Is it just me or does Eric Nicholson's eyes get closer together with every show?
I got my official America's Next Top Model picks completely reversed, though if I had kept some of my analyses in mind I would've been more accurate -- since I did call Shandi peaking early/stalling at third place. Then, heading into the final showdown, the judges seemed ready to give it to Mercedes, and given Yoanna's questionable decisions and iffy performance going into the elimination, I agreed with them to a point. Then again, the editing of the judges' proceeding was deliberately misleading -- withholding the compelling reasons that they ultimately picked Yoanna left me feeling gypped. To build up Mercedes so much only to swing it back to Yoanna was a capricious and arbitrary move because they didn't explain themselves sufficiently.
That editorial mistake aside, the decisions on which girls won and lost and why still surprised me. Shandi seemed to have much of the repertoire together to the point where confidence would be a minor issue to be dealt with later. Mercedes appeared to have outgrown the commercial/bubbly stigma, and, to reuse a word that got thrown around with her yesterday, yes, she was fierce. Yoanna, though, caved under the pressure of trying to be too perfect when she got all angsty about her hair sticking out of the helmet (is that even a fashion faux pas?) at the last photoshoot; then again, she did perform gracefully when her heel broke during the fashion show.
All in all, I thought Mercedes performed better, though Yoanna's photographs are beyond reproach. Hell, I hope all the girls, from Sara to Mercedes, get signed up.
Oh, and about Mercedes' supposed cattiness -- taken at face value, deprived of context, one might think that she's a petty person. If one has intelligence, however, and is sensitive to the subtleties of irony, then one would have realized that her comments were consistent with her jocular nature. For crying out loud, she was grinning and laughing when she said it!
And now I will rate the judges.
Tyra comes out smelling like roses, mostly. Her single is meh, but her mannered and grounded approach to dealing with the modeling biz is refreshing.
Nigel kind of lost his personality after the first few episodes, subsumed into the screaming vortex of personality that is Janice, who has her good snarky moments, but also capable of ridiculously juvenile remarks (see: that idiot comment she made about him being keen on Yoanna because Yoanna said she thought about Nigel during the sexy shoot -- yes there's a thing called INFERENCE Janice)(Oh wait I'm being too intelligent she's going to vote me off!).
The guest judges/stylists/helpers were mostly jerks. Nolé's too infatuated with making bons mots that really aren't terribly original and merely contribute to his appearance petty snipiness. Same with J. Alexander -- when he dissed the girls' runway challenge in the first episode, what exactly is the point of demoralizing them at the start of the competition? Thus, Jay Manuel is clearly the cream here, as he's been supportive and optimistic for all the contestants. He ought to be a regular judge for AMNT 3.