Tahlia the sixth contestant eliminated from 'America's Next Top Model'
By John Bracchitta, 04/09/2009
Tahlia, an 18-year-old student from Phoenix, AZ, was revealed to be the sixth runway wannabe eliminated from America's Next Top Model's twelfth season during last night's broadcast on The CW.
"My biggest challenge is myself, it's getting over myself. My being timid, I held back in this competition and I think that's what killed me," Tahlia said following her elimination. "But at the same time that's who I am. I was shocked to even come this far, but being here now that I've inspired at least one person and hopefully more than that... It's a big deal to be in this competition as a burn survivor, and the fact that I made it just this far is just amazing."
America's Next Top Model's sixth twelfth-season episode began with Allison, a 20-year-old artist from New Orleans, LA, talking with Celia, a 25-year-old designer in fashion sales from Cynthiana, KY, about the judges' panel comments in which they said her face had looked the same in all of her shots during the recent shoots.
"The critique I received last panel was that I just really need to work on giving more of a variety of poses," she said.
Following a dinner together, tensions flared when Aminat, a 21-year-old student from Union, NJ, called Natalie, a 19-year-old student from Palos Verdes, CA, a "bitch" after she didn't clean her dishes and relaxed in the living room instead. Aminat later revealed that she had begun to grow sick of Natalie's perceived attitude that she was better than everyone else in the house.
"She feels as though she's better than everyone else in this competition. She's prettier, she's taller, she's skinnier," Aminat said. "I don't care, it was just like, she's very arrogant. That's the perfect word for her."
The next day the girls met with America's Next Top Model judge Paulina Porizkova at a nearby theatre and were told that "every day is an audition" for a model and that they always had to bring it 100% despite whatever may be going on in their personal lives. She added that in order to practice having such presence on a runway that the girls would be taking part in acting exercises with one another by saying certain phrases in different tones.
Paulina took extra time to work with Tahlia after she failed to deliver her line in the "ecstatic" tone she was supposed to. Despite telling her to use her arms and jump up and down Tahlia still was unable to come out of her shell.
"It's like trying to job in mud with you," Paulina told Tahlia.
"I feel bad because I'm letting her down, because I know she wants more out of me and I know that I can give it to her and yet I'm not," Tahlia added later.
Following the challenge, Paulina said that most of the girls had done "rather well" but that Tahlia had needed the most work. Before they left, she also handed the girls a script about a has-been model going in for a fitting and suggested they memorize them because "you may need to act them out."
Before beginning to act out the lines, Paulina revealed that instead of acting out the lines with each other, they would be acting alongside second-season American Idol runner-up and recent Monty Python's Spamalot star Clay Aiken.
Clay sensed that Natalie had an attitude based on her performance, while adding that Tahlia's continued struggle to act was rooted in "laziness and insecurity."
Paulina was additionally impressed with Celia's "comedic flair," but wished she would bring that same energy to her photos as well as the onstage ease of London, an 18-year-old student from Arlington, TX.
Following the lessons, Paulina revealed that the winner of the challenge would receive $5,000 worth of merchandise on Joe's Jeans. She then revealed that London had won the challenge.
"Out of all the challenges to win, I'm most proud, actually, to win this one because holy cow that is a lot of clothing," London said afterwards.
The next day, the girls met with photo shoot director Jay Manuel and Top Model's eleventh season winner Brittany "McKey" Sullivan for their photo challenge, which Jay added would be their very first commercial shoot directed by Peter Chelkowski.
After being divided into groups, the girls would be given their scripts while in hair and makeup and then would have to work together in their shoots in order to succeed. Jay also told the girls that in case they forgot their lines a teleprompter would be provided on set, but said they would not be allowed to rely on it.
The girls were then divided into their groups, with Aminat, Celia, Allison and Teyona, a 20-year-old loss prevention representative from Woodstown, NJ, in the first group and Natalie, London, Tahlia and Fo, a 19-year-old student from Albuquerque, NM in the second group.
Prior to the shoot, Allison reiterated her need to do well in the upcoming shoot.
"I need to do well, and I don't wanna do just well I wanna do exceptionally well," she said.
Jay was very impressed with Celia's takes for the commercial, telling her it was "really good." The other girls were not as fortunate in her group, as Teyona and Aminat both botched their lines. Allison had a particularly hard time, first missing her cue to begin her lines and then turning her face away from the cameras mid-sentence as she moved before once again tripping on her final lines.
"My biggest comment with you week after week is the big question mark that reads on your face, and right there you just gave it to me so I wouldn't know how to edit around it," Jay told her, before later saying that her commercial had been "flat."
The second group then had their chance to shoot their scenes. However before it was even her turn, Tahlia was singled out by Jay and told to be happier in her delivery while she was in a supporting role for Fo's shoot.
Tahlia's troubles then continued when it was time for her shoot as she repeatedly stumbled through her lines while delivering them in an unconvincing fashion, causing Jay to say that she didn't bring the same "spirit" to the set as the other girls. To make matters worse, she also bumped into Fo during another one of her takes.
"I let myself down big time," she said later.
Back at the townhouse, Allison and Celia talked about how their group had done. While Celia "felt good" about her performance while Allison worried about how her face would come off in the shoot.
After viewing Celia's best take of her commercial, the judges were overly impressed.
"Not bad at all," said Nigel.
"You have a natural talent," commented Paulina, before adding that Celia had wowed her during their acting challenge as well.
Aiken said that he had noticed her ability to jump into character instantly in order to make her performance more believable.
Tyra told Celia to remember the client she was working for, and noted that CoverGirl required a little more "youth and brightness" than she had provided in her take.
After Miss J and Tyra criticized Allison for her outfit, which she had already worn during her first judges' panel, they were not much nicer to her commercial shoot.
"I felt like that was punishment," Tyra said, before adding that she had been able to look happy and bright and fit the client's needs in that area.
Nigel reiterated that once again he had seen her in the same pose and looks that he had seen in previous weeks.
Tahlia admitted to the judges that she had struggled with her shoot. After watching her best take, the judges agreed.
"You forgot the client, because the client is young, it's youthful, it's fresh. You look so mean and angry," Nigel said.
"You look like when Moses parted the Red Sea you were on the other side fishing, that's how old you looked," added Miss J.
Tyra added that she had the best physical look of a CoverGirl on camera.
"It's just what's coming out of your mouth is not what they like," she added.
"You really have to come out of your comfort zone somehow," added Clay. "I don't know if you're scared or what."
Following the judges' deliberation, Tyra revealed that Celia had shot the best commercial of the group. She then proceeded to reveal that Natalie, Teyona, Fo, London, and Aminat were still in the running to become America's Next Top Model's next winner and that Allison or Tahlia, who were in the bottom two, would be eliminated from the competition.
"Allison the judges see you as one of the most editorial, high fashion girls in the bunch here. But what they also see is one face week-after-week-after-week. They don't see someone that is versatile. So this CoverGirl commercial rolls around and Miss J even said that even as you're doing your commercial poses, the same look"
Tyra then turned her attention to Tahlia.
"Then we have Tahlia. Tahlia has such a strong look for a CoverGirl. She has that 'easy, breezy, beautiful' face. But what he judges are noticing is that the camera loves you, the still photography camera loves you. They're not sure if you love the camera"
"So who stays?" Tyra asked, before revealing that Allison had been spared while Tahlia had been eliminated.