Wednesday, March 03, 2004


Ah yes. America's Next Top Model. One of the best episodes in recent memory.

What's with this foofaraw about Yoanna's body? I know that the two harsh people were deliberately being mean, but this criticism has been sticking around before (NIGEL). She isn't as skinny as Shandi, she doesn't have huge curves, but her photoshoot was simply smashing, darling.

Still, what's up with the holy water? Not just that she actually sprinkled it on the girls' luggage, but that they bottle the stuff now?

As for the alleged eating disorder -- from what's been shown of Yoanna, she's much too health-conscious to do such damaging stuff to her body. (Specifically, I'm recalling the one episode where some boring blonde got nixed, and Yoanna was talking to her about getting proper nutrients while noshing on a plateful of food.) Recovering from the low of announcing that she wanted out to where her name was second called out by Tyra was a small yet nice victory, especially since she was on the verge of being cut last week.

Anyway, Camille? I'm reluctant to call her a total mentalist. If I were black and had made friends with Yoanna and she kept on with her "Ebony and Ivory" chirping (which has the earmarks of "This whitey's got a black friend now!"), I would've been sore too. BUT. Insinuating that Yoanna had an eating disorder was a low blow.

Yet, she did show a softer and warmer side, and the mini-courtship with her Italian boy was sweet.

Shandi? SELL OUT. No more indie cred! She's way too much in the driver's seat (her shy nature notwithstanding), there's almost nothing indie about her anymore! Her appeal came from her outsiderness, not about dominating a competition and being tagged as The One.

Last but definitely not least, Mercedes. I keep liking her more and more which has nothing to do with her dealing with lupus. Rather, she's presented as the most rounded personality on the show, and in this episode she totally stuck up for Yoanna -- first by informing her of the nasty implication, and then fighting on her side in the ensuing confrontation -- even when there was very little at stake for her. Her honesty with the camera is a charm, too, namely when she fessed to her cuteness being a nervous twitch. And when she said that seeing the sights in Italy being better than sex well no but maybe a little no YES hahaha she's adorable! So seeing her being the last name called was sad, especially seeing her cry.

Honestly, however, I didn't much care for the picture the judges said was her best.

Tyra, forgetting for a moment her new single, also continues to show off how she's not simply a bimbo. Her rap was a'ight, good flow and nice rhymes. (Err, maybe it doesn't take much to impress me anymore.)

For one second I'd like to remind what readers I have that I nailed the final four (how impressed should I be? I made these picks just two episodes ago), and was pretty close to picking in order the cuts of Sara and Camille.

To refresh, my original predictions for the remaining girls:
4. Yoanna
3. Shandi
2. April
1. Mercedes

Shandi's being primed for an upset, I'm sure, and by a darkhorse no less. No such thing as a sure thing, as years of reality-tv experience has taught me. Plus, despite accusing her of selling out, I still see her as embodying certain aspects of Elyse.

Yoanna is a big question mark, and the likely the biggest single factor will be if the judges manage to look past her "not for high fashion body" in favor or recognizing her professionalism (and easily the best hair of the bunch)(and forgetting her lame jabs at April). If this scenario happens, she might bump April down to fourth (the personality criticisms are eventually going to kill her chances -- exactly where depends on the other girls) and come in second, but that decision depends solely on the judges and not necessarily from her performance.

Mercedes, even despite her "too commercial" look, is the most adaptable when confronted with a new situation, and so I expect that she will find a way to tone down her commercialism and be edgier.

Which is a much too wordy way of saying that I'm sticking with my original picks, since an "ethnic" top two of April and Mercedes would be too juicy a final to pass up.

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