Another season concludes for “America’s Next Top Model” (8 p.m., CW), a mainstay of the UPN and then CW network lineup since 2003. A repeat of last week’s elimination (7 p.m.) precedes the big announcement.
I’m the last guy to weigh in on fashion issues, but this is the 16th season of “Model,” so I’m presuming there are 15, going on 16, women out there who consider themselves the “Top” of the mannequin market. Is there room for so many superlatives on America’s runways? Have any of the winners really reached the pinnacle of their field? If they have, I didn’t get the memo.
Apparently, I’m not entirely clueless. In 2008, Allure magazine pointed out the fact that “Model” hasn’t turned out any supermodels.
But that hasn’t stopped the show. It has been picked up for at least two more seasons, and one of them will be an “All-Star” edition, recycling 14 familiar faces from seasons past. If life beyond “Model” isn’t exactly the “Top,” why not return to the cocoon?
• A witness in a rape case is murdered before she can testify on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (9 p.m., NBC). This marks the finale of the 12th season of the only drama NBC has still capable of landing in the top 40.
• A familiar face returns on the sixth-season finale of “Criminal Minds” (8 p.m., CBS). Not to give away too much (or more than the network has already revealed): It’s J.J. (A.J. Cook).
• As a firm believer that the anticipation of Christmas Eve always outshines the anticlimax of the Big Day, I’ve always preferred the second-to-last episode of “American Idol” (7 p.m., Fox) to the overstuffed and overlong finale.
Things boil down to the country throwback Scotty McCreery, teen talent Lauren Alaina and the soulful if thin-skinned Haley Reinhart. I think Alaina will go home tonight, but not before allowing the hair and makeup people to transform the 16-year-old into a middle-aged hotel lounge singer one final time.
I’m not alone in thinking this is McCreery’s race to lose. And the singer showed a trace of overconfidence last week, rolling his eyes during a throwaway performance of the Coaster’s “Young Blood,” a song requiring multiple voices that did little to showcase his singular talent.
For her part, Reinhart made the most of Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson’s brief spasm of criticism. Were they showing “tough love” or just being “mean”? For his part, Steven Tyler used Reinhart as a verb, proving that the old rocker has a few synapses firing yet.
Tonight’s other highlights
• Jay tries to save face on “Modern Family” (8 p.m., ABC).
• Time for snow and a friendly rivalry on “MythBusters” (8 p.m., Discovery).
• Cameron finds himself back on campus on the series finale of the just-canceled “Breaking In” (8:30 p.m., Fox).
• A sicko mutilates his victim’s faces on “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” (9 p.m., CBS).
• “Filthy Cities” (9 p.m., Discovery) sets out to prove that revolutionary had more than blood flowing in the streets.