May 24, 2006

Two beautiful girls, one winner

Hello strangers! I'll bet you thought I'd dropped off the face of the earth. In actuality I've just been so busy that my usual free time (actual and mental) to work on my blog has been non-existent. But the universe is realigning, and it's time for me to play catch-up.

Rest assured in the coming week you will see all the posts you've been waiting for, including discussions about all the season finales like Amazing Race, Grey's Anatomy, Lost and Top Chef. There will also be movie reviews including The Da Vinci Code and X-Men 3. Not to mention some video reviews, and even a book discussion!

But by far the most I've heard from you in the past few days has been, "When will you comment on the Top Model finale?!?!?" Well, faithful readers, the time is now. I will try to leave the ending for the end so as not to spoil anyone who hasn't seen it. (And I'd say that after a week, I can now forego the usual spoiler warning.) Let's go!

When we last left our "models" they had said good-bye to Sara, who was sent back to prowl the mall of Georgetown, telling random strangers that F1. The next morning the girls have breakfast and react to their final 3 situation in the ways you might expect. Joanie is happy for them all, but in fact wants Jade to go home yesterday. Jade acts like she is happy for them all, but in fact thinks that she already is a supermodel. Danielle is focused on her own performance. As a MODEL, you pervs!

Jay arrives in their hotel to reveal that it's time to shoot some ads for Cover Girl (the ultimate winner of the season will have her ads featured in a campaign, as usual). They are each given a script, but the scripts are different. Ooh - a challenge! So the girls all study. And you can probably guess how it's going to turn out.

Next day, commercial time. Joanie tries so hard to show off her new teeth, that she comes off a bit like a parody. But eventually she does well. Just like the commercial weeks ago, Jade can't remember a single line. It's rather hilarious because they put on the screen what she's supposed to be saying, and it's like she's talking in Swahili. So to help her out, they give the bitch CUE CARDS. And still - STILL - she screws up the lines. Finally on the last take she kind-of gets it, but you know they're just happy to be done with her. Up comes Danielle, and of course she is having trouble toning down her accent. She gets nervous and stumbles over her words (but at least she memorized them, JADE). Finally she gets it right, and Jay the Orange Man is impressed.

This is immediately followed by photo shoots which are just head shots. There's not much to say here, as they all do quite well, but again there is the Joanie Is Afraid Of Her Teeth thing.

And it's already time for judging panel! (Hey, the finale was just an hour, so keep up.) I must point out that Tyra is wearing the most hideous outfit - it's sort of pale mauve and it looks like it's attacking her breasts from the sides. Not to mention the hair. Ick! No time for an extra challenge - it's right to the commercials and photos. Jade's commercial and photos get mixed reviews. Jade tries to explain away the commercial ("I'm new at this.") but in an awesome moment she gets the smackdown from TWIGGY of all people, who basically says Jade needs to learn when to stop talking. Amen, my British friend!

Joanie is up, and her picture gets compared to Grace Kelly, which I can almost see. Sadly, Joanie does not know who that is, because the girls on this show have zero knowledge of pop culture that took place before the internet. Miss J picks on her a bit for being too tight in her mouth.

Danielle gets raves for her photo, but the commercial is a split decision. Twiggy wants to see some improvement on the accent. Tyra very rudely says she hates it. Ouch! And also, foreshadowing (I'll explain later).

Three beauties, one photo. Joanie gets hers first. Who goes home? The crazy diva or the country gal? To the relief of America, Danielle gets the photo. Jade does not hug the girls, but saunters out, strikes one last ludicrous pose, and is gone from our lives forever. She interviews that she thinks the judges made a mistake (of course). Jade, how I shall miss you and your f'd up ways. She may be weirder than Britney's parenting skills, but I'll bet the bitch throws a good party.

Final 2! And for once they are friends. They call themselves "ebony and ivory," and they really are just too cute for words. It's nice that two girls from such different backgrounds became such fast mates. They make me think of Heather and Julie way back in season 1 of The Real World.

Fast forward to the final challenge, which as always is a runway show. Both girls will model two outfits each. And in this case the runway is a long winding path that moves through several gazebo-type structures that are out on a pond. It's really the most lovely setting - even the runway is scattered in flower petals. It's all so very Thai, and suddenly I'm craving a nice coconut curry.

The girls do their first walks pretty well. If I had to criticize, I'd say that Danielle needed to look a bit less serious, and Joanie looked at her feet too much. The second outfits are very Native American by-way-of Cher in the video for "Half-Breed." It's not that they look bad - I just thought them odd to be coming from a Thai designer. Anywho, on the final pass by the judges, Danielle offers a sly wink, while Joanie gives a fierce look of determination. The judges ooh and ah, and I'm apalled to find out I'm doing the same thing. Tyra comes "backstage" to congratulate them both.

Final panel! The girls are wearing their final runway outfits, but Tyra has stepped even further into fashion hell by wearing a bizarre turquoise diaphanous dress covered in squiggly gold, and a wacky gold tiara that makes her look like Medusa. Who did she piss off in the Wardrobe Department?

First a review of the girls' portfolios from the season. Which pretty much reminds us that they were both consistently awesome, and the judges have a tough decision to make. Joanie gives a final thank-you for the opportunity and the beautiful new smile. Danielle is grateful for being given this chance of a lifetime, and promises to get voice lessons.

How can the judges decide? They admit that Joanie has a more adaptable look, but Danielle has the better presence. Joanie is a photographer's dream, but Danielle walks the runway like a pro. HOW WILL THEY DECIDE? ARE YOU IN AGONY?!?!?!?

The girls return, and it's time to reveal the winner. The screen reveals it's...Danielle! She screams! Joanie smiles! Everyone cries! Joanie interviews that of course she's a little disappointed, but "the best girl won." And with that, Joanie becomes the most gracious runner-up in reality television history. Danielle is happy, the judges embrace her, and in a flash it's all over.

In the maxims of reality TV, we should have seen this coming. Danielle had a cleary "story arc" all season, and Tyra's constant harangues about her speech were purposely repeated to throw us off the scent. If you've seen previous seasons, you know that Tyra is hardest on those she loves most.

All in all, this was a very satisfying season, with a conclusion that is a good one. I think deep-down I wanted Joanie to win, but I'm perfectly happy it was Danielle, because she's awesome. I expect Joanie will have no trouble getting print work in the future if she wants it.

I hope you enjoyed all this - it's been a trip! My solemn vow is to be back with you next season, although we'll be on that new weird merged network - the CW (whatever the hell that stands for).

Coming soon - a rant on the Amazing Race finale!


Lady Brandenburg said...

OK - I thought Joanie did the best commercial - just for the record. Very fresh faced Cover Girl.

Also, remind me, what did Jade do on the way out, when she was dragging her suitcase - rapping or reciting poetry or dancing or clapping or something? I can't remember, I just remember laughing and thinking how pathetic it was that she was trying to "go out cool."

Joanie was such a gracious loser - good for her! I thought she would win, but I've never watched this show before, so I see what you're saying about them showing all the criticisms for someone who later wins. Very sneaky!

THANKS for this post!

Dancer in DC said...

Yes, I realized I missed that little bit.

After Jade left and went back to the hotel, she was crazy, singing, snapping her fingers. Then she leaves us with one last poem. I present it to you here in its entirety:

Leftover lady
Let alone the strongest to be subdued
If I only had the magic key that would unlock the realms to
The plateau of the highest me
Even though I've been badly bruised
Living in a house to become a popular muse.

Crazy-ass bitch.

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