This is it! After narrowing down the thirteen finalists of Top Model‘s fifteenth season–its first “high fashion” cycle ever–to two finalists, Tyra and her gaggle of judges are ready to decide the winner, who will grace the pages of Vogue Italia and earn a contract shilling Covergirl products in the illustrious ranks of Queen Latifah and Drew Barrymore.
Tonight it’s down to Ann, the photo shoot champion, against Chelsey, the challenge champion, duking it out in a Vogue Italia shoot, Covergirl commercial and Roberto Cavalli runway show. Here’s what happened:
It’s the end! So Chelsey and Ann have a pizza party and talk about feelings. We don’t get any pizza, but we do get one last “awkward Ann family photo montage” for the road:
Oh, Ann. You haven’t changed at all!
Vogue Italia Fashion Shoot
The girls shoot their Vogue Italia fashion shoot, and the photographer wants the shoot to be “more natural” than you might expect for the cover of Italian Vogue. Laying in the mud and the grass and the hay “natural.” Ann says the most confident thing we’ve heard her say to date: “When I get in front of the camera, I’m able to really work it.”
Yeah! You WERK it, Venus!
She’s buggin’ because of all the bugs. The photographer tells her to think of them as “fans” and “future paparazzi.” Ann is all, “Too bad you can’t just murder a swarm of paparazzi with a swing of your hand and get away with it! Haha, am I right?” Paparazzi are the WURST.
Chelsey has a sort of Mouse Rat’s “Sex Hair” music video vibe going on, but it WERKS, too.
At least up there, on video, it seems to work. But here, uhhh not uhhhh so muuuuuch:
Yikes. Wake up, Chelsey! It’s time to shill Covergirl Lash Blash Master Clash!
Covergirl Commercial and Print Ad Shoot
Ann is suspicious that they didn’t receive a script the night before the Covergirl commercial shoot. She’s seen the Top Model Obsessed marathons on Oxygen, and she knows the drill.
But when Jay–WHO IS WEARING CARGO SHORTS?!–meets the girls the next day and introduces the shoot, he says the audio for the commercial will be laid over top, so–THANK ANN’S AWKWARD STARS–they’ll be doing voiceover. No H2T disasters today, folks! Instead, Chelsey and Ann need to mime-act like “two friends vacationing in this quaint little town” while bonding over their mutual love for Covergirl’s Lash Brash Iconoclast Ass Plaster. And gelato.
NOM NOM MODEL NOM
Right before the beauty shoot, Jay surprises the girls by revealing their families are there. The important thing about this is Ann’s brother, or is that …
Have you guys seen that movie where Amanda Bynes/Gwyneth Paltrow/Mulan/Whoopi Goldberg’s character dresses up as a boy for whatever stupid reason, and no one really notices that she’s so very clearly a cross-dresser? I feel like this is one of those movies, except it’s not, and it’s real. They’re not even twins. Are they? I’m not sure why a logical genetic physical similarity freaks me out so much, but WHOA.
No time to dwell though (OMG ANN’S BROTHER IS ANN WHAT!) because it’s time for awkward voiceovers and windswept beauty shots!
Jay to Ann: “You don’t have to be this wooden puppet.” That’s weird, since Jay is totally Top Model’s version of Jiminy Cricket, and Tyra loves pullin’ strings!
Just to cram the overarching, not-at-all-hard-to-understand theme of this season into our heads for the millionth time, the photographer says Chelsey is more commercial, while he finds Ann more editorial. Ann’s mom watches on in wonderment and amazitude:
Ann’s all growed up, and her mom’s all glowed up about it. It’s precious!
After that, the girls meet with the head of IMG Models, Ivan “I run all of IMG Models” What’s-His-Name. After asking them questions about their hopes, dreams and waist measurements, the conclusion is still pretty much the same: Chelsey is Ms. Personality, while Ann is Ms. Photographs Well.
Chelsey tries to convince herself that she is the frontrunner by saying that Ann has been in the bottom two and never won a challenge. This logic is Chelsey’s version of Artie’s magic comb. Whatever helps. Good luck with that!
Roberto Cavalli Runway Show
It’s the final showdown! A WALK-OFF! Jay brings back Liz, Chris, Jane, Kayla and Krista (Cycle 14 winner) to walk with Ann and Chelsey in the “Just Cavalli” runway show.
Jane gives Ann a “pep talk”: “Walk really well and don’t fall.” HAHA. Thanks, Jane! We all know the ol’ “Don’t screw it up” talk has worked so well for Ann in the past.
WHAT I’M NOT SCARED WHO SAID I WAS SCARED
Meanwhile, Kayla gives Chelsey a more effective confidence boost: The bitchy kind! “Ann will get tired more easily,” she tells Chelsey. Haha! That’s the ticket: Tucker her out! Ann’s legs are longer, so they have to work harder to pump all that blood all the way up to her brain. It’s called science, and it’s a big part of modeling.
Tyra introduces herself to Chelsey and Ann’s parents, and Chelsey’s mom says of Tyra: “I almost told her that your older brother had a huge crush on her.” Chelsey eyes are all, “OH my god, Mom, STOP EMBARRASSING ME!” No time to get too embarrassed though, because it’s time for the runway show, which Tyra introduces IN Italian. It doesn’t get better than this!
On the runway, Ann looks like a giraffe caught in the headlights:
Chelsey looks like an Austin Powers fembot set to STUN:
And Kayla looks like Chester Cheetah:
It’s basically a feat against nature that Ann is able to walk in those shoes at all, let alone all the way down a runway while moving halfway like a normal human being. She clomped along, but give her some credit. Her legs are taller than my whole self:
Final Judging and Elimination:
Tyra gets to lay out the prizes for the very last time, and boy does she MILK it!
“We will be crowning the winner tonight,” the Mighty Smizer says from atop her crystal encrusted throne while ominously stroking a sleeping white long-furred cat. It purrs maliciously, if that’s even possible. “What we decide here tonight will change your life FOREVER. Do you understand how serious this is? This is no joke. This is Top Model ELEVATED. One of you will win. And the other will be thrown off a cliff into obscurity, after which you will be transported to Model Heaven, which is located inside Andre Leon Talley’s glitter cape.”
The judges look through footage of the runway show, Covergirl commercial and Covergirl photo shoot. They say Chelsey looks “lost” when she tries to turn around on the runway (Zoolander!) but Cavalli says he thought she looked natural. At least more natural than Ann, whose eyes were “bulging” like a “zombie.”
Roberto Cavalli thinks he doesn’t know how to say, but he knows exactly how to say:
Tyra says she thought the acting in the Covergirl commercial was too realistic. Haha, REALLY? “If anything, the way you were running down the cobble stone street in five-inch heels and laughing hysterically for no reason into your gelato was TOO realistic. Not fake enough! Sell me mascara, NOT A MAP!”
Roberto Cavalli once again DOES know how to say: “I found it to be more about ice cream than makeup.” Well whose fault is that?
Jay Manuel: “GELATO TIME!”
Chelsey’s final Covergirl beauty photo is strong, but Roberto Cavalli says it doesn’t showcase the product enough.
Ann’s is “not typical Covergirl” says Nigel, but call it McDonald’s and stick it in a Happy Meal, because Roberto and Andre are both LOVIN’ IT! Andre: “It’s this bird that’s been kept into captivity for a moment. And I feel the story.” (The story of how she wants you to buy Covergirl Laser Blazer Mask Task?)
Tyra isn’t feeling the photo because it’s not “commercial” enough. Everything is just TOO real for her tonight. She’s literally (not literally) holding the fates and lives of two people in her hands!
Andre and Nigel are SO clearly on Team Ann, while I think Tyra is more split. But Roberto Cavalli’s input is probably what seals the deal: “Ann is more Italian fashion, while Chelsey is more American fashion.” And since the winner of this cycle will cover Vogue Italia, you can probably guess who …
She can’t believe it! She’s crying! She’s thanking the judges and not believing it and crying! Chelsey is peeved, but cordial as Tyra gives her go-to advice, which is that this is actually a reverse psychology lesson so that Chelsey will now be motivated to “prove them wrong.”
It’s been a long three months. Chelsey just needs a nap and a cookie. Then everything will be OK.
So, that’s it, kids! Ann is the winner of America’s Next Top Model cycle 15, as most of us expected and many of us hoped. I’m chatting with both Ann and Chelsey at different points tomorrow, so if you have a burning question for either of them, throw it down there in the comments and I’ll pick the ones that I think will be good questions to ask.
In the mean time: Check out my picks for the 15 Best Photos of Cycle 15. The 15 Worst Photos will get posted tomorrow, I hope.