Was ‘Top Model’ All-Star Winner Yanked for New One?

Most of the 17th (!) season finale of “America’s Top Model” was in Greece. It was the show’s first all-star edition (by which they mean: models who had already been on the show once but not won). And for the first time three got to do the final (ridiculous) runway show, this one involving swimming and flying in on ropes, like some demented triathlon.

And while it all seemed pretty even, the shock came in the final act, when in an odd scene suddenly shot in Los Angeles, Tyra Banks explained that something had happened.

It was, Banks said, “a special finale being conducted under unusual circumstances.”

Nigel Barker, as if reading from some legalese continued: “It turns out after shooting wrapped, our production team and the network learned information from Angelea that disqualifies her from the competition.”

And what was it? Nobody said.

The only other word on it was: “We wish Angelique the best in her future endeavors” from Jay Manuel. Then they went on to evaluate the remaining contestants, as if there were just two on the final runway: lively Lisa D’Amato, 30 of Los Angeles, from season five; and spookily big-eyed Alison Harvard, 23, of New Orleans, from season 12.

Letting viewers imagine what terrible thing they learned Angelea Preston must have done is no way to wish her well. Was she a bank robber in a previous life? Posed nude on the internet? Was born a guy? (No wait, that was Isis King of season 11, who was eliminated the third week of all-stars).

The prevailing theory online is that Preston committed the (contractual) sin of telling people she had won long before the season began to air. But nobody has confirmed that as of yet.

So left to reconsider Alison and Lisa, the judges agreed Lisa had the personality and the edge – winning characteristics that she seemed to have even before Angelea was disappeared.

It was an odd, slightly desperate season, though. Despite the supposed “all-stars,” they had to add all kinds of odd celebrity judges and tasks that had nothing to do with modeling, including recording a song, blogging, designing a dress, concocting a perfume, and acting on “CSI.”

When Lisa got the nod (imagine her elation, having thought she’d lost), she told the judges with some emphasis: “I won’t let any of you down,” perhaps indicating she’d absolutely be mum ’til tonight.

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