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'America's Next Top Model' champ Nicole Fox talks about proving everybody wrong

TM1312A__0026b Nicole Fox has gone from the contestant known as “Bloody Eyeball” to her new title: “America’s Next Top Model.” In last night’s finale, The Louisville, Colo., student and artist toppled Laura Kirkpatrick, the bubbly waitress from Stanford, Ken., to become the newest “Top Model.”
“I definitely did not always want to be a model,” says Fox, 18. “I know some girls on the show say, ‘Yeah, I tried out, because everyone always told me I should be a model.’ The same could not be said for me. I was not an attractive girl.”
Well, Nicole has definitely blossomed. This morning, I was able to squeeze myself into her busy interview schedule to discuss how she went from a camera-shy teen to the first "official" petite Top Model. (Cycle 3 winner, Eva Pigford, was actually just shy of 5’7”.)
How cool is it to be America’s Next Top Model?
Oh, it’s sweet to be America’s Next Top Model. I’m totally stoked. It’s even better now that it’s out, because, of course, this all transpired months ago and I had to keep the secret. It was insanely difficult, but I’m stoked!
How long did you have to keep your win secret?
I think filming wrapped up mid-June, so I don’t know. I’ll have to count [laughs]. It’s been a while.
Whenever anybody recognized me as Nicole from “America’s Next Top Model,” the first things out of their mouth would be, “So, did you win?” and I was like, “You can’t ask me that! I can’t say.” It was so difficult, but honestly what helped was just the perverse pleasure I got out of watching people squirm with anticipation, because they had no idea.
You would enjoy that! What’s the best thing about winning “Top Model”?
I think that the coolest thing that’s come out of this experience are all the girls that come up to me. Even today, I was walking on the street and little girls were coming up asking for my autograph and my pictures, which is all well and good. But the best thing is when they tell me they really look up to me and that they’re just like me. The fact that I can inspire young girls, who like me are more introverted and shy, that’s the best thing.
I really appreciated that the finalists this cycle were both really good people. How hard was it to go against Laura in the finale?
It was really difficult. Honestly, she had me intimidated, because I knew that she had such a great personality. She’s the demographic for “America’s Next top Model,” Seventeen magazine, and CoverGirl. As Nigel said, she’s a naturally charming, bubbly girl where as me, not so much – naturally shy, more introverted. She was definitely competition, but when I found out that she was going to be in the final two with me, honestly my first reaction was, “Whew, that’s all right. If Laura beats me, that’s all right.” She’s just so deserving and so genuine and sweet.

After watching the show, are you shocked at what some of the other contestants said about you?

TM1300B__0142B2 I did find it shocking because, of course, most of that was never said to my face. Most of the girls smiled to my face. I didn’t take it very hard, honestly. A lot of the comments had me laughing out loud. It’s just a high-pressure situation and they pressure you in interviews to talk about other girls. So, I totally understand. When you put 14 girls in a house together, not everybody is going to get along. And it’s not a crime not to like a person.
In the finale, you said that you started the competition with very little self-confidence. At what point did you get over that and say game on?
It started out rough, I have to admit. When I got home from casting week, I just thought, “My God, Nicole, what have you gotten yourself into? You can’t do this! What are you doing on reality television? You’re camera shy! What are you doing to yourself?” And, so there were a lot of tears involved in that, and my parents were scared for me.
Going into that first photo shoot, I was just angry. I was angry at all the girls who judged me and were judgmental right off the bat and said, “You’re this way, you’re that way, Nicole, you can’t talk, you’re weird, there’s something wrong with you.” And so I just wanted to prove them wrong. I think the tables turned with that very first photo shoot. I think I proved everybody wrong.
I admired your ability to push whatever was going on personally and any fears you were having, like in the underwater shoot, and focus on the challenge. Have you always been mentally tough?
My parents have always taught me to be very focused. My dad was in the Marine Corps, so growing up he was tough on me, in a good way.
I recall as a 5-year-old, we would be on a hike and I’d fall on a cactus or something and be all bleeding and I’d be crying. He would look at me and say, “So, what do you want me to do about it? Sitting here crying is not going to do anything. You should start walking home, so we can get there faster.” So growing up, I think I developed an ability to persevere and really stay focused on the task at hand.
So, are you going to be leaving Louisville soon to start your “Top Model” life?
Actually, this afternoon I’m meeting with Wilhelmina and they’re going to tell me which market I have most potential in. It’s likely that I’ll end up moving. I don’t know where I’ll end up, but it’s probably not Louisville. I feel that I’m ready for it.
Where would you like to move?
I would love to go overseas. That would be incredible for me. I’ve actually never been out of the country before, but I’d definitely be satisfied with either L.A. or New York. I have family in California and I’m in New York right now and it’s gorgeous. I’m enjoying the city so much.
After the finale, we saw in “America's Next Top Model: Revealed” that you spent a lot of time painting. How has this whole experience affected your art?
I love that question! My art has flourished. I painted a lot when I was on the show. It was such an emotional experience for me that it translated a lot into my art. I’ve just been changing more than ever and I’m putting up a website for my art when I get back to Colorado for people who are interested in it.
It was so important for me. We would come home and there would be the cameras and I’d feel the pressure after an exhausting day of filming and the first thing I’d want to do is I painted for so many hours. They probably have hours and hours of me sitting there hunched over a canvas with my paint spread out on the floor, but it was really important for me and helped me keep grounded and clear my head.
– Jethro Nededog (Follow me on Twitter @TheRealJethro)
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Full ‘America’s Next Top Model’ coverage on Show Tracker
Photos, from top: Nicole Fox is “America’s Next Top Model.”; Tyra banks with Nicole Fox, her new “Top Model.”  Credit: Ryan Goble / The CW
Comments () | Archives (26)

Thank you for putting her name in your headline and spoiling the result that I had DVR'ed to watch tonight.

They messed up with the choice here. Laura was by far better than Nicole. Nicole walked like a horse on the run-way. And some time back they did say that if she won, she'll have to spruce up her walk.

A resounding "YAY!" for the most likeable final two in years and years of Top Model.

As for the spoiler comment left by "Sarahmas," I'm of the opinion that if you want to keep from finding out what happens on reality shows you haven't yet watched, you should probably avoid entertainment websites. You know, just a thought.

I LOVE Nicole! Yes, Laura is great and a nice person, but so is Nicole! Nicole is different and refreshing and without a doubt hands down the more "model-y" of the two. Laura is a role model in that she is bubbly and friendly--but so are most of the girls picked as top model and most girls on TV that are portrayed as role-models. Nicole is a role model to shy/awkward girls and we see fewer of these role models on TV and in real life. She is a real inspiration and I have rooted for her all on along.

I love you Nicole! I hope you read this! You are so cute and so amazing!!!!! I was SO thrilled when you were chosen! :)

This issue of "spoilers" came up on my last ANTM post, so I'm just going to repost the comment I left there:

RE: Spoilers. I write for a newspaper website. We report the news, entertainment or otherwise, in a timely fashion. That's my job. I fully understand that the DVR world complicates the situation for you and I'm sorry about that. That doesn't change the nature of my job or the news industry, though. As far as I'm concerned, as soon as a show has aired on both coasts, it's fair game.

Thanks a lot. What else is worth watching on TV?

Nicole is the prettiest top model everrr.. she is so gorgeous im so happy she won. Laura was not half as pretty even though I liked her too. When I grow up I want to look exactly like Nicole. SHE IS STUNNING

Nicole, I am so proud of you. I remember teaching you in third grade. You displayed grit and determination back then. You had poise beyond your years. I always knew there was something special about you. Just remember to keep your head as you enjoy the attention. Be true to yourself!

Fond memories,

Mrs. Watson.

I am so excited that Nicole won! She is an beautiful and excellent model -- much much beter than Laura. She totally deserves it and I am so happy that she won. :)

im glad nicole won, i grew up in louisville Co, i went to the same school like she did. it gives all of us hope that even though your from a small town like louisville, you can still make it big. i love nicole and she deserved to win.

When Nicole was selected to be one of the girls in the house and had little to no expression, she immediately became my favourite. For the first time I was happy about the finalists as they both deserved it.

I think Nicole is beautiful inside and out. She proved herself to be emotionally generous and demonstrated a respectful attitude towards her competitors.

I'm so happy for Nicole. She's so grounded and talented. I love her awkward and I too relate to her "weirdness" and introverted personality. I hope all the best for her, and I hope she does put her art out there so I can check it out!

Honestly, I would have been happy with Nicole or Laura being the winner. They seemed like such wonderful women. I'm happy for Nicole because she just did her thing on every photo shoot, despite the mean comments and introverted personality. I believe that's the true definition of top model.

well then she'll work on her walk but nicoles pics were way better than lauras ......they made the right choice to choose nicole


Nicole is awesome. She totally deserved to win. She's my favorite top model of all time.

Just a comment for "Dana"....when you grow up, why don't you being happy looking just like "Dana"....after all
if God wanted you to look like Nicole, he would have
done so. Be true to yourself.

I cannot express in words how much i admire Nicole. I watched the whole season of cycle 13 and from the minute i saw her and her interview i wanted her to win. I was like her a lot in middle school. I had no friends, i was so shy, and awkward. still am awkward, and a little shy, but people always tell me i should model. She inspires me so much. Probably one of the people that inspires me the most in this world. Plus she is gorgeous. I hope she continues to succeed because i really support her and im SO HAPPY she won. Nicole, you are the most inspiring girl ever.

thank god she won
for the first time my choice has won \
because always i chose someone and they always come 2nd
but i love this show Now
go nicole

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