As a loyal watcher of America's Next Top Model, I suppose I would be remiss if I did not comment on the Cycle 17 finale. Not that I have any inside information. I'm reading the same rumours that you are.
I wrote earlier that this "all star" competition was not really grabbing me and that perhaps ANTM had jumped the shark. There were so many bizarre moments in this particular cycle. There have always been production decisions that made me scratch my head, but it was almost constant for this cycle. And you have to wonder if there's any value in winning this prize, even the all-star version.
After I almost started nodding off once we'd lost models like Bre and Bianca—who was out of control but stunningly gorgeous—they caught my attention again with the video shoots. Finally, here was something really new that made sense in the context of their "branding" exercise. Being a musician, I couldn't help but be interested in the recordings and video production. It's definitely amazing to hear what Auto-Tune can do when you've heard someone like Laura Kirkpatrick doing her vocals in the studio (bless her, but she can't carry a tune in a bucket). And it was amusing to see how smitten rapper and producer Game was by Allison Harvard. I mean, really, I thought he was going fall on one knee and propose!
The trip to Crete kept me going for a while, although it seemed that they couldn't manage to do a shoot that wasn't affected either by the incessant wind or by blazing sun. Were they purposely trying to eliminate Allison with the beautiful but light-sensitive eyes? And then we had the "motion editorial" shoot based on Tyra's novel and all was lost. That was just major dreckitude, as André Leon Tally might have said. And probably should have said. I told Sweetie that it seems sometimes that Tyra must be surrounded only by sycophants who nod enthusiastically at her every idea rather than anyone who might tell her that this or that idea was just harebrained. Like that film shoot.
Blog commentators are outraged that Allison did not win the big prize, but frankly, once Laura was eliminated, I really didn't care anymore. As far as I'm concerned, Laura was the best of the final four. Somehow, however, she could do nothing right toward the end, at least in the judges' eyes. I guess we forget the fact that she took great photos (except for the Greek salad one, where she admitted, though never complained, that she had a splitting headache) and was the one model with whom everyone loved to work.
Of the final three, I thought they were grooming Angelea Preston to win. It's not hard to see them doing that kind of thing. They've done it with several models in the past. And this despite the fact that Angelea seemed to work hard every week to undercut her own positive assets. They forgave her everything.
Until something unforgivable happened. Or whatever actually happened. The leading rumour is that Angelea blabbed about the result before the show aired and thus was eliminated. The rumour even says that she was the original winner, which wouldn't surprise me. But what we got instead was an announcement that she had become ineligible and a final panel with only Allison and Lisa D'Amato. And of those two, I thought it possible they would have chosen Allison, but much more likely that they would have chosen Lisa. Which they did. And I couldn't care less. The loud personality that the judges all seemed to adore had always been obnoxious to me.
Maybe I'd like Lisa in real life, but based on what I saw in the show, I don't think I'd want to find out. I bet Laura would be lots of fun, Allison quiet but engaging, and Angelea just a trip (at least for a while). Lisa, meh. I mean, I hope the win is good for her. I'm not going to make cracks about her age. We knew from the start that this cycle included models who, in model years, were long in the tooth. But since they were going for that total brand thing, they must have figured it didn't matter.
I suppose I'll watch the next cycle, assuming there is a next cycle, but I really don't know if there's any gas left in the ANTM tank.