“America’s Next Top Model” Recap (18.12): The Finale

Another big hall!

Jay is back. I’m beginning to miss Legendary PR Maven Kelly Cutrone. He reminds us that the models will be walking for a major cut-rate brand with shady business practices. But a successful one! 

OH, MY GOD, the show just leapt back to full-on awesomeness with a burst of stupid that will take your breath away. For the first time in Top Model history —  

Are you sitting down? Stand back up, stretch, and then sit back down again. Maybe read a few passages from increasingly easy children’s books so your brain doesn’t get the bends. 

For the first time in Top Model history, the models will be walking in a holographic runway show. The models will be “interacting with lifelike images and walking in sync with the outline of your own body.” By way of illustration, we see a clearly fake graphic of models walking against blue sky, and then a real model walking next to a white screen, apparently keeping in sync with the outline of her own body in the sense that her shadow is keeping right up with her. 

God, this is wonderful. This might be even dumber/better than the cycle when they had to be Haunted Brides — though only historians will be able to analyze these things properly. Thank you, Tyra. All is forgiven. 

Jay says this will be difficult and timing is key. But there are helpers! Ooh, here come CatherineEboniAlisha, and Annaliese! I knew it! They have cleared up their hangovers and plastered over nearly all of the knife divots in the walls! Laura interviews that she was really excited to see Annaliese and the others not so much. Yikes. Since when has she had a problem with Catherine? 

Jay reminds them that it’s their last chance to prove themselves to the judges. Thanks, Jay! 

Hair and makeup!

Sophie asks how everyone has been and Annaliese says they’ve just been having conversations out of bitterness. To illustrate that point, we cut to Alisha spewing out so much bitterness that a bottle of quinine asks her to tone it down. It does suck that she quit the competition to go home but instead has been stuck brawling it up in a hotel room – you know they didn’t fly everybody home and back – but on the other hand, she’s been getting a free vacation in Macau with none of the pressures of a shooting schedule or being judged. 

Alisha says she’d have been in the finals if she’d stayed in the competition and she would have mashed the other girls up on the runway, and she would have won. Way to be a gracious also-ran, Alisha. 

Still at the hotel! Don’t forget to hit the breakfast buffet before your prestigious fashion show!

Dude in a headset whines instructions at the models. Laura interviews that their costume changes are insane and they have less than 90 seconds. Plus if you tug too hard on Forever 21 garments, they go up just like flash paper. Laura and Sophie have been done up to have bows in their hair made of hair. It’s right at the point where interesting and cute meet creepy and they all give each other kisses on the cheek. 

A woman tells them to go on without accessories if they have to, but hit their marks on time. Jay gives them some last useless advice. Laura is holding a stuffed lion, because why not? Commercials! 

STILL at the hotel!

Sophie says she’s the underdog because she’s a Brit. Jay explains that Laura is holding a lion because it’s the MGM lion because they are at the MGM Macau. Free HBO and discreetly billed premium movies! 

The audience claps! The judges sit! Miss J. is wearing an outfit that is reeeeeeeeeaaallly treading the line of cultural insensitivity! We will ignore it. 

JUMPING JEHOSEPHAT! We’re kicking off the show with some sort of projection of Giant Tyra walking through the buildings of Macau and peering into the windows of the skyscrapers as though she has no idea what buildings are. 

So many unanswered questions! If Giant Tyra knows nothing of modern human culture, where did she get that makeup and the spangly evening gown she’s wearing? Is she suggesting that our cultures developed in parallel when it comes to fashion, but not architecture? Preposterous! Tyra must be theorizing that we humans developed evening gowns after seeing them on giants from afar. Yes, that makes more sense. But let’s not lose sight of what matters here: This is the best, most insane opening to a hotel-based fashion show ever. 

WAIT, IT GETS BETTER! Tiny Tyras on stage interact with Giant Tyra! The Tyras seem to be making a movie. Actress Tyra tells Giant Tyra to get out of her shot, and then more Tyras arrive. Director Tyra yells “Cut!” at Giant Tyra as Giant Tyra makes “Huh? Wha?” noises. Well, that does it. I can’t take this off my DVR ever now. It is magical. And maybe the closest thing we’ll ever see to what it’s like inside the mind of Tyra (any size). 

Giant Tyra mouths “What the?!” and everyone applauds like they’ve just seen Casablanca. Real Tyra appears (Is your mind blown yet?) and explains the massive historic significance of this fashion show. Which is, in a way, true. Because if there is one thing that will deter aliens from invading, we just saw it. 

Tyra welcomes everyone to the show in Cantonese and English, and then tells them the show is going to be amazing. Well, yes, if you like knockoff mall fashions and holograms, this would be the show to hit. 

Fake lanterns on a screen! Then Laura walks in front of the blank screen with her stuffed lion! It is completely obliterating the view of her top! Good fashion accessory! 

(Actually, it just occurred to me to market them as “Laundry Day Lions.” I’m going to be rich. Rich!) 

Laura gives the audience a wink and runs to change and Sophie is up, walking against what looked like a blank screen, but is actually a very broad white outline of her moving form against a dark screen. Or something? Sophie is wearing a clear plastic cape (no, not just a clear plastic cape), which us the only must-have fashion item I have seen this whole cycle. 

Sophie says it’s hard to walk in that moving light when you can’t really see the light. We see bits of Annaliese and Catherine and – Whoa! – a completely obscured figure that turns out to have been Alisha unwittingly illustrating how hard it is to stay in that light. Jay tells her to feel her shadow. 

Laura walks and stays in her light and changes and shouts “I’m good! Let’s do this!” and walks again. Sophie says it’s madness backstage and she’s just standing like a doll with people throwing clothes on her – and sure enough, they are, as we se Sophie already in heels as someone tries to get her to step into a skirt. Sophie races out on time and Jay makes sure to snide “Wellllll, she missed her earrings.” Which I’m sure can be detected by people as far as zero rows away. 

Time for the models to swordfight against holograms! You heard me. 

Laura interviews: “I’m still a pirate, but I took this whole experience and embraced it and really tried to learn and grow and make me a better person.”  Good for you, Laura! And good for you for getting to say that sentence. 

It’s raining models! The new projection is showing models springing up from water droplets. Cover your lettuce! The water models burst and it’s time for our two champions to face off in what Sophie explains is “The Dandelion Scene.” God, I love this show. The ladies try to outwalk each other, pick up fake dandelions, and then blow fake dandelion seeds all over the place. The audience gives a standing ovation, because that is exactly as soul-stirring as a perfect rendition of Ode to Joy

The ladies walk out for the finale. We catch Legendary PR Maven Kelly Cutrone doing what looks like the Amercian Sign Language clap instead of traditional applause. I think it’s the most interesting and likable thing I’ve seen her do. Models “Whoo!” backstage. Sophie and Laura interview that they did their best and want to win! 

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