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''America's Next Top Model'': Turning Japanese

On ''America's Next Top Model,'' whether they're acting with Taye Diggs or shooting a commercial in Tokyo, the girls have language problems

America's Next Top Model

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”America’s Next Top Model”: Turning Japanese

Okay, we know not all models are dumb. But on this episode, lil Miss Norelle showed us why the bubbleheaded-mannequin stereotype persists. I’m sorry, I know you’re cute and you’re young and you’re overwhelmed by meeting Taye Diggs and all, but there were too many I cannot believe she actually did that moments to be excused. To wit:

1. She referred to residents of Tokyo — where the contestants jetted off to film a Campbell’s soup commercial — as ”Tokyo-ians.”

2. She lamented that she’s ”not a good die-er” before taking on a challenge (opposite the aforementioned Diggs) to act out a scene as a terminally ill patient.

3. She found it too difficult to pronounce ”Champs Elysées,” opting instead to say ”the park.”

4. She herself admitted, ”I can barely speak English and you want me to speak Japanese?”

5. And finally … she displayed an abnormally strong attachment to Hello Kitty products.

Norelle wasn’t the only one with, um, special moments. Amanda thoroughly weirded me out when she skipped down the hall in a kimono and bizarro makeup singing, ”I’m so white I glow on my own!” (Though I have to admit her comparison of her head to ”ears on an onion” was pretty funny. And accurate.) While I’m used to Yaya’s condescending attitude by now, even I pulled a ”Oh, no, she did-unt!” (complete with neck snap) when she spit out the Japanese food product she was supposedly shilling. And the sound of Eva trying to speak Japanese with her around-the-way-girl drawl was priceless.

But when Nicole was forgotten during evaluation time not once but twice, the ending was a foregone conclusion. Despite Eva’s phonetics, Norelle’s moronics, and Yaya’s regurgitation, it was Nicole who got the boot. After the plus-size uproar that surrounded Tocarra’s departure, however, it was barely a blip on the fashion radar.

What did you think? Should Yaya or Eva have gone home instead? Is Tyra playing favorites?

Originally posted January 8 2007 — 12:00 AM EST

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