Here we are. Finally. After 13 weeks of drama and fashion, controversy and strength, America’s Next Top Model Cycle 21 get’s decided tonight. And tonight we may see Top Model history, the very first male top model. Back to back, we’ve got two episodes: “Finale Part 1: The Last Girl Standing” and “Finale Part 2: America’s Next Top Model Is …”
By the end of this two hour frenzy, we will know the answer to the questions every ANTM follower has been asking themselves for the last 13 weeks: Will it be a guy this time? If it is a guy, which gorgeous hunk of masculinity will it be: Keith or Will? Lenox is the only girl standing, as the title of the first half suggests, and who knows if she’ll make it to the second hour of the night. Adam, well, could his drinking problem preclude him from winning this thing, or will he be judged on his modeling alone?
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Beautytainment Brings Tyra to the House
Tyra Banks makes a surprise visit to the house where the four models/friends remain. She tells her story about starting her own makeup line, called Tyra, of course. The creator of words like smize and tooch and booch has created her own unique word for the revolution she intends to lead with her beauty products: Beautytainment.
For the first activity of “The Last Girl Standing,” Tyra explains they will need more fresh faces. In walk all the models who have so recently left empty-handed. Makeup and hair come to the house and it’s a reunion among old friends… plus Chantelle, whom no one is excited to see. Lenox, Adam, Will and Keith get to choose teams from among the models. Team Adam is representing Tyra’s Oops Liner consists of Kari, Chantelle and Denzel. Team Keith, who will promote Tyra’s Lip Model consists of Mirjana and Shei. Team Lenox has sweet Matthew and Ben who will be representing Smack My Fat Lash. Team Will includes Raelia and Ivy, who will be showcasing two products: Sculpt in a Stick and Light in a Stick.
Yu Tsai Meets the Group at Lotte Food Court
Makeup commercials are the order of the night. Tyra announces that they will be joined by the runners-up from cycles 12 and 17 of America’s Next Top Model and the woman with the most beautiful skin Tyra has ever seen: Miss Allison Harvard of the blond hair and enormous eyes.
Keith’s commercial shoot is a bit stiff. Adam does fantastically. Will has to do his commercial shirtless, which throws him off completely. Of all the men in the competition, Will has the least muscle definition in his chest and abdomen, but he’s still pretty darn fine. Then Raelia gets to use Tyra’s product on him and it gives him a six-pack. Then he starts kicking some righteous booty. Next up, Lenox, whose tresses become chocolatey curls of love splayed all around her as she lies on the ground. Her entire shoot is phenomenal and all the guys are worried.
The Gang’s All Here
After a day (night) of work, the whole group goes out to dinner together and it’s like old times, except at this point Adam’s drinking is no longer a laughing matter to the three remaining in the competition. Eyes are rolled as Adam makes a little speech and we’re all thinking the same thing: Will an alcoholic even be considered as one of Tyra Banks’ top models?
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Does Anyone Want to Guess?
The next morning Yu Tsi meets the four at the ANTM stage Seoul Institute of the Arts to create cycle 21’s Guess photo shoot. Yu is not just the creative director today, he’s the photographer. Keith is nervous as hell to be working with Yu again after their last disaster working together, but Adam is positively killing the Guess shoot. Again, Will struggles. What the heck, Will? You’re my boo and I want you (or Keith) to win (but mostly Will or Keith). Come on, we all have our favorites. Sometimes those favorites change throughout the cycle as we get to know the models, but eventually we get to the end and there’s one we want to be the last woman, or man, in this case, standing. I love both Will and Keith. I love Will because he’s absolutely beautiful and has a wonderful personality. I love Keith because he’s America’s Next McDreamy. Either winning would please me.
What About Lenox?
Lenox has had more first photos than anyone else left in the competition. My suspicion is that since there has been so much hype over there being great male models, there will be a male winner this cycle. ANTM has to show that it’s worth it for men to participate in this competition. If they can’t do that, there’s not much hope for the future of America’s Next Top Model which has been including men in an effort to revive a dying franchise. So, a guy’s gotta win!
So, does Lenox stand a chance? I have to say y-y-yes because Tyra always ends up doing the right thing and Lenox deserves a win just as much as any of the guys. And then…
Tyra On the Prowl
Tyra has been watching this entire photo shoot with Yu Tsai. She comes out into the group and announces that she’s seen everyone’s photos and is ready to eliminate someone. Right. Now. Holy crap on a cracker, people. My heart is beating like a rocket ship stuck inside a cistern. Who can it be? And why? They all seem to be doing so well. Tyra is joined by Kelly Cutrone and Miss J. Alexander to assist with the judging.
Tyra brings out the photos. Will gets good reviews. Lenox, according to Kelly, is too hoochie. What? Tyra says she’s rocking it, thought. Adam is up next and all the models think his shots are to die for. Everyone seems to be doing well, so who is going to be going home? Keith is up next. The feedback for Keith sounds like it’s negative, but then it turns kinda positive, depending upon who you listen to. Kelly and Miss J. are at odds. Again. So then we move to the social media scores.
The Three Models to be Walking in the Lie Sang Bong Fashion Show Are…
The tension is high. Tyra holds the photos. First photo is Adam. What? It kinda feels like the underdog is pulling ahead, doesn’t it? Despite the alcoholic thing, there’s a part of my heart that’s soft on Adam. We all know what it’s like to be shy, or feel awkward in social situations. Adam uses alcohol. I use chocolate. Perhaps you hide behind chocolate. My husband hides behind his intelligence. We all do something to get by.
Will gets second photo. Whew! And then… the curtain falls for America’s Next Top Model‘s “The Last Girl Standing” and we are left gagging for the results.
Three Very Strong and Different Boys
After a very long and dramatic pause, Tyra announces that Keith is the third model to be going on to the final runway show which will determine who’ll be America’s next top model. Wow. And that’s how it’s done, boys and girls. That’s how we ensure that the 21st top model will be a man. I do think it was a righteous judgement because all three guys got such good remarks about their photos.
The boys go to bed happy and the next morning everyone is pensive, introspective. Adam, Will and Keith get to Vine with their family members and tell us about how much they’ve grown in skill and confidence since they started on ANTM four months earlier. At this point, it’s anybody’s game.
Designer Lie Sang Bong on the Han River Walk
The guys meet Yu Tsai and Kelly at the Han River Runway to prepare for the evening’s runway fashion show. Joining the fab three will be cycle 20 winner Jourdan Miller and all of the previous models from the current cycle. They will be featuring the designs of designer Lie Sang Bong and will be judged on their runway performance as well as their entire body of work on ANTM to date.
The show is opened by KPOP star performers 2NE1. Then Tyra goes behind the curtain to visit the models and looks like she’s about to dispense some sage advice. However, in true ANTM fashion, the dramatic soundtrack starts rolling snd we know someone is about to be eliminated less than two minutes before the final runway. But — psyche — she was just yanking their chains. Say what? It was a tease. All three continue on. Whew.
The Clothes Are Orgasmically Stunning
As are all three final contenders. Will cries in his voice over. Keith cries in his video journal. Adam is both proud and humble. The event is exciting. Energetic. Colorful. Everyone is thrilled afterward.
The Final Panel Begins
Will and Keith and Adam stand before the panel of judges the following evening dressed the male version of the LBD, yes, the little black dress. For a guy, that’s a modest pair of black slacks with a simple small-sleeved black tee. And it’s time to evaluate the runway walks of all three men. Adam did some mugging. Will held back, and that will most likely be his downfall. Keith was basically heaven.
The panel reviews every photo shoot from the waterfall to the Elvis Presley shoot. Adam is praised for his ability to listen carefully and follow direction. The judges can’t believe he’s come so far in such a short period of time. He’s a smart guy. The ability to adapt and alter the course is a sign of intelligence. Will is praised for his amazing control of his dancer’s body and for his beautiful face. He’s breathtaking and the camera loves him. Keith is lauded for how much he has grown as a model as well. Yu Tsai, specifically, could not be prouder. Yu pushed Keith in the same way Keith’s football coaches did. Instead of becoming irritated and belligerent like Chatelle did after so many photo shoots, Keith interpreted Yu’s goading as love and commitment and allowed it to mold him into what we now see on the screen.
Finally, the social media scores on the wall begin to flip by and the first guy is eliminated.
Result: Adam is not America’s next top model
Tyra asks Will and Keith how they are both thinking and feeling at this very moment. They both get teary-eyed. The social media scores on the wall begin furiously flipping once again. The anxious soundtrack plays in the background. Both men stop breathing.
Will gets a 35 from the judges, plus 7.3 from the challenges, and a fan vote of 6.9.
Keith gets a 37 from the judges, plus 8.3 from the challenges, and a fan vote of 6.4.
America’s Next Top Model Is… Keith
There you have it. I am not at all surprised. It could have gone either way. Both men have gained so much from the experience and their lives are forever changed regardless of the final prize. Keith makes a beautiful and sexy model. And so does Will. Congratulations to you both.
America’s Next Top Model Cycle 21 is complete, but it’s already been renewed for a 22nd cycle on The CW, so I’ll see you all back then. In the meantime, always remember to smize for the selfie.
(Image courtesy of The CW)