Lackluster finale for pint-sized 'America's Next Top Model'

John-John is back with a look at the ANTM finale ...

It's hard to believe that we've made it through an entire pint-sized season of America's Next Top Model. I mention the size factor because it has been shoved down our throats the entire season. This year – as you remember – has featured models that are 5'7" and shorter. Tyra Banks and company used every free moment they could to remind us of this. I don't even remember this much repetition for anti-drug campaigns growing up. Anywho, the models were shorter than usual this season.


Finalists Nicole and Laura started the season finale chatting about their beginnings. Nicole was talking about her awkward shyness. Laura spoke of her humble origins. She also dropped in a line about her being dyslexic, which was not really an issue the entire season. But the magic of editing suddenly turned Laura's learning disability into a major plot point. (My guess is that a lack of overall conflict between both girls had the producers scrambling for some roadblock to make the finale more compelling.)

The dyslexia immediately became an issue when the girls learned that they had to shoot a commercial for Covergirl. Uh oh. Dyslexia + a script + nervousness= potential disaster.


The rest of the episode really seemed to flash by in a blur. Mr. Jay Manuel introduced last year's winner Teyona, who noticeably stumbled over her own Covergirl spiel this episode. Nigel Barker joined the two finalists for a beauty shot. Nicole did a fantastic job posing with Nigel. Meanwhile, Laura was struggling with her commercial. She commented in a confessional that being nervous made her dyslexia worse. (Not a good thing at all.) Nicole also struggled with her own nerves during her commercial. Then Nicole started sounding snobby during her commercial takes, according to Mr. Jay. You could begin to see some daylight for Laura.

The two girls then shot their potential Seventeen Magazine spread. Both girls looked really good.

Going into the fashion show, both said they were confident about their chances.

The girls got to have some one-on-one time with Tyra. Nicole shared that she led a very sheltered life and was awkward growing up. Laura also shared her humble Kentucky beginnings. She started to cry when she talked about her family, and how she was called stupid by her teachers growing up. (Insert Tyra giving her Oprah-inspired wisdom. Blahahahahahaha)

Booted contestants Erin, Brittany, Sundai, and Jennifer were brought back to participate in the Julia Clancey fashion show. It was the first time that eliminated models were brought back to participate in the finale fashion show. (I guess Tyra wanted to give the "petite" models as much exposure as possible since it is so hard out there for shorter beautiful people. (Insert sarcasm here.)

Erin, Sundai, and Jennifer said they wanted Laura to win. Brittany said that either girl had a chance. (No duh, Brittany.)

This was probably one of the most lackluster finales ever.

Nicole had a horrible walk. She was anything but graceful. She stomped down the runway like Frankenstein or someone with inner ear problems. Laura looked like a seasoned pro. All those years of her walking down the aisles of Walmart paid off. She looked very comfortable.

The fashion show had an elements theme. The first runway walk was fire.  Wind, and water followed. Other than Nicole's hunchback impersonation, the show went off without a hitch.

Afterwards, Tyra greeted them with words of encouragement. (Yawn.)

Later that night, Tyra reminded the hopefuls of the spoils: a contract with Wilhelmina models; a cover of Seventeen Magazine; and a $100,000 contract with Covergirl.

The three main judges proceeded to critique the entire body of work of each model this season.


Miss Jay Alexander-- who was so distracting with those redonkulously huge shoulder pads-- said Laura did "pretty damn well." Tyra actually defended Nicole's walk saying that it was a "signature walk." Nigel said her walk insured that Nicole wouldn't be ignored.

Then the judges combed through the entire season of photos. Both finalists got their share of positive feedback. Nicole's Las Vegas photo was critiqued while Laura was praised.

Then it was time to watch the Covergirl commercial. Laura's individual take was very good. Tyra remarked that she couldn't notice the dyslexia. Nigel said some of Laura's words were muffled.

Nicole was very likable, according to Tyra. Unfortunately, Nicole forgot to model, Tyra remarked. (Ouch.)

Both models received praise for their beauty shots photographed by Nigel Barker.

I had no idea who was going to win as the last commercial break came on.

After the judges did a little more pondering where they agreed that: America would love Laura; and Milan would love Nicole, they were ready to crown a winner. It was Nicole.

Laura wept. Tyra comforted her and remarked that she's now a model. (Thanks for the affirmation, Tyra.)

After drop kicking Laura off the stage, Tyra turned her attention to Nicole.

"You are a star," Tyra gushed. "You have it!"

Tyra and Nicole immediately went to do a photo shoot with Nigel.

This is the point where the dramatic voiceover was inserted of Nicole saying she had to embarrass herself to compete this season. She also said she's a dork and America's Next Top Model. Aw, there's hope for everyone now. (Insert vomit.)

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