America's Next Top Model
J. Alexander

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Consumer Retorts

When we return, the focus group of ten people ages 18 - 45 files into a conference room. Meanwhile, the girls and Miss J. in his fashion mummy ensemble watch the goings on via hidden camera. Martin tells the focus group members that they shouldn't worry too much about the weird products in the commercials, but rather focus on the first impression of the models. They see Azmarie's commercial first, and Martin asks who can't stand what they saw. About half of the group raises a hand. Martin asks them to explain, and one burly looking dude mentions her tattoos. He totally doesn't like her because she looks like a lesbian. My first impression of this focus group is: homophobic! The second will be: racist! Laura is next, and one guy calls her ghetto. A focus group lady calls Catherine messy, which is actually not completely untrue. She just can't seem to get that hair in order. THEN the focus group sees Alisha's commercial. One dude says, and I quote, "I don't like the African accent." The mouths of all the models and Miss J. are agape.

Candace is next, and one focus group member says that she made her nervous. Martin tells us that Candace needs to try being a bit softer. Ashley seems to get mixed reviews, while we hear some positive feedback about Seymone. The focus group says almost in unison that Sophie is cute, and when Martin asks what product she should advertise someone says Cover Girl. Sophie is LOVING that, obviously. Annaliese is deemed "brilliant," and one guy says, "I'd buy anything from her." She really does know how to talk out of her ass in a relatively pleasant way. In a big surprise, the entire group likes Kyle, because she's so sweet and likeable. Brandi is not a fan of this assessment, particularly as she listens to a focus group member say that she keeps talking about prettiness when she's not even that pretty. Martin explains that Brandi is too full of herself, and when you're trying to relate to people you can't talk down to them.

Miss J. asks the girls what they learned from this rather traumatizing experience, and Alisha says that if you don't have the girl next door look, you can't sell products. Then, led by Brandi, the room seems to turn on Kyle. It is roundly acknowledged that she did not do a good job, and yet the focus group gave her overwhelmingly positive feedback. I don't think Brandi has a stump to stand on, since she was pretty terrible as well, but I do believe that Alisha makes a point when she tells us that she did better than Kyle, but the focus group liked Kyle more simply based on how she looked. Kyle has had enough, and walks out the door saying that she's tired of this shit and wants to go home. Sophie is the first to acknowledge that if you want to be in the fashion business, you have to have thicker skin. But not literally, because then casting agents will call you leathery.

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America's Next Top Model

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