Nikeysha becomes the second girl eliminated from 'Top Model'
By John Bracchitta, 09/11/2008
Nikeysha, a 19-year-old student and wannabe model from Bronx, NY, became the second girl eliminated from America's Top Model's eleventh season during last night's broadcast of the CW reality series
"I really didn't wanna go home. I still enjoyed every moment and I wouldn't change it," Nikeysha said while in tears as she packed her bags following her dismissal.
"I mean I'd probably go back and change me talking so much," added the dainty model, who was criticized by judges for her noticeably thin figure and penchant for interrupting judges during criticisms.
Top Model 11's second episode began with the girls returning from the season's first elimination to find Marjorie's first photo shoot picture displayed in the house.
Marjorie's photo was the first occurrence of a new Top Model addition in which the girl with the best picture in the previous week's shoot -- according to the judges -- would be displayed in the girls' California house.
The following morning, the girls boarded their bus and were brought to a warehouse where, after riding up a freight elevator, they discovered posing instructor Benny Ninja contorted on top of a thin black box in the middle a large empty room.
After being told that they would be taught how to model while utilizing "extreme posing," Benny revealed that the thin box he had been sitting on was in fact hollow and contained Bree Robertson, a model known for her flexibility who specialized in extreme posing.
After a brief primer on how to utilize their flexibility when on a shoot, the models were instructed to get into translucent fabric tubes and strike different extreme poses amid Benny's shouts of "Pose!"
While certain contestants with natural flexibility -- such as Sheena who put on a demonstration for Benny and the girls before getting into the tubes -- did not have trouble with the task, other models such as Nikeysha struggled.
"My sister here, it's like you're in pain. are you in labor?" Benny said to Nikeysha as she attempted to strike a pose.
"Nikeysha needs to learn her body better," added Bree. "She can't find a pose without really having to think about it.
"I'm definitely gonna go practice," Nikeysha said after the shoot. "I'm a try to stop thinking. And I talk too much, I'm trying get that together."
Back at the house that evening, the girls enjoyed the pool and eventually gathered in the jacuzzi where an impromptu game of truth-or-dare began.
Initially highlighted by sexually-oriented dares such as Clark kissing Elina (who had previously admitted to having something of a crush on Clark during the tryout show and added that she "saw fireworks" during the jacuzzi kiss), the game also exposed Hannah's uncomfortability with some of the subjects that were brought to light in the house.
"I have no idea why all the girls in my house are so sexual. I come from a small town and it's definitely very extreme for my taste," admitted the 19-year-old Fairbanks, Alaska native. "I generally wouldn't hang out with characters like Elina, or Sheena, or Isis because she's a transgender."
Hannah's discomfort was brought to the attention of the other girls after, while still in the jacuzzi, she pushed Isis away from her as Isis danced near her, and then explained her actions by saying she was a "stereotypical white person" who didn't appreciate black people dancing on her to Sheena and Brittany, who approached her about the incident.
Feeling that Hannah was showing a prejudice against other races in her comments, Brittany took offense.
That's so ignorant..." Brittany argued. "There is no certain way to act black, Even though you're the 'stereotypical white girl.' I'm a black girl, and somebody could take it offensively."
"I felt like I was being honest with Brittany and Sheena, and I feel like they were just trying to get a reaction out of me," Hannah said of the discussion.
Meanwhile, while still sensing some uncomfortablility amongst the girls concerning the fact that she is transgendered, Isis found a friend in Analeigh who agreed to help her take the hormone shots that are a part of her transition process.
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"It's something that means so much to her," Analeigh said. "To share that with her was quite a personal moment I thought."
The following day, the girls boarded the bus once and again and to visit Benny again. This time decked out in extravagant fake jewelry and flanked by pink-haired handbag designer Tarina Tarantino, he explained that the model's challenge for the week would be modeling Tarantino's handbags. He added that the winner would receive one of the designer's handbags filled sparkling jewelry.
Following each model's posing with various handbags, Tarina and Benny chimed in on which models had impressed them and which had disappointed.
Nikeysha said she was determined to win the challenge, but disappointed Tarina by exclaiming that she had to use the bathroom before beginning to model, something Hannah deemed "unprofessional" and "an amateur mistake."
"You could have just walked in and ruined your whole job," Benny said of the possible ramifications that Nikeysha could face with such comments in future shoots.
Using her flexibility and bending her left leg behind her neck while placing the handbag between her legs, Sheena also drew the ire of Benny and Tarina, both of whom felt the pose was inappropriate.
"The problem with Sheena's poses is that designers don't want to see their products in places where they really weren't meant to be," Benny said
"You're not showing the level of respect for product that you want to show," added Tarina, who was visibly disturbed by the pose.
Elina, who had admitted that she needed to work on her posing, especially when needing to change poses quickly, won the challenge with her "out of the box" poses that Tarina felt could be used in her next ad campaign.
"I think you thought of the product. Your face was amazing. Everything that you did was interesting," said Benny.
After returning to the house, Brittany lead the calling of an eventual meeting to discuss Hannah's comments from the night before.
"Am I a racist? No!" responded Hannah emotionally when asked by the models if she held prejudices against other races. Angered because some of the girls had spoken about her behind her back and calling it "so third grade," she left the meeting and cried in the kitchen.
"This is so awful!" she said between sobs. "I can't believe they're referring to me as being racist. Wow. That's not very nice."
The following morning, after reading Tyra Mail that stated the models "better start climbing that ladder" if they want to get to the top, the girls were lead the following day to a large field containing only a hot air balloon holding photography director Jay Manuel, who told them that they would be hanging in the air and posing off of the balloon's rope ladder in order to showcase their new knowledge of extreme posing.
Admitting to having a great deal of nerves regarding the shoot after looking at the hot-air balloon kicking around in the wind, Lauren Brie was relieved when the balloon was eventually grounded because of the weather in favor of a fork life to hold the rope ladder.
Jay was impressed with Elina's poses, saying that she looked like a "goddess in sky" and resembled Angelina Jolie at times.
Regarding Sheena, who he had previously criticized of being too much of a "hootch," Jay had similar criticisms of her once again after she spent a majority of the shoot hanging off of the ladder without using her arms or legs.
"Butt-cheeks typically aren't the best thing to grab onto a ladder with," he said with a smirk.
After such a strong shoot in the first week, Jay also noted that Isis seemed to struggle while posing on the ladder.
"When Isis struggles, she forgets her face," he said.
Nikeysha had difficulty holding herself on the ladder, and keeping her dress from flying up, throughout the shoot,
"Hopefully there's a really good shot in there and I can redeem myself because I sure need some redemption" she said, referring to her appearance in the bottom two the week prior.
The thirteen girls then arrived for Top Model's second eleventh-season judging panel, where their photos were critiqued by judges Tyra; Miss J.; photographer Nigel Barker; supermodel Paulina Porizkova; and Tarina.
The judges agreed that while Nikeysha's face was "stunning," her arms and legs were too thin made her clothing look too big on her as a result.
"You look like a paper bag with pipe cleaner coming out of it," said Paulina. "If it wasn't for the face I would definitely be voting against you."
Miss J. jokingly added that she needed some "fried chicken and a watermelon chaser" to fatten up.
Judges were wowed by Lauren Brie's shot, which they voted the top photo of the week. Calling it "to die for" Tyra also handed it the high praise of being one of the best photos in Top Model history.
As Isis came forward to be judged, Tyra immediately jumped on the outfit she had chosen to wear.
"You look, like, 'elementary school'" said Tyra of Isis' outfit. She added that in order to be a successful model she would need to take more chances with her style.
When it came to Isis' photo Tyra approved of it, crediting her with improving her facial expressions and showing more "confidence."
However, Paulina disagreed, saying that Isis lacked shape in the shot.
After a discussion about Sheena's chest size in her photo, Paulina asked whether she had ever had breast surgery.
"No ma'am, they're just really big," she responded.
However, following the judging, Sheena asked for a moment to come forward to the judges again and revealed that she had in fact had breast surgery.
"The reason why I kinda denied it was because... it was just a foolish decision I made at a young age," she said.
"So they're not real?" Nigel asked.
"No, of course not," Sheena responded.
Tyra said that she had known Sheena had gone under the knife, and credited her for being forthright. t
"The one thing I feel is absolutely beautiful is that you stepped forward and said 'you know what? I'm gonna tell the truth'. Thank you very much," she told Sheena.
Following the judges' deliberation, Tyra told the girls that Lauren Brie had taken the shoot's best photo.
"This is stunning, and during deliberations the judges said it's one of the best photos in the history of this competition," Tyra told Lauren Brie.
Tyra then proceeded to call out additional photos for Elina, Joslyn, Marjorie, McKey, Samantha, Sheena, Hanna, Clark, Brittany, and Isis -- leaving Nikeysha and Isis as the week's bottom two girls.
"Your film this week, mediocre. Your film last week was ok. The issues we had with you this week was..." Tyra said of Nikeysha before being interrupted yet again as the talkative 19-year-old attempted to explain the pictures.
"You keep talking all the time, and your pictures aren't that great," Tyra said coldly after Nikeysha quieted down. "You need to learn how to listen."
Regarding Isis, Tyra was surprised how quickly she had fallen from the top of the field to the bottom.
"You started almost at the top of the pack this week, and slipped so far down with your pictures," Tyra said. Bringing up the clothes she had worn to the judging yet again, Tyra added that even minor details such as clothing could not be ignored by the judges.
"When you walked in here you did not look like a model at all," she said. "And what happens is when the judges see something that is so different they wonder, 'are the good pictures just a fluke?'"
"Isis maybe it's not a fluke," Tyra continued, after revealing that the 22-year-old New York City native would survive for at least one more week while Nikeysha had been eliminated.
As Nikeysha exited, she said she had never gotten the opportunity to show Ms.J her runway walk and did so as she left the room.
"I didn't go as far as I wanted to. I wanted to go overseas. I wanted to win of course. But life never happens the way you want it go, but I'm still gonna keep on trying," Nikeysha said as she prepred to leave the house for good.