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America's Next Top Model: Sahel, Khafif, Zoulnah--Covergirl

"Ohmigosh, I can't believe you lost AND they gave you that haircut!"

It’s down to the final two models in Cycle 16 of America's Next Top Model and the grueling competition hits high gear with the Covergirl commercial and photo shoot, the Vogue shoot and the runway show. And just to add a little intrigue, we have a surprise makeover right before the final decision is announced. Please tell us they don’t bleach their eyebrows!

Beauty’s where you find it
The two biggest potty mouths are left standing and their ride home from panel sounds a little like: “My mom’s gonna !^#$ to @&%#. I can’t believe I’m $%@! and &^%!" And it’s all very enlightening. They arrive home and receive a Tyra Mail: Sahel, Khafif, Zoulnah. We think it either means “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful” or Tyra’s throwing out ideas for the name of Brangelina’s next spawn.

The next day, Molly and Brit arrive at a lavish country club and are met by Ivan Bart of IMG, who wants to get to know them. Ivan loves how Molly photographs but isn’t overly impressed with her in person. He is captivated with how beautiful Brittani is and was also wooed by her great attitude.

The photographer for the shoot is Pierpaolo Ferrari and Mr. Jay directs as usual—however, this time they’ll be shooting it in true Covergirl style, on a white site. They’ll be shooting simultaneously with three different cameras, so they’ll have to perform in every direction. Luckily, they’ll have a teleprompter at the center camera so they’ll have their own little moving cheat sheet. Covergirl Lip Perfection Lip Color will be featured, and we’re wondering who comes up with the names for these cosmetics…

Molly is concerned that she’ll have to act like someone else—you know, a happy, nice person. And Jay feels that made her lose all her charm. Brittani knows she’s got to nail it and gets so nervous that her inner-freak comes out and nearly has a panic attack, but instead ends up delivering a quirky and fun performance.

For the photo shoot, the photographer (who they call Paolo and we just find that cute) really digs both models.

Come on, Vogue
For the Italian Vogue shoot, Paolo is there again to snap photos. He’s joined by the stylist for Vogue Italia, Valentina Serra. Both girls will shoot the cover, but only one will see it on the stands. Brittani embraces her inner model and they love it. Molly is cranky as usual and it shows. Valentina continually tells her to keep up her energy as she yawns her way through the shoot. It’s cold and she’s hungry but it’s time to bite the bullet, girl -- you’re in the final two. We’re convinced that if Molly had her own personal Jiminy Cricket on her shoulder she’d do much better.

And just as things seem at their worst, SURPRISE! Molly’s parents (Who adopted her when she was four days old and now she has abandonment issues...come on, haven’t you been paying attention all Cycle?) are waiting back at the house when the girls return. She’s instantly revived. And they’re clearly sweet, loving parents. An obvious case for the Nature side of the Nature vs Nurture argument. However, because of Brit’s mom’s anxiety disorder and her recent back surgery, no one is there to cheer her. She’s deeply disappointed but tries to keep a stiff upper lip. She does get to talk to her mom from the trailer park by video chat. Um…so not the same.

Ladies with an attitude
The runway show is held at the Granada Palace and is a “salon-style” show that goes from one room, to another, to another. And the models must really sell the clothing. They’ll be wearing Vivienne Westwood’s Anglomania line—youth-oriented, hip and totally chic. As per usual, some familiar faces join in, including Kasia, Alexandria (we thought we finally got rid of her!) and Hannah. And best of all, Ann from last Cycle is on hand to offer encouragement and walk in the show.

The audience settles in and Miss Jay is sporting some sort of loud orange get-up that is clearly a reject from Sarah Jessica Parker’s "Sex and the City 2" wardrobe. They clink glasses and once again, we find ourselves fantasizing that we’re sitting next to Nigel, or perhaps on his lap…but we digress. Ann opens the show and we’re a little surprised that her walk hasn’t improved much in this past year. Also, the make-up is ghastly. It looks like the girls were shot in the face with a paintball gun. It’s neither easy, or breezy and it sure ain’t beautiful. Other than that, the show goes off without a hitch for three rounds…until, at the very last round, as she is headed off stage (at least there was that!) Brit slips on a rose petal and takes a header into the wall, twisting her ankle and cutting her arm. It’s drama to be sure, but she recovers like a pro and walks out to the finale with confidence.

Backstage Mister Jay and Ivan declare that the competition is as tight as it’s ever been (Really? We think that one girl is clearly stronger than the other—but anything to pump up the suspense). So they tell Molly and Brit that they’re getting totally made over for panel.

You’re a superstar, yes that’s what you are
Both models arrive at panel sporting adorable short, short hair cuts and looking, dare we say, not so stoked about their new look. Or maybe it’s just nerves because they look so good and even André comments that he wishes that Molly would have gone short like that earlier.

Mister Jay is the panel guest and first they evaluate the runway show. They don’t like how Brit broke character and laughed and most are not crazy about Molly’s “bounce” in her walk. Tyra thinks the walk’s okay but her transitions are a bit “Hey, girl” and need to be more high fashion.

Next up, the dreaded commercial. They like how Brittani can work her angles and Jay comments about how bubbly she was on set and a pleasure to work with. They think that Molly comes off looking like a mean girl and just not “Covergirl” with the fresh and welcoming attitude. However, Jay lets them know that Molly was able to memorize the entire script—something he looks for in a hire. And in the print the ad for Covegirl—they both do equally well.

When it comes to deliberation, the judges evaluate the girls’ performance for the entire Cycle and it’s finally decided that…Brittani is America’s Next Top Model! Molly handles the loss well and declares that she is off to take a nap and eat a pulled pork sandwich…not necessarily in that order. Well, now we’re kind of sad to see her go. And now it’s official, the girl from the trailer park has made it to the big time. We have a feeling that we’ll be seeing much more of that girl as we begin the long wait for the premiere of Cycle 17.


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