In a reality TV world where few finales have tried and true shockers, the final episode of America’s Next Top Model All Stars managed to surprise everyone. Not just because one of the three finalists was suddenly out of contention, but because of Tyra and the cast’s strange vagueness about why.
In the final 15 minutes of the show, it was down to three: Lisa, Allison, and Angelea (left to right.) All three were very different, and each appealed to the judges for very different reasons. But while most seasons go from the final runway show (held in an international locale – in this case, Greece) to a nearby deliberation area, this time, the venue was suddenly Los Angeles, and time clearly had passed.
Tyra and judge Nigel Barker explained that circumstances had arisen that mandated that finalist Angelea Preston ultimately had to be disqualified, but were considerably mum about why, explaining that they and the network had concluded that the decision would now be down to two models. (In fact, this was the first season that three models were finalists, so this reverted back to the original type of finale…but it was clear that some time had passed since the runway show.) What’s interesting about this development, is that it would probably be unnecessary to reshoot a final scene from the show unless Angelea had originally been the winner and her winning scene had already been shot. If she was going to lose anyway, there would be no need to set up a panel in Los Angeles. They could have just used the scene from Greece.
Immediately, and not surprisingly, the internet fans began question pages on sites like Yahoo answers a wiki-answers asking why exactly Angelea was disqualified. The common thread among them was that sometime before the finale made air, Preston had revealed either who the three finalists were, or claimed to be the winner herself on facebook.
Indeed, her facebook fan page (which contains a fair share of expletives, and may or may not be moderated by Angelea herself) has posts in which she calls herself a “winner” as recently as November 30th. (too recent to result in an upheaval and reshoot for the show.) It seems a legitimate possibility that she made similar statements about the competition earlier as well. The question has been raised about whether she in fact has anything to do with her fan page, since she has an actual facebook personal page as well. It is not uncommon for a celebrity to have both, or even operate one page as if she’s someone else who is a fan.
Any kind of leak – facebook or otherwise, but a contestant would be considered a huge breach of contract Networks require contestants to sign a confidentiality agreement that mandates they do not reveal any information about the show or their standing in the competition until after a winner is announced. A winner being revealed before the series’ conclusion can result in lost viewership, which results in a loss of advertising dollars if the show does not meet ratings expectations. That one leak can amount to millions of dollars in lost revenue. (In turn, even ‘revealing’ information that is actually untrue could be interpreted as true by some watchers and have the same effect.)
Given the fact that Angelea was not disqualified right there in Greece, it could very well be that in fact, she may have initially been called the winner while in Greece, but had her win remanded after revealing too much after taping, It could also be that in fact, even though Angelea did not truly win, the very post was enough for them to retape a final judging session without her in contention.
Given that the status on her fan page was dated November 30th, there would have been barely enough time to quickly retape the last portion of the show and then prepare it for air, and it is somewhat suspect that she would keep the an incriminating facebook post on her page. (There may in fact have been an earlier post that she has since deleted.)
While there may be an altogether different explanation entirely for her elimination, this potential reason might explain why they didn’t discuss it on the show. Producers are less willing to go public with the behind the scenes process of making a program. Rules regarding the secrecy of the results and the timeline between shooting and airdates would likely be considered more than they would be willing to reveal.
And so, as far as the viewers were concerned, the final winner (and again, quite possibly the winner all along, was the outspoken Lisa D’Amato, who at 30 years old will make her one of the older emerging models on the series, but no less vivacious and beautiful.
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