Clark Gilmer the sixth girl eliminated from 'America's Next Top Model'
By John Bracchitta, 10/02/2008
The fall from the top can be quick -- just ask Clark Gilmer.
Although she'd taken the best photo during the competiton's previous photo challenge, Clark, a 19-year-old student from Pawleys Island, SC, became the sixth contestant eliminated from America's Next Top Model's eleventh season during last night's broadcast of The CW reality series.
"I'm just feeling such a flood of emotions right now because I'm so upset that I'm leaving," a sad and surprised Clark said following her elimination. "But at the same time I feel so blessed to have even gotten this opportunity. I would give up anything to do this again. This has been the best experience of my life."
America's Next Top Model's fifth episode began with Clark admiring her picture -- which had been picked as the best shot of the previous week's competition and displayed as digital art in the girl's house -- while both Samantha; an 18-year-old student athlete from Woodland Hills, CA, and Marjorie; a 19-year-old student from Marseilles, France who currently resides in San Francisco, CA, sought to rebound from disappointing shoots.
"It sucked," said Samantha about her next-to-last finish in the girls' last challenge.
Marjorie spoke with Analeigh about her uncomfortability with all of the "positive mantras" used by girls in the house and wondered if her French heritage had anything to do with her increased uneasiness.
The following day, the girls met with Paulina Porizkova and learned their challenge would require them to take clothes that didn't't fit them properly and use everyday objects around them -- such as shoulder pads, water bottles and duct tape -- to improve their fit.
As a prize, the challenge's winner would receive 50 extra frames in their next photo shoot.
"In catalogs you may be wearing things that don't fit," Paulina warned the models before the beginning of the challenge.
"I really am nervous," Marjorie said while preparing herself near Paulina. "I really just don't see the judges as people I can talk to, so it's very hard for me to act normally like I usually do."
Prior to judging the challenge, Paulina called out Marjorie for her uneasiness and asked her what was wrong.
After saying that she often expected people to reject her, Paulina -- a fellow European -- said that she fully understood Marjorie's problem and attributed it to a cultural difference rather than a self esteem issue.
"It's a socially acceptable way to be in Europe," Paulina said. "I know that's the way we're brought up. [But] it doesn't quite cut it here, so FAKE it," she added as she brought a smile to Marjorie's face.
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After penalizing Samantha for altering her clothes too much, Paulina awarded the 50 extra shots to McKey -- a 19-year-old student from Lake Forest, IL -- who pinned back her pants, put bottles in her waistline, and stuffed her chest with pads to make her clothes fit properly.
"Yeah, she can barely move, she can barely walk up to me, but when she does, it fits and it all looks right and that's exactly the point of this challenge," Paulina said.
After arriving back at the house, the girls received a "Tyra Mail" message that teased their next photo shoot by asking "Are you a force of nature, a devastating beauty, or a natural disaster?"
However their preparations for the upcoming shoot ended up taking a backseat to a discussion of an argument Samantha and Marjorie ended up having.
After reiterating Paulina's point about the cultural difference earlier in the day, Samantha said that she cared more about Marjorie's attitude than her reasoning behind it.
"That low confidence issue is getting to me," Samantha said.
"God [Samantha] are you completely disregarding the point I'm making?" Marjorie responded.
"Yes!" Samantha shot back.
"What the #%#@!" Marjorie responded, screaming into her hands in frustration.
"If Marjorie can gather her confidence together she can be better, but if you don't believe in yourself how is anybody else gonna believe in you? So I think that she's gonna fall soon," Clark said after the argument.
"Poor Marjorie. [She] has had a pretty tough week. But with Marjorie's nerves she's probably had several tough weeks," Joslyn, a 23-year-old student from Lucky, LA who currently resides in Shreveport, LA, added with a laugh following the discussion as well.
The next day, the girls were brought to studio with a miniature cityscape surrounded by lights. After being surprised by photo shoot director Jay Manuel -- who jumped out at the girls dressed in a monster costume -- he told them that natural disasters affecting Los Angeles would be the topic of their photo shoot.
"It's so important to really come through a photo. You girls should be able to wear any amount of hair makeup or wardrobe and come through and make an impact," he told the girls, before introducing photographer Brian Edwards as their photographer for the shoot.
Jay and Brian felt that Clark, who was assigned "a blackout" as her natural disaster, did not fully commit to the shoot and lacked energy.
"She didn't walk to the set and bring the energy that she needed," Jay said. "I'd rather you give me too much and have me pull you back than make me pull it out of you."
Jay was impressed with McKey's shoot -- in which she had to symbolize a heat wave.
"I didn't even need the extra 50 frames, so it almost like she had two amazing shoots back to back. She, she was amazing," Jay said approvingly.
With the natural disaster of a tidal wave as her subject, Samantha created waves in a small pool and brought energy that Jay loved.
"I'm excited," Samantha said following the shoot. "In this competition when its come to this stage now, I mean, you gotta have fun and you gotta be competitive and you gotta have confidence."
After being constantly tweaked by Jay, Marjorie feared after the shoot that the criticism she had received could result in her being sent home and admitted to feeling "deflated.
The situation was the opposite with Clark, who still remained confident despite her disappointing photo shoot.
"I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I worked my butt off to get where I am right now," Clark said. "I'm number one in this competition right now. Go look at the [house] TV, my picture is there. Trust me I've checked it out quite a few times."
Meanwhile, Joslyn and Marjorie both comforted each others nerves about the upcoming judges' panel.
During the panel, Paulina gave Marjorie words of encouragement following her picture -- which Paulina liked -- and urged her to use her shyness as a reason to prove herself in future rounds.
Clark wasn't as fortunate during her appearance in front of the judges.
"I felt looking through your film [that] you weren't thinking about a blackout at all, I think you got stuck on 'pretty' and weren't thinking about 'blackout!'" Tyra said of Clark's picture, which she did not feel was up to par with he rest of the competition.
Judge J "Miss J" Alexander took notice of Joslyn's continued fall from the judges' graces with her third disappointing picture in as many weeks.
"It looks to me like Joslyn is just slipping. The past two photoshoots with you, I just haven't seen the energy that you would only bring," he told her.
Brian added that his photo shoot with Joslyn had been "a struggle."
"You were so pretty and so confident in your photographs originally and now it's just, it's a mess," critiqued judge Nigel Barker. "The bar has been raised by the other girls."
During the judges' deliberations, Nigel stated he hadn't like Clark's picture at all and called it "one of the dullest of the bunch."
"The sparkle's gone here," Nigel said about the photo's comparison to Clark's previous week's photo.
The judges also wondered what was to blame for Joslyn's sudden drop in the competition -- which Miss J called "from scream to squeak."
After reconvening with the girls, Tyra announced that Samantha's picture had been chosen as the week's best.
She then proceeeded to call out additional photos for Analeigh, McKey, Elina, Marjorie, Lauren Brie, and Sheena -- leaving Joslyn and Clark as the week's bottom two girls.
"Joslyn your photos started off so strong in this competition. You were at the top of this bunch. So impressive, so much fire, and so much spark. But it's kind of drizzled away, and the judges are wondering 'is she losing her fire?" Tyra told Joslyn before turning her attention to Clark.
"Clark, you started off okay but got stronger in this competition and delivered the best photo last week that knocked the socks off of these judges. But they look at your work and they go 'good, not fantastic,'" She said.
"Both of you are neck and neck with your performances at your photo shoots," Tyra said. "But Joslyn's personality got her by this week."
Visibly surprised by her ouster, Clark quickly broke into tears.
"You gotta get out of that pretty thing Clark!" Tyra told her. "You gotta push and commit and go. All the, all the, all the way! We don't want fluke gorgeous pictures we want Clark's pictures to be beautiful all the time!"