TV Recap

Beyond Good and Eva

The diva wins on ''America's Next Top Model'': Little Eva beats loopy Amanda and snotty Yaya in a finale that disappointingly lacks both catfighting and inspiring moments

America's Next Top Model | LAST JUDGMENT The temperamental Eva is going to ''Elle''
Image credit: Daniel Garriga/CBS
LAST JUDGMENT The temperamental Eva is going to ''Elle''

''America's Next Top Model'': The diva wins

Is it just me, or was this season of America's Next Top Model, well, anticlimactic? Not that there weren't memorable events: The dance-off and bar brawl in episode 1 — punctuated by the infamous ''bitch spilled beer on my weave!'' cry — was one of the best TV moments of the year. Toccara's moxie and voluptuous beauty were inspiring. And Ann and Cassie's Browniegate incident was juvenile catfighting at its best. But compared with seasons past, this batch of contestants didn't make for a compelling story overall.

Maybe it's because most of the aspiring mannequins just didn't fit the supermodel mold. Runway models tend to be at least five foot ten and in their teens. Two of this season's final three, Eva and Yaya, are well below the usual supermodel height. The third, Amanda, is 25 — practically a senior citizen in model years. So while the girls' back stories made for good TV, envisioning one of them as the next Gisele was as difficult as trying to imagine Janice Dickinson's forehead actually moving.

The finale featured the usual howlers from Amanda: She said that when trying to psych herself up for the girl-next-door-inspired Cover Girl shoot, she thought of ''bunny rabbits in France'' in order to serve up ''a piping-hot plate of smiles!'' It's a good thing she was eliminated before someone put her in a piping-hot straitjacket! And even though Yaya had been chastised for her snobbishness, she couldn't resist mentioning she was ''reciting poetry'' and using her education to keep her thoughts positive during the shoot.

The final challenge was a Japanese fashion show where Eva and Yaya walked along with several other models. And while Tyra — dressed in a frock that could have doubled as satin drapes at Caesar's Palace — tried valiantly to create suspense by harping on Yaya's elegance and grace, there was no question that Eva would win. Though we were happy for little Eva the Diva, it was hardly a shock. Perhaps next year the producers should choose contestants based on their physical attributes rather than on their personal lives. Because in the end, a compelling back story isn't going to land you on the cover of Vogue.

What do you think? Did the best girl win? And what are Eva's chances of succeeding in the real fashion world?

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Originally posted Dec 16, 2004

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