Then we have Kiara, the basketball player from UC Irvine who is majoring in sociology. Kiara wants to show girls everywhere that you can go from being beaten down and homeless to becoming a model. Tyra asks her to elaborate, and Kiara says that for the majority of her life she was abused. She ran away from home at 16, found a shelter for battered women, and worked her ass off every day to get a college scholarship. Tyra notes that Kiara talks about her past as if it happened to someone else. It's true that Kiara is almost preternaturally poised. She says that she doesn't like to dwell on her past, but rather accelerate it. I don't know what that means, other than she probably at some point will need some therapy. The judges like her photo, though Tyra tells her that she should be less sexy and more athletic. Kiara Skypes with her grandmother, and makes it clear to us exactly how much she wants to be in this competition. (A whole lot.)
And then it's time for Tyra to announce the 13 finalists. First, though, she announces a whole new prize package. The winner will receive a fashion feature in Nylon magazine, which means no more Franca Sozzani. She will also get to be the face of the ANTM fragrance, Dream Come True, be offered a contract with LA Models and New York Model Management, and will have campaigns with Nine West and Smashbox Cosmetics. There's no Cover Girl contract, but the winner will get $100,000 cash. Did we know that Cover Girl was out? I wonder what finally made them pull the plug. Maybe it was fear of Victoria.
The first finalist to be announced is beeyotch Kristin, who will go on to annoy the living life out of us all, I'm sure. Nastasia is called next, and feels like she's about to throw up. With happiness! Small town child of third tier celebrities Laura is called next, followed by predicted first bootee Allyssa. Destiny is a finalist, obviously, so at least will be guaranteed a hot meal for a few more days. Kiara is called next, followed by Rhode Island gap-toothed Leila, and Louisiana Darian. Maria gets a spot, probably just because Tyra is so eager to swap stories of hanging out in Harvard Square with all the other co-eds. Jessie is called, hooray! She is typically adorable about it, and is totally going to be the nice, normal, awesome girl in the house. Crazy eyes Brittany is called next, and attributes her success to being a believer who makes her dreams come true. Shouldn't little birds be flying around her head or something? Doesn't her fairy godmother get any credit? Plus-sized Yvonne is called, which leaves only one finalist spot. Victoria looks very solemn and nervous, even though everyone else obviously knows that Tyra could not pass up that visible, quivering brand of crazy. She's the lucky 13th, and claims to be the happiest person in the world. Next to her, Jessie is kind of like, "Let's calm down there, nutbag!" But in a nice way, of course.