America’s Next Top Model 3, the Finale: Amanda, Eva or MY Yaya?by Phil Kural -- 12/19/2004
As you’ll remember, the search for America’s Next Top Model started with 14 girls. This season’s competition was the toughest yet. There were more unpredictable photo shoots, much more drama, and some very difficult cuts. After this recap though, only one girl will win. Will it be Amanda, who captivated the judges from the beginning with her ice blue eyes? But nobody knew that her most striking feature was her legal blindness. It never held her back though, but a top model has to look the part in person as well, so Amanda has to prove her style.
Will it be Eva, who served it up in casting like Eva the Diva. When she found out that her attitude was causing controversy, she teared up. Eva’s struggle has turned to spunk, and the shortest of the bunch has to rise above all to win tonight.
Will it be MY Yaya, the Ivy League grad who has overcome skin problems? With that behind her, her natural beauty broke out, and although her intelligence made her stand out, it made her seem cold at times as well. Could she be relatable? From L.A. to New York, and Jamaica to Tokyo the girls battled it out, but who will win? Find out right here! I hope it’s MY Yaya!
We are still in Tokyo, Japan. Eva says that there are only three girls left, and it could be her, Amanda or Yaya. Yaya says that there is a third of a chance it could be her, and she can’t believe it. Amanda says Ann only hugged Yaya and herself, and Eva says it was crushing her. Eva says there are always repercussions, and after it all went down, she knew things would happen, but the whole thing is a life learning experience. She also says that nobody is seeing that she is changing, and everyone still labels her as the “bad girl.” MY Yaya even tells the camera that she makes no special arrangements to include Eva in anything.
Tyra mail! The girls have to be ready by 8:15 a.m., and they are going to learn to be a true Cover Girl. Yaya says that she exudes no energy for Eva once again, but now it’s all for her. Eva says that at the last elimination ceremony, Tyra said that none of the remaining girls could be ANTM. Amanda says that she has to learn to be striking in person. Jay Manuel greets the girls, and tells them that it’s their Cover Girl photo shoot for a new lip gloss. He also tells them that the shoot for today will be the lip gloss ad that is run during Christmas – well, for the winner! Amanda hopes that her best will be good enough.
As the girls get ready, they are all very nervous. They meet the photographer and Amanda is going first. She tries to show her inner joy and wants to show her smile. Jay says that Amanda gets the whole thing and exudes the look that you ask for with no problems.
Eva is up next and says she’ll be a star. She gets ready for her shot and starts to realize that she has no room to mess up. She shows her smile, and Amanda says that Eva didn’t look like she had any energy. Jay says that when he met Eva, she was tough, but slowly let the wall come down. MY Yaya goes last and says that she wants to show herself as friendly as she begins her shoot. She’s staying positive and Jay says that her makeup looks great, without even being retouched. He says she did a great job. Way to go, MY Yaya!
As the girls get ready to leave, Jay says that before today, he didn’t think that any of them had what it takes, but today, they all did it and probably because they knew that if they won, that would be the ad that ran.
The girls head to a go-see right after their shoot, and Jay says that they have learned about fashion in Tokyo, and Noriko is a fashion designer in Tokyo. Eva is excited and is 5’7” but doesn’t have to be tall to be great, and knows that. Each girl models some of Noriko’s clothes, and Yaya says that if her skirt were done in the states, it would be a bit hoochie. Amanda has to try on a dress for weddings, and it’s not really her thing, but she still rocked it out. On that, the girls head back to their apartment.
More Tyra mail! It tells them that tomorrow, only two girls will continue on. Amanda still can’t believe it, and Eva can’t believe that she’s still in the competition. Yaya says that there is going to be anxiety going into panel. As the girls walk in the judging room, Tyra says that only two girls will be left standing and they will face off in a fashion show. That performance will help to determine who will win. She reminds them of the prizes once again, and introduces the judges, along with guest judge, Noriko. Tyra reiterates that they did a Cover Girl photo shoot, and the winner’s ad will appear in magazines, which will start her Cover Girl contract.
Amanda is the first to go and the judges aren’t fond of her wearing her glasses, since it doesn’t make her look like a model. However, they love her photo and think that she nailed it. Yaya goes next and Nole’ loves her photo. Yaya says it doesn’t look like her, and Tyra says that her bone structure looks great and Nole’ says that it makes her look approachable. Eva is last and she looks great, as the judges say that she looks amazing. Eva says that she was thinking about the contract, and that’s what brought out the smiles.
Tyra thinks that the girls did a great job and she has the judges applaud them. She says that they are all short, but they did it. She says the pictures proved her statement from last week wrong, and they are all now models. The girls head out as the judges begin to deliberate.
Noriko says that Amanda’s hair and eyes are beautiful, and Nole’ agrees. Nigel says that she needs to look great in person as well. Janice says that she nailed the photo. Nigel thinks that Eva is a bit of a tom-boy, and Nole’ says that everyone wants to know her and she is very universal. Janice says she still doesn’t see chic in her.
Nole’ loves Yaya’s bone structure, and Nigel thinks she is stunning. However, Tyra says that can be her downfall, since she can be arrogant. Janice says that she does a great job, but Nigel thinks that the photo can’t say everything. The judges start to debate, and Tyra says she is shaking.
The girls walk back into the room, with Tyra telling them that she has only two photos. These two finalists will be in the fashion show and from that, the judges will find the next Top Model. The first name called is MY Yaya, and I’m on the floor! She is told that she walked in with great stature, but a little too much, but they honed in on it, and now she is a model. Yaya can’t believe it, but I can!
Eva and Amanda step up. Tyra tells them that she has only one photo and will only call one name, the girl not called will have to go home. She also says that they are a very interesting duo since what the one has, the other lacks. Amanda has edgy fierce high-fashion amazing pictures. Eva has the approachable and relatable look. They are both incomplete packages. There is one that the judges think can pull it all together though, and that would be Eva.
Eva immediately begins to cry, while Amanda gives them both a big hug, and heads out. Janice yells “love ya” to Amanda as she walks out. Amanda tells the camera she was surprised she was eliminated and wanted to win so she could buy a house. She says she wants to inspire people with disabilities to work though them, and to find joy. Amanda heads out into the night. I have a feeling it won’t be the last we’ve seen of her. At least, I hope not!
Eva can’t believe that either she or Yaya will be the winner. She never thought that she would be one of the last two, and she’s even happier that two black girls are left. Yaya says that they have never felt comfortable with one another, but since they are the last two, they are letting their guards down. Eva even says that Yaya has her defenses up at times, but she’s really a sweet person, but she has never gotten to see that until now. Yaya just feels great that the winner this season will be a black woman that is positive, has flaws and people can relate to. Yaya also thinks it’s refreshing to see Eva for who she is, and not the tough girl that she tries to portray herself as.
Eva wakes up and it’s time for a one-on-one with Tyra. Tyra welcomes her and Eva says that she never would have imagined she would be there. It’s an extra to her that she is happy that the winner will be black. Tyra says that it just happened to be that the two best girls this season are both black, it has nothing to do with race. Eva says that she never really got along with Yaya, but they are going through the same thing, so they can relate. Tyra says that she can see Eva is troubled, but is making an effort to be a better person. Eva says she’s always struggling, but now she wants to be that person that others admire.
Yaya comes in next. She’s so excited and never thought she would be called first at the last elimination ceremony, if she would be called at all. She knows that people look at her as “Afro-centric” and that’s fine, but she doesn’t want it to be a label, she is just proud of whom she is. Tyra says that she wears a weave, but she’s still Afro and beautiful. She tells Yaya to hold on to who she is, but to relate to others as well. With that, Yaya gets a hug and off Miss Tyra goes.
We see the girls get in a van and head to the fashion show. Eva says she knows she will kill the thing because she loves the runway. Jay is there to welcome them, and Yaya says she has butterflies. She knows she hasn’t won yet, but it’s still exciting.
The fashion show is a real fashion show for Noriko, and has nothing to do with the girls. It’s a square runway too, so the girls will be doing something new for the first time. Jay says that they have to have a very somber, slow walk. Jay Alexander is there too, and he demonstrates to all the models in the show. Seeing the other models makes Yaya feel good and lets her know that she can do it. The girls get their hair and makeup done and we see the four judges sit in the front row, along with Ms. J., who is wearing a kimono.
Eva is nervous about the whole thing and knows what’s on the line. Tyra greets them in the back and says she’s nervous too. Yaya says that she has to re-center herself. Jay tells the girls it’s time to start the show and the girls get ready. Yaya is out first and looks amazing. Eva heads out next and says she wants to go out strong because she deserves to win.
Its madness backstage as the girls have to get changed. Yaya is out right away. She looks great once again, but Eva is looking amazing as well. When Eva goes out, Janice screams to her what to do, saying that she looks perfect, and telling Yaya to walk faster. Both of the girls are doing a great job. MY Yaya heads out for the last time and Eva is walking and almost bumps into her.
The show ends and the girls come out on stage. The judges applaud and Yaya says it feels good. Eva feels the same. Jay tells them both that they were dead on, so they have to go right to the judges from there. The girls get in a car and Eva says it’s over now – one girl is going to win.
The girls walk in and meet the panel. Tyra says that only four judges are present – there is no guest judge because the four of them have seen the two girls the whole time from week to week. She wishes that both of them could win, but there can be only one winner. The winner will get a contract with Ford Models, a fashion spread in Elle Magazine and a $100,000 contract for Cover Girl Cosmetics.
It’s time for evaluations. Tyra says they walked in a show for Noriko, and then they take a look at the girls. Nigel says that Yaya was breathless and looked great, but Nole’ thinks that there was no personality. Janice says that she looked like a zombie at times, but she will get it next time. At the show, Tyra’s mom told her that Yaya has a nice booty. Can’t argue with that! Nigel says that Eva had a great walk, but Tyra says she had a “head bob” going on, while Yaya had this “heel-toe” thing going on.
Now it’s time for some comparing of past photo shoots. Week one’s shoot was in Jamaica, and the judges agree that it goes to Yaya. Week two is beauty shots, and it seems to be a tie. For the kimono shots, it seems to be a tie again. For the alter ego shot, it seems to go to Eva, but for the spider shots, it’s a tie again – wow, this IS hard! In the Cover Girl ad, Nigel says they are both striking, but Eva is more “now” and Yaya is more “old fashioned” which can also be good. Time for deliberations, and the girls head out of the room.
Nigel says he keeps going back and forth. Tyra feels that Yaya moves like a pro, but Nole’ says that Eva looks amazing. Janice says that Eva has grown on her, but she’s still a fan of Yaya’s refinement. Nole’ says that Eva needs to know herself and Nigel tells them that Eva makes him smile. Tyra thinks that Yaya has a great body, and bodies like hers don’t come often. Nole’ feels that Eva came in as a tough boy and is now a beautiful woman. Tyra think the whole thing is horrible that they can’t choose one over the other.
The girls walk back in the room for the last time. Tyra says that now she will announce who the next top model is. Yaya says she can’t stand and Eva says she’ll cry either way – she’s speechless. Tyra says it was so hard because both of them are so different. Yaya went from the girl that was great in pictures, but not relatable on a personal note. However, somehow she kicked that chip off her shoulder and is very personable now. Eve walked in as a pretty girl, but a girl that will hate you before you can hate her, and now she is a real model.
There can be only one winner though – and that winner – is Eva! She begins to cry right away as the judges cheer for her. Eva asks the judges “Me, a model? Beautiful?!?” Yes Eva, you are! MY poor Yaya says that she deserved to be recognized, but the judges wanted someone bubblier, and they found that with Eva. Eva can’t believe that she’s a Cover Girl, and says that the tom-girl from LA that wasn’t the cutest girl in school is now America’s Next Top Model!
Eva says that now she gets to represent all the little girls that feel the way she did. Tyra tells the camera that Eva is relatable to young girls everywhere, and that is why she is the next top model. Eva tells the camera that she’s going to be a star and for the world to look out!
I’m glad Eva won – she deserved it! However, you know I wanted MY Yaya to win! Oh well, I think I’m doomed to always love the second place winners. Last season it was Mercedes, and this time it’s Yaya. Same thing with The Amazing Race. I loved Jon & Kelly and I loved Colin & Christie and they both came in second place. Hopefully I’ll have better luck next season! Good luck to Eva – I’m sure she’s going to be great! Keep on the lookout as I’ll be doing interviews with the final three girls over the next week or so. It was a blast recapping this show, as usual – I’ll be back next season!
Phil Kural is a recent graduate from Temple University, with a degree in journalism. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback that you may have.
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