If at first you don’t succeed, then just audition for America’s Next Top Model again.

That perseverance — along with a killer walk, fierceness and cha-cha diva attitude — won Jaslene the eighth Top Model crown. Not bad for someone who isn’t the girl next door, but rather the girl "down the block, in your ‘hood."

The final episode continued the Australian journey for the three wannabe models: Renee, the antagonistic young mother from Hawaii; Natasha, a Russian emigree living in Texas; and Jaslene, who tried out for the show last season, but was cut just before moving into the house. Of the three, Natasha was the least polished when it came to photos, but was a quick study.

Their task: shoot a CoverGirl print ad and a commercial for the "My Life As a CoverGirl" series. Cycle Seven winner Caridee English came in to offer support and pointers, but the girls were on their own (with coaching by Mr. Jay of course) when it came to the ad-libbed commercial. In a way, each of the girls made the commercials their own: Natasha did her endearing laughing thing; Renee was astonished yet humble; and Jaslene threw in a little Spanish.

Renee rocked the photo shoot the best, which was good since she confessed to perfecting the CoverGirl wink when she was a child. The problem is, she photographs older in her pictures, something that’s been observed several times. In the end, despite her strong portfolio, that spelled her doom, leaving Natasha and Jaslene as the Final Two.

After a Seventeen magazine photo shoot, Jas and Nata prepped for the all-important final runway competition featuring Sass & Bide clothes. Happily, this season’s runway was a fun visual concept: evolution. Wearing odd, torn headpieces, on the first pass the girls had to slink out from backstage, slightly hunched and wary of predators (or paparazzi). As the show progressed, the girls became more upright and modern-looking. Oh, and the final pose was on a ladder — an evolutionary one. Charles Darwin would have been proud.

Both competitors worked it, and Natasha even kept collected when her skirt fell off on the runway. The girls seemed fairly equally matched in this arena, and so it came down to their photos and personalities.

810p009 natasha Finalewatch '07: America's Next Top Model Cycle 8
Natasha was deemed bright, bubbly and highly adaptable, able to learn from the judges’ criticism, as exhibited by her improvement week to week. Jaslene started out strong photo-wise but was inconsistent with her personality. It was also noted that both girls, with their strong spirits and accents, were the epitome of America’s Next Top Model.

In the end, even though Jaslene didn’t have a very commercial look, her consistency and fierceness took home the title.

As she cried and shook, Jaslene said, "To be here, I overcame so much. If you have the drive, keep on going. Second time around and I’m America’s Next Top Model. I’m a CoverGirl."

Do you agree with the judges’ pick? Will Renee and Natasha still get work as models?

Posted by:Hanh Nguyen