Review: America's Next Top Model - America's Next Top Model Is... (Season Finale)
by Michael Pascua, posted Nov 19th 2009 1:30AM
(S13E11) I love how Tyra Banks creates revisionist history on America's Next Top Model. Not only does she denounce Adrianne Curry's name, she now is ignoring the fact that Eva, who was 5' 6.5" won Cycle Three against "normal" sized models. That's an accomplishment.
This cycle's finale episode was less hectic than previous cycles because there were only two contestants, so the commercial, photoshoots, and model walks felt better paced. I like the concept, we should have final twos for the remaining seasons.
For the first time in a long time, I didn't mind if either Nicole or Laura won. Both took stunning photos.
We're reminded a lot of Nicole and Laura's backgrounds, but it's a lot of repeated storylines. Nicole is awkward and ate her lunch in the bathroom stalls at school, but her personality is the issue. Laura is the small town girl who has an amazing grandmother, but suffers from dyslexia. Both of their storylines were pounded in week after week.
The girls' first challenge was the CoverGirl commercial and photoshoot. This season's product is Lash Blast Eyeliner. Every time the product pops up, I can't help but remember Anya saying "Losh Blost." Like Anya, the two struggle with their scripts, but easily ace their photoshoot with Nigel.
Ann Shoket shows up at the girls home with Gilles Bensimon for their Seventeen photoshoot. Ann reminds the girls to act youthful and also reminds Nicole that she's actually 17. That girl sounds so mature that she could have been 24 in my book. Nicole looked pained to fake a happy smile.
Tyra talks to the models and attempts to make the girls cry. Laura gets baited to cry and it made me wonder if that would be the needle that Tyra would use to make Laura win (Laura is approachable).
The girls arrive at the final runway and Jay tells them that several eliminated girls will show up to model with Nicole and Laura. They claim that it's a first in the history of the show. Again, that's wrong. Like Project Runway, Top Model uses the eliminated girls as decoys at the final runway. This is the first time that Top Model admitted to doing that, and it was probably because of the girls' last pose. For five seconds, we see Bria Murphy, Eddie Murphy's daughter, and the only reason we know that is because she gets a caption underneath her.
Sundai, Jennifer, and Erin believe that Laura should win, while Brittany is the sole Nicole supporter. Luckily, their opinions don't matter. The girls have two modeling passes in Julia Clancey fashions and one in bathing suits. In the first round (fire) Nicole had the weirdest shoulder-led walk. Laura had a long dress forcing shorter strides. The second round (wind) used a really strong wind machine that would have blown Kate Moss away. Nicole struggled with removing her scarf; she looked like she was playing air guitar; Laura had this fierce scarf removal with this great expression. The last round involved a lot of water and posing.
At judging, there was no guest judge, not even Ann Shoket or Jay. I have a gut feeling that Sean Patterson made his mind up back in episode three and picked Nicole. Wilhelmina, Seventeen, and Tyra had one unified decision after they cut Jennifer. They mention all the photos except for ninjas, horses, Hawaiian goddesses and the biracial shoot. Laura and Nicole were equal in the shots except for the Cirque du Solei shot where Laura was fierce beyond belief.
The CoverGirl commercial was better than I expected, with the girls wandering the forest. I had a problem with Laura's best take because you could see this struggle in her eyes to get through the lines. As for the photoshoot, I disliked that Laura had an almost profile shot, while Nicole's was straight forward. The previous seasons forced the girls in the same angle, usually over the shoulder, which was better for side-by-side comparisons.
I think the winner was clear from the beginning, but there's always one girl who does a great job with her photos and then Tyra finds an excuse for them to lose (Anya, Allison, and Jennah come to mind). I feared Nicole would follow the trend. I'm convinced that Wilhelmina didn't want any of Tyra's shenanigans. They do the winner's shoot immediately, and Tyra decides not to photoshoot herself in.
Did you think Nicole deserved the win? Leave comments below.