Screen: The CW

A Weak End To A Strong Season

The first guys/girls cycle of ANTM ends with a whimper. Who wins? Should you watch?

Pre-Runway Punt

Previously: everyone arrived; almost everyone went home; Marvin, Jourdan, and Cory became more awesome; each aspiring Top Model got a Catwalk Crew, except Jourdan, who got Catwalk Chris only; and right before final runway, Bryanboy came in with an AK-47 and sprayed the kids with gunfire while bellowing, "Say hello to my little friend dot Tumblr dot com!" …In his head. In actuality, he and the other judges filed in to ixnay one last hopeful, and we see a montage of the panel that contains remarks we didn't see last time (well, technically; it's just more of goddamn Rob Evans bagging on Cory as not manly enough).

Is it Cory going home, as I predicted? Tyra is going through all the interminable motions with the photos instead of doing a "you: sorry about it" mercy cut, but: yes, and it's not close, either. Ugh. Cory is not happy and doesn't bother hiding it, and Tyra's "LGBT, holla holla holla: hero" is probably intended as encouragement, but comes off flip and condescending. And yes, that's what she said, verbatim.

Marvin (badly) acts surprised that he's still in while Dick-Puncher gives some decent advice to Jourdan about how the show wants a guy winner for the first guy cycle: "Don't give it to them."

Une Feelm

The tradition of the locals paying homage to the great goddess Tyra is alive and well, unfortunately. Backstage, Laura and Johnny Wujek give the final "three" (Cory has to walk too, poor kid) advice; Laura is super-sweet in supporting a teary Cory and telling him they'll regret not keeping him.

Wuj: "If you fall, fall beautifully." The locals chant. Tyra does a costume change. Marvin and Jourdan talk shit about each other in interviews. Then Tyra does a combo intro to the fashion film/PSA about "damaging relationships" young girls fall into. Dammit! I thought we'd sneak out of Cycle 20 without a flat-footed mention of some half-understood cause or another! She was doing so well!

The film itself is worth watching for one reason: how completely Cory outclasses everyone else. It looks good thanks to the overexposed black-and-white stock, but the idea that Jourdan's character would pick grinning simpleton Marvin over dark fox Cory is just dumb. And she's not great either, though she runs in heels like a boss, and the carob-thumbprint "bruise" on her cheek isn't her fault.

And the chyrons, heeeeee hee hee. "B…etrayal!" Never change, ANTM.

Final Runway

I don't know about Jourdan's choice to keep her hands on her hips, but she's a star, as always. Cory is phoning it in. Marvin walks like someone replaced his knees with Folgers crystals.

Now it's the Catwalk Crew's turn, led by Laura, who stomps it out righteously. Jeremy looks gorge and I maintain a mistake was made letting that one go. Cory's second pass is as lackluster as the first. Nina is great. Ice-Cream Mike isn't, but he isn't as Ice-Cream Mike-ish as usual; he wins most improved. Marvin seems to have an angry butterfly in his shorts. Jourdan's back out again, still with hands on hips, but this time giving it way more booty -- and her shoe catches the dress undercarriage and she stumbles. Marvin wisely sees that as his best shot: "Jourdan is doing bad, finally."

Marvin talks some more about being a janitor's son. Jourdan talks some more about being an example for survivors of violence and abuse. …Hey, I don't want to make light of these things, but the editors' pounding of them with a troll hammer isn't helping me out here. It's time for the third pass, which requires the models to act out, live, the denouement of Bizarre Love Triangle: A Tyra Banks Joint; Jourdan is wearing a lamé sea-creature dress. Jourdan plants one on Marvin, unexpectedly, but he thinks he played it off really well; poor Cory gets pushed to the ground and has to haul himself up while still serving couture realness. Free Cory immediately kthxbai.

More of the Catwalk Crew, more Marvin doing the robot, more Jourdan with her hands on her hips, though in her defense her cape probably weighs 75 pounds -- and then the goofy conclusion of the film: "For Every Woman / Everywhere / There Is / HOPE." Mirror! Father. Mirror! Father.

Final walk. Nina's dress is amazing. Wujek cutely says he's glad he's not on panel because it's very close, and I wish Marvin the best, but based on the runway, it…isn't.

Tysel Adams

Tyra arrives at the hotel to shoot their final photo. It's her first Flixel! …Oh yeah, nobody cares. Tyra says in ominous tones that "when you're in Bali, it's all about beauty and art." In other words, not too much posey-posey, but just say that then? Tyra powders Marvin's abs (…yeah), and he crosses his eyes and looks vacant a lot. Jourdan's styling is not my favorite, but she has a better grasp of the positioning. They both enthuse about what great direction Tyra gives and are given water and a bread crust off-camera.

Final Panel

Tyra is wearing a sequined spiderweb and an ill-advised Joan Crawford-esque hairstyle; the kids have changed back into their final runway looks.

Starting with the first walk, Kelly Cutrone is really proud of Marvin, and Rob of course talks about all the girls screaming for him, like, even if you were trying to pick the next Bobby Sherman, Cory is probably a better pick there. Cutrone raves about Jourdan's confidence: "That was Italy, for me."

For the second walk, Tyra loved the realness of Marvin's awkward reaction to the smooch, and talks about how he connected with the audience: "They were really into you." I still say he's a board in a bow tie on the runway, but okay. Cutrone writes a verbal mash note to Jourdan about her second walk, which is really more of a verbal mash note to the clothes, which Cutrone says Jourdan really sold, which is what counts, so fine. Tyra didn't love Jourdan's lack of fashion when she grabbed the camera from Rob.

Then the review of the finalists' greatest hits gets underway, and Marvin is dinged repeatedly for looking young and/or kidsy; the rest is boring. On to the Tyra photos, and the rare instance in which K. Cuts and Rob agree: they both love Jourdan's. Cutrone calls Marvin's "powerful," and since he's doing a Manson-lamps thing, I guess that's true.

Tyra characterizes the panel's discussion of Marvin and Jourdan thusly: "as models and as human beings." This seems like it could be the first instance of flagrant scale-weighting for Marvin, since Jourdan is gorgeous, and less of a hag than when the cycle started, but still a hag. Marvin also appeals to multiple fan bases on social media; Cutrone would cast him, and on set he's a doll, Tyra reports. Rob thinks Marvin's chances are better in the industry because he wants it more. What? Tyra tells a funny story on herself about being "boring as hell" on the set. Cutrone's like, clients don't care about personality; it's all about the shot, and Jourdan takes amazing pictures.

But they've got to find a way to justify Marvin's eventual win, it seems like, so suddenly now Tyra's concerned that Jourdan doesn't have a "signature," and everyone's on Team Booch Blue for the Nylon part of the prize package, because the brand is about youth and fun. Cutrone is still fighting for truth, Jourdan, and the capitalist way, saying it's "all about the ingénue," so Jourdan's perfect for Nylon.

Rob is like, I just want a dude to get the Guess? contract. At least he's honest? Cutrone thinks it's advantage Marvin because he can open the market up for men; it's Bryanboy who's taking up for Jourdan, who's an "aspirational image."

And what about Jourdan's low numbers for the Catwalk Crew? Does that represent social media and the fandom? Bryanboy says yes, even though social media loooooved Jourdan every week, and I feel like there's more to the discush that we didn't see, because soon Cutrone is bottom-lining it: who's the moneymaker?

The Moment Of Tyruth

Bad ADR of Tyra explaining how the final scoring works, and then: Jourdan wins! Hat tip to the editors; I totally thought it was coming around to Marvin, but this is the right decision, and Marvin is very gracious about it. Tyra totally admits she wanted a boy to win, too, but Jourdan is strong, beautiful, and relatable (…enh), and they really had no choice.

After one last reference to Jourdan's abusive marriage -- and a backstage shot of Rob giving Dick-Puncher and Ice-Cream Mike a thousand bucks each for betting Jourdan -- we're out.

Verdict

Call it. A few old Tyra-fluffing habits reared their heads in the finale, and I think there's about eight minutes of actual show here -- but season-wise, it's an admirable return to form thanks to the guys/girls format, and I may not care to carpool with Jourdan, but she's a model.

See you next season, hookers.

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