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20 Cycles of ANTM: Who Won vs. Who Should Have Won

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. 

Cycle 1

Adrianne CurryWENN/David Livingston

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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.

Cycle 2

Yonna House and Mercedes Scelba-ShorteGetty Images/WENN

Who Won: Yoanna House

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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.

Cycle 3

Eva Pigford and Toccara JonesWENN/Getty Images

Who Won: Eva Pigford

Should Have Won: Toccara Jones, Yaya DaCosta

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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.

Cycle 4

Naima Mora and Kahlen RondotGetty Images/Getty Images

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.

Cycle 5

Nicole Linklater and Bre ScullarkWENN/WENN

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.

Cycle 6

Danielle Evans and Joanie DoddsWENN/WENN

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).

Cycle 7

CariDee EnglishWENN

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…).

Cycle 8

Jaslene Gonzalez and Renee AlwayWENN/Getty Images

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.

Cycle 9

Saleisha Stowers and Jenah DoucetteWENN/The CW

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!

Cycle 10

Whitney Thompson and Anya KopWENN/WENN

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?

Cycle 11

McKey SullivanWENN

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.

Cycle 12

Teyona Anderson and Allison HarvardGetty Images/Getty Images

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.

Cycle 13

Nicole FoxWENN

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.

Cycle 14

Krista White and Raina HeinWENN/WENN

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.

Cycle 15

Ann Ward and Kayla FerrelWENN/The CW

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.

Cycle 16

Brittani Kline and Hannah Kat JonesWENN/Getty Images

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.

Cycle 17

Lisa D’Amato and Allison HarvardWENN/Getty Images

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.

Cycle 18

Sophie Sumner, Annaliese Dayes and Laura LaFrateWENN/WENN/Twitter

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.

Cycle 19

Laura James and Leila GoldkuhlWENN/Twitter

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.

Cycle 20

Jourdan Miller and Renee BhagwandeenTwitter/The CW

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?

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