ashley 'America's Next Top Model' goes to the CirqueThe moment I heard that Cirque du Soleill was going to be the theme for this week’s episode of “America’s Next Top Model,” I thought of Ashley. Dance is her forte after all.

Now with Bianca gone, the camera goes to Ashley accordingly. If you want to know who will get cut, most of the time just focus on the theme of the episode and pay attention to who has the weaker leg. Posing with a horse, of course, it was Courtney with her busted foot.  

The segment starts with Laura worrying about staying on, Ashley putting herself down for being in the bottom two the week before, and Nicole beating herself up about Nigel thinking that she sounds like a pothead when she talks. To me, Kara, has a standoffish, deep voice that doesn’t match her angel-sculpted face.

Tyra mail reads: “Now that you’ve learned to Smize let’s see what you can do without your eyes.”

I fear another scarf will cover their faces, but this time it’s a Cirque du Soleil mask. Cirque du Soliel brings back good memories for me; I saw Zumanity in Vegas last year and it truly lived up to the “The Sensual Side of Cirque du Soleil.” However I’m skeptical about how Tyra will couple the sensual side of Cirque du Soleil with modeling. It could get raunchy.

Jabberwocky  Jivin’

The first challenge is like the talent show at summer camp. Benny Ninja, and dance diva extraordinaire Lil Mama show up to teach the girls how to express emotion with the body. Next, the shorties are put into groups of three and the challenge is to create a dance routine that shows three emotions: happy, sad and angry. The group with the best dance routine will win $17,000 worth of jewelry from Rhonda Faber Green.

With only an hour to prepare a dance routine, the pee-wee models whip up their bi-polar Jabberwocky routines, with a mask covering their faces.

lilmama 'America's Next Top Model' goes to the CirqueRight then, I think it’s ironic that Tyra and Jay consistently dis Ashley for being “too much of a dancer” in her photo shoots and yet here’s a theme based on how showing emotion through the bodies form is an asset to models. As I’ve mentioned previously, I do think dancing is an asset to models and my eyes are on Ashley. It’s her moment to shine but I feel doom coming her way.

Group One: Jennifer, Rae and Kara. They flow really well together and without any dance background nailed it. It would be tough to beat this first group. I also think that since Rae is in this group and she’s been a bit quiet, this will be a “moment” for her.

Group Two: Sundai, Brittany and Laura. They express the emotions with a bit too much force but have a fun Janet Jackson “Rhythm Nation” energy going on.

Group Three: Ashley, Erin and Nicole. With Ashley’s dance background, it could have been “Save the Best for Last,” but instead is “Save the Worst for Last.” Ashley might be a better solo dancer than dance teacher and the judges are unimpressed, saying that the routine lacked “dance.”

Group One wins and gushes over the jewelry.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas — Let’s hope!

Jay wakes the girls around 4:30 am with a creepy — dare we say — almost pedophile-ish voice streaming through the Short Model House, “Girls, it’s time to get up.” His face appears on a plasma screen and the girls pick the crust out of their eyes and hastily pack one carry-on bag so they can fly to Las Vegas.  

Next the girls are walking into the Cirque du Soliel Theater on the Vegas strip and Jay appears like a magician from a puff of smoke on the stage, complete with a cane and top hat. He tells the girls they will be doing an artistic group photo shoot with the dancers from the show. Photographer Mike Rosenthal comes through the secret door on the stage floor with another puff of smoke, the girls scream and then Jay flees clinging to a red patch of balloons.  
Big hair, bobby pins, dark, dark eyes, and showgirl ensembles enables the girls to again get into groups for the shot, which is set among a swing and poles, inspired by a scene in the Cirque du Soliel show.

Rae‘s face is almost lost in her white hair and a Cirque dancer’s head
covers most of her body. I notice Brittany and her long gown first but
mainly because she is front and center and looks very uncomfortable.
Jennifer is considered to be the group’s weak link by the judges, but
if the photographer told her to stretch her legs out a little more and
lean a little less on her front arm the shot would have been the best.

The entire concept is way too caked with makeup and hair, and is more about the costumes than modeling. Nor did the girls girls get into the Cirque du Soleil spirit of things. Vegas welcomes the fluff, the allure, the fantasy, but in the real modeling world, the photos would get thrown in the trash. Slutty comes to mind. Halloween. Backstage Dumpster Girls. I hope the concept doesn’t leave Vegas because no where else will it be accepted as quality.

Winner of group shot challenge: Brittany, Rae and Jennifer

Bottom two based on their individual poses:
Kara and Ashley

Eliminated: Ashley

Ashley leaving is a shame and I Twittered during the show: “Well maybe if Tyra didn’t diss her gift of movement during the first episodes she might have been more apt to use her dancer skills, not hide.” I think it is brainwashing that Tyra put down Ashley for her assets and then in turn kicked her off based on them.

The photo left-over’s aren’t tasty

I wonder if the girls get to take home or use the photos they shot on the show after they are kicked off? It would be great if each girl could crop themselves from the group shot in this episode, because solo I think the shots are a lot more impressive.

sundai antm cirquedusoleil 'America's Next Top Model' goes to the CirqueMy favorite individual poses: Sundai! I also think Laura looks very hot and comfortable with herself and Ashley — that dress, straight at camera –love it.  
The guest judge is petite supermodel Josie Maran, only she doesn’t say much. I wish the guest judge would at least leave the girls with a tip or two on being a shorter model. Not just analyze the photos. The guest judge concept could be so much more a benefit to the model hopefuls and the viewer, but I think Tyra is afraid of giving up her stage presence. Also, before the guest judge even comes on, don’t you think they all huddle together and decide which photo will suck and which will be the highlight? The photo-judging seems contrived.

I just want to know: when will these petite hopefuls pose with an actural product, and when will a smile come up during a challenge? As a shorter girl it is a must to show smile shots in your portfolio and on your model comp card. Modeling products — handbags, shoes, accessories, even a cell phone — would be a benefit. I fear the girls will leave the show with nothing that will help them photographically to continue their modeling pursuits. A shorter girl has to work that commercial print angle. I hope the girls model a high heel or something next time.

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 and follow her on Twitter.


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Posted by:Isobella Jade