March 30, 2011 06:16 PM by Allyson Wells
On America’s Next Top Model, eight models remain and the competition is halfway over. Some of the models like Brittani and Molly are standouts, while others like Mikaela and Monique have been skating by. The models are divided into two groups for a photo shoot in the mud. Tyra Banks gives the models advice on how to handle being a star and model Sonia Dara shows up to be a guest judge at panel. Will Mikaela and Monique be able to stand out or get lost in the pack and eliminated?
Tyra is waiting for the models after elimination at the house. She asks a tearful Molly why she is sad. Molly cries she has a rash on the back of her head, is hungry and sad over being in the bottom two. Kasia thinks she complains too much. Tyra tells her it is part of beauty pain and to suck it up. Tyra explains that they all fit into a certain section of the modeling industry and all the archetypes can be used. There is the bombshell, girl next door, fresh-faced, edgy, androgynous, and couture. Kasia is bombshell, Jaclyn is girl next door, Monique is bombshell, Alexandria is edgy, Brittani is couture, Mikaela is couture, Molly is edgy and Hannah is the girl next door. Tyra wonders how they will deal with the fame and what boundaries they will set for themselves. Tyra reveals she won’t take pictures while she is eating. She shows them her signature autograph. Kasia laughs that she has been practicing hers since she was a little girl. Tyra then chances the subject to developing a thick skin. Alexandria boasts she is as tough as a diamond. After the session, Molly gets her hair weave removed. Molly is pumped to have the crazy animal off of her head. Monique gets annoyed looking at Hannah’s best picture and thinks she should win. Tyra Mail arrives that says, “Tomorrow you will have a real following.”
The models go to Westfield for an autograph signing challenge. Miss J informs them they will be judged on how well they handle themselves and if they win they will get dinner at an upscale restaurant with him. Kasia notes that Monique was over it halfway through the session. Molly gets aggravated with how over the top Alexandria is. Monique tells a fan she won’t kiss him, but Alexandria might. When the fan asks Alexandria, she handles it well by saying her boyfriend wouldn’t be too happy with her. Alexandria ends up giving him a kiss on the cheek. After the session, Miss J tells Alexandria she should never have kissed the fan because of stalker issues. He tells Monique that she looked bored to death. He reveals the winner is Kasia and lets her pick two friends. Kasia picks Jaclyn and Brittani to have an intimate dinner. The losers of the challenge have to clean up the fan mess. Monique doesn’t understand how Kasia won and complains that cleaning up is a joke.
At dinner, Jaclyn feels like a celebrity. Miss J tells them they must be strong and firm because people can be cruel. Brittani thinks it was an inspiring dinner. When they return home, Monique acts stuck up listening to the dinner. Brittani thinks Monique is a bit too high-maintenance for the competition. Jaclyn wishes Monique would perk up, but Monique goes to the confessional and says she is on the edge of a breakdown. Tyra mail arrives that says, “Oh the tangled webs we weave.”
The models go to Smashbox Studios, where Jay introduces them to Jonathan Mannion, who has shot Kanye West, Usher and Lance Armstrong. He then reveals they will be covered in mud in groups of four. He splits them into the blondes versus the brunettes. Jay wants the picture to be artistic and come together as a group. Molly thinks their group might have an edge since three of them have won best photo. Kasia is okay with being in a bikini, even though she is a plus-sized model. The blondes are shot first. Jay loves how Hannah looks and the photographer loves Molly. Jay wants Alexandria and Kasia to connect more. Kasia takes the direction well, but Alexandria tries to redirect the shot and Jay gets annoyed with her. Alexandria is worried that he is going to tell Tyra and it will be the end for her. The brunettes have a tough time getting set and Jay wonders what they are thinking of. Hannah thinks they look like a family portrait of cave women. The photographer stops to take an individual picture of Brittani because she looks so great with her body positioning. Kasia worries that she had a rocky start, but thinks Alexandria will go home because she tried to direct.
Tyra welcomes the models to panel. She introduces them to Sonia Dara, the very first model of south Asian descent to be featured in Sports Illustrated. The judges look at their mud photo shoot and judge the brunettes first. Nigel thinks they work together really well. The judges would like to see Monique connect a bit more, they love Jaclyn’s power, think Mikaela is the weakest link because her eyes have no energy, and that Brittani is a standout. The blondes are judged next. Nigel wishes there was more body language, but likes the eyes. They love Hannah’s emotional range, they think Molly looks beautiful, Kasia looked impressive, but Alexandria looks too posey.
While deliberating, Nigel likes the passion in the brunette photo. They think Jaclyn looks extraordinary. They think Monique is interesting because she is sailing in the middle, but the picture would be strong without her. They think Mikaela is a weak link, but Brittani is a star. In going over the blondes, they think Hannah is great, but not a chameleon. They feel Kasia’s energy and are happy that Molly is back and confident. They did not like Alexandria’s outfit she wore to panel.
When the models return, Tyra reveals that Brittani wins best photo and the brunettes win the best group shot. The runner-up is Kasia. Molly, Jaclyn, Hannah, and Alexandria are called next. Andre tells her that the bonnet and tassel are dreadful. Monique and Mikaela are in the bottom two. Tyra tells Mikaela that her eyes look dead and she lets go throughout the shoots. She tells Monique she is not the best and not the worst, but they don’t really know her. She reveals that Mikaela gets to stay. Tyra hugs Monique and tells her she loves her and that she has a great body, but she has to find a way to stand out. Monique is shocked and didn’t see the elimination coming. Monique isn’t ready to go home and wishes she had tried harder. I was thinking this might finally be the week Alexandria went home, but at least that awful bonnet won’t be on the show anymore!
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Photo credit: The CW