No disrespect to Abdi, who was one of my faves throughout the entire show. His charcoal drawing in the last regular challenge was magnificent and a couple of his final pieces were really incredible.
But how could Miles Mendenhall possibly lose this competition? Anyone watching this show from the beginning would have put money on his eventual victory, not because he was so much more talented than the others (although he was among the best in every challenge) but because the show seemed made for him. All actual artistic considerations aside, he was easily the most adorable, versatile, confident, and telegenic. Isn’t that how these things work?
My personal expectations aside, I do think Peregrine had the best final showing by far. Even more than Miles, she was the artist who cultivated a unique, charmingly depraved aesthetic that carried well from challenge to challenge and medium to medium. Her wax sculptures were eerie and cheery all at once, her vomiting ladies were so cute, and the twin fawns – what a perfect piece. She knew it, too, she cried whenever someone talked about it. She knocked it out of the park.
So how did Abdi win? Was it something that didn’t register over the TV, or am I really that disconnected from the opinions of the judges? I think the upset comes down to Abdi’s obvious growth throughout the series and the opinion of guest judge David LaChapelle. My embarrassingly vast experience in watching shows like this tells me that the opinion of the guest critic will always push an indecisive panel toward their choice. But if the panel truly wanted to reward growth then Abdi, being the youngest artist in the crowd, would have started with a natural advantage (not including Erik the hack, of course.) Shouldn’t it be about your final work?
Who knows. I am not a critic (see my last post), I am only a lowly Bravo viewer. But this isn’t the first reality show finale I’ve been disappointed by (let’s shed a tear for Kevin Gillespie’s beard) and I doubt it’ll be the last.