'America's Next Top Model' Cycle 24 Finale Recap: And the Winner Is...
'America's Next Top Model' Cycle 24 Finale Recap: And the Winner Is...
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
In the cycle 24 finale of America's Next Top Model, titled "Next Level Fierce," after a fitting with Philipp Plein, one of the final four is eliminated, the top three do a photo spread for Paper and walk in the last runway show of the season, and the judges decide the winner.

After 13 episodes and a whole lot of drama, it's finally time to crown America's Next Top Model. There's Shanice, who "comes from little" and has shed her past to become a rising star; the curvy Khrystyana, who's turned body positivity into high fashion; Kyla, the self-proclaimed activist who has found her inner supermodel; and, Jeana, who was eliminated but has come back even stronger.


A Horse is a Horse, Of Course

The final four head straight from panel to their fitting with Philipp Plein for their last ANTM fashion show. Tyra warns the girls that they need to bring their A-game because anyone can be cut at any time. TyTy really brings the drama when she declares that the rest of their lives depend on this fitting. 

Jeana already understands how much is on the line for her during the fitting since Philipp Plein is the main reason she's still in the competition (or so the judges would have us believe). 

Phillip Plein isn't one to dial things down and is known for his lavish runway shows. He's not thrilled with Khrystyana, who he thinks lacks self-confidence. His disapproval stresses Khrystyana out. His criticism that she walks like a horse brings up bad memories from her childhood, when Khrystyana was referred to in the same derogatory manner. As a result of this verbal abuse, she dealt with a lot of depression.

Shanice is emotional and feeling the pressure. Prior to her brother's death, he told her to go out and just kill it. Shanice has been criticized about her walk throughout the competition, and she hasn't improved. Plein remarks that they have a lot of work to do. 

Plein's adoration of Jeana continues. After she walks for him, he remarks that she looks very beautiful and very strong. 

Plein can be intense and intimidating, but Kyla, who was an athlete growing up, is used to that kind of energy. Her dad used to yell from the stands, so she had to learn to block it out. You probably don't want to block out instructions from a fashion designer who you're trying to impress. Plein likes Kyla because she's tall, and her overall look is good for the catwalk. 

After the fitting, Khrystyana breaks down, plagued with self-doubt. She feels stupid and ugly compared to the other women. She's really feeling the weight of all the negativity and bullying she's endured throughout her life. That tends to happen when someone refers to you as a farm animal. It is sad to hear her say that she doesn't feel "worthy."

Girl, Bye

The women arrive for their final photo shoot for a spread in Paper magazine. Drew drops the bomb that after speaking to Philipp Plein and based on her entire body of work, Shanice will not be moving forward in the competition. Yup, Shanice is eliminated on the spot. 

The final three have to keep their heads in the game. Whoever wins ANTM will have her spread published in the pages of Paper and will be seen all over the magazine's social media. The women are introduced to Mickey Boardman -- a Keebler elf of a man -- who also happens to be the editorial director of Paper.

Jeana is incredibly confident and believes she's 10 times better than Kyla and Khrystyana when it comes to modeling. I guess she forgot that she was been eliminated and is back only by the grace of God and Miss Tyra. 

Khrystyana is feeling more confident, perhaps driven by Jeana's cockiness. The Serbian-beauty is all about celebrating her curves. 

Kyla admits to the camera that when she started this competition, she had no idea what she was doing. Jeana agrees; she doesn't think Kyla has the go-to poses that she and Khrystyana do.


Run"way" for Your Life

All that's left is the final fashion show, which is taking place in an airplane hangar. Kyla, Jeana and Khrystyana learn that they'll be walking along with the models who they started this journey with. All the eliminated women seem to have a favorite. And, not surprisingly, Rio is Team Khrystyana. She's still super bitter about Jeana snaking her spot in the final four. 

Tyra arrives, bringing news of one final twist. The women are going to be sharing the runway with some very young girls -- all of whom represent the ladies of cycle 24 as well as women throughout the history of the entire show. Damn, upstaged by gorgeous Girl Scouts. 

Tyra decides to use the final runway as a platform to pat herself on the back for changing the definition of beauty. Please tell that to Kylie, Kendall, Bella, Gigi and all the other stereotypical supermodels. 

For the first look, the women walk with their tiny counterparts, but the second time around it's just them -- so no excuses.

The Fiercest of Them All

The show is a success, and when it's all over, the final three learn that the final judges' panel will be taking place immediately on the same runway where they just strutted their stuff.

I haven't gone over the prizes in a while, and since this is the finale, it's time to remind you what's at stake: a fashion spread in Paper magazine, a modeling contract with NEXT Model Management, a hundred grand from Pantene and an avatar in the ANTM mobile game. 

The judges have evaluated the womens' Paper photos, and Tyra informs them that somebody is going home immediately. All three receive their evaluations. Law feels let down by Khrystyana's photo. In fact, he thinks she's been sliding. Drew disagrees; he thinks Khrystyana is the quintessential Paper girl. She's fun and she's got a story to tell. 

The judges all gush over Kyla and agree that she's really grown since early on in the competition.

Ashley likes Jeana's photo but still thinks she needs to control the sexy. Drew felt let down by Jeana's performance at the shoot. He wanted a shot of Jeana bald, but she couldn't make it work, so they had to throw a wig on her. Drew feels that Jeana should be able to crush it without her hair in any situation. Law believes Jeana's shot is more Paper than Khrystyana's and argues that Jeana is the only girl who is always on. Things get a bit tense between Drew and Law, who obviously don't agree on the shot. But in the end, Drew makes it clear that he was at the shoot, it's his magazine and he'll bitch if he wants to. 

Khrystyana is eliminated! I had her pegged as the winner, so this is shocking. It also pretty much confirms that Kyla's going to win since Jeana is too short, too fast and too furious.

Because Tyra feels the need to drag this out for as long as possible, the judges still need to evaluate Jeana and Kyla's runway walk as well as their overall bodies of work before declaring the winner.

The judges are split when it comes to Kyla's walk. Law and Ashley feel that Kyla failed to bring it, while Tyra and Drew are pleased with the final result. 

Jeana's walk may have been fierce, but she showed her true colors when she dropped the little girl's hand and left her behind. Drew wasn't pleased to see a Jeana who was in it only for herself. Tyra also chastises Jeana for failing to take care of the child in such an intimidating space. 

The judges go through every photo/performance from each week, and it's just more of the same stuff we've already heard. The judges do their thing and deliberate the pros and cons of each girl.

Finally, Kyla is named America's Next Top Model. Nobody likes ugly on the inside, Jeana.


Did Jeana's bad personality work against her? Were you shocked by Shanice and Khrystyana's eliminations? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


(Image courtesy of VH1)