Top Model 5's finale began with the show's three remaining girls -- Nicole, Nik Pace, and Bre Scullark -- participating in a national television commercial and photo shoot for CoverGirl’s True Blend Powder Foundation. While the commercial proved to be stressful for all three finalists --particularly Nicole, who struggled with her lines -- the judges all agreed that Nicole looked stunning on camera.
The next day, the finalists faced the judges for Top Model 5's eleventh elimination. The judges felt that while all three girls looked beautiful in their photographs and on camera, Bre seemed to lack the consistency required to become a top model, resulting in the decision to eliminate her from the competition.
The following day, Nicole and Nik were individually photographed alongside Tyra Banks by world-renowned photographer Gilles Bensimon for a photo shoot for ELLEgirl magazine. As Top Model's winner, Nicole will now see her shoot grace the magazine's February 2006 cover.
Later, Nicole and Nik faced their final challenge, a runway show for top fashion designers Nargess Gharani and Vanya Strok. During the show, Nicole impressed the judges with her versatile performance by breaking out of her young naive image, while Nik also performed well but showed less stage presence. "I haven't seen you this confident the whole competition," Jay told Nicole after the runway show.
During the final elimination, the judges considered the runway performances from the final runway challenge, as well as each girl's photos from the competition. While the judges agreed that Nik is a gorgeous model who has developed a strong portfolio, they felt that Nicole's versatility, strength and stage presence was idealistic of a top model. "The judges feel one of you can truly take what America's Next Top Model means and share that with not just America, but with the world," Tyra told the anxious girls just before announcing Nicole as the show's winner.
"Oh, my god," Nicole whispered after Tyra revealed her selection. "This is not happening." "I was always the girl who, like, never really got that much attention," an overwhelmed Nicole told the cameras after being named Top Model's latest winner. "And now here I am -- I'm a covergirl and I'm a Ford model... my life is beginning right now -- Nicole's life as a covergirl!"
As America's Next Top Model 5's winner, Nicole will be managed by Ford Models, receive a $100,000 contract with CoverGirl and appear in both an Elle magazine fashion spread and alongside Tyra on the cover of February's ELLEgirl magazine.
Next week, UPN will air Top Model 5's reunion show in the show's normal Wednesday 8PM ET/PT time period. Hosted by Tyra, the show will reunite all the Top Model 5 girls and give them a chance to gush about how their lives and careers have changed since participating in the show. Already taped, the special's topics will include Nicole's future plans, Cassandra Whitehead talking about how she has dealt with her new short hair, and Ashley Black talking about her engagement and the damage Hurricane Wilma caused her home. In addition, the special will also feature some more never-before-seen Top Model 5 footage and highlights from the last night's finale party.