'America's Next Top Model': The runway challenge

bianca_topmodel13_ep4.jpgInstead of the "You wanna be on top" theme song, the song of the night should have been Run DMC and Aerosmith's "Walk This Way."

Never too much self analyzing.

The show starts with Bianca admitting she needs to focus on modeling her facial features and creating a more relaxed presence in her photos. Ashley mentions how nervous she is about walking because of her dancer background. I think Ashley's dancer background is actually a benefit. Haven't you seen many dancers in ads and in commercials? I have even seen a girl dancing in the air in a tampon ad, ads for music brands and clothing. Also understanding your body, knowing how it moves, what it looks like when you move, understanding balance and proportion is a good skill for models to have. I just don't see the flaw in her dancer background. I wish Tyra would show the other girls how using other skills can be applied to modeling.

This segment seems to be about two things, legs and Bianca. Whoever talks smack about Bianca should watch it. Constantly Bianca is the topic of most conversations in-the model-house, during competitions. I think she is Tyra's favorite. You can tell by the way she hands over Bianca's photo winking at Bianca like "You'll be ok girl." Little Sundai doesn't get this type of sincerity. Nor does another shorter one, Jennifer. I wonder if at the start of the show Tyra and the girls get together in a group huddle and Tyra asked "So which one of you wants to be the nice one, and which one wants to be the pain in the ass and start the drama for this cycle?"

If you don't walk tall you'll come up short.

The mini models are in Malibu, and the girls are all giddy over the stress of "walking perfectly." So they practice and watch each other and make fun of each other to boost their own egos. As Brittany practices her runway walk Lulu doesn't hold back from dissing her by saying that Brittany's eyes pop out too much when she walks.

"To me her walk is forgettable!" -- Ashley talking about Brittany.

davanna_missj_topmodel13.jpgThen walks in little Miss Diva Davanna, a 10-year-old runway know-it-all, who Tyra discovered. So here is Miss J and little Miss three-feet-tall, 10-year-old Diva Davanna side-by-side, strutting down the runway to show that you don't have to be tall to make a big impression. I wish something like this was as inspired in last week's episode at the racetracks.

The runway hates the short chicks, but not tonight. So the plan is to walk down a runway with a tall Giraffe strutting next to you and keep up. The prize: An advertorial photo shoot in Seventeen magazine.

The girls prance down the runway in designs by Kevan Hall, which are colorful, sophisticated, sensual and sexy dresses that flatter their petite frames. Despite Ashley being dissed for being a dancer, I think she has one of the better walks.

Sundai looks confident and has a solid gaze while she struts in a little pink pencil dress.

Erin looks very awkward in her heels but her blue dress looks hot. Ashley works it and the smirk at the end is cute.

Rae, I feel like she is missing in action until the photo challenge results are shown. Is she just quiet or coming up with a quiet plan to become the winner?

Lulu is a little Audrey Hepburn with her cute bangs and delicate walk. Brittany almost steps on the Giraffe she is walking aside when she got to the end of the runway. It doesn't matter, Brittany wins. Why? I have no clue. When Brittany is picked, her prom dress shoot for Seventeen becomes a "shared spread" and she is asked to pick two girls to model with her. Kara. Laura.

Of course, in the Short Model House there are little catfights. I hate this whole talking part. I usually roll my eyes 15 times. Nicole makes friends with Bianca and in turn becomes an outcast. This part of ANTM could be skipped. EDIT guy/girl where u at?

Stretch yourself like a taffy Airhead candy.

Tyra mail reads: The object in the mirror might be shorter than appears.

I thought this was a bad analogy. It would have been better if an actual mirror showed up on set or something other than a garage with ropes, and beat up random pieces of bent metal.

The goal, Jay says, is to "cheat proportions" and to appear longer. As a petite model. I do this often and I think the challenge is a good one for the Thumbelina's. No matter if you are short or tall, to look thinner in a photo focus on these areas to look longer and more proportioned:

1. Upper arm, if it is too close to the body you will look 5lbs heavier, no matter your weight. Slightly move your arm away from your body leaving some space between your body and your upper arm. A little space between limbs can make you look thinner.

2. Thighs, the closer your thighs are together, the bigger you look. By creating some space between your knees, you will bring depth to the photo, which will make you appear leaner.

lulu_topmodel13_ep4.jpgHowever right off the bat Jay tells Lulu she looks like an amputee while trying to pose herself. [Note: "Britain's Missing Top Model" did cast an amputee, and girls with missing limbs, proving all types can model.]

My favorite lines of the night are  with Jay trying to calm Bianca during the shoot:

Jay: What makes you happy?
Bianca: Jesus.
Jay: Look up as if you are seeing him.

I didn't expect to see Jesus show up on America's Next Top Model, but he did. It works  and Bianca looksaway from the camera, a profile shot, but it still looks nice.

Who is going home?

Brittany looks like she was already crying before the judgment began.

Waiting for Tyra, I Twitter: "Lulu might be gone. But I think she has a great beauty for cosmetic and hair care modeling."  

Then I think Ashley might be gone with her badly posed, too spread legs.

brittany_topmodel13_ep4.jpg Brittany has this Halloween Addams family look with her brunette hair. It goes well with her photo which has the vibe of a Natalia Vodianova in Vogue's Alice in Wonderland photo spread.

Nigel mentions that Bianca should have had her shoulders back a little and her face looks calm (at last!) but her contorted pose doesn't make her look longer. I think she should have arched her back a bit. Posture is important for the short model. Nigel says about her facial expression, "Her heart is coming through."

Sundai, I love her, but her armpit!?? Why was that the focus of her shot?

Laura looks very long, stretched out in a green gown, but her hand looks scary. When modeling it is important to notice your hands, along with your body, facial expressions, hair, etc. There is a lot to think about, and posing your hands in a natural way is important because a scared, weird, awkward, posed hand can ruin the shot completely.

I think all of Laura's shots should be cropped, she had a beautiful face and I see her modeling in a jewelry ad campaign one day.

It is a good idea for the girls to look in the mirror and practice poses before they get on set. Do they do this? I doubt it. I think they are just thrown up there to perform like circus workers.

The judges and the guest judge -- petite supermodel Jaime Rishar -- love Erin's pose, but I think her back leg doesn't appear elongated. It looks weird. I can't stop staring at the flesh behind her knee and thinking, "Please bend a little. It looks very stiff to me."

Rae appears and gets dissed for her pose looking too posed laying across the piece of wood. But the photographer most likely put her in that pose and it wasn't that bad.

At the end Lulu, and her cute bangs, goes home.

Also during judgment time, Tyra tries to put the fire out over Jennifer's drooping eye problem -- Ptosis -- by saying "this is nobody's business but yours." However this is quite hypocritical since Tyra has already screamed to the nation that Jennifer has Ptosis and a lazy eye. If Tyra really means that Jennifer's imperfect eye should only be her business then why did she bring so much attention to it and make Jennifer feel even more self conscious in the first place? Tyra did the same with Courtney, stressing her accident and then kicking her off for it. I just hope Jennifer doesn't complain about her eye anymore, if so, Tyra might say "bye-bye."

Complaining and talking about Bianca can both lead you to leaving the show. Learn the lessons Courtney and Lulu have to teach, girls.

Oh, and just a heads-up for the short chicks out there who want to be models: Not knowing how to walk on a runway doesn't mean you can't model

Isobella Jade is known as one of the tiniest working models out there. She is also the author of "Almost 5'4"," her modeling memoir. This fall her graphic novel "Model Life: The Journey of a Pint Size Fashion Warrior" will be released. Daily, Isobella gives modeling insight and advice on being a shorter-than-average model on her blog, Petite Modeling Tips. Despite her height she has modeled for Marshalls, Victoria's Secret, Easy Spirit, Macy's, Bon Appetit, Time Magazine, TLC, Women's World, and many others. You can find her at www.isobelladreams.com and follow her on Twitter.


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