October 08, 2005 09:33 PM by Joe Blackmon
Sarah, a fragrance counter representative from Boonville, Mo., became the third girl eliminated from the fifth cycle of UPN’s hit series AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL, while Cassandra, a student from Houston, made Top Model history when she unexpectedly left the competition, reducing the pool from 11 girls to 9.
J. Alexander greeted the girls at a swanky Los Angeles home for a poolside runway lesson to teach the girls how to carry themselves both on the runway and throughout the competition. Right away, J. noticed Sarah’s lack of confidence. "Sarah is just one big huge ball of confusion," J. noted when the girls were challenged to present their personalities while performing an impromptu dance around the pool.
And after all of the time they spent together, rumors began to circulate the next day about Kim and Sarah’s obvious growing bond as even Sarah began to question her own identity. Meanwhile, Cassandra’s constant complaining about her shocking haircut only further isolated her from the rest of the girls.
Later, the girls met with fashion designer Sue Wong for a runway presentation on a rotating platform that would test the skills J. Alexander had taught them. All of the girls seemed excited about the runway opportunity, while Cassandra’s enthusiasm was lackluster. Sarah had a difficult time staying centered on the platform and seemed distracted by her complicated ensemble. "Sarah was rather awkward. She needs to work on her gracefulness," Sue Wong commented.
The following day, the girls met Jay Manuel for a photo shoot where each was styled as a "fashion victim." While running on a treadmill, each girl had to portray a look of fear as if they were running from danger. Later, the photo was altered to create the illusion of the girls running from J. Alexander, dressed as the Fashion Police Witch. Once again, Sarah seemed to have a difficult time appearing natural in her photos. "Sarah looked really uncomfortable. She was trying so hard to pose in front of the camera that I don’t even know if we got a great shot," Jay said. Cassandra became increasingly uneasy about Jay’s proposition to cut her hair shorter to satisfy Tyra’s vision of a perfect
fashion make-over. Instead of adhering to Jay’s advice of learning to adapt, Cassandra decided to leave the competition. "It wasn’t just cutting an inch and a half of hair for me. It was the last straw in them completely trying to change who I was," Cassandra said after leaving the photo shoot.
During the week’s elimination ceremony, Tyra addressed Cassandra’s decision to leave the competition and questioned each girl’s commitment to becoming a model. Once the elimination ceremony commenced, the girls were challenged to show the judges their signature runway walks. After viewing the fashion victim photos, the judges felt that although Sarah was showing improvement, her awkwardness and lack of confidence, both in photos and on the runway, proved she did not have what it takes to become AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL. "Sometimes we want something so much that when we are asked to go and perform, we fall apart," Tyra said to Sarah just before eliminating her from the competition.