After 22 seasons of “smize”-ing (smile with one’s eyes), America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) sashays to an end.
This week’s finale will see one guy or girl getting crowned as the last ANTM champ. Due to low ratings, ANTM’s creator Tyra Banks – who is also host and judge – is finally calling it quits.
Which is a shame, as ANTM – filled with fights, frights and frocks – has always been my guilty pleasure.
This season (or as Tyra calls it, cycle) is notable for featuring ANTM’s very first deaf contestant: Nyle DiMarco. Not only is he easy on the eyes, Nyle is a nice guy, so I am rooting for him to win.
As the curtain closes on ANTM, let’s pay tribute to the show by recalling its most memorable moments over the years:
No nudity, please
The earlier seasons of ANTM faced this perennial issue, when contestants refused to bare skin. Robin from S1 got sent home for refusing to strip nude for a shoot.
From flying in wind tunnels to wearing human-hair dresses, ANTM has always been more about its mind-bongling challenges than actual modelling. This season was no different, as contestants had to pose like they were possessed al a The Exorcist.
In S4, there was a photo challenge which required contestants to pose as star signs. Poor Lluvly – who posed as Pisces – was said to have “the worst photo in the history of America’s Next Top Model.” Yikes.
Battle over granola
In S5, Bree thought Nicole (who eventually won) had stolen her granola bars. In return, Bree stole Nicole’s energy drinks.
In S2, everyone thought Mercedes – who looked the most commercial out of all the girls – would win. Instead, she lost the title to Yoanna House. It marked the first of several baffling decisions to come, with regards to Tyra’s culling of photogenic contestants.
Last season’s most intriguing contestant was Chantelle who has vitiligo, a condition causing patchy depigmentation of the skin. Eliminated at an early stage, she was brought back thanks to public voting. But her cocky attitude rubbed people the wrong way.
What a witch
In the same season, there was Romeo who practises witchcraft and places curses on his fellow competitors. He lost his cool and headbutted Adam, invoking ANTM’s zero-tolerance policy on violence. He was immediately disqualified, proving that no amount of sorcery could save his modelling career.
What a b***h
ANTM’s most “beloved” villain title goes to S6’s Jade. The drama queen refused to make friends, saying “this is not America’s Next Top Best Friend.”
Against fierce competition, Whitney Thompson emerged as the champ for S10. She remains ANTM’s first – and only – plus size winner.
Boy meets girl
S20 was significant as it debuted the Guys vs Girls format. But as much as Tyra may have wanted a guy to win, Jourdan Miller was just too strong a model, and she easily knocked the boys out of the competition.
Heels to kill
In S6, Tyra made the contestants walk in dangerously-high stilettos, the kind that even toppled Naomi Campbell. As expected, some of the girls fell flat on their faces and it was a painful (yet entertaining) exercise to watch.
When Tyra lost her cool
Who will ever forget that moment in S4 when Ty Ty went cray cray? When Tiffany didn’t take her elimination seriously, Tyra got offended. “I was rooting for you, we were all rooting for you! How dare you?!” Tyra screamed. It was a moment of unhinged madness that made for riveting television. After that, nothing came close.
So, thank you, ANTM for all those fierce seasons. I’d already forgotten half of the winners, but will always remember the craziness.
America’s Next Top Model is on Saturday at 9pm on Star World (Astro Ch 711/HD Ch 722).