Saturday, April 08, 2006

American's Next Top Model or Anesthesia Nurse

Janice Dickinson was her usual entertaining self when she visited America’s Next Top Model last week. (I know, I'm a little behind, but I teach my novel writing class on Wednesday nights so I can only see the show in reruns...) She gave a lesson on “editorial” vs. “commercial” poses.

Editorial, if I got this right, is a more serious, edgy Diva look -- the kind of shots where models seem to be conveying that they’re angry, evil, incredibly sexy and deep. Commercial mostly seems to be about smiling big and looking maniacally, incredibly cheerful. Lisa from Cycle 5 was there to help demonstrate, though Janice hardly let her do anything. Can anyone tell me why she was there and not the last winner Nicole Linkletter? For that matter, what’s happened to Nicole? Does anyone know? They aren’t even doing those “My Life as a Cover Girl” ads using her like they did with the past two… She was one of the few winners who I really thought should win, too.

Gina, who says one self-denigrating comment after another, admitted she can’t pose. Janice had her jump up and down and smile and laugh out loud and generally make a fool out of herself. The lesson? Be willing to make a fool out of yourself to be a good model. Was Janice just trying to make a fool out of her? It was odd.

Then, later, Janice tricked Gina. She made it seem like she was going to give her some motherly advice, and asked her which girl she’s been having problems with. Gina told her that Jade has been giving her a hard time. Then Janice turned it back on Gina and said, “We never rat out our bitches.” That was sort of sadistic, wasn’t it? Poor Gina. I enjoy watching Janice, but I’m glad I don’t have to learn how to be a model from her.

Russell Baer was the photographer who took pictures of the girls doing “commercial” poses. They did one shot for each season of the year wearing clothing from Sears and looking maniacally, incredibly cheerful. Lawrence Zarien, a veteran male model, was in charge of the shoot. The big moment came for Gina. She said: “I don’t know what to do.” Just when you’re thinking this girl has got to go, Zarien says “She could be a really strong contender.” (They all love her cheek bones.) In the end, Nnenna won the challenge, but she didn’t look manically, incredibly cheerful when she found out her prize was all the clothing from Sears that she now gets to take home with her to Texas…

Then there was such a bald plug for Tyra’s talk show. They all visited the set, and she asked them what they all want to do after they’re over-the-hill as models. None of them said talk show (or reality TV) host. Jade said she wanted to be a Kindergarten Teacher. Mean, arrogant Jade? Teaching five year olds? Scary.

For the “Editorial” shoot, Thomas Klementsson photographed them with male models. They were each dressed up to look like they were doing their chosen back-up professions. (Dare I imagine the producers told each girl what to say so they could all be dressed up in a different costume -- teacher, lawyer, singer, fashion designer etc. Brooke couldn’t even pronounce her chosen career: anesthesia nurse. Anesthesia nurse?!) And then they made them look so slutty. Each set-up seemed to look like a soft porn S & M scene, which sort of undermined the “message” Tyra was trying to give them as far as having a practical back-up career plan such as talk show (or reality TV) host. Oh well. I have to say, one of the things I like best about this show is to see the different photo shoots they think up. It is fun to see the girls transformed over and over – slutty or not. Brooke got to wear a short, tight white nurse dress and hold up a giant syringe.

In the end, Brooke and Gina were the final two. It seems Brooke is more striking looking in person than in her pictures. (And may be an anesthesia nurse sooner than she would like to think.) But it was an overall really bad week for Gina. She was the one to get eliminated, despite her cheekbones. She seems nice and innocent and like she was not equipped to deal with this ordeal -- with or without Janice abusing her. I wouldn’t be surprised if part of her was relieved to go home.

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