AzMarie vs. Sophie . Anyone else feel like that’s where we’re headed for the America's Next Top Model Cycle 18 finale — with American Az already being considered the frontrunner to win? Az, Sophie, Laura. Final three prediction. Boom. We’ll see if that pans out.
Unfortunately, our favorite from the Cycle 18 premiere won’t be there at the end to confuse us with her thick Scottish accent. Oh, Ashley Brown. It’s not fair. You should never eliminate the sweetest contestant after a maple syrup photo shoot. At least Ashley was likable and wanted to be there, which is more than we can say for some of the other modelstants.
On America's Next Top Model Cycle 18, Episode 5: “Beverly Johnson”, the modelstants had a fashion showdown, going to casting calls and walking the runway for Jay Manuel’s show at Toronto Fashion Week. That’s when Seymone revealed herself to be the latest Girl Who Is Just Over It. First it was Louise Watts. Then it was Kyle. This week it was Seymone. At least Louise and Kyle were personally attacked before getting moody and upset. Seymone was just rejected at the casting calls, which happens to all models. Maybe instead of Brits vs. Americans it should be Girls Who Have What It Takes vs. Girls With Thin Skin Who Fall Apart The Second Things Go Wrong.
In lieu of a traditional recap, we’ll be ranking the girls (and judges — we see you, too!) based on their go-see success, strong photos, attitude and all-around fascination level. Check out our ANTM Power Play below, starting with our Top Model loser.
Ranking: 15, Seymone (US)
Ranking on show: Safe
Why were Ashley and Catherine in the bottom two for booking zero fashion shows, but Seymone — who also booked none and was more of a brat about it — was called fourth? The judges adored Catherine’s photo and, from here, it was better than Seymone’s. Plus, Seymone had such a bad attitude through the show that the other models and Jay Manuel all commented on it. Mr. Jay sat down with Seymone and pulled her back from the ledge by complimenting her, but she can’t expect that kind of treatment in the real modeling world.
During the go-sees, she said she didn’t even want to go to the fashion show if she wasn’t booked for it herself. Annaliese said Seymone is hard work. "It's like literally babysitting a 5-year-old. Her attitude towards it all — plain disrespect." As Alisha said of Seymone, "I think if she had more of a positive attitude people would feel more like they wanted to book her." And yet she wasn’t called out for that attitude on the runway — by the judges (a la Louise) or the other models (a la Kyle). Jay loved her shot during the shoot and, to The Sexy Nigel Barker, Seymone’s shot was, facially, the most “dreamboat” pic of the bunch. Not feeling it.
Ranking: 14, Catherine Thomas (UK)
Rank on show: Bottom two
Well, at least Catherine is finally showing some personality. Up to this point, Catherine has been taking good photos while displaying … nothing else. We’re not even sure if she’s just shy or what. Shy and quirky models can go far, like Allison Harvard, Nicole Fox and Ann Ward. This week, Catherine critiqued the other models, saying Laura walked like she had "something stuck up her bum." Cat gushed over AzMarie, telling her she was amazing and stood out. Guess Cat didn’t hear Az say Catherine looked crazy in her walk, "like a penguin wobbling”!
At judges’ panel, Catherine got choked up and emotional, claiming she has a great walk but she didn’t have anything the runway casting folks wanted. She was “a wretched mess,” as Nigel put it. And her hair looks so dry and disheveled now. However, Nigel said she took his favorite shot of her so far. There was a "sincerity" in it, and if this were a campaign for eye makeup it would be genius. Kelly Cutrone said Catherine’s mind was creating a lot of mayhem; she needs to have her head in the right place and make sure her feet follow. Tyra Banks called her shot "stunning. "You are smizing like through my soul." How can you smize through Tyra’s forehead and out the back of her head and still end up in the bottom two?
Ranking: 13, Ashley Brown (UK)
Rank on show: Eliminated
Ooooohhhhh Scottish girl. Sad face. Still love her. And good for her for redeeming her image after a tough time on Britain’s Top Model. She didn’t take great photos and she didn’t book any fashion shows with her “hippy” (not happy!) walk, but so what? Even Tyra said she’d make a good TV presenter. She has a fantastic personality and her kids should be proud. And her maple syrup photo had an endearing vulnerability to it, despite Kelly babbling something like “I feel like you're from an elf tribe and you lost your clan." What did that even mean?
Ranking: 12, Beverly Johnson
Rank on the show: Guest judge
Beverly Johnson, the first black woman on the cover of Vogue, didn’t do much on the panel. She liked Sophie’s photo because it was not sexual, it was high fashion. She loved Ashley’s face and eyes and expression. She loved Kyle’s “weird” pose, “extraordinary” eyes and waistline. Beverly also told Seymone she really knows her body and where to place her hands, which is pretty much the opposite of what the judges said last week when they wondered if Seymone was comfortable in her own skin.
Ranking: 11, Kelly Cutrone
Rank on the show: New judge (un-ranked)
Kelly wasn’t mean at all this week and she seems to be finding her groove, critique-wise. This week she scored points for name dropping Henri Matisse when telling Eboni there's a painter called Matisse and in Paris they have a word to describe exotic beautiful young girls, and it's Matissé. Or Matisse-y. Or some other spelling entirely. But it was a compliment to Eboni and a much more creative one than Tyra’s “slammin’.” Kelly also thanked Laura for sharing her personal story of loss with the class. So Kelly does have a soft side.
Ranking: 10, Tyra Banks
Rank on the show: Host/creator/diva (un-ranked)
Props to Tyra for pointing out that AzMarie has become a bit “cocky.” She’s sexy and she knows it, maybe too well. On that note, Tyra looked particularly sexy herself this week.
Ranking: 9, Kyle (US)
Rank on the show: Safe
We were on Kyle’s side against Eboni last week, and she took a great photo last week, but this week we’re back to not having a taste for the Kyle Kool-Aid. She does have arresting eyes, but as Alisha sniped about Kyle’s walk, she was “atrocious and permanently looks scared.” Kyle was originally picked by Jay for the runway show but she and Laura were cut for not being confident enough. They needed more practice or they could “wreck the show.” That’s not good. Still, Laura said Sophie, Az and Kyle were her top three competitors and the judges loved Kyle’s photo. Kelly said Kyle is a beautiful girl and she shoots beautifully. "When I look at your body and I look at your features I see a model." She called Kyle a Barbara Eden avatar. Beverly loves the way Kyle looks. Tyra liked Kyle’s pic too. Nigel, on the other hand, thought Kyle’s arm looked dead. He wasn’t sold. Go Nigel go!
Ranking: 8, Alisha White (UK)
Rank on the show: Safe
Why can’t Alisha catch a break? The judges are way too harsh with her. When she’s talking to the cameras, she comes off as a smart, snarky, highly competitive model who knows what she’s talking about and definitely wants to be there. She knows it would be an honor to walk in Mr. Jay’s fashion show. She knows modeling isn’t just about the way you look, you have to show personality. Alisha was in her element when they had to book jobs and walk the runway. She said the American girls can't walk for "sh-t." "I'm telling you the fire is coming and it's burning and these bitches are about to get cooked." Her walk was deemed “hot” but she wasn’t booked for the runway show and the Tyra said her maple syrup and foliage photo had the dreaded “dead eyes.” Kelly wants Alisha to model more. She feels like there's a supermodel inside Alisha and the head-to-toe part isn't connecting fully. Nigel wants her to use her angles and move around more. Beverly said Alisha’s shot was very “safe” and not “creative.” Every week they have a new complaint about Alisha and never give her enough credit, while gushing over the likes of Kyle and Seymone.
Ranking: 7, The Sexy Nigel Barker
Rank on show: Judge and noted fashion photographer (un-ranked)
Props to Nigel for questioning Kyle’s photo, even while the others did nothing but gush. Nigel always looks sexy, obvi.
Ranking: 6, Annaliese Dayes (UK)
Rank on show: Safe
Annaliese has the most sparkling personality — she’s like Gladys Knight on Dancing With the Stars; when she smiles, everyone smiles — even if her photos are usually OK-to-good but never great. Nigel liked her animalistic crawl pose. Tyra loved her body language. Nigel loves her bone structure but he can't get past the host and presenter in her. Kelly admitted she has dreams of Annaliese talking in her presenter voice. (!!!) Tyra said even though Annaliese is only 5’7”, she booked runway shows because of her personality. She's the living, breathing proof that it’s not just about how tall you are or how you look, it takes an extra oomph to be a good model.
Ranking: 5, Jay Manuel
Rank on show: Director of photo shoots (un-ranked)
Mr. Jay played Dr. Phil this week and you could argue that Seymone would never have taken a good photo — or beamed at the judges at panel —without Jay first pulling her aside to boost her confidence. He could see she was upset to not have booked any shows, so he told her they loved the way she looked but there was a "spark" missing. "But sitting, sulking in the corner won't help," he said. She looked grumpy even talking to him but told the cameras Mr. Jay encouraged her and she planned to kick butt at her photo shoot. Her moods just go way up or way down depending on outside feedback and when Jay said at the photo shoot, “you nailed that and a bag of chips,” it was enough to keep her afloat.
Ranking: 4, Laura (US)
Rank on show: Safe
We heard a lot of mini back-stories this week from the presumed frontrunners — Sophie, AzMarie and Laura. Toward the start of the episode, Laura said she gets pissed off over girls who cry over insignificant things because one of her best friends got into a motorcycle accident and died right before Laura went on ANTM. Laura and Kyle were both dumped from the runway show for needing more walk practice, but Nigel called Laura’s shot "beautiful" and "stunning,” adding that he sees something very special in this girl. There’s a tenderness and rock ‘n’ roll yin and yang that's exciting. Tyra said it's the most vulnerable and beautiful she's seen Laura. They didn’t love her pose, but Kelly defended her and definitely seems to be Team Laura overall. (Remember when Kelly wanted to set Laura up with a rock star?) It’s good to have at least one judge in your corner — and sharing her personal story also probably helped.
Ranking: 3, Eboni (US)
Rank on show: Called first
Still not a big Eboni fan, but she did book 4 out of 8 fashion shows — tied for the top with Sophie — and the judges thought her photo was the best of the week. Not in agreement there, but when Eboni takes her hair out of pigtails and DOESN’T act like the child Tyra wants her to be, she shines. Tyra said her photo looked like she was dancing and was caught mid-motion. She was sexy but there is a pureness to it. Kelly got all French about the pic. Nigel noted that Eboni isn’t much standing in front of them in person, but even he liked the pic.
Ranking: 2, Sophie Sumner (UK)
Rank on show: Safe
Sophie! Sophie! Sophie! She may not get as much attention as Az, but she’s a sparkly little sprite and even Eboni, who rarely compliments anyone, said Sophie is “definitely someone I'm gonna have to watch out for.” Sophie said she had one of the worst walks back on Britain’s Top Model, but this time she booked 4 out of 8 fashion shows, tying her with Eboni, so apparently she’s getting better. (Point to ponder: Do you think Sophie and Eboni really want to go to the 2012 Calgary Stampede rodeo?) Sophie told the cameras she’s been trying to model since age 11. She was the "gawkiest, ugliest teenager" it was embarrassing. Her teeth were too big for her mouth, her nose was too big for her face. It's a confidence boost to get praise now.
Nigel loved Sophie’s piercing eyes, telling a story in her photos. Tyra said she wants more; she would’ve liked Sophie to bend forward and pierce through and give more weirdness. Kelly said it's not Sophie’s best shot. Nigel said it's another "good" shot, but it's a B and she hasn’t provided an A yet. Disagree, but whatever. Sophie mentioned on a past episode that she goes to something like six casting calls a day back in London, so it’s not too shocking that she kicked butt in Toronto. This girl is a pro.
Ranking: 1, AzMarie (US)
Rank on the show: Called second
Check out this quote from Nigel, about Az’s maple syrup photo: "I just love the shot. There's movement and there's fashion and there's a story. This is what it's about. This is what we live for. This is what I live for." What an endorsement! Wave the flag! Cue the “Star-Spangled Banner!” Beverly said it's so true. Az will work a lot. "She's different. She's original. She could be a star." Kelly called Az’s shot, "smoldering hot, boiling hot, chicka-chicka-chicka, yes. Love it." Sure, Tyra said Az is cocky now, but the other models seem to love her. Ashley even said, "I want to be Az. I wish I was Az." We also got to know Az a bit more. She said she came out to her parents when she was 14 and it was tough for her mom. But with Az working as a model, her mom can see her little girl … possibly win ANTM!
Catch the next episode of ANTM Cycle 18 on Wednesday, April 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.