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America’s Next Top Model: Phil’s Top 20 Top ModelsPage 4
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#4 – Toccara, Cycle 3: If a plus-sized girl was ever going to win this competition, it would have been Toccara. I have no doubt in my mind that a plus-sized girl will never win now, and let me explain to you why. Toccara, in her skin, was perfect. She understood that she wasn’t as thin as the other girls, but she didn’t care. She was comfortable with who she was and never cried and complained about her size.
Toccara knew that the judges were constantly using her size against her, then playing it up that she was doing so well, and then acted as if none of that happened. She was constantly given contradictory advice, like “Don’t be so over the top” and episodes later being told “You lost your spark!” Through it all, Toccara moved through the competition with her head held high. I feel that she always took her body into consideration when it came to posing, and when the judges offered her critiques and tips on how to work on posing, she took the advice and ran with it. She should have lasted longer, and in my opinion, should have been right there in the final two with either Yaya or Eva.
#3 – Elyse, Cycle 1: Elyse jumps from number seven to number three on my countdown! I sat and watched my DVD collection of Cycle 1, and Elyse should have been in final two, no question. She was so high fashion it made me sick – I loved it! Every photo Elyse took looked like it could landed in a high fashion magazine the next day, and I know I’ve probably said this before, or the judges might have said this, but Elyse really does have the best portfolio in ANTM history.
The only thing that worried me about Elyse was her desire to be a model. She had her heart set on going to med school and becoming a doctor. I’m sure she would succeed at this as well, since it was no secret that she was a very bright girl, but modeling is her calling. She’s beautiful, and the camera loved her ever step of the way. In fact, it’s my understanding that Elyse is still signed and works rather regularly in the industry. That’s great news, especially considering that she is probably the most high fashion looking girl who has ever appeared on the show. She deserves the leap to number three!
#2 – Danielle, Cycle 6 (Winner): I have to wonder if readers are going to think I’m completely insane for putting Danielle at number two, or completely and utterly agree with me that she belongs there. There are a few reasons that I ranked Danielle so high on my countdown. The first is the most obvious – she won her cycle and had a great portfolio! However, there is so much more to Danielle other than her portfolio.
Another girl who didn’t have the easiest upbringing, Danielle persevered and grew up very level-headed. She showed her ability to change when Tyra asked her to have the gap in her two front teeth fixed, when she did have it closed a little, but chose to leave some of it because it was a part of who she was. Also, just like several other girls who we have talked about on the countdown, Danielle suffered an illness halfway through the competition, but left the hospital early in order to compete. Her heart was in the competition 100% and Danielle never settled for less. She did what she had to do, but always remained true to herself. Never once did we see something nasty from Danielle, or a flash of someone we didn’t know. I think that’s what lifted Danielle to number two – her ability to remain the same throughout the competition and come out on top!
#1 – Mercedes, Cycle 2: Ahh, MY Mercedes. Just like last time, the top spot on my count down belongs to the lovely Mercedes from Cycle 2. What didn’t she have? Mercedes had the look, the poise, the personality, and the drive. She often talked about how she always dreamed to be a model, and couldn’t believe that she was in the house. She had perseverance, as we saw her reveal to the other girls and the judges that she was diagnosed with lupus, yet never did we see her complain about this or try to use it as an excuse.
Mercedes always had a smile on her face, and the judges admitted several times that people would relate to her better than Yoanna, and she would be a great role model and public speaker. Oh, and don’t think this is based solely on her personality – Mercedes could model too! Although the judges felt that she was a perfect commercial model, it was her last photo of the season that shot her into high fashion. Mercedes proved that she could tackle any aspect of the fashion industry, her personality and happiness was contagious, and she proved that sometimes no matter how bad things look, there’s always a brighter side. She might have come in second place during Cycle two, but she came in first on this list and to me!
So there you have it – my new list of Top Models of all time! Do you agree with the girls I chose? Think I left anyone out? As always, I’d love to hear the reader’s opinion and see who you feel should be on the list or who you think made it and didn’t deserve to. Shoot your comments my way, and you never know, maybe your favorite will make it on the next list!
Phil Kural is an office manager at a law firm, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. You can send feedback to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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