America's Next Top Model (season 8)
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|America's Next Top Model (season 8)|
Cycle 8 cast
|No. of contestants||13|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||12|
|Original network||The CW|
|Original release||February 28 –|
May 16, 2007
The international destination during this cycle was Sydney, Australia. The winner, similar to all of the cycles aired on The CW network, received representation by Elite Model Management, a cover & six-page spread within Seventeen magazine, and a US$100,000 contract with CoverGirl cosmetics.
The winner was 20-year-old Jaslene Gonzalez from Chicago, Illinois, who notably had made it to the semi-finals of cycle 7, but was not cast. Gonzalez became the first winner without any bottom two appearance.
The cycle's finale episode attracted more than 6.6 million viewers, a record for both the franchise and the CW.
(ages stated are at start of contest)
|Kathleen DuJour||20||Brooklyn, New York||Episode 1||13|
|Samantha Francis||19||Pinson, Alabama||Episode 2||12|
|Cassandra Watson||24||Seattle, Washington||Episode 3||11|
|Felicia Provost||19||Houston, Texas||Episode 4||10|
|Diana Zalewski||21||Garfield, New Jersey||Episode 5||9|
|Sarah VonderHaar||20||Lake Zurich, Illinois||Episode 6||8|
|Whitney Cunningham||21||West Palm Beach, Florida||Episode 7||7|
|Jael Strauss†||22||Detroit, Michigan||Episode 8||6|
|Brittany Hatch||21||Savannah, Georgia||Episode 10||5|
|Dionne Walters||20||Montgomery, Alabama||Episode 11||4|
|Renee DeWitt||20||Maui, Hawaii||Episode 12||3|
|Natasha Galkina||21||Dallas, Texas||2|
|Jaslene Gonzalez||20||Chicago, Illinois||1|
|Title||Original air date|
|85||1||"The Girl Who Won't Stop Talking"||February 28, 2007|
The 33 contestants were sent to Los Angeles, and were immediately thrown into model boot camp. They met Jay Manuel and J. Alexander who tested them with a quick photo shoot and a quiz on fashion-related knowledge. Sarah won the posing challenge as impressed with the Jays. Later that day, they met Tyra. After the boot camp, the semi-finalists went into a room with Tyra, Jay and Miss J, to tell them about themselves. Returning applicant Jaslene (did not make it to cycle 7) gave comments about her past. Some memorable auditions included a girl named Micheline, who had at least 20 tattoos on her body, Natasha telling them how she was only 18 when she got married to a man in his forties, and Dionne calling her hair color "1B-30." After the interviews, the field was pared down to twenty contestants. At a party hosted by Marc Ecko, the contestants each had their pictures taken, and the final thirteen were chosen based on these photos.
The thirteen finalists had their first photo shoot dealing with the following controversial political issues. Samantha and Whitney agreed to decide to take a photo shoot together. After the photo shoot, the girls moved to their new mansion. For the week's reward challenge, the contestants were taken to a Goodwill thrift shop where they were given three minutes to put together an outfit which reflected their personal style. After a runway show featuring their outfits, each outfit was auctioned off to raise money for Goodwill, and Jael's received the highest bid. Her reward was to sign her name on the ceremonial check given to the charity for the vocationally challenged, and she got to get dressed up by Phillip Bloch before meeting the judges. Only Jaslene, Felicia, Samantha, Cassandra and Brittany pulled off good photos, while the rest failed to impress. The judges criticized Jael for her apparent fear of success, because she felt like she would be hated by the other girls for potentially winning future challenges. Despite several girls producing unsatisfactory pictures, Jael and Kathleen were the bottom two contestants for failing to commit to their characters during their photo shoots. It was Jael who got spared for displaying more potential and having a stronger photo and Kathleen was the first girl sent home of the cycle.
|86||2||"The Girls Go to Prom"||March 7, 2007|
The contestants were greeted by J. Alexander and a marching band at a high school, before they were divided into teams and taught a runway walking routine based on timing and precision. After the rehearsal, they met fashion show producer Roy Campbell, who introduced them to their challenge – a prom fashion show consisting of three looks each, modern contemporary, the 80s prom and ghetto fabulous. Sarah's wardrobe malfunctioned, and she was commended for not letting it affect her walk but was criticized for not covering up in front of the students. Brittany won the runway challenge and received a trophy. Although Samantha did not win, she expressed her happiness for being there as she missed her own prom. The next day, the contestants returned to the high school for a photoshoot, where Jay Manuel assigned each of them a different high school clichés.
While Jaslene stood out and was called first once again, and Felicia and Diana impressed the judges, Natasha and Samantha struggled to fit their characters, and they landed in the bottom two. Natasha was criticized for her inability to transfer her beauty into a photograph and she was told she was worse than Ann Markley from Cycle 3, while the judges saw Samantha as inexperienced. Tyra handed the last photo to Natasha because of her positive attitude, thus sending Samantha home.
|87||3||"The Girl Who Cries all the Time"||March 14, 2007|
The 11 remaining contestants traveled to a Beverly Hills salon for their makeovers. While most of them liked their new looks, a lot of pain came with Brittany's new hair weave, and the long weave originally planned for Jael was taken out after eight hours in the salon. Back at the house, Brittany complained that her new weave made her itch, irritating Whitney. Later, Jael received a devastating phone call, discovering that one of her close friends had died of a drug overdose. The contestants participated in a challenge to test their ability to apply makeup, which Brittany won and shared her Seventeen photoshoot prize with Jael & Sarah, though it was announced Cassandra would have won, had she not been late. For the photo shoot, the contestants posed nude, decorated as various types of candy.
At judging, the judges were impressed by Brittany's "editorial" photograph, and learned of Jael's tragedy. While most girls also received praise for their improvements, the judges criticized Jaslene for losing her "spicy personality." However, the judges were left disappointed with Cassandra's picture, seeing that she hasn't stepped up to the plate at all. With that, she landed in the bottom two with Diana, who had a hard time posing her plus-sized body. In the end, the judges felt that Cassandra was not able to transfer her inner and outer beauty into a photo and she was sent home.
|88||4||"The Girl Who Changes Her Attitude"||March 21, 2007|
The contestants met posing instructor Benny Ninja, who taught them the art of "voguing", using type of their poses. They were put to the test when they had to maneuver their way through a laser maze within two minutes while being judged on their posing. Renee was the only one to fail the task. Whitney won her first challenge, and her reward was a US$40,000 bracelet from Angara. For the week’s photo shoot, the girls posed as crime scene victims bringing into life of the "dead".
At the end of the photo shoot, Jay Manuel commented that the judges would have a hard time deliberating during panel as all the girls exceeded his expectations in delivering strong photos for judging. As predicted, most of the girls received positive feedback from the judges, with the exception of Dionne and Felicia. Dionne was critiqued on not taking enough initiative to produce great shots and leaving it to the creative director and photographer to position her, while Felicia was not able to bring life into her film. While deliberating, Dionne was also chastised for not looking like a model in person and Felicia for producing the weakest photo in the bunch and resting on good critiques at previous panels. In the end, despite having a stronger portfolio, Felicia was sent home because she was getting weaker and weaker as the weeks went on, proving that one bad photo, will send you home.
|89||5||"The Girl Who Takes Credit"||March 28, 2007|
This week, the girls learned all about fashion appeal. They met up with Elite Model Management director Cathy Gould, who taught them what not to wear and what outfits were considered “top model” standard. After this, the girls were split into groups of three and put to the test. Their challenge, judged by two fashion mavens, was to assemble their own clothing line and be their own mannequins. At the end, when they were called to pose, Whitney, ignoring Natasha’s reminder, sat on the floor, outside the designated posing platform, and disqualified herself and her group. They were then told that their group would have won, and Whitney individually, but due to the circumstances, they selected Sarah as the next best and she won her first reward – double the frames for the week’s photo shoot. When Sarah claimed all the credit, this angered her group mates Dionne and Renee, who had picked her outfit for her. She talked about how she saw the top she wanted to wear and knew she had to wear it when in fact Sarah did not choose any part of her outfit at all, and even at one point before they were called to pose she had asked Dionne and Renee which outfit was hers.
For the week’s photo shoot, the girls were excited when they saw male models on set, but were surprised when they heard that they were drag queens and would be posing as women, and the girls as men. One of the men was future RuPaul's Drag Race season two contestant Raven. While Brittany and Jaslene once again impressed Jay with their shots, the real shock of the day came from Natasha, who wowed everyone on set. Not only did she turn out with a great photo, she also incorporated some ideas of her own into the shoot, including grills from a gum wrapper and a toothpick. Diana and Whitney struggled with their plus-size bodies, and landed in the bottom two. The judges felt that Diana had no fire and when she was asked why she wanted to be a top model, she answered "just 'cause," and Whitney just couldn't take a good picture. In the end, the judges decided that passion, was more important than the portfolio, so they gave Whitney a second chance and Diana was eliminated.
|90||6||"The Girl Who Gets Thrown in the Pool"||April 4, 2007|
The girls met Twiggy and Cycle 7’s Melrose Bickerstaff, where they were told to assign themselves a nickname which they would be using to introduce themselves at a party attended by many influential people in the industry. Jael overly irritated rapper 50 Cent and he pushed her in the pool, with Natasha jumping in after her. Later, the two were embarrassed when they met Tyra’s manager Benny Medina for an interview and they were soaking wet. Also Nicole Richie was gossiping and told Jael that Renee hated her, leading to a fight between Jael and Renee. The week’s photo shoot required the girls to direct their own hair and makeup to show four sides of their personalities.
After the shoot, Dionne, having impressed Benny the most at the party, won the reward of a spread for Keds in Seventeen magazine, and chose Jaslene and Whitney to go with her. The next day, Tyra visited the girls for a chat, where Renee was criticized by all the girls, but Tyra managed to mediate the problem and allowed Renee to air her grievances. Renee confessed that due to a troublesome abusive childhood, she had a tendency to lash out at people. At panel, Jael, Natasha, Dionne, Brittany and Renee all received praise, while Jaslene was criticized for making all four of her personalities look the same. The judges felt that Sarah had yet to step out of her comfort zone, while Whitney once again did not produce a stellar photo, landing both of them in the bottom two. Whitney was given one last chance as Sarah’s overly posed photos sent her home.
|91||7||"The Girl Who Impresses Pedro"||April 11, 2007|
The contestants got a crash course in character acting from actress Tia Mowry, and were immediately thrown into an acting challenge with Efren Ramirez, who portrayed Pedro in the film Napoleon Dynamite. Renee was chosen as the best actress. She chose Dionne to share in her prize of a custom-made t-shirt. However, the real prize was a surprise visit from their families. Natasha began to have an emotional breakdown from missing her daughter. Despite being down, Natasha was able to push the thought out of her head and model (as Mr. Jay puts it) "like a professional." Excitement rose when girls from past seasons of America's Next Top Model showed up for their next photo shoot, where the current cycle girls were to portray notorious using memorable moments from past contestants.
At panel, Dionne, Natasha and Brittany impressed the judges with their outstanding photographs, while Jael landed in the bottom two for being too mechanical at the shoot and then failing to express herself eloquently at panel, and Whitney fell in the bottom 2 for still failing to deliver a good photo. However, the judges felt that Jael's portfolio was more impressive, therefore Whitney was eliminated in her third consecutive bottom two appearance when she was still unable to effectively translate her beauty into photographs.
|92||8||"The Girls Go Down Under"||April 18, 2007|
The girls got a crash course in interviewing from cycle 2 contestant April Wilkner and comedian Gary Riotto. The next day, when April was preparing for a challenge, Tyra showed up dressed in kangaroo jump suit along with zookeepers, as she informed them their international destination was revealed to be Sydney, Australia. Upon landing, the girls were met by Erika Heynatz and immediately tasked to interview the locals on American fashion faux pas, using as much Australian slang in Downtown Sydney as possible. Natasha won the challenge, winning an opportunity to be a correspondent for The Tyra Banks Show.
This week, instead of a regular photo shoot, the girls did a CoverGirl commercial at Hyde Park with an Australian accent. Tyra was surprised that Natasha was able to cover her thick Russian accent with a commendable Australian accent, and Renee was able to pull off "Steve Irwin" in her take. Brittany struggled to remember her lines, because of her short-term memory. Nevertheless, she landed in the bottom two together with Jael, who also had a lackluster take. In the end, despite Jael's take still being better than Brittany's, she was eliminated when the judges valued Brittany’s previous photographs.
|93||9||"The Girl Who Picks a Fight"||April 25, 2007|
|This was the season's recap episode. Never-before seen footage included the girls making a mock runway show called "Top Model High Fashion Show", Jael following Renee around with a pair of pom-poms, Dionne and Renee getting into a heated argument, Natasha and Renee bonding while cleaning the house, Cassandra going to the hospital for frostbite following the nude "candy-coated" shoot and Natasha getting a tooth removed.|
|94||10||"The Girl Who Blames the Taxi Driver"||May 2, 2007|
The remaining five contestants were sent on go-sees all around Sydney and were given a time limit of 4 hours. Natasha and Brittany arrived back at the modeling agency late, and they were disqualified. Natasha accepted it gracefully while Brittany had a tantrum, throwing her portfolio on the ground, yelling at Natasha to "shut up," and blaming the taxi driver for not meeting her at the designated area. Everyone inside the agency, including challenge administrator Priscilla Leighton Clark, heard Brittany expressing her displeasure with her disqualification. Jaslene impressed the clients the most and won the challenge. She chose Dionne to accompany her to share a photo shoot on top of the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge shot by Nigel Barker.
At the photo shoot, the girls worked a swimsuit in two ways. First, Tyra shot them in sensual poses for a women's magazine, and then they struck sexy poses for a men's magazine. Tyra was impressed with Jaslene's variety of poses, but was disappointed with Dionne after Dionne had to be coached through the entire photo shoot. At panel, all but Dionne were hailed for their photos. Natasha for seven weeks in a row again impressed the judges for her great photos, but Tyra revealed that she was shocked because none of the go-see designers wanted to hire Brittany, despite a stellar portfolio. Ultimately, Dionne's lackluster photos and Brittany's poor go-see performance landed them in the bottom two. It was Brittany's lack of charm in front of the go-see designers that sent her home.
|95||11||"The Girl Who Does Not Want to Dance"||May 9, 2007|
The final four contestants visited aboriginal teachers for a lesson on self-expression and storytelling through dance. They decorated themselves and their costumes with traditional body paint, before relating their life story to a crowd. While the cold irritated Dionne, Renee embraced the dance and subsequently won the challenge. She picked Jaslene to share in her prize of pearl jewelry. That night, Renee, Dionne and Jaslene hit the town, while Natasha stayed home, sick. They took the opportunity to talk behind her back, questioning her husband and child. At the photo shoot, each girl has to express herself through aboriginal dance.
At judging, only Renee received unanimous praise. Jaslene's photo received lukewarm remarks because her latest photo was reminiscent of her first photo shoot, questioning her versatility. While Dionne and Natasha were criticized for weak photos, Natasha was scolded more for having the weakest photo. Things got heated when Natasha was ganged up by the rest of the girls when Tyra asked them who they felt had the most and least amount of potential. Despite being singled out, Natasha held her cool and handled the situation well. Dionne and Natasha landed in the bottom two, where Tyra lambasted Dionne for not improving enough, as well as not picking herself when Tyra asked who had the most potential (she picked Jaslene); while Natasha was scolded because she didn't manage to hide her weak state while doing the photo shoot, thus producing her worst photo ever. In the end, the judges felt that Natasha had improved more, dismissing the other girls' criticism against her as jealousy, and Dionne was sent packing.
|96||12||"The Girl Who Becomes America's Next Top Model"||May 16, 2007|
The final three were put to the test when they had to shoot a CoverGirl commercial and print ad. For the commercial, the girls were told to ad lib. Natasha initially wrote a script, but later dropped it to sound more natural, while Jaslene impressed by using Spanish in her commercial. All the girls were praised, but the judges noted differing weaknesses in them – Natasha gave a natural smile only when she was laughing, Jaslene's picture looked like a yearbook photo, and Renee's photographs looked old. Despite having a strong commercial and previous strong performances, Renee was eliminated in her first appearance in the bottom two, as she continued to look too old in her photographs.
The next day, the final two shot their covers for Seventeen magazine. Tyra visited both contestants for one-on-one sessions before they prepared for the final runway challenge. Cycle 7 winner CariDee English joined Jaslene and Natasha in the runway show, themed "evolution" for Australian fashion label sass & bide. Jaslene started off with a weak walk but ended off strong and natural. While Natasha had a wardrobe malfunction backstage, the production went on smoothly. The judges were also impressed by her professional handling of the situation when her skirt fell while on the runway. At the final judging, the panel saw both finalists as winners and were divided over their preference of the girls' walks. Natasha's striking look got the thumbs up, but her ability to learn was both lauded and questioned. Jaslene's photographs received universal praise, though there was concern for her commercial ability. The judges were torn between Natasha's astounding progress and Jaslene's overall consistency. After a long deliberation, the girls were called in and Jaslene was revealed to be the eighth winner of America's Next Top Model.
- The contestant won the challenge and was CoverGirl of the week
- The contestant was CoverGirl of the week
- The contestant won the challenge
- The contestant was eliminated
- The contestant won the competition
- In the first half of episode 1, the pool of 33 girls was reduced to 13. This call-out order does not reflect their performances that week.
Photo Shoot Guide
- Episode 1 photo shoot was split in two halves:
- First half: Mark Ecko's Pool Party (casting)
- Second half: Political Controversies
- Episode 2 photo shoot: Highschool clichés
- Episode 3 photo shoot: Nude Candy-coated
- Episode 4 photo shoot: Crime Scene Victims
- Episode 5 photo shoot: Gender-swap
- Episode 6 photo shoot: Four Personalities Beautyshots
- Episode 7 photo shoot: Unforgettable ANTM moments with Past Contestants
- Episode 8 commercial: CoverGirl Queen Mascara Commercial with Australian Accent
- Episode 10 photo shoots: Swimsuits for Women's and Men's Magazines
- Episode 11 photo shoot: Aboriginal Dances
- Episode 12 photo shoots & Commercial: Covergirl beauty shot; "My Life As A Covergirl" commercial shoot for truShine lipcolor; Seventeen magazine covers
Other cast members
- Cassandra – Voluminous afro weave
- Felicia – Dyed black and bangs added
- Diana – Long blonde extensions
- Sarah – Cut shorter and dyed light brown
- Whitney – Long wavy weave
- Jael – Long brown weave; later, Mia Farrow inspired pixie cut
- Brittany – Long wavy red weave; later, weave removed but still dyed red
- Dionne – Kelis inspired short black hair
- Renee – Yoanna House inspired crop
- Natasha – Cut to shoulder-length and dyed dark chocolate brown
- Jaslene – Trimmed and volumized
Post-Top Model careers
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- Renee DeWitt was signed with NEXT Model Management and appeared on Modelville. On December 10, 2014, DeWitt was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to four felony burglary counts, one count of vehicle theft, one count of firearm possession and one misdemeanor count of identity theft. She was dismissed of more than a dozen other counts under a plea agreement.
- Whitney Cunningham had posed for some test shots and was in Plus magazine and IMT Styles magazine. She used to be signed with CESD Modeling Agency. She is now the president of a marketing company.
- Kathleen DuJour posed for some test shots. She now works as a hair stylist in Brooklyn.
- Samantha Francis was signed with Fusion Model Management in New York City, Apple Model Management in Bangkok and Style International Management in Hong Kong. She used to be signed with Elite Model Management in New York. Her print work credits include Knit.1, Ming Pao Weekly, Macau Closer Lifestyle, Harper's Bazaar Hong Kong and Thailand, Elle Thailand, Seventeen and Elle UK. She was featured as a "Top Model in Action" during cycle 13.
- Natasha Galkina is currently signed with Red Model Management in New York City, under the name "Alie M", NEXT Management in Milan and Elite Model Management in New York. She used to be signed with MUSE Modeling Agency in New York, IMG Models in New York, MGMT First in New York City, Ace Model Management in Athens, Beatrice International Models in Milan, Wilhelmina Models in Los Angeles and Ford Models in New York. She also appeared in editorials for Italian Vogue as well as A Cover Of Beauty In Vogue In Russia, Teen Vogue, I-D Magazine, Elle Magazine, Seventeen Magazine, Harper's Bazaar in Hong Kong, Fashion Magazine, Vanity Fair, Marie Claire and Maxim Magazine. She also signed with Fenton Moon New York, along with other alumni Andrea Debevc and Mikaela Schipani.
- Jaslene Gonzalez is currently signed with MC2 Models in New York, Faces Model Management in Malaysia and Exodus Model Management. She has modeled for the New York Post (Tempo), Us Weekly,In Touch Weekly, had a 6-page spread in an issue of Vibe Vixen magazine, a 12-page fashion spread for ZooZoom Magazine. Named One Of Latina Magazine's Latinas Of the Year, had a 9-page spread for Colures (U.K fashion Magazine), was featured in Trace: Model Behaviour as Falls new faces, has been on the covers and had spreads of over a dozen magazines such as [Latina, Imagen, Hombre, 6 Degrees, FN, ZooZoom, Fashion Salon Seventeen, Urban Latino, Bleu, Vanidades, Scene, JamRock, Splendor, Time Out. and Metrostyle Catalog. She has also appeared in Lot29 Fall/Winter 07-08 and Spring/Summer 08 ad campaigns; she has had a total of four billboards in Times Square so far. Also, she shares one of her Lot29 billboards in Times Square, New York with Katarzyna Dolinska. Gonzalez shot an ad campaign for online retailer ShopBop, 8-page fashion spreads for both Scene Magazine and JamRock Magazine. She is also featured on the pages of Living Proof Magazine, American Salon Magazine and currently has an ad campaign with Marianne Stores. Gonzalez has had an Ad Campaign for designer Cesar Galindo 's Spring 2008 Collection and appeared on the pages of Supermodels Unlimited Magazine twice for the August and September/October 2008 issues. Gonzalez is also part of the "Heart On My Sleeve" clothing campaign by Aubrey O'Day. Gonzalez is on the pages of YRB Magazine. She has also been featured on COACD, fashionista.com and in Women's Wear Daily. Gonzalez currently has nationwide campaigns with Garnier Nutrisse, and Southpole. In addition, Kett Cosmetics, Marianne Stores F/W 09, and Recession Denim F/W 09 campaigns. She has also been on the cover Nuovo Magazine. She has been on the cover of Nylon Mexico. In India, she has been in Marie Claire (June 2012), New Woman and Grazia. She was in the Celestino Couture 2017 Lookbook.
- Brittany Hatch was signed with Beatrice International Models in Milan and with New York Model Management. She was in magazines such as South, DS and Twill. She was a model for tests shots by Sarah VonderHaar.
- Felicia Provost used to be signed with Elite Model Management in Chicago. She was in Time Out Chicago and Brune magazine. She is now a dance teacher in Hong Kong.
- Jael Strauss used to be signed with Otto Models and also had her own clothing line with Hitch Couture. As of 2012, Strauss was reported to be battling methamphetamine addiction. Appearing on the Dr. Phil show on September 13, 2012, she discussed her struggle with addiction. She made a full recovery and modeled for HeartWater and The Legging Project in 2017. In 2018, she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and died at age 34 on December 4, 2018.
- Sarah VonderHaar was signed with Elite Model Management in Chicago. She became a recording artist and had a debut album in 2008 called "Are You Listening Now" with music videos for "I Got Sunshine" and "All Mine".
- Dionne Walters was signed with Eye Candy Model Management. She was in magazines such as Kontrol, Upgrade and Ellements.
- Cassandra Watson was signed with Look Model Agency in San Francisco and SMG Models in Seattle.
- Diana Zalewski continued her education, and posed for some test shots. She modeled for Skorch magazine in 2007.
Death of Jael Strauss
On December 4, 2018 Strauss died at age 34 due to stage 4 breast cancer.
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