America's Next Top Model Review: Stumbling To The Finish Line
Possibly the most exciting episode of the season finally came, the ANTM finale, and with that, a new girl has been officially accepted into the Top Model family. The title of being the next top model didn’t come without its tumbles, tears and tribulations right down to the end, of course. The Top Model finalists were two very deserving models, Brittani, a bubbly personality who emerged from the trailer parks of Pennsylvania, and Molly, a high-fashion shoe-in who tried to look beyond her own personal label as an adopted child.
The girls each had a brief meeting with Ivan Bart of IMG Models to discuss their portfolios, which was probably a little more for himself than them since he’d be signing the winner of the competition to a contract with his company. Bart is a little like the Simon Cowell of the show, meaning whoever the winner is becomes his responsibility to market and keep afloat. That’s not always an easy job and simply signing the winner of a reality television show is a huge gamble. Luckily, Team Tyra believes both girls are qualified enough to make it this far so no matter who wins, it’s a safe bet they’ll be doing big things.
The Covergirl commercial and photo shoot was next. The commercial aspect of it always makes me cringe a little. Ninety percent of the models competing on ANTM are pursuing their dreams of sauntering down runways in big international cities and sadly don’t consider that they actually may have to speak from time to time. While Molly tried to be as natural as she could, and was the only one to recite the entire script from memory, Tyra still named her “the mean girl” based on her not-so-natural-after-all scowling appearance during the commercial. Brittani was Molly’s polar opposite, rattling off her lines in her typical effervescent fashion, but still seemed slightly jittery.
When the girls arrived back at their Moroccan abode that night, they were greeted with the pleasant surprise of Molly’s parents waiting for them. Just because it’s the last episode of Top Model doesn’t mean we’re going to get away without any teary-eyed moments. Molly visibly let her walls down at the sight of her parents which showed that there is a softer side to her coarser exterior. I did feel sad for Brittani though when her mother couldn’t make it due to issues of anxiety and a more recent back surgery. Luckily, a video chat with her mom via the internet didn’t leave Brittani feeling too left out.
The models were promised in last week’s episode that the final two would get to show off their ultimate fierceness in a Vivienne Westwood fashion show. The show was basically the girls’ final challenge of the competition and to support them on the runway they were joined by previous knocked out models Kasia, Alexandria, Hannah and the cycle fifteen winner, Ann. Even though Brittani has a much stronger runway walk, both her and Molly’s presences told a tale that said they could have been doing runway shows their entire lives and, if you hadn’t know any better, you’d easily buy that story. Everything ran smoothly until the final lap when Brittani and Molly had to walk together. They made it out, around past Tyra and her table and back but, just as they were about to make their exit, Brittani lost her footing and came down like a ton of bricks. Playing the scene back in my head feels even more painful than the agony I’m sure she felt physically and emotionally at that moment. Blame it on the rose petals strewn across the runway for the mishap, but it was like everything that was graceful about Brittani went out the window. With a now swollen ankle, it wasn’t looking good for Brittani’s modeling future.
I knew deciding the winner of this competition would be a tough one. From the start, both of these girls stood in the forefront of my mind and here they are ready to strut across the Top Model finish line. For their final appearance in front of the panel, the girls got one last mini-makeover by having their hair cut into super short and ultra-chic styles, hand-picked by Tyra. Both girls looked stunning with their new cuts, making the final decision that much harder. After the judges reviewed each girl’s entire ANTM portfolios, a decision was reached. Molly and Brittani came before the judges for the final time, tears of anticipation streaming from their faces. Brittani was ultimately crowned the new America’s Next Top Model royalty. Although I was so disappointed that my pick of the season, Molly, didn’t win, they both accomplished so much and I truly wish Brittani the best. Both of these girls are going places and I expect to see both of them grace the pages of various high-couture magazines in the very near future.
For more on this episode, check out There Could Only Be One by Savannah DuBois.
Season 16, Episode 13: Vivienne Westwood (originally aired May 18, 2011)
Images courtesy of Walter Sassard/The CW.