'Top Model: British Invasion' cuts British model Catherine Thomas
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/03/2012
Top Model's judges proved one bad photo can get a girl eliminated, and British model Catherine Thomas learned that firsthand.
Catherine, a 5' 9" 22-year-old from Folkestone, England, became the ninth girl eliminated from America's Next Top Model: British Invasion during Wednesday night's broadcast on The CW.
"I am proud of myself. I wish I could've gone further, but I'm going to pick myself up and keep going. I've got no regrets. I did do the photo shoot the best that I could. I think this experience has changed me a lot, a lot, and I've experienced a lot. So when I go back home and do my modeling, I'll be able to use this in my career. It was amazing," Catherine said following her ouster from the reality franchise's eighteenth edition in which seven amateur American hopefuls battle seven all-stars and former Britain's Next Top Model contestants for the grand prize.
Catherine, one of the four remaining British contestants, was eliminated from the ninth episode of America's Next Top Model: British Invasion after Top Model's judges reviewed the photos the season's remaining six finalists had taken at their ninth photo shoot challenge of the season, which required them to travel to Macau -- an island in Asia -- and then model silk Chinese gowns while being accessorized in real live silk worms for fashion photographer Paul Tsang.
Catherine ended up in the bottom two with fellow British contestant Alisha, a 20-year-old from South London, England.
Both girls failed to impress and inspire Top Model photo shoot director Jay Manuel.
"What are you thinking Catherine? Put yourself in a real situation. What would rip your heart out?" Jay asked.
"The fact if someone died," Catherine said. "I'll end up crying."
"Close your eyes and go to that place. Don't pose, don't change anything, and just open your eyes and look into the camera," Jay explained. "I don't know. There's just something that's not working. Catherine, even though she's delivering the emotion, her poses are so wooden and stiff."
While Catherine had the emotion but wasn't posing enough, Jay was concerned that Alisha was posing too much and lacked expression.
"Really dig into that emotion," Jay told Alisha during the photo shoot. "Alisha, I'm not sure what you're doing. I want to see a more raw emotion. It's still a little too posy. You're in the zone, you're in the zone, just don't let the zone be you."
"I really want the opportunity to work with Alisha again. I'm not too sure that after today's performance, I'm going to have that chance," he said afterwards.
Later on, the girls arrived for the eighteenth season's ninth elimination panel where they were met by Top Model judges Tyra Banks, Nigel Barker, and Kelly Cutrone, as well as guest judge Barney Cheng -- an influential Chinese designer.
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The judges first critiqued Catherine's photo.
"I think you're so much better than this, Catherine," Tyra told her.
"Yeah I was actually very surprised, because when you got onto the set, you totally froze. Mr. Jay asked you to have a little bit of a sadness to it and you totally emoted, but you started bawling," Barney explained.
"You started crying?" Nigel asked.
"Yeah, he wanted me to get emotional. So he asked, 'What would make you emotional?' And I said, 'If someone died,'" Catherine said. "That [picture] was before I cried. That was in the beginning."
"You're like, 'Tea? Would you like the tea I'm selling?'" Kelly said.
"With emotion, you have to be sort of careful and really try to reference something like a broken heart versus a death, because it's tragedy like that which is not an easy sell in the advertising world," Nigel told her.
Alisha's photo was then reviewed.
"Ooh, I like the top half of the photo. It's very, very stunning as a model, but if it's to sell the dress, I think the dress doesn't look good," Barney said.
"You look like the girl who didn't get into The Supremes," Kelly noted. "And you're not selling the dress for me. At this point, you have to know what you're wearing."
"Girls think modeling is about showing themselves and that is the last thing. It's about selling product," Tyra added.
Earlier in the episode, the girls met with Chinese astrologer Clement Chan and Miss J. Alexander and got readings based upon their birthdays and horoscopes. They were told a bit about their families, work, and what element and colors best represented them.
After their readings, the models were required to "re-create a whole new aura" in 10 minutes by using a variety of makeup, fabric and accessories. The girl who came across as being the "most improved" would win a spa treatment and be able to choose one person to join her.
Laura, a 5' 10 1/2" 20-year-old from Scotia, NY, ended up winning the "change your aura" challenge and picked Eboni to also receive the spa treatment.
After panel critiques and the judges had time to deliberate on the girls' photos in private, Tyra and the judges called the girls back in. Tyra then revealed the models in order of the best photo to the worst of the week.
Laura received the first call-out. Following Laura, Tyra then revealed Annaliese, Sophie, and Eboni -- leaving Catherine and Alisha in the bottom two.
Laura and Eboni were the only American models remaining in the competition, while the rest of the girls were British models.
Tyra then recapped both girls' issues before revealing which one would get to remain in the competition.
"Alisha, as models, we are paid to sell clothes, not to sell ourselves. And you made a dress that was amazing look less than it is on a hanger," Tyra told her.
"Catherine, timeless iridescent Catherine, who has done well in this competition -- has done amazing in her music video. And then your photo this week, just like the one of the girl you're standing next to, was weak."
Tyra then revealed Alisha's photo, resulting in Catherine's elimination.
"The queen's going back home," Tyra told Catherine.
"I'm happy I met you too," Catherine said in tears.
"I'm happy I met you too! I think that you're so talented, but you have to hold onto that confidence. Just pretend to be the Queen, pretend to be her even if you don't feel like a princess," Tyra explained.