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America's Next Top Model is Jaslene Gonzalez

By Peter Mavrik on May 17, 2007 6:00PM

Back in May of 2003 we started watching one of the few reality shows that had us hooked from the first episode. Four years later we're still watching and have become borderline obsessive/compulsive about America's Next Top Model.

It's not Tyra that's the draw for us. Nor is it Twiggy, the original waif. Not Nigel Barker who is "married", nor is it even really about the girls competing for the big win (well, maybe just a bit.)

2007_05_mrmsjay.jpgThe real crack is watching two of the most flaming, poorly dressed, horribly coiffured yet fabulous gay men on television. We're talking about Mr. Jay Manuel, director of the weekly photo shoots and Queen of the Catwalk, Miss J. Alexander. The two Jays are the best thing on reality television. Ever.

ANTM Cycle 8, captured by our faithful DVR (so as not to let commercials get in the way of the two Jays) wasn't our favorite. But it did have a few moments of hilarity that had us laughing.

Seeing Jael, who never quite looked like she was awake, get tossed in the pool by rapper 50 Cent (whom she pissed off) was rather priceless.

Dionne, who was an early favorite of ours, tore us up when she announced her new "model name" was "Wholihay" pronounced who-la-hay. Even typing that name makes us giggle.

We'd be remiss if we didn't mention Natasha from Russia, who was so full of sound bytes that we lost count of how many times she set us into hysterics. Perhaps her best line was "Its hard for me to get, because I don't talk, like, English. I speak basic words." When you figure out what that means, let us know.

The two Jays, the REAL stars of the show, didn't disappoint either. Miss Jay, with his collar of ruffles, added one for each girl kicked off the show as the weeks went by. At the finals he looked like a giant psychedelic peony. And Mr. Jay made so many delicious catty comments about the girls we almost wet the couch. We suspect he's a drag queen on the weekends.

2007_05_antmjaslene.jpgBut ANTM is a reality show, which means there must be a big winner. Native Chicagoan Jaslene Gonzalez, who coincidentally did not make it through the semifinals of Cycle 7, took the big win this year and we think she deserves it.

Throughout the competition she was consistently taking great photos and despite being 5'7" (short in the modeling industry), everyone seemed to love her. She was never in the bottom two during judging, and even our fellow ANTM addicts out there loved her because she was nominated as the CoverGirl of the week four times.

Even though Jaslene does look like combination drag-queen / Janice Dickinson clone, we're still happy that one of our own Chicago peeps took the prize. She summed up the whole competition for us when she said "I'm the Latin spice here. I'm not your girl next door but I'm your girl down the block in your hood."

Only 186 days until Cycle 9 of America's Next Top Model begins. And we're waiting patiently just for more of the two Jays.

Images via