Last night's finale episode was certainly one to remember. For the first time in such a long time, I was truly rooting for BOTH models at the end. Nicole has proven over and over that she deserves to be in the final two. With her ability to inspire photographers and her determination to learn and grow as a model throughout the competition, she earned her spot. Laura, though, deserved to be in the top two just as much as Nicole. I fell in love with Laura's sweet and innocent personality, and what I love most is that she didn't ever reveal herself to be something else. Usually when you meet someone like that on a reality TV show, they eventually turn out to be devious or sneaky, but not Laura. She was pure sunshine the whole season, and I was so happy for her to be in the final two.
The final tasks for this petite cycle of ANTM involved a Covergirl commercial, photo shoot, and finally the stomp to the death fashion show. Laura's dyslexia held her back from doing her best at the last Covergirl shoot, but not this time. Not only did she look stunning, she also did a fantastic job. Nicole nailed her lines, but Mr. Jay was disappointed in her delivery, saying that she came off sounding snobby. What I love about Nicole is that instead of getting defensive and being upset, she did her best to make it better. She's aware of the fact that she comes off awkward and unapproachable, but she works to fix it. As for the photo shoot with Nigel for the Cover Girl ad, Nicole rocked it. From the beginning, she has made a good impression on every single photographer she was worked with. I think Laura disappointed him a little with her inability to find inspiration that was deeper than "milkshakes".
As for the stomp to the death, it was the first time in Top Model history that eliminated models from the same season were called back to walk the show. Erin, Jennifer, Brittany, and Sundai joined Nicole and Laura on the runway. Nicole definitely brought her own signature walk that made her stand out. She really makes her awkwardness work for her by being so confident in herself that you just have to like her. Also, her face looked amazing. Laura did an awesome job in the runway, though. I would have to put her above Nicole in the runway portion simply because she looked like a true model who already had a lot of experience. All in all, it wasn't the most exciting show, but the dresses were gorgeous and the lighting was beautiful.
At the final judging panel, they looked at the commercial and the CG print ad, as well as the entire cycle portfolio. To me, there was no contest on who had consistently delivered the best photographs. Did Nicole even have a single so-so or bad photo? Not one! While Laura's personality is so lovable and I will always be rooting for her to succeed in the modeling business, I agree with the judges pick for Cycle 13's winner: Nicole! She was truly at the top of the pack early on and just never let go. She never quit trying, despite some mean comments from the other girls in the house who didn't "get" her. It was a great cycle overall, proving that petite girls are just as capable of modeling as their taller counterparts. Good luck Nicole, and congratulations. Laura, don't give up girl. You've got what it takes!
Can't wait for Cycle 14 already !