It’s the finale! It’s pretty much the same as usual, minus the elimination at the half-hour point. Nicole and Laura are clearly thrilled to be in the final two, and both are pretty sympathetic characters given their nerdy awkwardness and sunny small-town disposition, respectively. Almost immediately, they get their Cover Girl commercial script. Laura, who we are reminded is dyslexic, is stressed about being able to read and memorize her lines, insipid as they are. Teyona is there to shill product and remind us that she exists. While Jay directs the girls on their commercial shoots, Nigel photographs them for a Cover Girl ad. Nicole pretty much nails the photograph. Laura struggles at first in remembering and delivering her lines. However, her natural pluck is a great asset in this situation as she relaxes, refuses to freak out, and eventually comes as close to nailing her lines as she’s going to get. Nicole, who was very confident going into the commercial shoot, starts to lose it a bit once she gets on set. Jay tells her that she comes off as a snooty child of privilege, and Nicole would rather pose with a bloody eyeball than seem like a snob. Eventually, however, she turns in a pretty likable performance. Laura looks beautiful in her photo shoot, but when Nigel asks her what she’s thinking about she replies, “Milkshakes!” He would like a little more emotion out of his models. The girls then have a Seventeen cover shoot by Gilles Bensimon, chaperoned by Ann Shoket, whose “Hi ladieeeeeeeees!” reaches dog whistle proportions.
The girls have some one-on-one time with Tyra, and we learn that Nicole would sometimes eat her lunch alone in a bathroom stall at school. That’s sad times. For her part, Laura talks about her love of Grandma Wanda Sue and how people always looked down on her for being dyslexic and poor. Both have overcome their struggles to be finalists on an irrelevant reality show. Celebrate!
And then it’s time to walk to the death in a Julia Clancey fashion show. Brittany, Erin, Jennifer and Sundai are going to walk in the show, too, and so is Eddie Murphy’s daughter. The theme has something to do with elements, and the girls have to brave smoke, wind, water and glitter smeared all over their bodies. Nicole walks like a hunchback, but it works for her in a bell tower sort of way. Laura is shaking from head to toe, but manages to make it to the end of the runway without looking too crazy. On one pass, the girls have to walk with a giant sheer piece of fabric over their faces, then remove it to dramatic effect at the end of the runway. No one falls off the stage, sadly. Finally, Nicole and Laura go before the panel. Their commercials, catwalk performance, and portfolios are reviewed. Basically, both young women did a consistently good job all season. But there can only be one winner. And it’s the year of the bloody eyeball! Nicole wins! It’s as it should be, and very exciting, except for the part where Laura bawls her shiny, glittery face off.
Previously:Fourteen "lucky" girls had the opportunity to compete to become America's first Next Petite Top Model. Tyra tells us that this crew has proven from day one that size does not determine modeling potential. This will all change the minute they try to actually get jobs. But nice try. The competition has been intense, and never more so than during last week's double elimination that sent whiny Erin and ptosis Jen home.
Will our winner be Nicole, the quirky, awkward artist from Louisville, Colorado? She has the stunning look and model poses to deliver one amazing photo after another, and also has a legendary bloody eyeball. Nicole's "subdued" personality has left some of the judges to wonder: a) if she can succeed as a spokesmodel; b) if she is constantly stoned. Yes to both. Or will it be Laura, the southern beauty from a Kentucky town so small and destitute that it cannot be named? From week to week, her personality has charmed the panel and the home viewing audience. Laura commands attention on the catwalk and takes some gorgeous photos, but looks like an extra from Hee-Haw in person. Seriously, it's like the cornstalks sprout from the crown of her head. And Laura is concerned with her struggle with dyslexia, which makes it difficult for her to do some of the stupider reading-based challenges. Will Laura overcome her obstacles for a second Cover Girl commercial? Or will Nicole be able to pump up her persona (much like her lashes) in time to prevail? We shall now find out!
It is another beautiful day in Hawaii, and Nicole and Laura celebrate being in the final two. Laura says that no one in Deliveranceville, Kentucky will be able to believe that she made it to the final two of America's Next Top Model. We see photos of Laura with her dad and with Grandma Wanda Sue, and Laura tells us that all of her family have known since she was little that she wanted to be a model. She finally feels like she's on the track to fulfilling her dreams. Nicole tells Laura that two months ago she wasn't even able to present a project in front of a class. But now she can talk in front of panel, and is maybe going to become America's Next Top Model. Nicole interviews, in a clip that I believe we saw last week, that she came into this competition awkward and unsure of herself. But now she's a Top Model finalist! Bloody eyeball and all.
The girls head home and jump in their pool. We then turn to an interview with Laura, in which she appears to have been crying very, very hard. She's looked like this several times throughout her interviews this season, which is, like, Blue's Clue number one. Laura says that her whole life she's felt like she's had to prove to everyone else that she can be successful. Now she thinks she's proven that. When Laura was in high school, everyone expected her to fail because she's dyslexic and poor. And I don't know about you, but I can't even stand the thought of anyone being mean to Laura. I'd like to go smize those haters out of existence. To have come this far makes her feel good.