I have to admit, I had to get convinced that America’s Next Top Model was going to be enjoyable television. Although nobody needs to give me an excuse to see a whole lotta Tyra Banks, I kind of brushed aside the show. I sat through a couple of scenes and realized I could do a lot worse than watching a lot of hot women do their thing. We started with fourteen then eliminated our way down to three just ladies left in the final episode. Amanda has gorgeous eyes, which are ironically failing her, and a great camera presence, but doesn’t necessarily wow you in person. Eva is the girl with the attitude, a little short, a whole lot of spunk, but sometimes “doesn’t deliver the big performance”. Yaya is the afro-centric Ivy Leaguer, and perhaps best looking of the final three, but often makes us want to slap some humility upside her head. My only complaint is that we only had sixty minutes worth of finale to crown this year’s winner.I know that people are going to be missing B-side’s usually outstanding recap of this show, but he is saving his energy for what is sure to be an amazing finally of The Apprentice. I told him snorting a little coke or some ritalin would get him through this tough time, but not being an aspiring agent, he likes to keep himself drug-free.
Last week, Anne was eliminated, and there was really no controversy about it. She has taken some of the worst pictures, and although she was tall and beautiful (Can you believe she made it farther than Norelle?), she just didn’t seem like a good fit to be among the winners. There was a bit of controversy when she completely ignored her seemingly best friend Eva after her eviction. The strain in their relationship has been tough on our little diva, and you could tell she was really upset with what happened.
Not to worry though, because with people like Yaya and Amanda around, you know that they will do anything in their power to make her feel more comfortable and part of the group. She’s vulnerable and just needs a friend. Uhhh, no. I think Yaya secretly enjoyed seeing Eva so shaken up, and my suspicions were confirmed when Yaya said “If there was anything Amanda or I could do to make Eva feel more included or comfortable, I don’t think that we would”. Yaya so smart and yet so compassionate. I guess when she was lecturing other people about “respeito” (respect) and wearing it on her T-shirt, it was kind of a suggestion and not a hard and fast rule. OK Yaya, you are smart, black, and beautiful do you have to stick the dagger in and twist it too?
A big deal was made about the last panel, because the judges said that they didn’t see anybody who had what it takes to win. I think Nolé was just a little crabby because his dog got shipped to Korea instead of Japan, which means it is likely in somebody’s galbee right as we speak. Hey, I don’t care what they put in the Korean barbecue, I still eat it. The photo shoot before the first elimination of the night was going to be a Cover Girl spread, and the photos taken for that shoot would be used as part of the $100,000 contract that the winner received at the end of the competition.
Amanda went first, and she has been trying to let her personality go. Frankly, I don’t really see what the problem is, she’s always smiling and funny in her interviews, she just sort of tanks out in front of the judges. I blame her lack of personality on hanging around with Yaya too much. She’s the type of girl that decides to throw a party, but instead of enjoying watching people get drunk, she invites them to carve pumpkins or sing carols or go ice skating. But more importantly than that, she tries to make everybody around her feel stupid, so that tends to clam people up around her that may feel intimidated. To get some of her life back, Amanda utilized her inner joy, which somehow translated into thinking of rabbits in France. Hey, you gotta do what comes naturally.
Eva came next, and she has picked up a little bit of her attitude that had kind of waned since Anne had been so pissy about their competition. She wanted to be fierce, but Amanda watched and commented that she just didn’t see any energy. Energy is never a problem with Yaya. Yaya does so well because she can always find a mental thing to connect with. We are once again reminded that Yaya recites poetry and has a great education. SHUT UP ALREADY. Where does she live that anybody can stand to hear her talk about the ivy league all of the time? Did you ever notice that the people who like to tell everybody how smart they are really kind of suck and sound stupid because they have nothing to talk about except themselves?
Jay was quite impressed with everybody that day, but even I could tell that these three wouldn’t have a very hard time. It was all a glamour shoot. The remaining girls are all beautiful and all know what to do for the camera in that kind of pose. The other activity was a go-see with Noriko Fukushima, a ready-to-wear designer very popular in Japan. They kind of rushed through this segment because they had two eliminations, and we only got to see each model in one outfit, but Yaya stole the show with a dress that gave sort of a peek-a-boo look at her ass. I was surprised Yaya even put it on, because she said that it would have looked kind of hoochie back home. That’s what we like, the approachable Yaya. You’ve come a long way baby.
When it came time for the first panel, it was a very difficult choice. Honestly, all of the girls looked gorgeous in their pictures. The designer Noriko said that Amanda’s skin, eyes, and hair are all something that people would admire in Japan. Just a few week’s ago, Nigel used that comment as a negative against Norelle, but didn’t really say much about it this time. They praised Yaya because she didn’t even need a retouch to make her skin look great. Hey, it’s a start. For Eva, they noted that her skin looked like honey, and that her smile came from within, which is much better than Janice can do, since her smile comes from a face lift and botox.
For the first elimination, I was sure of two things. 1) Amanda would go on to the next round and 2) Janice would pop a boob. Seriously, can’t they find a better washed-up supermodel to do this kind of thing? I heard Carol Alt and Cheryl Tiegs are looking for work. Number two may still come to pass, but number one definitely did not happen. Although Yaya has done so well, I honestly thought she had the least impressive of the Cover Girl spreads(more of a case of Amanda’s and Eva’s blowing me away actually), and yet her name was called first. Tyra said between Eva and Amanda, we have two incomplete packages, and each has what the other needs. Hmm, Amanda wants eyesight and Eva wants a baby? No. Let me see, Amanda wants to be able to tan, and Eva wants to be older. No. Oh that’s right, Amanda has high fashion, but Eva has the presence right in front of you. Of the two, the judges chose Eva, and Amanda was gone. It was sad to see Amanda go, because I thought she was the favorite coming in, and I hope she can find a contract before she can’t see anymore.
Amanda’s departure made things fairly awkward at the model dojo, since only Eva and Yaya were left. They are on such completely opposite ends of the personality spectrum, but they decided that they could deal with each other for at least another couple of days. I found it funny to hear Eva talk about the sweet person that Yaya had underneath. I guess sweet and arrogant bitch are synonyms in the Eva Diva Abridged Dictionary. Yaya also saw something that she never saw in Eva before, and wondered why it took them so long to build a relationship. Well, it could be that you didn’t have an open mind about her in the first place Yaya. It wasn’t long since she said that she didn’t care if Eva felt alone. Sometimes when you are friendly you can, you know, make friends.
With only Yaya and Eva left, we are assured of seeing our very first non-white America’s Next Top Model, although I do disagree with some people who think it was some sort of conspiracy to have this sort of outcome. The only way a fix would have been on would have been if Kristi had made it any farther than she had did. In their final one on one talk with Tyra, both started to get a little bit teary eyed about the subject. Tyra told Eva it wasn’t about race, but that she did see a “very troubled girl, not perfection, but proving herself”. After Tyra’s words of wisdom, that’s usually the end of things, but Eva went on about wanting a place to sleep, somebody to love, and somebody to hold(if she wants to shack up in West Hollywood, I know a good place). It was very poignant, but became a little less so as Tyra started to nod off a little bit at the end. I guess the producers forgot the cue card that said “STAY AWAKE!”.
The final competition was going to be a runway show for Noriko Fukushima. This was a big deal because the show wasn’t set up for them, meaning there would be a ton of pressure, and everybody was sure to have butterflies. I wondered if the judges knew about the runway show and voted Amanda out knowing that it could have been a big problem for her. Yaya has no problem with butterflies because she always has something mental to connect with. She connects walking down the runway with (SURPRISE!) walking across the stage to pick up her diploma. Shit Yaya, please find something else to talk about. I am sure you can get people to stare at your boobs and be silent for a little while, but soon all the talk about your education gets a little bit old. Refocus, re-center, recite poetry. FINE.
Our Diva Eva has always loved the runway, because she can work it, HARD CORE. Except this was to be a traditional Japanese style show, which meant the motions were very relaxed, and instead of walking back and forth along a straight runway, they would have to walk around a runway shaped like a box. It would require four, count them FOUR, left handed turns. The pressure was really on, even Tyra felt nervous. The judges sat in the front row by the runway, which was tough enough, but Janice decided that she had to shout things whenever either of the girls walked by, like “Nice ass!” Janice is annoying, but I am sure that if I was to go to any party with an open bar, she would be the most entertaining to talk to, mainly because I am sure that she would show me her boobs for an olive from my martini. Although maybe the combination of alcohol and Janice’s boobs could make me sick.
Both of our fine young women did well on the runway, and were even able to to avert a near disaster, ie collision, as Yaya was finishing her last run, and Eva was just about to start hers. Luckily, Yaya remembered that the person entering the runway has precedence, so she did an amazing thing to prevent any problems. She slowed down her walk. Phew! That took some real thinking on the fly, thank god that English degree from Brown is being put to good use! After mastering the very difficult “Yield” section of modeling 101, she can surely move on to upper level courses like “Complete stop” and “U-turn”.
Once again, the competition was very close. The main critique of Yaya was that she was a little too much heel-toe, which I guess is not good for the runway. For Eva, they noticed that she sort of did a neck bobbing gesture when she walked sometimes. Janice said she looked like an egret, which was a surprisingly accurate, fair, and non-intoxicated observation on her part. I think it was Janice’s new Elvira look that put her into such a state.
During the final elimination, we got to see a selection from some of the previous photos from each girl. Yaya has progressed from a “zombie look” to that of a true model, and Eva has gone from doing the Paris Hilton patented hand-on-hip-ass-out pose to ones that were much more natural. They also mentioned that Yaya had finally knocked that chip off of her shoulder. Well, I guess if they say so, but I haven’t seen it yet. It was a very difficult deliberation. Nolé (who will be played by Luiz Guzman if there is ever a movie adaptation of ANTM), Nigel and Janice each had good and bad to say about both Eva and Yaya.
I truly had no clue what was going to happen, but I believed that Yaya was too polished not to win. I was shocked, shocked I say (and relieved) when they announced Eva was the winner. She immediately did her best Halle Berry winning the Oscar impersonation with the crying and the clutching and then more crying. Yaya was her charming self in defeat. I was expecting her to say something like “My non-skill really enabled another person to win, and I am fine with that” but instead she chopped in with “they wanted somebody bubble, and they found it”. It’s so hard to be smart, educated, and black, it’s a good thing we don’t ask Yaya to try and pretend she is fun to be around.
I have to hand it to America’s Next Top Model, they picked a girl who was black, the shortest of all the contestants, and has the smallest boobs. (One out of three is fine for me!) We look forward to seeing Eva in her new Cover Girl ads and/or commercials and whatever her Ford Models contract leaves her. From buck-toothed and pudgy, you have become fit and fabulous. We salute you.
America’s Next Top Model