Thursday, May 18, 2006

LR Girl Danielle Closes the Gap on America's Next Top Model

Went over to Dave's last night to watch Arkansas homegirl Danielle catwalk it all the way home on America's Next Top Model. Any commitment to reality television I have I owe to Dave. Danielle is on the right in this picture.

Yeah, she has a country-soul accent (so!). She also takes great photos, walks like she was born in Milan, and has a Marine-like devotion to overcoming obstacles.

The show paid to have the gap between Danielle's two front teeth closed. She had to recover pretty much on camera. I like that she felt kind of sad to loose her gap. Proved to me she had a real sense of herself. How many people in the fashion industry would be sad to say goodbye to one of their physical "imperfections?"

Along the way Danielle did a photo shoot on top of an elephant in the jungle while suffering from food poisoning and dehydration. Not one complaint to the people she was working with and she made the shot work!

She listend to judges advice without making any excuses (Jade!). And every piece of it she got, she used without feeling judged or diminished. She saw modeling as her profession. She knew she had the tools to be good, and was committed to using all of them.

Danielle said she would pay for professional voice coaching to help with her accent, though I hope it doesn't go completely away since it is a part of who she is. She also seemed happy that her career would help her take care of her mom who is really sick. How many 20 years olds do you know who think that way?

I learned a lot from Danielle. At the beginning of the season one of the contestants was a racist, homophobic bigot from Texas. The girls were headed somewhere in a limo and the bigot started mouthing off about how surprised she was that there were so many black people around. Danielle was sitting next to her. I think Danielle's response was something like, "What's your point?" But later off camera Danielle said, "I am not gonna let this girl turn me into the angry black woman", and she didn't. The bigot was cut during episode one. What I learned was that when you face discrmination you can let it rule you, or you can keep your focus on what is important and move on. I need to remember that.

Danielle puts the "real" in the Real South. I really liked her honesty and humility. Dave and I agreed that Jade was just fooling herself (if that) with her "I'm the great undiscovered supermodel" business. Danielle and Joanie deserve an extra contract just for having to live with the woman for that long. Joanie, the runner-up will be as famous as Danielle if she ever gets used to her new "worked on" smile. I want her to succeed, too. She and Danielle would work well together.


Anonymous David said...

I'm weeping Troy. You captured the episode quite beautifully. I too was so impressed and pleased with the relationship she has with her mother.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Mike Mather said...

Aaah, if only the bigots were ALWAYS cut after episode one! But...having said that -- let me say that your comment about keeping moving forward is something I feel I have wondered into and have a bit of sympathy the same time how does "the meek shall inherit the earth fit into that?" It reminds me of a song from Holly Near from over 20 years ago -- called, "The meek are gettin' ready, the meek are gettin' ready, the meek are gettin' ready - the meek shall inherit the earth."

7:08 PM  
Blogger LPerdue said...

I'm just so proud of you, Troy!! I feel left out. Our tv's refuse to pick up reality shows, we've never seen American Idle, (sic)or Survivor. The closest we've come to reality TV is The Sopranos.

7:47 AM  
Anonymous jennie said...

Hey, are you going to do Fry Day this summer? I'm highly interested.

7:35 AM  

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