As America's Next Top Model's 21st cycle unfolds, we've decided to take a look at previous seasons to see how often Tyra and her ever-changing panel of judges choose the right model. As anyone who has watched the show throughout the years (and the marathons every time they're on TV) knows, the model you spend all season rooting for rarely wins, no matter how much she deserves to.
Who Won: Adrianne Curry
Should Have Won: Adrianne Curry
If only Tyra's first season were a sign of things to come. She picked it right. Adrianne had that special blend of being cool, a good model, and reality TV perfection (which is essential for a first season). She went on to become a "star" on Vh1's CelebReality, and we continued to grow up watching the ups and downs of her relationship with a Brady. That sort of contribution to our adolescence is invaluable.
Who Won: Yoanna House
Should Have Won: Mercedes Scelba-Shorte
Mercedes was perfect! She was such a great model, she had the cutest personality, and she was owning the competition while suffering with Lupus. Her final photo and her Billie Holiday photo are some of our favorite in ANTM history.
Who Won: Eva Pigford
Should Have Won: Toccara Jones, Yaya DaCosta
Eva was okay, but we loved Toccara. She left too soon, and we began to root for Eva. Looking back on this cycle now though, it's hard not to feel like Yaya is sort of like ANTM's Jennifer Hudson -- she lost, but has the best career possibly out of any of the girls.
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Who Won: Naima Mora
Should Have Won: Kahlen Rondot
This is a no brainer. Kahlen was perfect. Naima was a good model, okay, sure. But she was quiet and enigmatic. Kahlen was shy, but adorable and relatable. And, if we're being frank, a far superior model.
Who Won: Nicole Linklater
Should Have Won: Bre Scullark (or Nik Pace)
We loved Bre. We still love Bre. She will always be one of our favorites. We rooted for Nik after Bre was eliminated, but Tyra didn't seem to care and picked the annoying and whiny Nicole.
Who Won: Danielle (Dani) Evans
Should Have Won: Joanie Dodds
This makes us uncomfortable to say, because we really like both girls here. This was one of the rare instances where we would have been happy regardless of who won. For some reason, we always remember this as the cycle that Joanie won though. Clearly she left the stronger impression (although we'll never forget Dani's photo on top of the elephant, while she was sick).
Who Won: CariDee English
Should Have Won: CariDee English
We felt really bad when Melrose lost because she was consistently good. She tried so hard to be perfect. Sure, she wasn't the most likable, but she was undeniably a good model. But CariDee had the whole package. She was likable and could model. We would have been happy if one of the twins won too though (just saying...).
Who Won: Jaslene Gonzalez
Should Have Won: Renee Alway
We were rooting for Renee from the very beginning. When she came in third place, we obviously started supporting Jaslene just to prevent the bizarre Natasha from winning. Deep down though, we still feel wronged by Renee's elimination.
Who Won: Saleisha Stowers
Should Have Won: Jenah Doucette
We never liked Saleisha. She kind of looked like Rihanna if Rihanna were on Disney. We were never into it. Chantal similarly had sanitized feel to her. Jenah shined as the only normal, likable girl in the cycle. She was a great model too!
Who Won: Whitney Thompson
Should Have Won: Anya Kop
This is one that outrages us still. Whitney was unlikable and even the judges thought so for most of the season. She just happened to get farther than any other plus-sized model, so they let her win. Everybody knows that Anya ran that cycle as if she were already a professional. Her photo shoot with Nigel? Her Sprite campaign? And don't even get us started on the injustice of eliminating Tiffani Thiessen-lookalike Katarzyna. How did they pick Whitney?
Who Won: McKey Sullivan
Should Have Won: McKey Sullivan
Girl was flawless. She was tall, stunning, poised, and had a lovely personality. Honorable mention to Analeigh Tipton though for doing her thing and having a great career.
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Who Won: Teyona Anderson
Should Have Won: Allison Harvard
Allison. Our favorite contestant in the history of ANTM. This one hurts. We're not quite ready to talk about it.
Who Won: Nicole Fox
Should Have Won: Nicole Fox
We loved Nicole and we loved runner-up Laura Kirkpatrick. Tyra didn't have the chance to mess this cycle up.
Who Won: Krista White
Should Have Won: Raina Hein
Raina has been working more than anyone else from this cycle -- we've been seeing her pop up on commercials, and a working model is a successful one. Overall, we didn't really like this cycle.
Who Won: Ann Ward
Should Have Won: Kayla Ferrel
First of all, Ann's runway walk was not good. Chelsey and Jane were both good models, but there was something about Kayla that we were consistently drawn to. She somehow looked like a classic beauty, yet edgy and modern. She was fieeeeerce.
Who Won: Brittani Kline
Should Have Won: Hannah Jones
Were we the only ones who didn't hate Alexandria? We would have been happy if she won, but instead we were left with Brittani. She was a fine model, but on a personal level, we just stopped liking her after that meltdown in panel. Hannah also reminded us a lot of Analeigh from cycle 12, so we had a soft spot for her.
Who Won: Lisa D'Amato
Should Have Won: Allison Harvard
TWICE? REALLY? Allison, who broke our hearts when she was runner-up in cycle 12, admits that it sucks to be runner-up twice. She should have won. Twice. She's the best. We'll never be ready to talk about this.
Who Won: Sophie Sumner
Should Have Won: ...Annaliese Dayes? ...Laura LaFrate? Maybe Sophie?
This is one of those cycles that had three great girls at the end. At one point or another, we rooted for all of them to win. We're happy Sophie won because she was a cutie, but we loved Annaliese way more throughout the competition. She was like a Spice Girl and a model all in one.
Who Won: Laura James
Should Have Won: Leila Goldkuhl
Laura is a fantastic model -- let's just get that out of the way up front. Leila was eliminated, because Tyra rarely makes good decisions, and brought back by the fans who loved her. Clearly she was a fan-favorite and she should have won. Leila was definitely better than runner-up Kiara.
Who Won: Jourdan Miller
Should Have Won: Renee Bhagwandeen
Our friend texted within the first episode of ANTM 2.0 saying she couldn't stand the girl who was married and divorced at 18. And she never really made us like her more. On the other hand, from the moment Renee was shown in the casting episode, she had our vote. We were gung-ho from the get-go. Sure, Cory and Marvin were fantastic, but personally we're still rooting for the girls.
Will Tyra make the right choice in Cycle 21?
It might not be as glamorous as Cannes or as cool as Sundance, but the Los Angeles Film Festival has just as much to offer as its larger counterparts. Between high-profile premieres of blockbuster films, international competition entries and some of the most exciting indies around all premiering at LAFF every year, there's plenty to pay attention to. But if you were unfortunate enough to let the this year's fest — which ran from June 11 to 19 — we've got you covered with a rundown of the most talked-about films to premiere at LAFF, and what the critics are saying about them. Now you can make all of your friends think you're cooler than you actually are.
They Came Together The Amy Poehler/Paul Rudd romantic comedy you’ve been waiting for is less about the relationship between the central couple, Joel (Rudd) and Molly (Poehler), and more about skewering every last trope of the genre. Written and directed by Wet Hot American Summer’s David Wain, the film lovingly parodies the traits, characters, conversations, and comically large apartments that appear in every rom com ever made, while allowing two funny, good looking people to fall in love in an entertaining way.
“The script’s on-the-nose descriptions of each character (as described by the characters themselves) actually works to frame them as self-aware people forced to play out roles we have seen before and allows the hilarious cast to play within those lines. Poehler and Rudd have a natural chemistry that makes them believable as the two leads in love, but their comedy also blends well making it clear they are having fun with each other and the characters they are playing.” – Allison Loring, Film School Rejects
"Wain leads his well-known cast through spoofs of such classics as When Harry Met Sally, Annie Hall, The Graduate and the sharp-elbowed comedies of Tracy and Hepburn. Each gag makes you wish you were watching the original, although a clench between Joel and his grandmother (Lynn Cohen) that almost leads to incestuous coupling deserves credit for sheer audacity. Most of the time, however, the actors on the screen seem to be having much more fun than the audience will." - David D'Arcy, Screen Daily
Cut Bank A small town crime drama set in Cut Bank, Montana that centers on a former high school football star (Liam Hemsworth) desperate to find a way out of his town. After he accidentally films the murder of the town mailman, he is offered a reward that would give him enough money to leave for good, but things aren't a simple as they seem, and he finds himself caught in a tangled web of deception and danger.
"...Shakman lets the scenes unfurl with a clunky pace and little verve, simply exaggerating the irony and naivety in the town as his main go-to points. It only makes sense that [John] Malkovich’s sheriff has never fired his gun and carries an aversion to violence; likewise with Palmer, who itches non-stop after a Miss Cut Bank pageant title even while she wants nothing more than to skip town. Thankfully humor seeps in through the edges of the film and its characters, sometimes on purpose and other times not." - Charlie Schmidlin, The Playlist
Dear White People A satire of college movies that tackles race relations and privilege in society, Dear White People follows four students as an Ivy League university — golden boy Troy (Brandon P. Bell), activist radio host Samantha (Tessa Thompson), Colendra "Coco" Conners (Teyona Parris), who has dreams of being a reality TV star, and shy misfit Lionel Higgins (Tyler James Williams) — after a planned "African American"-themed party thrown by a group of white students starts a riot on campus.
"If it ultimately feels modestly edgy rather than shocking or dangerous, 'Dear White People' nonetheless provokes admiration for having bothered to ask some of the hard questions without pretending to know any of the answers. It also works as a fine showcase for its actors: Fleshing out characters that could have been little more than one-note mouthpieces, Williams, Thompson, Parris and Bell all make strong, distinctive impressions, with Thompson perhaps the standout as the film’s sharpest and most enigmatic figure." - Justin Chang, Variety
The Last Time You Had Fun With a cast full of comedians and sitcom alums, The Last Time You Had Fun puts a grown-up twist on the standard "wild night out" comedy. After Ida (Eliza Coupe) forces her sister Alison (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) to blow off some steam with her, they find themselves bickering and partying with Clark (Kyle Bornheimer) and the sweatpants-clad Will (Demetri Martin), as the four of them attempt to have the most fun that four older, dysfunctional adults could possibly have.
"Granted, the excesses of Bridesmaids or The Hangover are not essential to sparkling relationship comedy, but Fun lacks an edge, or even much of an attitude. Blandly risqué situations, featherweight banter and a hint of implied sexual impropriety have all the heft of an extended cable sitcom episode. Or maybe it’s the casting, which draws extensively on the TV comedy background of the four leads, who all acquit themselves adequately but can’t achieve sufficient character differentiation within the ensemble. Undistinguished locations, flat lighting and primarily static setups perpetuate the small-screen aesthetic, which at least bodes well for the film’s transition to home entertainment formats." - Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter
Echo Park The debut film from photographer Amanda Marsalis, Echo Park is a story about two people who come together "across cultural, economic and racial boundaries." Sophie (Mamie Gummer) is an unhappy housewife who moves from her Beverly Hills home to the up-and-coming neighborhood of Echo Park in order to shake up her predictable boring life, who finds herself drawn to Alex (Tony Okungbowa) after she buys his couch. But their burgeoning relationship might have to be put on hold, since he's about to leave for London...
"It’s Marsalis’ direction, and the fine performances from Gummer and Okungbowa that elevate the film above what it might have been, given the issues with the script and story that hover around the edges of cliché and stereotype (the worst offender: Sophie’s mother). While the dialogue, especially the scenes between Sophie and Alex, works well, the story beats are oddly laid out, rushing through some important character and relationship establishing moments, and dwelling too long in moments where the characters are making frustrating, selfish choices. Still, the end of the film avoids falling into the traditional romantic film trap, leading to a message that’s a bit more complicated and nuanced than expected." - Katie Walsh, IndieWire
20th Century Fox
Geoffrey Rush is best known for playing larger-than-life characters like the pirate Captain Barbossa in the Pirates of the Carribean series. His character in The Book Thief, however, is markedly quieter and more restrained, a change of pace that the actor relished. In the adaptation of Markus Zusak's novel, the Oscar winner plays Hans Hubermann, a German man who, along with his wife Rosa (Emily Watson) fosters a young girl called Leisel Meminger (Sophie Nèlisse) and shelters a Jewish man, Max Vandenburg (Ben Schnetzer), at the start of World War II.
We sat down with Rush ahead of The Book Thief's November 8 release to talk about why Hans is so different than his previous roles, his long histroy with Emily Watson and how Sophie Nèlisse is like a "heat-seeking missile."
What was your first introduction to the story of The Book Thief? Were you at all familiar with the novel? No. Shamefully, because it’s a great Australian novel – or Australian author’s novel – I never heard of it. But I certainly got onto it very quickly once I read the screenplay because the storytelling in the screenplay, I thought “This is very good film writing.” And then to discover that the novel had, on its own novelistic levels, a certain rare brilliance, it was really good and [also] good to have that there as a reference work.
What is it about Hans as a character that appealed to you, and made you want to be a part of this project? For me, compared to what else is on my CV or what I’ve just been doing – I’ve been doing some theater in Australia, playing Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest or playing Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, a big, bold, slapstick-y kind of show – so relative to that, when I then read The Book Thief, I though “This is a really nice challenge and creative contrast” to have something that’s not so obvious how to do it. And the fact that as the course of the story goes one, the character reveals greater and you know, for an actor, many more interesting quirks and depth.
You’ve worked with Emily once before, did your relationship with her help you to create that bond between Hans and Rosa? Not specifically on this relationship, because, you know, being husband and wife as Peter Sellers and his wife is completely different set of circumstances to Rosa and Hans. But you know, we had enjoyed that experience in 2003 and also I’d shared, in my and probably for her, we were sort of on the promotional circuit back in ’96-’97, she was in Breaking the Waves when I was in Shine and we were in tandem on Secrets and Lies and The English Patient and Sling Blade and everything. You tend to run into people in corridors in the hotel, or at some event, or a BAFTA afternoon tea or something, and we had many, many enjoyable conversations during that period. So, I feel like I’ve known Emily forever. She was great, because I tend to have a gallery of characters that are fairly boisterous or flamboyant or crazy or a little colorful – I don’t know how to describe them. But she’s certainly got a great repertoire of very finely etched, exquisite, dramatic roles with a rich inner life. I would describe her as one of those people who doesn’t go out to the camera, she lets the camera come in and discover the secrets that are going on beautifully inside of her performance. I was excited by the fact that she really wanted to play, warts and all, this rather mean-spirited, downtrodden, tough housefrau and not let any vanity get in the way of that, because it’s very late in the film that her particular onion gets unpeeled and you get a glimpse of the richness of her humanity, and that’s the whole mark of the people who live on Himmel Straße.
Even the woman who was playing Rudy’s mum, you know, not the biggest role in the world, but I thought it had a wonderful, rich, emotional intensity of being torn between “Do we help Herr Lehman on the street or not?” or even when she’s saying goodbye to her husband, Rudy’s dad, “Don’t cry in front of the children. Don’t make this [worse]." Heartbreaking stuff. You know, life on Himmel Straße was really being battered and the natural sense of community was really being battered and bruised by the fanatical ideology of the National Socialist sense of control. It doesn’t want people to be human; it doesn’t want people to have fascinating social connections.
There are so many newcomers in this cast. What’s it like as a veteran actor to work with so many new faces? Well, Ben was relatively new. I mean, I didn’t really know of him and we spent a lot of time together in Berlin. I only had certain key scenes in relationship, it was really Sophie that worked with him. But yeah, I think it’s great when there are fresh faces in parts like that because it introduces a new talent, and interesting talent to people. But you know, out of the 20-25 German actors, I mean, we had people in the roles of other community members of Himmel Street or Nazi members or various roles, who were all the cream of German stage and screen, all really keen to contribute to the making of this film.
Was there anything about Sophie or her performance that particularly surprised or impressed you? All of it. She’s prodigiously gifted and has a natural gift. She’s like a heat seeking missile, she just kind of goes in on the pure emotional requirements and necessities that are in a scene and does them in a very unpredictable, very arresting way. She engages an audience’s imagination so strongly, and the thing I loved about her is that in between takes, she was just a great clown. We found our friendship not by so much discussing what Hans and Leisel would do together, just by Geoffrey and Sophie goofing off. Became a good way to break the ice and find a rapport and somehow I hope that’s found it was into the specifics of the plight of their relationship and the pressures that it’s under.