After a run of the worst “My Life As a CoverGirl” segments in recent memory — courtesy of Cycle 11 winner McKey’s tendency to read lines more woodenly than an inanimate object — we’re pretty sure the only people more eager than we are for a new America’s Next Top Model champion are the CoverGirl people themselves. Good thing the finale airs tonight: Either Allison, Aminat, or Teyona will take home the prize, assuming they can fumble through a fake ad for makeup and survive a Brazilian runway show without falling and breaking a facial bone. As usual, we gnawed off several fingernails trying to guess who’s gonna be on top, but we’ve finally laid down the odds as to which of these three will come out of tonight with her very own Wikipedia page.
Teyona: 2 to 1.
Teyona’s photos generally are excellent, and Tyra gushes about her bone structure. But when she had to look pretty on film during the first CoverGirl challenge, the judges were underwhelmed. Indeed, Teyona’s biggest stumbling block is that despite seeming perfectly nice and professional, she isn’t dynamic. We can’t recall a single thing she’s done other than narrowly beating Aminat in the recent go-see challenge. But hey, that’s something, and she’s come on strong as a judges’ favorite in the latter stages; even last week’s semi-incomprehensible disses of her picture seemed manufactured to throw people off her scent. Plus, her look is far enough removed from past champs McKey and Whitney that a victory here won’t feel like a retread — history shows Tyra prefers to avoid repetition when it comes to her winners — but she’s not so editorial that she won’t make sense as a CoverGirl. In other words, she’s not lighting anyone’s world on fire, but she’ll do.
Aminat: 3 to 1.
Aminat has the opposite problem: She’s very telegenic — she’s the only finalist who looks particularly remarkable while just lounging around or reading Tyra Mail — but the judges don’t seem to think she’s photogenic, considering that last week they basically said her face is hideous when the light hits it. (We imagine it’s hard to succeed at modeling in the dark, although we smell a future ANTM challenge in there somewhere.) However, Tyra has imparted a lot of wisdom about how to overcome this terrible deformity by logging practice time in front of the mirror, and Tyra loves it when people take her advice, so if Aminat’s CoverGirl picture turns out well enough that Tyra can take credit for being a good teacher — and Aminat’s occasionally marble-mouthed diction doesn’t tank the commercial shoot — she may well find herself in the finals showing off her far superior walk. It would be tight between her and Teyona, but while Aminat’s sassier personality is charming, her weaker portfolio should land her in second.
Allison: 25 to 1.
Our proposed odds would be even longer if saucer-eyed Allison didn’t take such disturbingly alluring photos — disturbing because she defaults to looking like a confused rabbit in a pet-shop cage, but alluring because against all odds, in front of the camera lens she usually turns that sentence into a compliment. And she gets props for making it this far despite spending every episode peering out from behind a bleached-blonde weave (courtesy of Tyra’s cracked-out makeover team) that makes Vince Neil’s coif enviable and stylish by comparison. But the girl can’t walk. Like, at all. It’s a major achievement every time she successfully transports herself up to Tyra at the end of each episode to claim her photograph. Between that and her well-documented lack of confidence, particularly when in the CoverGirl spotlight, it would be a miracle if Allison passes the commercial test convincingly enough for Tyra to risk letting her anywhere near a runway. And yet, we hope Allison sneaks into the final two, because forcing us to stress about whether she’ll remember how her feet work would give the runway showdown a deliciously tense edge.