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October 9, 2015

America's Next Top Model: Ready for My Close-Up

by JJ Hawkins, posted May 10th 2008 7:35AM
It's the final four.

This cycle of America's Top Model has made me want to start up a debilitating heroin addiction.

Week after week my favorites have flown out the door starting with the "excitable" Amis and ending with that travesty of an episode two weeks ago when the distractingly beautiful Kataryzna was yanked for "too being vapid." My words, not theirs.

I can't seem to figure out what the hell the judges are looking for this go around, but I sure can tell you what they got. Want to hear it? Here it goes.

They've got a plus-sized over-actor who makes Al Pacino and Cuba Gooding Jr. look absolutely pedestrian by comparison.

They've got a lovely platinum blonde pixie who talks like she learned English at the "Hellen Keller Academy for Platinum Blondes who have Perpetual Head Colds." Seriously, could someone please get this girl some Claritin and the Rosetta Stone DVDs?

They've got an overconfident drag queen who could probably audition and get the lead if Broadway ever decided to put on Beastmaster: The Musical.

Finally, they've got an arrogant Iman-lookalike who caused a little piece of my soul to melt away like some Antarctic glacier at the mercy of the summer sun every time she continued on for another week.

Want to know the first time I ever contemplated taking a shot of Liquid Plummer and ending things prematurely? May 16, 2007. That's when Jaslene won cycle 8. Want to know the second time? February 20th, 2008. That's the first time Fatima opened her mouth. The difference? I actually went out and purchased a bottle of Liquid Plummer February 20th. If Fatima wins this thing I'm either going to down the entire bottle or go stuff up my toilet really bad. I figure I'm covered either way.

So, really? I've invested 12 weeks in this show, and this is our final four? I feel cheated, possibly even violated in some way. Not so much about Whitney and Anya as I was actually just poking fun at them in the paragraphs above. They both deserve to be in the final four for the most part. It's the other two!

It's like Tyra, Paulina, Nigel, and Mrs. Butterworth all got together and decided to play a horrible trick on the viewing public. "Let's confuse the audience completely by putting two girls in the final four who have absolutely no business being there! That'll get the ratings up!"

The fact that the commercials for Farmer Needs a Wife, mentions Dominique almost lends some credence to that theory. A controversial figure is good for ratings. A controversial figure who can also control two ferrets named Kodo & Podo, an eagle, and a tiger? That's going to set the ratings on fire!

Okay, that rant was way too long. I should probably start getting into the show.

For starters, I'd like to throw out a sincere apology to the three or four faithful readers who hollered a little when the recaps didn't immediately appear after the show like they typically have for the last couple of cycles.

I took a new position at the day job that had me traveling around the country for the last two weeks and I just couldn't get to the recaps. It was totally my fault and I'm sorry for hanging you out to dry like that. It was pretty lame on my part.

That said, this will probably be my last cycle to review ANTM. While I'd love to continue writing the recaps for the site, it doesn't look like I'll be able to do my due diligence and write up some news posts along with my recaps. That puts me in breach of my contract and thems be the rules. It's a shame, but we've had a nice run. Be kind to whoever takes this space over, okay?

I don't really have all that much to say about the gladiator photo shoot episode except that I think it was a total crock that Kataryzna didn't make it to the final four. Taking a look at the gallery, from a body of work standpoint, I felt she was the most modelesque of the bunch with the exception of maybe Anya. Sure, she was a little bit lifeless on occasion, but it felt like the judges were critiquing her on one bad performance.

For the love of God, Fatima got to stay in the competition and she didn't even take a photo during a shoot. They obviously judged her by her body of work and not on that one non-performance? Why that same standard didn't apply to Kataryzna is beyond me, but I'm absolutely bitter about it. Maybe it's a good thing I'm not going to be recapping this thing going forward.

When the girls made it back to the Italian villa during this episode, they were treated to several pictures hung up around the house showcasing Saleisha from cycle 9.

Dom thinks she's this cycles Saleisha.

This caused Dominique to wax poetic about how she just knew Saleisha was going to win cycle 9, and how beautiful Saleisha is, and how she considers herself to be cycle 10's version of Saleisha....

Um right. Not only do I find her to be the anti-Saliesha. I also find Dominique to be anti-salacious and possibly the Antichrist. In other words, I would rather make out with an agitated hornets nest then put my mouth anywhere near this monstrosity. I mean look at her. She could make a statue of the baby Jesus weep.

Next, the girls got to spend some time with timeless. Paulina made an appearance and informed the girls that they'd get to pick up a camera and take pictures of their peers. This ultimately led to a challenge where the girls would take pictures of Paulina and the person who took the best photo would be granted 50 extra pictures during their next shoot.

Fatima behind the lense.

Fatima and Whitney did a pretty stellar job directing Paulina while taking her picture. Dominique and Anya didn't do so well with Anya lacking focus and Dominique being absolutely clueless about the entire task. Fatima won the challenge and was given the extra film during the next shoot. Boooo.

All in all it was a pretty strange challenge. While it makes some sense to have the girls take pictures so they learn where to place themselves when having their photo taken, aren't the girls generally at the mercy of the photographer while on a shoot? Maybe I'm over thinking this.

This weeks shoot found the girls dressed up as women from the 1950's being chased by the paparazzi. Nigel Barker was the photographer which always ends up adding a little extra pressure to the girls since he's always on the panel.

Anya has thick eyebrows.

Take a look at the pic above. What in the heck was up with Anya's makeup during this shoot? Those dark eyebrows were super distracting and it didn't even look like the Anya we've come to know and drown out.

Fatima had an extra 50 frames which she really, really needed because Jay and Nigel both agreed that her first set of photos were atrocious. Yay!

Whitney left the overacting to the minimum on this shoot, and from what I could tell, seemed to do a pretty decent job. Then we got some Dominique action:

Dominique is still not cute.

I actually paused my TiVo and said a short prayer that all of Dom's film came out like this screencap. Could this be it? Is this the moment I've been waiting for all season long? Is Dominique going home tonight? Please, please, please! If I have to look at this expression one more time, well, I may as well become Bulimic.

Dom makes me a little bit sick.

The order of the photos:

Before that, it hurts to say this, but I feel bad for Dom in a sense because the panel is constantly calling her a tranny. What does hearing a comment like that do to the psyche of an aspiring model? I thought Stacy-Ann getting the boot against a model who didn't even take a photo was bad. Hearing beautiful people (Tyra and Paulina), constantly tell you that you look like a dude without an Adam's apple has got to destroy you as a person emotionally.

I know I've given Dominique a lot of crap this season because she's annoying and because she generally looks like she just went 12 rounds in a boxing match with an opponent with two bricks duct taped to his gloves, but there's a tiny, itty bitty little piece of me that aches for her and all the negative comments she's had to endure. Sure, this piece of me may only amount to a single subatomic particle, but it's there and it just shed a little tear.


That left Dominique and Fatima! It's like Christmas in May! Finally! One of the girls I despise with all of my heart will be heading home.

It's unfortunate that we can't get rid of two tonight, but beggars can't be choosers as the saying goes.

And the loser was -- Dominique. I just snorted a line of cocaine and did a back flip! I'm a little concerned because Fatima is still in the competition and I may have to kill myself if she wins, but at this point, I'm just glad that Dominique isn't going to be around anymore. It took 12 long weeks, but she's finally gone and I can sleep easy tonight.

And with that, the season is almost done. See you next week a couple of three hours after the finale for the final recap. Hope you enjoyed this season as much as I've despised it.

Will JJ have to kill himself? Who's winning this cycle?
Whitney227 (33.2%)
Anya355 (52.0%)
Get the plot ready and buy a casket. Fatima FTW!101 (14.8%)

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I've really NOT enjoyed this cycle. I hope Whitney wins, but I doubt she will. I love your recaps and totally agree with you! If Fatima wins, I'll probably stop watching ANTM!

May 14 2008 at 7:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

JJ! I wondered what happened to you last week (episide 11 week). I thought of you while watching the episode and when Tyra presented the first two photos (Fatima and Dominique) I immediately thought of you. I waited, patiently, for a recap. I wondered if the results made you give up on the show. I thought that maybe it gave you a heart attack, made you hurt yourself. I speculated that the review you wanted to give got censored. :)
(I'm kidding about everything after the "patient waiting" bit, but your last of pst was noted.)

I like your description of Anya - "lovely platinum blonde pixie..." etc. She's vacuous with an annoying voice and yet I have a soft spot for her. Right now she's the best in the competition. Vacuous doesn't matter in modelling. Whitney was marginally better than Fatima at the photography, but in the end it wasn't all that relevant.

Dom's attitude after her dismissal was positive. In person she really does look tranny and trashy and in that photo shoot - the paparazzi one - she was dreadful. My eyes need to be scrubbed after looking at that photo (send from bottom). I don't understand how she made it so far, but I'm not a professional, neither in modeling nor TV ratings. I do sympathize with the way she was portrayed on the show. Although she got to week 14, the editors f*cked with her, and the judges made fun or her, so we trashed her too, as it's part of the editors' job to make us like, hate and trash competitors. It's always someone - or "someones".

Anya's going to win, as I've previously predicted. Whitney's still too dramatic and pageant-y, but my prediction of her leaving by last week was incorrect. She should have gone before Kataryzna.

I dreamed the results last night but forgot the dream.

May 13 2008 at 11:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sorry to see that you are leaving JJ. I have enjoyed your recaps so much (and I confess I was one that was complaining - but it was only a snotty comment on Twitter - sorry!)

Anya looked like she was Madonna channeling Marilyn Monroe. Dom looked old (as usual). Fatima showed us the same unsincere smile and Whitney was clueless. None of them understood the concept of the shoot.

I guess Tyra has realized her main demographic is 15 year old girls because we haven't seen the drunk and dancing on tables or sex in a hot tub this season. I remember her outlawing smoking for the "role model" reason - I'm guessing she is also limiting the skank parts, too. I'm not sure if I'm liking the kinder-gentler ANTM.

1 down, 1 to go. I'm tired of Fatima talking crap about the other girls. I like Anya's attitude, but her speech drives me bats! I agree with a previous poster - I would listen to Dani over Anya any day. I would also like to see Whitney win. She has a great attitude and I don't think her behavior is as much cockiness as it is bravado to hide her insecurity over her size. I could do with a little overacting on the Cover Girl ads. Saleisha has been a monotone Boreisha big time!

May 12 2008 at 10:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

JJ, you're leaving? say it ain't so! there can never be another JJ...

i miss Stacy Ann too, and i felt like Katarzyna was this season's Kissee. there is one every season who does well and, as soon as they have a bad week, they are kicked off. its weird.

May 12 2008 at 9:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

okay, definitely your most hilarious recap ever. particularly whenever you slighted the horrifically atrocious dominique justice has been served. (oh, and anya's accent. the girl grows on me, she's so adorably vapid, but i pee my pants everytime she speaks.)
but as horrifcally obnoxious spindle-thin fatima is, you should lay off her. why... BECAUSE THE GIRL IS GORGEOUS AND COULD BE A GREAT SUPERMODEL (if she never gives out any sort of opinion and stops talking to herself... but judging by tyra banks' success, that apparently works). so if she wins... yes, not the most appealing personality. but physically stunning. please dont kill yourself, you humor will be missed.

May 11 2008 at 11:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Whitney will not win, because a "plus-sized" model will never win.... Toccara, Diane, Whitney #1, Diana... no big girl, no chance....

Anya will not win, because she talks as if she has marbles in her mouth....

Tyra always has a soft spot for women who have suffered and overcame.... do we even have to go there with winners Eva and Naima? Fatima will win and that's that. whether we like it or not...

May 11 2008 at 9:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Isn't this show called "America's Next Top Model"? Don't I remember that Fatima almost missed the Rome trip because her travel papers weren't in order and she had to go to some country's embassy to get it taken care of? Doesn't that mean she's (drum roll please)... NOT an American citizen? Then what the crap is she EVEN doing on the show?! Can you be America's Next Top Model and not be an American citizen? Change the name of the show or send Fatima packing! Gimme a break!!!

May 11 2008 at 3:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

RJH... What is the pattern you noticed for elimination?

May 11 2008 at 1:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was voting for Kataryzna. Too bad she's gone. I guess I'll have to hope Whitney or Anya win it.

As far as Dominique, I'm SO glad she's gone. I always laughed when she did that weird face scrunch thing. It looks like she's dropping a big dump in her pants. Trying to squeeze one out! So happy I don't have to see her crap herself anymore!!

May 10 2008 at 11:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great recap...my first visit here. I'm a Nielsen Ratings Household member & I refuse to watch this cycle now thru my t.v. & give ratings credit. I've watched since cycle one and there are many moments that give me pause on their judgement. And I've also noticed a pattern on who will be eliminated from the bottom two...the pattern is about 85% accurate from cycle 1 & on.

May 10 2008 at 9:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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