The way the episode was edited, it looked like Brittani had the upperhand with the CoverGirl commercial, and Molly had a slight edge with her runway performance, which is actually the reversal of what it was supposed to be. Goodness gracious, a twist!
And then came panel.
Remember last cycle when Ann Ward's impending win was so obvious that a finale almost seemed like overkill? What was supposed to be interesting this time around was that Molly and Brittani were neck-in-neck. But as the judges went through each of the final gladiator games — the runway walk, the print ad and the commercial — it was (strangely) clear that Brittani was favored in every category. They didn't bash her fall — they praised her recovery. That awkward laugh on the runway? Bad move, Britt, but NBD. It wasn't that the judges' assessment was off — Brittani had a better night — but that they were so flippin' obvious about it.
The final nail in Molly's coffin might have been when Tyra called her a mean girl in her commercial. She cried before the final announcement like she knew how it would all shake out. Molly's beautiful and that haircut is growing on us, but the narrative wasn't working in her favor anymore. We could tell by the judges' attitude.
We also think Britt deserved the win for reasons that don't really mean you deserve to win. No one visited her in Morocco. She wants to support her mom financially. Her ankle got jacked up by stupid slippery rose petals. And in the same way, we thought Molls deserved it less for reasons that don't really mean you should lose. She was grumpy at the photo shoot. She called Brittani out for not handling stress and then got stressed out herself. She was so certain her photos mattered more than Brittani's walk. It's all part of a story that, in this case, had a pretty predictable ending.
The new haircuts could've been the biggest surprise of the night except we already saw a photo of them last week. Hmm. Maybe the surprise was that there were no surprises. Gettin' deep, Cycle 16.