As we enter the home stretch of this cycle, we faithful viewers were finally given quite an entertaining episode, with some unexpected twists, several "firsts" in ANTM history, and the beauty many thought would win instead made the fourth runner-up. It helps to give the girls challenges that are real to the modeling industry: first hawking themselves on go-sees, then a double photo shoot, one for a women's magazine (with Tyra herself as photographer) and one for a men's magazine.
First off, who knew Brittany was such an airhead? The directionally challenged model wannabe was also bad at small talk, and her runway walk was a disaster. Suddenly the girl with the best pictures was garnering straight Fs from Sydney's fashion elite, who judged the five remaining contestants on their personality, portfolio and runway walk.
On the other hand, Dionne was oozing charm. The bubbly beauty is surely the first in this show's history for whom the high-stress go-see challenge doubled as a shopping excursion. "I love this outfit, can I keep it?" Shirts, swimsuits, shoes, whatever was on offer she sweetly and naively tried to finagle from these prospective employers. And after wiping the shock from their faces, several actually acquiesced! Well done, Dionne. But the go-see modeling job that was well done was Jaslene's. Her rail-thin frame spoke for itself, as did her calm, poised walk. She pulled back both her hair (into a sleek bun) and her boisterous drag act. For that, she won the challenge.
After arriving late and being disqualified, the Brittany persona we're familiar with rose to the occasion, with a crying, screaming fit. It was great (well, not for her) that those inside, including guest judge and model-agency owner Priscilla, could hear the whole thing. But even better was Natasha's reaction to Brittany's cussing, pacing temper tantrum: "I just want to tell you that some people have war in their countries." Thank you, Nata, for succinctly putting her in her place (not that it helped).
For the next challenge, the girls were introduced to some harsh realities of the job: arriving on a beach at 5:30 am, donning swimsuits in the cold morning air, posing in even colder water, trying to outshine the male model, and conveying a soft, beautiful look for a women's magazine (under Tyra's direction) as well as sultry, beckoning images for a men's editorial spread. Finally Tyra saw for herself what Jay's been saying all along - that Dionne constantly has to be directed. Of course Natasha's incessantly pouty lips served her well in this shoot. Renee also produced a come-hither look that turned this most catalog-y, girl-next-door of the bunch into a high-fashion Top Model contender. And I also learned some new vocabulary thanks to Renee's men's-magazine photo: the "booty tooch." Apparently when Renee stuck her butt out, she was "toochin' it," explained Tyra. (So feel free to use the word "tooch" as either noun or verb.)
Another first in the history of this series was the fact that not one of the go-see designers said they'd book Brittany for a photo or runway gig. The judges (and Brittany) were positively stunned that their angelic little Brit wasn't welcomed with open arms, and all attributed her failure to a lack of personality. I'm sure her somewhat lethargic aura had some bearing, but the girls have barely worked on their runway walks, and that's usually a learned craft, not a natural skill. Miss J. gave them one lesson early on, and I can only recall a couple of runway challenges over the last 10 weeks. So, yeah, her walk was horrible, but how much instruction and practice did she get? But I understand their final decision between tonight's bottom two, Dionne and Brittany. Yes, Dionne has to be coached, but at least she's well liked. Great pictures come more naturally to Brittany, but if she can't get hired, that's a moot point.