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April 23, 2014

America's Next Top Model: And the Winner Is... (season finale)

by JJ Hawkins, posted May 15th 2008 12:47AM

The final three.

(S10E13) The above screencap is the photographic equivalent of a horizontal suck sandwich.

Okay, that's not entirely accurate. The photos of Whitney and Anya are perfectly fine, but my hatred for the individual in the center pretty much taints the picture for me.

And in a broader sense, that's been the overarching flaw with cycle 10 of America's Next Top Model.

Now, I don't want to put too much thought into this argument because I'm lazy, but Dominique and Fatima lasting as long as they did kind of put a stain on this cycle for me.

Sure, there's a part of me that was glad these two hairy warts on the face of the modeling community hung around for so long because it made it a hell of a lot easier to be snarky for 13 hours worth of television.

That slight benefit aside, isn't anyone else horrified how close we came to one of these wildebeest winning? One episode ago, we had a 50% chance of Dominique or Fatima winning this thing. At the beginning of tonight's show we had a 33% chance of Fatima winning.

This is a modeling competition about beauty--both internally and externally as cheesy and cliché as that sounds. I found Dominique to be the antithesis of beauty inside and out. Fatima was pretty on the outside for the most part, but from what I saw of her innards she was rotten.

As fans of the show, shouldn't we be questioning the integrity of the competition at this point? More importantly, shouldn't we be rioting outside of The CW studios demanding that Tyra and the rest of the panel endure a mandatory psychological evaluation? They just can't be right in the head! They nearly made a nation of aspiring adolescent models look up to and/or emulate their looks and their actions.

It wouldn't have been pretty ladies and gentlemen, but thankfully a national catastrophe was likely averted tonight.

The episode was pretty much a whirlwind and I'm thankful for it because I've about run out of things to say about it.

We quickly learned that the girls would be shooting a CoverGirl TV commercial and a print ad in which the winner would be prominently displayed in a Walmart ad and a billboard in Times Square.

Saleisha still has hair issues.

At this point Saleisha made an appearance. She didn't really have a whole lot to offer the girls in terms of words of wisdom, but she did to a fairly decent job of illustrating what the girls shouldn't do with their hair.

Fatima looked decent in her commercial but really rushed the cadence of her speech, which ultimately took away from her overall performance.

Whitney had a few hiccups here and there, but produced the best product--all without summoning her inner Pacino. Apparently, she took the panels criticisms to heart because she didn't exaggerate her speech and there were no over-the-top facial expressions. Good for her.

Then there was Anya...

Anya during her CoverGirl commercial.

Okay, this screencap isn't really fair because we all know Anya doesn't have a lazy eye but I'm pretty sure I've gotten to the point where I find her "accent" as distracting as a lazy eye.

You know how when you're having a conversation with an individual who has a lazy eye, and your own eyes keep wandering over to their lazy eye and you lose your focus? My mind tends to do that whenever Anya speaks. I see her speaking and I hear the words coming out of her mouth, but the part of my brain that has to decipher absolutely gibberish takes over and I end up having no clue what just occurred.

Jay seemed to think that Anya salvaged the shoot because she radiates energy and "we just relate to her." I disagree completely. I had a Speak and Spell when I was a kid. My parents read to me. I had a copy of Hooked on Phonics. I've got a fairly decent grasp of the English language. I do not relate to Anya at all.

The Midway Elimination

Anya's adWhitney's ad

Fatima's ad

I was most impressed by Whitney's CoverGirl ad and agreed that Fatima and Anya's gaze was a bit too heavenly. I didn't agree with Paulina saying that Anya looked stupid in her ad? Where in the hell did that comment come from? Doesn't Paulina know that you readers and I are the only people allowed to say rude things about the contestants? How dare she.

And with this sequence came the end of my arch nemesis. Anticlimactic, I know, but I've expended so much energy criticizing her and Dominique this season, I've about run out of things to say. Well almost...

I did get a kick out of Fatima proclaiming that she "made history" by being the first refugee woman to be a part of America's Next Top Model. Made history? Seriously? Are they going to cover this in Junior High history class after the Emancipation Proclamation? Priceless.

Farewell Fatima. May your journey into obscurity be long and painful.

The finale found the girl on the runway wearing clothing handpicked by Donatella Versace. Allegedly, this was the largest, most high fashion runway show ever to occur in Top Model history. It didn't appear any more lavish then runway shows in cycles past, but it did include a lot of scary looking nearly nude male models with vacant expressions on their face.

And here is how the girls looked:

Anya in Versace on the runway

Whitney in Versace on the runway.

Anya and Whitney make their final pose.
I have to hand it to her, Whitney absolutely annihilated the runway. She's got the model walk down to a science and the fact that she has "a juicy booty" only acted to accentuate the fierceness of her stride.

I actually found myself shocked by Anya's lackluster presence on the runway. You could tell early in the episode during her breakdown that the competition had really drained her. She just didn't appear all that confident and she didn't adjust very well to the tight silver dress she was stuffed in during her second pass. It's a shame she hit a low point when it counted the most, particularly after flying so high a majority of the season.

It was pretty easy to tell what was going to happen at this point, agree?

Final Elimination

As usual, the girls were fighting for a contract with Elite Model Management, a cover and six-page spread in Seventeen magazine, and a 100K contract with CoverGirl cosmetics.

And the winner was, Whitney. Finally, after 10 long cycles a model with some curves won the competition! I didn't figure it'd happen before this show went off the air, but we all know I've made a habit of being wrong about these things.

And like that we're done. Writing the recaps for the last three cycles has been a lot of fun. I've appreciated each and every reader and all the kind comments from last week's recap. I'll miss writing these as much as you'll miss reading them.

Look me up on the Facebook if you want to stay in touch. There's a chance I'll continue the recaps in some form come cycle 11...

Happy with the results?
Yes! No contest. Whitney deserved to win.858 (74.5%)
Nope. Anya was robbed. She was a much better candidate.293 (25.5%)


Are you going to watch cycle 11?
I'll watch this show 'til the day I die.679 (79.7%)
This show has run it's course. I'm done.173 (20.3%)


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24 Comments

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paputsza

They're all just bad at looking at the camera. Whitney looks like she's giving a mugshot, Fatima's attempt at sultry eyes are failing terribly, and Anya has the facial structure of a drag queen. There's simply no more good looking people in America.

December 12 2011 at 10:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Emily

First things first. Thank you JJ for recapping for the last 3 seasons. I discovered TVSquad while trying to find a recap of ANTM that was geared for adults and whose comments weren't riddled with "that's retarded" and "OMG."

Secondly, Audrey - Lighten up.

Although I believe Fatima has a beautiful face, I didn't like her wraith-like thinness and her superiority complex attitude. Did anyone else notice how poor Fatima's complexion appeared in confessionals, but her photos came out flawless? Either Cover Girl works like a dream or there was heavy airbrushing done. I seem to remember another contestant some cycles back that was told to get her skin under control because airbrushing is expensive. (Yah-yah? I think)

I'm glad Miss Jay made a comment about Anya's "busted up nose." I thought I was the only one that was bothered by that. I was sad to see her lose it since she seemed like the most centered girl. She will get along fine though. She has a great portfolio to get her started and the 10k 7-up gave her.

Yeah for Whitney! Although I do believe her win was engineered - I feel that way about all of the winners. I figure Tyra, CG and the advertisers agree to 3 potential winners at the start and they design the shoots around those people. I like the fact that Tyra is aware of her target market and makes sure to include the "full figured" girl. It is pathetic that a girl like Whitney is considered "full figured" in the first place. I might go so far to say that I'd give my right eye to look like her - but then I would have a rockin' body and an eye patch - not sexy!

May 15 2008 at 6:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Emily's comment
AT

I agree completely with I miss my stars.

@IMMS, Re your comment, "I discovered TVSquad while trying to find a recap of ANTM that was geared for adults..." etc.: I commented on one of the TVSquad posts recently that I like this website because the contributors (bloggers and readers) are literate and mature and their comments relevant. It's also nice when people who comment on TV blogs do so with correct spelling and grammar.

My thoughts on the episode:

In the Cover Girl photo shoot Anya looked vacant (what Paulina might have meant when she said "stupid"), Fatima was pretty but didn't quite nail it, but the same could be said for Whitney, whose facial expression portrayed a bit of surprise. At that point I'd have eliminated Anya's photo and chosen between Whitney and Fatima.

I won't comment on the commercial because I don't remember it. I loved the way Anya looked at the fashion show but her walk was lackluster, like she was tired. I thought that Whitney's face was a bit scary and her walk was over the top, exaggerated. Her walk was the opposite of Anya's. I liked Anya's face better, but Whitney's was "fierce", the way Tyra likes.

I'm happy with the result but would have been happy if Anya won too. I'll accept that Whitney is "full figured" but "plus sized"? No. Maybe I'm incorrectly interpreting based on cultural norms, but I construe "plus sized" to mean "fat". As Whitney said in the clip from casting, she has breasts, hips and an ass. She's not obese in any way, she's curvy and proportioned. That's not fat under her skin, it's bone density and muscle and tissue and larger insides. I liked it when after Tyra informed Whitney of the term "full figured", Paulina said something to the affect of "If I saw you on the street I'd think you're just 'beautiful'." Scripted possibly, but nice nonetheless.

May 19 2008 at 5:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
George

You need to look at this show as a business -- that's what it is. I'm sure Cover Girl submits a list of possible winners after the initial 12 or 13 contestants are selected, and from then on it's a matter of building a narrative. Of course, Tyra has an obligation to her advertisers to deliver the broadest possible demographic throughout the series, so even if, say, none of the Caucasian contestants are competent, one of them will probably make it into the final three. At that point, the one who delivers the best mix of demo and actual talent will win. Given that Cycle 10 has been something of a bid for renewed credibility (Tyra's own performance and new heights of bitchiness notwithstanding), it's no surprise that Whitney won -- she stands the best chance of getting actual work, and her My Life as a Cover Girl ads won't be excruciating.

Incidentally, while the $100,000 contract with Cover Girl may seem like an amazing prize, it's actually sort of a swindle. Those MLaaCG commercials are national spots, so to the best of my knowledge, if you hired a SAG actress for the same gig, she'd make more than $20,000 a pop based on current rates. Yes, the spots only air a couple of times, but they're still nationals. All told, CG gets a bargain.

May 15 2008 at 3:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Audrey

you must be one unhappy ugly bully, i bet you look like a dog, i have never heard such mean comments before in my life, i wouldn't read your column again if somebody
promise to shoot you....

May 15 2008 at 12:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
whitney

Ju-Ju-Bean, at least this cycle's runway show had an actual audience. During last season's show in China the only people watching were the judges.

Now that I think about it though, the contestants probably don't have the chops to pull off a real runway show, even at the very end of the competition. See Anya's performance last night as evidence.

May 15 2008 at 10:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
deebopalula

Miranda - I totally agree. The introduction of size zero signaled the apocalypse for me. Excuse me, but that is not normal! I remember season/cycle one when they referred to Robin as "plus size". I was like "say what whadda what what???!!!".

May 15 2008 at 10:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Delo

Its about time, to have a plus size model, although size 8-12 is not plus size. I am so glad that Whitney won, I knew she would and she should have. Fatima is beautiful, but you can't use what is a cultural thing in her country. Don't get me wrong this is a form of mutilation, but you can't have a sympathy win. Anya has the universal body, small and anorexic. Models come like that a dime a dozen. Whitney, once she got the makeover it helped her so much. Whitney deserverd to win -- hands down. I am considered a plus size -- 16 and I am proud of my size and I look good. Remember people Marilyn Monroe was a size 14, tell me she was not drop dead beautiful.
CONGRATS WHITNEY

May 15 2008 at 10:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Delo's comment
sarah

as much as i am with you Delo, being a size 14 myself, i wish people would stop referring to Marilyn Monroe. she may have been a size 12 in her day, but sizings have changed so much over the year. in reality, Marilyn was the equivalent of our size 6.

May 15 2008 at 3:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
deebopalula

Alright - I must add one last thing and then move on with my life (I've got things to do today people!) -- As loathe as I am to defend Fatima, I must say, in the "suck sandwich" pic above, she looks luminous. And yet inside, so much darkness. That leads me to think..... On this show, we get to see what a model is like outside AND inside. But in real life, we rarely see that with models. Unless, for instance, they have a habit of bonking their assitants on the head with cell phones.

How many of the real supermodels would be supermodels if we all got to judge them on their looks AND their personality? Not to mention the top models who actually have no personalities whatsoever. This is probably one of those careers where one's personality has little impact on their ability to achieve success. Is somebody seriously going to boycott the jeans a model is selling because they find out she's an b*tch? I think it may actually have the opposite effect. I'm just sayin'....

May 15 2008 at 10:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
miranda

I hate that society thinks a size 10 or 12 is plus size. Never have I seen one of these sizes listed in the plus size section of a store. This is why girls are anorexic even though Tyra is supposedly against all that crap. I am a size 10 and I am not plus size. I have a big booty but my waist is smaller. I have to find pants to fit over my big booty in order to get them up. I could fit into an 8 if that thing wasn't back there. Please stop refering to 10 and 12 as plus size.

May 15 2008 at 10:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
deebopalula

Hahahaha!!!! Never picked up on that before. Guess cuz it's a show featuring women?! Dunno. That was my laugh of the day!

May 15 2008 at 9:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to deebopalula's comment
deebopalula

My laugh of the day comment was in response to Andrew's comment (#3). Not sure why it didn't link there as I did it as a "reply".....

May 15 2008 at 9:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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