Time to do something useless!
So, I love America's Next Top Model, basically, which I know is ridiculous. And trust me: it is a ridiculous show, if only for the utter absurdity that is Tyra Banks' ego. But I love it, anyway - the show has a knack for providing great entertainment with its mix of beauty, utter train wrecks, ego, idiocy, oversimplification of various social problems, and fascinating, breathtaking photos and photo shoots. I don't know how the producers of this show keep it as fun and entertaining as they do, but it's really pretty damn impressive, as is the level of total absurdity they can produce.
And so, in that spirit, I am going to personally rank the winners of the show, in order of least to most favorite. (The fact that the show can go through two "cycles" a year is also impressive.) It's also an excuse to look at pretty pictures.
13. Naima Mora - Cycle 4
Oh, Naima. While I admit that she gave good face in her pictures while on the show, her unbelievably dull personality, awkwardness, and odd looks while in motion pretty much served to convince me that runner-up Kahlen was robbed. Also, she just depresses me, especially when she inexplicably had sideburns, post-show.
12. Nicole Linkletter - Cycle 5
Pretty as Nicole was, and as photogenic as she could be, she never really looked like a model to me, either in print or on the moving camera (certainly not nearly as much as runner-up Nik), nor did she have a particularly good runway walk. Still, I have to admit that she could be pretty hot sometimes. (Also, so not my favorite: notorious lesbian Kim was, who was, in my opinion, possibly the most beautiful girl ever on the show.) Her look is very Covergirl, though, which I'm sure played a large part in her win.
11. Saleisha Stowers - Cycle 9
I must admit that Saleisha would probably rank higher if her win didn't absolutely reek of a setup. Not only has an African-American girl won every third cycle so far, she went to Tyra's camp years before and, although she'd had previous modeling experience that probably should have disqualified her, she was cast (and won!) anyway. Also, while I admit that she does make sense as a winner, she won over two girls (Jenah and Heather) who were far better models, but were, admittedly, not particularly Covergirl-employable.
10. McKey Sullivan - Cycle 11
Although McKey seemed to have an incredibly dull personality (again, one can never really know this, it being TV and all), and was pretty awkward-looking in motion, she really did have a killer face in front of the camera. She wasn't exactly terribly memorable, but she's probably more likely than some of the others to be able to make a real career out of this thing.
9. Teyona Anderson - Cycle 12
Like McKey, Teyona isn't exactly "classically pretty" in motion, but in pictures? Takes my breath away. She most certainly wasn't my favorite of Cycle 12, but she and her alien-like face earned her win.
8. Yoanna House - Cycle 2
Yoanna was never my favorite - I was madly in love with Miss Shandi - but she possibly had the most striking, stunning face out of all the winners, ever. Goddamned breathtaking.
7. Whitney Thompson - Cycle 10
While I don't doubt that Whitney won more for the plus-size tokenism than for her actual modeling ability, she's a good winner nonetheless. She was fun and funny, seemed to actually have a sharp wit, and is definitely one of the sexiest, if not *the* sexiest, of the winners, and her appeal is very Covergirl-appropriate. In terms of commercial success, she has a good shot, since she can win the straight men over with her sexiness and the women with her admittedly killer, but still not scrawny body.
6. Nicole "Bloody Eyeball" Fox - Cycle 13
Ah, good old Bloody Eyeball, winner of the "short" cycle. I love this girl for her stoned-seeming weirdness, the fact that she is a self-proclaimed dork, and that she's goddamn flawless in pictures. I love weird, intense, stoic ginger girls, I gotta say, and I love her bloody eyeball.
5. Danielle Evans - Cycle 6
Danielle is probably the overall audience's all-time favorite, and it's easy to see why: she's gorgeous, she's funny and endlessly quotable ("Shut cho mouth and say it ain't so!"), and she's a people's champ, with her love of her arthritis-suffering mother and her dedication to the competition, dealing with a sprained toe, having painful surgery to get the gap between her teeth closed, and checking out of the hospital early from dehydration and food poisoning to go to her photo shoot. And even though I was pulling for runner-up Joanie, I had to admit I got teary-eyed when she burst out with "I'm a Covergirl, mommy! I'm a Covergirl!"
4. Adrianne Curry - Cycle 1
Adrianne was the perfect winner of ANTM's inaugural season - a little vulgar, a little rough around the edges, and unaware of her own incredible charisma and hotness. Plus, her status as an outspoken anti-ANTM alum who was then blacklisted by Tyra because of it? Makes me love her even more.
3. Eva Pigford - Cycle 3
As hot as Eva and her pictures were, there's really one word and one word only for why she ranks so high: charisma. There's a certain "it" that you have or you don't, and Eva had it. In spades. She rocked her horrible curly blonde haircut and whenever the camera was on her, I couldn't take my eyes off of her. Even though she was the shortest girl of the cycle, she filled up a whole room.
2. Jaslene Gonzalez - Cycle 8
God, I love this girl, with her almost indecipherable accent and stunning closeups. I love that she looks like an amalgamation of Janice Dickinson and a drag queen. I love that I've run into her twice while in New York and I love how unexpectedly, unconventionally gorgeous she is. Latina tokenism? Maybe, but the girl is amazing.
1. CariDee English - Cycle 7
Oh, CariDee. How do I love thee?
She's the rare girl on this show who looked just as gorgeous both in motion and on print. Plus she's downright adorable, albeit totally vulgar (which makes me love her even more), and is pretty much the very definition of "bubbly." (Plus she bears a very strong resemblance to a family friend.) Cycle 7 may have been one of the weaker cycles in terms of watchability, but her immense beauty and hilarity made it all worth it.