Sheena the ninth girl eliminated from 'America's Next Top Model'
By John Bracchitta, 10/30/2008
The inability of Sheena, a 21-year-old hostess/go-go dancer from Honolulu, HI, to balance her so-called "hootchiness" with her attempts to become more "modelesque" finally caught up to her as she became the ninth girl to be eliminated from America's Next Top Model's eleventh season during last night's broadcast of The CW reality series.
"Honestly I'm very sad to leave because I'm walking away from Top Model kind of like forever. But I would have never imagined to see myself come this far even though this is always what I've wanted, it's incredible," Sheena said following her elimination. "Because of this my life will never be the same, but at the same time, that's my mark. There's never gonna be another Sheena, and I really don't feel that I lost anything."
America's Next Top Model's eighth episode began with Elina, a 19-year-old from Seattle, WA, lamenting her poor performance at the last judging panel as she and the other girls packed for their upcoming trip to Amsterdam, Holland.
"I don't think I did that bad, but I can't do anything without hearing the word 'control,'" Elina said, referring to the judges repeated criticism that she controls her emotions too much.
McKey, a 19-year-old student from Lake Forest, IL, also expressed frustration because the judges had yet to deem one of her photos to be a photo shoot's best photo -- a situation she vowed to rectify at the girls' next judging panel.
"I'm a the point where I don't like being in the middle," she said.
Sheena also looked forward to the Amsterdam trip and whatever challenges she had waiting for her across the pond.
"I have no idea what's in store for me in Amsterdam. All I know is I started this competition too sexy, so I'm learning how to be more 'modelesque,' and this competition has taught me that," she said prior to arriving in Amsterdam.
Once they arrived in Amsterdam, the girls met with Holland's Next Top Model host Daphne Deckers. After greeting them, Deckers sent the girls on their first challenge, an The Amazing Race-like task which required them to acclimate themselves to the city by pairing up and traveling to their new house on their own.
The first pair to arrive at the house would receive 50 extra frames to split at their next photo shoot.
After the girls paired up into teams consisting of Elina and Samantha, an 18-year-old student athlete from Woodland Hills, CA; Sheena and McKey; and Analeigh, a 19-year-old student from Sacramento, CA, and Marjorie, a 19-year-old student from San Francisco, CA; they were given their first assignment: buying a train ticket at Amsterdam Central and boarding their train.
While Analeigh and Marjorie missed the train after trying to pay for their ticket in American money, both Sheena and McKey as well as Elina and Samantha caught the train and traveled to their stop, where received another clue that told them to go to Dam Centrum, a local park.
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Elina and Samantha were the first team to arrive at Dam Centrum, where they received directions to their house at 346 Herengracht, and won the challenge by arriving at the house first.
"I am so happy to have those extra frames, you have no idea," said Elina.
"It was weird working with Elina but we kind of just bonded," Samantha said, referring to her previously frosty relationship with Elina. "I didn't know what was going on, maybe she was making a truce or something."
Analeigh and Marjorie arrived at the house second, and Sheena and McKey followed afterward.
That night, as the girls adjusted to their new pad, McKey, Samantha and Sheena just when Elina, Analeigh, and Marjorie took a loud late-night bath that kept them awake.
"If Sheena or Samantha goes home I'm going to die because the other three I just don't relate with," McKey said after the incident.
The next day, the girls traveled to the city's Red Light District to meet with runway expert J. "Ms. J" Alexander and Carlo Wijnands -- a representative for Red Light Fashion Amsterdam, a city organization that turns old brothels into fashion venues -- for their next challenge.
Once there, they were informed that the challenge would require the girls to break into pairs and then partner with a local designer and model their clothing in a former brothel's front window.
"We're taking the setting of where prostitutes kind of make their living and sitting in the windows that the prostitutes sit in. This is extremely controversial," said Analeigh later.
Samantha and McKey were paired together with designer Edwin Oudshoorn, who had the girls wear clothing and pose with a "dollhouse" theme.
Sheena and Marjorie were paired with designer Bas Kosters, who dressed the girls in expressive rock and roll garbs.
Elina and Analeigh were paired with designer Jan Taminiau, who had the girls pose in "romantic gowns that can be turned into jackets."
After observing the girls as they posed in their windows, Miss J. gathered the girls and had Red Light Fashion Amsterdam's Mariette Hoitink reveal that the challenge winners would be invited to walk in multiple shows at Amsterdam Fashion Week.
Miss J. then awarded the challenge to Samantha and McKey, who he credited for working together and listening to their designer's requests to look like dolls with their poses.
After returning to the house and being informed of another photo shoot the following day, Samantha and Elina's brief peace came to an end when the two got in an argument over the whether or not legal prostitution should be respected. The argument ended with Elina saying she felt she was being "targeted" by Samantha.
"For a split second running through Amsterdam I made her get on my page," a frustrated Samantha said after the argument. "But now she's off again, about 100 pages away. So I'm hoping Elina is in the bottom two."
The next day, the girls traveled to a port and met with photo shoot director Jay Manuel, who told them their photo shoot would require them to pose on a boat while wearing "mid-century dresses with a modern twist" with photographer Andy Tan.
After initially feeling dizzy on the boat, McKey settled down and impressed Jay with her poses.
"Week after week McKey is slowly breaking out of her shell," Jay said before adding he had been impressed with the creativity of her poses.
While Sheena attempted to reign in her "sexiness" during the shoot, Jay wasn't impressed when she straddled a wooden beam for one of her poses.
"It's interesting to me that Sheena always finds the most lewd pose to do," he said.
Elina was so focused while posing that she initially didn't hear Jay's repeated request to loosen up and look less tense.
Jay was also impressed with Analeigh, who he said "finally brought the skater to set" with her unique poses on the side of the boat. He also credited Marjorie with finally taking his criticism without internalizing it and taking it personally.
Following the shoot, Sheena noted that it was hard to predict the judges' opinions, but felt confident with her shoot.
"I don't feel like the weakest, I feel like I am improving," she said. "I do feel more modelesque, and no matter how beautiful you are and no matter how talented you are, you can always end up going home, so I'm fighting hard for this and I will never give up."
At the ensuing judging panel, judge Nigel Barker credited Elina's photo as "one of the most high fashion poses" he had ever seen from her, while guest judge Daphne Deckers complimented her "strong" face.
However, while Tyra liked her photo, she added that Elina had looked "stiff" on much of her film.
Both Nigel and judge Paulina Porizkova felt that Sheena's photo was dull and had not balanced her sexiness and modeling ability correctly.
"I think your face is beautiful and your clothes are beautiful, but that's about it," Paulina said.
The judges loved McKey's shot, with Paulina saying that she was "getting it" and Tyra marveling that she'd managed to achieve a photo that usually takes 20 rolls of film to capture in only a handful of shots.
"That's a fashion shot," Tyra exclaimed.
During the judges' private deliberations, Daphne elaborated on Nigel's comment that Elina's shot had been her best high fashion photo so far.
"This is the best high fashion picture that she has so far? Then I don't think that's very good," she said.
Nigel also elaborated on his problem with Sheena's shot, which he said had "no life" to it.
"It's so sad that Sheena's face is so strong in this but her body is not. She needs to find the balance between being too sexy and being flat," he commented.
After reconvening with the girls, Tyra announced that McKey's shot had been chosen as the week's best.
She then proceeded to call out additional photos for Analeigh, Marjorie, and Samantha -- leaving Sheena and Elina as the week's bottom two girls.
"Elina, the judges are now saying that yes, you take a pretty picture, but they don't see a model in front of them. And something that is consistently said throughout this competition about you is this certain 'control,' and now what that it is doing is turning into stiffness in your photos," Tyra told Elina. "So although you delivered a nice photo this week, your film was so, so, so, so stiff, So your good shot ended up being luck."
"And then we have Sheena, the girl that is the opposite of Elina, full of a personality and not so interested in being totally in control, a person that people want to be around," Tyra continued. "[Your] photos have been ok, some have been absolutely gorgeous and some, eh, not so good. So who stays?"
Tyra then revealed that Sheena had been eliminated from the competition.