Why Laura LaFrate Will Win America’s Next Top Model Cycle 18
Credit: Jez Smith/Pottle Productions Inc ©2012 Pottle Productions Inc. All Rights Reserved    

America's Next Top Model

Why Laura LaFrate Will Win America’s Next Top Model Cycle 18

Zagilicious or Illuminata? Blonde or pink? Pirate or pixie? Rocker or fairy? Edgy or feminine? The last episode of America's Next Top Model Cycle 18: British Invasion will air May 30 and it’s not exactly a shocker who made the finals — American Laura LaFrate and British Sophie Sumner — but it’s a total toss-up who could win. Here are some reasons why the win could go to Laura. Check back later for reasons it could go to Sophie.

1. She’s American
It’s not like they couldn’t give the title to a Brit, but it is America’s Next Top Model and after AzMarie left it was pretty clear Laura was going to take the top U.S. spot.

2. Her makeover was huge
Total game-changer. Do you even remember what she looked like with her (cringe) crimped mousy brown hair on the premiere? When she got her platinum makeover, it made her features stand out and instead of just being the crazy comic relief who overshares about her orgasms, she became a major contender. Best makeover of the season.

3. She’s had the top photo three times
That’s once more than Sophie — plus, she had back-to-back wins on late-in-the-cycle episodes 9 and 10. And she has kind of her own signature pose, the Zagalicious body bend. She knows her angles and shows them off well. Sophie never takes a bad photo, but Laura’s photos tend to be more striking.

Why Laura LaFrate Will Win America’s Next Top Model Cycle 18
Credit: Jerry Metellus/Pottle Productions Inc ©2012 Pottle Productions Inc. All Rights Reserved    

4. Kelly Cutrone loves her
We all have favorites, but we’re not all judges — Kelly hasn’t even tried to hide that her heart belongs to Laura. She said she wanted to set her up with a rock star and each week she usually saves her biggest praise for the edgy girl.

5. She’s sexy
Some of the models think Laura’s too sexual to be a good role model, but her wild child charms worked on guest judge Nicholas Tse and won her a trip back to Hong Kong. Her mature, hard-edged sexuality may actually give her an advantage and definitely sets her apart from the more spritely Sophie.

6. She has a transformation story
ANTM loves inspiring stories — overcoming obstacles and rising from tough backgrounds to find success, etc. Laura has talked about her rough tomboy childhood and insecurities, sharing a memory of being age 9 and coming home to the smell of stale beer. She felt like she wasn't good enough for her parents to stay sober for her. She also talked about how her best friend died right before she went on ANTM and it made her frustrated when the other girls got upset and cried over nothing.

7. She’s passionate
Yeah, sometimes her passion turned into too much aggression (especially at Kyle and then at Eboni) but she’s great at showing raw, genuine emotion in photos and just being up for almost anything on set. She was one of the only models not terrified in the Hong Kong tower shoot and she loved bonding with the silkworms. Her only struggles have been with her walk and being feminine — but even her Dream Come True photo on Episode 12 was actually pretty beautiful, so when she has to do classic pretty she can pull it off. As the judges noted, she’s the “total package.”

Catch the finale of ANTM Cycle 18 Wednesday, May 30 at 9 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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05.25.2012 / 10:30 PM EDT by Gina Carbone
Related: America's Next Top Model, TV Stars, Kelly Cutrone

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