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October 19, 2006
Not on top anymore

OK. Well. There you go.

Now that I've picked my jaw up off the floor, I'm here to ask the question that all Sacramento "America's Next Top Model" fans must be asking: What happened?

Last time we checked in with Tyra Banks & Friends, Sacramento contestant A.J. was riding high.

And then, then it was over.

Just. Like. That.

Frankly, I'm shocked.

OK, yeah, A.J.'s turn at "celebrity interviewing" (i.e., pretending to be an "Entertanment Tonight" reporter) was pretty dismal. And when the models were required to take a shot at dressing up as both halves of celebrity couples, A.J.'s turn portraying Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony? Yawn.

But still? Eliminated?

This for a girl who, until this last episode, was consistently at or near the top of the competition? This for the girl who not only won the viewer-picked "Cover Girl of the Week" honor last week, but nabbed it this week, as well?

It didn't even register for me at first. But, as I sat there with my "Top Model"-watching girlfriends, it sunk in. She was gone.

Then again, A.J. actually seemed relieved - no, make that happy, to go -and it made us wonder: What did we miss? What footage never made it past the editing room?

I will try to get to the bottom of this End of A.J. saga when I hope to interview the former contestant in the near future. But my first question for her won't be about her elimination. Rather, the most pressing question is why, oh why, she insisted on wearing that weird pink hat - the one that looked like a dog sweater - throughout much of the episode. Even the Queen of Tacky Mean, Janice Dickenson, was offended by her choice in chapeaus. That says a lot.

But aside from that major crime against fashion, I honestly think the judges went too far in kicking A.J. off this week. I don't think she got a fair shake, and I'm definitely interested to see where she ends up next.

Good luck - but lose the hat.

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