Sarah Hartshorne sixth girl cut from 'America's Next Top Model 9'
By Christopher Rocchio, 11/08/2007
Sarah Hartshorne served as America's Next Top Model's only ninth season "plus-size" runway wannabe -- so when she started to lose weight, she also lost her place in the competition and was the sixth girl eliminated from The CW series during last night's broadcast.
"I wanted this. I did," said the 20-year-old college student from Heath, MA following her elimination. "But it's weird. It was a weird in-between thing. I'm glad they chose me, I think it's a step. But next time, maybe someone who looks like me will win."
Top Model 9's sixth episode began as the eight remaining contestants returned from the previous judging panel, which saw Ebony Morgan quit the competition. The girls discussed Ebony's reasons for quitting, Saleisha, a 21-year-old receptionist from Los Angeles, CA, said she was "glad" Ebony walked away from the competition if she didn't really want to the be there.
Ambreal, a 19-year-old college student from Dallas, TX, agreed, especially since Top Model creator Tyra Banks had already revealed Ambreal was eliminated before Ebony quit.
"I am not supposed to be here right now," said Ambreal. "I believe the judges wanted to send me home because they lost faith in me. I have to prove to them that I still belong here."
Sarah spoke with Chantal, a 19-year-old student from Austin, TX, about how she keeps receiving comments from the judging panel that she "has a whole new different body type" since the start of the show's production.
Specifically, she was referring to photographer Nigel Barker saying how she seems to "have lost quite a bit of weight." Unsure of where she fits in the competition, Sarah was confused and Chantal thought it didn't help that Sarah also "doesn't feel good about herself."
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, gushed about how having an artistic mind helps her during photo shoots. Bianca, an 18-year-old college student from Queens, NY, was upset because Heather has a "gorgeous face" and thus "doesn't have to do as much" as the other girls to make her photos stand-out.
"I think everyone in the house baby's Heather, and I refuse to be the girl who treats her differently because she has a disability," said Bianca.
The next morning the girls received some Tyra Mail. They traveled to a dance studio -- where they dressed in leotards and ballet shoes -- and were met by Tyra. She explained she'd be teaching the girls about moving and being sexy for a video camera.
Demonstrations by Tyra included the sexy runway walk with eye penetration; the sweet and coy look with the hint of a flirtatious giggle (also known as "The Janet Jackson"); the wall-slide (minus the hooch); and stretch crawling. Tyra criticized Chantal for "not pushing all the way" and not reaching her full potential. While Bianca thought Heather did poorly and looked awkward, Tyra commended Heather for having "Tim Burton-esque sexuality."
"Heather can do no wrong!" said Bianca. "It's just frustrating."
That night as some of the girls tried on each other's clothing and weighed themselves, Sarah commented how it felt "weird to be around skinny girls all day." Bianca only made matters worse by asking Sarah how much she weighed.
"It's awkward and it's weird and I don't really know how to deal with it," said Sarah about her weight.
The next morning, the girls received Tyra Mail and traveled to a Hollywood theater where they were met by music video director Jessy Terrero; his assistant Lisa Arianna; and producer Billy Parks. Jessy explained all the girls would be included in a music video for Enrique Iglesias. As they had their hair and make-up done, the girls met Enrique and Jessy explained one of the girls would be chosen by his team and the record label for a "feature role" in the music video for "Tired of Being Sorry."
Jessy revealed that Lisa, a 20-year-old dancer from Jersey City, NJ, was chosen as the girl who would have a feature role because she had the "right look and body and it all sort of worked." He added that Heather might also be featured because her "gothic look" also worked well with the video's "vampire vibe." Not surprisingly, Bianca was annoyed.
As the girls shot their different scenes, Jessy criticized Chantal for being a "little stiff," which surprised him. Sarah had to wear a skimpy, fishnet outfit and didn't feel comfortable in it.
The hour quickly grew late, and Heather commented how she hadn't eaten since breakfast as they filmed the underground club scene. Sarah eventually noticed that Heather had curled up in a ball in the corner as filming continued. She rushed over to her, and commented how pale Heather looked. Gil -- the music video's on-site medic -- tried to take Heather outside for some fresh air, but she quickly crumbled to the ground and was having trouble breathing.
"She looked dead... Like dead," commented Jenah, an 18-year-old student from Farmington, CT. "It was scary."
When Heather came to, Gil explained she "passed out just for a minute." He gave her some oxygen, a bottle of water and a banana and reminded her how important it was to eat throughout the day.
"I think I just pushed myself way past my limits," said Heather, who was also touched that all the other girls were so concerned for her. Except for Bianca.
"I hate to say it... But the truth of the matter is, it's too much for her," said Bianca. "She's gorgeous. She can take a gorgeous picture. But her, being able to live a model's life without people telling her what to do, it will not happen. She will really have a nervous breakdown."
The girls didn't return home until 3AM and learned there would be no photo shoot this week and they'd be meeting with the judges the next day.
The eight remaining aspiring runway walkers then had their sixth individual evaluations, where they would be judged by Tyra; runway expert J. "Ms. J" Alexander; Nigel; former model Twiggy; and Jessy. Tyra said the girls would be judged based on scenes from the Enrique music video they filmed the previous day.
Ambreal was nervous because during the music video she performed the wall-slide Tyra had taught and knew her butt was on the line. At panel, Tyra said she felt Ambreal's slide was "hoochie," which was exactly what she told them not to do. Jessy stood-up for Ambreal and said she had some good moments.
Sarah -- who was judged with Saleisha because they appeared in the same scene -- received positive feedback from both Tyra and Nigel, but Nigel also thought Sarah looked "nervous" about her body. Twiggy agreed, and also noticed a "moment of slight embarrassment."
"You seem to be disappearing slightly in-front of us. You seem to have lost quite a bit of weight," said Nigel. Sarah said she hadn't been trying to lose weight.
"You have to actually be the size to be a plus-size model," said Nigel.
Chantal, who had previously excelled at almost every other photo shoot, also received some criticism. Tyra said she felt Chantal was "holding back;" Jessy agreed; and Tyra accused Chantal of "modeling" instead of acting.
Once all the individual evaluations were complete, the judges began to deliberate which girl would be the sixth one eliminated. Nigel thought Sarah was consistent, but lacked improvement. Ms. J. said when he currently looks at Sarah, he's left to wonder if Top Model 9 ever had a plus-size model.
"She certainly does not look like a plus-size model," said Nigel. "She was brought into the competition as a plus-size model. To become not a plus-size within the span of the competition, it's really difficult to then compete. You can't just say you're a plus-size model when you're not."
Jessy said he was "disappointed" in Chantal and reiterated he felt she was "stiff" during filming.
Tyra then revealed Lisa, Heather, Saleisha, Bianca, Ambreal and Jenah were all safe.
Tyra said both Sarah and Chantal are "very good models," just not "at the top of this pack." Sarah was criticized for "coasting" and has a "confusing" place in the industry because of her size. Chantal was also accused of "coasting," however she survived to compete another day as Sarah was ousted.
Sarah broke down in tears and received a big hug from Tyra before she left.
"There's a really big transformation here," said Tyra to Sarah. "Don't lose sight... Stay strong."