Final Four. Again. But FOR REAL for real this time. No, seriously. We mean it now.
Remember Philipp-with-too-many-Ps Plein from the last panel? The guy who seems like he totally only became a designer because he wanted to bang models (but only the skinny ones)? Yeah, we get to spend some serious time with this guy in the finale.
Picking up right from last week’s judging, the final four (round three) go straight to Phillipp Plein’s (hereafter referred to as PP because I don’t have energy for this douchebag) studio to do their fitting for his runway show.
Shanice on the bus ride there: “I just want them to pick a winner.” Girl, so do we.
PP’s studio looks cool, but not cool enough for me to like him at all. Also, I’m a sucker for floral stuff, so I’d probably wear these dresses if someone else designed them. While zipping up a corseted dress on Khrystyana, he makes a point to vocalize that it’s a struggle to close the zipper. He grunts as if it’s an impossible task. He tells her to stop breathing for a few seconds so they can zip it. He’s basically even more of a dick than we thought he was.
It gets worse though. When she walks for him, he tells her not to shake so much (yes, seriously) and yells out “Not like a horse!” Khrystyana reveals in confessional that members of her own family have body shamed her by calling her “elephant” and – you guessed it – horse. So imagine what it must feel like when a big-time designer who holds your dreams in his hands calls you that same name. Again, I say: he’s a dick.
When Shanice walks, PP says he can see how nervous she is. He tells her, “It’s not a walk of shame. It’s a walk of fame.” Jeana, the person he clearly wants to win, gets a high five. (To be fair, she has the best walk though.) PP continues to make his preference for the standard model clear: “Kyla has a great look because she’s tall.” Groundbreaking stuff, PP.
A designer who literally only sees models as mannequins is an odd choice for the final runway show and guest judge on a season that was allegedly all about breaking down beauty barriers and showcasing the models’ personalities. Just sayin’.
Khrystyana is crying a lot when she gets back at the house. She’s breaking down because she feels ugly and weak compared to the others. She says that every bad word she’s been called before, she feels today. I hate seeing this beautiful butterfly feel unworthy. THANKS, PHILIPPPPPP.
TYRA MAIL: “Ready to add some Paper to your portfolio?” Time for their Paper spread shoot! Hell yes. I love the creative look of Paper shoots so let’s do dis.
Drew welcomes the models and informs them he’s about to eliminate one of them based on PP’s feedback and some further evaluation from the judges. Before this shoot even happens. In the most unceremonious elimination in ANTM history, Shanice is sent packing. I hate seeing her go out like this on a random-ass thing like this. They’re just like, “Byeee. Sorrrry.” I really hope she keeps modeling after this because she’s got something.
They keep playing unfortunate-sounding clips from Jeana’s confessionals. Here’s a gem: “Good riddance, Shanice. Should have worked on her walk a little bit more (shrug, smirk).” Then they contrast this with Khrystyana, goddess of goodness who says, “I really wanted [Shanice] to be one of the top people.” They’re playing the Jeana-is-a-villain angle HARD in this episode.
Drew says the images will be “disruptive.” The sets are these ultra-mod, all-primary colors spaces. One’s got a giant phone, one’s got bubbles. There’s a lot happening, but it looks cool, especially with the styling of the models and those killer wigs.
TYRA MAIL #2: “The future of beauty awaits you at your final fashion show.” Oh, great. We get to see PP again.
Drew and Law welcome the models to Barker Hangar, the site of the final runway competition. Yes, it’s really just a runway somewhere in a hangar. They’ll also be walking with the other eliminated models, including Shanice! Yay, Shanice!
Stacey is back to motivate the gals. Khrystyana is tearing up, and Stacey is like, “STOP CRYING.” She tells her, “This is your time to shine. Own you. Own all of this. Own this entire moment.” Side note: Kyla and Queen K’s hair looks so freaking stunning. Look at it:
Here’s where I get less excited for this runway show. Some child models are going to participate. Tyra explains that they represent the girls in the competition and models from past seasons who embody all different types of beauty because apparently the mission of this show is to change the definition of beauty. So they’re a mix of skin colors, heights, etc. The models at least pretend to be happy about this, but I am so not interested for two reasons: 1) I am here to watch the finalists battle it out, not walk hand-in-hand down a runway (for a designer I don’t even like, mind you) with a random child, and 2) This is some self-congratulatory bullshit on the part of ANTM.
Have no fear: if self-congratulatory bullshit is your thing, you’re about to get a HEAPING dose of it when this fashion show starts.
The runway itself is cool and floral, and I like it. As the show’s starting, there’s a weird Tyra voiceover about “What is beauty?” Here we go. There’s some black-and-white artsy thing happening on screens beside the runway where the models from this season talk about insecurities. Then Tyra talks about how beauty is every different size, shape, color, age, etc., like she’s been championing this season. She finishes with a dramatic, “Look in the mirror. Beauty is you.” Cue big ol’ ANTM logos. Cue my eyes rolling.
Look, I agree with the sentiment. The definition of beauty is indeed too narrow. I agree that everyone is beautiful. But this thing is cheesy af and feels so forced into the fashion show. I don’t get how this ties into the designs or even the styling of the runway. This is all an art piece that should work together, but it’s awful.
But wait! It gets cheesier. While the models walk with the kids down the runway, the screens are now playing happy video of them. Because yay! They all know they’re beautiful now! The kids walking the runway are just as effing distracting as I thought they’d be and I’m over them. Plus they’re legit throwing flowers like flower girls at a wedding. STAHP.
The models’ second look will not include random children. Thank goodness. I just wanna see these girls stomp it out without all the gimmicky shit.
To me, all three finalists looked fantastic. Jeana’s walk seemed better than the others. When the three of them walked together though, that was slay time. Witness the slay:
Drew and Ashley are here with happy faces that make it look like they have good news, but it’s a lie. They’re about to eliminate another model right now at a panel to be held on the runway.
I really like the floral gowns Kyla and Khrystyana are wearing. I like them in equal measure to how much I don’t like PP himself.
This judging will be only considering the Paper photo spread shoot, and then field will be cut down to two.
Ashley: “Kyla, you look stunning in this photo.”
Law: “I love this photo. I am so proud that you were able to do this at this point in the competition.”
Drew: “I was very very nervous because you don’t seem like a Paper girl, but you rose to the occasion.”
Tyra: “You look like a dirty girl who has to get her hootie washed out by cloud soap.” WTF. She had to come through one last time with some bonkers commentary.
Ashley: “This is your personality. Tt’s very Jayne Mansfield. It’s cool, it’s funky.”
Law: “I think she looks like Kyla’s drunk older sister.”
Drew: “I disagree. You’re the kind of girl that we want in Paper.”
Tyra: “As a person looking at a magazine, I wanna be taken on a journey. And I love it.”
Ashley: “It’s not my favorite photo of you.”
Drew: “I love this picture. I was really let down by your performance.”
Law: “This is more paper than Khrystyana’s.” Says he wishes he was at the shoot because he’s confused by Drew.
Drew “She only looked amazing with the wig on.” And then he drops his mic: “I was there. It’s my magazine. I did the shot. And I didn’t like it.”
Tyra: “I think you look unreal. It’s pretty genius.”
Turns out, they’ve already deliberated anyway, and Khrytyana is eliminated. DAMN IT. This is probably in the top three “She was robbed!” moments I’ve ever seen on ANTM. Let’s just look at this from an overall perspective: She won more challenges than anyone else. She won best photo more times than anyone else. Her personality is without a damn doubt better than everyone else’s. AND she wholly embodies everything this season allegedly stands for in terms of expanding the definition of beauty in the modeling industry: She’s curvy, she’s 32 years old, and she’s a body positive activist. Not to mention she’s a freaking STELLAR model.
She’s of course gracious and sweet upon her exit. She’s going to be walking in two NY Fashion Week shows from challenges she won, so she’s cool. What a sweetie. I LOVE YOU, K!
Now the judges will evaluate the runway walks and entire season-long bodies of work from Kyla and Jeana. Based on that idea alone, I’d lean toward Jeana because she seems stronger as a whole package. Kyla’s been killing it the past four weeks or so, and the way the shows have been edited makes it seem like they’re trying to make us love her and hate Jeana, so…
Law thinks Kyla’s walk wasn’t as good as it as a few weeks ago. Ashley didn’t think it was that refined. Drew and Tyra thought she did great and that she sold the clothes, which is the ultimate job of a model.
Ashley thought Jeana was fantastic. However, there was a moment when Jeana let go of her the child’s hand to pose, and Drew said he was shocked because he saw a Jeana who was only in it for herself. Tyra said she was also surprised. I’m just confused here because what? Who cares? Why were these kids even in the show?!
Going back to the beginning, Kyla’s been on a trajectory straight up almost the entire time. She was in the bottom two twice though, so it was a slow climb. They all recognize the “dripping in gold” photoshoot as her turning point.
They think Jeana started high, got worse for a while (and was eliminated, mind you), and then rose up again. Her Paper cover shoot is cited as a turning point for her.
The judges talk about who has more potential to build their career, and they refer to Kyla as a “blank slate,” which is hard to argue because – and I’m sorry for this – Kyla is super boring to watch. They say Jeana “can only be Jeana.” To me that isn’t a bad thing, but I think they want to shape someone’s career, not just be the boosting point.
So in my opinion, it felt a bit self-serving for Tyra to say, “America’s. Next. Top. Model. Is…”
Jeana gives her a weird pat on the back and a “Congratulations.” It’s awkward but of course it is.
Kyla’s like, “I am a new Kyla. I was literally making coffee like two months ago.”
I mean, that’s cool and all. But here’s the thing. This season was supposed to be all about reclaiming what beauty is, especially within the modeling industry, and they picked the one girl they said over and over again “looked the most like a model.” And is 20 years old. And is very tall and thin. So basically, she’s exactly the definition of a model that’s always existed. You know, the definition ANTM credits itself with changing. So glad they axed the age limits, did away with height restrictions, and welcomed all sizes. That was a joke. Here’s a 6-foot-tall, skinny 20-year-old who underperformed the other two finalists by a longshot, except in the last two photoshoots.
Kyla's a good model, and I'm sure she'll have a great career. But should she have won this competition? No. Not because she looks like a typical model. If she was the best, she was the best. But she wasn't. She should have won because she did not do as well as at least two other contestants who finished below her.
Stay tuned for a dishy blog post on some alleged producer drama on ANTM. Apparently about half the cast has said (or supported that others have said) that they were treated cruelly by the production team. Remember that two people went home when they felt they couldn’t emotionally handle the competition. We were all like, “Get over it!” but it turns out, there’s probably something to that. I’ll cover it when it all drops. Jeana will be speaking to Vice, and I hope she dishes the dirt.
See you for that. And then, for Cycle 25.
Yours in #nextlevelfierceness,