personality, why would they hire her?

In the end, at least Jenah managed to score three more job interviews than her competitor.  LOSER: Heather.  The final four competitors now moving on to Beijing are:  Saleisha, Bianca, Chantal and Jenah.

(EDITOR’S NOTE:  Now that Heather’s gone, I really don’t care who wins from this point forward.)

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



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