Total horse poop! From the beginning, we had a feeling America's Next Top Model Cycle 19 would come down to Laura James vs. Leila Goldkuhl — and we’re still headed in that direction — but we always figured Nastasia Scott for the dark horse to give them a run for their money.
But speaking of horses and money, it pays to grow up with acreage, a pond and horses. Who knew that experience would come in handy on ANTM? Laura and Nastasia were neck and neck in the bottom two and Tyra Banks pointed out that if Nastasia had just done a little better in the horse-riding Jamaica tourism ad challenge, she might’ve made the final three with Laura (who grew up with horses), Leila (who doesn’t seem to like horses any more than dolphins) and (whoa, the new frontrunner?!) Kiara Belen. So maybe instead of seeing Leila as the titular girl of Episode 11: "The Girl Who Freaks Out on Horseback," maybe it was really Nastasia. Or she could just blame Tyra and Rob Evans for their low photo scores. To us, her shot looked perfectly aspirational for a Dream Come True perfume ad. Unfortunately, that dream is now over. And maybe Kiara’s dream is just beginning?
Read on for a full recap of the last episode before the finale:
ANYONE COULD WIN … BUT FIRST, FEEL LIKE A LOSER!
As the girls stare pensively into the distance, sepia-toned flashbacks show the judges pointing out the final four models’ weaknesses. Just the weaknesses, though. Why not also share their strengths? Leila takes Kiara to The Tyra Suite. Leila is the comeback girl. Winning ANTM would literally be a dream come true. She’s glad Kristin is gone. (Get in line.) Laura is just glad she didn’t go home last week, since she was in the bottom two. Laura called her mom. And cried. On that note, why not call Victoria’s mom? She’s used to sobbing models and she probably misses hearing people fall apart from thousands of miles away. Nastasia grew up in Harlem, she’s a hard worker and she’s going to fight for what she wants. Winning ANTM would mean everything to Kiara. Her grandmother would tell her there’s light at the end of the tunnel and she believes this is her light. She thinks she’s the strongest in the house.
HORSIN’ AROUND FOR JAMAICAN TOURISM AD
Laura grew up with horses and a bunch of acres and a pond. As Kiara noted, “You have a pond?! Do you have a pond? I don’t have a pond. I don’t have horses.” It pays to grow up rich! The Jamaica Tourist Board wants a commercial advertising the area as a tourist destination. They have to audition for it and create their own scripts. The scene will be on horseback in the ocean. Great for Laura. She loves horses. Leila said she’s not afraid of horses, but a dolphin beat her up last week so she’s feeling fragile. Translation: Leila is now terrified of horses. The winner will shoot a worldwide tourist campaign. Kiara is an athlete and a strong public speaker, so she thinks she’ll do well too. Laura said she hasn’t just coasted on her parents’ money; she got a job in a coffee shop at age 14, making her own money.
Laura — She volunteered to go first. She seemed comfortable on the horse but had trouble remembering her own lines. She blanked. Eventually she got it right, but she didn’t look natural.
Leila — Leila is clearly the titular girl who freaks out on horseback. Immediately, she says the horse doesn’t like her. She admits she’s scared. They can feel your fear, girl. The horse was kind of a diva, looking like he/she wanted to be in the commercial. Then, again, Leila was probably clenching on those reins. The horse kept moving faster and Leila panicked, poor thing. She cried. They should’ve given her an old, sleepy horse. Rob said Leila struggles with confidence and you can’t do that in the modeling industry. Once she got going, she looked great and sounded pretty good too. Way to rise above!
Nastasia — As soon as she got on the horse, she forgot every word she wrote down. Leila said Nastasia is pretty but she seems uncomfortable with herself. Hmm. Can’t agree with that. This is just a challenge-specific issue. She seems perfectly fine, otherwise.
Kiara — She normally has a poised pageant vibe about her, but she kept swearing and swearing when things went wrong. Rob said if it was live TV, you just can’t do that kind of thing. But she also got a horse that just wanted to run for it. Same horse as Leila’s? That horse was channeling the spirit of Kristin. In the end, she finally got a good take.
Rob said, in the end, it came down to Kiara vs. Laura. The Tourism Board was happy that they highlighted the facts of the area. The winner was Kiara. She will be the face of a worldwide campaign for the tourism board. Laura was so irritated to be so close. Laura also pulled a Kristin, claiming Kiara’s happiness was disrespectful. Kiara thinks Laura is cracking. Kiara got a score of 9; Laura got an 8; both Nastasia and Leila got 6s. Uh oh! Two of our faves at the bottom?!
DREAM COME TRUE PERFUME PHOTO SHOOT
This is the official ad campaign for the ANTM fragrance Dream Come True. If you are the winner, this will be used in the ad campaign. This is “real,” as opposed to just a photo for their own portfolios. Ben, the Dream Come True guy, said they want energy and youthfulness in the eyes. Nastasia was first. She noted that she applied to 10 different schools and got scholarships to all of them. Wow! She doesn’t talk about herself nearly enough. Jez Smith, the photographer, wasn’t sure they got the “magic” shot of Nastasia. Leila was particularly nervous because she knows if she doesn’t do well, and Nastasia does, she’s going home. Leila looked a little sad in her shoot. Johnny Wujek was sure Leila would bring her A-game, but she was too nervous. It took a while for them to warm her up. She got the same feeling she did after the cheerleading shoot, back when she was eliminated the first time. Yikes! Pull it together, Comeback Girl! Jez said he did get some good shots, but she has to learn to drop her nerves. Bryanboy stopped by and Kiara joined the crying game by sobbing and saying this would mean everything to her. She had a hard life. She did everything without the support of her mother. (Is that why she always tried to play mother hen in the house?) Laura has a good relationship with her parents, but feels like she deserves this just as much as Kiara. She now thinks Kiara is her biggest competition. Where did Kiara come from? We were so sure, just last week, that she was on her way out. Laura was giving a lot of sexy shots, like it was a swimsuit calendar. Johnny said Laura should be nervous because she didn’t nail it today. Did Laura peak too soon or is this just supposed to make her seem less like the overall frontrunner to win?
THE JUDGES’ RUNWAY PANEL
Ranked from top to bottom, based on a combination of challenges scores, judges’ scores, and social media scores.
1. Kiara — Tyra said she has a strong profile and looks lost in thought. Rob said her body doesn’t look overly athletic. He thinks she nailed it. Kelly thought it was more wishing well than Dream Come True. She wanted Kiara too look into the camera and bring everything she’s gone through. Bryanboy said she had doubts at the shoot, but Kiara said that’s not true. She was just emotional about thinking about how this is a dream come true. Her backstory is inspiring, but she needs to stop bringing it up all the time. Tyra said this shocked the hell out of her. Who is this soft, romantic, vulnerable girl? She got a 7, an 8 and a 9. Kelly threatened to rip Bryanboy’s wig off!
2. Leila — Kelly said it’s a pretty shot, but it’s a little sexy hottie girl. A little “ba-bammy” for this. Rob said she got it the way she should’ve gotten it. It’s not too sexy. He liked how she looked at the camera with confidence. Kelly insisted it was too mature. Rob said it would appeal to teens. Tyra said this brand is for a younger girl. She looked a little sexy but not too much, which makes it aspirational. Does it make moms comfortable? No. But brands do it all the time. Bryanboy (who has new hair, like Blanche from Golden Girls) said fans complained about her hair. She got two 8s and a 9.
Wow. This is what happens when Kiara makes a surge. Who saw that coming?
Nastasia — Bryanboy said it represented what the shoot was about, but some viewers disagreed, having issues with her face. (Punch them! Sorry...) Some fan liked the wonder in her eyes but it didn’t blow him away. Kelly said it’s a good thing to look commercial in a commercial shoot. Kelly gave her applause. Rob said it looked a little bit too cutesy. He thought Nastasia fell flat. It’s too childish for him. Tyra said this ad looks like it’s for Kelly’s daughter, who is too young for the target market. She got a 7, an 8 and a 9. Gotta agree with Kelly on this one. For once.
Laura — Rob said this is where you can say it’s too sexy. This for a teen is a bit too sexy. Kelly said this shot looks super soap opera. It doesn’t hit the mark. “You’re losing your edge for me,” Kelly said. She got mixed comments from her fans. Tyra said she’s so much better than this. It was too much of a stereotype of modeling. She got two 7s and an 8.
Noooooooooo! Not Nastasia!
Laura and Nastasia were neck and neck going into the end. Laura gets to compete in the final three. Laura vs. Leila. Just like we expected. It’s coming. Unless it isn’t? Do you see Kiara surging to the end and winning?
Know any guys or gals interested in applying for Cycle 20? Head here for details!
Catch the finale of America's Next Top Model Cycle 19: College Edition on Friday, November 16 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
Gina Carbone is a contributing writer at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @ginacarbone.
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