Michelle becomes the ninth girl eliminated from UPN's 'Top Model 4'
By Reality TV World staff, 04/28/2005
Deemed as being unlikely to be able to handle the pressure of being a top model, Michelle, a 19-year-old wrestler from Terre Haute, IN, became the ninth girl eliminated from the fourth edition of America's Next Top Model during last night's UPN broadcast.
Top Model 4's ninth episode began with Keenyah lamenting her weight gain (she'd gained twelve pounds since filming began) and Michelle upset that some of the mean girls (notably Brittany and Keenyah) were excluding her from their cliche and making fun of her.
After traveling out to a wild animal park during a rainy California day, the girls were greeted by J. Alexander, who explained that they would be studying the movements of exotic animals and learning to use the animals as inspiration for poses.
Winning the resulting challenge due to her great facial expressions, Brittany selected Keenyah and Christina to share in her prize, but before she could find out what it was, Tyra arrived and announced that the girls would spend the rest of the competition in Cape Town, South Africa.
Once in South Africa, the girls arrived at the Aquila Game Reserve where they took in traditional music and dance and narrowly escaped fierce lions on an Aquila Safari adventure. Michelle became annoyed by Keenyah and Brittany's flamboyant personalities and began to distance herself from the rest of the girls. "I'm part of the group, but not like a major part of the group," she said.
The next day, Jay Manuel greeted the girls for a photo shoot in which they were transformed into native South African animals and posed with a live alligator for a Lubriderm Ultra Moisturizing Lotion ad. Michelle, who portrayed a zebra, felt very confident about her look and posing skills, but Jay felt she was unaware of her neck position and that her movements needed to be more graceful. "Every shoot to date I have told Michelle to drop her chin and trust her eye line from her eye to the camera," he said after the shoot.
That evening at dinner, Naima noticed that Michelle seemed alienated from the group and asked her why, having lived with them for weeks, she wasn't more comfortable around the other girls. During her confessional, Michelle noted that the problem was mostly her insecurities, but some of the girls began to get annoyed by her social awkwardness, causing further tension between the housemates.
During the elimination ceremony, the girls were again tested on their posing abilities and challenged to embody five different emotions for the judges. While viewing the shots from the Lubriderm photo shoot, the judges noted that Michelle's pictures continued to show potential, but that her personal presentation and extreme emotions were not characteristic of a Top Model winner. "You have a face that is rare, but you fall apart under pressure and being a Top Model means being under pressure constantly," Tyra said to Michelle before eliminating her from the competition.