America’s Next Top Model Cycle 14 Top Four to Winner First Impressions.

So we’re finally here, at the final episode! I got to say, this cycle has been much shorter than the previous ones and I feel kinda cheated. I mean, going from top four to winner in one (ok, two combined) episode(s)? Pfft, Tyra, pfft! Still, how did the girls do?

Airplane runway challenge

Ok I thought this was actually quite interesting, although how is Alex supposed to fit in the aisle comfortably?! And how in the world does Angelea have one heel? Did she pack the other one and decide to put this one in hand-carry for luck?

Alexandra actually did better than I thought she would. It was definitely stiff, clunky and she way overdid the cheese factor but she did exude more confidence than she has shown so far. Still nowhere near model-worthy, though, of course.

Krista definitely did the best by far. She was confident, her walk was strong (although a little fast) and she had little nuances here and there like flipping her little jacket and whipping off the shades. Definitely not as cheesy as Alex’s and she actually looks walks like a model. Shoo-in for winner!

Angelea? Hilarious. She basically recreated her Club Moment on this “runway” and it was totally LOL. Not anywhere near model-ish but sidesplitting to watch. Kudos to her for walking with one heel though.

Raina, sadly, did the worst. She was clunky and stiff like Alexandra but didn’t even have the fun or the cheese factor (which at least makes for good TV). Guess she really is meant for print work only.

“Pretty-ugly” photoshoot

Krista’s math is as bad as mine.

I have to say Angelea’s really grown on me personality-wise, although I still think she takes way overrated photos.

Yeah, Krista’s so got this in the bag too. Her styling made her ugly, but fashion-ugly (as opposed to, y’know, ugly-ugly, I guess). Plus, her poses were pretty extreme (contrary to what she said) and worked well here. Alex really got the ugliest styling, though. Raina is so not doing enough here. She was just standing there stiffly. I thought Angelea would rock this, actually, since she’s basically always fashion-ugly to me (at the most) but she was kinda mild here. Maybe she got in a good shot at the end, though.

Speaking of Angeela, dayum, her zit is scary. It’s worse than mine!

And LOL at Raina slathering on the hints to get Krista to share her wins. I don’t think Krista is really expected to share her prizes here though. I mean, it is a competition.

50% elimination

Haha, Alex brought her A-game with her outfit? She looks like she’s going to the mall with her friends on a sunny summer Saturday afternoon. The rest really do look good though. And whoa, I can’t believe they managed to get an Anna Sui fashion show! That’s so up there.

Raina’s photo was not bad, although she still isn’t actually doing much in the shot (that seems to be the case for this cycle though a la half of Angelea’s shots where she’s just standing there). I think she actually lucked out into this haggard shot of her. And I still feel it’s actually still more pretty-pretty than ugly-pretty. Not bad but not great either. B

Angelea’s shot…was really bad. The pose was awkward (and not fashion-awkward), she looked like she was running out of air (maybe from corset asphyxiation) and her face was just all sorts of hilarious. And why is the photo blurred? Couldn’t they have found a non-blurred one? C

Krista rocked it, as expected. Her face was strong without having to go into that whole snarly thing Tyra always does for ugly-pretty (although that would probably have worked here too) and her pose was perfect for the entire setting and shot framing. It could definitely be in a magazine shoot (assuming magazines do actually shoot ugly-pretty, which I wouldn’t know since I can’t be arsed to buy one). A

Alexandra’s shot was actually, for me, second best of the night (although the other two were really meh so it’s not saying much). Like Nigel said, it definitely wasn’t fashion-y and looked more like a still from some movie poster or something but I thought there was something inexplicably interesting about the entire picture. And I thought her face was actually pretty fierce, although it was a tad drowned by all the hair and puffy clothes. B+

I love that Tyra highlight Anya and Fatima as successes since they lost to Whitney, who has not done anything of note yet (other than her almost life-sized billboard across Times Square). And Krista’s first call-out was so predictable, but so deserved. She really does deserve to win this.

I would definitely have chosen Raina for finals too, although she’s been pretty meh the last few weeks. Alex has always languished in meh-land and, although she’s improved the past two weeks, she has never risen to more than above-average.

Angelea had her moments (although I still feel they were overrated) and her personality is pretty fun but she has been deproving the past few weeks even more than Raina and probably wouldn’t have stood a chance against Krista (not that Raina had much of one neither). I thought there would be a shocker though and that Angelea would go through to final two over Raina.

Covergirl/Seventeen shoot and commercial

The girls haven’t had much commercials to do this cycle as compared to previous ones, eh? That’s fine with me, though. I’d much prefer to see photos instead of commercials that no one ever seems to do really well at.

Raina looked really good for her shoot, although it came over more flirtatious and feminine than girly and cute and fresh. Guess that works, too, though, cause she looked great. Her commercial? Hmm not bad but not great (from what we saw) and that outfit did no wonders for her volleyball-ed, manly shoulders.

Krista reminds me of Halle Berry in her styling for this shoot. The lipstick was a bit scary and her mouth looked way bigger than usual. She looks a bit too fierce for Covergirl but I thought, despite all the mess-ups, she managed to do okay for the final commercial. The shoot looked pretty good but I’m not sure if she looked fresh in the final product.

I thought both girls did well for the Seventeen shoot, although Raina looked more appropriate and had the younger, fresher look and poses. Krista’s one looked more poised and elegant but came over more mature (i.e. older).

Family portrait

This is totally random. But kinda cute.

Anna Sui runway

Have to be honest, this is probably one of the best executed runways in the history of the show (probably due to the big name attached to it). The stage was great, the styling was cool, the clothes were preppy cute and the whole thing had a legitimate feel to it.

Wow, Nicole can finally walk! I don’t think she was ever that sassy, confident or just generally great at walking in her own cycle. That was a surprising twist.

Looking at the other four girls walking, it’s very obvious that Alasia was the best and most natural walker. She was fun, she was stomping it (like a gazelle, not like elephantine Alexandra and her weird air-guitar) and she had a lot of pizazz, although Angelea’s “y’all” wave was probably the most hilarious thing, again.

Krista (despite having been shoved the Saleisha hair) totally worked the first round. She was energetic, her smile was plastered on (but not forced) all the time and she was finally moving at a non breakneck speed. Raina was decent (better than I expected actually) but still felt a bit clunky and surprisingly un-fresh and un-energetic (and the hand in the pocket the entire walk was a bit weird). The few moments of fun she seemed to display felt a bit rehearsed. Round 1 definitely went to Krista.

Round 2 was a total draw though. Raina suddenly walked way better, her hair was flying in the cool, wind-in-the-hair way and she was finally looking natural and smiley. Krista suddenly became awkward but still managed to work it and, walking side by side, they looked pretty on par.

Final judging

Sorry, contrary to what Tyra insisted, they both look ridiculous. Why are they both suddenly birds? And Raina seems to have taken over the mantle of “ostrich” from Krista with that weird skirt. Tyra herself was also a bit of a misfire. Weirdness.

Raina’s Covergirl photo was amazing, to me. It’s fresh, she looks great and it basically exemplifies a whole different fresh side to her (I mean, the whole courtesan thing she was supposed to specialize in doesn’t really equate to young and fresh, y’know). She looked relaxed and this is probably her at one of her best, especially cause it concentrated on her main asset – that face. Not only one of the best shots to me this cycle, but one of the best Covergirl shots in ANTM history. A

Krista’s one, by comparison, didn’t feel so fresh. Her expression was slightly sour, she wasn’t smizing, the Rihanna hair made her edgier (but not so youthful, which is what this ad needs) and, while she looked great, it’s more of a great beauty shot than an ad for a cosmetics line targeted towards a younger clientele. She looked more like an actress rocking a beauty spread rather than a model doing a cosmetics ad. B

Is it just me, or did Krista have more face time and voiceovers than Raina did on the commercial? I thought Krista was more upbeat and gave off a fresh, energetic vibe but she looked older and harsher and her voice kinda grated. Raina, on the other hand, seemed to lack the spark but looked better suited for the campaign and her voice, ironically calmer than Krista’s, had a nice timbre, as Nigel mentioned. I don’t think there was a clear winner from this one.

Still, there has to be a winner and that would be…

I mean, is anyone actually surprised by this? Despite how good Raina looked at the start of the cycle, this had to be one of the most lopsided final two ever (ok, so was Whitney/Anya but the wrong one won!). Even the judges, during their deliberation, couldn’t find a way to make the girls sound more equal and like it was a closer fight.

And Krista totally deserved it too! She takes great photos consistently, she does well at all the challenges and she has a great walk (one of the best this cycle). She totally dominated the second half of the competition like no other girl has done in the history of the show, if I remember correctly. I mean, she literally won everything for the second half.

I think it’s interesting how the two girls’ roles changed throughout the season. Raina started off as the top dog to beat. She had that beautiful face, she took amazing photos (her perfume shot is still my fave of the season) and she just seemed like such a shoo-in for the title. At the start Krista, was definitely above-average but never super outstanding. She didn’t take bad shots at all but none of her shots were first-call-out worthy.

And then, suddenly, the roles switched. Krista totally won everything (and deservedly too, unlike Angelea’s occasional first call-out) while Raina stagnated and even deproved slightly. Raina in the second half, like Krista in the first half, still never took a bad shot and was still always above-average but she didn’t seem to improve or fulfil the potential of her face while Krista shot forward.

From the beginning of the cycle, Raina was my fave but I’m disappointed she didn’t manage to live up to the potential (I mean, for the first half of the cycle, she seemed like she would since she was actually modelling pretty well and not just being pretty). Kudos to her for actually making it to the final two though, since most early favourites totally fizzle out mid-cycle (anyone remember Elena? Or Isis?).

This was totally the right top two (Krista totally overtook Jessica as my second fave by far and actually became my pick to win since Raina didn’t seem to be living up to her face) and the cycle actually turned out pretty decent, considering how ominously terrible it looked at the start.

Can’t wait for next cycle!

ps. The winner’s shot with Tyra was hideous though! They both look like statues.

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