March 8, 2011
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October 18, 2010
Top Model Recap: Plain Jane
I knew things were heading south for Jane when she started talking. Top Model Jane doesn’t talk! Up until tonight’s episode, the show’s fifth, she’s been edited as a complete non-entity, a near-mute. Want proof? Someone on the Internet — not me, I swear — has strung together every single moment of screentime Jane’s gotten so far. If you have a minute and twenty-five seconds to spare, check out Jane’s episode three contributions in their entirety:
“Glorified extra” about sums it up.
But there Jane was, in tonight’s opening scene, no less, combining tonguetwists and lungbreath and repeated, vigorous jawflapping to produce the units of language most commonly known as “words.” Words! Unfortunately, these words were, “My father is a pulmonologist.” Then, in a confessional: “Growing up I was very fortunate. I haven’t had the struggles that other people have in their backgrounds. [What about Dean's Date, Jane? What about Bicker?].“
A third time, again, with the words: “A lot of these girls I would never have met.” Words, words, everywhere, far too much to drink! (Up until this episode, even your friendly hall-patrolling RA would have been forced to concede that a shot-a-sentence Jane Drinking Game was nowhere near “high risk.” Had people played the same game tonight, however, Princeton Medical Center would have run out of beds.)
Another model, Liz, says that if she could switch lives with any girl, she would choose Jane, because Liz is a single mom going through a recession and could really use some of that pulmonology payola.
You want to respond, Jane? Perhaps with a head nod? A shoulder shrug? An eyebrow raise? What’s that, Jane? Is it a… — it is! — it’s a… lip purse! A pursing of the lips! She’s pursing her li— nope, they’re opening: “For the record, the rest of the world is in a recession, too. I’m just throwing it out there.”
I repeat: Oh my. Words. Oh my words, Jane! They could be your doom.
Here’s a tip for all you casual Top Model viewers out there: when a girl who hasn’t talked all season suddenly begins to flap her gums at the start of a new episode, that girl is most likely going home at the end of said episode. The editors are focusing on that girl for a reason — the reason being that they want to keep the audience from going, “Who???” when Tyra announces her elimination.
And when words perform dastardly double duty by feeding into the pampered/privileged/Princetonian characterization the forced on Jane during the show’s casting special? All the worse. As I’ve mentioned before, Tyra tends to hate the Big-Name-College girls and boot them early — Yale’s Victoria exited third in Cycle Nine, and last season Duke coed Simone got cut fourth.
Things continued to head downhill for Jane during tonight’s challenge, a runway show that, in true Top Model form, took place for no apparent reason on conveyor belts installed in a blocked-off freeway tunnel. The closest the show came to justifying such an unorthodox setup was to point out its novelty; one contestant said something along the lines of, “I’ve never seen anything like it!”America’s Next Top Model: going pointlessly where no reputable fashion program has gone before (or will go hence), just because they can. And, to be fair, because stilettos on conveyor belts leads to a parade of tumbling models, and therefore big-time laffs.
Jane didn’t fall, but she didn’t exactly fly, either. “Jane is very academic in her face,” said Ms. Jay, the show’s runway coach. “She’s not fully comfortable yet in who she is, in what she can deliver.”
Now, the phrase “academic in her face” makes about as much sense (when used to describe someone not wearing sexy librarian glasses) as holding a fashion show in a conveyor-belted freeway tunnel. But Ms. Jay was right in saying that Jane’s been performing below her potential. In the first third of the season, Jane’s evident beauty has been overshadowed by her even more evident inexperience.
In photoshoots, this inexperience manifests itself not so much in flailing desperation, but in a certain uncomprehending listlessness. Tonight was sadly no exception. The models portrayed luchadores, the masked, flamboyantly costumed Mexican wrestlers featured in the movie Nacho Libre (Again, you could ask,”Why?” but doing so would be like asking that same question after your mom tells you this week’s Powerball numbers. Some things in life are random and nonsensical; no things in Top Model are not.)
Jane’s brief was to pose atop a heap of vanquished opponents. The shoot’s artistic director told Jane she wasn’t connecting to the setup. Later, at judging panel, “noted fashion photographer Nigel Barker” said Jane’s pose — legs spread, back arched — looked porn-y. Vogue Editor-at-Large called it “dreckitude.”
Elimination time. One by one Tyra calls up models to safety, until only Jane and Lexie-from-Illinios remain. Bottom two. Tyra decides to go all Oprah up in there: “Jane. Nice pictures, week after week. But who is she? There’s something there. She just doesn’t want to show it. And because you don’t want to show it, it makes your pictures so-so.”
The girl whose name Tyra does not call must return to the Top Model house, pack her belongings, and go home.
Jane steps forward. Her face shows only blankness — in my recollection, no girl has ever looked less relieved or grateful after surviving the bottom two. Perhaps her close brush with elimination has left her frozen in shock. Or perhaps she knows she doesn’t really need this shit to live a happy, successful life.
Tyra [direct quote]: “Jane, who are you? We want to see that.”
Jane [direct quote]: “K.”
Not a word, but a letter — well played, my Princeton poser, well played. But I fear it’s too late for all that now. Now, Tyra wants your pretty and your personality. It’s a whole new ballgame.
October 17, 2010
Jane Takes a Beating but Makes Another ANTM Cut
They may as well have called this episode “Let’s Pick on Jane Even More than Usual,” as that was the most apparent theme for yesterday’s America’s Next Top Model. If Tyra can’t get over Jane’s background’s failure to mesh with the prototypical sob story, why did she let her on the show in the first place? This week, the contestants’ first assignment was to model on a moving conveyor belt while wearing four-inch heels. As Jane was being prepared by the several make-up artists who surrounded her, she said that she had a tough time walking without a conveyor belt … and she had an even tougher time performing the duty set out in front of her. J. Alexander said that Jane is “academic in the face [and] … not confident in what she can deliver.” Well Miss Jay, what do you expect? She goes to Princeton for Pete’s sake! Of course, she is going to look “academic” right? The criticizing comments did not stop there.
The next and final assignment was to step into the rink with Mexican wrestlers a la Nacho Libre and Jane struggled to follow the photographer’s directions to pose like a rocker chick with the devil’s horns. After her turn was over, Jay Alexander told the cameras that Jane is detached from the modeling and “couldn’t commit to what she is doing”. Even Tyra had something to say at deliberation since even the best shot that the photographer could capture of Jane was branded “easy”, as in not cutting edge or impressive to the judges. Vogue’s Editor-at-Large, Andre Leon Talley, dubbed Jane “Plain Jane” and Victoria’s Secret Model, Karolina Kurkova, said that “she needs to work on her personality.” All these negative remarks landed Randall in the final two but luckily—she was saved! Until next time.
September 20, 2010
Women’s Lacross bio
Freshman Year (2009): Played in two games, a total of 20:02 … played 9:11 against Temple on March 25 … saw 10:51 against Maryland on May 2 … finished with a 11.98 goals against average and .000 save percentage.
Before Princeton: A member of both the lacrosse and squash teams at Roland Park Country School … named a first-team all-star by the Baltimore Messenger and second-team all-star by the Towson Times in 2008 … a second-team all-city pick by the Baltimore Sun and an honorable mention all-star by the Towson Times in 2007.
Personal: Full name is Jane Elizabeth Randall … born August 28, 1990 … parents are Bill and Carol Randall … has two brothers, Billy (Princeton ’95) and Steve (Washington & Lee ’11), and one sister, Juliet (Johns Hopkins ’97).
September 20, 2010
Jane Randall ‘12 On America’s Next Top Model
This fall will be all about reality TV for Princeton students–before CDY and Jonathan Schwartz ‘10 even make their Amazing Race appearance (Sept. 26 on CBS).
Cycle 15 of America’s Next Top Model begins next month (Sept. 8 on the CW) with Jane Randall ‘12, who played lacrosse for the Tigers until this year. Check her out the show’s US Weekly spread (via Jezebel), and see her video on the ANTM website.
The winner of the cycle–whoever masters the art of smiling with her eyes–will be on the cover of Vogue Italia, not Seventeen, as usual. That’s thanks to judge Andre Leon Talley. From the LA Times:
“Tyra really wanted to take the series to sort of another level,” explained Dawn Ostroff, the CW’s president of entertainment, after announcing the change Thursday at the network’s upfront presentation at Madison Square Garden. “When Andre Leon Talley, who is editor at large at Vogue, came on board, she wanted to really make these models high-fashion models. And high fashion, if you are in the fashion business, is Italian Vogue. Anybody who is in Italian Vogue literally makes it in the fashion business, so this is a really big step for the show.”
September 20, 2010
In September of 2010, Princeton’s The Ink conducted an interview with Cycle 15‘s Jane Randall following the premiere of Cycle 15. Here is the text from the Interview (written and posted by David Walter):
Princeton’s Next Top Model Speaks!
If you were following our blog these past few months, you know that The Amazing Race isn’t the only reality series with a Princeton connection this fall. This season (or, as the show’s creator/judge/host/resident eccentric Tyra Banks insists on calling it, “cycle”) of America’s Next Top Model features junior Jane Randall among its bevy of smizing beauties.
Randall, a former member of the lacrosse team who hails from Baltimore, MD, is back at Princeton while the show airs (Wednesday nights at 8 pm on The CW). So far we’ve only seen Jane in the show’s casting episode, in which she had a scant few minutes of direct screentime. Still, that was enough time for Jane to: 1) receive the first profanity-bleeping of the cycle (for her reaction to the show’s new grand prize, a cover and two spreads in Vogue Italia); and 2) be labeled “privileged” by one of the show’s judges for attending Princeton and owning horses.
How the 5′9″ History major did going forward in the competition is everyone-but-Jane’s guess. But while Jane can’t reveal her ultimate fate on the show, she did call us last week to talk about her Top Model experience.
The Ink: What made you want to apply for the show?
Jane: In October in I was in New York with my mom, and a photographer approached me in Starbucks and asked if I was a model, and I said no. But it was always something I kind of wanted to do. So I went back to my dorm and actually took a couple pictures in my dorm room with my roommates. I sent it in to some agencies and got some calls back. And then I sent them in to Top Model — I was watching Gossip Girl on the CW website, and there was actually a link to apply for the next Cycle …
Why was modeling something you always wanted to try?
It’s always been something I’ve thought about doing, I guess ever since my growth spurt. People have always said, “Oh, you’re tall and lanky, you should be a model.” But I never had any idea about how to go about doing it. And then I kind of took it as a sign when the photographer approached me. I figured, why not send in some pictures and find out if I could actually do it?
Before the show, who or what did you think of when you heard the word “model”?
Mainly editorials in magazines. I wasn’t very familiar with runway [modeling], I’ve never really watched fashion shows. I guess an image in a magazine was what I thought of when I heard the word.
And now? Do you think of yourself? Do you consider yourself a model?
That’s a good question. Before the show, I definitely did not — it’s something I [just] wanted to do. But through the course of the show, you’ll see I’m trying to figure out if I can.
Did the prizes this season make the competition more cutthroat?
I think anyone in the competition wants to win regardless, but I think the emphasis on high fashion and the prizes really made people realize… I mean, a cover of Italian Vogue will make your career. Not that a cover of Seventeen [the previous prize] wouldn’t, but [with Vogue] you’re definitely not just appealing to the masses. You’re appealing to the people in fashion.
Going into the competition, what were you most nervous about?
Maybe the fact that I had never modeled before. When I went to the audition in New York, I saw girls from major agencies, with full portfolios. And I had a couple of pictures I took in my dorm. So I was definitely intimidated by that.
Did being a Princeton student help you at all during the competition?
I definitely think that by going to Princeton I’ve learned [the importance of] putting in time and effort and practicing a skill – whether it’s lacrosse or modeling, you have to put the time in to develop.
So modeling is a skill? A lot of people think that models just have to stand in front of a camera and look pretty.
I mean, that’s what I thought! Past tense. It was definitely a lot harder than I anticipated.
What’s so hard about it?
You have to know all your different angles, how they work with the lighting, all these different things that I never thought about. You know, I thought modeling was, a photographer tells you, “Put your hand on your hip, turn this way, and smile.” But it’s really you in front of the camera, moving. I think that distinguishes a top model from run-on-the-mill – the ability to sell the garment in the best possible way.
Well — to get precept-y for a second — is that what modeling is, selling garments? Or is it helping to make the designer or photographer’s artistic vision come to life?
Well, there’s obviously a difference between commercial modeling – an ad for Gap or something – and an editorial you see inVogue. There’s certainly a more artistic component to high fashion. It’s not your typical pretty – there’s ugly pretty. But Cover Girl is more commercial. I guess commercial modeling was more what I thought about before, but through the competition I learned a lot about high fashion.
Were the models you lived with on the show different than the people you know at Princeton?
I definitely met a lot of girls I never would have had the opportunity to otherwise [meet]. Because a lot of my friends in high school were very similar to me – they played lacrosse, and I’ve known most of them since first grade. Coming to Princeton, I had close group of friends that came from similar backgrounds. This experience definitely broadened my horizons. I spent a lot of time listening and learning.
Where did you tell your school friends you were going to be this summer?
I told my friends I was studying abroad in Australia.
What are your horses named?
My horse’s name is ‘Shazam’, and the pony is ‘Merrylegs’ – that’s the name of the pony in Black Beauty. I didn’t name them, but I kind of like ‘Shazam.’
Shazam — that doesn’t sound like a very ‘privileged’ name for a horse. [Author's note: this was a very awkward segue.] What was your reaction when the judges gave you that label?
It was frustrating, because I’m definitely very proud of the fact that I go to Princeton and that my parents have been able to provide for me. But I kind of feel that it comes across that it’s working against you a little bit.
I feel like Ms. Jay, when said the word “privileged” during the audition, it almost came out of his mouth before I even finished talking about my horses. But I’m definitely proud of my parents for everything they’ve provided me with, so I’m going to be honest about it.
[Author's note: the idea that being associated with wealth would hurt a contestant on a show dedicated to finding someone to sell signifiers of wealth might seem strange, but Ivy League contestants on the show often get edited to be "stuck-up" and exit early.]
If you receive good feedback from the show, would you consider taking time off from school to pursue modeling full-time?
Modeling obviously has an expiration date to it. I just turned 20 – this is certainly the time. For someone interested in modeling, it needs to be now. Also, last semester in the spring when I was going to New York, talking to some agencies, I had to miss some classes… maybe half a dozen times, and I felt like it did affect my schoolwork to some degree. So I would consider taking some time off. But graduating from Princeton – that’s not up for debate. But a year? I guess there’s a little flexibility there.