In the final cycle of America’s Next Top Model, Tyra Banks decided she’d had enough of helping a potential model become successful and instead decided she was going to use her resources to destroy someone. Enter cheerful blonde Christian flower-girl Ava. Ava was nice, Ava was cool, Ava was a fantastic model and Ava also had zero tolerance for bullshit. Ava defended fellow models Courtney and Bello against their main antagonist Mikey. Ava once shouted down the house for being two-faced about her and encouraged people who had a problem with her words to come right to her face if they had something bad to say. Ava was fantastic television, in more ways than one.
The other way, apart from everything mentioned, was Tyra Bank’s mini-plot to destroy her self-esteem and confidence. Right after obtaining Best Photo in Episode 4, Tyra used the traditional series makeover to hack off all of Ava’s beautiful blonde hair into a mullet. Tyra waited several episodes before enacting the next stage of her plan, which was to deride her modelling and tell her that the haircut they gave her looked terrible and that was all Ava’s fault. The judges created false out-of-nowhere reasons to criticise her, like when Yu Tsai complained that her scream in the exorcism photoshoot sounded like a farmyard animal, despite the fact that screams are not heard through photos and have no bearing on the final shoot whatsoever. Ava was then eliminated from the show after all of this when her two only friends were in the Bottom 3 with her, because Ava had vowed to remove herself from any more drama for the sake of her sanity and Courtney and Bello had much more drama to give.
The journey didn’t stop there though, as Ava also returned to the competition several times as a participating model, where she was given the same frail sick dog Devin was during the dog photoshoot in order to make sure she didn’t return, and somehow did the best of all the women fighting to return. When that wasn’t enough, she returned in the final runway show, placed specifically in an outfit made of rainbow sponges.
For whatever reason, Tyra had it out for Ava throughout the season, but Ava had the last laugh by never breaking. She maintained her same happy demeanour to her final day of filming the series that she had for the rest of her time on the show and for that, Ava is the real winner (well, apart from the actual winner Nyle).