"I've had a hell of a ride. It's been an amazing experience. I have learned so much... Coming in here I set out to really be the best model that I can, and I think that with the judges especially, they definitely didn't get to know me. Unfortunately for me that's what sent me home. But it's not going to stop me from doing great things in the future."
Top Model's tenth tenth-season episode began following the previous judging panel that saw the elimination of Lauren Utter. Whitney, a 20-year-old student from Atlantic Beach, FL, found herself in the bottom two with Lauren after the judges commented she seemed "fake" in her CoverGirl commercial shoot.
"I think that in my commercial I come across as being fake because I'm so nervous," said Whitney. "Which is something I have to change."
Whitney wasn't the only nervous girl, as Katarzyna also realized the competition was getting harder.
"The competition's definitely getting more difficult. Everyone's pretty much neck-and-neck," she said. "In panel, the judges said I should work on being more personable."
As Katarzyna slept in the girls Roman loft, Whitney and Fatima, a 22-year-old student from Boston, MA, said they agreed with the judges' assessment that Katarzyna has a bland personality. Fatima described Katarzyna as "dull" and suggested she'd be better suited as an "accountant" instead of a model.
The next morning, the five remaining girl arrived at some ancient Italian ruins, where they were met by a group of gladiators and fight instructor Alex Mariotti. He explained when fighting as a gladiator, one needs composure and elegance but also fierceness and toughness before showing them various moves with a fake sword, including how to strike different parts of the body on your opponent.
The girls then changed into gladiator outfits and were met by Top Model runway expert J. "Ms. J" Alexander and art director Jay Manuel, who explained that for their next challenge, they'd each be sparring with a gladiator -- who was very much in character. The girls would be required to use what they learned from Alex for the photo challenge, in which each girl would get only five frames. Marianna Bentagnolli would serve as the photographer.
Anya, a 19-year-old in retail sales from Honolulu, HI, went first and used the tactic "fierce move, model pose," which seemed to work well as she received positive reviews. Katarzyna said she was "nervous" and it showed, as Ms. J and Jay wished it would have been "more lively." Like Anya, Whitney seemed to have very few problems striking a fierce pose and excelled at the challenge.
Fatima was "scared" of the gladiator and forgot all of the moves Alex taught her, basically becoming a one-trick pony that wasn't very interesting. Dominique, a 23-year-old receptionist from Columbus, OH, went last and wanted to "standout" so she struck some odd poses, which Ms. J described as "interesting."
With the challenge in the books, Jay said that the girl who won would receive a $1,000 Italian shopping spree -- however she could choose to take one of the other girls with her, and they'd both receive $500 sprees instead. Whitney won the challenge and opted to take Anya, and the two spent the remainder of the day shopping the streets of Rome.
The next day the girls arrived at a 600-year-old castle, where they were once again met by Jay. He explained that for their next photo shoot, the girls would be providing modern interpretations of Renaissance artwork. He then revealed that Top Model creator and lead judge Tyra Banks would be serving as the shoot's photographer.
"Mama's in charge today and mama's gonna be taking your pictures!" exclaimed Tyra when she appeared on set, and the girls all realized the importance of impressing her.
Katarzyna went first and said she was "really nervous" to work with Tyra, but realized it was an opportunity to work on "being more alive in front of the camera."
"I feel like the judges aren't really getting a sense of who I am," said Katarzyna.
She asked Tyra her "vision" for the shoot, and she replied that there should be lots of "exaggeration." However that advice didn't really help Katarzyna, who struggled breaking out of the box when it came to her poses, and Tyra kept pleading for "more exaggeration."
"Katarzyna brought me back to 80's," said Tyra. "I thought I was watching the 'Walk like an Egyptian' music video... If we were in Egypt, she'd be perfect."
Dominique looked an awful lot like Cruella de Vil for her shoot and she came to the set with a "mission," which Tyra and Jay thought helped her tremendously and they complimented her for it. However Dominique went back to the other girls and shot her mouth off, which certainly didn't help her make any friends.
Before Fatima's shoot, Jay immediately warned her not to "over think" it and told her to instead just let the poses "flow." Fatima excelled at the shoot and Jay took back his criticism, with Tyra describing her poses as like a "prima ballerina."
Whitney struggled with the shoot, having a hard time placing her hands and positioning her buxom chest with each pose. Tyra had to constantly remind Whitney "more fashion, less sex." As has been the case in most of the shoots, Anya did well, with Tyra commenting she "understands her angles."
After the shoot, the girls returned to their loft.
"I'm nervous about panel," said Katarzyna. "In the past -- especially in the beginning -- I was able to pinpoint the people that were going to go home. Right now, I don't think that anyone is really safe at this point."
Top Model's ninth tenth-season panel then commenced, where the girls would be judged by Tyra; photographer Nigel Barker; "Ms. J"; and supermodel Paulina Porizkova.
Anya and Fatima both received positive reviews for their photo shoot, and so did Dominique -- however her panel outfit was thoroughly bashed by the judges, with Paulina likening it to something worn by a hostess at a "really casual restaurant."
"Dominique, this outfit!" said Tyra. "We are in Italy and I feel like we are in a mall in the middle of America!"
While Nigel thought Katarzyna had a "very pretty picture" with good lighting and styling, he added it didn't quite work.
"This had potential to be a really great picture, but there's something missing," said Ms. J.
"I think the problem here is your face," said Paulina, and Ms. J agreed. "You're giving us sort of a high-fashion look that typically would work, but in fact you just look sleepy or bored. This is an example where you don't push it a step further."
Tyra said Katarzyna has "so much potential" and "so much to work with."
"But you just get stuck," she added. "You've got to push yourself Katarzyna."
Whitney was the last girl to face the judges, and Ms. J thought it was a "great picture" but "expected a whole lot more." Paulina agreed, and especially didn't like that Whitney was staring directly into the light.
"It makes you look mad," said Paulina, and Nigel added it made it so they couldn't see her eyes.
"You're very interesting to me because I find you so beautiful to my eye," said Tyra, adding Whitney was repetitive with her poses during the shoot. "It's not that you're not photogenic -- you got stuck. You've got to break out of that funk."
The judges then began to deliberate and Paulina said Whitney "doesn't come across as beautiful to me on the pictures."
"There's a lot to Whitney, and I think that's one of Whitney's strongest points," said Nigel. "Ultimately, she's here. She's happy to be here. She's confident. She has an opinion. I think all those things are what makes someone rounded an interesting and ultimately a good model."
Paulina also commented that Katarzyna "doesn't work with her eyes," which was hurting her during shoots.
"She doesn't flirt with the camera. She keeps thinking," added Paulina, and Ms. J agreed.
"You know why she doesn't work with her eyes? Because she's always thinking and working with her brain," he said.
With deliberations over, Tyra revealed Fatima, Dominique and Anya were safe before turning her attention to Whitney and Katarzyna -- whom she said the judges all agreed were the "weakest in the bunch."
Tyra said the judges see a "beautiful girl" with "coveted Eastern European features" when they look at Katarzyna.
"But they feel like Katarzyna is coasting along," said Tyra. "Really nice pictures, but not fantastic pictures. Really nice personality, but not something that really sticks out."
Tyra said Whitney has a "banging body and a gorgeous face" who has been taking "really strong pictures."
"But have we truly seen the stunningness that we see in person?" asked Tyra. "The judges feel that you're getting stuck."
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