Yesterday, it was announced that after 22 mellifluous seasons, the CW's America's Next Top Model will be departing this earthly realm into cancellation next year.
The bittersweet information came yesterday on Twitter, via the show's creator, host, fearsome Kabuki, Tyra Banks.
The reality competition, which first aired in infant year of 2003, has become saturated in our cultural psyche, gifting us with immortal quotes and moments of its countless contestants.
It's easy to rank the 22 winners, and other model hopefuls, for their individual insanity (re: WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU!) and glory, only one contestant rises to the top of the crashing sea with iconic propulsion.
Only one contestant embodies legend in its purest form.
Jade, the Philadelphia Kindergarten teacher who was eliminated during Cycle 6, seared her mark on all of our hearts with a branding iron of finger snaps, slam poetry, and general witchery.
Let's now look back on Jade's 7 most iconic moments of her brief tenure on ANTM.
During the infamous audition rounds, Jade sauntered into the room, standing before Tyra, Jay, and Miss J with enough faux-bohemian ferocity and *humility* to blind a village (enter Jade at the :22 mark in the video above).
Her best quotes:
"I need a team. Tyra, the two Miss Js, are my team, and they're gonna make me shine."
"People think I'm a bitch when they first meet me, cause, oh, I'm pretty and I have a beautiful body. But when they get to know me, I'm so cool; I'm very real."
"When I walk down the street, heads are turning...like, 'Look at this!'"
"People know...they know Jade. They know my face."
"I'm ready to blow the world away...they're gonna see who Jade. Is.
4. Relationship advice
Jade's kill-or-be-killed mentality translated into not-so-subtle psychological warfare against her fellow competitors. Initially stating, "Love is a beautiful thing, but it's a distraction, and it will kill you," Jade would go on repeatedly tell a lovesick Nnenna Agba "I don't think you should break up with him," after Nnenna confided in Jade over her concern that having a boyfriend could hinder her drive to win.
Jade even went as far as writing out a script for the naive Nnenna to relay to her confused boyfriend, including lines like, "I need you to support me," all while hovering next to her housemate as she carried out Jade's dubious bidding on the phone. No survivors in the game of war. (phone call at 1:53)
3. Rap game Jade Cole
During a "friendly" improv class taught by Nick Cannon, Jade demonstrated her questionable rapping skills, which was merely a lame outlet of rage against her various nemeses, including Forunda and Sara. (Rapping starts at 2:49)
"The name is Jade, the ace of spades. Forunda, my dear, I know your skin is bumpy, but my skin is flawless, and you look really lumpy."
(to Sara): "Yo, you're blonde, you're too tall for this industry. You know what? I'm in this real shit, and you're not. So let me tell you, they're gonna knock, blow up your spot."
2. Jade's Cover Girl commercial.
Not much needs to be said. Jade's confidence in her "acting skills" was put to the test when she performed in the mock "Cover Girl" commercial that is done each season. With perhaps the worst acting performance in the history of time, Jade forgot anything she learned from her improv class, and walked towards the camera like a Vaudevillian horror holding a candelabra, clip-clopping her heels, blowing kisses at the extras while saying things like, "Oh, a party! Oh my gosh!" "Hey, ladies!" "Fabulous, fabulous!"
When it finally came time to say the actual Cover Girl motto, Jade blanked. Tyra and the J's described it as drag queen at its worst.
1. Jade's exit.
When it came time to bid adieu to Miss Cole, she took it upon herself to give us one final performance, as only a true witch queen would. After taking a literal final bow following her elimination, Jade donned a pashmina on her head, and haunted the halls of the Thai hotel the ladies were occupying, finger snapping to a poem she'd written about herself. The Legend of Jade, according to Jade. (poem begins at 5:22)
Here's a transcription of the poem that could win Amateur Poet Night at a Pret-A-Manger:
let alone the strongest to be subdued.
If I only had the magic key that would unlock the realms to the plateau
of the highest me.
Even though I've been badly bruised...
...living in a house to become a popular muse."
Be your own myth, boo.