So by now you’ve probably heard that the great America’s Next Top Model has entered its final cycle – 22. Of course, 22 cycles is an awful lot. We’ve seen plenty of highs and lows, meltdowns, comebacks, horrifying makeovers, and the addition of sexy, male models to the fray of hopefuls. But that doesn’t mean the news didn’t hurt me like a number 7 challenge score.
As Ross wisely said* on Friends when Rachel brazenly asked if his copy girl hookup was “good,” to this cancellation, I say: “Nobody likes change.” What am I just gonna search the internet for a flawless photoshoot picture of Tyra Banks that just happens to be on theme of the week – do I make up my own themes? Who’s gonna remind me to smize?
In honor of the show ending, I’m looking back at some of its most memorable moments. Now, after 22 cycles there are going to be a lot. But here are some that I just haven’t been able to get out of my head…
5. Shannon’s morality clause.
ANTM brought the drama from the very first season, when Shannon and Robin opted not to do the nude photo shoot in cycle one, episode seven: “The Girls Get Really Naked.” They both maintained it went against their beliefs, despite Jay assuring them that they could even wear nude lingerie if they wanted to. The two, however, opted out, with Shannon famously repeating a saying her grandmother had told her: “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”
Robin, meanwhile, had playfully flashed Jay as she was getting dressed one day, not knowing that Tyra was just around the corner and had seen the whole thing. The judges felt it seemed inauthentic that she could flash Jay and it was fine, but it was against her beliefs to be seen naked in a tasteful photo shoot, so in the end she went home, while Shannon was safe.
4. When Cassandra drew a confusing line.
Every cycle I would look forward to the makeovers, wishing Tyra and her crew could work their magic on me (I felt the same way whenever I watched What Not To Wear, tbh). Of course, not every contestant felt the same way. The biggest issue seemed to surround length, which after my short haircut in college, I totally understand. I mean, the first cut felt so freeing and exhilarating. Then when the hairdresser went to trim it a few weeks later and took off an unexpected extra inch I about wanted to die and couldn’t wait for my long hair back.
That being said, if the great and almighty Tyra told me that a buzz cut would bring out my bone structure or make my eyes pop or some shit, you better believe I would be racing to those razors. Girl knows what she’s talking about. But as usual, there’s always that girl (or guy in some cycles) who thinks they know better (Betch, then why are you here if you’re already the queen of everything?). Cassandra was one of those girls.
She had luscious, long blonde Rapunzel-style locks and was not ready to part with ‘em. Surprisingly enough, she did. That’s not when she went home. She let them chop up her precious hair, like Hannah Horvath at the end of season two of Girls.*** But then, when they wanted to fix it and give her a chic ass Mia Farrow cut, that’s where she drew the line. Have you seen Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby? Girl looks great.
She throws a damn fit about how they’re trying to change who she is – nope, literally just your hair – and decides a couple inches is more important than possibly getting signed with a reputable agency and a contract with CoverGirl or Guess or whoever was sponsoring that cycle, packs up her shit and goes home. Bye.
3. Victoria’s homesickness.
In cycle 19 – the college edition – Victoria left quite the impression for her unorthodox relationship with her mom. It was a topic brought up throughout the cycle by Victoria herself, other concerned or mocking contestants, and probably every single person watching at home.
Now, I’m down for being close with family, but I remember this girl saying she’d be cool with living at home forever, never having a boyfriend or moving out or even traveling without her mother by her side. While on the show she literally said she felt like she was “living half a life” because she was without her mother, who is “part of her.”
The (then) 18-year-old could also be seen sobbing any time she spoke with her mother on the phone, and admittedly could not even talk about her mother with bursting into tears. My family and I currently live on opposite sides of the country. I totally understand missing your parents. But I think there also may be such a thing as too close.
2. When Bre was WAY too serious about her damn granola bars.
When you put 14 girls in a house, and add competition to the mix, there are going to be problems. But you don’t necessarily expect those problems to arise over some granola bars. I mean, have you eaten a granola bar lately? I get it. They’ll keep you full for a while, and make you feel better about yourself than a Pop-Tart or say, a piece of cake. And I don’t know, I guess models have to eat bland, boring shit to keep looking as fine as they do. But I mean, is that dry, piece of cardboard something I’d go to war over? No. But that’s just me.
Bre, on the other hand, would beg to differ. She found some bars missing, assumed the perpetrator was Nicole, and did not hesitate to exact her revenge. She took an entire pack of energy drinks and straight up dumped ‘em down the sink. That’s right. She didn’t drink them. She didn’t steal – and enjoy – the girl’s Snack Pack in revenge. She just straight dumped ‘em down the sink.
Then, when she was caught red-handed instead of just owning up to her crazy, ass – WASTEFUL (and I don’t even like energy drinks) – acts of theft, she decided to smile her way through judging before FLIPPING THE F*** out on poor Kim, who was unfortunate enough to see it all happen.
Was it really worth it, Bre? Was it?
1. The infamous Tiffany meltdown.
Be real – you all knew this one was coming. In cycle four, episode seven (“The Girl Who Pushes Tyra Over the Edge”), for about 30 seconds we lost the benevolent goddess of fashion that we all know and love, as she furiously reprimanded an axed contestant for showing too much attitude.
A double elimination saw Rebecca and Tiffany going home at the end of the episode. However, while the former sobbed while hugging the remaining contestants farewell, the latter seemed to shrug the loss off as she repeatedly told others not to cry for her.
You could see the anger bubbling over, but Tyra held her tongue for the first few minutes… until it just all become too much. She called the ladies back in front of her and thanked Rebecca for showing how much the competition had meant to her, while scolding Tiffany for laughing it off as a joke. Then Tiffany got defensive and… well, things got a bit tense.
“I have never in my life yelled at a girl like this. When my mother yells like this it’s because she loves me. I was rooting for you. We were all rooting for you. How dare you! Learn something from this! When you go to bed at night, you lay there and you take responsibility for yourself, because nobody’s going to take responsibility for you. You’re rolling your eyes and you act like it’s ‘cause you’ve heard it all before. You don’t know where the hell I come from. You have no idea what I’ve been through, but I’m not a victim. I grow from it, and I learn. Take responsibility for yourself!”
Tiffany ended up skulking off, showing she may or may not have learned her lesson. But one thing’s for sure… I never want to get on Tyra’s bad side, especially not when she’d been rooting for me! (Shoot, to have freaking Tyra Banks rooting for you though… am I right? Like, I can’t even get a RT.)
So, there are a handful of ANTM moments I find hard to forget. Now, before we pull out the tissues (and wine… is that not how you deal with emotion?) to deal with our loss, new episodes for cycle 22 are still currently airing on The CW… for now.
* JK – he was an idiot. I’m drawing my line in the sand right now for Team Rachel**. Their “break” was not a “break up” and whether or not you want to categorize it technically as cheating, he effed up. Buh bye.
** I am not Team Rachel in all things. But in the case of Ross v Rachel vis a vis “We were on a break!” I think Ross needs to just shut it.
*** possibly an overreaction.
Until next time,