Teary, Cheery + Jeery: ‘ANTM’ Runner-Up Concession Speeches, Rated
Each year, a fresh new face is plucked from obscurity, groomed by top stylists and fashioned into a Vogue-worthy supermodel. Also, someone wins America's Next Top Model!
Tyra Banks' brainchild, which has named an MMA fighter and a girl who brought books to school in a wheelbarrow as some of its winners, has produced stars that have gone on to appear as "guest" at comic book conventions or "woman with psoriasis" in commercials for potent prescriptions. But let's forget about them about them for a moment, and cast our attention on the show's unsung heroes: the losers!
Since 2003, 21 people have entered ANTM's final judgment with high hopes, only to leave the last panel discussion completely crestfallen. And while some take the loss in stride and humbly defer to the winners, others more enjoyably deem the whole competition a waste of time, or talk about what they want to eat when they finally fly home.
Tonight (December 4), the show will crown its 22nd and final winner: either a young virgin, a guy who talks about growing up in a trailer park, a delegate's daughter or a deaf man who willingly signed "on fleek" in a previous episode. One will fly high, speak in bromides about achieving dreams and suffer through Tyra's final "fieeeeerce!," but another will have to settle for second best. Still, he or she will have a slight comfort in all the chokers that have come before.
Below, we've analyzed every single second-place concession speech: the good, the bad and the totally shady. Take a look, tell us which is your favorite and be sure to watch the final America's Next Top Model episode tonight at 9/8c.
Quote of note: "A lot of girls would definitely want to be in my position, and they're not."
One of reality TV's teenage-virgin pioneers got it mostly right as the show's inaugural second-place finisher: Shannon's speech was just teary enough to elicit sympathy, but came with an even sternness that said, in a few more words: Are you f---ing kidding me?
Quote of note: "I dreamed of this moment happening, but I didn't go all the way."
Mercedes' two-second surrender was more summary than analysis, but, in fairness, she was probably disoriented from Tyra's patronizing "Girl, you edgy right now." NOT EDGY ENOUGH, I GUESS.
Quote of note: "I deserved to be recognized, and I will. But they wanted someone a little bit more bubbly."
Translation: I can't believe you made me fly commercial to Japan to tell me I'm worse than the girl who struggled to pronounce "Campbell's" in the Campbell's commercial.
Quote of note: "When I stepped foot on that runway, it made me realize why I wanted to do this."
Keenly aware was what was lost, still grateful for what was gained, Kahlen's words were uniquely sincere. Plus, she sobbed into a wall, which, A+.
Quote of note: "I wanted people to know my name...Maybe it hasn't sunk in yet that I'm not that girl."
It was impressive that Nik unwittingly spoke to her own fatal flaw: No one remembered her. Still, credit for not breaking down when Twiggy called her too bouncy (?).
Quote of note: "The best girl won!"
It's funny how Joanie conceded so respectably, considering she was the most talented in the bunch. Some of the most beautiful sentiment offered through some of the most beautifully mandated oral cosmetic surgery.
Quote of note: "I'm pissed. I put my heart and soul into it and it wasn't enough, and I got called a bitch the whole way through and it sucks and I feel really misunderstood and I'm sad."
Blank tombstones seeking inscription: Consider the words above.
Quote of note: "I'm just so happy to go back to my home and see my family."
Considering English was her second language, and basic pleasantries once eluded her, it wasn't a bad job. It was no "Some people have war in their countries," though...
Quote of note: "This wasn't the way I'm supposed to make it, so I'm gonna continue to work hard and just reach my dreams."
Hours earlier, Chantal knocked an acrobat off his stilts and left him with hip contusions—a little acknowledgement and perspective wouldn't have killed anyone. Maybe "I'm not the winner but I'm glad I can still lunge sideways" or something?
Quote of note: "I know I'm gonna go back home and I'm gonna cry, but the thing is that I'm proud of myself."
Anya had the unique privilege of conceding to the show's first plus-sized winner, who once uttered the ol' "My best friend is black" chestnut during an argument about race. People liked her because she surfed and always kind of looked like she was lost in a department store, but her bow-out was just meh.
Quote of note: "I never saw myself as being a pretty girl. I don't ever see myself as a pretty girl. Now I do."
Contrived humility? Probably, but it was still pretty endearing. Jeremy Scott told her she looked like a "truck driver and a stripper" one time, but she didn't in this case!
Quote of note: "I'm super disappointed, but at the same time, I've gotten to do so much, you know?"
Allison, a hemophilia-voyeur, once remarked "Jealous!" when Tyra shared her history of nosebleeds. She was bizarre and interesting, but her final sendoff was inconsistently ordinary. Credit for losing gracefully in a scant bikini, though.
Quote of note: "My mom, and my grandma, and my dad and my sister, and my little brother is gonna be so proud of me."
Laura grew up castrating bulls in Kentucky, but the degree of their pride was unavailable at press time. Also: number agreement, girl!
Quote of note: "I feel like I'm supposed to be sad and crying right now, but I'm not. I'm just happy!"
Quote of note: "I feel cheated. I feel like I had the whole package, what it takes to be America's Next Top Model, and I don't think Ann does."
Chelsey's claims were completely misguided—Ann got more weekly first-place finishes than anyone else—but they were no less entertaining. With a single statement, Chelsey completely did away with the show's expectation of diplomacy, probably because Tyra shaved two millimeters off of her teeth because she thought it would look good.
Quote of note: "The first thing I do when I get home is I'm going to take a nap, and then I am going to eat a pulled pork sandwich."
If Chelsey did away with diplomacy, Molly did away with the guise of glamour in spectacular fashion. Like Ann before her, Molly had outperformed everyone, but didn't win, for some reason, and didn't care to analyze why.
Quote of note: "I'm so grateful for all the support from the fans and people who reach out to me, it's just overwhelmingly flattering."
To reenter America's Next Top Model—a cockfight in a neighborhood your mother warned you against exploring—is brave, and to be rewarded with a second second-place finish must have made Allison want to closed-fist slap Tyra and admire her bloody lip. But she was too nice to do that, and her speech signaled a very clear change in the show: It had become about social media and fans, not fashion.
Quote of note: "Just because my face isn't on the screen this time doesn't mean it's not gonna be on another screen another time."
Modeling: That thing with screens! Are billboards obsolete now? Are we done with magazines? I bet she doesn't know what Dewey Decimal is. Ughhhh.
Quote of note: "Life moves on and it moves forward and I will just get back up and finish school and hopefully this is just the beginning."
The college-themed season's runner-up mentioned school: ON BRAND, HOLLAAAAAA.
Quote of note: "I feel like, with time, I'm gonna be a supermodel."
The first season to feature men still crowned a woman as its winner, but second-place Marvin nevertheless spoke as if he were Charlie stumbling into the Chocolate Factory. He aimed for sincere, but achieved shrill, and Kelly Cutrone's eyes sort of said Get the hell out of here already, kid.
Quote of note: "I'm walking away with a new found person inside of myself that I'm so proud of."
Will was really tall, and talked about being tall and then said something about being tall in his defeat. But even though he lost he was sure he'd become a new person; a new tall person.
Look back at some memorably dramatic celeb haircuts:
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