Brittany Markert the ninth girl cut from 'America's Next Top Model'
By Christopher Rocchio, 10/29/2009
Brittany Markert's photos were becoming too formulaic and safe, causing her American's Next Top Model journey to come to an end.
The 21-year-old 5'5" math student from Livermore, CA who currently resides in Santa Clara, CA became the ninth finalist eliminated from America's Next Top Model's thirteenth season during last night's broadcast of The CW reality series.
"It's definitely hard to say goodbye but I'm so proud because I get critiqued like, 'Oh, you look like a catalogue model.' What little math nerd doesn't want to hear that? That's a great compliment to me," said Brittany after her ouster.
"So it's really frustrating to think that it's over with. But it is difficult being a petite model, and this competition is the first time petite models are really going to be shown to the world, so I don't feel like this is the end. I just feel like this is the jump-off point."
America's Next Top Model's eighth thirteenth-season episode began following the elimination of Ashley "Rae" Weisz, who was in the bottom two for the first time along with Erin Wagner following a CoverGirl commercial shoot.
"My commercial sucked," opined Erin. "I just got really stressed, I got really frustrated. I'm only 18, but I have to get better at shutting off the fact that I'm disappointed and just keep working."
Brittany said she was "confident" with her place in the competition after stating she felt superior to Erin due to their age difference.
"I'm more well-rounded," she said.
When the girls arrived back at their house, they noticed it was covered in "Do Not Enter" tape. They were met by Top Model creator and lead judge Tyra Banks, who said it was "the most disgusting" house she's ever seen on the show -- hence the hazardous material crew. She then informed the girls their home was condemned and they'd be traveling to Hawaii.
The girls packed and hopped a flight to Hawaii, and they subsequently arrived at their new home in Maui. Brittany continued to complain about Erin's immaturity.
"I'm exhausted," she said. "Erin is the most annoying person in the house. Sometimes I just don't want to be there with her."
Erin realized Brittany wasn't too fond of her.
"Brittany better watch her attitude," warned Erin. "She's still up and down with how well she performs."
The next day the girls arrived at the beach, where they were met by petite model/surfer Sofia Beschen and surfing champion/male model Buzzy Kerbox. They explained that girls would be receiving a surfing lesson because it teaches good balance and body awareness.
After a quick tutorial, the were met by Top Model photo director Jay Manuel who explained they'd be competing in a photo shoot/challenge in which they'd be surfing tandem with two male models. Jay added he would be looking for balance and poise. In addition, the girls would each have one chance at one wave.
The challenge commenced and all of the girls enjoyed themselves. Jay then commented Sundai Love took "a step back;" Jennifer An "didn't resonate model;" Laura Kirkpatrick's hands were too all over the place; Nicole "looked tall, not petite;" he was "floored" by Brittany; and Erin "found a symmetry on the surfboard."
He then revealed Erin as the winner and that she would receive a helicopter tour ride of the island. She could pick two friends, and chose Brittany and Nicole. Despite winning Erin opined the fact that the prize wasn't tangible, and the other girls were unhappy to hear her complain.
"She has spoiled brat syndrome," commented Jennifer.
Laura also had a problem, as she got burned pretty bad by the sun during their day at the beach.
"I am so red," she lamented. "It's very miserable and I am worried that I won't do as good on the next photo shoot."
The next day the girls arrived at a sugar cane field, where they were met by Jay. He then revealed they'd be working with Tyra for their next photo shoot, which would have them portraying two very distinct, different races.
Laura would be Mexican and Greek, Erin would be Tibetan and Egyptian, Sundai would be Moroccan and Russian, Brittany would be Native American and East Indian, Jennifer would be Botswanan and Polynesian, and Nicole would be Malagasy and Japanese.
The shoot commenced and Erin went first.
"I'm always going to be intimidated by Tyra," she said. "It's just like that over-thinking thing. It kind of frazzles my mind."
Tyra realized something was off with Erin and described her as "too posy" and "too commercial."
"Erin was lost," said Tyra. "I do have a picture that she happened to fall into that was great. But she fell into it. It was an accident."
While Jay and Tyra thought Brittany embodied the two races she was representing, they also wanted her to pick up the "energy."
"I really need to relax more and I really need to show the younger Brittany exists under this composed mathematician," she explained.
Tyra thought Brittany was "a little stiff."
"I would have liked her to give me a little bit more angles," she added.
"I liked it though," said Jay.
With the shoot in the books the girls returned to the house.
"I don't know if my photo shoot went that well," said Erin. "But it's a dog-eat-dog world, so I'm hoping they did crappy and I did really well and it will be great."
Brittany continued to complain about Erin's complaining.
"It's just not the right attitude to have in this competition," said Brittany.
The next day the girls arrived for the thirteenth season's seventh elimination ceremony -- where they were met by Tyra, photographer Nigel Barker and runway expert J. Alexander. This week's guest judge was supermodel Kirsty Hume.
Erin was congratulated for winning the challenge before Nigel asked what her inspiration was for the photo shoot.
"Honestly I don't know anything about Tibet except people want to free it," she answered. "So I didn't really have an emotion in my head at that point."
Kirsty said that was evident in the photo.
"You can't always fall back on how beautiful and pretty you are," said Nigel. "Now you've got to deliver the edge and -- a shot like this -- where's the power in the eyes?"
J. said it was a "beautifully bored" picture. Tyra described the experience as "interesting."
"It was the polar opposite of when I photographed you the first time," she added. "You blew me away. You were just so dynamic. And the moment you stepped on this set you were just like the only one that was not there... It was very commercial."
Erin explained she's "intimidated" to shoot with Tyra, and Nigel said she couldn't let that bother her. Tyra said Erin should have asked questions about Tibet if she knew nothing about what she was trying to portray.
Nigel described Brittany's photo as "very stoic" but added it lacked "energy." J. also thought it could have been "more animated."
"As I was shooting you I felt like I was shooting catalogue," added Tyra.
"I had this idea that I wanted to be very stoic and elegant and poised," answered Brittany.
"You have to always remember that you're a model first," said Tyra. "So stoic and strong does not have to mean catalogue pose."
The other four girls also received feedback before the judges began to deliberate -- and it quickly became apparent that Brittany and Erin were in trouble.
Kirsty said Erin "comes across as insecure" and "looks insecure."
"I was so confused as to why she was kind of weird on set with me this time when the first time she was so comfortable," added Tyra. "Do you think she just creates the tornado that doesn't exist?"
J. commented how Brittany "didn't play" with any of the accessories she was given for the shoot.
"This was one of my favorite wardrobes of the day and she gave me catalogue," reiterated Tyra.
"I think this is the perfect example of Brittany's analytical nature got the best of her," added Nigel. "It's a gorgeous shot... But it's obvious."
"And fashion is about breaking the obvious," said Tyra.
Tyra then revealed Nicole, Jennifer, Laura and Sundai were all safe -- meaning Erin and Rae were in the bottom two. Since there are only six girls left, Tyra said it's getting "difficult" for the judges and they're looking at "body of work" and "potential."
"When they think about you Brittany, they see this gorgeous girl that's had great pictures and then okay pictures and what's starting to happen is your pictures are becoming formulaic as opposed to inspiring," said Tyra.
"Then we have Erin -- a girl who has a very memorable face, a girl that takes beautiful photos. But for some reason is standing in her own way and doing something we call self-sabotage, becoming intimidated and letting that get in the way."
Tyra then revealed Brittany was eliminated.
"It hurts because this photo was my favorite photo I've ever taken," said a tearful Brittany.
"But the photo could be stronger. You went for something that's safe, and fashion is not safe," answered Tyra. "I don't want you to lose the beautiful mathematician, but you have to let the artist in and just relax."