TV Recap

Nonplussed

On ''America's Next Top Model,'' the biggest star is eliminated when the show contrives reasons to boot plus-size Toccara, despite much talk about fighting prejudice

America's Next Top Model | THE WEIGHT SHOW Toccara was sized up and out
Image credit: entertainment weekly daily Image edit
THE WEIGHT SHOW Toccara was sized up and out

''America's Next Top Model'': The biggest star goes

What bothers me most isn't that Toccara was eliminated from the competition — though that indeed is a travesty. What is most upsetting is the way this episode was edited and how carefully the judges' comments were worded in order to promote the theory that the fabulous Ms. Toccara was booted because she (gasp!) didn't seem to want it badly enough this week. Especially since last week's episode displayed quite clearly the modeling industry's prejudice against plus-size models. Instead, the judges harped on how Toccara ''checked out'' and lost her vivaciousness. But it's hard to believe she suddenly lost her personality in the space of a week.

Besides, if lack of personality were grounds for getting kicked off the show, Nicole would have been gone by episode 2. And don't even get me started on Ann — the girl has been in the bottom two of three elimination rounds and she still continues to stay on the show! Despite the fact that everyone agrees she can't take a picture — and duh, isn't being able to take a picture kinda important for an aspiring model? — the judges somehow believe she has what it takes to be the next Gisele. Unbelievable.

Otherwise, the episode was pretty standard. Yaya was condescending as usual (going so far as to commend Norelle on her ''growth''); Amanda was lavished with praise for channeling Annie Lennox; and Tyra's inexplicably red hair resembled a cross between a scared poodle and Samantha's crotch wig from Sex and the City. And of course Mr. J offered his usual scintillating beauty tip with Elsa Benitez. (This week's lesson: Concealer can even out your eyelids! Because mismatched eyelids are just so wrong!)

Sorry if I sound cranky, but I'm still bummed about Toccara. She was the only contestant with star quality, and she seemed well adjusted enough to actually handle the modeling biz. And now it looks like those pinnacles of maturity Ann and Eva have the best shot. God help us, and clear the runways.

What do you think? Was the show really ever going to give Toccara a shot? And who should have been eliminated in her place?

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Originally posted Nov 11, 2004
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