Ah, parting is such sweet freedom. Sorrow! I mean sorrow!
Laura's crying because Gramma Wanda Sue wrote her a letter telling her that by placing this far in ANTM, she's gone further than anyone else in her family. Well, keep your feet in the cow patties and keep reaching for those 15 minutes, clan!
Watching Laura take defeat so hard was rough. I actually haven't come this close to tearing up since Toccara said, "My mommy didn't raise me and my daddy didn't raise me," and then a bunch of other stuff that was even less specific and more difficult to understand. In that case, I (almost) cried out of frustration. Not quite the same case here, but all I'm saying is that it's nice to feel something every few years.
Laura said she's sure her family won't be disappointed that she isn't America's Next Top Model. I mean, even if she won, she wouldn't be, anyway. I'm sure they all grasp that.
I'm not recapping the clip show (here's a thumbnail: Kara invents clever games, Rae has an OCD approach to dental care, Bianca got ants in her purse/underwear/shaved eyebrows and Sundai loves deviled eggs so much that she'll risk eating bugs to consume them), but it did include, by my very cursory look (I watched it while I was working out) three more instances of crying (all Erin):
Fun fact: Erin was the only girl from this cycle to get in touch with me. (So, no video interviews this time -- I'm sure you're crushed.) I'm not saying this to brag (ADMIT IT: YOU ARE JEALOUS OF MY INBOX), but to point out that the sense of humor she seems to have about herself surprised me. The opening sentence read: "This is, ahem, 'Imp Erin' or whathaveyou, and I just thought perhaps you would slightly enjoy knowing that I am rather torn-up about my elimination simply because I won't be featured on your blog anymore." Cute, right? I obviously enjoyed her and her outward displays of evil very much this cycle (as someone who cried over B's on math tests in middle school, I could relate to her extreme perfectionism), and this only made me think more of her. If she ever comes to New York, I've got a pot o' gold with her name on it!
Oh, and thanks to the perennial number-crunching of reader Toho, here's the final Crying Count tally (click to enlarge):
Laura had the most instances of crying. That's mah girl! Nicole had the least. I guess with all that blood up in her eyeball, there's little room for tears.
Anyway, let's do this one last time (for a while):
"So, now the girl that sits in the bathroom stall is a finalist."
I really like this as a title, maybe even more than "the girl with all the potential in the world," (aka the previous first runner up in the Favorite Titles of All Time title match in my head -- the titleholder for my favorite title of all time is Miss Grand National Star Grand Supreme, or the title Swan Brooner goes on to win in Living Dolls). (Also, here's me typing the word "title" a few more times because I haven't gotten it all out yet: title title title title title title title title title title title title title title title title title title title title title title title title title.)
Meanwhile, while Nicole's in the bathroom stall with her pads and self-satisfaction from carrying multiple titles, the boys who sit in the bathroom stall are merely sexually frustrated (or not, depending on who's sitting next to them, I guess!).
"At first, I was like, what is this kinda walk? (Grunts.) But it was a signature walk."
I thought that Bre or some such imp yammered incessantly about her signature walk only to be shot down by panel, who informed her that a walk needs to be more than just signature to be special. I mean, if Nicole got down on her ass and moved by scooting herself along with her arms, a la animals with worms/dirty butts that they are somehow conscious of, that would be a signature walk, too, right? Because seriously, the only signature on this...
...is Captain Caveman's.
Dyslexia Colby Jack Off Al Johns Winston Juzwiak to you, Tyra, as I am now apparently a drag queen in name. (Not to mention spirit. And, fine: wardrobe.) Enchanté!
I'll make the rest of this recap quick by focusing on each girl and then we'll be done and wave this cycle goodbye thusly:
First up is the first-runner-up:
First of all, congrats on defeating dyslexia!
See what a wireless mascara brush can do? I don't even use mascara (except when I'm in drag aka always), and I know that shit is game-changing.
Game-changing like the climax of A Clockwork Orange, but game-changing all the same. Really, though, I know that dyslexia can be debilitating, but it does go to show that it doesn't have to be. In the contact I've had with dyslexics, I feel like the frustration that comes as a result of the condition can be more of a problem than the actual condition. Anyway, great character arc, this overcoming dyslexia thing. It couldn't have been timed better if it were scripted.
And speaking of things being perfect enough to be scripted...
Where is Laura from again? And is she dyslexic and poor? And can you believe it, because she can't? Perhaps if she keeps repeating it, one day she will - there is a lot to be said about learning through repetition.
To be fair, Laura is pretty damn unbelievable:
Nigel (during shoot): What are you thinking?
Nigel: What else do you like besides milkshakes?
Laura: Little baby cats. ("Calfs?" sic?)
Amazing, right? I bet scratch-and-sniff stickers, googly eyes and Polly Pocket would also make the list if she had to lay it out. What a joyful girl this is. Fuck Nigel for this: "I was asking Laura to think of emotions, to think of things to inspire her. But I'm afraid her emotions were, 'Milkshake!'" Look, I know all about retelling things to make them sound as stupid as possible, but this is really just wrong. Her emotions weren't, "Milkshake!" The things that inspire her were. That's different. Also, this really just seemed like typical Laura endearing doofiness at first, but then it hit me: as a model (even a reality show one), homegirl's gotta be hungry. She isn't silly, she's starving.
And also: diabolical. I think she's on the right track, though -- since she did not strike gold on this show, perhaps she can seek fortune in oil.
One more moment of Laura-helmed joy: when she was talking to Tyra about how unbelievable a model hailing from a small town was (which...???), she added, "I guess they think [models] come from outer space or something!" Tyra was all...
Oh, and speaking of crazy, I love that Tyra put "petite model" in quotes when referring to Nicole...
...like it was so ridiculous that anyone would call her that. Listen lady, you had air quotes around this whole damn cycle!
But before I get to Nicole, a few quick bullet-points:
- The styling of the fashion show?
It looked like bukkake with a twist. Something like the aftermath of being female-ejaculated on by Lisa Frank.
- J's sleeves were looking awfully perky:
Full maturation is a beautiful thing, especially when it comes to shoulder-boobs. Mmmm...shoulder-boobs. I actually looked for like 20 minutes for the right nipples to position just so on them in this shot...
And then I realized how absolutely inane that idea was. Such is my life.
- I'm really proud of this cycle for being consistent with the conjoinment motif through the bitter end:
- Not so proud of the CoverGirl shots, though...
Laura in particular looks like she's covered in felt, or perhaps upholstered in the skin of a child pageant queen. (You know how they always look like puppets in their glamor shots?) Oh well, at least she's the Grand National Star Grand Supreme of my heart.
- I cannot believe Gilles Bensimon came back after all these cycles!
Now I know how Celie felt when Nettie returned!
- Ann Shoket is so not down with the girls like this:
This kinda made me sad actually, because it struck me that this woman must be extremely lonely. :( At least the girls who were going away never to come back into her life were nice to her. :( :(
- Why do you think Jay Manuel was standing so far away from the girls when addressing them before the CoverGirl shoot?
My guess: gas.
Also, when he laid out the introduction ("So, someone who knows all about having fans and signing autographs and taking photos..."), I was expecting to see anyone, anyone in the world to trot out before Teyona. I would not have been surprised if Cousin It, Lisa's tree friend from Cycle 5 hopped out. But Teyona? Having fans? Signing autographs? Taking photos? Pshaw.
Oh well, at least this show backs up its claims. It sure showed me!
I love that Tey-bot addressed them with a pitch. This is frequently how all old winners address those still in the running, it's just that Teyona was particularly bad at it: "Now, this is your final chance to stand out and impress the judges, so it's a good thing that Lash Blast doubles the size of your lashes. You're gonna have big, bold, look-at-me lashes."
When I saw Nicole go...
"Right on. Look-at-me lashes," in response, I knew the Kool-Aid had been drunk. Frankly, I think Teyona knew, too.
That counts as an endorsement, right?
Oh, Nicole, she's not a bad winner. I like that she is something of a booger enthusiast. I really like that she is a self-pronounced dork.
Although, "I'm a dork and I'm America's Next Top Model," could be said for practically all of the winners at this point. It's something of a motto. But what I love the most is that, as clever reader Jennifer R., pointed out to me...
...her final outfit was extremely similar to Molly Ringwald's in Pretty in Pink, except maybe even more hideous. Next time pick Duckie, not fringe, Nicole!
Anyway, Nicole is America's Next Top Model's first petite winner ever, as Tyra announced, which is true if you don't count Eva, whom I believe was even shorter. But whatever. Our brains our mush at this point. Who can even think back that far?
To Nicole I say: don't forget to remember to be yourself!
No, seriously, our entertainment depends on it:
To Tyra I say: get a real job! To J I say: buy a bra. To Jay Manuel I say: Gas-X. To Laura I say: please don't invest your self worth in what other people think of you. You are too magical for that. Drink your own milkshake. To Sundai I say: take the bugs out your mouth.