America's Next Top Model, Cycle 8 Episode 10 "The Girl Who Blames The Taxi Driver" Recap

Originally aired on Wednesday, 05/02/2007

Episode Rating: *** (3 stars out of 5)

Episode Overview: The girls have their set of designer visits in Sydney, Australia, and we have the usual America's Next Top Model go-see drama as some girls struggle with punctuality.  They also get the chance to work up close and personal with Tyra Banks as she is the photographer for one of their shoots this week.

Episode Highlights:

  • Brittany continues to struggle to pull herself up from the bottom of the rankings and has a total meltdown when she encounters difficulties in the go-see challenge.
  • Jaslene, who has been foundering over the past few weeks, redeems herself with a strong week in the go-see challenge and the photo shoot.
  • One of the girls experiences an America's Next Top Model first in the challenge...but it's not a good one.

Last week, Brittany was in the bottom two, and from the looks of it, the other four girls in the final five are not too thrilled that it was Jael Strauss who was eliminated instead of her.

Renee thinks that Brittany saved herself with her excuses about short-term memory problems. Dionne thinks so too, recalling how little difficulty Brittany had in the previous acting challenge. Dionne has a point, but it seems absurd to me to think her excuses saved her – her photos were consistently far stronger than Jael’s. Brittany thinks so too and says as much.

Since the girls are now in the final international section of their time on America’s Next Top Model, that means it’s time for them to go on their go-sees. At a local modeling agency, they get their directions and a list of designers, then are dispatched with the warning that they must return by 4:30 or be disqualified. Upon returning, the girl with the best personality, portfolio and runway walk will win the competition.

The girls all head out and Brittany has some trouble right off the bat as she gets the wrong address and takes a while to figure it out. Once she is at the go-see, things don’t go much better as her awkward walk fails to impress the designers. One by one they say they wouldn’t be interested. Wow, the editors are certainly painting a bad picture of Brittany. This makes me wonder if she might be going home tonight; she’s performed so well in the photos that it would seem like they’d start building their case early if she is the one cut.

Renee, meanwhile, has more success; the designers are not wowed by her portfolio, thinking that she photographs a little hard, but they do like her energy and walk and think they would book her. Dionne gets some feedback that she needed to work on her posture, but she seems more interested in picking up free goodies than runway tips. At every go-see she asks if she can keep the item she is modeling. I nearly cringe myself off my chair. Tacky! Jaslene does well all around.

The girls have to rush back to get to the agency by 4:30. Renee and Dionne make it with a couple minutes to spare, while Jaslene just barely squeaks in under the gun. Natasha misses the deadline by just a minute and is asked to wait outside.

Brittany – who thinks her taxi driver didn’t follow her directions but it seems (roll tape!) like she never gave him the instructions she claims to – arrive a couple minutes later. When Natasha tells her to not bother going inside, Brittany has a complete meltdown, hollering about how it was her driver’s fault. Natasha tries to tell her that there are wars going on (I guess to give her some perspective?) and Brittany screams at her to stop telling her to calm down. It’s an ugly display, but honestly – when someone is right in the middle of having a bad moment, is it ever effective to tell them someone somewhere has it worse?

What Brittany doesn’t seem to realize is that her entire tirade is completely audible inside the agency, and the head of the agency seems to feel awkward and uncomfortable as she tries to talk to the other girls over the stream of f-bombs drifting in from outside. She announces that Jaslene is the winner, and she will win a special photo shoot which she can take a friend to.

She decides to take Dionne, and the two head out to the Sydney Bridge. They climb to the top where they are met by Nigel Barker. He shoots the two and gets some dramatic shots overlooking the Sydney horizon. Everyone seems to have a good time working together.

The girl next have a very early morning – 5:30 AM – as they head out to the beach for their photo shoot. They spent the previous evening puzzling through the Tyra Mail and figured out that Tyra will be shooting the photos, so they are not surprised when she shows up. She will be shooting the girls’ softer sides for photos that would be appropriate for women’s magazines. Then they will work with a male photographer for some sexier shots aimed at a male audience.

Tyra and the girls head down to the beach to get started. Brittany is first up and while Tyra thinks she seemed nervous, she is able to once again land some great shots. Next is Dionne, who seems to really disappoint Tyra, needing constant direction and still not landing any amazing photos. Jaslene has trouble warming up at first, but then she seems to relax and find the connection Tyra is looking for. Renee and Natasha both do well and Tyra seems happy.

Next up, the girls work with the male photographer. Jaslene, Renee and Natasha again do well. Brittany takes a little while to warm up, but eventually she surprises Jay with her ability to let a more sexual side through in the photos. Dionne continues to disappoint, and no matter how much direction Jay gives, she can’t manage to change from looking mean to sexy.

And now…elimination. First up, Brittany. Per usual, her shots are gorgeous, but the director of the agency calls her out for having her meltdown and tantrum outside the agency. Tyra also tells Brittany that no one – not a single designer – wanted to book her after the go-sees and that has never happened before. This does not bode well.

Next is Natasha. The agency director commends her for keeping her cool even though she was disqualified. Tyra tells her she was very enjoyable to work with and her photos turned out well. She just needs to make sure she keeps her shoulders relaxed as she has a tendency to hunch in her pictures.

Jaslene’s and Renee’s photos were solid and won praise for their good efforts on their go-sees. Dionne’s photos are not good – it’s that dang mean face she’s always giving. When the judges ask her on the spot to pose three poses, she gives them Mean, Grumpy and Angry. They are not pleased.

After the private consultation, it’s time for the eliminations. Jaslene is called first, and commended for her versatility this week, as well as her warm personality which won over the designers. Natasha is next and is praised for improvements every week. Renee is third, and that leaves Brittany and Dionne in the bottom two. Brittany has beautiful pictures, but what good will they do if she can’t convince anyone to work with her? Dionne was more likable, but she requires so much direction in the shoot.

Well, of course, it’s Brittany who is going home. I love love love her photographs, but I can’t really argue with this choice. It’s all about the money, right, and if a girl can’t book a job…well, there’s no way someone like that can be America’s Next Top Model. I’m sorry that we won’t see any more of her beautiful photographs – sorrier still that it’s photogenically dullsville Dionne who we are stuck with – but it has to be done.

In a little bit, I’ll be posting my picks for Best and Worst photos this week…come right back here to BuddyTV and weigh in with your thoughts!

-Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

(Images courtesy of CW)