Mikaela Schipani gets eliminated from 'America's Next Top Model'
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/07/2011
Mikaela Schipani became the eighth girl eliminated from America's Next Top Model's sixteenth season during Wednesday night's broadcast on The CW.
"It was a really crazy panel today. I didn't know what to think, but I knew my photo shoot wasn't as good as I wanted it to be and it's about the photo. I know that Brittani had a little meltdown, but at the same time, we're at panel for a photo and mine wasn't better than hers. I knew that. It was just great knowing that Tyra was still supporting me and still thinks that I can do this, and I've made it this far and that's a huge accomplishment to me," Mikaela said following her ouster.
Mikaela was eliminated from the seventh episode of America's Next Top Model's sixteenth season after Top Model's judges reviewed the photos the season's eight remaining finalists had taken at their sixth photo shoot challenge, which required them to imitate their own individual themes and characters to express the idea "Crazy for something." The models had to pose looking like they were crazy for fur, clothes, shoes, bags, etc.
Mikaela, a 21-year-old student from Boca Raton, FL, ended up in the bottom two alongside Brittani, a 19-year-old student from Beech Creek, PA who currently resides in Howard, PA.
Mikaela had failed to impress Top Model photo shoot director Jay Manuel during the photo shoot, which featured the girls showing how deranged they were for fashion and how versatile they could come across in their photos. Mikaela was given the theme "Crazy for sales."
"I feel like you're just looking and going, 'I don't know what to do!" Jay told Mikaela.
"There's so much stuff! Exactly," Mikaela replied standing amongst numerous bags and tissue paper.
"Allow the set to serve you instead of letting it over take your energy." Jay said.
"Mikaela was just overwhelmed by the set. So, it almost was like unwrapping presents on Christmas morning, because she didn't know what to do."
Brittani -- who modeled and was required to act out "Crazy for shoes" -- actually shined in her photo shoot and got positive feedback from Jay and fashion photographer Miguel Starcevich.
"I love Brittani. Brittani was really cool. She came out kicking and jumping and karate kicking. She had a great personality," Starcevich told Brittani.
"Great job. Why are you in such a good mood today?" Jay asked her.
"I don't know. I just like shoes!" Brittani replied.
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The next day the girls arrived for the sixteenth season's sixth elimination panel -- where they were met by Top Model judges Tyra Banks, Nigel Barker and Andre Leon Talley as well as guest judge Eric Daman, a stylist who was present at the girls' previous photo shoot.
The judges first criticized Mikaela's photo during panel critiques.
"You had a hard time getting into it and kind of finding that moment. I think it really took you a moment to kind of find a very high fashion pose in the middle of all this. I don't think that necessarily came across as well as I would have liked to have seen," Eric told Mikaela.
"What were you thinking and what were you trying to do?" Nigel asked her.
"When I first got on set, I immediately kind of wanted to touch stuff and I think I went a little too crazy with it," Mikaela replied.
"Not crazy enough," Tyra corrected. "This was the craziest that your face got. As I was going through your film, it made me wonder, 'Did you understand the assignment? That there was a certain look of paranoia or being dazed or being obsessed, because it wasn't there."
Before Brittani's photo was reviewed and while the photo of Alexandria, an unemployed 21-year-old from Newport Beach, CA, was being critiqued, Nigel asked Alexandria what had gone down during a photo shoot challenge that took place earlier in the episode between her and Brittani.
The photo shoot featured the girls embodying different symbols connected to the Warriors in Pink cause to raise awareness and money for breast cancer. Alexandria won the challenge and received a new Ford car, a national print ad campaign and the starring role in a PSA announcement.
"Something interesting happened that I wanted to bring up. There was sort of this extraordinary performance between you and Brittani. What was that about?" Nigel asked both girls in reference to the fight he saw behind the scenes.
"We all think that as far as a role model goes, you really chose the wrong spokesperson because we see the true Alexandria," Brittani told the judges.
"As far as being a role model is concerned, to be that outspoken at a photo shoot in front of the photographer, in front of the client, was extremely unprofessional. There is a reason why we don't know all of Alexandria's business. It's because what you do at home is what you do at home. It's worth bearing that in mind, because now I have a different idea about you," Nigel said.
"Brittani, why in front of the client?" Tyra asked her.
Brittani then said it wasn't as if she was shouting, "Alexandria shouldn't win!" She explained how she was talking with the other girls and Alexandria overheard their conversation and spoke up in her own defense. As a result, Brittani started to tell Alexandria how she really felt about her personality and actions, which came across loud and insulting.
Although Brittani seemingly didn't regret what she said to Alexandria or why she said it, she did feel very bad about acting up in a professional setting within a competition.
"I understand it was the wrong time but I just feel horrible that I made myself look like a bad person because of how I felt about her. I am just so mad at myself for letting her do this to me," Brittani explained.
"In terms of sportsmanship, what you have done is probably one of the weakest things that a role model could do no matter what you feel inside. If you think somebody else is getting something that they don't deserve, you shut your lips, especially in front of a client. This is a business. You have to respect the client. You have to respect your coworkers, and you have to respect yourself," Tyra told Brittani.
As a result, Brittani stormed off crying and tried to regain her composure. Once she felt she was ready to return to panel, she could barely speak because she claimed she was having a panic attack. All the drama then got pushed aside and Brittani's photo was discussed.
"It's a very sweet shot, but I think you could have taken it a little bit bigger," Nigel told Brittani.
"It certainly isn't the best of your photos, but it does work because I do see the emotion in your eyes," Andre said.
After panel critiques, the girls waited while the judges deliberated and Alexandria told everyone they should have been "real" with her and told her how they felt to begin with, especially since she said she had only had nice things to say about all of them
Following panel deliberations, Tyra called the girls back in and revealed the models in order of the best photo to the worst of the week. Jaclyn, a 20-year-old student and waitress from Belton, TX, received the first call-out.
Following Jaclyn, Tyra then revealed Molly, Hannah, Kasia, and Alexandria has also advanced to the competition's next round -- leaving Mikaela and Brittani in the bottom two.
Tyra then recapped both girls' issues before revealing which one would get to remain in the competition.
"Mikaela, you have a face that the judges find so spectacular, but the one thing that's lacking is that intensity in those eyes. We've said it again and again. It comes, it goes, we never know when it's going to appear," Tyra told her.
"Brittani, last week, best photo and from week to week some of the strongest photos out of the girls here. But what makes her unattractive is the attitude that we saw today... People think that on America's Next Top Model, I'm the only person that makes a decision. That I'm the person that says, 'This girl stays. This girl goes and the judges are just here for color commentary.' That is not the case. It has never been the case, and this week, I was out voted," Tyra said.
Tyra then revealed Brittani's photo, resulting in Mikaela's elimination.
"If [Top Model] was just a monarchy, Mikaela would be standing in front of me, and you would be going home, and I wish that I could tell you that you need to prove this or do 'X' or do 'Y' or do 'Z.' I don't know what you can do to prove that you deserve to be here. It is up to you to figure that out." Tyra told Brittani.
"Okay, I know that you've modeled before but you came to Top Model because it didn't happen as big or as amazing as you want it to, and you're the kind of girl that can go into a go-see and wow, wow wow, just by the face. But you don't want them to open up the portfolio and go, 'Huh, it's alright.' I still wish you were here. I really, really do," Tyra told Mikaela.