Dominique may be gone — let’s not all celebrate at once — but her spirit isn’t broken. We know this because she still referred to herself in the third person during her exit interview. Earlier in this week’s America’s Next Top Model episode she likened herself to last cycle’s winner, Saleisha. That comparison’s not entirely off: We’ll never think of either of them again after next week’s season finale. (Kudos, however, to this week’s ”My Life as a CoverGirl” commercial for actually showing Saleisha modeling. I was worried they’d resort to having her talk about the photos of herself displayed in an intimate gallery in Rome — otherwise known as the cycle 10 house.)
The start of this episode was booor-ing. But I should’ve had faith: It was actually heavy-handed foreshadowing. The Final Four were all feeling the pressure of having to deliver a great photo. (As the numbers dwindle, it’s not enough not to be the worst.) Everyone but Dominique was surprised that she was still in the competition. (I myself was surprised to hear that she eats candy all the time, considering we’ve never seen it. Perhaps that’s why she sneaks M&M’s and candy corn at 2 a.m. — the cameras are off?) Fatima, meanwhile, expressed her desire to score her first challenge win, and naturally, she did.
This week’s challenge was a useful one. The girls arrived at a park and were greeted by Paulina Porizkova and fashion photographer Francesco Licata. Paulina told them that knowing what things look like from behind the camera helps you when you’re in front of it, and so Licata proceeded to give them a lesson in composition and lighting. He then had them shoot each other as they hopped around like crazy tourists who thought it’d be fun to do an impromptu photo shoot in a gorgeous Italian park. (Oh, you know you’ve done that. Somewhere.) Because Anya is nice, she had nothing bad to say about anyone. Because Whitney is judgmental, she did: ”It’s nice to know that it’s hard to find a good picture of my competition.” Because Fatima’s frolic looked phony, Dominique told her to be real. And because Fatima didn’t say anything that was worth noting, I didn’t.
The competition portion of the challenge gave each girl five minutes to photograph Paulina. They were judged on their images and on their rapport with the model. At stake: an extra 50 frames in this week’s photo shoot. Fatima went first and was legitimately impressive. Her soft-spoken-yet-decisive demeanor served her well as she directed Paulina in various setups — all of which pleased the eye of guest judge Ann Shoket, editor-in-chief of Seventeen. Looking at Fatima’s photos, she deserved to win. Dominique, however, was the polar opposite. She had no vision, or at least none that she could communicate effectively. As Shoket noted, Dominique’s compositions were a disaster: ”What I was seeing is a lot of cactus hats.”
NEXT: Make like a tree, and leaf