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And just like that, the world’s first contemporary art reality TV competition (whew!) comes to an end. Adbi Farah is officially The Next Great Artist. Abdi. The nice guy. The man who, in the words of Entertainment Weekly’s Dalton Ross, "might just be the most likable reality contestant EVER."

Abdi was probably the most technically proficient of the contestants, in the classical sense of being able to paint and sculpt realistic-looking figures. Which means the judges (producers?) decided to give the blue ribbon to the contestant least susceptible to the criticism: "I could do that."

What a shame.

As a Peregrine Honig fan, I’m definitely disappointed in a pick-a-side-and-stick-with-it sort of way, but this is about more than that. The producers gave us a performance artist, a photographer, a few conceptual artists and plenty of painters-cum-sculptors, and in the end they went with the guy whose work coincidentally enough best fit the criteria for winning, I don’t know, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo art contest. Is technical proficiency bad? Of course not. But the work needs to be challenging too.

What’s done is done. Let’s end with three random facts about the finalists:

Peregrine, when she’s not being robbed (robbed, I tell you!) of winning reality TV competitions, owns an "intimate apparel apothecary" in Kansas City.

According to this online tax calculator, Adbi will only take home $65,184.44 after state and federal taxes cut into his $100,000 payday.

For someone whose entire character arc focused on his obsessive-compulsive disorder, Miles does not live in a very neat house. Just sayin’.


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