America’s Next Top Model season finale recap: And the winner is…

The day is here! It is season (series?) finale time! After weeks of crazy Tyra-inspired challenges it has all come down to Leila, Kiara, and Laura and one ‘haunting’ runway show. They missed Halloween by a few weeks, but oh well!

In a strange twist the show actually starts at fashion show and flashes back to the events leading up to the show. All the girls who made it to Jamaica return for the show along with last cycle’s winner, Sophie, who makes her first appearance. Seriously, where has she been all season? I’ve missed her.  And they didn’t even do a little interview with her. Disgraceful.

But before the runway show actually starts we take a peek at the girls’ photo shoot for Nine West.  Kelly is at the shoot since Nine West is one of her clients, and she is stepping all over everyone’s toes.  She is giving way more direction than Johnny ever does and she clashes with the photographer almost immediately.  They get in a big fight and it halts the shoot in the middle of Laura’s turn, and she is NOT happy about it. Why is life so unfair for poor Laura?

Really none of the girls hit it out of the park with the shoot.  Laura’s session was cut short and her face was dead, Leila had trouble modeling from head to toe, and Kiara had some dead eyes.  Not good for a group of finalists.

After checking on the girls back at the fashion show, we also took a peak at the girls’ shoot for Nylon.  The photographer didn’t comment on Kiara, but he thought Laura was commercial (which isn’t necessarily bad) and he believed that Leila was the most ‘Nylon’ model.

At the shoot the girls also got a huge surprise when their parents showed up on set to surprise them! There were a lot of tears and hugs and it was touching.  And they got to be backstage at the fashion show! How great!

When the show finally starts, Tyra does her best to make it as creepy as possible with a little dramatic movie intro staring Rob (of course), the three finalists, and my beloved Sophie.  She then makes all the audience members put on masks while she narrates the story. I’m really going to miss Tyra and her theatrics. No one does it like she does.

The fashion show goes just as every other finale show does until Leila came out and stumbled when she walked down the stairs AND when she tried to exit the stage.  Poor girl. She came up completely shaken and with a slight limp, but she pushed on and went out there for her second walk without falling again.  Between this, the horse, and the dolphin, she’s really had it rough since she made her comeback, hasn’t she?

And while that was going down Kiara was freaking out and on the verge of hyperventilating because she was so overwhelmed by the end of the competition.  But she too makes it back out on the runway and she manages not to falter at all.

At the final judging, Tyra tells the girls that their average fan and challenge scores are going to factor into the decision on who is the winner, along with the judge’s scores on their overall portfolio and final performance.  The judges don’t think Laura was great on the runway and again she is referred to as ‘commercial.’  Kiara, on the other hand, got called the ‘best walker’ by the judges.  They loved her.  And, of course, Leila fell so she didn’t get good comments.

Looking at the Nine West photos, Laura did well even though she had to work through Kelly’s fight.  The fans loved Kiara’s photo even though the judges weren’t crazy about it.  And Leila’s photo gets called ‘the perfect blend of high fashion and commercial.’

According to the very precise and scientific mathematical formula, Leila came in third (mostly because of her poor walk), Kiara got second, and Laura is named the winner! Despite her struggles at the end of the competition, Laura was able to hold back Kiara’s last minute surge.

So Laura is the (final?) winner of America’s Next Top Model! Shocked? Disappoint? Thrilled? Personally, I was pulling for Leila, but I didn’t totally hate Laura.  I would have been okay with any of the finalists winning. Sound off in the comments. And if there ends up being another season of our favorite modeling competition, you know I’ll be here to write all about it!

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About the author: Samantha
Samantha
I'm Sam, your reality TV expert. When it comes to television my motto is: the trashier, the better. If a show is winning Emmys and making critics swoon, it probably isn't my style. I'll take Kardashians and teen moms over great acting and writing any day of the week.

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  • cacherr1

    i didn’t want Laura to win because she had a poor attitude and quite frankly like she was one of those who though Victoria wasn’t cut out for it, she too don’t seem cut out for it.

  • http://twitter.com/deniseechang Denise Chang

    SO DISAPPOINTED. Kiara was honestly the most inspiring girl! I know it would feel like just another story but she really worked hard throughout the competition and has an AMAZING walk. Laura cried at EVERYTHING on the show. She cries because she has an amazing body…like COME ON. She’s going to go her whole life wondering if she got the job because of her parents or because of her abilities and she should be thinking the same for winning this title. I’ve always felt ANTM to be rigged in one way or another and this is just another piece of evidence. The judges scores for Laura were way too high…probably just enough to overcome her fans’ scores so she could beat Lelia =_=.

    In other news, hated the format of this episode. I would have loved to see the photoshoots not as a flashback but like the way they usually do it. Felt like this could have been split into 2 episodes cause everything just felt too rushed.

    ANTM missed the mark with this season…bad judges, bad scoring system, bad everything. They need to bring Jay Manual back, get rid of Johnny, let BryanBoy be a permanent judge, get rid of the fan vote but still let them give opinions or something – like where do those scores even come from, feels like it would be way too easy for them to rig it – and no more of these weird themes like “College Edition”. The girls chosen this season was based too much on where they went to school…which wasn’t even that much supported or mentioned through the entire season. What’s next? Mother’s Edition or something?!? STOP!