Aimee Deeken

May 9, 2007: Playing Chicken

Renee, Jaslene and Dionne's attempt to band together against Natasha, prove she's the weakest contestant and get her ousted may have worked better had they actually addressed her modeling, instead of talking like some catty high-schoolers engaged in cafeteria politics, chiding her enigmatic persona and calling her perky personality fake. But they'd spent a recent evening in a bar seething because she wouldn't give them her life story and no one knew her husband's name. After tonight, Nata has convinced me that she isn't fake. Though her incessant "I'm so beautiful and talented" mantra is equal parts comical and egotistical, I have to admire her confidence and her refusal to let the others' negativity and jealousy get under her skin. It just doesn't faze her at all. (Seriously, the fact that she can essentially make out with and nuzzle her cell phone — ew — in front of the remaining ladies and millions of TV viewers while engrossed in more baby talk with her husband — ... read more

May 2, 2007: Bringing Sexy Back

As we enter the home stretch of this cycle, we faithful viewers were finally given quite an entertaining episode, with some unexpected twists, several "firsts" in ANTM history, and the beauty many thought would win instead made the fourth runner-up. It helps to give the girls challenges that are real to the modeling industry: first hawking themselves on go-sees, then a double photo shoot, one for a women's magazine (with Tyra herself as photographer) and one for a men's magazine. First off, who knew Brittany was such an airhead? The directionally challenged model wannabe was also bad at small talk, and her runway walk was a disaster. Suddenly the girl with the best pictures was garnering straight Fs from Sydney's fashion elite, who judged the five remaining contestants on their personality, portfolio and runway walk. On the other hand, Dionne was oozing charm. The bubbly beauty is surely the first in this show's history for whom the high-stress go-see challenge doubled as a shopping... read more

April 25, 2007: Living in Crazyland

An hour of ANTM without an elimination is always anticlimactic. It's worse than a Philimination-less leg of The Amazing Race, because at least that show provides entirely new footage. Tonight's episode was mostly a rehash of highlights and those ousted so far, with some Never! Before! Seen! Clips! from "living in Crazyland" (as said Sarah) thrown in. OK, it was good to be reminded of a few things in the recaps, like Jaslene's early arrogance, Sarah's "bits" on display at the high-school fashion show, and Jael's swift no-complaints recovery (I now realize) from her eight-hour weave-unweave ordeal. But I didn't appreciate being forced to sit through Brittany's hair crisis again, which was especially unbearable considering that all that pain and whining was later justified when it was discovered that her weave was basically eating away at her scalp. Can we put the dead-rat-on-her-head plotline to sleep, please?Regardless, in the new reels, those who've been central to the "plot" (such ... read more

April 18, 2007: Hop to It

So here's what I'm thinking: The producers moved the CoverGirl commercial challenge up in the cycle — as well as those "Aussie slang" street interviews with Sydney passersby — so that they could take full advantage of all six remaining contestants, i.e., three who struggle with American English (Jaslene, Jael and Natasha) let alone Aussie English, and one (Brittany) who struggles with memorization.Tonight's focus was all about "talking good," as Jaslene said, and moving the remainder of the competition to this year's chosen foreign hotspot: Sydney, Australia. Since many of these lovely ladies "haven't been nowhere else besides the hood and around the corner" (again, I quote Jaslene here, in attempt to emphasize her quest to speak well), the episode was chock-full of issues with the language and new surroundings.First, April Wilkner from Cycle 2, the one who struggled to embrace her half-Asian ethnicity and not be so self-critical, offered lessons in interviewing, now that ... read more

April 11, 2007: Lofty Visions

"Was there any question, really, people? Seriously." — Matt.No, Matt, no indeed. Both his and Carisa's final projects were gorgeous and inspired personal visions. But Matt dependably exuded his polished, sophisticated and serene self — an aesthetic that's a bit older and more refined than Carisa's, and a better match with the tastes of Elle Decor's Margaret Russell. Though Todd told them they'd have two months for this challenge, let's be honest: They really only had five days. Two months of conceptualizing and formulating a plan and phoning the PDC, yes, but five days to install flooring, walls, paint, furniture, kitchen cabinets and appliances, curtains, etc, throughout a 1,700-square-foot loft in downtown Los Angeles. Two months later and three days away from the deadline, both found themselves over budget at the PDC and behind schedule back at their respective lofts, despite the added carpenters (did you see Sarah?) and crew. Both finalists chose black floors that look... read more

April 11, 2007: ANTM History 101

This show is turning into a caricature of itself, aping its most dramatic moments, exaggerating their reenactments under the guise of a photo-shoot challenge, then at the last minute adding in some shoes and purses — because, you know, this is a modeling competition. There were TMs of yore aplenty, though not those who'd had the best pictures but those who in years past had offered up fleeting moments of entertainment, e.g., stolen granola bars, fainting during the judges panel, lesbian kisses, and "flesh-eating bacteria." "Top Model All-Stars" this was not, i.e., no previous winners were present, though there was a runner-up or two. (An A-plus goes to the student-viewer who really knows their ANTM history and can name the Cycle 1 model who first refused to do the nude shoot, after whom Shannon just followed suit.) Seeing the former wannabes got me thinking about my faves: Where's Mercedes? And Shandi — someone please tell me the Most Improved Player of ANTM didn't go ba... read more

April 4, 2007: The Trinity

Oh, Matt, don't scare me like that! Why that momentary crisis of confidence? I was quite surprised he wasn't more gung-ho about tonight's task. Granted, designing a high-end living room inspired by an Elle Decor cover for $7,500 total was a tall order. Still, chic luxury is his shtick and he's succeeded with a limited budget several times in this game. And surely he knows how to spell "Los Angeles." Clearly, the pressure was finally getting to him.Indeed, by the end of the second day, every member of the Design trinity had pulled a Goil/Jan Brady by freaking out over some aspect of the challenge. Carisa made a biting but hilarious crack about Andrea's wall color ("nothing says happy like gray"), and suddenly Andrea realized she'd wasted time and effort (not to mention some embroidering) painting her room's gray walls with another horribly neutral shade of gray. Carisa's drama centered on her carpenter (as usual), as they bickered over divergent visions of the back wall's stone aesth... read more

April 4, 2007: Mean Girls

Maybe Lost could take a cue from ANTM. I know, I know, two entirely different shows. But several aching queries were answered tonight: Dionne — is she any good? What's going on with Brit's weave? What is Jael saying? Is Renee the villain of Cycle 8? What does Whitney's future hold? Answers to these questions and more tonight!In this episode, some of the girls who've lately been given a backseat by the editing room returned to the center of the action. Renee was back with her bitchy commentary; Sarah's cockiness resurfaced; even Cycle 7's Mel "Don't Need That 'Issa'" Rose was there, to inspire them to create supernames (sic) to go with their burgeoning supermodel careers (sic). This segued nicely into the question of Dionne, aka "Wholahay," or "Who-la-who?" as Nigel said. My sentiments exactly. I mean, who the hell does Wholahay think she is, anyway, by week after week causing such division among these blog threads, with commentors either expecting her to win or thinking she's t... read more

March 28, 2007: March Madness' Other Final Four

Opening tonight's show with a trip to the Viceroy Hotel to see Kelly Wearstler's handiwork was evidence that while her sense of taste may be lacking on her person, it's not half bad when adapted for walls and furniture. But there wasn't much Wearstler worship before the contest's final four focused on their latest task: Design a luxury hotel suite for a high-end/boutique hotel that incorporates a natural element. (Each randomly chose between earth, air, water or fire.)With three days (positively lengthy for this show), Goil still had his weekly nervous breakdown, and Carisa was pouting yet again (though with an added cocky smirk, I noticed). Andrea's verbal claws were sharper this round, talking a little trash about her competition and bemoaning her assigned "earth" element. As for Matt — please, someone just give him this competition already! He quietly designs sleek, cohesive high-end visions, and the nice lad works well with others, too. His focus shifted entirely to his ca... read more

March 28, 2007: Man in the Mirror

When Whitney talked about getting a "distorted perception of reality" from the models' living situation, I couldn't help but think the CW was foreshadowing. Sure enough, I can't imagine that tonight's plot points are a realistic representation of the world of supermodeling: Russian mail-order bride channels rapper; two full-figured gals must battle each other to be the remaining token plus-size among a bevy of beanpoles; and all the ladies pose as dudes, paired with dudes… dressed in drag. It was more like "America's Next Soap Opera." First off, we're privy to some Natasha gossip (wait, she has a baby with this 43-year-old?) and her laugh-out-loud attempt at sexy banter over the phone line, complete with purrs and meows. Natasha continues to reinterpret criticism with that perky, plastic smile. But at least she's studying poses in magazines and practicing facial expressions. Evidently she's actually retaining something and following the judges' advice, which is more than can be... read more

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