CNTM: Flounder or Flourish?
 

Firstly: I TOLD YOU BITCHES IT WOULD GET BETTER! This week we saw improvements in almost every aspect of the show (except the damn sound editing. *shakes fist*) from the judging sets, to the girls' house, to the girls themselves in the form of makeovers. Sadly, Wendy was still gorgeous and still boring, and the final call-out order was an absolute mess, but we did finally get a clear picture of the prizes: a US$50K contract with bmoblie, a cover and feature spread in Caribbean Belle Magazine and a modelling contract with Factor Women.

But it was makeover week, so naturally there were tears and complaints, but other than Kendra, no one seemed to have any serious traumatic experiences. In general the makeovers were pretty great, but the colours were mostly atrocious. None were truly terrible, but there were only a handful of standouts. (See Treveen, Trudy, Lisa, Susan) Everyone else looked different, but not necessarily better. (See: Sedia, Kendra, Ashley). But as usual, the makeovers added a new element to the competition, where we got to see which girls were literally resting on pretty, and which girls understand what modelling is all about.

Treveen photographed by Andros Belfonte

Treveen photographed by Andros Belfonte

When it comes to Treveen, it was clear that this makeover was incredibly needed. She didn't love it, and she cried, and she stalled, and she whined, but at the end of the day, her makeover marked the biggest improvement. I appreciated that she took the time to talk herself into accepting it and having a good attitude. It sucks to feel like you don't look your best, but modelling is about looking the way the client wants you to look, so I'm glad it didn't take her too long to recognize that fact.

The great thing is that her picture seriously benefited from her attitude adjustment. It was clear going in to the shoot that she still wasn't completely sold on her look, but she took the time to mentally set her reservations aside and get the job done. This shot is amazing. She is giving face, and angles, and sass, and attitude, and pretty much everything you could ask for in a portrait shoot. She deserved the praise she got for this shot, but I'm mostly impressed with how well she was able to set aside her personal feelings and do her job.

 
Susan photographed by Andros Belfonte

Susan photographed by Andros Belfonte

Look, I love Susan, and I think we can all agree that she got the best makeover hands down, but there is no way this picture should have been called so high up. Her face is DEAD. There is NO life in this picture, and that pose is entirely Model 101. It's not a irredeemable shot, but it's certainly not as fantastic as the judges made it out to be. It was highly overpraised, and it was a little disingenuous to be honest. In any case, Susan seems to be loving her new cut, so hopefully she brings some of her new energy and fire to next week's challenge. 

On the other hand, she seems to overwhelmingly be the favourite of the viewers, and in great favour with the judges so that's certainly something. Susan will definitely go far in the competition. What I'm concerned about is whether or not she'll actually improve and if that improvement will translate in her shots.

 
Trudy-Lee photographed by Andros Belfonte

Trudy-Lee photographed by Andros Belfonte

At first I was upset that Trudy's shot wasn't called first, but looking at it again against Treveen's, I can see that the judges were right. While this shot is gorgeous in all the right ways, it is very clear that Trudy let her dissatisfaction with her makeover influence her performance in this shoot, which is a shame, because she looks gorgeous. She has some of the strongest and most memorable features in the competition and she's serving some Alek Wek realness for sure.

Considering that women have been told for practically centuries that beauty = long flowing hair, I'm not surprised that Trudy was taken aback by such a drastic change. It takes some time to readjust your perception of yourself. Hopefully she embraces her new look by next week because she looks amazing and she has the skills to go the distance. It would be a shame to see her performance suffer because she's no longer comfortable in her skin.

 
Sedia photographed by Andros Belfonte

Sedia photographed by Andros Belfonte

This picture is not sharp. *eye twitches* But that's not Sedia's fault, so I won't hold it against her. What I will hold against her is this not-quite-anything pose. I understand and agree with the judge's point that it's a nicer, softer interpretation of the challenge. That's completely true. But if you're going that route, it needs to be with purpose. This strikes me strongly as a shot she lucked into, and didn't produce intentionally. There's no motivation behind it; she isn't conveying much of anything. As a model, you need to know your face and body well. It's the tool of your trade. I don't think Sedia's there yet. On another note, I hated her makeover. She doesn't look terrible, but I think the colour combined with the texture is not entirely working.

 
Lisa photographed by Andros Belfonte

Lisa photographed by Andros Belfonte

Lisa is one who completely found her stride thanks to her new look. She had a great attitude about trusting the CHI professionals, and resigned herself to whatever the CNTM team had dreamed up for her. This isn't the strongest photo in the world, but her expression shows energy, focus and purpose. It may not be the most flattering shot, but you know that she knew what she was trying for. She's definitely not the strongest of the bunch but Lisa is sweet, she has a great attitude, and so far I like her. Hopefully she'll channel her new-found confidence into producing some great shots.

 
Sheriza photographed by Andros Belfonte

Sheriza photographed by Andros Belfonte

I have no idea why the judges praised this shot so much. I have to say that 3/4 of my objections come from the fact that that colour they stuck her with is not her friend. Personally I think it makes her look lackluster and dull. She has the most gorgeous eyes, and this new look does nothing to make them pop. 

Again, this strikes me as model 101. I really want to like Sheriza because I hate how badly the other girls treat her, but so far all she's giving me is Noun and more Noun. Also did anyone else catch the MONUMENTAL shade that Treveen threw for her? Ten points if you know what I'm talking about. But in any case, she seems to genuinely love her look, and that's 50% of the battle when it comes to translating your look on camera.

 
Athaliah photographed by Andros Belfonte

Athaliah photographed by Andros Belfonte

I hesitate to say less than stellar things about a someone I have met in person and had no issues with, but Athaliah, is a shit-stirrer. It's not cute. Next week's promo suggests she will get called on that though, so I'll leave it alone for now. 

I am not in love with this shot. I don't hate it, but I'm annoyed, because it had the potential to be amazing. The posing is strong and intensity is there, but rather that conveying strength and power, Athaliah just looks vexed. I know that she didn't like her makeover, and that's all well and good, because it can be hard to portray confidence if you think you look silly, but for one thing, she actually looks quite good. For another, models are paid to look the way someone else wants. How you feel about how you've been styled is essentially irrelevant, and I wish these girls would learn that already.

 
Stephany photographed by Andros Belfonte

Stephany photographed by Andros Belfonte

I like Stephany. I feel like, on paper, she is the girl who should be strongest. She has great features, that collar bone is working for daaaays, and she clearly loves her new Naomi hair. (Did you see that strut at panel?) But for some reason, this shot, and her efforts in general fall very flat for me. She obviously has a lot more confidence now that she's "has a new power she didn't have before" (her words, not mine), so for her sake I hope that translates to camera. I would really hate to see her booted early because she can't figure out how her body and face read on camera.

 
Kendra photographed by Andros Belfonte

Kendra photographed by Andros Belfonte

This is a mess, and Kendra should have gone home. I'm actually a little annoyed now that I think about it. I have nothing against Kendra particularly, but this shot is just not working. From the awkward elbow, to the furrowed brow, to the half open lips, it's not good work. This actually makes me wonder what the rest of her shoot looked like.

I don't think her makeover was particularly striking or good, and I don't think that helped her. She clearly wasn't in a good place this week, and had a hard time in the chair at the salon, but that's really no excuse. Between this shot and her lackluster showing at panel, I'm genuinely surprised that she made it through.

 
Ashley photographed by Andros Belfonte

Ashley photographed by Andros Belfonte

I'm not particularly sad to see Ashley go since I never really saw her as a contender in the first place, but this was not the worst shot this week. Perdro hit the nail on the head when he said that this was commercial. The mood is way off for this shoot. It's more Neutrogena TVC and less magazine editorial, but it's not the weakest.

Regarding her makeover, I would have loved to see Ashley with a darker colour. I feel like this colour is too close to her skin tone, which means that she'd have to work very hard to move out from under the shadow of her mane. It also wasn't a super dramatic change in general. It would have been nice to see her texture change. Something. But alas, gone too soon.

 

In any case, that's another week down. You'll notice I made no mention of the challenge. It wasn't worth mentioning, but if you must know, Lisa won, and she got a solid gold blow dryer as a prize. In other news, I will never get over how dumb WendyMail is and the girls are still largely petty an immature, which amuses me since a good fraction of them are my age, (Geez, Top Model has been on that long?!). I'm quite enjoying the show however, and I can honestly say that. I really wish they'd fix the audio issues, but other than that, I have no issues that pertain to production. If you can't wait until the next episode, have a gander at these post-makeover shots of the girls and have your fill. Things are chugging along. Let's see what happens on Monday!

Previously on Caribbean's Next Top Model...