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


Last Week!

There were a bunch of highlights and we ignored them! The week before that, we narrowed a tough transatlantic field down to Britain’s Sophie and Team LesBiModel’s Laura! Worthy opponents all around! Who, oh who will win? Are you on tenterhooks? Well, get on them! You bought those things for a reason! 

Film Clip City!

Tyra introduces our finalists and is still using their damned pretend Modelland superhero names (“Illuminata” and “Zagalicious”). You are never going to make fetch happen, Tyra. Laura gets a clip of her saying something about sex, which bodes ill for our girl. 


You won’t judge me if I keep Ashley and Louise on my DVR for a while, will you? Oh, like all of your crushes are rational. 

Modelland East!

Laura and Sophie come squealing back in, knowing they’re the top two. They’ve been wanting to be the two to battle it out for weeks, so it’s sort of like if Godzilla and Mothra were more high-pitched and less prone to hearty meals. It’s a satisfying top two. Sophie’s hair has been re-pinked and boy damn, they have taken her way past cotton candy and straight into Peep. Maybe even Peepto-Bismol. 

Sophie’s winning picture has, as always, been vandalized by someone who thought Photoshopping vapid words across it would make it more awesome somehow. Sophie gets “Swirling” “Youthful” “IN THE MOMENT.” I dare you to get those as prominent tattoos and see how many total strangers are unable to resist taking a swing at you. 

Sophie, apparently talking about her photo, seems to say “It’s frigging happy.” Can she say that on ANTM? Maybe I’m mishearing “freaking” or “boomsidaisy!” But I think I like her even more if she said the first thing. (OK, I rewound. I’m pretty sure she said it. Call me, Sophie! Let’s hang out!) 

There is a cricket-chirp moment and then the ladies remember it’s just them again and jump around. But you know the producers can’t risk blowing the finale by sending everyone home one by one. I like to think that the other models are all just one suite below them getting drunk out of their minds and throwing knives at the walls. 

Sophie notes that Laura has a better book and Sophie has a better walk: Your dramatic tension in a nutshell. Laura voiceovers about how she pushed herself to get this far as we watch her and Sophie run around the table in a victory lap. Aw, I like it that they really enjoy each other. 

Laura says that if she wins, she can take the prizes and transform them into something even bigger than Tyra planned. Then Laura and Sophie congratulate each other and mock-fence with little flags. God, I hope they’re really having fun. I’m worried some producer made them fake-celebrate for four hours when they desperately wanted to go to bed. 


The ladies are both in long slinky catsuit-style pajamas. The hell? The mail reads “Tomorrow is going to be a BLAST! Fierce and Love, Tyra” 

Juggling explosives it is, then. 

A Beautiful Plaza!

Jay Manuel is there! Let’s take a moment to remember that at this point in the filming, he, Miss J. Alexander, and Nigel Barkerhave no idea they’re just a few months away from being fired via fax or paper airplane or whatever classy way Tyra chose to do it. It adds an extra frisson of doom, like watching Greek tragedy, only with more smizing. 

Jay announces, as though the ladies could not have figured it out, that they’ll be doing their commercial shoot and their print shoot there for Cover Girl Blast lipstick. What a great name for a lipstick. Cover Girl Blast: For the Woman Who Knows She’s a Spitter. 

Oh, and a surprise! Jay says they’ve been shooting their commercial for the entire competition. Oh, please let there be stuff from the pointless eating contest. The print ad will be in a national magazine! That is oddly nonspecific! Oh, and Jez Smith is back to shoot. Hello, Jez! 

Oh, God, and now the wonderful, terrible part that happens every year in which the models get 30 seconds worth of copy and act like they’ve been asked to memorize and recite Infinite Jest. Jay steps in to coach Laura and is immediately as helpful as always by interrupting her. Jay tells her to deliver the line like she’s talking to one of her best girlfriends. She says “Want to know what it takes to be a cover girl?” like the following sentence is going to be “I bet you do!” while she pummels you. Which is not at all to suggest that the reading isn’t natural. Laura is excited and nervous and wants to nail it. 


Sophie gives a cuter read and Mr. Jay says she’s perfect. Sophie says she loves England, but she wants that prize and she wants modeling, so really, England can take a hike. 

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