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Thursday November 20, 2008 1:33 am

America’s Next Top Model 11: Finale

America's Next Top Model Cycle 11

After 10 weeks and 14 models, finally came down to the Top Three.

Which lady eventually found herself with an Elite Model Management contract, a Seventeen spread/cover and a $100,000 CoverGirl contract? Was it McKey (the boxer who evolved into a woman), Analeigh (the skater who figured out how to use her body) or Samantha (the girl who once offended a designer but turned things around)? Read on!

America's Next Top Model's McKey

The first half of the episode revolved around the seasonal cosmetics commercial and print ad. Although the girls had already filmed one commercial earlier in Cycle 11, this particular challenge required complete memorization of lines (no teleprompters this time) and the ability to fake the Dutch language. (How else would you say “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful…CoverGirl”?) Oh - and it required them to kiss yet one more male model.

First up was Samantha. Despite her level of excitement and energy, felt like she was still holding back a bit. She also had a tendency to chop up her lines and not look directly into the camera. Next up was McKey. Although her first few tries were painful - she murdered her Dutch and became obviously flustered - she improved as she went along. She wasn’t good at hiding her head shakes though. Last, but not least, was Analeigh. The girl who mastered the previous spot struggled without any teleprompter help. Jay Manuel eventually chose to prompt her himself when all she kept pulling up was blanks. (She even called the CG Wetlicks “Wet Slacks.”)

Once the commercial shoot wrapped, the girls moved on to the print ad session with photographer Jim De Yonker. Jim felt Sam was a sweet girl with great energy; he just wished she was a bit more imaginative. Although he complimented Analeigh’s ability to work her body, De Yonker said there was more to modeling than just great poses. Jim then stated that McKey was a little “cuckoo in her head.” Fortunately for her, that was a quality that usually produces variety.

America's Next Top Model's Analeigh

At the first elimination, McKey was the first one given a spot in the in the Bottom Two. Not only did she have the best commercial of the trio, she had the best photo as well. The selection for the second spot was a close one. The judges were confused by Samantha. Although she looked like a good commercial model, her print ad smile looked forced. If she was going to be an edgier model, she needed to start looking like one in person as well. Meanwhile, the panel was pleased with Analeigh’s ability to produce strong poses. They simply didn’t like what she did with just her face. (That was a comment also brought up on the recent au natural shoot.) Her stills for the print ad looked like a series of boring headshots.

When it came time for saying goodbyes, Analeigh was the next girl to be sent home. Since she had demonstrated an ability to act on several occasions (just not memorize), Tyra suggested that maybe she try out for some future modeling campaigns.

Later, the two remaining ladies met Jay on the set of their final runway challenge. For this event, the girls would have to navigate a series of pink hills and stairs. (Manuel called it his “Dr. Seussian” runway.) Although getting up an incline can be difficult in heels, the finalists were assured that they could pull it off.

America's Next Top Model's Samantha

During the show, the competitors each had two chances to strut their stuff. Although neither lady was Sheena-fierce, the judges were generally happy with their runway performances. McKey was complimented on her long-legged gait and great facial expressions. Meanwhile, Sam was acknowledged for her nice work with a chiffon gown. (Unfortunately, she was also critiqued for letting her downturned mouth turn into a slight frown.)

At the final elimination, the girls were also critiqued on their overall body of work. If the judges were to choose Sam, they’d get a model who had much more going on below the surface. Despite her “healthy California girl” look, the blonde was a capable of doing high-fashion shoots. Meanwhile, McKey was someone who didn’t necessarily exude star quality prior to the final challenge. But when the dark-haired beauty hit that pink floor, something came out.

In the end, Tyra named the girl whom both Jays reportedly picked to win on Day One. (They both claimed that she was the “obvious” choice.) CYCLE 11 WINNER: McKey.

(You can review last week’s episode here.)



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