If you missed the madness that was the America’s Next Top Model finale this Wednesday night, you probably missed the most buzz and drama the competition has amassed in recent memory. Usually Tyra herself is bringing the crazy, but this time, the craziness came from a missing finalist: Angelea Preston.
Angelea Preston was the Buffalo, NY, self-proclaimed ghetto girl, who worked past self-doubt and bad photo shoots to make it into the final three of the competition. She was mediocre throughout the whole season, often taking terrible pictures and creating unconvincing music videos, but Tyra kept putting her through. Really, if anyone doesn’t think this show isn’t rigged—or at least severely Banks-biased, she is deluding herself.
Angelea seemed hand-picked to win. She was the girl with the rough upbringing who battled her demons to take home the crown. Every winner of this show represents some aspect of Tyra’s personality, and it was blatantly obvious that Angelea represented Tyra’s past and was going to win this season.
But then Angelea’s fate didn’t pan out. We were treated to a god-awful final runway in Greece with all three girls wearing Grecian goddess dresses. After the runway show, Angelea broke down into tears, and then the show cut to commercial.
In the next cut of the show, the judges were back in Los Angeles, and Tyra came on with a lame announcement that the producers had disqualified Angelea because they had become aware of some new information making her ineligible for the win. The two remaining finalists, Alison and Lisa, taped the lackluster finale, in which neither seemed particularly invested.
The weirdest part of the whole thing was yet to come. The network announced that the original finale was taped in Greece, and the Los Angeles final judging was retaped two months after the original taping. The two remaining finalists had to tape the judging again. If Angelea hadn’t been crowned the winner, it seems strange that they would bother retaping the show at all.
Rumors have been swirling on the interwebs that Angelea announced her win on Facebook before the airing of the final episode, thereby disqualifying herself. This seems unlikely. Whenever girls do something to defy Tyra, Tyra always makes examples of them and their rebellions, and the contestants receive a soft-spoken no-no lecture from Ms. Banks. If this had been Angelea’s undoing, it seems that she would have been disqualified on-set, and Tyra would have sent her tearfully home.
What could Angelea have done? If this is a publicity stunt by Ms. Banks, it's seriously got me hooked.