'Top Model' recap: Camera ready | EW.com

TV Recaps | America's Next Top Model

'Top Model' recap: Camera ready

Analeigh may have been the first to go, but Sam never really seemed quite in the running, as McKey racked up all the praise on her way to becoming the next Top Model

(Michael Desmond/The CW)

‘Top Model’ recap: Camera ready

Thank goodness this cycle’s finale was only an hour long: I don’t think I could have sat through another 60 minutes of the judges and Mr. Jay pretending that McKey actually had competition. It’s hard to believe that the season of America's Next Top Model with a transgender contestant turned out to be the most boring. The only thing that really got a rise out of me this episode (besides some classic quotes from Samantha) was McKey’s voice-over admission that she’s been modeling since 15. That’s bulls—. I’m fine with contestants having previous experience, just not when they (or the show’s editors?) try to sell themselves as “boxer girl.” This baby now has trust issues with her black mama, Tyra.

So, this season’s final three challenge involved the girls shooting a CoverGirl commercial and billboard-Wal-Mart ad, while trying not to be distracted by another unfortunate fashion choice by Mr. Jay. (Looking at his purple shirt, we really should’ve seen his Willy Wonka-meets-Dr. Seuss runway theme coming…) Cycle 10 winner Whitney was on hand to pimp the peppermint-oil infused lip gloss, which I refuse to mention by name, presumably because the CoverGirl reps knew that these three ladies would suck at it. The story for the commercial was thus: Three friends on vacation spot a cute boy, and, apparently, take turns kissing him. I thought nothing would top Sam’s “I want to be in Wal-Mart!” quote… until she spoke again: “One of the scenes we have to kiss the boy. Oh my gosh. It’s like, Dude, please don’t have herpes.” I’ll miss you, Sam. After Mr. Jay moaned about Sam’s uncharacteristic lack of energy, it was McKey’s turn in front of the camera. She was a bit of a bobblehead, but eventually got her lines out (only one of which was in Dutch — whew!). Analeigh, however, had a total meltdown. I think she knew her fate rested on her commercial and the pressure overwhelmed her. I get that models need to be able to memorize lines (kind of) but I think the judges should have given Analeigh more credit for being the most believable when she was hand-fed lines by Mr. Jay.

After the universally disastrous commercial shoot, it was time to snap the CoverGirl ad that will be seen in Times Square and in Wal-Mart stores across the country. My favorite part of this segment was when the photographer’s name flashed across the screen: Jim De Yonker. Love it. Mr. Jay left the ladies alone with him to see if they could handle themselves on a shoot. Sam was happy-go-lucky but not creative enough with her poses. Analeigh worked her body but not her face. And McKey, well, she was the only one who got people talking. De Yonker said she was wonderfully “cuckoo in the head,” which is apparently his term for “flashing a maniacal grin.” Guest judge-fashion designer Addy van den Krommenacker (my favorite name since Jim De Yonker) said she looked naughty, which he liked. Tyra championed McKey’s mastery of the “naughty-sweet” pose — and cautioned her against slipping into “naughty-crazy.” (I will miss those Tyra table side tutorials. See also: Tyra’s teach for toothy Analeigh on the difference between “close lip and sexy” and “close lip and not sexy.”) And Nigel just said what we were all thinking: McKey was the only one who looked like a model (beautiful lips, beautiful face, beautiful toothless smile).

Following what I imagine was a brief deliberation, the judges decided to send Analeigh home and give McKey (who they likened to Lurch, but I still prefer Gumby) and Samantha a shot at the title. Considering Tyra scolded Sam about her non-model smile and catalog in-person appearance even when congratulating her for making it into the Final Two, I think it was clear that McKey was going to have to have a booger in her nose during her Seventeen cover shoot and trip and fall on the runway — twice — to lose the crown. (I apologize for the use of the word “booger” there. But how often does one get to use that word? I’m keeping it!)

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