Cycle 20 of America’s Next Top Model comes to an end tonight and a new top model will be crowned. Tyra has breathed new life into this season of the reality show by adding male models in the mix, and we’re all chomping at the bit to see if one of the boys — particularly a certain fellow from our neck of the woods — will scoop up the big prize.
Tonight, starting at 8 p.m., Philadelphia native Cory Wade Hindorff will walk it out on a runway in Bali for his chance at the title. As an openly gay male model, Cory has strutted his way through a number of obstacles throughout the season in style. So, in honor of his journey, here is a look back at five of his fiercest moments.
THE FRAGRANCE COMMERCIAL: In episode six, contestants switched gender roles, finally giving Cory the chance to flaunt his androgyny. For the challenge, he channeled his drag persona Serena Starr and worked that commercial like nobody’s business. This would prove to be his first challenge win of the season.
THE NAIL ART SHOOT: Episode seven brought a new (and rather odd) challenge for contestants: modeling fake nails. Despite a bizarre makeup job (neon yellow eyebrows?!), Cory managed to turn out an awesome photograph and outshine his competition once again.
HIS INTERACTIONS WITH JUDGE ROB EVANS: In episode 15, contestants were hung by their ankles in a temple full of bats and instructed to pose. Even though Cory produced a stunning shot, male supermodel and ANTM judge Rob Evans called him out on panel for being too feminine. (I mean, come on. How manly can a guy be hanging upside down wrapped in silk?) Rob even went so far to say that if Cory walked onto a photo-shoot set, people would confuse him for the hairstylist and not see him as a model. Evans’ narrow-minded opinion is something Cory may face a lot in his career, but I was impressed with the way he handled the situation, eventually speaking out to make a strong case for gender-bending models.
HIS GUESS SHOOT: As a part of the prize package, the winner gets to be one of the faces of Guess with the likes of models such as Kate Upton. For the first Guess photo challenge, the odds were against Cory, given that the brand usually caters to the girl- and boy-next-door set. He was challenged, unlike fellow male contestant Marvin Cortez, to really step up his manly image to sell the Guess brand. After a rough start he pulled himself together and rocked a photo that could compete with the manliest of them all. Cory’s picture even had Judge Evans eating his words.
ANY TIME HE WAS IN CONFESSIONAL: Like most reality shows, ANTM incorporates a confessional booth where contestants are given a chance to get away from everyone else to freely speak their minds. Cory — known for steering clear of the drama in the house — took full advantage of the opportunity to vent, and provided viewers with an endless supply of sassy, meme-able comments. He dished on everything from the tired Jourdan/Jeremy saga and the birth of Marnee to all the self-induced drama surrounding Chris H.