A.J. Stewart the fifth girl cut from 'America's Next Top Model 7'
By Reality TV World staff, 10/19/2006
Deemed to be a beautiful girl that just didn't "want it" enough, A.J. Stewart, a 20-year-old student from Sacramento, California, became the fifth girl eliminated from the seventh edition of America's Next Top Model during last night's broadcast of The CW reality show.
Top Model 7's sixth episode began with the nine remaining girls returning back to the house after the elimination of Megg Morales. Although she had managed to survive the elimination ceremony, being a member of elimination ceremony's bottom two for a second time began to affect Jaeda Young's confidence. "It's kinda like depressing, I was like 'Wow, I suck,'" she explained during a confessional. "Being my second time in the bottom two I was just like 'What the hell am I doing in here?'"
Meanwhile, as her closest house friend, A.J. was having a tough time dealing with Megg's departure. "I was the closest to Megg out of anyone in the house so losing her was like losing this huge spirit," A.J. told the cameras.
The next day, Michelle Babin surprised the rest of the house by making a passing statement that she thought she might be gay. Afterward, she attempted to downplay the significance of the comment. "That came out kinda randomly... I didn't say I was gay, I said I don't know if I'm gay, but I don't know... I told you before, right?," Michelle told her twin sister Amanda Babin.
Later that day, Entertainment Tonight correspondent Mark Steines gave the girls a crash course in interviewing. While several of the girls struggled to come up with any meaningful questions, A.J. was unable to come up with a single question during her simulation interview. After sensing her struggles, Mark asked A.J. if she suffered from stage fright. "I don't like just running up to people I don't know and probing them and questioning them," A.J. later explained. Meanwhile, Melrose Bickerstaff's ongoing rivalry with some of the house's other girls continued, with several of the girls whispering catty insults as she attempted her own interview with Mark.
Once the girls got back to the house, it became increasingly obvious that although she had pretended to shrug off Michelle's earlier disclosure, Amanda had found the idea that her twin sister might be gay unsettling. "I feel bad, I'm worried about you, that you're not being yourself," Michelle told a subdued Amanda.
The next evening, the girls' new interviewing skills were put to the test when they each were challenged to act as real entertainment correspondents and interview Janice Dickinson at a red carpet event. Despite being allowed to wear earpieces that allowed Mark to provide them with some real-time behind the scenes coaching, several of the girls struggled, including A.J. "I'm screwed at this point so I'm not even going to pretend to try and fix it," A.J. vented after her nerves once again got the best of her.
When it was all over, Mark -- much to the chagrin of many of the other girls -- deemed Melrose to be the challenge's winner. Janice enthusiastically agreed. "Yay... I agree, I agree," a jumping Janice exclaimed. "You know what, girls, I'm sorry, she blew you all away." As her reward, Melrose won the opportunity to file an Entertainment Tonight story.
The following day, Tyra Banks stopped by the Top Model house and gave each of the girls a chance to speak with her one-on-one. During her meeting with Tyra, A.J. revealed that she was having a difficult time with some of the other girls in the house -- especially Melrose. "Itís a lot harder when you're stuck in a place trying to do your best and not being around people who understand you," A.J. told Tyra.
A.J.'s comments seemed to surprise Tyra. "So what she paints in the judging [ceremony] is not what you all see,?" Tyra responded. "Because we see a nice, sweet, bubbly person."
When she met with Melrose, Tyra suggested that Melrose make herself "vulnerable." "I want you close your eyes and remove all of the armor and protection."
Amanda used her session to talk about her feelings about Michelle's recent "I might be gay" comments. "I don't want everyone to know everything about me and that scares me, like my sister kinda came out that she doesn't know her sexual orientation," a tearful Amanda told Tyra. "I haven't really talked about it much but... I'm scared for my sister because it's like 'Oh no, she's a lesbian' -- like maybe she's not, maybe she is, I don't care but I don't know if it's America's right to know that about her."
After taking Tyra's suggestion that Amanda should discuss her feelings with Michelle, the twins called home and broke the news of Michelle's could-be sexual orientation to their mother. "OK," Michelle's mother replied supportively. "Don't fret about this sweetie, we love you no matter what."
The next day, the girls met with Jay Manuel, who informed them that their next photo shoot would require each girl to portray both sides of a celebrity couple. Each girl participated in two shoots, posing as the female celebrity in one and as the male celebrity in the other. While most of the girls had some fun with their characters, A.J. was unable to embody the personas of Marc Anthony and J Lo. Jay thought she was a little scared to let go. "I'm kinda surprised, A.J. isn't really being as creative as I would like her to be," Jay said.
Jay found Melrose's portrayal of The Apprentice star Donald Trump's new wife Melania particularly impressive. "This is almost like Top Model history, almost every frame is useable... [you're doing so good] you make me sick, so just leave," Jay joked to Melrose.
When it came time for the elimination ceremony, the girls were asked to be impromptu correspondents and give their own commentary on some footage of the America's Next Top Model judges walking the red carpet of a previous Top Model finale party. When A.J. once again froze and let her self-consciousness get the better of her, the judges began to doubt her desire to be a model.
"The judges aren't sure how much you care... you take absolutely beautiful pictures... [but] being a model is more than just looking like one, itís about wanting to be one too," Tyra explained to A.J. before eliminating her from the competition. "This competition is about trying, this competition is about passion."