'Top Model' eliminates Erin Wagner and Jennifer An, reveals Top 2
By Christopher Rocchio, 11/12/2009
Erin Wagner and Jennifer An became the eleventh and twelfth finalists eliminated from America's Next Top Model's thirteenth season during last night's penultimate broadcast of The CW reality series.
"Right now, it's kind of just like a punch in the face," lamented Erin, an 18-year-old 5'6" student from Kenosha, WI who currently resides in Spring Grove, IL.
"It sucks to make it this far and not get it. I could have put a lot more vigor into the last few things, but I can't change it now. This was a really great experience for me, but I don't want it to be over and it is over."
"It feels amazing to have made it as far as I have," said Jennifer, a 23-year-old 5'5" model from Philadelphia, PA who currently resides in New York, NY. "And it hurts to be so close to it -- it's like ripping my heart out. It sucks."
America's Next Top Model's tenth thirteenth-season episode began following the elimination of Sundai Love -- as Erin expressed surprise at still being in the competition despite finding herself among the bottom two at three consecutive judging panels.
"I am still here by the skin of my teeth and the graciousness of the panel," she explained. "At my next photo shoot, I have to have a kick ass photo shoot or otherwise I won't make it to the final 3."
The next day the four remaining girls arrived at the beach and were met by hula girls, who mixed a traditional hula with hip-hop. Anna-Rita Sloss, a hip-hop hula instructor, then taught the girls the unique dance style.
Nicole Fox, an 18-year-old 5'7" student from Louisville, CO who previously had problems with a dance-themed challenge earlier in the competition, also struggled to learn hip-hop hula.
"I know that I'm going to have to work really hard at this and I do want to win," she said.
Anna-Rita then explained that, using a traditional hula and self-choreographed solo, they would create a hip-hop hula routine. The girls then worked on their routine as a group -- with Erin helping since she used to be a cheerleader.
The girls were then met by Anna-Rita and Top Model runway expert J. Alexander and performed their routine with the hip-hop hula dancers -- with each having their own solo performance in the middle of it. The challenge's winner would receive a trip to Maui and get to choose one of the other four finalists to bring with her.
J. and Anna-Rita then revealed Laura Kirkpatrick, a 19-year-old 5'6" waitress from Stanford, KY, was the winner, and she chose to take Jennifer with her.
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That night Laura and Jennifer discussed their prize, and Laura's win and decision didn't sit too well with Erin.
"I'm pissed off because I was very helpful towards the other girls before the challenge," she said.
The next day the girls traveled to a beach and were met by Top Model photo shoot director Jay Manuel, who explained that for their penultimate shoot they'd be styled like the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes -- who was known for her beauty and fiery temperament. The girls would be posing on the beach's volcanic rock.
"There's a lot more riding on this photo shoot than any of the rest," added Jay. "Because at the next judging, two of you will be going home."
Needless to say, the girls were shocked but did their best to focus as the shoot commenced.
Jennifer went first and started by posing in a very peaceful, meditative way. Jay said it was "okay" and added she needed to fix her face.
"Jennifer, she thought of doing something simple and goddess-like," said Jay. "The problem is, it did not work."
She continued to struggle with her poses and facial expressions and Jay told her to stand flat-footed because it looked like she was losing her balance.
"I was being stubborn and I stayed on my tippy toes," she said. "But towards the end I did go flat on my feet and I think it helped a lot."
Nicole went next and did very well, as Jay called it "gorgeous."
"Nicole delivered a campaign worthy image," he said. "She nailed it for me -- the energy, the facial expressions, it was just beautiful."
Laura went third and her posing and facial expressions received some criticism.
"When I'm not there taking the pictures, I'm thinking, 'I'm not being as good as I can be,'" worried Laura. "I know I can do better, and I just keep pushing myself."
Jay had a hard time pinpointing Laura's problem, but knew he had seen her perform better in the past.
"It feels absolutely horrible. I just want to ball up and cry after hearing that," she opined. "I'm very nervous about going to panel."
Erin went last and knew she had to step up her game. She decided the best way to do this was by looking "powerful and wrathful" in her face to depict the goddess.
"Erin, do you feel pretty?" asked Jay.
"Yeah," she responded.
"It's registering that you're kind of annoyed," he said. "I need that warmth."
Erin tried to soften her face by singing in her head and Jay thought it was working.
"By singing in her head, her expression totally changed," he said. "It became soft and serene, and the photo became magical."
Back at their Hawaiian house, the girls anticipated the next day's double elimination.
"It is so scary," said Laura. "I felt like I could do a whole lot better... When I stopped having fun, that's when I messed up. But it's going to be a lot of praying tonight."
"I was at the top of the pack at the beginning of this competition," said Erin. "I think I lost a lot of confidence. You don't want to show them that you're not consistent, but I think I performed really well in the photo shoot that we had today so I'm hoping that I got a good enough photo to be Top 2."
"I am scared out of my pants," said Jennifer. "In a way, I feel like Nicole already has a seat in the Top 2 because she's never done poorly. And Laura's never been in the bottom two and I've never been in the bottom two. Yeah, maybe Erin's done poorly, but the judges love her. I honestly don't know how tomorrow's going to go."
The next day the girls arrived for the thirteenth season's ninth 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 Seventeen magazine editor-in-chief Ann Shoket.
Erin went first, and Nigel commented it was "very pretty, wonderful and beautiful."
"You look so long, tall, elegant, sexy," he added.
Ann thought Erin was "glowing" and Tyra said -- overall -- she thought Erin looked "a little sleepy" in her film.
"You lucked out with an amazing beautiful shot but it's important for you to keep that tension," added Tyra. "Using those face muscles."
Jennifer went next and Nigel said while it was "pretty," it wasn't necessarily her "best angle."
"I'm not mad about the pose with the mouth open," he added. "But there is power there."
"You look a bit stiff," said J., and Ann thought Jennifer failed to "elongate" her body.
"This was one of the poses I maybe did toward the end," replied Jennifer. "But in the beginning I did a lot with brining the skirt out."
Tyra commented that Jennifer "forgot her face."
"It looked like your focus was gone," added Tyra. "It can look very amateur modeling -- that's why we didn't go with anything of you holding the skirt... But I think your skin looks beautiful."
Laura went next and Tyra and Nigel both thought she resembled supermodel Rachel Hunter.
"From Day 1 I always thought you were the gold tooth in a mouth full of decay," said J., who explained that he means she can "deliver" in front of the camera.
"This shot for me is very Sports Illustrated," added Nigel. "This could be like a cover shot. That being said, I just think you have to be careful with your legs -- they could be even longer than they are now."
Ann said she liked Laura's facial features.
"You have such great impact with such small movements," added Ann.
Nicole went last and Nigel thought the close up was "stunning."
"But for me on the wide shot it gets a little weak," he added. "You used to be all about the movement. You've lost so much of that recently."
Ann said she was impressed by Nicole's "vulnerability," and Tyra added there's a "tenderness, a mystery and a sexiness all wrapped into one."
"I do feel you have captured the entire scene," said Tyra.
The judges then began to deliberate about the double elimination.
J. thought Erin delivered and Nigel saw anger in her eyes but not her body, which he felt was "relaxed and in control."
"The problem with her is she's a bit disingenuous," added Nigel.
"She pulled out an absolutely beautiful picture, but editing her film is not easy," said Tyra.
Nigel said Jennifer "forgets her face" in this week's photo.
"She's thinking so much about how am I going to do this, what do I have to do, that in that moment she forgets it's all about the face at the end of the day," he said. "I think her body of work, she's just done an extraordinary job."
Tyra agreed that Jennifer is "likeable" and "takes a fantastic picture."
With deliberations in the book, Tyra revealed that the first finalist was Nicole.
"I love editing your film because there's always a new Jennifer that I discover. But lately you've gotten a little shaky and lost your way. So is your body of work strong enough to make you a finalist?" began Tyra.
"Then we have Laura, she has a sweet, bubbly, sunny personality -- and when we look at your pictures we're like, 'Who the hell is that?!' Your pictures are so amazing, but one thing that you lack is you in person is not as amazing as your pictures... Then we have Erin, our girl who started of like vroom, vroom, vroom -- you better look out because I'm going to knock all you girls down because I can't take a bad picture. Then you faltered and lost your way, but this last photo is a comeback with a vengeance."
Tyra then revealed Laura was the last finalist -- eliminating Erin and Jennifer.
America's Next Top Model's thirteenth-season finale will air on Wednesday, November 18 at 8PM ET/PT and will be followed by one-hour special that will include unseen footage from the show's thirteenth season.