Not that I didn't love Naima, with her mohawk and edgy, racially ambiguous look. And of course I loved Eva the Diva (who, along with Toccara Jones, has helped drive many a reader to my blog via Google searches). But after the disaster of top prize winner (and boring, bland, sour-faced) Nicole from Cycle 5 of America's Next Top Model, I had vowed never to even watch the show again.
Well, H. was watching the second or third episode of this recently-ended cycle one night, and I got sucked back in, just like Michael Corleone in the Godfather Part III. And I'm glad I did. Because my faith in Tyra Banks' hit reality TV show that reveals the dirty, catty underbelly of the modeling industry while still keeping us hopelessly fascinated by its surreal glamour, has been duly restored by the victory of Danielle Evans as America's Next Top Model. Danielle was not only gorgeous and photogenic, but she had the proverbial heart of gold. She endured being followed around the house by Gina (the one Asian girl on the show, whom I really wanted to root for but was just too awful to put with in the end), and always had a smile on her face during moments of crisis. Like when she stumbled and sprained her big toe trying to do a runway strut in 6-inch platform stiletto heels. Her smile lit up the screen, making you forget that she had just taken a nasty, awkward tumble. Danielle also had the best personality of all the girls--she rarely complained, she always tried to improve, but she was determined not to lose herself in the chaos of the competition. She even deftly defied Tyra's demand that she close the wide gap in her teeth with oral surgery by reducing it a little, thus still keeping her signature physical trait but making herself more 'marketable.'
I would've been happy if the sweet and talented Joanie won, too, but the upset victory would've been a Jade-victory--she was the super-crazy girl who lived in her own reality. The won who talked back to the judges when they gave her critique, even after they warned her time and again that making excuses for her behavior just made them dislike her. Jade, to the end, was incorrigible. When the Thai judge, a designer for fab line Ishyu, critiqued her CoverGirl commercial, Jade shot back, "Well, it was my first commercial and I've never done acting before and blah blah blah" (which wasn't true because the girls had to do another TV commercial back in week 5 or 6). I knew she'd be cut right then and there.
Salon.com has a decent sum-up, which will have to suffice for you, dear reader, because as much as I love this show and Danielle, I have neither the time nor the inclination to spend another half-hour thinking or writing about them. I think spending an hour a week (sometimes more, if I watch the repeats) glued to the television for the past thirteen weeks has been quite enough. Now maybe I'll spend more time on my novel!