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America's Next Top Model 4, Episode 12: The Final ExamPage 2
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The final two girls head to the top of a mountain, where Kahlen says it feels like she is in heaven. She never thought she would get this far. Naima says she's been supportive of Kahlen this whole time, and Kahlen has supported her, but now it's do or die. Kahlen isn't her friend now, she's her competition. Kahlen is glad to be left with Naima because nobody pushes her more. However, she is there to win. Both of the girls are ready for this one!
Naima and Kahlen meet up with Jay Manuel, who is explaining to them what the final runway show will be like. Kahlen is ready for this, and Jay takes them to the spot where the runway is, but the girls don't see it. They will be working in the water! There is a fountain, and the runway is under the water. It will circle the fountain, and Ms. J. comes out and does a lap to show the girls how it's done. He tells them they better make the water dance when they are out there. Both girls are nervous, and you can tell.
The girls go through hair and makeup, and Tyra comes to visit, telling the girls that they are doing something that not even she has done! She wishes them luck and the stage is set. Neither of the girls is talking to each other, and Jay reminds them not to fall off the runway. What great advice! Naima says that Kahlen is not her only competition -- it's every other girl on that runway, too. Kahlen says that only one of them will win, so she has to hit this one. The girls hit the runway and Naima is first. Her Mohawk is in full gleam, and she feels superhuman. Kahlen heads out second and does her thing. She says she can feel the rush in her heart. Backstage, the girls have to change and Naima says she can see and hear the judges. Kahlen heads back out and she says that when she stomps in the water, not only is she stomping the people that told her she would never be able to do this, but she is stomping on herself for not believing in herself.
The girls then get to walk out together, and Naima says she will show the judges what she has to offer. They both work out and do their last poses, and head out and clap. both of them dance in the water, and then hug backstage. Tyra comes and tells them what a fabulous job they both did, as the girls hug. The girls head home and have a toast. Kahlen tells the camera that overall, she rocked it out, while Naima says that she has a natural ability that Kahlen lacks. They get their Tyra mail, which says the winner will be crowned tomorrow. I have no clue who is going to take this one!
Tyra greets the girls as they head into panel. She tells them it's a special judging day because now they will decide who will be America's Next Top Model. It's time for someone to graduate. They are reminded for the last time what they will win. A contract with Ford Models, a spread in Elle magazine and a $100,000 contract with Cover Girl cosmetics. There will be no guest judge, since the four judges have seen them every week and know who the girls are. So it's just Janice, Nigel, Nole' and Tyra.
Naima is first for evaluation, and Tyra says she was in awe of her on the runway. She says Kahlen was looking fierce. Nole' agrees that Naima commanded respect, while Kahlen was great in the swimsuit. They compare some of the girls’ portfolio shots, starting with week one, the alien shot. Nigel says that they were two of his favorite to work with, and both were interesting. In week two's shot, with the dogs, Kahlen had the best pose, while Naima was mediocre. For the element shot, Kahlen was sexy, but Naima had an edge to her. When the girls did their shot for the seven deadly sins, Kahlen evoked wrath like no other, while Naima could have done more. For their wild kingdom shot, they both did well, and with the dancers, Tyra remarks that they have had two other dancers on the show (Giselle and Yaya), and it was hard for them to break away from that in their shots. However, Naima knows how to do just that. Finally, the judges compare Cover Girl photos. Both girls look great, but Nigel likes Kahlen better.
Kahlen says that she has overcome who she is, and doesn't sit in the corner anymore or feel overlooked. She feels she should win. Naima breaks down, saying she hated the girl she used to be, and when she walked into panel just now, she felt beautiful. Tyra says that both girls proved that models are regular people. With that, they step out and the judges begin to deliberate.
Everyone agrees that Kahlen is beautiful and photogenic, but as a person she is dry. Each of her photos shows versatility, but Nigel says he might be able to find a girl like her anywhere. Tyra says that Kahlen is not just another blonde hair, blue eyed girl. She has an edge about her. Naima rocked the fashion show, and they think she ruled it. Kahlen has a better body of work though. Naima won the exam, and Nole' is getting confused. Tyra's not sure if they pick the girl that did fair all year, but rocked the final exam, or the girl that had straight A's all year, and then failed the final exam. Hmm, that does sound like a tough choice.
The girls come back in. Tyra says only one of them can win, and they have had such different journeys. Naima was solid all season, but not great. For the final exam though, she turned it out. Kahlen takes pictures that rival today's top models. However, in the final, she was solid, but didn't own it. It was the judge's longest deliberation ever. They have come to a decision, though. America's Next Top Model is... Naima! She starts screaming and is speechless. I'm so happy! She hugs Tyra, and Kahlen begins to cry. She says she stepped on the runway and knew she wanted this. Modeling is a way for her to express herself.
Naima hugs all the judges, and says she feels beautiful. Tyra tells the camera that Naima was unique, versatile and edgy, and she embodies the true spirit of a Cover Girl. Naima continues to cry as they take a look at how she got to where she is. She says she had to win to represent more than herself. She's black, Mexican, Irish, and everything else. I don't think she can believe she's a top model now.
Well, I have to admit, when the season began, I had predicted that Naima would be there until the end, and I was right! After I was disappointed with Mercedes and Yaya not winning, it's good to see a favorite pull it out. The right girl won, and I'm happy. Naima is going to be a fabulous top model. Love the Mohawk, love the features, love her! I'll see everyone next season.
Phil Kural is a recent graduate from Temple University, with a degree in journalism. You can reach him at email@example.com with any feedback that you may have.
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