The finale featured the top three contestants: Angelea Preston, Lisa D'Amato and Allison Harvard filming a Cover Girl commercial and walking in a runway show (which included flying models and an underwater modeling element).
But the real drama began at the moment the judges were about to begin deliberating. Suddenly viewers were informed that Angela had been disqualified from the competition.
Tyra Banks then announced, "We're back in Los Angeles on the Top Model set and we're here for a special finale that's being conducted under unusual circumstances."
Fashion photographer and Top Model judge, Nigel Barker added, "It turns out, our production team and the network learned information from Angelea that disqualifies her from the competition. It means we're now going to do our final judging with the remaining two girls, and in the interest of fairness, the producers and the network thought it best to evaluate Allison and Lisa on their own."
Lisa was crowned the reigning Top Model All Star, but Angelea's disqualification continued to dominate fans' interest for months to come, especially when no clear answer to why she was disqualified was forthcoming (from Angelea or Top Model producers).
Later, CW released an official statement: "After production wrapped on the current cycle of America's Next Top Model, we learned information that made Angelea ineligible and she was subsequently disqualified from the competition. As a result, new scenes were filmed to address this for the audience during the finale."
This did little to quash the rumors that flourished in the information vacuum and speculation about the reason behind Angelea's disqualification ranged from the reasonable to the absurd.
Other reality competitions have seen contenders disqualified for having an unreported conflict of interest or already being under contract. But, the All Star season of America's Next Top Model featured a number of models already under modeling contracts, so that seemed unlikely.
Another theory was that Angelea had violated a confidentiality agreement, and had revealed (on Facebook) who the final three models were before the results had aired. While this seemed plausible, it wouldn't explain the cone of silence; if it was as simple as violating a confidentiality clause, wouldn't someone just say so?.
The kind of silence seemed to suggest a need for privacy, as if Angelea was dealing with some kind of medical issue and Top Model producers couldn't violate her privacy by making it public. While previous America's Next Top Model contestants had dealt with health problems (like blindness or Lupus) it could be something requiring immediate hospitalization--whether that be admittance into a rehab clinic or some other kind of intensive treatment.
But then, why would Angelea be muzzled? Surely she could talk about her own medical issues if she wanted to?
There were rumors that Angelea had been caught doing drugs or released a sex tape, or she had struck someone; but all these salacious suggestions failed to account for the wording that Top Model's judge Nigel Barker had used, that the information had come from Angelea herself. Also, those things would have eventually come out, and nothing like that has emerged in the months since.
Then there was the most ridiculous and despicable 'accusation' of all--that Angelea was "really a man."
Put aside that, if Angelea was transgender then it wouldn't be appropriate to call her "really a man," because she would really be a woman, just a different kind of woman. Then you are still left with the fact that America's Next Top Model All Stars actually featured an openly transgender model, Isis, so it's preposterous to think a model would be disqualified from Top Model for being trans.
Further disputing the notion that Angelea wasn't born female is the fact that she's currently pregnant--for the second time.
According to US Weekly, Angelea discovered she was pregnant in December of 2011, and married the baby-daddy, Eric Brown, in February 2012 after moving to Los Angeles to pursue her modeling career.
Apparently, Angelea previously gave birth to a daughter, Giavonna Anchell, but--tragically--the baby girl (who was born three-months premature on November 3, 2003) died 23 days later.
While Angelea's pregnancy might have been reason enough to be disqualified from winning America's Next Top Model, she learned about it after the season had already wrapped. She has, by the way been signed with the Expecting Models agency to do maternity modeling.
Angelea recently had a baby shower for her little boy, who is due later this summer.
So why was Angelea disqualified from Top Model?
For a brief, tantalizing moment it seemed the answers would come, when Angelea announced she would hold a press conference to clear the air. Then, just as suddenly, she canceled the news conference, leading to new speculation: that Top Model producers had reminded her of the nondisclosure contract she signed.
These standard, industry-wide contracts prevent contestants from speaking about certain aspects of the reality show or competition; even after the season has ended.
Months later, Angelea told US Weekly that "part of the truth has come out already about the original outcome, and I believe that the rest of the truth will come out later."
That cryptic response seems to confirm speculation that Angelea had actually, officially won the All Star season before she was disqualified. This had been assumed by many viewers, who argued that otherwise there would have been no need for Top Model to re-tape the final judges' panel.
But, frustratingly, there is still no official word about what happened and why Angelea wasn't able to keep the title of America's Next Top Model All Star.
Until then, fans will continue to search for an answer, any answer, no matter how implausible. Information blackouts don't stop rumors from flying, they only lead to rampant conspiracy theories.
Why was Angelea disqualified? The mystery continues.