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Well, the time has come, folks. Here we are at yet another ANTM finale! It seems like just yesterday that we all picked our favorites while watching the first episode…or, like, 5 weeks before the show started when the CW released photos of the contestants (you know who you are). From the 14 girls who started out on the Top Model house, the judges have narrowed the field to the final three and these girls couldn’t be more different. We have Fatima, the Iman look-alike from Somalia, Anya, the Hawaiian blonde with the confusing accent and then there’s Whitney, the full figured blonde bombshell. Who will win? At this point, it’s anyone’s guess. Each of the final three has taken great pictures and they’ve all had less-than-stellar moments as well. It’s all going to come down to who kicks butt in the Cover Girl ad and then rocks the fashion show. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started.
Back at their Rome apartment after Dominique’s elimination, the final three talk about the competition. Anya – as usual – is happy. She feels as if she’s gotten more confident as the competition has progressed and now she’s here to win. Fatima says it means so much that people think she’s beautiful. She talks about the poverty of her youth, where they had no electricity or running water. Now, here she is in Rome with a chance to win the competition. Whitney and Anya talk quietly. They’ve become close and both hope they’ll be the final two.
”Here are your lines. You’ve got some extra time, so don’t make me put you on ‘blast’ Love, Tyra.”
The girls all know it’s time for the Cover Girl ad. They’re not psychic or anything: the Tyra Mail comes with their script for the commercial. Anya remembers her horrible Cover Girl commercial. At least this time the script will be in English.
The shuttle takes the models off to the Coliseum to meet Mr. Jay and Brent Poer from Cover Girl. It’s time for what will be a defining moment: the Cover Girl commercial and print ad. This time, they’ll be shilling Lash Blast Mascara. The ad, Mr. Jay explains will run nationally and be part of a display in Wal-Mart stores. Mr. Jay reveals a surprise: the ad will also be on a billboard in Times Square. Now that is HUGE.
They’ve had some time to learn the script, so Mr. Jay expects them to have it down.
Now is the moment when Mr. Jay brings out Saleisha, the winner from Cycle 9. Fatima tells us that she really looks up to Saleisha, which I find a bit sad. I really don’t to waste any more time on Saleisha. Let’s just follow the girls into hair and makeup where they practice their scripts and look nervous. Anya admits to feeling overwhelmed by the situation. Mr. Jay tells her not to worry about trying to be a Cover Girl: she already has the look. Whitney is sitting in the makeup chair when she notices Anya crying. Anya tells Whitney she doesn’t want to fail. She really wants to make the final two.
Fatima is the first to shoot her commercial. Mr. Jay reminds her that she will be delivering all of her lines directly to the camera. He also tells her to make it conversational and natural and urges her not to worry if she stumbles a bit: she should just keep going. What comes out of Fatima’s mouth is a great impression of a fembot. Fatima plows through the script in a dull monotone. Mr. Jay says she doesn’t look human.
Whitney knows she won’t make it any further in the competition is this commercial doesn’t go well. Her first take isn’t so great, but she gets better in the end and it’s not nearly as fake as her last attempt at a Cover Girl commercial. Even though Anya has memorized her lines perfectly, she’s still nervous. Most of the script is in English, but not all of it. After six takes, Anya is still having trouble with the word “Arrivederci.” The Italian combined with her accent make it incomprehensible. Mr. Jay tells her that it was pretty bad, but her relatability saved her.
So much has to be crammed into this episode so we about 30 seconds of the actual Cover Girl photo. Each of the girls works on being relatable and beautiful. We’ll have to wait until judging to see which of them succeeded.
Back at the apartment, the girls find Tyra Mail. Tomorrow, she judges will narrow the field from three to two. Fatima thinks this isn’t only about who takes the best pictures – they all take great pictures – this is about something more. Fatima says she already feels like America’s Next Top Model. Anya admits she’ll be heartbroken if she’s eliminated.
The Penultimate Cut
The final three face the judges and receive a round of applause. With that little bit of faux ass kissery out of the way, the judges get right down to business. They will be looking at each girl’s photo, as well as her best take at the commercial shoot. Whitney is up first.
While Whitney did have a little pause in her commercial, it wasn’t nearly as fake as her last Cover Girl commercial. Tyra compliments Whitney on being “directable,” but Paulina thinks the commercial was very Miss America. The judges all think Whitney’s photo is very pretty. Nigel thinks it looks “vintage” and Miss J loves the angle. Tyra calls the shot “stellar” and likes the fact that it’s a model and not an actress hired by Cover Girl to look like a model.
Fatima managed to stutter through six takes at the commercial shoot. Miss J says Fatima would have made a fantastic toothpaste ad since she smiled through the whole thing. Paulina points out that it was very monotone. Nigel thinks Fatima’s picture is stunning. Paulina notes that her eyes are looking too high. Tyra gives the Smiling with Your Eyes 101 lecture, complete with demonstration. You’d think that, after this many cycles, some of these girls would show up on day one with the whole eye smiling thing locked up.
Anya has a bit of trouble with her commercial and forgets her lines part way through. Tyra tells her it was the biggest train wreck in the world, but it was the best commercial if you really look at it. Paulina agrees, saying that there were moments in the commercial that were convincing and honest, even though the commercial as a while was a wreck. They all love the “easy, breezy, beautiful” part at the end. Miss Jay thinks Anya’a picture is great, but it doesn’t show any personality. Paulina goes for the jugular and says that Anya actually looks stupid in the picture. Tyra is a little kinder, saying it a lovely picture. Anya might be looking too high in the picture, but Tyra doesn’t think she looks dumb.
The judges excuse the girls and begin deliberating. They all agree that this is not one of Anya’s strongest shots. Tyra brings up Paulina’s “stupid” comment and Paulina elaborates: Anya looks like she’s dreaming about hills and pastures. Apparently, those make her eyes look vacant and Paulina thinks Anya should have been thinking about other things. Nigel thinks Fatima wants to win the competition so much that it’s taking her over. Paulina thinks Fatima is a wonderful print model. We all know how Tyra loves a hard luck story. She brings up the struggles Fatima has been through and the fact that she’s come out of it a proud woman and not a victim. Paulina thinks Whitney’s beauty is a façade and that she hasn’t been showing them her true self. This Cover Girl photo gave them all their first glimpse of the real Whitney. Miss Jay refers to Whitney as “plus-sized” but Tyra point out that in the real world she’s just a hot girl.
It’s time to narrow the field to two and Tyra reveals that Nigel will be shooting the final two for their potential Seventeen Magazine cover. The first girl called is, predictably, Anya. That leaves Whitney and Fatima sweating it out as Tyra explains what the judges are thinking. The judges all feel that Whitney takes beautiful pictures, but the judges still aren’t sure who she is. Fatima has a stunning face, but modeling is more than being beautiful: it’s about listening and delivering what the director or photographer wants.
Ultimately, the judges think Whitney has more potential, so it’s time for Fatima to go. Tyra tells Whitney the judges feel that Whitney on the inside probably isn’t as pretty as Whitney on the outside and that it’s her potential that got her there. Whitney cries….probably over that weird backhanded compliment
Tyra tells Fatima how proud she is: Fatima is so beautiful and her story can serve as an inspiration for young girls. Now she just has to figure out who she is. Fatima says she’s accomplished so much and hopes she can be a role model for others. As she packs, she says she feels born again and vows to let go of her past and start fresh. She feels beautiful and strong and promises we will see her face again.
The Main Event
Back at the apartment, Whitney and Anya celebrate. Anya says that Whitney crying at panel showed her vulnerability and that was beautiful. Whitney admits that she was picked on a lot by people who made comments about her side and says that helped grow a thicker skin.
In no time flat, it’s time for the Seventeen Magazine shoot. Blink and you miss it because this segment lasted maybe a minute. We see Nigel and then both Whitney and Anya posing in red, white and then blue outfits: this is for the cover of the July issue.
Just like that, the photo shoot is over and the girls head over to prepare for the runway show. Mr. Jay and Miss J greet Anya and Whitney at the Imperial Roman set Mr. Jay created. He reveals that Saleisha will be leading off the fashion show. There will also be scantily clad Roman men in the show. Huzzah! Backstage, while getting her makeup done, Anya admits she’s nervous: this is a big day and she’s feeling a bit overwhelmed. Whitney knows the odds are against her. Anya has never been in the bottom two. Still, she knows not to let her nerves show on the runway.
In spite of their nerves, both Anya and Whitney are excited about hitting the runway. Before they get their chance, the judges hit the runway like divas. Each of them stomps down the runway and takes their seat. Anya is the first finalist down the runway. She’s wearing a dark gown and flowy hair. She says she’s never felt so confident. Whitney follows Anya and says it felt incredible to be out on the runway in Versace. She looks stunning in a champagne colored gown. Whitney’s second outfit is a hot pink, flowy gown that is short in front and long in the back. It’s kind
boudoir-ish outfit. I half expected her to wearing marabou covered kitten heels. Whitney reveals that her shoes kept getting caught in her dress, but you wouldn’t know it. Anya’s second look is a supertight silver gown that, coupled with uncomfortable shoes, makes it hard for her to even get down the runway. Two passes down the runway is all the girls get and then the show is over. They strike poses side-by-side at the end of the runway and then break out into huge smiles.
Backstage, Tyra congratulates the girls: she loved the ending of the show. Anya and Whitney are elated and say they feel amazing. Tyra and Mr. Jay say both girls worked it.
The Girl Who Becomes America’s Next Top Model
It’s time for the final, and most important, panel of the cycle. Tyra welcomes them and then goes over the prizes for (thank God) the last time. Now it’s time to review their runway performances. Miss J doesn’t think Anya was as strong as she could have been or should have been. He thinks she looked like a wind-up toy. Paulina says that in all fairness, that second dress was very tight and difficult to walk in. Tyra says Anya looked stunning on the runway and adds that the camera and light love her face.
Nigel didn’t care for Whitney’s first outfit, but says her second walk saved her. Tyra says Whitney’s walk took her back to her own walk early in her career and says it’s what put her on the map. Unfortunately, Whitney didn’t pose at the end of the runway to give the photographers a shot.
The judges take a little walk down memory lane, looking back at some of the photos Anya and Whitney have taken. They begin with the homeless shoot. Miss J thought Anya had potential right off the bat. Tyra remarks on how beautiful Whitney looked with dark hair – that shows her versatility. Next, they look at the music genres shoot. Nigel comments about Anya’s difficulty in finding the light. Tyra loves that Whitney used the “ugly pretty face.” Nigel thinks Anya’s Fuerzabruta shot is beautiful, but Miss J says Whitney’s photo looks like a fetus. Nigel says Whitney’s paparazzi photo was beautiful, but she had trouble portraying the spirit of the shoot. Paulina thinks the male model was better in the picture. Nigel thinks Anya’s paparazzi photo is great and likes that she takes risks. Tyra says Anya looks like a mannequin in the photo. This sounds like a compliment. I think.
We’re down to the final deliberation of this cycle! First, the judges discuss the runway show. Miss J thinks Whitney looked amazing and had great energy: she did a damn good job. Tyra agrees, saying Whitney had great presence. Paulina thinks Whitney looked gorgeous, but she saw both a budding high fashion model and a ham. Nigel thought Anya was weak on the runway and Tyra agrees. Anya won the runway teach challenge earlier in the cycle, but here, she just fell apart.
Next, the judges evaluate the girls’ photographs. Nigel praises Whitney’s bone structure. Miss J calls Whitney a beautiful, juicy girl who takes great pictures. Unfortunately, she was stuck on pretty in the paparazzi photo. Paulina thinks Whitney’s personality came through in the music genres shot, but isn’t crazy about the Cover Girl beauty shot. Tyra says the photo is reminiscent of Paulina’s era.
Nigel says Anya looks great in photographs and knows her angles. He calls her an educated model. Miss J agrees that Anya looks great in pictures but says that, sometimes, her nose looks a bit busted. Paulina counters: she thinks Anya’s nose is interesting. Miss J wishes Anya had brought the same energy they’ve seen in photos to the runway show.
These girls represent two very different types of models, says Nigel. They all agree that she takes pretty pictures. Tyra admits that, during casting, she thought Whitney was just pretty girl. She was really surprised by Whitney’s performance in the homeless photo shoot. Tyra thinks Anya is one of the most high fashion girls they’ve ever had on the show. Both finalists represent types of models that they haven’t seen on the show before.
It’s the moment of truth as Anya and Whitney face the panel. Tyra says they walked into casting as sweet young girls, but couldn’t have been more different as models. Still, they’ve been neck-and-neck in the competition. Tyra directs everyone’s attention to the TV monitor for the big reveal. America’s Next Top Model is…..Whitney!
Anya admits she’ll probably go back home and cry, but she’s still proud of herself. She might not be America’s Next Tope Model, but she has her whole career ahead of her. Whitney cries and hugs Tyra, who says the proper term is “full figured” (not plus-sized). Paulina says the proper term should be “beautiful.” Amen. Whitney tells us that, at times, she looked in the mirror and thought she wasn’t good enough. Now she feels good about herself and wants other women to get inspiration from what she’s done and to know that they don’t have to starve themselves or have plastic surgery. Whitney and Miss J stomp out a quick runway walk side-by-side and Whitney really gives Miss J a run for his money. The cycle ends as Whitney and the judges all do a little impromptu modeling for the camera. Catalog, high fashion…Seventeen Magazine cover: they run through all the poses. We’ll be seeing Whitney in that last pose very soon!