Americas Next Top Model :: Season 1 :: Episode 1
(Information Copied From The UPN Website)
THE GIRL WANTS IT SO BAD: TESSA FIRST ELIMINATED
The innocent looking 19 year old from Chicago, Illinois, finds herself the judges' first choice to be eliminated from the competition. Having been one of two girls to be introduced to the others later in New York City, Tessa struggled with her place in the social politics of the loft. Her performance at the rooftop photo shoot for J. Lo swimwear was not stellar, and when the judging had arrived, the panel could not find much to be enthusiastic about. On her way out the loft, a tearful Tessa remarked, "I tried, and you can't do any better than that. And everything happens for a reason, right?"
"What I'm looking for is a star. That's all I'm looking for." These few simple words are the mission statement from supermodel Tyra Banks upon launching the search for AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL. Thousands of tapes were submitted, and 20 lucky finalists had been chosen to fly out to Los Angeles to interview, in person, before Tyra and the show's producers to be one of ten girls living in a loft together in New York City. One of them will eventually fulfill Tyra's ambitious agenda and become AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL.
On a clear blue Southern California day, 20 girls arrived for the chance of a lifetime. "The adrenaline is coming a million miles a minute," declared a nervous but enthusiastic Justine, 22, from Huntington Beach, California. The tension in the room was thick as the girls met, sizing each other up, waiting anxiously for the interviews to begin. Later that night, as the 20 girls assembled for dinner, they were surprised by a visit from Tyra herself. Shouts erupted when Tyra entered the room. Kesse, 21, from North Little Rock, Arkansas commented that "she's even more beautiful in person than she is on the pictures!" After ribbing the girls about their audition tapes, Tyra wished them luck.
THE GIRLS GET THEIR INTERVIEW ON
The next morning the auditions began in earnest as Elyse, 20, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, strutted for Tyra and the producers. Elyse explained that she is applying to medical school, which "can be diverted indefinitely, but being 20 years old cannot!" Ebony, 24, from Harlem, New York, revealed that she was gay, and had learned to "love myself and be true." Katie, 21, from Glenview, Illinois, revealed that even though people might think she's a priss, "nobody knows I'm an animal activist…. I just saved five polar bears." Natalie, 21, from Riverside, California, detailed the tough circumstances of her foster-care childhood. "I need to succeed at something," she declared emotionally, "Because I have these people looking up to me."
Shannon, 18, from Franklin, Ohio, explained that she was a religious Christian and a virgin, but that when she gets married, "my wedding's going to be cut short and I'm gonna be gone, baby!" Justine revealed that she loves attention and that she could not explain why some of the girls in the competition were even there. Kesse shed light on some of the difficulties in her life, including the strained relationship with her mother, and the fact that her father had been shot. She went on to declare, "I'm in this to win!"
Adrianne, 20, from Joliet, Illinois, explained that she lives in the "boondocks," and that she's "a really big tomboy…rock 'n' roll all the time!" Nicole, 22, from Murrieta, California revealed that, "I've always been really tall and skinny…. When I look in a magazine, when I see a supermodel, when I see that, I see me! I want this really, really bad!" Robin, 26, from Memphis, Tennessee, explained her pageant background in the South, and had even won the Miss Soybean Festival! "Don't make the mistake that all pageant girls are ditzy. It's just not true!" she proclaimed, adding, "I used to weigh 204 pounds, so I am thankful for this body here."
When the interviews were over, the girls came together to talk. Adrianne couldn't hold back the tears, explaining, "it's just weird when you're a poor girl and you come here and you get treated like a queen, and then you have to go back." Tyra soon assembled the girls together to hear what they had been anxiously awaiting: the final cut. As the girls stood in a line, they could not hide their palpable nervousness. With lifelong dreams of modeling on the line, this was the ultimate moment they had been waiting for.
Then, Tyra dropped a small bombshell: she and the producers could only agree on eight girls instead of the 10 they had initially set out to choose. The competition had just become even more difficult. Clasping hands tightly, the girls braced for what would be either a ticket to opportunity or a simple "goodbye."
One by one the first few girls were selected: Nicole, Robin, Kesse, Elyse, Katie. Dread grew on the faces of those girls still not selected. The cut was narrower, and with only 3 slots left, Justine's face tensed. Ebony was called out next. As Adrianne's name was called, she jumped up and down in excitement. Elyse jumped on top of her, and they celebrated together. Silence filled the room just as Tyra announced the last girl, Shannon. The eight lucky girls hugged and shouted in excitement. Adrianne warned that she thought she would throw up!
The girls who had not made the cut faced difficult emotions. Justine cried, "I just want to go." Natalie exclaimed tearfully, "I'm crushed. My dreams are crushed. I want to be a good sport and say 'well, at least I made it this far,' but I'm not going to lie. I wanted it."
THE BIG APPLE
An excited group of eight girls entered the maze of towering skyscrapers and throngs of people that make up New York City. Thrilled to have finally arrived, the girls leaned out the windows of their chauffeured cars and screamed and yelled. Upon entering their mid-town hotel, The Flatotel, Elyse read a card of introduction to the girls. They would soon discover that these cards were known as Tyra Mail. The card directed them to make their way to the top of the building and explore their new home: a penthouse loft. There, they would claim their beds. Wide grins and smiles crossed everyone's faces as they could not wait to see their new living quarters. Squeezing into the elevator, the girls giggled in anticipation of what awaited.
What they found did not disappoint. It was their first taste of the model's life in New York. The doors opened and before them lay a series of beautifully decorated rooms with full views of the fabulous city below. The girls ran around the loft screaming in excitement, exploring their new, colorful surroundings. "Oh my gosh, you gotta be kidding me!" exclaimed a thrilled Kesse. Shannon explained that "every room has its own theme, like Paris [the dining room], Milan [a bedroom], or Tokyo [a bedroom], London [the living room], Miami [a bedroom,] and that's what's so neat: a real sense of style!"
Elyse got her first choice in the Tokyo bedroom, and found that her two roommates would be Katie and Nicole. The three religious Christian girls--Kesse, Robin and Shannon--chose to live together in the Milan bedroom. The Miami bedroom found Ebony and Adrianne paired as roommates. Elyse observed that the girls in Milan "seem to be on the opposite side of the world. The separation between the two rooms has a lot to do with religion. I'm not interested in having quiet time to read my Bible. I am a militant atheist."
STRANGERS IN TOWN
Elyse, Nicole and Katie discovered an odd detail about the Tokyo room: there were an additional two pullout trundle beds. Elyse assumed they would be beds for boyfriends to sleep in when they come over. How wrong she would be. Soon, Tyra arrived to make an announcement. Even though the girls had arrived as a pack of eight, a nationwide search had been conducted for two more girls. The girls were very surprised, and waited in anticipation of what Tyra's next move would be. "So, come in here, Tessa and Giselle," Tyra called out, and the two girls walked in.
Greetings were exchanged immediately, even though everyone seemed a bit awed by the whole surprise. Giselle, 18, from Monterey Park, California, revealed that she had been a performer her whole life. Tyra explained that she likes Giselle's strong personality and the fact that she is Latina. Tessa, 19, from Chicago, Illinois, is an "exotic variation of a classic model look," according to Tyra. Tessa explained, "I'm like the girl next door. It was a little tough meeting the girls for the first. I noticed them checking me from up and down, like 'I don't know if I like this girl.'"
Tyra stood before the entire group of 10 and explained what they would face over the course of the next few weeks in the competition. "There are so many things that it takes to be a Top Model," she began, "And you guys are going to be put through a lot of tests." She went on to explain that they would be exposed to many of the most talented professionals in the modeling business, and each week one girl would be eliminated. Tyra then explained what it was the girls would be vying for: "One of you is going to become AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL. You're going to start off with a modeling contract with Revlon. You're going to have a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine, and a contract with major modeling agency Wilhelmina Models." The girls erupted in excitement at the news.
foremost on Giselle's mind. Tessa, too, was sizing up her competition as she mentioned how beautiful Nicole is. "She's just gorgeous…. She has it all: the total package." Tessa and Giselle then moved into the Tokyo bedroom with Elyse, Katie and Nicole. Adrianne and Tessa had a moment of bonding when they both went out to smoke in the hallway. Robin came out and began shouting at the two about the smoke getting into everyone's clothes. A nervous Tessa murmured, "Great. This is all I need."
VISITORS: THE PAIN BEGINS
The girls' first visitor was their new trainer, John, who began by weighing the girls so that he could chart their physical development along the course of the competition. Giselle commented that it was a little nerve-racking when John announced her 136 lbs. out loud. The very-thin 5'10" Elyse weighed in at 114 lbs. Adrianne commented that Elyse "does not have an ounce of fat on her body." "When you can count every vertebrae, then that's sickly," commented Robin, who was next to face the scale. Giselle confided, "I felt a little bad for Robin, because she is bigger down here in the hips and thighs than the rest of us." "I am the only 'plus-size' model," observed Robin, who weighed in at 165 lbs.
The second visitor was a bikini waxer and her assistants. She explained that she would be administering Brazilian bikini waxes to the girls. "I saw dead fear in people's eyes," noted Adrianne. One by one, the girls faced the excruciating pain of the bikini wax. Most faced the event with a mixture of humor and resigned dread. Robin, however, looked dead serious and expressed great discomfort with the thought of the process of lightening-quick hair removal. Robin barely tolerated the procedure, wincing throughout. Giselle shouted the whole time.
FOUR WHO ARE LATE
That night, the girls took a drive around town and went shopping. Back home, they found a new piece of Tyra Mail instructing them to prepare for a J. Lo swimwear photo shoot the next morning. They were to gather in the hotel lobby at 7:45 am sharp.
The next morning, six of the girls waited in the lobby on time. But four girls, Kesse, Robin, Ebony and Shannon, came down late and missed their ride to the shoot. The girls then ran upstairs to get the address from the previous night's Tyra Mail and took a cab to the location of the shoot.
On location, the girls who had arrived on time did their hair and make-up first. Once the four late girls had arrived, the 10 girls stepped out of the dressing rooms onto the location of their first shoot: the snow-covered roof of a tall building in midtown Manhattan. Tyra arrived and called out Ebony, Robin, Kesse and Shannon for being late. "Photo shoots are thousands of dollars and time is money," she chided sternly, "If this was a normal shoot, you would have been sent home." Shannon expressed her concern about how this would affect the impending first cut.
Tyra then introduced the day's photographer, Douglas Bizarro. Douglas anounced that the shoot would take place on the roof, with the girls wearing swimwear. He explained that they had to shoot in the cold because swimwear is hot the season before. The girls realized that these were harsh conditions, indeed, but that was what the circumstances called for. Tyra cautioned them to think about their eyes and face during the shoot, not about trying to look sexy. "Create a character, like silent movies," she advised. "This has to be the coldest day in New York City," muttered a bundled-up Douglas.
One by one, the girls were brought out onto the freezing roof for their bikini shoot. A frigid Adrianne was first, and held up well under the brutal cold. Douglas noted her confidence in front of the lens. Nicole was next, and her statuesque body glimmered in the slivers of light peeking through. Even though she expressed reservations, she maintained her composure throughout. Douglas was impressed by the fact that Nicole listened to him, which was important for a model.
Tessa fumbled a bit at first, and had trouble finding her footing. Douglas gave her quite a few instructions and commented that people had probably taught her how to model the wrong way. Robin was the next girl to take on the cold. Giselle commented, "She's 26 years old. How much further is she really going to go? Because age is a big factor in the modeling world." The photographers were not thrilled with all of Robin's poses, and instructed her, until Douglas commented, "you look amazing!"
Elyse arrived, took her blanket off, and struggled with the temperature. Her thin body shook, and her posing reflected her difficulties. Douglas commented that she could not really withstand the cold. Elyse began crying. When Giselle arrived, she ripped off her blanket and held her own while battling the cold. Douglas commented that she had done a great job and that "you can tell when a girl has practiced in the mirror."
Ebony "was beautiful, but didn't do anything physically spectacular," according to the photographer. "Katie was one of the most difficult ones…. She couldn't seem to get everything right all at once at the same time." Katie gave too much sex to the camera, posing in a Playboy style, according to Douglas. Shannon was also a challenge for Douglas. "She needs to bring something to the table," he remarked. The last girl, Kesse, was easy for Douglas to shoot, and was able to use her face in a provocative way for the camera. By the end of the shoot, Douglas commented on how tough the competition seemed to be.
A NIGHT ON THE TOWN
That night, the girls arrived for a dinner at a chic New York eatery. Wine and lobster were shared, and so were feelings on religion. Robin pointedly asked Elyse if she believed in anything. "I was dragged out of the atheism closet," Elyse commented. When she announced her beliefs, Elyse could not believe "the jaws that were dropping around the table." Robin claimed, "I feel sorry for her." At dinner, the girls received Tyra Mail and a huge shock when they read that the next night one of them would be eliminated.
LADIES, MEET YOUR JUDGES
As the girls prepared for the coming elimination, no one quite knew what to expect. Nervousness and fear took over as the girls awaited their discovery of how the process would play itself out. Moments later, the 10 girls stepped into the blue velvet judging room, where they met their panel of five judges: Janice Dickinson, one of the world's first supermodels in the 1970s, Beau Quillian, fashion editor at Marie Claire , Kimora Lee Simmons, former top model and the creative director and owner of sexy women's wear clothing line Baby Phat, and the week's guest judge, photographer Douglas Bizarro. The fifth judge would be Tyra herself.
The girls were brought in one by one, where they were shown their photo from the rooftop photo shoot. The judges asked them questions and commented on the photo. Katie was first. Janice immediately launched into her, demanding why she had hooked her finger into her bikini bottoms. Kesse loved her photo, and so did Douglas. Adrianne was criticized for the size of her feet, which were prominent in her photo. "Face is good, foot bad," commented Janice.
Nicole was shown her photo next. Douglas commented that out of all the girls, "she gave it the most." When Ebony was shown her photo, Kimora commented, "you have a very strong personality, and it shows on your face and your poses." Janice noted acerbically, "you gotta work on the thighs. You got that booty thing going. You gotta work on your diet and your exercise. It's not just about your gorgeous face, it's about your booty too."
Giselle was the next to face the jury. Douglas commented that "Giselle in person: not my favorite. But when I got you on film in front of my camera, she blew me away!" Janice was pleased with Shannon, but observed that she was a bit on the thin side. Janice added, "that's okay, though, she's only 18 years old!" About Shannon, Tyra commented, "She glows." But Douglas retorted, "I can tell she tans a lot, and I can tell her skin on her face is starting to get a little leathery."
When Tessa came out, Douglas noted that her bathing suit wasn't the best choice for her. Tessa revealed that she doesn't like to be in skimpy clothing, "little things," in the first place. The sharp-tongued Janice shot back, "I think you're in the wrong profession if you don't like to be in little things or you try to cover up." Robin arrived next to hear Kimora comment that "26 is a little late to be busting into the top model gig." Elyse's low weight was the major topic of conversation when she arrived. "I love it," commented an impressed Janice. Beau had other thoughts: "You have no body fat on you, so there's no insulation. It's a little bit thin for me."
WHO GETS THE AXE?
The last girl left the room alone to the judges, who would now deliberate on their first choice for elimination. They argued initially over Robin. "Robin's out, as far as being a supermodel," Janice remarked firmly. A disturbed Kimora shot back, "No! Absolutely not, Janice! Why?!" Janice replied, "Because AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEl is not a plus-sized model!" The judges went on to discuss and debate several of the other girls, including Kesse, whom Tyra noted had not a passing resemblance to her own photos. Everyone agreed that Nicole stayed in, and Shannon had personality. Tyra noted, though, "she doesn't add any fun or creativity to the shoot."
Tessa elicited strong reactions. Janice noted a lack of personality; Tyra felt she didn't look strong in person. Tyra felt that Katie was too Playboy . When the judges were finished deliberating and had made their choice, the girls were brought back in.
ENTER THE GIRLS
The looks of terror were palpable on the faces of the 10 young women as they awaited their fate. It had been a whirlwind few days for them, but they were all aware that the dream was going to end in just a matter of moments for one of them. Tyra stood still, the judges remained poised. Tyra announced that she had nine photos in her hands. One girl would be leaving empty-handed; the rest would stay to fight on to the next round.
Throats tightened as the first name was called: Ebony. She stepped forward and stood, staring at Tyra, awaiting word. Was she safe, or was she the one to go? Tyra coolly announced that she was still in the running to become AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL. Ebony breathed a sigh of relief. Then a second name was called: Elyse was safe. Kesse was safe, Adrianne safe, Katie safe, Nicole, Giselle. And then there were three left: Shannon, Tessa and Robin. "I always try to expect the worst, so I'm prepared to leave, even though it's going to hurt," said a worried Shannon. Her relief was not imminent, though, as Robin's name was the next called. Tears streamed down Robin's face as she accepted the photo.
Finally, Tessa and Shannon were called forward as a pair. The next name called would stay; the other would have to leave immediately. The two girls tensed as silence overtook the room. Tyra looked at the two of them, and dropped a name: Shannon. In that moment, Tessa's hopes were dashed. Crying, she hugged her new friends goodbye. The others were speechless. "Leaving the girls was a lot harder than I thought it would be," Tessa noted, "I tried, and you can't do any better than that. And everything happens for a reason, right?" A sad but resigned Tessa slowly gathered her belongings from the loft and walked out the door into the New York skyline.
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