Atalya eliminated after Kimberly quits during 'Top Model 10' premiere
By Christopher Rocchio, 02/28/2008
Two girls went home during America' Next Top Model's tenth-season premiere broadcast last night on The CW -- as Kimberly quit because she's not interested in high fashion while Atalya was eliminated for not being high fashion enough.
"I always thought I'd love to be a model," said Kimberly, a 20-year-old customer service agent from Worcester, MA. "Now that I'm actually doing it -- I did like it -- but it doesn't... I don't think it's for me. It was fun, it was a great experience. But my heart is just not in it."
Needless to say, Atalya, an 18-year-old student from Brooklyn, NY, took her elimination much harder.
"I don't know why I'm the first to go, to be honest with you," said an emotional Atalya following her ouster. "I think it's a really big mistake and I feel that I had a lot of potential and they didn't give me a chance to show it."
Top Model 10's premiere episode began with the 14 finalists arriving in New York and immediately receiving their first piece of Tyra Mail, which directed them to the New York City loft they'll be calling home for most of the competition.
"A lot of people think I'm this dumb blonde, but I'm actually really down to earth," said Kimberly. "I feel really special, especially when I think of all the girls that would love to be in my spot right now."
Fatima, a 22-year-old student from Boston, MA who is originally from Somalia, accused Amis, a 20-year-old waitress from Bartlesville, OK, of talking too much without getting to the point, which she thought might make Amis look like a "clown." Amis thought Fatima was just trying to get a reaction from her, and Amis offered a seemingly insincere apology.
The girls then met Top Model runway expert J. "Ms. J." Alexander and photo shoot director Jay Manuel, who took them on a tour of the city from Sojo to Bryant Park. The trip ended in Times Square, where the girls would be appearing in their first runway fashion show, which would featured designs by Mark Badgley and James Mischka.
Since it was their first time on the catwalk, some of the girls were understandably nervous and had slight slip-ups.
"Walking down the runway, I knew that I was wearing my $100 shorts and a $700 purse," said Kimberly. "I don't really believe in paying so much money for just an outfit."
Marvita, a 23-year-old in retail sales from San Francisco, CA, kept her head down and didn't make any eye contact while walking the runway, which she knew would upset Ms. J. In addition, Marvita accused Fatima of accidentally hitting her in the face backstage without apologizing. Like Amis, Marvita thought Fatima was attempting to provoke her.
The girls were then whisked away to Elite Model Management, where they met North American director Neil Hamil. He said each of the contestants would be receiving an "honest opinion" on their modeling potential by former supermodel and Dancing with the Starsfourth-season celebrity participant Paulina Porizkova -- unaware that she was also a tenth-season judge.
Paulina was brutally honest with most of the girls, and her comments ranged from telling Amis she had "bad skin" to saying Marvita's face was "squished." She also told Dominique, a 23-year-old receptionist from Columbus, OH, that she resembled a transvestite version of actress Robin Wright.
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The next morning, the girls attended their first Top Model photo shoot. Fatima immediately began to try and push Marvita's buttons again by reiterating Paulina's comments.
Once at the shoot, Jay explained it's focus would be on homeless youth, with each girl posing with a homeless partner. However it was the Top Model contestant who would be wearing street clothes for the shoot, while their homeless partners would don designer clothes. Sarah McColgan served as the photographer.
"Going into my first photo shoot, I'm feeling very confident," commented Atalya, who went first. "I'm just going to do this, and it's going to be perfect."
Jay wasn't so sure, as he commented her facial expressions weren't changing from frame to frame. Before the other girls went, Fatima and Marvita seemed to patch up their differences when Marvita told her to do just be nice and stop putting up a guard.
Amis had difficulty during the shoot, with Jay accusing her poses of being "a little goofy" without really "focusing and harnessing" her talent. Kimberly also had the same problem as Atalya, showing little variation in her facial expressions, which Jay thought lacked "intensity."
The shoot concluded and the girls returned to the loft.
"This competition is helping me in so many ways," said Atalya. "I can't always be with my family. This will teach me to be more independent. I don't want to go home at all. I don't."
Kimberly, apparently, didn't feel the same way.
"I love modeling. I love being on the runway. I love photos shoots," said Kim in conversation with some of the other girls. "But I'm not into high fashion. I don't believe that people should pay $2,000 for an outfit. I think that's ridiculous and I don't want to support that."
"Kim wants to model because it's pretty," said Fatima. "Maybe this is not the right place for her."
The 14 girls then arrived for Top Model's first tenth-season judging panel, where they'd be critiqued by Top Model creator Tyra Banks; Ms. J.; photographer Nigel Barker; and Paulina. Tyra then explained the grand prize -- a management deal with Elite Model Management; a $100,000 contract with cosmetics company CoverGirl; and a cover story and six-page fashion spread in an issue of Seventeen magazine.
All of the girls saw their first photos, and only a few were met with criticism from the judges. Paulina thought Amis' photo was a shot of an "inexperienced model staring into a light."
"I don't deny that," said Amis.
"You're so expressive in front of us," said Nigel. "Why can't you bring that to the camera?"
Amis said she couldn't focus her nervous energy and Tyra suggested she learn how to utilize her talents. Nigel was also critical of Atalya's inability to tell a story with her photo.
"Yes, you look pretty," he said. "But there is a message, and I don't really see it."
Ms. J and Tyra added Atalya clearly had a hard time "owning" the picture and was unable to stand-out. Kimberly was the last to face the judges, and Ms. J said he was glad to see her smiling since she looked bored the previous day.
"She looked like she didn't want to be here," said Ms. J.
"Do you want to be here?" asked Tyra.
"To be completely honest, the whole fashion thing does not interest me at all," said Kimberly, which brought gasps.
"Why did you come here?!" said Tyra in her stern, talk-show host voice.
"To learn how to express pictures, but the whole designer thing, I don't know about designers," said Kimberly.
Tyra reminded Kimberly that six semifinalists were left heartbroken when they didn't receive a spot as a finalist since it was instead used on Kimberly.
"I'm just being honest. I don't believe in the whole, 'I need to wear designer outfits,'" said Kimberly.
"But you don't need to wear designer outfits as a model," corrected Tyra.
"Well I know that," said Kimberly. "I'm just saying that's why I don't find it interesting."
"Do you want to just go home?" asked Tyra.
"Yeah," said Kimberly.
"Alright," replied Tyra. "Go home... The sad thing, her photo was beautiful."
Despite Kimberly quitting, Tyra revealed one of the remaining 13 girls would still be eliminated. The judges then began to deliberate, with Amis being criticized by Nigel for "being lost" and Paulina forgetting who Atalya is -- never a good sign.
With deliberations over, Tyra then revealed Anya, a 19-year-old in retail sales from Honolulu, HI; Claire, a 24-year-old production coordinator from New York, NY; Whitney, a 20-year-old student from Atlantic Beach, FL; Lauren, a 22-year-old artist from Brooklyn, NY; Aimee, an 18-year-old hostess from Spanaway, WA; Fatima; Marvita; Katarzyna, a 22-year-old in finance from Roslyn, NY; Stacy Ann, a 22-year-old student from Miami, FL; Dominique; and Allison, a 19-year-old hostess from Waunakee, WI, were all safe.
Tyra said with Atalya, the judges see a pretty girl, but that's all the judges see -- pretty -- which doesn't always connect with high fashion; while Amis is "interesting and edgy" in real life, but it doesn't translate to film. She then revealed Amis was safe.
American Next Top Model's next tenth-season episode will air Wednesday, March 5 at 8PM ET/PT.