Dominique Reighard the tenth girl cut from 'America's Next Top Model'
By Christopher Rocchio, 05/08/2008
Dominique Reighard had been improving until her most recent photo shoot made her look like a transvestite.
While she was complimented for being a beautiful transvestite, the 23-year-old receptionist from Columbus, OH still became the tenth girl eliminated from America's Next Top Model's tenth season during last night's broadcast of The CW reality series.
"This has been an amazing opportunity. I'm definitely proud of myself," said Dominique after her ouster.
"I know that my story isn't over. My story goes on; I go on. making it this far and learning everything I learned is amazing. There's so much that's next for me. I have this amazing willpower to do so much that it's going to be a surprise what's next for Dominique. I feel like I'm on top of the world right now even though I didn't win."
Top Model's penultimate tenth-season episode began following the previous judging panel that saw the elimination of Katarzyna Dolinska.
"Being in the bottom two twice in a row is really bad," opined Whitney, a 20-year-old student from Atlantic Beach, FL who is the tenth-season's plus-sized model. "So far in this competition every girl that that's happened to has gone home the second time. I was completely shocked the judges called my name. I could have been cut last week."
The girls then returned to their Rome apartment where they were met by numerous photos of Top Modelninth-season winner Saleisha Stowers, which drove home the point that the competition was coming to a close. Fatima, a 22-year-old student from Boston, MA, called herself the "Saleisha of this competition."
Dominique complained she had a headache and went to bed, giving the other girls a chance to gossip about her. Fatima said she was "so surprised" Dominique was still in the competition, and Whitney and Anya, a 19-year-old in retail sales from Honolulu, HI, agreed. The girls also verbally bashed Dominique for constantly snacking on junk food.
"I really don't care whether the girls accept me or like me," said Dominique. "I'm not here for them. I'm here to be America's Next Top Model. I know this is a competition, and chances are, they're not going to like me. I definitely would consider myself the most improved."
The next morning the four remaining contestants traveled to a park, where they were met by supermodel and Top Model judge Paulina Porizkova and photographer Francesco Licata. The girls each received a brief tutorial on how to be a photographer and practiced by taking different photographs of each other. Not surprisingly, Dominique criticized Fatima, who thought Dominique was being "disrespectful."
Seventeen magazine editor-in-chief Ann Shoket then arrived and informed the girls that for their final challenge, they'd each have five minutes to shoot Paulina. They'd be evaluated on how well they worked with Paulina and how great the photos turned out. The challenge's winner would receive 50 extra frames at the impending photo shoot.
Fatima went first, and Anya noticed she was "professional" in directing Paulina, who agreed and thought Fatima was "very strong." Dominique wasn't so lucky, as she struggled to give Paulina clear direction. Anya thought Dominique was the "weakest" and lacked "vision," and Paulina added Dominique was "uncertain."
Whitney found the challenge "incredibly intimidating" but did a good job directing and communicating with Paulina, who thought Whitney was "a lot of fun to work with." Anya went last and gave Paulina very specific instructions, however she was all over the place with her vision. Paulina thought Anya had good energy but needed to "narrow her focus."
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Paulina and Ann then reviewed the photos and critiqued each of the girls before revealing Fatima had won the challenge.
Back at the apartment, Fatima practiced her runway walk while Dominique ran her mouth and annoyed the others.
"I believe in myself more than I think these other girls do," said Dominique, who also told the others that's how she felt. "That's what's going to get me to that runway, despite any of these chicks who think they have an advantage over me. They don't."
As Dominique continued to gush about herself, Anya found it "frustrating" and added it was draining all her energy.
The next day the girls arrived for their penultimate photo shoot, where they were met by Top Model art director Jay Manuel. He explained they'd be styled like glamorous 1950's move stars and would be filmed with a male model while fending off the paparazzi. Top Model judge Nigel Barker would serve as photographer.
Anya was first, and since she won a Week 5 challenge and was awarded by a photo shoot with Nigel, she felt comfortable working with him again. However she initially struggled with making her frames look effortless, so Jay distracted her attention while Nigel continued to shoot. The tactic worked and Anya's frames looked "more natural."
Fatima went next and knew she had an "advantage" due to her 50 extra frames. It was a good thing she had them, as Nigel criticized her for not showing enough energy or focus. Once her first frames were over Fatima looked at the shots and realized they were "kind of bad" and was excited she still had 50 more to go.
Alas, Jay thought Fatima was still "posing" and Nigel called her "stiff" before the shoot ended. Nigel commented that Fatima is "very beautiful" but "seemed lost" and had no "star power."
Whitney went next and Nigel thought she was a "little posy," but overall he loved her look and once she started to play more with the male model her frames were better.
Dominique went last and, not surprisingly, she was confident. However Jay thought it felt "staged" and advised her to "let go of the poses a little." However she didn't take his advice.
"In my opinion, Dominique did not do a good job at all," said Jay. "Actually, she took a few steps back."
Overall, Jay didn't think any of the girls did very well.
"I don't know what's going on with all y'all today, but y'all need to go back and maybe have a little seance or something," he said. "This just did not come to set to me today for anyone."
Top Model's tenth tenth-season panel then commenced, where the girls would be judged by Top Model creator and lead judge Tyra Banks; Nigel; runway expert J. "Ms. J" Alexander; Paulina; and Ann.
Anya and Whitney both faired pretty well with their critiques -- with Nigel saying Anya did a good job but wasn't really in control while Paulina thought Whitney was "gorgeous" but "a little stiff." Dominique was compared to a transvestite.
"This is a transvestite. I'm sorry," said Paulina. "And you're a beautiful tranny."
Tyra told Dominique to be "very careful" with her face because it can come across as "hard" instead soft. Fatima was also criticized for leaving Tyra "wanting more."
"It's up to you to take it to the next level and I don't think you did," said Tyra.
"It's just a pretty picture," added Ms. J.
The judges then began to deliberate and it became clear Dominique and Fatima would be in danger.
"On set, she actually came off as snooty," said Nigel about Fatima. "Jay was giving her recommendations on what she should do and how she should do it. She would say, 'Yes, yes, yes' but kind of talk over him."
"That's what she does here," added Tyra. "I don't think she's a good listener."
Ann pointed out the obvious -- that Dominique is "not the softest girl," and the judges agreed.
"A big part of being America's Next Top Model is winning a CoverGirl contract, which is a makeup contract," said Nigel, expressing concern Dominique wouldn't be able to handle it.
With deliberations over, Tyra revealed Anya and Whitney were safe before turning her attention to Dominique and Fatima.
Tyra said because Fatima won the challenge and thus had 50 extra frames, her shoot should have been "amazing" but wasn't.
"Also, the judges feel you over-talk them and do not listen," she added.
Tyra then said Dominique struggled at the beginning before her pictures started to be "so stunning, so amazing and so beautiful."
"The woman that we see before us has a strong face," said Tyra. "But the woman in her photo this week, ah."
Tyra then revealed Dominique would be heading back to the States.