Tyrade!: ‘America's Next Top Model’ Picks a Winner

ANTM winner Jaslene Photo: Courtesy of the CW

Don't have time to go to business school? That's okay. Tyra's here, baby, and every week she'll share nuggets of wisdom about how to succeed in your career, as well as in that game we call life.

This week's lesson: Embrace your culture; don’t let it embrace you.
“What we love about both of you is that you both come from such strong cultures. You are the epitome of what America’s Next Top Model is all about and what being an American is all about.” —Tyra, speaking to the final two contestants, Jaslene Gonzalez and Natasha Ivanova

Last episode of the season: Time for the models’ minor, never-before-mentioned flaws to take the spotlight. For instance, Jaslene has a barely perceptible chin clef. Disgusting, yes, but nowhere near as awful as the affliction that poor, 20-year-old Renee suffers: wrinkles. Most of the judges showed some restraint in their criticism, calling her face “sophisticated,” “mature,” and “not the freshest.” Then there was Tyra, who pointed out some “puffiness and wrinkling, maybe from the sun.” (We couldn’t see it, but that’s why Tyra has a modeling show and we don’t.) Despite having the best photo and CoverGirl commercial, Renee was eliminated halfway through the episode.

Her lack of "culture" couldn’t have helped. ANTM has long touted that girls of all colors and thicknesses are beautiful, provided they’re at least five-foot-seven. That idea was validated when the competition came down to Latina Jaslene and Russian Natasha. But though the judges found Jaslene’s Spanish interjections muy adorable, Natasha was cool despite her foreignness. Jaslene — relatable and saucy. Natasha — awkward and occasionally funny (when we could understand her). Cycle-six winner Danielle’s thick Arkansas accent stretched the boundaries of proper model speech, but with Natasha, it’s like the girl speaks a whole other language. Felicitaciones, Jaslene!

Bonus model quote: “I had a baby nine months ago, and I thought that my life was over.” —Renee, spouting the first thing that popped into her head while shooting an ad libbed CoverGirl commercial.
Lindsey Thomas