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October 8, 2015

America's Next Top Model: The Models Go Green

by JJ Hawkins, posted Sep 27th 2007 1:42AM
The Cycle 9 Girls

(S09E02) After 3,400 or so votes in last weeks poll the results are in, and a majority of you think Heather is going to win this competition. Chantal and Lisa were in second and third place respectively followed closely by Victoria in fourth. Sadly, Janet (my pick) is sitting in fifth place.

After watching tonight's episode, I'm willing to let you all change your mind on the whole Heather thing. Don't get me wrong, I think Heather is an attractive girl and she took a stunning photo in tonight's episode. Despite that, do you really see her as a CoverGirl spokeswoman?

Heather and a stuffed monkey.

Here she is on the balcony looking slightly awkward. It's important to note that her only company is a stuffed monkey. The awkward factor is billion times worse when she's around live, breathing human beings. I might be mistaken, but models are around other people pretty regularly.

Can you really see Heather walking a runway, doing speaking engagements, or nailing a commercial for some new mascara line? Can you see her at charity events, schmoozing at a high profile party, or doing whatever other highly visible tasks a model is required to do on a daily basis? I certainly don't on all of the above.

I guess it's possible that she could blossom into a confident, gregarious contender as the competition moves forward, but in all honesty, I just don't see it happening. It's unfortunate too, because I like a "good underdog prevails against impossible odds" story as much as the next person - the challenge just appears insurmountable in this instance.

Here's to hoping I'm proven wrong.

Anyhow, tonight the girls went green, because green is the new black. To go with this cycles green theme, the girls learned that they'd be transported around town in a 100% biodiesel bus that was replete with earth friendly items like grass and seats made from recycled tires. Sadly, upon entering the bus most of the girls still remained somewhat plastic.

The models were then carted off to their mansion for the next couple of months and they excitedly pranced around the house oooohing and aaaahing at pictures of Jaslene and Tyra strewn throughout the house.

We immediately got to see some of Heather's awkwardness which I ranted about earlier. Most of the girls were still excited about the house and doing silly things like jumping fully clothed into the pool, but Heather was sitting on her bed writing in what looked to be a journal.

Six girls in a tub.

To Heather's credit, she did jump into a bathtub with five other girls a bit later which caused me to turn to my wife and say, "Never have I so badly wished to be made of porcelain." She didn't find it amusing either.

This weeks photos were shot by Mike Rosenthal, and the theme revolved around the harm that smoking does to one's body. The girls would be shot in a glamorous pose while wielding a cigarette, then made to appear like they were suffering from some cigarette related affliction. The two images would later be superimposed into a single image that juxtaposed the sexy image smoking portrays against the true dangers smoking really inflicts.

First the green theme, then this. Tyra's really trying to make a difference this cycle, isn't she?

I know this is a very serious subject not to be taken lightly, but I was giggling like a school girl during this entire sequence. Some of the girls looked absolutely hysterical in their after make-up. I took some screencaps of my favorites and put my own special anti-smoking warning beneath.

Smoking may cause you to grow a skin mullet.

Surgeon General's Warning: Smoking may cause you to grow a skin mullet.

Smoking may cause Nosferatu

Surgeon General's Warning: Smoking may cause Nosferatu.

Smoking may cause you to get a face tattoo you regret.

Surgeon General's Warning: Smoking may cause you to get a face tattoo you will really, really regret.

Smoking will straight eff you up.

Surgeon General's Warning: Smoking will straight f*ck you up.

What in the holy hell did they do to Mila and what random woodland creature is she holding in her hand? She looks like someone who lived right outside the Chernobyl site. I don't blame her whatsoever for cracking up during her photos. This getup is absolutely ridiculous.

After the shoot Bianca and Lisa got into a verbal spat in which Bianca hit below the belt by saying, "You think America's Next Top Model is going to be a stripper? What a role model!" This caused Lisa to explode because she's pretty self-conscious about her former occupation.

Ultimately, Bianca proved she's smarter than she looks by apologizing to Lisa. Her reason for apologizing? She didn't want her comment to come up during panel. I think this was the first time I've seen someone on this show make a Big Brother like strategic decision to advance further in the game. I was impressed.

Later on in the episode, the girls got to go to Old Navy to choose some basic wardrobe items that they'd wear to panel to try and impress the judges. Their guide through the shopping process was none other than Benny Ninja, who came out looking like he'd been assaulted by a 75% off accessory bin.

One of the girls made a comment about Heather being at a disadvantage during this challenge because she obviously didn't keep up with current fashion trends. This was only one of several catty comments I heard during the show regarding Heather. It's almost like the other girls feel extraordinarily threatened by her, and therefore constantly try and talk her down for their own peace of mind.

Maybe you all are on to something with this whole Heather thing...

Saleisha ended up winning the Old Navy challenge and won a $1,000 shopping spree. We also learned that this will be a no smoking cycle keeping with the whole "Tyra's going to change the world" theme.

The order of the photos:

  • Heather
  • Lisa
  • Chantal
  • Sarah
  • Jenah
  • Saleisha
  • Ambriel
  • Victoria
  • Janet
  • Kimberly
  • Bianca

It came down to Ebony and Mila with Mila eventually being the one who got sent home. She was bound to be the person picked to leave due to the disservice her make-up artist performed on her during the photoshoot. It also might have been due to the vacant expression she had on her face 99% of the time - I can't quite decide. Either way she's gone and I'm not sad.

Until next week.

Could a former exotic dancer win America's Next Top Model?
Yes - What's being an exotic dancer have to do with anything?212 (60.7%)
No - Exotic dancers are immoral and therefore incapable of winning modeling competitions.31 (8.9%)
Indifferent - Who cares? I'm still laughing about Mila's photoshoot picture.106 (30.4%)

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Whatever...Heather is Heather and I commend her for being so brave. I do not feel bad for her. I only feel bad for the people who felt the need to pick her apart because they are unable to appropriately interact with individuals who may not be just like them and writers who feel the need to point out her "awkwardness". Yeah she is different, but who isn't? The fact that Heather's condition affected the other girls and America so severly proves how morallly wrong our society is. Its too bad that she had to experience such disrespectful treatment and her name continues to be subjected to criticism. When I stated that I commend Heather for being so brave is because she knew what she was getting into and its sad that she had to prepare for that.

November 28 2007 at 9:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You obviously are ignorant if you are judging Heather for a disability that she has no control over. My brother has Aspergers, so what? Hes a normal person just like me, sure, a person may need to try harder to get a conversation out of him, but thats fine. as for Heather "causing you greif", you are an ignorant snob for even saying that. Research Aspergers Syndrome to get a better understanding of a person before you judge them. What right do you have to make a comment like that? Oh, thats right, none.

-Emma, sister of an Asperger's brother.

November 10 2007 at 4:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That's right, Heather might be awkward but she has a neurological disorder (Asperger Syndrome/autism.) She may be DIFFERENT but that doesn't mean she is incapable of doing the job. The season is new, everyone usually improves a lot, and anyone who is mean to her because of her autistic traits need psychiatric help.

Sarah, a fellow autistic

October 07 2007 at 5:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was extremely disappointed in the comments and behavior of the ones who were making fun of Heather. Are these not adult women? Did I miss the "welcome back to the 8th grade" sign above the door? I am constantly amazed at the level of cruelty one human being can show toward another. Not to mention the ignorance and lack of compassion they showed in dealing with someone who is slightly different. And shame on Tyra for showcasing this behavior in the first place. In the Behind the Scenes show of AMTM it was noted that Tyra has a hand in every aspect of the production -- right down to watching the daylies and assiting in the editing. She knows darn good and well what is being said, when and by whom. I can only hope that those who have acted so cruely will be judged for it. How often on this show do we hear how America's Next Top Model needs to have a strong character, class and integrity? Plus, I think it should be noted that Tyra intentionally placed Heather with another model for this first shoot. She picked the one girl who she knew would have the most difficulty relating to another person and forced her to do just that on her very first photo shoot ever! Real nice, Tyra. Way to opt for sensationalism over compassion. This is not to say that Heather should not be challenged just like everyone else, because she should. But I hate it when I see an obvious attempt at creating drama simply for that sake of ratings. It's so cheap. Oh, and to anyone who thinks that being articulate and a good spokesmodel has ever been a factor on this show, go back and watch/listen to Adrianne slur every word, Nicole drone on in a monotone and Danielle plod her way through a commercial. Then tell me just how much speaking and acting ability is required for this job.

October 01 2007 at 9:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I used to respect Tyra, but no more. I think she brings in women with courage like Heather for ratings..sorry but the truth. If she honestly wanted to help her and felt she had potential, wouldn't she have had someone explain her condition to the girls so they wouldn't be so ignorant and make all those snide comments? Also all of a sudden you all are not smoking, so the girls have to go through withdrawal and the nervousness and all the tension too. Way to set them up for failure. Why not advertise you "new ways" before the girls sign up? Whoever her "conscience is needs to wake her up." I am very disappointed, oh yeah and while I am ranting a bit, how about her big hooha deal she made about introducing the world to plus size models. Haven't seen too many of them running around, oh I forgot in her world size ten is plus size.

October 01 2007 at 1:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hello! I would like to know where I can get a monkey like the one Heather is holding in the picture. It's so cute.

Thanks =)

September 30 2007 at 5:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Exec Mom

Re: Posted at 12:12PM on Sep 27th 2007 by rick cokely

Rick, your comments holds true about Heather, as the author of this article is expressing only their personal opinion which should be researched, as in 'asperger's'. As for Heather or any other contestant doing a spokes model shoot, they will all be coached...that's right, its a national TV program, not some rag-time amatur producing such. The only rag-time you will see, its the catty behavior among some of these girls, which of course, its irresponsible and will eventually lead to sending these same girls home. There is no room in this business for such. Only the professional will be taken serious.
After researching the history of the contestants, Heather should not be singled out as being awkward, as the other girls will subcomb to further ridicule, because they are also inexperienced. ANTM is there to groom these girls...so this has been said.

Heather will come out on top if not, win, period. Her socialization skills may be off, yet she is there to do the best she is ask to do without causing grief toward anyone. I have a close family member with mild asperger. Inquisitive individual, especially if its something of interest. Give this individual their space, proper coaching, they will exceed.

September 28 2007 at 2:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My three favorites so far are Victoria, Lisa, and Chantel. Those three had the best photos over everyone! I was so mad at the girls for bad mouthing Heather like that, it literally made me want to throw up that these girls were being so mean just because Heather was a little different, and who was the girl that didn't want Heather to cling to her? What an awful person, they all looked so ugly. Thank goodness for Victoria to be morally superior.

September 27 2007 at 4:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
S...antm lova!

I just love JJ Hawkins. How do I write to him? I luv all the comments!

September 27 2007 at 4:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I like both Heather and Lisa. I think Heather can handle a spokesmodel assignment better than a runway, though. The poor thing walks like Lurch - she needs Miss Jay to help her with the way she holds her head and shoulders.

Lisa will have to live down her previous job title. I know the girls are going to throw it in her face every chance they get.

I was so glad to see Mila go. Clueless females with vacant expressions drive me crazy. I'd like to see Bianca go next.

September 27 2007 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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