December 9, 2011

'America's Next Top Model' Final Runway Shows: From Best to Dreck!

Now that the first All-Stars cycle of America's Next Top Model has wrapped, it's time to look back at the final runway shows of all 17 cycles so far.

With some influence from fans on the Facebook page here is my official list of the final face-offs ranked from awesome to awful.

Cycle 1 - New York City

ANTM Cycle 1 runway

In the premiere Cycle of ANTM Shannon and Adrianne went head-to-head in a show for Baby Phat during New York's Fashion Week. This is probably my favorite show of the series. Not because it is the most exciting, but because it is the most realistic to date. These girls were with the big-time models during Fashion Week for a major designer. There was no elaborate production or staged-for-TV bits; it was just a real-life fashion show. Watch it here

Cycle 4 - Cape Town, South Africa

ANTM cycle 4 runway

Cycle 4's showdown between Naima and Kahlen was hot and sexy! The girls seemingly walked on water on a runway that was slightly submerged in a huge fountain. They modeled clothes and bathing suits and came through a waterfall during the final pass. The water may have been a bit of a gimmick, but the show was exciting and made it even more difficult to predict who would be named Top Model because they both looked so amazing! Watch it here

Cycle 6 - Bangkok, Thailand

ANTM cycle 6 runway

In one of the longest runways in ANTM history, Danielle and Joanie walked along a beautiful boardwalk in Thailand. Wearing designs by Roj Singhakul the girls stomped through an ancient city/temple in the Thai heat. I loved the energy and unique designs. Plus, Cycle 6 is definitely one of my favorites overall. Watch it here

Cycle 5 - London, England

ANTM cycle 5 runway

Shakespeare played a role in the final runway show of Cycle 5. While finalists Nik and Nicole stomped the runway large projections of them reciting classic lines played in the background. Transparent walls let viewers see the behind-the-scenes insanity of the show while the models walked the runway, including past winners Naima and Eva. Both Nik and Nicole looked fierce! Watch it here

Cycle 2 - Milan, Italy

ANTM cycle 2 runway

This runway show wasn't particularly exciting (although Yoanna did have some shoe drama) but I like it for the same reason Cycle 1's show is my favorite. In the early stages of ANTM the fashion shows were much more real, instead of the staged shows made just for Top Model. Both Mercedes and Yoanna looked beautiful (remember Mercedes' hair?) on the runway for D-Squared and the revolving door entrance was cool. Watch it here

Cycle 8 - Sydney, Australia

ANTM Cycle 8 runway

Cha Cha Diva Jaslene and Russian mama Natasha strutted their stuff Down Under in a fashion show for Sass & Bide. The models walked on a raised wood runway in a venue overlooking Sydney harbor. The "evolution" walk may have been a bit odd in the beginning, but Jaslene and Natasha looked amazing, even when Nata slinked out of her skirt! Watch it here

Cycle 3 - Tokyo, Japan

ANTM Cycle 3 runway

Slow and steady was the theme of the Noriko Fukushima fashion show in Cycle 3. Eva and Yaya walked a super-slow strut in this criss-crossing fashion show in Tokyo. The editing made the show look even more confusing, but luckily there was only one minor traffic jam on the catwalk. Watch it here

Cycle 16 - Marrakech, Morocco

ANTM continued its "high fashion" approach with a salon-style runway show in Morocco. Finalists Brittani and Molly walked solo and in tandem through different rooms of a Morocco castle/mansion thing in designs by Vivienne Westwood. The show itself was nice, but it was Brittani's trip-trip-crash wipe out that made for the most interesting moment. Watch it here

Cyle 17 (All-Stars) - Crete, Greece

ANTM veterans Lisa, Allison and Angelea went head-to-head-to-head in the show's first-ever All-Star cycle. While abroad in Greece the three finalists walked in one of ANTM's most creative runways to date. Wearing gowns they created for themselves with designer Michael Cinco. The models walked in as peasants, swam through a beautiful pool, then transformed into goddesses after flying high on a wire harness. The show ended with each girl strutting to her own "Pot Ledom (Top Model backwards)" original song. Watch it here.

Cycle 15 - Milan, Italy

ANTM cycle 15 runway

In a return to the "realness" of the runway shows in Cycles 1 and 2, finalists Ann and Chelsey walked a traditional runway for designer Roberto Cavalli's "Just Cavalli" line. Neither of the girls' walks were particularly amazing, but it was a good show with beautiful clothes. Watch it here

Cycle 14 - Auckland, New Zealand

ANTM cycle 14 runway

Raina and Krista went head-to-head in a big top-inspired runway show for designer Anna Sui. Joined on the runway by circus performers, the models walked both alone and in tandem with each other (and with other contestants!) The runway show was playful and fun, but not one of the most interesting finales in ANTM history. Watch it here

Cycle 9 - Beijing, China

antm cycle 9 runway

In one of the most elaborate and extravagant runway shows to date, Saleisha and Chantal walked alongside stilt walkers and dragons in the Forbidden City. While the show was a spectacle, the actual walking was just all right and the Qi Gang designs looked more like costumes than couture. The best piece of entertainment came when Chantal's flowing dress tripped a stilt walker who fell on his or her booty. Watch it here

Cycle 13 - Hawaii

ANTM cycle 13 runway

Despite some fans' objection to the "short girl Cycle" I actually think it might be one of my faves. Unfortunately the finale runway show won't get my vote for first call out because of its weird lighting and gimmicky stunts like high winds and spraying water. Laura and Nicole looked sparkly and beautiful in their Julia Clancey designs it just wasn't one of my favorites. Watch it here

Cycle 10 - Rome, Italy

antm cycle 10 runway

Although Anya dominated most of the competition it was plus-sized winner Whitney who took home the title. ANTM really stepped up its game (and got new title credits) for Cycle 10. The final runway show, however, didn't live up to the rest of the season. The girls may have been wearing designs hand-picked by Donatella Versace, but I think the show was bland and both Anya and Whitney were weird in their walks, with Anya being stiff and Whitney stomping too hard. Watch it here

Cycle 11 - Amsterdam, Netherlands

antm cycle 11 runway

I may get some flack for ranking Cycle 11's final show so close to the bottom, but I just couldn't get over its crazy Candyland runway. McKey and Sam walked in beautiful designs but the gigantic setting and unnecessary obstacle course of a walkway didn't sit right with me. Plus, the audience was so far away from the girls I'm sure they couldn't even see the designs. Watch it here

Cycle 12 - Sao Paulo, Brazil

antm cycle 12 runway

In Brazil Teyona and Allison samba'd their way down the runway at Ibirapuera Auditorium in a Rosa Chá swimsuit fashion show. Both girls shimmied and sauntered their way along in sexy looks and feathers, but it was the final pass that did me in. The girls writhed and crawled down the walkway in a big group covered in what appeared to be black oil. The kicker was when winner Teyona whipped her hair so hard her weave flew off! Watch it here

Cycle 7 - Barcelona, Spain

ANTM Cycle 7 runway

Maybe it's because I was on Team Melrose, but I hated the final runway show of Cycle 7. Melrose and CariDee (watch our interview with Cari) donned wedding dresses by Victorio & Lucchino, in which they were supposed to act as ghosts and/or terrified-of-ghosts brides. It was a hugely dramatic show ("She ripped the ****ing dress!") but CariDee's insane screaming and ugly faces ruined it for me. The location was gorgeous, but I will never forgive those facial expressions! Watch it here

So, there you have it! My ever-changing list of the best and worst final runway shows of America's Next Top Model. Do you agree with the ranking? Which is your favorite and least-favorite final show from Top Model? Leave a comment!