Strike a Pose

Twelve college co-eds set out to prove they had the beauty and talent to become “Campus’ Next Top Model.” With the finalists selected and diva attitudes front and center, the competition was on.

Inspired by The CW11’s “America’s Next Top Model,” St. John’s University searched the residence village to find their own modeling sensation. Directors Josh Swann and Faith Lawson teamed up with Donovan Hall and the Campus Activities Board to pull together an unforgettable event. St. John’s students gathered in Montgoris Hall to watch contestants compete for the title of “Campus’ Next Top Model.”

Although this nine o’clock p.m. event did not start until 10:30 p.m., the wait was well worth it. The competition consisted of six different tasks the girls had to participate in, in addition to a fashion show that would conclude the contest before the announcement of the winner. After each task, someone was to be eliminated from the competition.

Four judges (Melissa Cornelius, Garvin Baptiste, Barbara DeLaleu and Josh Swann) would decide the fate of each contestant. DeLaleu, who took on the “Tyra Banks” role, was the judge that would call for the girls to remain in the competition for the next round, or “immediately return to the dressing room.” At times, Judge Swann channeled Simon Cowell from “American Idol” with his harsh criticism toward the contestants.

During the first task of the night, the girls were given the challenge of creating a couture shirt from a St. John’s t-shirt with a pair of scissors. When time was called, each of the 12 finalists had to put their creations on over their outfits and present them to the judges and the audience. The most impressive projects were created by sophomore Trudi Folkes with her shirt that “represents for the big girls,” freshman Carlissa Vargas with her unique tube top, and freshman Toni Burnett with her amazingly thought out and worn creation.

Junior Samantha Marciliano was eliminated in the first round for her lack of innovation. As judges Cornelius and Swann put it, “it’s grungy and ripped here and here and here, no thanks.”

The second task, according to the crowd, was “unfair.” The girls were asked to act as news anchors and read the news aloud.

This particular task was not set up correctly, making it difficult for the contestants to read aloud what was written on the projector. Annet Mahendry was the first contestant to tackle the challenge, and was put at a disadvantage, since the judges were unaware of the technical difficulties until after the fact.

Mahendry was ultimately eliminated. The audience booed the judges for their unfair decision, but the competition continued on.

In the third challenge, finalists were asked to act out the emotion assigned to them. The judges asked contestants to act things out (i.e., “fighting happily”). In this round, two of the finalists were eliminated, sophomore Missy Enaje who had to “spin grumpily” and Carlissa Vargas, who was asked to “shake angrily.”

The fourth round turned up the heat. The remaining eight finalists had to strut down the runway with a “signature walk.” Crowd favorite Toni Burnett killed the competition with her attitude and pizzazz. Freshman Jennifer Celadilla was eliminated.

And then there were seven. The fifth task involved the finalists doing improvisation, where they had to act out a script e-mailed to them prior to the show. With help from their director, Lawson, the remaining contestants had to act as sisters in a sibling rivalry. Because of the late start (and lack of time), Trudi Folkes, Tiana Solano and Shaniece Jones were eliminated.

In the sixth and final challenge, the remaining four girls, Jomaire Crawford, Burnett, freshman Rahel Solomon and Bianca Jones had to “drop it like it’s hot,” by dancing as if they were in a club, but needed to pose as if they were models in front of the camera. Crawford, with her energetic personality, was the only one who did not stop dancing through out the challenge.

Despite her energy, the crowd was chanting for Burnett. In the end, Crawford and Solomon were eliminated.

Before the decision was announced, the 12 finalists came out modeling the fabulous designs of St. John’s student and up and coming fashion designer, freshman graphic design major Sailey Williams.

Once the results were in, the judges announced the winner as junior Bianca Jones. As the crowd roared for Burnett, the judges then announced shortly after that all the votes were not in and the actual winner was Burnett.

The disorganized ending caused a shock to the audience, ending the night with some disappointments and unfairness.

Overall, however, it was nothing short of exciting.