Thursday, May 15, 2008

Eye Candy: The ANTM finale recap

I can be a supermodel! I can be a supermodel!

Okay, not me. But certainly there’s some normal-sized girl in Sheboygan right now, running around her room, doing the high fashion back arch.

And we have Tyra Banks to thank.

First off, I need to give credit where credit is due. In a season where I accused the producers of totally phoning it in (and possibly even rigging the darn thing), I was genuinely shocked (and thrilled) by last night’s outcome.

I actually wrote in my notes that Anya was getting the “winner’s edit.”
How many times did we have to see Anya, facing the camera, teary-eyed, gushing that this was her dream? Plus, the Cover Girl representative seemed all up in her bidness. (In a gay man admiring a model sort of way, natch.)

Fatima was getting a similar edit. Overcoming tragedy? Check. Wanting it so badly she could just about BURST? Check. Having been Tyra’s pet the entire competition? Check.

And then there’s Whitney. Undaunted. Unflappable. And therefore, not great reality TV material. (Sure, she wants it. But she’s not going to go all Tammy Faye Baker on us to get it).

So the question: How exactly did Whitney pull off the big win?

Did Tyra love her all along and was just pretending that she didn’t? (oooooh, deceptive!) Did she genuinely think that Whitney won the final round of challenges? (A possibility.) Or had she ear-marked a plus-sized model for the win all along and was going to get that result, never mind the details.

Whatever the case, they fooled me. Whitney was NEVER given the winner’s edit. She was too pageanty, she was too fake, she was too cold.
It was Miss J who posited that, as a plus size girl, Whitney’s had to endure hardship and put up a shield her entire life.
But it was Tyra who rebutted (accurately), “What hardship? When she walks down the street, people see hot chick, not plus sized!”
Preach it, Tyra.

Still, just because Whitney wasn’t a simpering blob of insecurity, that didn’t mean she was cold. Only on reality TV is self-possession and confidence perceived as a character flaw.

Once on the runway—and didn’t you just love how Tyra was rocking the Donatella Versace/Miss Piggy hair?—Whitney really strut her stuff. Girl took Mr. Jay’s advice and “stomped it to death!” (By the way, did my eyes deceive me, or was that Cycle 9 fave Jenah walking along with Saleisha and the girls? Need to go back and recheck the tape).
Anya did kind of fade into the woodwork. Still, the numbers don’t lie.
“I’ve been on the chopping block five times,” said Whitney. “Anya has never been on the chopping block.”
What’s more, Anya won, like, every single challenge (at least it seemed that way).

Which is why, even though I saw with my own eyes that Whitney had the better Cover Girl shoot and did better on the runway, I just didn’t believe it.

So when Tyra turned over Whitney’s picture, I was stunned. I did the happy dance. Dag. I haven’t done the happy dance since Danielle won four cycles ago!

Poor Anya. Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Oh well. I’m sure Anya will get work as a model. Most of the photographers seemed to love her (I’m talking to you, pervy Nigel).

Meanwhile, I’m going to go celebrate Whitney's win with a donut. Fat is the new thin, bitches!

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