02/09 Finale Recap: Million Dollar Diva
Donít be scared, my friends. Itís the finale of the six-week SI swimsuit model search and youíll all finally be able to sleep without any worries. Once the lucky ladyís name is revealed, you all can go back to your regular day job without having to worry about Shannonís inability to relax or Aliciaís diva attitude. Controversy is almost a sure thing since the producers let America vote for the winner by Internet or Text Messaging. Letís embark on the supermodel train of lurve one last time, shall we?
The Making Of A Classic
The show starts with a recap of the five previous episodes. The highs and the lows of each model are showcased. After that memorable moment of television, it seems we are still in Bora Bora as we hear Joel repeat to Stacy that they are sending her home. Instantly, Alicia jumps in her arms and hugs her. Shannon does the same and in a matter of seconds, hugs are a plenty as even the judges (yes, that includes Joel) receive and give cuddly accolades.
Weíre transported to New York City, where thereís a special SI meeting. Diane Smith is there along with Terry McDonell and Roy S. Johnson, respectively managing and assistant managing editors of Sports Illustrated. They are viewing the Bora Bora pictures and discuss. Roy presents Shannon as a virgin engaged to a doctor. What does that look like on a rťsumť? They also compare her to Lauren Hutton with the gap in her teeth. Alicia is a Las Vegas street kid and they say she definitely could be on the cover. While Shannon has a fresh style to her and his rather voluptuous, they find Alicia is more of a classic beauty.
The girls have time to go back to their hometowns to relax before the exciting finale. Viva Las Vegas with Alicia. We see her walking around in her old neighbourhood with her half-sister Jamie. Just in case you are new to this show, Alicia has repeatedly stated that she had a tough childhood. We all believe her, Iím sure, but this has been overplayed. Let the girl win with her great looks and modeling abilities, not with her past and struggles. I think the battle is already lost since this is a TV show and we need this kind of footage. Alicia also visits her step-dad Chris & sister Natalie; she has the pleasure to tell them that sheís flying to the city of angels for the finale! She was very emotional during her visit but itís definitely understandable.
When we join Shannon is the Dallas area, sheís busy working out; 6 times a week is her usual routine. She also does 600 sit-ups! We finally meet Kyle the future doctor/husband and we learn that they are getting married on June 11th, 2005. All of your invitations are in the mail. Betti already refused to attend due to the lack of bridesmaidsí throughout the years sporting an afro. Iím also thinking of attending but I must find a date. Foreshadowing is going with Alicia, lucky her. Moving on, Shannon announces to her family that sheís in the final two and must go to Los Angeles. Her mom Barbie (Iím not making this up) and dad John are happy for their daughter. Shannon thinks she can be a role model for both abstinence and confidence.
What Rhymes With Lycra?
Welcome to L.A., ladies and gents. The girls have a photo shoot with the famous Lycra brand. The woman responsible for this shoot is Linda Kearns. Right off the bat, she says out loud that the girls are thinner than she thought. I bet you 10 virtual bucks that sheís been hanging out with Joel too much. According to her, Lycra is all about being sexy and stylish; she thinks Shannon is definitely what they are looking for. Brian Lovely is the photographer and he warns Alicia that he doesnít want any diva behaviour. If I do say so myself, he almost looks scared of her. No male models are to be found so Iím sure everything will go smoothly. Shannonís shoot is up first and the Lycra representative is pleased with her work. The editors then include a confessional from Shannon saying that she is 100% sure the client liked what she did. Confidence: the attitude of doom in this show. Beware!
Alicia has problems with the sunlight in her pictures and Linda interrupts the photo shoot, saying that itís not what they want. Seconds later, they get back to it and everyone is happy and impressed. Alicia can do no wrong yet again.
When The Going Gets Tough, Blame The Editing.
Itís now time for the reunion part of the show. I donít know why, but this looks very cheap; the stage is small and everyone is squeezed in together. Roshumba serves as the host tonight and the eliminated ladies are all present. Shannon has brought about 30 members of her family and good friends. One of them has a sign saying: S.I.zzling Shannon. Some people are too clever for their own good. Alicia also invited her family and her real mom and dad are there. We can definitely see where Ali got her beautiful hair from, as her mom is sporting the same great locks.
We finally get to hear from the dropped princesses. When Sabrina is asked if she regrets the way she handled her Supermodel Pass, she simply answers that it all played out the way it should and at least she got a diamond necklace out of it. You go, girl! We then are reunited with Krisi. Roshumba asks her jokingly about her tushy implants; Iím quite surprised when she states that she did not say that. Without a second to spare, they play the clip from the first episode when Krisi said that she would like some butt implants. Busted! Roshumba has a bone to pick with Betti on what other topic that her hair. She says that Betti was wrong when she stated there were no women with an afro in SI. Roshumba says that she was featured 5 years in the magazine with her afro. Without even learning from Krisiís previous experience, she states that she was misinterpreted. Whatís going on here? I canít wait for someone to blame the editing. They finally ask Stacy if she had any regret about the shoot in Bora Bora and she just says that she was very nervous about going topless and her plan of going last backfired.
They each get a final talk with the judges. They tell Shannon that she finally learned to relax in Bora Bora and they are proud of her. Joel says that she was sensational even if they were hard on her a lot of the time. We even learn that the mystery vote last episode came from Jule who decided to choose Shannon over Stacy! As for Alicia, she took fantastic pictures in the last shoot and they are glad that she did not have her diva attitude.
The Models Speak Nothing But The Truth!
Roshumba asks each of the eliminated girls who should win the competition. It looked a little something like this:
Foreshadowing: Not Shannon
Well, this is it! The moment youíve all been waiting for. Joel has the honour to reveal the winner. He walks up very closely to them and we are all waiting for the answer. After the undisclosed number of votes all across America, a picture appears on the television screen and the winner of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search is Alicia Hall!
She immediately starts crying and literally looks like sheís going to pass out. Joel asks for a bottle of water because sheís really not faking her state of shock. The last five minutes of the show were excellent television! Why couldnít they have done that for the entire seriesí length? I think Alicia will do great in her modeling career but I disliked the way they portrayed her as a diva in more than half the show and suddenly used the pity editing right before voting started. Congrats to both of the finalists and good luck working with Joel Wilkenfeld in your future.
If I Was A Rich Girl
Thank you all for reading this recap. Covering this show was my first experience as a wannabe writer and I enjoyed it a lot.
The SI Swimsuit Issue is out in stores on February 15th.
Silverstar, out! Josh the bartender, wherever you are, call me!
All comments are welcomed. Foreshadowing will take a well-deserved vacation. firstname.lastname@example.org