America's Next Top Model Final: Part 2 Recap

For The Baltimore Sun
America's Next Top Model finalists: all from rough backgrounds, all deserved to win.

America’s Next Top Model finally comes to an end, and what a ride it’s been. While this season may not have lived up to seasons of Top Model past, it still had its moments. But with the exception of finding out who is the 22nd and final Top Model, the finale was pretty tame.To begin the episode, we get a recap of why the 4 final models — Lacey, Mikey, Mamé, and Nyle — each deserve to win. And at this point, I’ve heard their life stories and seen the same old photos so many times that I feel like I could do their final presentations to Tyra for them. They’ve shown this old photo of Lacey every time that she mentions that she used to be fat, and I still haven’t figured out what’s going on. It looks like Lacey is practicing ballet in a sports bra in her bedroom and someone happened to take a photo of it? I don’t know.In case you still don’t know, Lacey used to be fat, Nyle wants to change the world for deaf people, Mikey used to be poor, and Mamé’s parents shipped her off to America. Rough lives all around.The Final PresentationsBut now we’re back at Walt Disney Concert Hall for the final runway show, and there’s less than an hour before the show begins. But before the models can hit the runway, 2 of the 4 will be eliminated. Tyra reviews the Zappos Couture photos from the last episode, and the models share their true opinions of each other. The girls are up first, and Mamé is convinced that Lacey is too commercial, while Mamé is more versatile. Then when it’s the guys’ turn, Mikey thinks Nyle only has one look — gentlemanly — but Nyle thinks Mikey only has one look, surfer dude.For their presentations to Tyra, the models each talk about what their plan would be after they win Top Model. Lacey wants to stick around LA, be an actor, and start a fitness craze since losing weight changed her life. Mamé is a little more vague, saying she plans on building an international fan base and becoming a business mogul. Nyle wants to take acting classes and launch an app. Mikey wants to go back to Florida so he can “give back to the kids.” Except I think that’s what he said, since he had trouble getting through his presentation without crying. I thought the crying sealed the deal for Mikey, however, Tyra picked Nyle to be the final guy. Must be those eyes. Mikey’s mom takes the news worse than Mikey does.Then Tyra announces that Mamé is the final girl, because duh. When Lacey goes to tell her mom that she lost, she signs “I love you” to Nyle’s mom, which was very sweet but a little confusing.In the downtime before the show, Mamé introduces her mom to Justin, who still seems a little peeved. But since this is the finale, we’re past the drama, so we’re left to assume they live happily ever after together. If you need to know, you can probably find out on Instagram.The Final Runway ShowThe runway show begins, and for some reason, everyone in the audience is wearing white gloves. No explanation.All the models from the season walk out on the runway, pretending to play violins. Devin, per usual, is over the top, prompting Miss J to ask, “What are they serving backstage?”Nyse can’t feel the beat of the music, so his first walk is a little too fast and his turn is a little abrupt. Mamé killed it of course, even doing a pivot turn halfway down the catwalk, and I would argue that she got the best outfits. Courtney is still a disaster on the runway, and walks like a baby deer who’s just been born.The next day, Nyle and Mamé are back at the house, making breakfast for their moms, when the Oppo phone starts ringing. We couldn’t end the season without getting one more Oppo plug in. Mamé and Nyle find out that Oppo is sending them on a trip to Southeast Asia to be brand ambassadors for the phone. I assume this means they have to take a lot of selfies in Asia. The Judges’ PanelMamé and Nyle are back before the judges for one last time. The judges critique not only their runway walks, but also recap every photoshoot throughout the season. Tyra loves that Mamé looked at the judges while she was on the runway, calling it a “Victoria’s Secret 2003 move.” But she just turned her head, so I’m not sure how that’s a “move.”Tyra also loves that Mamé is a genuinely good person who is fierce on the runway, because some models are “bitches backstage and bitches on the runway.” I wish I knew who she was talking about.Nyle, meanwhile, walked a little fast. But Miss J told him to, so he loved the speedy walk. Yu Tsai is also impressed by Nyle’s work ethic, and emphasizes that he has overcome many challenges to get great photos.And in the end, Nyle is named Top Model.While Mamé is crying and pulling off her fake eyelashes backstage, her mom gives her a healthy dose of reality, saying, “It’s not the end of the world.”Thanks for giving us perspective, Mame’s mom.

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