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'America's Next Top Model': The women pose in purple rain

March 18, 2010 | 10:01 am
Americas-next-top-model-raina In this episode of “America’s Next Top Model,” some of our favorites stumble (some literally) while others rise to the occasion and new judge André Leon Talley makes his debut.

First, can I just mention that the new show open is pretty fabulous?

The clothes off their back
The 90-minute episode starts up right where the premiere left off. The women get one piece of clothing to model and that’s it. Naked on the first shoot? Miss Tyra don’t play.

You know who else isn’t playing? Angelea. She is really not taking this second chance lightly, and it showed. I was surprised that Gabrielle didn’t “show up” for her shoot, because she really impressed me with her knowledge of the industry in the premiere. Brenda had this black bob wig on and looked gorgeous. Ren seemed to impress everyone, but I didn’t see it. Krista just looked scared.

Next, the women went right into an elimination. And, boom! André Leon Talley in the house! It’s so exciting that we’ll get to know the guy that most of us have only seen sitting in the front row at fashion shows. Nice nab, Tyra!

Well, the first surprise of the elimination for me was Ren’s photo. Beautiful. I would have never expected that from watching her in the shoot. In contrast, I liked Angelea’s shoot, but the photo they went with just seemed way too posed. Raina showed up with a very pretty picture, and André said she reminded him of a courtesan, which, while basically meaning a high-end mistress, is a pretty fabulous look. When Gabrielle’s photo came up, you could hear a pin drop in the room. They definitely had a negative reaction to her pose, but I think the picture was striking. That said, she needs work. If she can silence the judges, especially these, there might be something to her. OK, Jessica: Her picture was striking. Her personality does nothing for me, but the picture tells another story. I didn’t think Naduah’s picture was as bad as the judges said it was. It wasn’t stellar either. And poor Alasia. Why did they pick that photo of her with the arm pulled back and her derriere out? I have to give Leon Talley some credit here. He could see she was embarrassed and scared. I don’t know if I believe he will really hang that photo in his “salon,” but I thought it was a kind thing to do.

During the judging session, it was interesting to see this panel bounce off each other. André and Nigel have very different aesthetics and seemed to butt heads a bit. You can see that Tyra is good friends with André. They’re like two peas in a pod. This cycle, they’re doing something new. The winner each week gets to participate in the next competition prize no matter how badly they do in the challenge. I would say that beats simply having your picture displayed as digital art in the model house any day.

The bottom two are Alasia and Gabrielle. Gabrielle was one of my top three from the premiere. She did so well in the supermodel photo challenge. Could the pressure have gotten too her? In the end, Gabrielle was the one to go. Tyra said that André’s remark about hanging Alasia’s picture in his “salon” basically saved her. I knew as soon as he said it that it would change Alasia’s fortune, and it did. Now, Alasia, go put some shine in that hair. It’s looking a little dry.

Back at the house, Raina is grilling Naduah. She’s asking about her past modeling gigs and why she isn’t rolling in dough. She’s starting to see inconsistencies in Naduah’s stories, and that’s fine. I get it. What’s not fine in my book is feigning interest in Naduah’s past and then talking behind her back with others in the house and in her interviews. That’s just catty.

The walk is ticking
Next up, Miss J. has assumed his former position as the show’s runway coach. I miss him and his growing gimmick on the judging panel, though. Don’t you? In this lesson, J. teaches the girls how to time their walk, while at the same time removing a garment. Oh, Alasia. I love when Miss J. told her she walked like an old lady clutching her purse.

In the challenge, Jay has the girls walk across a New York City street as they remove their coat, and it’s pretty funny to hear the reactions from the people watching the women cross. Oh, and is it just me or does Ren need to learn how to walk better in heels?

Back at the house, Alasia’s nuttiness is getting on everyone’s nerves. Why does she insist on screaming so much?

Americas-next-top-model-alexandra The next day, the women do their first runway challenge wearing Rachel Roy. The winner gets to keep the outfit, and she will appear on the website. The challenge requires that the women walk the runway as these huge pendulums swing around them. Honestly, it looks dangerous.

OK, so I’m starting to see what the other girls have noticed about Naduah. She’s experiencing a different reality than all of us. Poor Alexandra. Falling not once but twice? The best part, though, was Alasia’s reaction. “Oh, baby girl!” Too good.

Back at the house, Alasia is serving up more goodness. She definitely deserved Ren telling her to shut up. That said, I wouldn’t want to lose her from the show quite yet, because she’s trashtastic fun. Best parts of that scene include Alasia in her do rag, looking like a pirate with the huge hoop earrings. And, of course, when she yelled, “I know where you live, dog.” Priceless.

Then Ren started crying about the drama. Anslee tried to calm her down, but then in her confessional video, she said that if Ren didn’t want to be there she should go. Meow. Two-faced much, Anslee?

Americas-next-top-model-naduah Purple rain
In the final challenge, the girls do their first beauty shoot, a close-up on their face. They’re supposed to be selling this fragrance that sprays on purple, then disappears. Is that for real? I didn’t see the brand. I kind of thought this shoot was a bust and too much too soon. It was a beauty shot in which the girls had to spray themselves with the purple-colored scent.  If that wasn’t enough, Tyra had air and water blowing on them.

I’m surprised how badly Naduah is doing for all her “experience.” I’m more surprised that she doesn’t seem to know she’s doing badly. Also, does anyone else feel Ren is going to leave of her own accord? She doesn’t seem thick-skinned enough for this competition. That’s funny, because she came in being the tough girl with tattoos and underarm hair. Now she’s the girl who cries in confessional and complains about her contacts hurting in shoots.

During the judging panel, Naduah just isn’t scoring any points with anyone. She came in with entirely too much makeup and her eyebrows drawn in after they were taken off in her “Ty-over” last week. Naduah, if Tyra doesn’t want you to have eyebrows, you better leave them alone. Raina’s picture had the judges ooh-ing and ah-ing. I was also surprised how well Alasia’s photo came out. Pretty beautiful. Oh, but Ren continued to be a disappointment, showing her discomfort in her face.

In the end, Raina took the top spot. In the bottom two were Ren and Naduah. Both were my top picks from last week. How things can change in one episode, right? In the end, Ren stays and Naduah goes. I have to say I (and probably Raina) won’t miss her.

Two of my favorites have been eliminated! Thank God, I didn’t have money riding on those picks. Currently, my top girls for the title are Angelea, Jessica and Raina.

Who are your top women right now? And, what did you think of André Leon Talley?

-- Jethro Nededog (follow me on Twitter @TheRealJethro)

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André Leon Talley on 'America's Next Top Model': 'Like being on two sides of a rainbow'

'America's Next Top Model' premiere: Know your inner supermodel

All 'America’s Next Top Model' coverage on Show Tracker

Upper photo: Raina's winning picture. Credit: The CW

Center photo: Alexandra's angry runway walk. Credit: The CW

Lower photo: Naduah in the picture that sent her home. Credit: The CW

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