'America's Next Top Model' eliminates Gabrielle and Naduah
By Reality TV World staff, 03/18/2010
Gabrielle, an 18-year-old student from St. Louis, MO, and Naduah, a 22-year-old full-time mother from San Diego, CA, became the first two girls eliminated from America's Next Top Model's fourteenth season during last night's broadcast on The CW.
"I'm just in major shock. I wanted to represent women all over but I wanted to do it for myself so I could say, 'Yeah, I broke that barrier, I was the one.' And I'm not that one," Gabrielle said after she was cut at the competition's first elimination panel. "I'll probably go to school, do fashion merchandising, and I guess modeling on the side. And no matter what, I'm going to be somebody."
"I really feel like the judges did not give me the opportunity that I deserve. I had experience and just a passion in general, it's surprising that they didn't see more in me," Naduah said after her elimination at the competition's second panel. "I feel insulted that some of the girls do not [have] more of a desire like I do and that they are still here and I am not.. Walking out of this experience the only thing I will do is continue as I always have. Not only continue but flourish."
America's Next Top Model's second fourteenth-season episode began where last week's premiere had left off -- with the season's 13 finalists arriving for their first photo shoot, which required them to pose nearly-nude with only a single item of clothing covering them.
Gabrielle got to pose in one of the shoot's least revealing items -- a pair of sequin leggings -- but failed to capitalize on the opportunity.
"Make that neck longer," photo shoot creative director Jay Manuel urged her. "You look so sleepy, it's like you're not present."
"Gabrielle, she just didn't know how to truly model from head to toe." Jay lamented afterwards.
The next day the girls arrived for the fourteenth season's first elimination panel -- where they were met by Top Model creator and lead judge Tyra Banks, photographer Nigel Barker, new judge Andre Leon Talley, and guest judge Sally Hershberger, a celebrity hair stylist who had overseen the finalists' premiere episode makeovers.
Gabrielle ended up being in the bottom two with Alasia, an 18-year-old student from Marietta, GA whom Jay had also deemed "really disappointing" and "lost" when she had posed in a vest during the photo shoot.
The judges had criticized both girls' photos during their deliberations.
"I find it boring. It's a cliche, it's catalog-y and it's the wrong catalog," Andre said about Gabrielle's photo.
"I felt like Gabrielle was just too hidden," Sally added.
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"There's no emotion, there's really nothing here other than the fact that she's a gorgeous girl," Nigel added.
However Andre had disagreed with his fellow judges about Alasia's photo, which Sally had labeled "amateurish" and Nigel had said was "wrong" and just didn't work.
"I think this is bold, out of the box, imaginative. And I love the awkwardness of her legs, there are lots of girls who turn their awkwardness into assets on the runway," said Andre, who had also defended the photo when the judges were giving each girl feedback on their photos earlier.
Tyra recapped both girls' issues before revealing which one would get to remain in the competition.
"Gabrielle, you stand before me [as] such a lovely girl in person, but when your photo appeared on that screen there was dead silence. And that dead silence in the fashion industry represents the reader turning the page in the magazine very fast. Just unimpressed, and that's a problem," she told the two girls.
"Alasia, your photo, it made the judges feel very uncomfortable. It's interesting, because there are so many girls -- beautiful girls, like you -- [who] say 'I want to be a model' but as soon as the camera comes up it's like the camera is saying a totally different thing."
After she revealed Gabrielle's elimination, Tyra cited Andre's support as the reason Alasia wasn't going home instead.
"You are still in this competition because there is one man behind me who said he would this photo up in his salon," she said.
After beginning the competition's next round by receiving some runway walk lessons from expert J. "Miss J." Alexander, the 12 remaining finalists competed in a runway show challenge. Modeling clothes from fashion designer Rachel Roy's 2010 collection, the girls had to walk down a dramatic courthouse staircase and then walk a runway that contained two large swinging pendulums.
Despite being nervous, most of the girls managed to complete the task successfully.
However Alexandra, a 21-year-old student from Kerrville, TX, struggled twice. After initially slipping and falling a few steps down to the staircase's landing, Alexandra also got hit by a pendulum and fell off the runway while attempting to finish her walk.
"I'm really competitive and I really let things get to me. And that's something I never saw happening to myself," Alexandra sobbed after she climbed back on the runway and completed her walk.
Afterward, Naduah expressed confidence in her runway performance and a misreading of Miss J.'s thoughts on her walk.
"I actually wasn't nervous, I tend to get too excited to get nervous. I like my strut. I think it's sexy, I think it's classy and I think it's powerful," she boasted. "I'm very excited to get some recognition. I think Miss J. was pretty impressed."
The next day, the girls met Jay for their second photo shoot, which required them to pose for a beauty fragrance campaign on a Brooklyn rooftop while dealing with simulated "wind" and "rain."
"This is not pretty at all," Jay chided Naduah as she posed.
"Naduah has to not be afraid of erring on the side of simplicity," he vented afterwards. "When she would turn into the elements, she would fight with her mouth and it looked very awkward. Kind of like a blow-up doll."
The following day the girls arrived for the season's second elimination panel.
"I'm not at all nervous about panel. I'm going to get one great shot in there. I mean for all my faults, I really do think I've got something great going," Naduah boasted beforehand.
However after the judging panel -- which included Rachel serving as a guest judge -- deliberated, Naduah ended up in the bottom two with Ren, a 22-year-old from Grand Prairie, TX.
"Naduah you stand before me because the judges see such edge, they see something that so different, so out of the box. But when they debate and look at your photos, they feel that your posing and your techniques are so classic that it makes this edge almost a waste," Tyra told the girls before revealing which one would be going home.
"And then we have Ren. Edgy, cool, interesting. Amazing photo last week, but this week one of the judges said that your photo looks like an ad for a swine flu vaccination. and that's scary because it means you're unpredictable."