Fo becomes the ninth girl cut from 'America's Next Top Model'
By Reality TV World staff, 04/30/2009
Fo, a 19-year-old student from Albuquerque, NM, was revealed to be the ninth runway wannabe eliminated from America's Next Top Model's twelfth season during last night's broadcast on The CW.
"This has been one of the most beautiful experiences I've ever had in my life," Fo said following her elimination. "I've learned so much respect for myself. I can go home now with the sense of reason that now I know what I want to do, now I know I can compete. Even though I'm short I don't care. I want to go back to school. I'm going to get my high school diploma and I'm just ready and set to go."
America's Next Top Model's ninth twelfth-season episode began with the five remaining girls reacting to the previous episode's elimination of Natalie, a 19-year-old student from Palos Verdes, CA.
None of the girls seemed to be very upset to see Natalie gone, however Teyona, a 20-year-old loss prevention representative from Woodstown, NJ, appeared to be particularly happy about her elimination.
"I really didn't care for Natalie too much just because she thought she was so much better than everybody," Teyona said. "So when she got sent home I was like go, that's what you needed because you weren't that great."
The next day, the girls traveled to the headquarters of Sao Paulo Fashion week, where Paulo Borges, the event's director, told them they'd be emulating a day in the life of a real working model and have four hours to attempt to go on up to five "go-see" modeling casting calls. Each girl could choose whichever "go-sees" they wanted to, however they had to reconvene at another office building by the challenge's 3:30PM deadline.
Teyona and Aminat, a 21-year-old student from Union, NJ, each ended up visiting three designers before heading to the office building well before the deadline while Allison, a 20-year-old artist from New Orleans, LA, managed to visit four designers and enter the conference room the girls had to meet in with only one minute to spare.
Celia, a 25-year-old designer in fashion sales from Cynthiana, KY, also visited four designers but only entered the conference room at 3:31PM. Fo managed to visit all five designers but only arrived well after the deadline, resulting in the other girls shouting "disqualified" as she entered the room.
After Fo returned, Paulo's assistant entered the room and told the girls that they'd be taking a helicopter to meet him back at the event's headquarters. However after they traveled to the building's rooftop, the assistant revealed that since they had arrived late, Celia and Fo had been disqualified and would have to take a cab back instead.
Once the three remaining girls arrived at the headquarters, Paulo revealed that Teyona had won the go-see challenge. As the challenge's winner, Teyona received a clothing collection that included pieces from all five designers the girls had visited.
All of the girls were naturally disappointed to have lost the challenge, however Fo and Celia seemed to take their losses the hardest.
"Teyona, she's won the best challenge, it pissed me off," a crying Fo told the cameras afterwards. "I am this so bad. It's like I've come so far in this competition that I need to win, I have to win."
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"Teyona is definitely my competition now. Her wardrobe needed a facelift, it was in dire need of the facelift," Celia confessed afterwards. "It was definitely discouraging. But all I can do is just have an amazing photo shoot. I have to. If I don't deliver tomorrow [then] I'm going home."
The next day, the girls traveled to a local beach where they participated in a swimsuit shoot overseen by Top Model photo shoot creative director Jay Manuel and shot by Top Model judge Nigel Barker.
Allison and Teyona both seemed to deliver poses that surprised and impressed Nigel while Aminat also seemed to do okay. The results weren't as good for Fo or Celia however.
"She gives you 'pose, stretch, and back, and eyebrow raise' and it's just not right," Jay said about Fo afterwards. "It looked forced. It looked commercial. She didn't interact with the extras that were in the scene and it just came off as disingenuous and kind of like remedial modeling."
Meanwhile Celia seemed to struggle particularly badly, resulting in Nigel actually having to put aside his camera and show her some suggested poses.
"I don't know what happened with Celia," Nigel said afterwards. "We had a great setup for her -- I think it was one of the funniest -- but she just wasn't there. I think she just wasn't connecting with the characters, she just felt removed from everything."
"It's very embarrassing when you see the photographer jump in the shoot and say 'This is what I want you to do,'" Jay added afterwards.
Once the girls returned to their apartment, Celia immediately began worrying that she would be the girl eliminated at the next day's judging panel.
"Because of what happened at the photo shoot I feel quite certain that I'll be the next one to go home," Celia told the cameras.
Meanwhile, although she had some concerns for her own safety, Fo wasn't nearly as worried.
"I'm a wee bit nervous about panel," Fo said. "I'm not too sure how my photo is going to be but I'm definitely feeling like some girls didn't do as great as I did, so that's always a good thing."
However once the judges' panel began, it quickly became clear that Fo might have another reason to worry when Top Model host and lead judge Tyra Banks revealed that although Fo had been the only girl to visit all five go-see designers, she'd also been the only one who was not picked by a single designer.
Teyona was picked by all three of her designers while Celia was picked by three of her four and Aminat was picked by two of her three. Allison was only picked by one of her four.
When asked why she hadn't picked her, Brazilian designer Cris Barros -- who was also serving as a guest judge on the judging panel -- told Tyra that Fo not only needed more practice but was also too short to walk in a runway show.
However judge J. "Miss J" Alexander disagreed and told Cris that a lack of confidence was Fo's real problem.
"I think... if she would really walk like she was six feet talk you would probably never notice her being short," Miss J told Cris.
Following the judges' deliberation, Tyra revealed that Teyona had taken the best photo of the shoot before proceeding to reveal that Allison and Aminat were still in the running to become America's Next Top Model's next winner while Fo and Celia were in the bottom two and up for elimination from the competition.
"Both of you have something in common. You have something that this industry looks at like "Wow, that's just not right,'" Tyra told Fo and Celia. "Celia, you're 25 years old -- which is a baby -- but in this industry starting at 25 years old is a no-no. But what allows a 25-year-old to start in this industry is being so confident and delivering amazing photo after photo that age does not matter."
"And then there's Fo, who is not 5' 9" and when the judges look at your photos they see that your proportions photograph short," Tyra continued. "That's a worry for them but there are many models who are not 5' 9" tall."
"So who stays?" Tyra asked, before revealing that Celia had been spared while Fo had been eliminated from the competition.