So much for those denials from Sephora regarding Yoanna House's apparent premature appearance on their new Spring catalog.
Yoanna House, a 23-year-old babysitter from Jacksonville, FL, was proclaimed the winner in the final installment of the second cycle of UPN’s America’s Next Top Model last evening, beating other the program's other two finalists, Mercedes Scelba-Shorte, a 21-year-old waitress from Valencia, CA, and Shandi Sullivan, a 21-year-old Walgreen's clerk from Kansas City, MO.
To open the finals, the three remaining participants completed a close-up beauty shoot after which Shandi was the first girl eliminated in the finale. Yoanna and Mercedes moved on to the next round of competition, where they appeared in a DSQUARED runway show. Both girls showed intensity during the show, but ultimately there could only be one winner -- and Yoanna House took the title this time.
As always, Tyra Banks led the panel of judges which included Janice Dickinson, the self-proclaimed "world’s first supermodel," Jane senior fashion editor Eric Nicholson and renowned photographer Nigel Barker. Dean and Dan Caten of DSQUARED were guest judges for the first elimination in the show. (There was no guest judge for the final elimination.)
During the finale, House’s futuristic beauty shot was complimented by judge Janice Dickinson, who said, “Moon rocket girl. Your eyes are amazing, your lips are perfection. Well done.” And while most of the judges agreed, Tyra Banks used a sports analogy when telling House that she didn’t consider her to be a “clutch player” and that she’d like more consistency out of her.
Yoanna and Mercedes then took part in a runway show for DSQUARED, and Banks excitedly exclaimed that “both girls rocked it!” About her runway debut, Eric Nicholson told Yoanna, “You were so good at the end. . . making that connection with the photographer.” The judges then went back and compared the two finalists’ photo sessions from earlier in the cycle. Nigel Barker was complimentary to both girls when he said, “You’ve taken all of your previous weeks experience, and put it together. And you’re all grown, and here it is - your final photograph. And it’s come together for both of you, which is brilliant.”
During the final deliberation, the judges vacillated between the two girls, but Eric Nicholson was resolute in his arguments for House. He said, “I think, Yoanna for me, makes more of an impression in an exciting way. I think Yoanna has the X-factor in her. Which is the - I’m not really sure what’s going to come out of her mouth, or I’m not really sure what she’s going to do in front of the camera - and that’s exciting.” Banks agreed and said, “I think Yoanna’s face is so striking. She lives and breathes the modeling. She lives and breathes the designers, and Yoanna knows it and I’m really impressed by that.”
Of her win, Yoanna House cried and said, “It’s not real.” She added, “I never was a cheerleader, never made the squad. Never made homecoming or prom queen, nothing. I was always just there and I never won. And now I’m ‘America’s Next Top Model.’”
The second installment of UPN’s hit dramality series America’s Next Top Model followed 12 young women for ten weeks as they attempted to prove they had what it takes to make it in the high-stress, high-stakes world of modeling. The winner of UPN’s America’s Next Top Model has the opportunity to be managed by IMG Models and join the ranks of the company’s other top models, including Tyra Banks, Gisele Bundchen and Heidi Klum. She also has the opportunity to appear on the cover of a Sephora catalogue and in more than 80 stores in the U.S., providing her fame through one of the nation’s leading cosmetics retailers. Finally, the winner’s first guaranteed fashion spread will appear in Jane magazine.
Banks, who created the show, also serves as executive producer along with Ken Mok (Making the Band).