It’s here!! The SGTL finale and, Holy Crap Batman, am I beside myself!!! This has got to be the cheapest finale in the history of Reality TV. Seriously, did somebody abscond with the funds? Even Viva Hollywood, the bargain basement of Reality TV, had disco ball…
We just get to watch the Kimsicle melt into a cryogenic coma. It’s not the same…
In order of my personal fave’s, our remaining finalists:
Morning in the Loft
This is it, our last morning to watch our ladies as they grope their way through breakfast. The editors use the time to give us a montage of each lady’s journey through the past episodes combined with a short interview. I really like seeing the women when they’re hanging out in the loft, sans makeup and hair. So, for the finale, I decided a morning photo gallery was in order:
“Before, when I took the time to look in the mirror, I didn’t really look in the mirror. Now, I actually take the time to look and suddenly, I’m discovering what I look like and it’s an interesting exploration.”
“This is the first time I decide to realize a dream to the end without running away…Some people are afraid of failure, I was more afraid of success…When you know your beauty inside, you don’t need validation.”
“It’s taken me 45 years to develop into a woman that I really admire and respect and for the first time in a lifetime, I can honestly say at the end of the day when I walk out of room as long as I remain true to self, I’m okay with the verdict.”
“Today, I’m expecting something new and exciting; thats what’s been really challenging, but fun, about this whole adventure and it has been an adventure.”
…as we know, Celeste isn’t a big fan of introspection…
The Ultimate Shaft
For the final episode, the Kimsicle decides not to phone in the morning call. Instead, she actually arrives at the women’s loft with a cheery “Good morning, Ladies” as she congratulates the finalists and welcomes them to their final challenge.
You are so f*cked.
With an evil smile, she goes on to explain that today the women are going to have the opportunity to use everything they’ve learned up to now. So, lets see, they’re going to do a runway show in burlap bags that involves poisoning themselves and swinging from a trapeze. Yay!!! Nope, I’m wrong. Apparently, what the women have learned during the previous episodes includes a completely different set of skills. Too bad that footage never made it to air. Instead, our ladies are going to design a cover for Self Magazine that stars them with the theme of “you at your best”. They will then pitch this idea to the editorial board of the magazine. To accomplish this the women will have a total of three hours to put this idea together, a digital camera, a bag of craft supplies, and unlimited poster board. Yippee!!! And, BTW, I’m not joking. This really is the challenge. Finally, the pitch must include a self-portrait, a tagline, and the cover photo concept.
Enron stake holders had similar expressions.
And there’s more!!! Without the slightest hint that anything is amiss with this challenge, the Kimsicle continues with, “Here’s the catch.” Because, hey, the challenge has been so reasonable up to now. But, no matter, the catch is that one of the women will be eliminated based on their pictures. You know, the pictures that they are going to take themselves with the handy dandy digital cameras.
The Kimsicle leaves and the ladies dump out their supply bags.
Tyra’s got to be laughing her ass off.
I’m not only feeling bad for these women, I’m feeling bad for me. I wanted to see glamor, designer clothes, and high fashion; not edible glue, construction paper and glitter. However, the women jump in to the project and do a really nice job of helping each other. Celeste tells us that this project is especially hard for her since she’s not given to introspection.
Because, according to the Kimsicle, this challenge will be judged on the picture of their self-portrait, the production team had meant to go all out and get our women the best photographers to work with. Sadly, all of the photogs in Manhattan and the surrounding burroughs were booked that day.
So, I push this button on the top?
At the end of the three hours, our heroines gather up their poster boards and descend to the streets of Manhattan in search of the Self Magazine offices. At this point, I’ve passed from a state of horror to a glassy eyed state of bemusement. Seriously, in this day and age who the hell would go to pitch a concept with cutouts glued onto posterboard and WTF does this have to do with modeling?
At least give them some friggin portfolios to carry their work in…
The Witches Coven
Our ladies arrive at the Self Magazine headquarters in varying degrees of apprehension. Karin is in fact sure that she’s going to spew chunks at the editor-in-chief, while Bahia is simply in a state of disbelief that she’s going to pitch herself to Self Magazine. I’m with you Bahia, I too am in a state of disbelief.
The Kimsicle deigns to join the ladies in the waiting room, wearing the ugliest dress I’ve yet had the pleasure of seeing on any modeling show. I don’t know what the inspiration was behind the pattern…
but I’m guessing tire tracks in a manure field?!
Kim explains that the women will be pitching their cover concepts to three of Self Magazine’s top editors including their editor-in-chief. The Kimsicle herself will be in the room with the editors to help decide who should stay and who should go. Okay, this is a MODELING competition and the Kimsicle did state that the women would be judged on their picture, so, the pitch itself doesn’t effect the outcome, right? Wrong…
Tanya is up first and trustingly enters the witches coven, where the three sisters from Macbeth have retired to.
You might remember them like this
However, today they are alive and well and, sadly, working at SELF magazine:
Witch number one
Witch number two
Witch number three
Basically, this challenge gives Self Magazine a chance to cut any of the women finalists that they don’t think will fit in with the Self Magazine look and feel. Remember, beside the Wilhelmina modeling contract, what the winner of this fiasco will receive is a photo spread in Self Magazine. Of course, the winner won’t be paid for it because it’s a prize, but Self Magazine can look forward to a jump in sales that month. And, of course, if by any chance hell freezes over, pigs fly, and the winner receives any subsequent modeling jobs, then Wilhelmina will get its cut as well.
Tanya’s theme/tagline is, ‘Phenomenal beauty; it’s a journey not a destination.’
She explains that with all of the demands placed on women today there are times when the women ask, “what about me and how can I be better?” The Kimsicle immediately focuses in on the most important piece of the presentation asking, “What’s that brown thing?”
Why does this remind me of Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo’s bathtub?
Tanya explains that the brown thing is her bathtub and the Kimsicle laughs because she thought it was a pot of chili. Oh, Kim, you really are a little dense. Evil witch number two asks why Tanya chose to display a bathtub. But, Tanya’s all over that question. She’s a mental person; she thinks all the time; and her self-portrait visually shows where she’s at with her mental attitude:
Tanya is dismissed from the witches presence and she tells the camera that she just doesn’t think that 10 minutes is enough time to tell them who she is or why she should win. But, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. I doubt that the editors care too much who she really is. I’m guessing that they’re more interested in whether they can spin her look and interests in a way that will resonate with the SELF reader demographic.
Evil witch number three loves that Tanya was so happy when she came into the room.
I’m telling you, humans like to be happy.
Evil witch number two thought Tanya made some good points about striving to become more of who we are but she can’t quite wrap her teeny tiny head around how Tanya’s idea of a journey could end up in a stationary bathtub. In her mind a journey signifies movement. Sadly, it seems that the concept of an internal journey is one that has eluded this editor.
Maybe she should have a suitcase.
Bahia is up next and she’s uber-nervous about having to pitch herself when she’s never pitched anything in her life. But, surely, that’s selling short all of the wonderful learning and experience provided on this show. Bahia’s theme is simply that she’s enough without makeup or accessories. And, I have to say that not only does this theme seem to encapsulate what Self Magazine is supposed to be about, but I personally also really like it.
Evil witch number three likes the concept, but she’s all over the fact that Bahia’s sexy clothes seem to contradict her theme by drawing attention to herself. Jealous much? Okay, so maybe a suit that shows her belly isn’t the best choice for a business meeting, but it’s not like the SGTL production team was supplying clothes for the ladies to choose from. You know, like on other modeling competitions. My guess is that her suit was her best choice out of the clothes she brought with her. Beside, according to the Kimsicle, the women are being judged on their pictures. Or, OMG, did our frozen spokesmodel misspeak? Did she mean to say that the ladies were being judged on the pitches? Lucky, lucky, ladies. Being judged on their pitches is so much more appropriate for a modeling competition.
Your beautiful. I don’t like you.
Before Bahia can muster a reply, evil witch number one chimes in saying that it’s almost like Bahia is trying to convince herself that she’s enough.
I don’t know why people think I’m a judgmental person.
Bahia ends by saying that with all due respect she’s not here to change Self magazine, but if a woman feels sexy she doesn’t think that there’s an age for that. Having been dismissed, she tells the camera that only a women would tell another woman that she’s too sexy and it makes her angry and nervous. It makes me angry too.
Evil witch number three found Bahia to be very powerful and very sure of herself. However, Evil witch number one is all about condescension. She understands that Bahia’s had an awakening that she’s enough, but she thinks that Bahia’s still pretty fragile on the inside.
Celeste comes in radiating confidence and I’m praying that something goes terribly wrong and she punches out a few of these ladies. Celeste’s tagline is, ‘Ageless and reaching for new heights.’
The first thing Celeste points out is that she uses the term ageless because she’s 51 years old…pause, smile…wait for applause. On one hand, it’s a damn good thing that somebody congratulated her or she might still be waiting. On the other hand, somebody congratulated her which gave her the encouragement she needed to repeat her age again and again. Predictably, Celeste is a bit over the top. She tells the execs that the Self woman of today is intelligent, intuitive, informative, curious and strong. Wow, that was long. Celeste feels that she represents a much younger 51 years old. She’s 50, oops, 51 and loving it. And, then, it gets weird. After proclaiming that “We have bodies too!”, Celeste proceeds to strip off her blazer and blouse revealing a small tank top. Not something you see everyday in a board room.
Now, who’s the birthday girl?
After parading back and forth for the panel while pointing out her physical attractions, Celeste tells them that she represents Self magazine. The Kimsicle asks Celeste about her self-portrait and Celeste delivers a monologue describing herself going up the stairs surrounded by yoga, natural foods, exercise equipment and her artwork. Mercifully, before she can think to add anything else about herself, Kim calls time.
The evil witch number three doesn’t like that Celeste repeated her age seven times. However, evil witch number one thinks that Celeste had a really nice way of saying what she’d learned from Self and that she was really absorbing what she learned. Are there two shows taking place here and I’m only seeing one of them? What the f*ck is she talking about?
Karin is our last lady to present her pitch and her tagline is, ‘The birth of beauty’.
Karin goes on to explain that she came to the competition thinking that she could not be beautiful and her at her best is right here, right now. Okay, so Karin is my favorite out of the finalists, but I’ve got to wonder what she was thinking when she entered a modeling competition if she really had such low self-esteem. I mean, she must have had a little suspicion that she was at least pretty.
Karin’s presentation is the only one that’s three dimensional, which is kind of cool. She explains that it represents a window to the world with soft curtains that she could emerge from. I’m a little relieved. For a little while, I was worried that she was trying to show a model of herself emerging from a uterus and, you know, that would completely miss the mark for a Self magazine cover, or any other cover. Kim asks to see her self-portrait and Karin pulls it out from behind the curtains and hands it over apologizing that it looks a little sad. Evil witch number one wants to know why it is sad looking and without missing a beat Karin answers, “that’s the way it turned out.” LMAO. Evil witch number two wants to know about the fashion that Karin chose to wear. Karin explains that she chose her outfit because she didn’t want to dress up too much, as it is a week day afternoon.
The witches confer and number two says she thinks that Karin is really sincere and she likes how she’s given herself permission to be beautiful. And now we have the part where I truly decided that these women are plain evil. Evil witch number one says that the only thing that bothered her was that Karin looked a little too thin. Lady are you kidding me. Have you looked at your magazine covers? You are all about promoting thinness so don’t hold it against someone who comes by it naturally.
God forbid anybody gets the idea that their magazine is contributing to eating disorders.
Our ladies are called in as a group to see who has passed the Self magazine review. They start with Karin and tell her that they love her concept and felt she was really sincere, however, she needs to watch out because the younger girls are all really, really thin and it’s something she doesn’t want to accentuate. Whatever. Moving on, the panel feels that Celeste’s energy was a little flustered and there was too much repetition. She needed to formulate her idea, present it, and pause. The thing that really sucks about this is that Celeste works in marketing. Ouch. Furthermore, while Celeste is a beautiful woman, she didn’t put enough thought into what she was going to wear to show her best self. Again, it’s not like these ladies were given a wardrobe to choose from. The panel loves Tanya and loves her message, but number two is still stuck on the bathtub. Bahia’s tagline is also a hit, but they doubt that she really believes it. Again, we’re back to the clothes and Bahia’s suit being inappropriate for a business meeting. And, worse, the suit is not representative of what a Self woman would wear, because when they named the show She’s Got the Look what they really meant was she’s got the look for Self magazine. Without further ado, the Kimsicle tells Celeste that she’s not on the board. While Celeste is not and has not been a personal fave of mine, I’ve got to say that I’m pretty horrified that this was the challenge that decided her fate. Kudos to Celeste for being really gracious at the elimination and I wish her the best.
So, now we’re down to three women and the Kimsicle informs them that for their final challenge they will have to realize their concept and bring their ultimate cover shoot to life. But don’t worry, this time they’ll have help. The Kimsicle promises a team of professionals to help them, but they have to decide everything on their own. Hopefully, this means that they won’t be reduced to taking each other pictures and doing their own hair and makeup. Tanya tells us that her head is spinning because for the first time they will be making all of their own decisions. Better get used to it. Models always direct their own cover shoots.
The Final Elimination Challenge
The women are brought over to Home Studios the site of the photo locations that they chose from. Hair, makeup and wardrobe people are waiting to confer with them about their choices for the cover shoots. Bahia has chosen a brick wall and goes for a simply designed chair. She’s clearly going for the minimilistic look. But, look…
A rack of clothes to choose from!! What a luxury!!
Tanya is meeting with a hair stylist explaining that her main critique is that the bathtub shot was a little too slow without enough movement. When the editors said that they had trouble reconciling the lack of movement involved in reclining in a bathtub with the idea of a journey, I don’t think they were talking about hair. But, Tanya and the stylists agree to lose the terry cloth turban and let her hair regain it’s natural curl.
Over at the clothes rack, the wardrobe stylist is holding up a truly ghastly blue sequined gown with a gold sequined waist for Karin’s inspection. Thankfully, she recognizes that the gown is a little too much for Self magazine.
The next morning, the women return and the plans from the previous day are put into action. Make up is applied. Hair is styled. Sets are arranged. And clothes are dawned or not, as the case may be…
Ben Watts is the photographer and he’s a little skeptical of this entire process. The art director explains to him that everything is the women’s own ideas, and he is quick to grasp that this means that they will have no one to blame but themselves. Especially, because they’ve had so much experience at staging photo shoots.
Snape is back and, after the Paula fiasco, I would be shaving my head before I let him near me. Or maybe he only sucks at wigs, but, he approves of Karin’s look. On the other hand, Ben, the photog, tells us that it’s his personal opinion that it’s not a great concept. But, I don’t feel like he’s being mean. I think he’s feeling kind of bad for the ladies. But, the shoot seems to progress fairly smoothly despite the complication of Karin both posing and directing.”
Models should be seen NOT heard.
It seems that master stylist Snape has been brewing some potions. I don’t know what the hell he poured on Tanya’s head but it looks like he turned her into a chia pet.
This will totally make them love the bathtub idea.
When Tanya enters the bathtub set she’s introduced to Ben, the photog. But, OMG, she’s never had another man in the bathroom except her husband. No worries, though, she’ll just draw on her new acting skills that she’s acquired. Meanwhile, Ben looks like he wants a stiff drink. Before she gets into the bathtub, Tanya does some muscle pumping excercises so she’ll look toned, then still wrapped in a gold sheet she steps into the tub. Our editor’s obligingly supply us with some funky background music while Tanya comes alive for the camera. I’ve got to say that she looks awesome. Between the bubbles and her new hair she’s seriously sexy. But, I’m having trouble picturing any pictures from this shoot on the cover of SELF magazine.
She just became the most popular mother in Orange County.
Bahia arrives just as Ben is explaining that from his personal experience her setup of a single chair against a brick wall for is a terrible option for a cover shoot. She tells him that her concept is that she is enough and Ben comes back with “well, lets hope you are.” This kind of pisses Bahia off, but she’s up for it and comes back from wardrobe in a simple white blouse and jeans. Her goal is to get away from being type cast as a glamorous seductress and tame it down. But, damn, even against a brick wall in plain clothes she’s still gorgeous.
The new Ralph Lauren cover girl. Wouldn’t it be awesome
The Kimsicle’s Final Call
For the last time, a production assistant nudges Karin toward the phone. Karin obligingly calls for Tanya and Bahia to gather to hear the final message.
“Hello Ladies, it’s Kim.”
How very original. Somehow, I’m guessing that by now the ladies are able to recognize the distinct nasal twang of the Kimsicle’s voice. Sticking resolutely to her lines Kim inform the ladies that it’s time for them to pack up and say goodbye to the loft, because tonight is the final elimination. Bahia points out that tonight is hardly an elimination. Either they win or they don’t, but it’s not going to make any sense to tell the losing women that they’re not on the board. Not that that phrase made a whole lot of sense to begin with.
The women pack and cry and bond. What’s really impressive is how much these women have supported each other and are still continuing to do so. Usually, a reality show is made absurd by the participants. In this case, the participants are what saved this show’s sorry ass.
Note to Kim: Thanks for showing us the warm human part of you.
The Winner Is…
The ladies file on to the stage and the Kimsicle introduces our judges for the last time:
The Little General, who is looking surprisingly spiffy with a shirt and tie white enough to match his sneakers:
Botox Bev facially challenged as always:
And, for some reason, Robbie decided to wear a dead ferret around his neck:
The Kimsicle reiterates that the winner will walk away with a contract with Wilhelmina models, a spread in Self Magazine and be crowned the winner of She’s Got the Look. So, I’m guessing that the crowning part came in when somebody on staff realized that it sounded kind of lame to only be offering the modelling contract and magazine spread without any money. After all being crowned should be just as good as a hundred grand. But, it doesn’t really matter because after getting a load of Robbie’s full outfit, I doubt anyone was paying attention to Kim finishing the prizes.
So, he rubbed himself with super glue before crawling into his grandfather’s sofa to rescue his pet ferret…
Anyhoo, moving on, our ladies are looking pretty spiffy:
I have to admit that Tanya is rocking the stage
Bahia gets called down first and her cover shot goes up on the screen.
Robbie thinks that Bahia is gorgeous. The Little General thinks she looks a little too plain and easy. The Kimsicle notes that Bahia seems more warm and friendly than she has for a while. And, Bev says that if that cover was on the stand, she would buy it.
Tanya’s photo is next:
Robbie points out that this isn’t something that Self magazine would typically do for a cover, but the creative edge is there. Bev just loves the way that she’s transformed herself. The Little General is concerned that her Tanya’s photo doesn’t sync up with her tagline. And everbody loves the hair.
Karin is called down and her cover photo is posted.
The Little General loves her hair in the photo. Robbie feels that she looks too glamorous for SELF magazine.
The ladies are sent to the green room while the judges deliberate and the Kimsicle tells them that when they return one of them will start a whole new life as a model.
“The winner is going to be a famous supermodel.”
The General starts off the deliberations by saying how difficult the decision will be because he sees something in each of the woman. Karin’s transformation physically, Tanya’s transformation psychologically, and Bahia’s shear beauty are all reasons for winning. Robbie brings up the possibility that Bahia is one dimensional, but The General goes back to Bahia’s beauty as being the saving grace of any model.
Robbie loves that Tanya is the mother of five because mothers of five need a real beauty like Tanya to look up to. Okay, I have problems with this reasoning on several levels. First, WTF does being a mother of five have to do with modeling. Second, how shallow is it to hold up Tanya’s beauty as the thing about her that other mothers will look up to? Finally, I’m not sure Robbie is really qualified to say what mothers need in a role model.
Bev thinks Karin is a show stopper. They agree that the runway was a disaster but she’s phenomenal in still images.
The challenge of deciding on a winner seems to be overwhelming, but the Little General takes control announcing that they have to make a decision and they have to make it now.
Our ladies are called back on to the stage, while the judges watch them with widely varying expressions of concern.
I want to take a final moment to appreciate that between the Little General’s tidy-whitey sneakers, Robbie’s hot mess of an outfit, and Bev and Kim’s utter bizzarness this show has all the trappings of an 80′s retro musical.
The Kimsicle blabs on while the women look like they are going to pass out or blow chunks. Bahia is called out first and the Kimsicle actually tells her that she’s “Not on the board.” Somebody must have seen the footage of her joking about that back at the loft. Bahia hugs Tanya and Karin before going back to the green room to give her final interview. In a rare insight into Bahia’s past, she says that America is truly a place where you can have a chance to start something new and she’s not giving up. I’m rooting for you, Bahia.
Meanwhile, Karin and Tanya are holding hands and looking like they’re facing a firing squad. And…Tanya’s got the look. In a move that demonstrates all of the elegance and grace that these women have displayed throughout this competition, they throw their arms around each other to both celebrate Tanya’s victory.
Tanya hugs all the judges while Karin retires to the green room to say that while it’s painful, Tanya is an amazing person who will do a wonderful job. Bahia adds that Tanya needs to make them all proud.
Tanya is a little too excited to anything too coherent.
Well, Gasmii, thanks for hanging in there with me. And shouts out to Juddfan for the idea of the thought bubbles, even though I didn’t get to use them exactly like she suggested. I’m off on Vacay, so massive hugs and kisses for now.
****To read Chapter fifteen of “Honor Among Thieves”, Yenta’s novel, click here.
To start from the beginning, click here.