This past week marked the finale of America’s Next Top Model– British Invasion Edition, in which Laura Lafrate (USA) and Sophie Sumner (UK) battled it out to capture the coveted title of “America’s Next Top Model.” I was always against the idea of the UK girls (who had already been in Britain’s Next Top Model– Where’s the fairness in that?) coming onto the show… After all, the title is America’s Next Top Model!
Furthermore, the ANTM judges, while getting the final 2 models correct, eliminated others far too early on. Stand outs that should have been in the top include Azmarie (USA) and Catherine (UK).
Laura, known as Zig-Zag, while at times overly emotional and sexual, certainly knows her angles and can twist her body into amazing poses that are graceful high fashion and editorial, making it look effortless. Her look, especially when enhanced by makeup is that of a true model. She is tough, edgy and perseveres, willing to go beyond the ordinary in order to get the best shot possible.
Sophie, or Illuminata, the sweet and bubbly girl that the judges find irresistibly approachable is more of a role-model than Laura. I found Sophie to be determined and engaging, but didn’t have the same effortlessness (in posing and expression) that Laura had. Although Sophie was definitely more low-drama than Laura. And while Sophie’s portfolio wasn’t as strong (as Laura’s), she still booked all the go-see’s in that challenge, not a simple task. Also, her walk certainly surpasses Laura’s.
Let’s compare the two in the last couple of photo shoots. The first set of photos was taken on a high ledge, of which Laura’s image is of higher quality- Her pose is lovely and that expression is exquisite. Though I have to hand it to Sophie being able to even do this shoot, as she is deathly afraid of heights. The second set of images were for perfume ads, and Sophie takes it this time. The little twist at her waist, the flirty and youthful tilt of head and hair, the placement of arms and feeling of movement all comes together to form a beautiful capture. Laura looks beautiful as well, but appealing to an older demographic which was not the intention of the brief.
Ultimately, Sophie Sumner takes the prize title of “America’s Next Top Model,” even though I thought that Laura’s Cover Girl commercial and print ad (above) was stronger, and her final walk for the finale fashion show was quite good. I loved that sexy fashion photographer judge, Nigel Barker vouched for Laura stating there’s something special about her, but then Tyra and others point out that Sophie has this winning personality, she lights up the room and would do so well as an E! Correspondent.
And then witchy PR Maven, Kelly Cutrone pipes in with Sophie is a great PR story- She was runner up in Britian’s Next Top Model and persevered through America’s Next Top Model to win! Which makes me feel like Sophie wasn’t the first choice, but I am still happy for her and she certainly did work hard for it.