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Whitney and Anya Size Up the Competition on the Season Finale of "Top Model"

I am very happy about the outcome of last night's season finale of America's Next Top Model ("And the Winner is..."), especially going into the final round with three really strong competitors in Whitney, Fatima, and Anya. These girls were strong models, took consistently great photographs, and each represented a different facet of beauty in a compelling, different way.

I thought they all did much better with the English-language Cover Girl commercial than most of the other girls from previous cycles of the series, who always had problems memorizing the copy, looking pretty and happy, and just being generally convincing in front of the camera. I thought Whitney looked great and totally did the signature Cover Girl smile with poise and perfection. Anya actually did a better job than I thought she would, given her strange pidgin accent (which always sounds more Eastern European to me than Hawaiian) and the copy was a series of hard-to-say tongue-twisters. (I still can't name the actual product after watching them perform several takes of the commercial.)

I thought Whitney's Cover Girl photograph was easily the best of the bunch. She looked so 1960s vintage (and oddly, somewhat like former Top Model judge Twiggy) that it was spooky. Her positioning and body language were spot on and she looked flawlessly gorgeous and, well, vulnerable in the photo. It was not just a glamour shot but hinted at something deeper and fragile about her in a compelling and intriguing way.

I was a little shocked that Fatima was sent home. I do agree with Tyra (there's a sentence that I never thought I'd write) that she needs to do some soul-searching and figure out who she is TODAY and try to find strength in what happened to her and put it in her past. She does seem like she is searching for some semblance of identity throughout this competition and, while she is hands-down probably the most gorgeous-looking girl on this series, I don't think she brought enough to the table to award her the top prize.

Very impressed that the producers were able to wrangle a Versace fashion show for finalists Whitney and Anya though I was secretly hoping that Donatella would show up along the way. I did think that Whitney looked much more natural on the runway. She looked like a MODEL and, while I felt that her hip and arm-swinging in the first outfit was a little much (bordering on over the top, in fact), she pulled it back on her second time down the runway, creating a luminous, memorable walk that made her shine out from among the other models. Anya was a little lost on the runway and not at her strongest at all; she seemed to deflate on the catwalk and the tightness of her second dress did nothing to help her faltering walk.

I felt like the judges' decision really was down to the wire and they had a really hard time deciding between Whitney and Anya. Both really do represent two totally different ideals of beauty and I know that Tyra and Co. do like to make an impact with their decision. While it would be easy to just crown Whitney the winner for being the very first plus-size winner of Top Model, I was thrilled that she actually DID end up winning this season and she earned her prize 100 percent. Her Cover Girl shot has got to be one of the most amazing and inspiring photographs on the series (just compare it to Saleisha or Jaslene's pics) and I am glad that the All-American beauty managed to walk away with the top spot despite several competitors thinking she would be the one to get cut week after week. (Take that, Dominique!)

What did you think? Were you happy that Whitney won this cycle or would you have rather had the prize go to Anya, "busted nose" and all? Talk back here.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS); My Name is Earl (NBC); Smallville (CW); Ugly Betty (ABC); Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? (FOX)

9 pm: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS); The Office (NBC); Supernatural (CW); Grey's Anatomy (ABC); Don't Forget the Lyrics (FOX)

10 pm: Without a Trace (CBS); ER (NBC); Lost (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: Ugly Betty.

On tonight's episode ("The Kids Are Alright"), Betty tries to avoid her growing attraction to Gio and volunteers to chaperone Justin's school dance only to discover that Gio (???) has made the same commitment (um, why?); Hilda tries to get Coach Diaz to notice her; Amanda signs on to do a reality television show with her dad, Gene Simmons; Wilhelmina makes her return to Mode.

9 pm: The Office.

On tonight's season finale ("Goodbye, Toby"), Toby makes preparations to leave Dunder-Mifflin, which makes Michael positively gleeful, leading to a celebratory party sort of in Toby's honor; Angela refuses to plan said fete, leading Michael to turn to Phyllis to take over the party planning committee.

10 pm: Lost.

The highlight of my television-viewing week is here. On tonight's episode ("There's No Place Like Home"), it's Part One of the three-hour season finale as the war between the castaways and Widmore's mercenary team escalates and the Oceanic Six fly back to the "real" world.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I was THRILLED when Fatima got sent home before the finals. I actually cheered.

Whitney winning - awesome!!! I was so, so happy with the result and agree that she earned it, despite clearly not having the support of PP who took every opportunity she could to talk about how fake and pageanty she was.

I would have been happy with either winning, but I was especially happy it was Whitney. She rocked that runway.
Brian said…
I thought Anya was much stronger than Whitney overall, so I was disappointed with their decision. I think Paulina was right on the money when she contrasted the two's runway performances, describing one as a "budding fashion model" and the other as a "ham." Whitney's walk really did not do it for me. Also, Anya's pictures were consistently stronger than Whitney's, particularly towards the end of the competition (which is a better indication of their actual talent).

Regardless, I couldn't get too upset about the decision. I think it is great that a plus-size won the competition, and Whitney is more "Covergirl" than Anya is. Also, Anya has a great outlook on life and is so talented, so I'm sure she has a successful modeling career ahead of her.
That Covergirl picture that Whitney took was absolutely stunning. Definitely the best Covergirl pic yet as it had an iconic quality that you don't usually see.

I think that Anya was incredible too but part of the prize is a Covergirl commercial and, unfortunately, I just couldn't see them giving it to someone with such an odd speech pattern. But I think she could still be an extraordinary print (and runway, with a little work).

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