“America’s Next Top Model” host Tyra Banks may have wanted to pick a guy winner for her first ever cycle to include male models, but not if Jourdan Miller had anything to say about it. The statuesque stunner had a top photo nearly every week, but she tells Zap2it she still had some serious doubts about winning.
Congratulations! How does it feel to be the “America’s Next Top Model” winner?
“Oh my gosh, it feels so good. It’s also a little scary at the same time because I’m worried about whether or not I’m going to be successful, but you know, it just feels really good. I’m proud of myself. It’s been a long journey and the last six months of hiding out are over and I can finally let the world know that I’m America’s Next Top Model. It’s a relief to have it out in the open and everyone knows I won.”
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You were such a frontrunner — you took a great picture nearly every week. Did you really think you weren’t going to win?
‘I had moments where I thought, ‘Oh, I’m doing pretty good, I’ll probably make it to the finals.’ But I didn’t think I would be chosen as the winner because I thought it was going to be a guy just because of the guys coming in and it being the first season with them there. I really thought a guy was going to take it just based solely on that fact. There were times when I was like, ‘Oh, there’s no way they’re going to choose me no matter what I do.’
But I went into that final panel thinking, ‘No matter what happens, I’m proud of myself. Win or lose, I’m going to be happy.’ I think when you’re in a competition, it’s important to remember to be proud of how far you have gotten and don’t worry about what you haven’t done.
That said, I was especially scared during the episode when I didn’t book any of the runway shows. I really thought that week I was going to go home, so I’m really glad my picture is what helped me stay in the competition. I realized at that point, I couldn’t make any more mistakes.”
You actually just answered our next question — were you worried the judges would pick a guy just because it was the first time for the guys to be included?
“I really did. I honestly was just standing there thinking, ‘It has to be a guy, it has to. They’re not gonna let another blonde girl come in and win again.’ The fact that they chose me based off my skills and my modeling and not based off the fact that I’m a guy or girl, that just validated all of my hard work and my skills and what I love doing.”
Do you think the show should continue to include male models or should it go back to all females?
“I think that the show should continue with the male models because the guys never had anything like this, they don’t have ‘Top Model’ that is all guys. This is the first opportunity for them to be able to chase after their dreams. I think it’s a wonderful place to come if you’re looking for the lessons in fashion and modeling.”
Are you in touch with anyone from the show?
“I do stay connected with Nina and Cory, those were my two closest, genuine friends form the entire competition. Every now and then I’ll tweet Chris sometimes, but until I get to New York City, I’m sure we won’t be in contact as much. But yeah, we just text each other, send each other funny pictures here and there. Any time I see anything Hello Kitty, I have to send it to Nina ’cause she loves Hello Kitty. I’ve only kept in contact with the people I really felt were true during the entire competition.”
What are you up to now? What’s next for you?
“Next would be to get together with the partners, which would be Guess and Next, and figure out which market I need to be in, what they have planned for me. I haven’t even spoken to them yet. I’m sure there’s a lot of stuff that’s going to be happening with them.
As far as personal life goes, I’m trying to get in touch with some organizations for domestic violence victims and figure out if I can do some inspirational speaking and share my full story with everyone, so that they know that any type of abuse — physical, mental, emotion — it’s not OK and you need to get help.
On a side note, I know that I have a lot of fans that are based out of the Philippines and my heart is with them because of the tragic disaster that has happened. I would like to get involved with the Red Cross … to have people donate and lend a helping hand to our friends over there because they have done so much to help me and support me and vote for me on the show, it’s the least I can do for them. Maybe even try and get out there, maybe see if I can help them rebuild.
As for the actual next couple days, I’m working on figuring out whether it’s going to be Los Angeles or New York City — the big move. … I’m kind of leaning towards New York, I’m not gonna lie. I did spend a lot of time there in my early teens and I think it’s calling my name. I’m not too much a fan of Los Angeles because of all the traffic and the driving, but if I had to, I would definitely move out there and try and make it work. Whatever happens, I’m wiling to do it.”
“America’s Next Top Model” will return in 2014 for Cycle 21.