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October 5, 2006
Walk the line

Wow! Go A.J.!

Wednesday night, my impression of A.J. - contestant on "America's Next Top Model" and a Sacramento resident - amped up from an eh to a major woah.

As you may recall from my previous blogging on "Top," A.J. appeared to have no confidence and, perhaps even worse, the judges feared she had a lack of desire to be there.

This week, however, Miss Spikey Hair came back with a vengeance.

First, A.J. was picked as the winner in a challenge that required the model hopefuls to walk a straight line (in high heels, natch) on cobblestones. Girl rocked, impressing even the normally unflappable Mrs. J.

That win netted A.J. the opportunity to walk a real runway fashion show. Well, if by "real" you mean there were clothes involved. No offense to all those involved, but the Dennis Quaid Charity Weekend Fashion Show in Austin, Texas, doesn't exactly scream couture (Austin is the fashion capital of what - central Texas? And oh shut it, I can say that because I grew up there).
Actually, it looked like a fun show, and A.J. got to take two pals. (She picked the increasingly annoying Megg and serious contender Caridee).

Returning to Cali, A.J. continued to impress in a challenge that involved walking in heels on a wobbly runway perched precariously over a pool. While several of the contestants did do well during this photo shoot, A.J.'s strut earned praise all around, with one of the participating fashion designers declaring her presence "breathtaking."

Finally, pre-judging, the models were asked to don heels and do their best runway walk while balancing a fruit-filled bowl, Carmen Miranda-style, atop their heads.

And A.J.?

Killed. Tyra Banks called her poise "Zen" and bestowed upon A.J. the honor of being the first girl saved from elimination.


Based on Wednesday night's performance, I'd even go as far to say that we just might see A.J. get to the Final Four (along with Caridee and at least one of the twins). I know it's early, but her sudden spark of confidence (and ability) really won me over.

Stay tuned.

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