'Top Model: British Invasion' eliminates British model Ashley Brown
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/29/2012
Top Model's American edition was too much for British model Ashley Brown.
Ashley, a 5' 8" 22-year-old from Armadale, Scotland, became the fifth girl eliminated from America's Next Top Model: British Invasion during Wednesday night's broadcast on The CW.
"I'm sad but I'm happy as well. It's kind of like mixed emotions. Tyra Banks told me that she loves my personality and stuff. I'm just so happy that they see me as something and not just nothing. I've had a super amazing time. I didn't even think I'd make it this far anyways, so now I get to go home and see my kids and I stayed a lot longer than I thought," Ashley said following her ouster from the reality franchise's eighteenth edition in which seven amateur American hopefuls battle seven all-stars and former Britain's Next Top Model contestants for the grand prize.
Ashley, one of the five remaining British contestants, was eliminated from the fifth episode of America's Next Top Model: British Invasion after Top Model's judges reviewed the photos the season's remaining 10 finalists had taken at their fifth photo shoot challenge, which required them to pose in leaves while being covered in maple syrup in front of the distillery district -- which was the historic part of downtown Toronto, Canada.
Ashley ended up in the bottom two alongside fellow British contestant Catherine, a 5' 9" 22-year-old from Folkestone, England.
The fifth episode began with all the girls being invited to Toronto's Fashion Week. They were sent on castings with several designers to see how they'd do and were given the opportunity to book jobs, walk the runways and show off their portfolios. The aspiring models had to go to the castings in hopes of getting booked in real shows during Fashion Week.
Top Model photo shoot director Jay Manuel told the girls the winner of the go-sees challenge would receive the chance to fly back to Canada later on for the Calgary Stampede special event and designs from Jay's own collection. The castings featured eight designers, including Jay himself, and the girls were hoping to get booked for Jay's show in particular which was taking place that very night.
In the end, Ashley, Katherine and Seymone failed to book a single job. Annaliese, Alisha, Laura, and Kyle all booked two jobs. AzMarie managed to land three jobs, and Sophie and Eboni tied for the lead by getting booked for four out of eight jobs. Jay also picked Eboni, Alisha, Sophie, AzMarie, Kyle, Laura, and Annaliese to model his own line.
Eboni and Sophie ended up winning the challenge and both got to enjoy the prizes.
Later on, all the models worked with Mr. Jay again during the maple syrup photo shoot, which featured the girls shooting with fashion photographer Miguel Jacob. Ashley and Catherine had actually impressed both Jay and Miguel and received very positive feedback for their modeling performances.
The next day, the girls arrived for the eighteenth season's fifth elimination panel where they were met by Top Model judges Tyra Banks, Nigel Barker, and Kelly Cutrone, as well as guest judge and supermodel Beverly Johnson.
The judges first spoke to Catherine about her lack of success at the castings.
"So Catherine, you didn't do so well at go-sees," Tyra told her.
"No, it was pretty awful actually," Catherine replied.
"You booked zero," Tyra noted.
"I think basically, I think I had a good walk but the designers were saying they wanted the girls to be like hangers and for the clothes to stand out. I thought I did well," insisted Catherine, who broke down into tears.
The judges then discussed Catherine's photo during the panel critiques.
"For me, it's actually my favorite shot I've seen so far. Really. There's this sincerity in there," Nigel said.
"When you're standing in front of me today, you seemed a little broken and not really in the game or the competition -- like 'I'm here to win America's Next Top Model' -- and the shot is great, but keeping your head in the right place and making sure that your feet follow is a huge part of being successful," Kelly explained.
"This is stunning. You are 'smizing' through my soul -- like through my forehead and the back of my head. You are working it," Tyra said.
The judges then talked to Ashley about her castings and reviewed her photo from the shoot.
"You didn't book any fashion shows either," Tyra noted.
"No, and they said that my walk is quite hippy," Ashley said.
"So they said you were happy, like skippity-do-da?" Tyra asked for clarification.
"No hippy," Ashley explained.
"[In the photo], you're definitely feeling the maple from the heart. I think you have to remember to remove the fear. Right now, you're looking at me and you're kind of squinting like 'Oh, what's he saying, what's he saying?!' There's a little bit of that in the eyes here too," Nigel explained.
"I love seeing you every week. You bring a lot of joy to the competition. I love your personality, but it's not enough. This shot for me, I feel like you're from an elf tribe and you lost your plan. I don't know what to say about it. It doesn't do anything for me," Kelly said.
"I love your face. I just love the eyes -- I love the expression," Beverly noted.
"I see a sadness in your eyes and I think it adds some vulnerability and softness," Tyra added.
After panel critiques, the judges had time to deliberate on the girls' photos in private.
"When I look at her eyes, there's a story there. I go straight to them. If this were a campaign for eye makeup, it would be genius," Nigel said of Catherine.
"Catherine for me, her mind is creating a lot of mayhem and there's a lot more mind than there is modeling," Kelly said.
"She was a wretched mess in front of us today," Nigel added.
The judges also expressed mixed emotions about Ashley's picture in the leaves and syrup.
"The look in her eyes is still a little frightened and that frightened look, it's pretty, but it doesn't work when it comes to advertising -- when it comes to selling, sales -- people don't buy into fear," Nigel explained.
"I don't know a magazine that this shot could go in. I don't know what I would do with it as a publicist and where I would try to place it, just to be honest, and she needs to model," Kelly noted.
Once the judges were done deliberating and they called the girls back in, Tyra revealed the girls in order of the best photo to the worst of the week. Eboni, a 5' 9" 18-year-old from Seattle, WA, received the first call-out.
Following Eboni, Tyra then revealed AzMarie, Sophie, Seymone, Laura, Kyle, Alisha, and Annaliese -- leaving Catherine and Ashley in the bottom two.
Seymone, Kyle, Laura, AzMarie, and Eboni were the American girls, while the rest were the British models.
Tyra then recapped both girls' issues before revealing which one would get to remain in the competition
"So you all have more in common than just being from Great Britain. Both of you booked zero fashion shows and it was important on America's Next Top Model for us to have a real casting during a real fashion show, and you guys turned up a real zero," Tyra explained.
Tyra then showed the girls Catherine's photo, resulting in Ashley's elimination.
"I want to say you have the most amazing personality and I think that you should be a presenter. I'm serious. I don't think you understand the thing that you have and your kids are really lucky to have a mom like you because you're going to make them such amazing and fantastic people because you have that extra special something. So, I think you should look into that," Tyra told Ashley.