Despite Ambreal's extra time in the competition, the 19-year-old college student from Dallas, TX wasn't able to overcome her modeling shortcomings and was the seventh girl eliminated from Top Model during last night's broadcast of The CW series.
"I really have enjoyed this experience," said Ambreal following her second ouster. "I prayed right before I came here, and I was like, 'God, if it's for me, it's for me.' Evidently this is not for me, but modeling is. I've been trying to model since I was 13, and now that I actually have more experience behind me, I know I can do this... I'm going to keep going on because I know being a model is in my heart."
Top Model 9's seventh episode began with the seven remaining runway wannabes receiving Tyra Mail before traveling to the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in downtown Los Angeles. The girls were met by posing instructor Benny Ninja and Director of Elite Model Management Neal Hamil.
Neal explained that each of the girls would be paired with one of FIDM's fashion-design students, who would then create a look inspired by their contestant, which would be shown-off the following day during a runway show. The twist was that all of the styles would be taken from an old light-blue dress, which wasn't considered high-fashion by any of the girls.
As the contestants met with the design students to discuss their options, Bianca, an 18-year-old college student from Queens, NY, said she was "not feeling" her designer's Cleopatra-themed ideas. Heather, a 21-year-old college student from Valparaiso, IN who suffers from Asperger's, a mild form of Autism that hinders her social interaction and verbal communication, said she felt her designer was nervous, which in turn made her nervous.
After the meeting, the girls returned to their house. Lisa, a 20-year-old dancer from Jersey City, NJ, practiced her runway strut; Bianca predicted that Heather's "mouth" may get her in trouble; and Ambreal wanted to prove she belonged in the competition.
"The fact that I have been in the bottom two twice, I believe the judges want to send me home because they lost faith in me," said Ambreal. "I have to prove to them that I still belong here."
The next day, the girls met Neal and Ann Shoket, the editor-in-chief of Seventeen magazine. Ann explained that she and Neal would judge the upcoming runway show based on performance as well as how well each girl embodied their design. In addition, each girl would have to explain the inspiration for their design. The winning girl would appear in a holiday-jewelry story in Seventeen's holiday issue.
The runway show then commenced. While she wasn't pleased with the end result, Bianca turned her design into "Cleopatra with attitude." Heather had a "little bit of stage fright" and forgot her design explanation. She tried to be "elegant and fierce," but couldn't pull it off. Chantal, a 19-year-old student from Austin, TX, thought Heather's "nerves" were getting to her.
Neal thought Jenah, an 18-year-old student from Farmington, CT who was a "rock-star ballerina," sold her design "beautifully." Similar to Heather, Lisa also stumbled over her lines and then had a bit of an emotional meltdown backstage. Neal then complimented Saleisha, a 21-year-old receptionist from Los Angeles, CA, for having "real presence."
Before revealing who the winner was, Ann told Heather it felt like she didn't want to be there and Neal added he was disappointed in Heather's inability on the runway. Neal and Ann then revealed Saleisha had won the challenge, and she chose Bianca and Lisa to accompany her on the Seventeen shoot.
As the three girls went for the reward, Heather was visibly upset and fumed about the poor comments she had just received. Once the girls returned to the house, Heather immediately called dibs on the shower. However Saleisha and Lisa ran into the showers ahead of her -- and while there was enough room for all three of them -- Heather still bitched about it.
"You're in here. So shut up!" yelled Saleisha.
Heather felt she was being picked on and commented how she was about to reach her "breaking point." She gave Saleisha a not-too-friendly stare -- and visibly creeped-out -- Saleisha quickly vacated the shower area. If anybody should know about second chances in Top Model it was Ambreal, and along with Bianca, the two girls reminded Heather not to dwell on the negative comments she just received because tomorrow's a brand new day.
Once that brand new day began, the girls traveled out into the desert where they were met by Top Model art director Jay Manuel. He explained that the upcoming shoot would have a "models-lost-in-the-desert" feel to it, and he wanted to see "desperation" in their frames. Trevor O'Shana would serve as the shoot's photographer. As the girls went through hair and make-up, Lisa was concerned she'd "over think" the shoot.
Jay thought Bianca, Chantal, Saleisha and Jenah all had strong shoots. Heather wasn't as lucky, and commented she still had "all the frustration" left over from the previous day's reward challenge.
"Heather usually does a strong job at creating that dynamic that makes sense for the shot," commented Jay. "Today, Heather looked very lost." Jay told Heather while there were some "strong shots" in her frames, most had her looking "pretty awkward."
Ambreal got really "frustrated" when Jay kept telling her to stop posing, and her shoot started off rocky.
"Get pissed off because you might be going home!" said Jay. "Use that energy!"
Lisa had problems working her long limbs. Jay commented while Lisa's shots didn't necessarily look bad, she "didn't work the garment" she was wearing, which is important when you're a fashion model.
After the shoot was complete, Heather was unsure what happened and was still "frustrated." Bianca and Saleisha then confronted Heather and told her they thought she overreacted the previous day with the whole shower incident. Ambreal took exception when Heather said the other girls would feel the same way if things didn't go their way.
"There's been a lot of things that have not gone the way I wanted to!" Ambreal told Heather before commenting she feels Heather's been "babied." Chantal reminded Heather to let out her frustrations to the other girls instead of taking out her anger on them.
The seven remaining aspiring runway walkers then had their seventh individual evaluations, where they would be judged by Top Model creator Tyra Banks; runway expert J. "Ms. J" Alexander; photographer Nigel Barker; former model Twiggy; and Neal. However before the judging panel commenced, a Chinese dragon wandered onto the set.
Tyra revealed that the girls would be traveling to China following the judging panel, and a massive celebration ensued. However Tyra also played the bearer of bad news, reminding the girls that while seven stood in-front of her, only six would be going to China.
Tyra said Heather had her "weakest shoot to date" because she seemed "uncomfortable" during most of the frames. Heather explained she was just having "one of those weeks." Neal sensed that he was the source of a lot of Heather's frustration and reminded her his negative comments during the reward challenge were business and not personal. Regardless, Tyra reminded Heather to not show her frustration on film.
Ambreal was criticized for sitting during her shoot. While Nigel thought that "facially" she "looked beautiful," he added that the clothes were no longer being shown and the garment was being hidden. Nigel then turned his attention to Lisa, and while he also complimented her face, he added she didn't "make the most" of her long limbs.
"You just have to remember how to not make your legs look like you're 5-foot, 2-inches," said Tyra.
Once all the individual evaluations were complete, the judges began to deliberate which girl would be the seventh one eliminated. Neal said he was unsure if Ambreal was "special enough" to be a Top Model winner and Twiggy commented how she thinks Ambreal doesn't know how to pose.
"Ambreal's a lovely girl," added Nigel. "Unfortunately she doesn't have the gift of modeling."
Ms. J thought Lisa didn't do "such a great job" during the shoot, but was still one of his favorite girls. Neal added there was something about Lisa that "wasn't quite fresh enough" for him.
"I think she's actually going down. I think she's getting worse," said Nigel.
Tyra then revealed Bianca, Jenah, Saleisha, Chantal and Heather were all safe.
Tyra said Ambreal is a "beautiful girl" -- but that's not captured on film "strongly enough" -- which led the judges to think maybe she's not model material. Tyra said Lisa is "obviously a model," however the judges were concerned she's "fading" in the competition. However Lisa was given a second chance while Ambreal's second chance came to a close, as she was eliminated for the second time.
"I feel like I should be packing my stuff to go to China," said Ambreal, who was instead packing her belongings for the trip home.
America's Next Top Model 9's next episode will air Wednesday, November 21 at 8PM ET/PT on The CW, with the six remaining runway wannabes traveling to China.
(Photo credit The CW)
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