America’s Next Top Model is credited for being one of the first major modelling reality TV series in the world, which gave an insight to common people of how the modelling industry works. Since its premiere in 2003, it has given 21 winners over the years. The show in itself has been adapted for 47 national and 6 pan-regional versions. With the 22nd American cycle (season) in the pipeline, let’s take a look at 10 of the best winners that the show has produced so far…..
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10. Jaslene Gonzalez (Cycle 8)
In 2007, Jaslene Gonzalez became the first dual citizenship holder to become America’s Next Top Model, when she won the eighth cycle. Gonzalez, who is Puerto Rican-American, previously auditioned for cycle 7, but was cut in the semi-finals. Determined to not give up, she came back for the next cycle, and not only got selected as a finalist, but throughout the show, her feisty made everyone fall in love with her. From very early on, she was the top contender to win the title, receiving 4 first call-outs, and ultimately winning the crown. She also became the first winner to never land in the bottom two.
9. Ann Ward (America’s Next Top Model Cycle 15)
Who doesn’t remember the quirky, dork and socially awkward Ann Ward from cycle 15! She stood out from the crowd for her waifish face, slightly large ears, and super-tall super-skeletal frame. Although there were public backlash that Tyra Banks was promoting skinny models through Ann, but ultimately things settled down. Viewers were addicted to Ann, to see a girl who was unconfident of herself slowly rising to the top. She created Top Model history by being the first person to get five consecutive first call-outs in any season. One of the most reclusive and shy contestants ever to participate, Ann went on to win one of the difficult cycles of the show, because cycle 15 shifted to a radical high fashion position than its commercial predecessors. With six first call-outs by the end of the show, she also set the record for being the tallest winner in not only the American version, but in any TOP Model adaptation around the world, standing at 6’2”.
8. Eva Pigford (America’s Next Top Model Cycle 3)
Eva Pigford became the first black contestant to win the show back in 2004, the show’s third cycle! Known for her in-your-face ad sassy attitude, she popularised the phrase “Eva-The Diva” while in the show. Though she rubbed some of her competitors the wrong way, she knew that her main goal is to win, which she did ultimately. With two first call-outs, she became the shortest person to become America’s Next Top Model, standing at 5’6”.
7. Keith Carlos (America’s Next Top Model Cycle 21)
Ever since cycle 20 allowed male contestants to compete along with female contestants, wannabe male models around America were vying to be the first male winner of the show. But the credit to be the first man to become America’s Next Top Model, went to Keith Carlos, who won the 21st cycle of the show, the most recent winner. With his Tyson Beckford look alike face, Keith quickly got recognised for having one of the strongest faces that the show has ever witnessed. With razor shared jaw line and even facial structure and a body to match with, Keith throughout the cycle three first call-outs and went his way to create top model history.
6. Brittany “McKey” Sullivan (Cycle 11)
With her androgynous and high-fashion looks, Mckey was destined to be on the show. She was the recipient of one the best makeovers in the history of the show. Her short black hair during the show came to be one of the most defining looks of the show ever. She became the second winner to never have a bottom two appearance. Her track record consists of two first call-outs and being never placed below fifth. In the end, her edginess and strut made her the eleventh America’s Next Top Model.
5. Danielle Evans (Cycle 6)
One of the best personalities in the show, Danielle was known for her never-say-die attitude and her goofy personality. And don’t we still love hr southern accent! Her determination to win was proved when in week 11, she was rushed to the hospital for exhaustion, dehydration, and food poisoning; but that did not stop her from cancelling the photoshoot. Despite having only one first call-out, she was able to beat runner-up Joane Ann “Joanie” Dodds, who had five first call-outs, because of her personality and presence.
4. Nicole Fox (America’s Next Top Model Cycle 13)
Now this was the controversial cycle, when Tyra allowed models under 5’7” to compete for the title. When many critics called out Tyra for making a million dollar mistake by bending the rules, Tyra was determined. Thank theGods for that, as this cycle proved to be a great success, giving a platform for all those girls who probably could be better models than most of the taller girls. In addition to having a number of great models this season, this season also boasted of great photoshoots. And ultimately, the most diverse contestant, one of the edgiest girls, Nicole Fox, won the thirteenth cycle, with three first call-outs and no bottom two appearances (the third winner to do so). Ironically, despite the format of this season, she wasn’t the shortest winner. She stood at 5’7”, which is 1” taller than cycle 3 winner, Eva Pigford.
3. Naima Mora (Cycle 4)
The first contestant to sport the mohawk look, Naima Mora was part of what is considered by many as the best cycle of the show – cycle 4. She and runner-up Kahlen Rondot, made up for the best final two that the show has ever witnessed and finally she strutted her way to victory. Tyra compared Kahlen to a girl who “did good all semester and kinda failed her final exams”, and Naima to a girl who “did fair during the whole semester and ‘killed’ the final exams. With two first call-out, Naima bet Kahlen (Who had three first call-outs) to win the crown because of the final runway walk, which is still considered as the best final runway walk by a contestant.
2. Adrianne Curry (Cycle 1)
This was when the show was a novice. People were for the first time seeing an ordinary girl transform into a top model. Adrianne, who is remembered for her cool, carefree and never-mind-me attitude was a fan favourite. She was never afraid to be different and make her voice be heard and was darling to her co-contestants. With one first call-out, Adrianne set the path for future winners and became the first America’s Next Top Model.
1. CariDee English (Cycle 7)
The first naturally blonde winner was also the first contestant everybody knew would win from the first episode. Considered as the joker of the cast, Caridee had one of the goofiest personalities that the show has ever witnessed. But it was not only her personality, her classical beauty and her knowledge of herself and light and the camera, helped her produce stellar photos one after the other. Although, the judges feared that she might be too unpredictable and impulsive to be a top model, but her X-factor convinced the judges that she was a sheer genius in her field. And to add cherry to the cake, she made for great TV, without fighting without with anyone. More than anything else, her embracement of who she is, whether, it’s silly or goofy or humorous or unpredictable nature of hers, made her a treat to watch and one of the most deserving winners to come out from the show.