CNTM: Overstated, Underwhelmed, Unimpressed
 

I'll spoil it for you now. Both Trudy and Susan were eliminated and only Stephany and Treveen remain. There really isn't much more to say about it other than that, so we'll skip straight to the recap.

Stephany photographed by Pedro Virgil

Stephany photographed by Pedro Virgil

Stephany continues to surprise me. While I'm not completely convinced that she's ready for the kind of work that CNTM should be preparing her for, she's been creeping up in the ranks. She improves every week, and  has been focusing on improving rather than interpersonal drama. She's slowly convincing me that she's a contender. This shot is one her strongest to date. It's dramatic and eye-catching, but I can't be sure that that is due to her skill as a model. I am confident that she has a future in modelling however. She has an incredible presence and continues to show that she would be pleasant to work with. Going into the finale, I'm cautiously putting my bets on Curacao.

I'm beginning to think that the competition is actually doing a disservice to these girls because it isn't requiring them to really push themselves to their limits. It's so apparent that these girls have talent and potential, but week after week, they fall short of what they're capable of. If it's a problem that affflicts all the models, then I have to think that the issue is in the competition, and not with the models.

 
Treveen photographed by Pedro Virgil

Treveen photographed by Pedro Virgil

The more I look at this photograph, the more I like it. Aside from the statue in the background distracting my eyes, it's actually a very engaging shot. I do wish her expression were softer, or at least more focused, but that's really all I can think to critique. It's a great shot with just enough visual interest to keep the viewer engaged. I don't really have much to say other than that I'm not at all surprised that Treveen is one of the girls who remains in the competition. She may not the most spectacular model in the world, but she has a measure of natural talent that all but ensures she will be a successful model, and not very many people can say that.

 
Trudy photographed by Pedro Virgil

Trudy photographed by Pedro Virgil

I had such high hopes for Trudy, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little hurt that she let me down. She started off so well, and so strong, but she never regained her footing or her confidence after the makeover. It's a shame because she was the one who I think most readily had a look that could work internationallyBut stunning good looks can't help you if you're always just 5 steps behind where you need to be professionally, and Trudy has been trailing behind for weeks. If the double elimination were off the table, Trudy would have left and Susan would have stayed, and I wouldn't have been able to work up a sweat about it. Trudy's shot this week is an accumulation of everything that she struggled with this season; it was just short of spectacular. And in my estimation, constantly being almost  good enough is far worse than being way off the mark.

 
Susan photographed by Pedro Virgil

Susan photographed by Pedro Virgil

Poor Susan. She had it rough this week. And while I agreed with most everything Treveen said to her regarding her performance in the competition, there was really no need to be so tactless and harsh. 

Strangely enough, I think this might have been Susan's best work so far in the competition. I don't think she deserved to stay, but I do think that she finally found the fire she needed to be a contender in the competition, and it's a shame that it took so long. If she'd taken on this "can do" attitude 2 or 3 weeks ago, she might have improved enough to stay in the game. Instead, we saw confirmation that she'd been consciously resting on the favour she'd gained with the judges, rather than striving to get better.

In the end, it was pretty obvious that while she is a gorgeous girl, Susan is simply not a natural model. And that isn't to say that she can't ever make it commercially. With dedication, almost anyone can succeed at anything. In all honesty, I think that Susan simply debuted before she was ready, and a few more years might be all it takes for her to hone her craft and blossom into the model she wants to be.

 

The thing that struck me most this week was that though I hadn't expected a double elimination, I wasn't that upset about it at all. Yes, my early favourite Trudy was making her exit after getting just shy of the finals, but I found that I agreed with the judges decision, and for once didn't think I needed to argue. I couldn't really find a reason why she should stay. Thing is, Jevan is right. While these four photographs were good, they weren't great.

 As a group, there's nothing particularly wrong with them, and they are more than satisfactory I suppose, but there's nothing about these photos that would make me catch my breath. Or rather, there is nothing about these models that makes me catch my breath. 

These photos are beautiful, and Pedro is clearly worth all the money he's been paid (or not, if you believe the rumours) but between seeing how much he had to direct the girls on shoot day, and recognizing how much of these photo's impact has been created by expert framing and composition, I'm left feeling a little wanting. What exactly did these girls do other than stand around, look cute, and let Pedro work his magic? Because I am convinced it was all his magic.

People say all the time that fashion is about aspiration and beauty and the creation of fantasy, and this shoot was rife with opportunity to do just that. Just look at those gorgeous saris, and the orate beauty of the Hanuman Murti! With all that at their disposal, these girls should have been able to create a fantasy that momentarily took me off the [magazine] page. And yet... I'm unimpressed. 

I've been watching ANTM for years, and one of the things that is true of every season, is that by this stage in the competition it's anyone's game. The remaining models are always strong with individual merits that could cop them a win. Regardless of who you'd chosen to 'ship, you knew that the winner would be a strong model who was capable of working both editorially and on the runway. You were confident that the models knew their best selves, and knew how to make those selves appealing to a wide and varied audience. 

With Stepahny and Treveen, it's anyone's game, but not in a good way. I can't make a spectacular case for either of them to win, as they've both had some highs and lows. I'm not particularly confident in either of them outside the boundaries of the competition because I think that like Trudy and Susan who left them, they're not quite ready yet. They both have amazing potential and bright careers ahead, but will they be internationally ready at the end of this competition? I highly doubt it. But perhaps that says more about the format of the competition that it does about the girls.

There are only two girls left in the game. Who do think will be the Caribbean's Next Top Model?

Previously on Caribbean's Next Top Model...