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Model Mayhem: The Final Three Girls Face Off on Season Finale of "Top Model"

With Heather out of the running, I'm really not too sure who to root for on America's Next Top Model , which wraps its ninth season (ahem, cycle) tonight after a runway showdown between the final two girls in Beijing. While the final three girls are certainly beautiful in their own rights, I have to say that I am amazed (shocked, even) that Chantal is still there. Yes, she's cute and bubbly and screams Seventeen magazine, but I don't really think of her as top model material, even if that's print modeling. Chantal's pictures, to me, just come across as pretty flat (or even flatly pretty) but there's nothing original or striking about her. She's the equivalent of a blonde paper doll: pretty but ultimately blandly one-dimensional. Saleisha seems to be the one with the most raw talent but, while she's the most confident on the runway, her pictures don't seem to capture the intensity and skill that she possesses. Also, I don't care what you ca

Dragons and Lions, Oh My: Heather Kicked Off of "Top Model"

A day later and I am still bummed that Heather was booted from America's Next Top Model . I was really hoping that Asperger's Syndrome-sufferer Heather would at least make it to the final two. I mean who else gets voted the Cover Girl Model of the Week every single week she's been on the reality competition series? I do think that Heather takes some of the very best photos we've seen this season on Top Model ... when she doesn't second guess herself. The dragon photo shoot this week presented its own complications, what with having to stand out amid the color and chaos going on around, but Heather managed to do just that even as she kept slipping out of masterful poses. Despite her inability to hold her own glorious poses this week, she has this amazing ability to be captured by the camera as though she is living in the moment. No overly forced "model" poses, no slutty movements. Instead, each of her photos offers an intense gaze, a slickly high fashion

Buh-Bye, Twiggy; Hello Paulina

With only a few episodes remaining of this "cycle" of America's Next Top Model , prepare to say goodbye to one familiar face: living legend and fashion icon Twiggy will not be returning for Cycle 10. What's the hubbub? Apparently, Twiggy won't be back due to " scheduling conflicts ," which may be due in part to the reality competition's recent relocation to New York City. Replacing Twiggy Lawson on the judging panel is supermodel/author Paulina Porizkova , who will join Tyra Banks, Jay Alexander, and Nigel Barker as the regular judges for Top Model 's tenth installment. Porizkova, formerly the face of cosmetics giant Estee Lauder, recently appeared on ABC's Dancing with the Stars and released the novel "A Model Summer." "The show and participants will benefit a great deal from [Porizkova's] vast modeling knowledge and expertise," said Top Model 's executive producer Ken Mok. "Having an icon like Twiggy len

Jealous Much (Of) Heather?: Bianca's Days of Whine and Roses on "Top Model"

Why will Bianca not shut up about Heather already? That's the question I kept asking myself while watching last night's episode of America's Next Top Model ("The Girls Who Crawl"), an episode that was filled with enough drama to last an entire season between Bianca's constant whining about Heather, Chantal's massive if misplaced ego, Sarah's weight worry, and Heather's medical scare. It also featured Tyra in a teach designed to get the girls to look sexy and learn to model in front of a moving camera instead of appearing "hootchie." Bianca takes every opportunity, from the hot tub to the video shoot (where the girls film appearances in a new Enrique Iglesias music video) to the confessionals, to bad-mouth Heather. Her complaint: that Heather doesn't have to do anything in order to get a great picture and that the other girls are letting her off the hook too easily because of her "little disability." Ahem, a disability tha

CW to Launch "Gossip Girl" Early; "Top Model" Premiere Cut to One Hour

Get out your Prada shoes and Marc Jacobs handbags. Gossip Girl is launching a little earlier than expected. Realizing that schools and colleges would already be back in session (duh!) during the series' original launch (September 24th), the CW has bumped the premiere date for Gossip Girl up a week, to September 19th at 9 pm, directly behind the season premiere of America's Next Top Model . Which, well, should have dawned on the programming execs in the first place. Considering the scads of buzz and promotion that the netlet has been rolling out for Gossip Girl , one would think that they'd, you know, want to launch the series ahead of the pack. Therefore, the planned two-hour launch for ANTM will be cut down to an hour and Gossip Girl's launch won't have to go directly up against the premieres of Bionic Woman on NBC or Private Practice on ABC. Probably a smart move on the part of CW, which hasn't proven itself to be the most savvy programmer. For once,

Jaslene Wins "Top Model," Televisionary Loses Interest Once Renee is Booted

No, I don't want to talk about it. Sure, I was happy that it was Jaslene who was crowned the winner of the eighth "cycle" of America's Next Top Model , rather than Natasha, whom I cannot for the life of me imagine or picture as a model, with her pigeon-walk and... odd facial expressions. Sure, she's spunky and has a great "backstory" but that does not a model make. Basically, I am shocked and stunned that Renee didn't even make it to the final two. That Tyra--with a straight face--actually said that the decision came down to the girl with the bubbly personality and the girl who always takes amazing pictures completely blew me away. In one fell swoop, she basically undermined any credibility this series had. It's almost as if they were grasping at straws for reasons to eliminate Renee (I see no examples of the "puffiness and wrinkling" that Tyra mentioned) in order to ensure that Jaslene would win this competition. Color me pissed. O

"So Much Beautiful Pictures": Down to the Final Four on "Top Model"

The question on everyone's lips is: did Brittany over-exaggerate her short term memory loss on Top Model 's recent disastrous photo shoot? Or is she telling the truth? Either way, that girl is gone. Following a major emotional breakdown on the stairs of a modeling agency, Brittany was eliminated from America's Next Top Model this week. Which is sad on the one hand, because she does photograph so amazingly well. But get her in a room and she just falls completely flat on her arse. It didn't help that she was so awkward at the go-sees and couldn't pull herself together enough to walk properly... or to maintain a conversation with the designers. But the stunt she pulled after she failed to return by 4:30 pm was inexcusable. Even if the cab driver had failed to turn up at the discussed location. (BTW, she never did specify that he should meet her.) Brit had a full blown temper tantrum, complete with thrown items (her portfolio), misdirected anger (at the cab driver a

Model Mouth: Looking at the Six Finalists Left on "Top Model"

I've completely fallen under the spell of this season's Top Model . Sure, Miss Jay irritates me more than ever (good god, the ruffles) and I'm never sure why Natasha is the one to read out the Tyra Mail clues, but, thanks to the girls of ANTM ,Wednesdays have become more than just the home of my beloved Lost . It's now down to the final six contestants. I've got my favorites, as I am sure you do too, along with those that I can't really figure out how they got onto the show, nor how anyone thinks that they could possibly win this thing. (Ahem, Jael.) A brief aside: what the hell was Tyra wearing last week? While the editors wisely kept us guessing just what travesty the Bankable one decided to throw on this week (I couldn't help but notice that every shot of her was a long shot, surrounded by close-ups of the other judges, the girls, and, hell, the floor rather than a tight shot of her), I was blown away by the sheer ugliness of whatever it was that she ha

Checking out the Contestants on "Top Model"

Longtime readers know that I am a relative America's Next Top Model newbie, so it's rather amusing that after the last cycle, I've become an obsessed convert to the ways of Tyra and these modeling tyros. Sure, Miss Jay might annoy me as much as humanly possible, but I try to put those ever increasingly "outrageous' antics out of my mind each week as we see Tyra take some pretty-if-average young women and transform them into top models. Or, well, semi-successful print models, anyway. I was worried that last week's Pussycat Dolls Presents The Search for the Next Doll would leave a sour taste in my mouth (Ken Mok is, after all, the executive producer on both reality series), but I have to say that I have all but forgotten that cheese fest. Somehow, Top Model manages to toe the line between seriousness and cheesiness but, unlike Doll , it hasn't fallen completely over the edge into ridiculousness. (And Top Model tends not to show its contestants repeatedl

What's On My Mind Grapes: CariDee Crowned Top Model

Wow, the very few of you who are actually watching the hysterical 30 Rock may have gotten that title but for the rest of you, looks like you'll have to download the episode from iTunes. Me, I'm pushing that catchphrase as hard as I can. It's simply too random not to catch on. I couldn't let this week end without commenting about the season finale of America's Next Top Model and the crowning of leggy space cadet CariDee as the latest winner of the reality series. I would have been happy, going into the finale, with either CariDee or Melrose taking home the bragging rights to the Top Model title (not to mention the Seventeen mag cover, etc.), but secretly I really was rooting for CariDee to end up trumping Melrose in the end. Who, let's be honest, really did need getting knocked down a peg or two. In looking at CariDee's photos, they were luminous and stunning and when she's made up in a fresh, natural look, she really does seem the epitome of Sevent

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 l

Strike a Pose: The Top Contenders on "Top Model"

Confession time: I've become hopelessly addicted to this season (or cycle as they like to call it) of America's Next Top Model . I mean, seriously, seriously addicted, as in a run home from work to watch it sort of addiction. Call it a model dependency problem. Fortunately, the only side effect of this dirty little habit is the tendency to argue over which girl will win (and maybe a tendency to sometimes get the twins confused). I thought that Bravo's Project Runway would have sated my need for a fashion fix, but it turns out that watching girls try to become top models (or, well, top print models, anyway) is much more fun than I had ever imagined. So who are my favorites? That's easy. Personally, I'm hoping this competition comes down to a final showdown between Melrose and Caridee, but don't count out one of the twins making it to the final two either... anything can happen in this competition, especially after last week's episode, which had reward winn