After a cycle full of Revolutionary War allusions, we are finally down to our ultimate two competitors! Yank Laura and Brit Sophie are put through the Cover Girl and runway show paces, per usual. The Cover Girl commercial and ad are focused on a product called "flipstick," because that's how things roll up in this joint. Sophie of course nails everything Cover Girl related with her bubbly, smiley, Illuminata self. We do, however, get to see how bad her skin actually is in some unflattering close-ups. Maybe this is subliminal messaging for Cover Girl cover-up? Laura, meanwhile, has a bit of a difficult time in her photo shoot, and then starts feeling very faint and shaky. She finishes out the photo shoot, but before she can get to her commercial line read she winds up on the ground, shaking even more and feeling like she's unable to breathe. She heads to the hospital, and ultimately is diagnosed as having a panic attack. She gets to shoot her commercial line read the next day in the hotel penthouse, and requires no hospitalization the second time through.
Though Sophie appears to have come out ahead on all things Cover Girl, she falters in comparison to Laura on a Vogue Italia shoot. It entails wearing underwear, so clearly Laura is in her element. Tyra also gives the final two a visit in their penthouse, to make sage observations such as the fact that Laura's wild craziness is merely a mask that covers her pain. She notes that Laura's personal hell has turned her into a strong person. Since Sophie had such an idyllic upbringing, all Tyra can talk about with her is how Sophie's eyes are too far apart and that makes her a good model.
And then it is time for the runway show for Forever 21. You guys, it's so dumb. Dumber than ghost brides or the time Chantal almost killed that guy on stilts! Jay explains that this will be a holographic runway show, which has the girls interacting with lifelike images (though not of Tupac or Nat King Cole or anything cool like that), and walking in sync with an outline of their own bodies. This last bit sounded much more impressive than it was in practice, as it essentially was just a spotlight that the girls had to walk in. With Catherine, Eboni, Alisha and Annaliese to keep them company on the runway, Laura and Sophie walk with giant bows made of hair placed atop their heads and, in one case, a stuffed lion. Somewhere in the world, Andre Leon Talley cackles in his salon while seated underneath a giant photograph of Angelea. Eventually, Sophie and Laura have to have swordfights with hologram warriors, and pick hologram dandelions. I don't know, everybody. No one trips or faints or anything interesting like that, and no one sings a duet with back-from-the-dead-via-hologram Frank Sinatra. What a bust.
At the final panel, Laura's walk gets middling reviews while Sophie gets raves, feedback is mixed on both Cover Girl commercials, and Sophie gets the most love for her Cover Girl ad. In the end, Sophie wins, obviously. Tyra has already started teaching her how to have American swagger, thus ensuring a successful and enduring career as a former reality show winner.
It is the season finale! Hooray! After this we can all go back to doing whatever it is we do when we aren't watching grown-ass ladies wear fairy costumes inside of a life-sized perfume bottle. We're stopping, dropping and tooching our way to sweet freedom! But first, there is some business to take care of.
Last time, if you'll recall, British presenter slash model slash subject of Kelly Cutrone's nightmares Annaliese was eliminated, leaving us with our final two. Will our eventual winner be British model Sophie, the Oxford girl who was sort of gawky looking at one point in her life and also went through the near-unfathomable trial of WAITRESSING while trying to make it as a model? The horror! Can you believe the sheer amount of perseverance she must have had? Sophie impressed the judges with her catwalk, but Tyra claims that sometimes she struggled to stand out in her photos. I don't remember that as being true at all, but let's allow the show to create a narrative of strong walker versus strong poser. Can a Brit overcome the odds and win the title? I mean, yes, obviously, or why even have this stupid season?
OR is it possible that our winner will be Laura, the uninhibited, crazy girl from Scotia, New York? Laura talked about sex a lot, and also overcame a childhood full of stale-beer smell to rise to the forefront of the Top Model ranks. Laura zagged when the other models zigged, and was particularly zagalicious in her photographs. But will her questionable walk and wavering confidence affect her chances of winning? Only if she has a panic attack and passes out during her Cover Girl shoot. Um, spoiler alert. Tyra claims that this is going to be an unforgettable finale, which belies the fact that I am going to forget everything about it within, I'm guessing, a 48-hour window. You want memorable, you give me ghost brides.
We enter the episode with what is, in my personal opinion, the worst photo of Tyra Banks I've ever seen. And it's hanging on the walls of the model penthouse at the MGM Macau! She's, like, grimacing and pretending to play the American flag like a guitar. This episode was clearly edited by someone who hates her, which I'm guessing is all the editors. Sophie and Laura return home, very excited about being in the final two, and Sophie gazes upon her best-of-week photo displayed as digital art. The two finalists commence squealing and bouncing up and down and dancing, which they continue to do for much of this episode in lieu of having personalities. It's very strange. Sophie tells us that she's got the stronger walk, while Laura's got the stronger book, and there's no telling which way the competition will go. But Sophie's hair is freshly pinked, which seems to give her a bit of a confidence boost. Laura tells us that she never thought she'd do anything like this when she was younger, and gets to push herself further than she thought she could possibly go. She claims that if she wins, she can take the prizes and transform them into something that even Tyra didn't know was possible. Tell it to Saleisha.