Lauren Brie the seventh girl cut from 'America's Next Top Model'
By John Bracchitta, 10/09/2008
While the show's judges felt there was little doubt Lauren Brie had the face of a Top Model winner, her lack of an outgoing personality eventually proved to be too much for them to overlook any longer.
After performing well in the show's early rounds, Lauren Brie, a 20-year-old student from Charlottesville, VA, became the seventh contestant eliminated from America's Next Top Model's eleventh season during last night's broadcast of The CW reality series.
"It sucks when someone takes a blow at your personality," Lauren Brie said following her elimination. "I know that all my friends back at home know that I'm a fun, great person. I just don't have that outgoing personality like a lot of the girls here do. I mean, the drive isn't there anymore, and being in this competition is pretty stressful. I just, I don't know, kinda gave up."
America's Next Top Model's sixth episode began with Elina, an 19-year-old from Seattle, WA, discussing her relationship with her mother as a possible reason for her inability to let go of her emotions during photo shoots.
"My mom controlled me my whole life," she said. "Maybe that's where that control issue comes from now, I understand that... Now I control everything because for such a long time I couldn't control anything."
After hearing the judges claim that she wasn't versatile enough and just relied on her pretty face at the last judging panel, Lauren Brie asked Sheena, a 21-year-old hostess/go-go dancer from Honolulu, HI, and Marjorie, a 19-year-old student from San Francisco, CA, for their thoughts on the matter.
Although both girls told Lauren Brie the judges were wrong, Sheena admitted she felt they were right once she was away from Lauren Brie.
"Lauren Brie is a very smart girl, but not a very exciting girl," said Sheena.
Afterwards, Analeigh, a 19-year-old student from Sacramento, CA, asked Elina, Lauren Brie, and Marjorie whether they considered her to be a serious contender for the competition's title.
"Well Analeigh, you're a beautiful girl, but I don't think you look like a model," Elina told her after Marjorie insisted she answer the question.
The following day, the girls traveled to a photography studio where -- after receiving a blank Tyra Mail message -- they were surprised by America's Next Top Model host and judge Tyra Banks.
After changing into black dresses and joining Tyra at a photo shoot, Tyra said that she would spend time with each model to help them find their "signature poses" by taking 20 pictures and receiving advice from the Top Model host.
"Any young model would kill for 20 frames and a critique with Tyra Banks. C'mon Analeigh, deliver," Analeigh told herself.
Looking to build on her previous experience as a skater, Tyra developed Analeigh's signature style to be as an "ice rebel skater." Similarly, McKey, a 19-year-old student from Lake Forest, IL, drew on her past experience as a boxer and used blocking movements as her poses, impressing Tyra.
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"McKey did really great when I gave her her strength. Her strength is her neck," Tyra said.
Samantha, an 18-year-old student athlete from Woodland Hills, CA, developed her signature pose around her hand movements.
Lauren Brie had difficulty developing a signature pose with Tyra, but eventually decided on posing as a "surfer chick" by bending her arms on either side of her body.
"She did some poses and they were pretty, but they were empty," Tyra added. "I was like 'Fill it with something!'"
"It's frustrating," Lauren Brie said after the shoot. "I guess I just need to show more personality because I'm going home if I don't."
"Her personality is like the color of her hair. Its translucent, it's bland," added Sheena, who focused on downplaying her reputation as posing like a "hootchie" by developing her signature pose around African cultural dance movements.
After having trouble thinking of a signature pose, Joslyn, a 23-year-old student from Lucky, LA, accepted Tyra's suggestion to pose in profile.
Elina signature pose attempted to convey the idea of a "top model of the world," but still came across somewhat flat and unemotional to Tyra, who urged her once again to lose control of her emotions in front of the camera.
"She still feels that she has to have this control with herself. She doesn't know that when she lets it go, that's when the magic happens," Tyra said.
After spending time with each girl, Tyra revealed that the photo shoots had been a challenge and proclaimed Marjorie -- who molded her extreme poses and nervous attitude to convey "the hunchback of Notre Dame" -- the winner of the challenge.
"Marjorie played her weaknesses, which is her awkwardness which is her nerves. she took all of hat, and wrapped it into a Notre Dame bow, and made it beautiful," Tyra told the girls.
As the winner, Marjorie got to pick one other girl to join her on a jewelry shop shopping trip where they would be allowed to each select one piece of diamond jewelry.
Marjorie chose Analeigh. Once at the shop, Marjorie selected a $8,700 necklace while Analeigh selected a $3,200 necklace.
The following day the girls traveled to a classic theatre where they met with photo shoot director Jay Manuel, who told them that they would be posing with photographer Mike Rosenthal as they acted out own embarrassing moments from award shows.
Marjorie posed as a girl that had to go to the bathroom in her gown. Using her awkwardness and utilizing Tyra's advice, Marjorie impressed both Jay and Mike.
"Using your awkwardness you actually looked fashionable. You [actually looked like] you knew what you were doing," Jay told Marjorie after the shoot.
After receiving best picture honors last week, Samantha's shoot -- in which she portrayed a girl who could not read the cue cards -- did not impress Jay as much. While he acknowledged that Samantha eventually pulled together some good shots, he added that they were too many pictures in which she looked "absolutely fake."
After being told to convey an overemotional actress who can't stop crying, Elina worried that the pressure to convey her true emotions could doom her in the competition.
"This is the shot where you need to lose control [so] this might be my last shoot," she said worriedly.
However, after being asked some emotion-provocating questions by Jay, Elina was eventually able to shed some tears during her shoot, impressing Jay who said told her that the shoot was "the best you've looked in the competition."
Mike told Lauren Brie -- who posed as an actress tripping on stairs as she walked up to receive an award -- that she looked too "pose-y and forced" and asked her to act more naturally
Sheena posed as an actress who gets her gown stepped on, but lacked her usual outgoing emotion in her shots and "just stood there" according to Jay.
"She reeled it in way too much," he added.
After the shoot, some of the girls doubted their chances of continuing in the competition.
"No matter how well you do, that one shot can make you stay or go home," Sheena said.
"You just never know when it comes to [the judges'] panel. You don't know what they're looking for," said Lauren Brie, who added that the shrinking number of contestants as well as the increasingly difficult challenges had made participating on the show much harder.
The following day at judging panel, Tyra credited Sheena for the "classy" outfit she was wearing. However, judge Nigel Barker thought that Sheena's eyes had turned over too much in her picture as she looked back -- making her look "possessed" -- while judge Paulina Porizkova liked Sheena's use of her legs but felt she had not used her body enough.
Mike was amazed with the poses Marjorie used in her pictures while still keeping the proper amount of emotion on her face.
"You know, you get yourself into the most incredible positions and you look incredible," he exclaimed after seeing her picture for the week.
The judges agreed that Lauren Brie's picture looked unnatural with her pose, which made it look as if she was floating in the picture instead of falling.
"It's not really believable," Nigel said. But that being said, maybe you were going up for the award for Supergirl or something."
"I think you don't let go enough," said Tyra as she reiterated her criticism of Lauren Brie from the last challenge. "You don't ugly it up enough."
"Week by week you should be doing better, not [sliding] back," added Paulina.
While the judges credited Elina with showing emotion during her shoot, Tyra said that her face had still not emoted her sadness enough and that her tears could be described best as "controlled real tears."
After breaking into tears while hearing the criticism, Elina told the judges that she was unsure of how to get more emotive than she had during the shoot.
"To tell you the truth, I let go there. And if that's not enough, I don't know," she said sadly.
While deliberating as to which girl should be eliminated, Paulina felt that Sheena had "gorgeous legs" but added that "she doesn't have the making of a model."
Nigel agreed, saying that she had "really gone downhill" in the competition's recent shoots.
Tyra reiterated that she felt Lauren Brie had a "strong face that photographs so, so well," but wondered if she had the right personality to be a top model.
"Lauren Brie has taken may good shots over the past few weeks, but this is not one of them," said Nigel in agreement. "Maybe one of the problems is that she's done so well, and she is such a pretty girl and she coasted into this competition. She didn't really learn. She didn't improve."
After reconvening with the girls, Tyra announced that Marjorie's picture had been chosen as the week's best.
She then proceeded to call out additional photos for Analeigh, McKey, Samantha, Elina, and Joslyn -- leaving Lauren Brie and Sheena as the week's bottom two girls.
"It's interesting both of you stand before me, so different. Polar opposites of each other actually," Tyra told the girls.
"Lauren Brie is that gorgeous, interesting, odd, alienesque, high fashion beauty, [with] a face that comes rarely in the fashion industry. But what's lacking is the personality of Sheena, somebody that shines, somebody that inspires people. A pretty girl -- not necessarily the most 'modelesque' looking girl. Maybe too sexy to some of the judges."
"So who stays?" Tyra asked, before revealing that -- for that particular judging panel at least -- Sheena's personality had won out.