Lulu Braithwaite the fourth girl cut from 'America's Next Top Model'
By Christopher Rocchio, 09/24/2009
Lulu Braithwaite couldn't make her pretty appearance translate onto film, and she paid the price for it.
The 19-year-old 5'7" student from Brooklyn, NY became the fourth finalist eliminated fromAmerica's Next Top Model's thirteenth season during last night's broadcast of The CW reality series.
"It sucks being eliminated," opined Lulu after her ouster. "I'm going to go home and I'm going to work on the things Tyra told me to work on because this is not the end of the road for me. Top Model just opened a lot of doors for me and I'm going to enter those doors."
America's Next Top Model's third thirteenth-season episode began following the elimination Courtney Davies -- who was ousted despite the fact that Bianca Richardson was in the bottom two for a second consecutive week.
"Being in the bottom two for the second time kind of saddened me a little bit," opined Bianca. "I know that I'm kind of walking on eggshells."
That night the girls received some Tyra Mail that asked them how old they were when they learned to walk, and the finalists immediately thought it meant their next challenge would have to do with the runway.
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"I've been practicing my runway walk in front of the mirror for four years," said Brittany Markert. "I was so close to being called first last week, so hopefully I'll just keep going up."
The next day the girls arrived at The Conga Room, where they were met by a red carpet, America's Next Top Model runway expert J. Alexander and 9-year-old runway model Diva Davanna.
J. then had each of the girls walk the runway and gave them pointers on how they could improve -- which Lulu didn't exactly accept with open arms.
"I do believe I have a signature walk," stubbornly said Lulu. "I've had it since I started wearing heels and crossing my legs. I'm not going to change it."
That night the girls received another piece of Tyra Mail that told them if they don't "walk tall," they'll "come up short" -- which implored them to all practice their runway walks.
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The next day the girls arrived at a mansion in Malibu, where they were met by J.. He explained they'd be participating in their very first fashion show, working with designer Kevan Hall. In addition, J. said the girls would be working with models who are 5'10" and above. They would be judged by Seventeen Magazine editor-in-chief Ann Shoket, who explained the winner would be in an advertorial for the publication.
After the fashion show was complete, Ann and J. told the girls how they did before revealing Brittany as the winner.
"I'm so happy and it's very surreal that I'm going to be in this spread," said Brittany -- who was also given the opportunity to pick two other girls to appear in the ad with her. She chose Laura Kirkpatrick and Kara Vincent.
The next day the girls arrived in an abandoned warehouse, where they were met by Top Model photo director Jay Manuel -- who explained that for their next photo shoot, they'd each be working on a set to make themselves seem taller than they actually are in order to "cheat" their proportions.
Brittany was the first girl to go, and she immediately felt uncomfortable by the fact that several of the other contestants were allowed to watch her shoot.
"It was definitely somewhat of a disadvantage to go first," she lamented.
Jay thought Brittany did a poor job stretching her proportions, and Lulu also wasn't impressed by Brittany's skills.
"She definitely didn't do much," said Lulu. "Her face was the same thing all the time."
Despite her criticism of Brittany, Lulu's shoot didn't go much better.
"I think this was Lulu's worst shoot," said Jay. "It was just boring, boring, boring."
With the shoot in the books, the girls returned to the house -- where Lulu continued to criticize Brittany's photo shoot performance.
"I'm not nervous about panel," said Lulu. "I usually know when I'm not doing so well. In my opinion, Brittany did the worst from what I saw."
However Brittany said she was also feeling "confident."
"It would seem silly for them to eliminate the girl who just had the best runway walk," explained Brittany. "But at the same time, I just never know how the photo's going to actually turn out."
The next day the girls arrived for the thirteenth season's third elimination ceremony -- where they were met by Top Model creator and lead judge Tyra Banks, photographer Nigel Barker and J.. This week's guest judge was petite supermodel Jaime Rishar.
While Tyra complimented Brittany for her runway challenge victory, the judges were a little harsher with her photo.
"I've got to say you look 5'5" in this picture," commented Nigel, and Jaime agreed.
"Your neck is hidden, and if you would have elongated your neck you would have gotten like two more inches," advised Tyra.
While Tyra thought Lulu's picture was "pretty," she added it wasn't "fashion."
"This looks like a portrait of an actress rehearsing," said Nigel. "That's exactly what it is because it is so kind of average."
"You look like you're exhaling," added Tyra. "You don't put any tension in your body. Another thing is you have to find the fierceness in your face."
The other nine finalists also received feedback before the judges began to deliberate.
"I don't see tall, I don't see short, I don't really see much in this photo at all," said Jaime about Brittany's picture.
"You know what's interesting is last week she had one of the photos where she looked taller than all the other girls," added Tyra.
Lulu was criticized for being "average" by Nigel.
"The sad thing is, I look at her in the bunch, and for me she's sort of one of the cutest ones," he added. "But there's nothing there... There's no 'it' factor."
Tyra then revealed Kara, Nicole Fox, Erin Wagner, Sundai Love, Jennifer An, Bianca, Laura, Ashley Howard, and Ashley "Rae" Weisz were all safe -- meaning Lulu and Brittany were in the bottom two.
Tyra said both girls stood before her for "very different reasons."
"Lulu, Nigel says you are one of his favorite girls to look at in this room," said Tyra. "But for some reason, when the camera goes up, you exhale when you need to inhale."
Tyra said the judges thought Brittany looked "so short" in this week's photo a week after she impressed them.
"How can she look so long one week and so short the next?" asked Tyra. "They feel like it's just a fluke."