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One Last Catfight Before the Final Catwalk on "Top Model"

Okay, so I've gotten a little bit obsessed with Top Model, despite coming to the runway a little late in the game (confession: this is the first "cycle" I've watched). But that's not to say that I haven't become an ardent fan of the Tyra Banks-hosted catfights-and-catwalks reality series, which draws to a close tonight on the CW.

With only three would be models remaining, who will take home the Seventeen mag cover, the Cover Girl gig, and a contract with Elite Model Management? (Not to mention the, er, rather dubious title of America's Next Top Model, as well.)

The competition is more fierce than ever and the three remaining contestants (that's Melrose, CariDee, and Eugena for those of you just tuning in) couldn't be more different. A few weeks back, I would have been amazed that Eugena made it into the Final Three over one of the twins. But then again, the trip to Barcelona seems to have shaken things up a bit and Eugena has actually come to life in a way we haven't seen this entire season so far. While ordinarily her photos were vapid and expressionless (more mannequin than model), Barcelona seems to have awakened something in Eugena. Her bull-fighting photo was a work of exquisite beauty and grace (complete with yoga-like pose) and demonstrated remarkable range and presence; it looked like high fashion editorial work. (Nigel's breathtaking photography helped, but it was all Eugena in the expression and posing.) While she's got a lot to prove after her weak early performances, the judges do seem to be really impressed with what she's brought out in the last few episodes. Will it be enough to propel her to the top? Hmmm.

Melrose, meanwhile, has proven herself time and time again in an array of difficult challenges (though her breakdown after the flamenco dancing last week certainly didn't win her any points); she's clearly the one to beat. With buckets of personality, style of her own (she studied fashion), and that model attitude, she could win this thing VERY easily. But she's definitely trying a little TOO hard and the judges have finally picked up on this. Where is the real Melrose? Her answers are clearly scripted in advance and tailored to what she thinks the judges want to hear. But her photos are usually beautiful and filled with complex and deep expression, even if she does--according to the judges--photograph a little too "old." In a competition with a Seventeen mag cover shoot as one of the main prizes, will that hurt her in the end?

Then there's CariDee, the over-the-top daredevil of the bunch who's so desperate to win this competition that she's willing to do anything, including put herself in physical danger, to achieve that end. Her commitment to last week's icy pool "floating nymphs" photo shoot was admirable until she became striken with hypothermia and had to sit half of the shoot on the sidelines. If that had been an actual client, she would have been in real trouble... And speaking of trouble, there's the whole insulting judge Nigel Barker bit she pulled at the arena. Not too smart, CariDee, especially when Nigel is responsible for crowning the winner of this competition. Still, CariDee has remarkable presence, both in photos and on the catwalk. She's got great bone structure and the style (not to mention, um, dramatic flair) to pull off modeling couture on the runway. That's a real gift and one, from what I hear, not usually found in these contestants, who are typically more suited for print work than the runway. But will it be enough to edge out the others?

In the end, I'm really torn between CariDee and Melrose. Both seem totally suited for this line of work and both are really hungry (emotionally, people!) to win this and succeed. Melrose may have won most of the challenges but Caridee radiates (sometimes too much) passion.

So, who's it gonna be then? Melrose? CariDee? Or Eugena? With only a few hours to go until showtime, who do you think will take home the divatastic crown and the title of Top Model?

What's On Tonight

8 pm: The King of Queens/The King of Queens (CBS); The Biggest Loser (NBC); America's Next Top Model (CW); Show Me the Money (ABC); Bones (FOX); Wicked Wicked Games (MyNet)

9 pm: Criminal Minds (CBS); The Biggest Loser (NBC); One Tree Hill (CW); Day Break (ABC); Bones (FOX); Watch Over Me (MyNet)

10 pm: CSI: New York (CBS); Medium (NBC); Primetime: Basic Instinct (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: America's Next Top Model.

Okay, I'll admit it: I've gotten hooked on this cycle of ANTM. On tonight's season finale ("The Girl Who Becomes America's Next Top Model"), the three remaining contestants compete in the most crucial photo shoot yet, with two of them going head-to-head as they model couture bridal gowns on the catwalk. And it wouldn't be an episode of Top Model if there weren't a catfight. Au revoir, Jays and Tyra, until 2007!

10 pm: Top Chef on Bravo.

It's the second season of Bravo's culinary competition Top Chef. On tonight's new episode (thank god!), another chef gets their dreams cruelly ripped away from them and told to pack their knives and go. Let's hope it's Frank.


Anonymous said…
I'm still confused as to how Eugena got into the final three. I loved her bull fight pic but, other than that, her photos have been dull.

Melrose is a twit but I do think she deserves to win. She works hard and comes out looking beautiful in every phograph. CariDee is great too (and would maybe do better on the runway) but she can be really unprofessional.

And I never thought I'd say it but I miss the twins!
Anonymous said…
I really miss the twins. I don't know that any of the remaining three has "it," but they all have a piece of it. Melrose and CariDee have larger pieces. Like Danielle, I am scratching my head about the fact that Eugena is top 3. I am definitely rooting for CariDee.

It's too bad this is the first season you watched. One of the joys of watching from the beginning was watching Tyra's rise to complete ridiculousness. She wasn't always like this...

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