Rachel: Well, here we are kiddies at the finale. Time to find out if the Brits get beaten by the Good Ol’ USofA once again. I have to say, I like both these girls as models, but think Sophie wins the personality contest. And being that the last challenge is a runway walk, which is Laura’s weakest link, it seems to be Sophie’s to lose. I’m actually pretty ambivalent about who wins. Usually I have such a strong favorite that I’m a bit shocked that I have no preference tonight. I’m sure that will change as we watch, but right now, I’m open.
Oh, looks like Sophie is pinker than ever. Her hair is fucshia. I dig it and am way jealous being that I’m one of those brunettes that really can’t be anything other than a brunette. I tried dying the underneath of my hair cobalt blue once… Well, let’s just say that Halloween came early for me and I ended up looking like a life-sized Smurf. Anyway, it’s time for the Cover Girl photo shoot and commercial.
The girls wake up and meet with Mr. Jay who tells them that they have actually been shooting their commercial throughout the whole competition. They will be using footage from throughout the season in the spot. Hmmm… Interesting. Jez Smith is back to photograph their Cover Girl cover shoot. Sophie does her commercial first and she looks gorgeous on-camera. She does a great job and has so much charm that it’s hard not to smile along with her. While Sophie does her ad, Laura does her beauty shot. Laura is having a hard time relaxing her mouth and is not bringing anything edgy to the party. Mr. Jay tells her that she needs to relax, but I think she’s so scared of not being “Cover Girl” enough that it’s getting to her. And with all that pressure, she starts feeling faint and shaky. She pushes through like a champ though and pulls it out in the end. As she gets ready for her commercial shoot, she actually collapses and starts convulsing. Jay calls the medics and Laura is rushed to the hospital. Meanwhile, Sophie does her Cover Girl photo shoot and Jez thinks it’s fabulous. Awesome for her, but sucks for Laura who doesn’t get to finish her day. No commercial shoot for her, which we know will be a huge set-back at panel.
Laura arrives back at the hotel and phones her mother. Turns out she had a panic attack. Now, I’ve had some gnarly panic attacks in my life, but that was crazy. Poor girl. Yeah, you really do think you’re going to die. Sophie comes home & says she can understand what Laura went through, because she had a very similar experience at the top of the Macau Tower. Difference is Sophie still pulled off a picture.
The next day, the girls meet Valentina Serra, Fashion Editor for Vogue Italia, for their photo shoot with… Yep, Jez Smith again. Anyone else think they’re prepping us for him to be the next Nigel Barker? I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that’s what’s going on. I know that they hired a new male model judge, Rob Evans, but I think we haven’t seen the last of Jez. Only the winner of ANTM will have these pictures published. Sophie goes first and they are modeling very sexy pin-up girl lingerie. Or maybe they’re bathing suits. Can barely tell the difference anymore. Jez felt like she struggled a bit because it’s not really her forte. On the other hand, this is right up Laura’s alley and she rocks it. The girl is back.
Jay meets Laura back at the hotel to give her another chance to shoot her commercial. Wow, a rare second chance on ANTM. Ty Ty’s feeling generous. Laura does a pretty good job and looks stunning on-camera as well.
Tyra stops by the girls’ hotel to have her requisite girl-talk. She asks Laura about her panic attack and asks if it had anything to do with the pressure. She said it probably did, but it doesn’t mean she’s giving up her fight. Tyra says that when people are crazy and wild that they are covering pain. Ooh, deep Tyra. She asks if that’s what’s going on with Laura and we hear about the struggles of her childhood… again. Tyra says that struggles can make you strong and that she’s proud of her. OK, I’ll give them that sweet moment. Then Sophie comes in and Tyra asks what it feels like to be a Brit. And we’re back swimming in the shallow end of the pool. Sophie says she feels like they were never biased towards the American girls. Tyra says she doesn’t call her Illuminata for nothing. No, she does it to try and sell more books. Er, I mean she calls her that because she lights up a room. If Tyra was 21, she’d want to be her friend. And then she gives Sophie a really back-handed compliment by telling her that she’s not cookie-cutter pretty – her eyes are too far apart and her chin is a little short – but that’s what makes a model. And off she goes back into the streets of Macau to battle Intoxibellas and a few of her other personalities.
Finally, the runway is upon us. The girls are walking for Forever 21 at the MGM Macau. But this show is different because it’s holographic and the girls will be
walking in synch with an outline of their own body. Say what? This is either going to be super cool or super cheesy. Wonder if Hologram Tupac will be on the runway too? As is tradition, some of the eliminated models will be joining them on the runway. Walking with them is Catherine, Eboni, Alisha, and Annaliese.
Sophie asks Annaliese how she’s been, and she says bitter. Well, there’s an honest answer. And Alisha tells us that if she hadn’t left, she’d be in the finals mashing it up on the runway. Apparently, she has found her spirit since leaving the show. It’s so easy to brag about something you’ll never have to really prove, isn’t it Alisha?
Time for the show…. And a giant Tyra stomping through Macau and yelling at mini-holographic versions of herself is featured on the screen. How bizarre.
Turns out she’s the emcee and introduces the show. Yeah, still bizarre. Laura starts the show with a wink & a stuffed animal. Her walk is really much improved. Can she out-stomp Sophie though? That’ll be tough. They both do a good first walk and stay in their hologram light. Alisha, on the other hand, fully blows it and manages to walk the stage in complete darkness. Yeah, so much for you being a superstar. OK, I have to say that while it’s a very strange fashion show, it’s actually really freaking cool. And the clothes look much improved since the last time I visited a Forever 21 forever ago. I still think Sophie has a better, more natural walk but it’s really anyone’s game.
As we head into the final panel, I am trying to figure out what is going to take the 20 minutes we have left in the show. I guess there’s only one way to find out. Let’s watch. Tyra, Kelly, Nigel and Mr. Jay will be deciding the winner tonight.
They start with runway. Laura – Nigel said she looked like she was having fun but she has to remember to control it. Kelly says that, for her, she’s super cool and really rock ‘n roll but she was trying too hard to be a nice person on the runway. Tyra says she’s been hearing about her horrid walk, but on the runway she didn’t see it. She commanded the stage and all eyes were on her… but they were also on the “smoochie tooch” smirk. Sophie – Nigel says her walk is very elegant and strong. Tyra said her body language when she blew the dandelion was genius. Mr. Jay thought there was a confidence that pushed through.
Commercial – Laura – Nigel says that was one of his favorite commercials they’ve ever done. The shots where she wasn’t looking at the camera were stunning. Tyra says she looked nervous & aware during her lines. Her lips looked paralyzed. Mr. Jay says to tell them about when they had to shoot her. She says she was really embarrassed by her panic attack. Kelly says “welcome to the fashion world.” Ah, always the sensitive touch. Nigel says that in the real world, they would have swapped her out for another model. Boy this isn’t looking good for her. Sophie – Nigel says great voice and believable but he wasn’t crazy about the in-between camera moments like he was with Laura. Tyra says she’s Illuminata so she expected to see scenes where she was lit-up. But her reads were fantastic. Mr Jay said she blew him away on-set. Everything was so cute and quirky. Kelly says it was a little “Edie Sedgwick after the party” for her. Tyra says that 21-year-old that she wants to be friends with was not in that ad in the in-between moments.
Cover Girl Print – Laura – Mr. Jay loves that she was feeling the pressure here but you can’t see it. Kelly doesn’t love it. Did someone piss in her Cheerios this morning? Tyra says that she has full lips, sass and a twinkle in her eye that she likes. Sophie – Nigel loves the eyes. It’s focused and sharp. Kelly loves it. It’s super star.
Wait, no Italian Vogue critique? Why doesn’t that get reviewed? That’s not good news for Laura, which makes me think that this is Sophie’s
The judges’ deliberations were, in a word, fierce. I still feel like it’s going to be Sophie… which makes me want Laura to win, of course. Always like the dark horse. Shall we find out who the winner is?
And I have to give Laura credit. That was the most enthusiastically truly happy for the other loss in the history of this show. I hope she makes it in the real world. She really is gorgeous. And I’m happy for Sophie. She deserved it. Hope she makes it too. Though do any of these girls actually “make it”?
Bottom Line: Well, I’m still sad to see Nigel and the Jays go. It’s just not going to be the same without them. I mean I’m not mad at that new cutie judge, but he’s no Nigel Barker. And though I swore I’d never watch again, I may give it one peek next season. One! Until then…