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Review: America's Next Top Model - America's Next Top Model Is... (Season Finale)

by Michael Pascua, posted Nov 19th 2009 1:30AM
Laura and Nicole's CoverGirl shot.
(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.

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unfortunately, laura becoming a high fashion model is ridiculous; she doesnt have the face (in a few new test shots, she actually has very prominant wrinkles), doesnt have the body (pink of the high end women's division at wilhelmina would take one look at her and say "too short. too fat. next!"- believe me he would, and the other agencies are no different). she will never be on a catwalk again so her walk doesnt matter. theres no comparison between nicole and laura- nicoles a model, lauras not. this industry is incredibly shallow, and they dont give a crap what tyra banks says- short is STILL not exceptable in fashion. 5'7" is the absolute basement height and if you look at wilhelminas page they clearly say they have no petite division and do not sign girls under that height. they picked nicole because she has the waif-like body that can make her look taller than she is, an incredible, high fashion face and a talent for modeling. laura making it on the show at all was a shock. she got to the end by having a bubbly personality- are we forgetting tyra and nigel said over and over again throughout the entire season "i dont see a model", when looking at her and her photos"? she ended up being called either in the middle of the bunch or at the end every week- not impressive. ive been modeling in the high end market for several years and ive never seen a girl who looks like laura.

December 15 2009 at 1:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I tried to stay away from this season, but ANTM and Tyra's craziness roped me in yet again. . .I loved my DVR though, since I fast-forwarded through all the filler, and just got what I love about the show: the photoshoots. I think Nicole deserved to win this season, and think she's a good addition to the ANTM Winner Circle (anyone else think it's weird one of the tallest girls this season ends up winning?!) ANYWAY, I though Laura really fought throughout this episode and she should be proud!


November 19 2009 at 10:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
S Wilson

One of the best final runways shows...much more relatable than the brides running scared. Since the second episode I felt Nicole had something special, her ability to pose was there from the beginning. I also noticed her attempts to bring more energy and personality. However, I am a Kentucky girl and LOVED LAURA!!! Granted, I was thrilled to see someone from a "small town" NOT fall into an embarrassing stereotype, but I would have loved her anyway! She just connected with my girls and me. (We actually cheered when Erin was let go!) I too had pre-determined Nicole would be the winner --- But when it came down to last night and the girls were compared side-by-side, I became convinced Laura should win. Her runway walk absolutely defeated Nicole! Neither girls' commercial was a train wreck yet they weren't outstanding. Comparing bodies of work, Laura HAD to come out on top. I am still a bit stunned. Yet, if Laura had to lose, at least it was to valid competition. ANTM would have lost loyal watchers if, for example, Erin would have won!

Regardless, I am certain we'll see Laura soon!

November 19 2009 at 9:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to S Wilson's comment

I am also a Kentucky girl who was pulling for Laura, but I honestly could not say which girl deserved the title more. They both had strengths and weaknesses, and both girls rocked the runway! Regardless of who won the title, both girls are going to have fabulous careers--and will FINALLY be allowed to wear heels! As much as I love ANTM...Tyra's bad (really bad) french accents and over-the-top alter egos are getting really old.

November 22 2009 at 12:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The only thing that bugged me is that Tyra didn't feel the need to hit.Laura.with.digs.about.her.accent.every.episode! like she did Danielle. That was a horrible double standard. She gave that girl hell.

I agree, I knew Nicole would win after Episode 4. I also thought it was odd that Eva (1) wasn't mentioned, and (2) didn't appear in any episodes since petite models were showcased. Maybe because she's not modeling much anymore.

November 19 2009 at 8:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Yme Sandelmann

I'm happy with the outcome. Nicole was the predetermined winner (for me) from the first episode. And I think it is just like that with the judges. Maybe not episode one, but I think at around episode three they have really made up their minds who they want to take it all home...
I've been watching all of ANTM, AuNTM, BNTM, GNTM (yes, I might be insane) and I was able to pick the winner in like 90% of the cases after the second episode (exception to the rule Adrianne Curry). And that is not because I have a good eye, but because it is really easy to see trough the reasoning, I think. We won't have a girl that looks like Nicole winning ANTM for at least three or four cycles.
I have all my money on a white, blonde girl as the winner for the next season :)

November 19 2009 at 5:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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