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Model Mouth: Looking at the Six Finalists Left on "Top Model"

I've completely fallen under the spell of this season's Top Model. Sure, Miss Jay irritates me more than ever (good god, the ruffles) and I'm never sure why Natasha is the one to read out the Tyra Mail clues, but, thanks to the girls of ANTM,Wednesdays have become more than just the home of my beloved Lost.

It's now down to the final six contestants. I've got my favorites, as I am sure you do too, along with those that I can't really figure out how they got onto the show, nor how anyone thinks that they could possibly win this thing. (Ahem, Jael.)

A brief aside: what the hell was Tyra wearing last week? While the editors wisely kept us guessing just what travesty the Bankable one decided to throw on this week (I couldn't help but notice that every shot of her was a long shot, surrounded by close-ups of the other judges, the girls, and, hell, the floor rather than a tight shot of her), I was blown away by the sheer ugliness of whatever it was that she had on. How can she possibly criticize the girls for what they show up wearing at judging if she's looking... like that? End rant.

Onto the competitors themselves. I'm amazed each week by the strides Dionne has taken recently. She's finally transformed from that pretty, if awkward, girl into a confident, sexy model. I thought for sure last week's challenge, in which she had to reenact that infamous limo kiss with Kim, would have lead to uncontrollable giggles, but Dionne not only acted like a paragon of professionalism but ended up enjoying herself and opening up. Her photos are polished and poised and, while she might not know exactly what to do with her hair or clothes in the judging room, she's come a long way so far. She's definitely the one to beat.

I really do love Brittany, who has a really unique look that's all her own. And thankfully, the producers finally got rid of her awful, mangy weave. Some girls on Top Model are crybabies just looking for attention; I do believe though that Brit was in severe amounts of pain thanks to that thing. She's quirky-looking without appearing weird or awkward and she more than held her own in the photo shoot with last season's twins, upstaging both sisters and stealing the shot. Not a mean feat, that. She's vaguely reminiscent of Stella Tennant but with softer features. I'd love to see her go up against Dionne but outside of the photo shoot she seems like a bit of a non-entity. Can the judges see her inner model?

Ah, Renee. There's always one completely "misunderstood" girl in the house and, this season, that's you, R. I think Renee is absolutely beautiful (even if her ubiquitous head scarves are distracting, to say the least) and usually takes stunning photos. She just needs the confidence in herself (and the distance from her past issues) in order to stand tall. I think she's really trying to be aware of her flaws and deal with her problems, at least in relation to living with the other girls, and she seems hungry enough to want this. As long as she concentrates on her own photos and poses, I think she could make it to the end. Unless the judges do think that she has a tendency to photograph "too old."

I wanted Natasha and her weird walk to be gone by the end of the first episode, but I do have to say that she's progressed really well and has finally managed to prove why she's there competing; her photos at first were completely vacant pin-up shots but in recent weeks she's managed to reverse a few of her irritating trends (upside down shot, pursed "model" mouth) to create some memorable shots. I don't think she'll make it to the end but I am impressed by the fact she's reinvented herself these past few weeks.

Jael. I really, really, really do not understand Jael. She's unique-looking, if your tastes for models runs towards the alien, but most of the time she looks awkward and far too angry in every shot. Plus, Tyra and the judges are right: once she opens her mouth, there's no way that this girl (who sounds either stoned or drunk or both) will get booked by anyone, unless she takes some elocution classes, stat. I think her time in the competition, unless she seriously brings it, is coming to an end.

Oh, Jaslene. You started off so strong and proved the judges wrong for not admitting you to Top Model earlier but lately your photos have been so... off. Personally, I've never been a Jaslene fan; while her photos at the beginning had a certain je ne sais quoi to them, I found her too skeletally thin (never a problem as a model, though) and thought that she definitely has a decency to look a little... drag-queenish, a description the judges have been loading onto her lately as well. She's always too high camp rather than polished and as soon as she grabbed that feathered headdress in the acting competition with Tia Mowry and Efren Ramirez last week, I knew that she had gone too far.

What do you think? Who will be the final two girls fighting it out for the chance to become America's Next Top Model? And how will producers tell the girls tonight that they're headed for the Land Down Under? Let's hope it's Tyra in a kangaroo costume with Miss Jay dressed up as her joey. Now that I've got to see.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Jericho (CBS); Thank God You're Here (NBC); America's Next Top Model (CW); According to Jim/Notes from the Underbelly (ABC); Bones (FOX)

9 pm: Criminal Minds (CBS); Crossing Jordan (ABC); Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll (CW); Lost (ABC); American Idol (FOX)

10 pm: CSI: New York (CBS); Medium (NBC); Lost (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: America's Next Top Model.

On tonight's episode ("The Girls Who Go Down Under"), the girls are given a lesson in hosting by a former ANTM contestant and then head to Australia, where they must interview some Aussie locals. Get out your didgeridoos; it's going to be a bumpy ride.

9 pm: Lost.

If you missed last week's Juliet-centric episode ("One of Us"), here's your chance to catch it again. It's reunion time as Jack finally makes it back to the beach, but his fellow castaways are less than pleased when they see that Juliet is with him. Meanwhile, we finally get some answers about Juliet's past (and get to see that submarine), while Claire is suddenly stricken with a mysterious illness. Uh-oh.

10 pm: Lost.

Lost is more than back on track for me. On tonight's episode ("Catch-22"), Desmond convinces Charlie, Hurley, and Jin to accompany him on a journey across the jungle, while Kate turns to Sawyer after catching Jack alone with Juliet. I'm counting down the hours...


Anonymous said…
I really, really hope it's Brit and Dionne in the final 2.

And I hate to say it, but Natasha is growing on me. She takes great pictures and I can no longer deny it.

I still hate renee. I don't think she's misunderstood. I think she's a bitch. I think Melrose was more misunderstood than Renee. And i couldn't stand her, either.

Not a fan, to say the least, of Jaslene (And yes - she is TOO skinny. Even for a model).

I like Jael. I don't know why, but I do.

I am SO glad they got rid of the weave, and I was annoyed w/Whitney a couple of weeks ago saying how she's had plenty of weaves and they didn't hurt. Well yes, Whitney, but you've had GOOD weaves. It was pretty clear this weave was god-awful.
Anonymous said…
I actually like Renee. Sure, she has an attitude problem, but this contest is about being a model and I think Renee has what it takes if she just focuses on herself and let's the other BS go. She has that hip bohemian look of Sienna Miller and gorgeous features.

I also like Dionne who has made the greatest strides in the competition. I think her facial structure and body are stunning. At first, she wasn't really getting the point of the photo shoots but I think her performance in last week's shoot proved that she's ready to step up.

Brit definitely takes some of the best pictures but she needs to start acting and looking like a model inbetween photo shoots. But, overall, I would be happy if any of these three girls won.
Anonymous said…
I've never been really big on Top Model, but this season I am HOOKED. It's a total guilty pleasure, and I love it.

Jael was great, but she talked like she had her jaw wired shut, reminiscent of season 1 winner Adrianne Curry.

Dionne has made great strides, but her personality doesn't stand out. I think she's kind of boring.

Jaslene has gotten on my nerves since day one and I think she's about done. Maybe she and Jaslene both just need good speech therapists. Good for her for being so tenacious and getting on the show and getting this far. I think she is naturally thin (for her) but she still looks entirely too thin. In the nude dessert shoot, she's really teeny.

The top three will be Natasha, Brittany, and Renee.

Natasha has completely blossomed. The girl has charisma in spades and everybody is falling in love with her.

Renee isn't misunderstood--she's just been super-combative as a defense mechanism. She's pushing them away before they can reject her. It's great to see her softer side coming out.

Brittany's photos are by far and away the best, but her memory problems will be a factor. That girl has yet to take a bad photo though.

If I had to pick a winner today, I'd pick Brit. And yes, I have a Top Model habit.

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