TJ MIller the fourth contestant eliminated from ABC's 'True Beauty'
By John Bracchitta, 01/27/2009
Third time wasn't the charm for CJ Miller, as his third consecutive trip to the show's Hall of Beauty elimination gallery finally resulted in his elimination from True Beauty during last night's broadcast on ABC.
"I think I'm a good person, but I realize that I'm a work in progress, and I have a lot to learn, a lot more mistakes to make," the 26-year-old barista from Los Angeles, CA said following his elimination. "I learned some very powerful lessons in here."
True Beauty's fourth episode began with CJ returning to the house from his second straight trip to the Hall of Beauty after the elimination of Monique Santiago, a 21-year-old go-go dancer from Manhattan, NY.
"I'm very, very excited because it's another day, it's another opportunity that I can compete for the $100,000, and in addition to that, represent what beauty is."
Unlike the first time CJ returned to the house to the surprise and dismay of many of the show's contestants, he received a more positive welcome upon returning to the second time -- even if some of the contestants reactions were somewhat selfish.
"I was very happy that CJ returned home," said Julia Anderson, a 23-year-old magician's assistant from Dallas, TX. "Having one less girl in the house is less competition for me."
However, the following day, CJ's good standing in the house dropped somewhat when he secluded himself from the rest of the contestants, who were hanging out in the hot tub, to write on his own.
"[CJ is] distant, [he's] not part of the group," Julia said.
The divide between CJ and the other contestants only increased when his increasingly icy relationship with Billy Jeffrey, a 31-year-old vitamin store owner from Lewiston, ID, was brought into focus as well.
"Why don't you come hang out with your family, boy?" Billy yelled at CJ from the hot tub.
"First of all, 'Boy' and 'Family' is not gonna work for me," an agitated CJ responded.
"Billy and CJ keep on trying to do this funny joke around stuff, but everything that comes of Billy's mouth rubs CJ wrong," Joel Rush, a 26-year-old imaging software salesman from Tampa, FL who was in the hot tub with Billy at the time, added later.
The contestants than boarded their "Beauty Bus" and traveled to a studio where they met True Beauty host and judge Vanessa Minnillo and learned that their next challenge would involve them participating in a photo shoot with a senior citizen model as they attempt to create a style and slogan illustrating the concept of "timeless beauty."
While the contestants were excited by the concept of the photo shoot, some expressed concern about working with the older models.
"I totally saw those senior citizens come out and thought 'How can this correlate to being beautiful?'" Joel said.
After pairing up with their seniors, the contestants went into the makeup room to prepare for their shoots. However, while the contestants prepared, they were unknowingly presented with their first hidden challenge to judge their inner beauty. As the contestants and their partners each walked up to their mirror to have makeup applied, the contestants' respect for their elders was tested as only one chair was left open for both of them. The contestant would only pass if they gave up the seat to their elder partner.
Laura Leigh, a 21-year-old model from Staten Island, NY; Chelsea Bush, a 21-year old model/artist from Brentwood, TN; Julia; and Ray Seitz, a 29-year-old artist from San Diego, CA each passed the challenge by willingly giving up their seats, while CJ, Billy and Joel each failed the challenge and kept the seat for themselves.
As the photo shoot got underway for each contestant, a second hidden challenge intended to judge the contestants' inner beauty was set in action as well, as the judges monitored whether or not each contestant respected their elders and included them in the decision-making process for the shoot.
All of the contestants treated their elder partners with enough respect for the judges' liking except for Billy, who didn't include his partner in any of the shoots decisions and largely ignoring him.
"I don't think he went above and beyond to capture timelessness in a creative way," CJ said of Billy's shoot. "I think he stuck to a comfort zone."
Following the challenge, Billy also seemed to realize that he had not done well in the challenge.
"Going into this competition I am nervous and stressed out about everything," Billy said. "I'm definitely worried."
During a barbeque at the house to relax after the challenge, the contestants were surprised by Vanessa, who arrived at the house with copies of their photo from the shoot. However, Vanessa revealed that the pictures would only get to be seen by one of the contestants. She added that the lucky contestant would be decided after each contestant did an impression of one of their housemates. Whichever impression the contestants voted as the best would get to see the pictures.
While each contestant's impression was well received by their housemates, Joel's impression of Julia was ultimately decided to be the winner.
After going inside and looking at each of the pictures alone with Vanessa, Joel came back out and told each of the contestants what picture the photographer had chosen to submit for them. While he told Laura, Chelsea, Julia and Ray that their pictures had come out well, he said that Billy's picture looked "cheesy as hell" and that the photographer had picked CJ's weakest photo.
CJ was angered upon hearing that the photographer had picked his least favorite photo and stormed off.
"I put so much thought into those poses because I wanted to send a beautiful message, and I might not be in the bottom two, but now whoever ends up in the bottom two, you're in the bottom two because the photographer picked it," CJ added later. I'll tell you what, if I'm in the bottom two tomorrow, I'm walking off. You won't see me no more."
Prior to meeting with Vanessa to learn which contestants had taken the weakest photos, Billy also worried about his pictures, particularly because Joel had reacted so strongly to his picture upon seeing it.
"Joel got to look at the pictures, the first thing out of his mouth was 'Dude, your pictures were cheesy as hell.' So I'm a little concerned," Billy said.
Sure enough, upon meeting with Vanessa and judges Nole Marin and Cheryl Tiegs the following day, Billy and CJ's concerns were revealed to be well-founded, as they were selected as the challenge's two worst performers and would travel to the Hall of Beauty for elimination that evening.
After learning of his third straight trip to the Hall of Beauty, CJ partially made good on his promise and stormed out of the room, surprising the judges with his behavior.
"I gave my best and if my best was not good enough here nothing I can do," an angry CJ said later.
Although the judges didn't have many good things to say to Billy or CJ (other than a comment to Billy by Nole that he looked "too perfect" in his pictures for them to actually be good), they did for the rest of the contestants.
Vanessa admitted to liking Laura's shot the most, while Cheryl said that Ray's photo was beautiful and Nole admired Julia's picture. However, they ultimately decided that Joel's picture was "amazing" and deemed him the challenge's winner.
After the challenge results were revealed, CJ continued to stew over the photographer's picture choice while Billy decided to write some notes to help him plead his case more effectively when he had to face the judges in the Hall of Beauty.
In an attempt for the judges to get one last look at the inner beauty of CJ and Billy, they designed a Final Straw challenge for each contestant to unknowingly take part in as they walked from their car to the Hall of Beauty's entrance.
While walking on the sidewalk, each contestant encountered a child actress posing as a child crying because they couldn't find their mother and was judged on whether or not they chose to help the child or ignore them. However, the challenge ultimately gave the judges no additional help as both CJ and Billy helped the child until their mother (another actor) came to retrieve them.
Once in the Hall of Beauty, the judges gave each contestant an opportunity to plead their case as to why they should remain in the show.
"This particular challenge was the first one I really put all of me into, because the last time I was here you said 'Hey, be competitive,'" CJ told the judges. "So today I said to myself 'You give your best, if you gave your best and that wasn't enough, than that's all you can do.' I can look in the mirror and I am enough, for that reason I would love to continue."
Billy ditched his plan to use his notes as he spoke to the judges and instead drew upon the criticism of his photos from Nole at the previous challenge.
"Too perfect. I mean, that has followed me since the sixth grade," Billy said. "Here in my pocket is a bunch of notes that I was gonna tell you guys because I planned it. I need to rip those up, put them back in my pocket and shoot from the hip this time. I didn't do well in this last [challenge], it was too set up, the connection wasn't there. You guys said my message was not portrayed [and] you're exactly correct.
Vanessa then revealed that CJ had been eliminated from the show. After Billy had left to return to the house, CJ was told of the show's true meaning and shown the clips of his poor behavior while on the show.
The next episode of True Beauty will air on Monday, February 2 at 10PM ET/PT.