As the final winner of America's Next Top Model, Nyle DiMarco will be the reigning ANTM champ for the rest of his life.
"I have to say it's an honor," he tells E! News' Sibley Scoles of his new title, courtesy of Tyra Banks. "I'm the last winner, I'm deaf, I'm the second male winner—there are so many things all encompassed in one so I'm so thankful to Tyra and the show to give me that platform."
While plenty of DiMarco's fellow models spent their time on the show fighting and/or hooking up with each other, the eventual winner sat on the sidelines for much of that drama because of communication difficulties. The 26-year-old was born deaf, and not all of his housemates made an effort to try to learn how to speak with him.
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"It was definitely difficult just because of my language deprivation that was there for two months—I felt isolated," he reveals. "I tried my best. You just have to be resilient and have that resilience. When I won, all that weight was lifted."
Not only is DiMarco a newly visible deaf role model, he also recently came out as sexually fluid. Representing both communities and showing the world that your sexuality or being deaf doesn't matter when it comes to success is a point of pride. "It's how you do your work, how you pursue your dreams," he says.
Although ANTM's end means a noticeable void in the reality TV landscape, the steely-eyed DiMarco is grateful to Banks for the opportunities she has afforded him as the last-ever winner. "I do want to thank Tyra for giving me this platform and giving me this voice and giving me the power to change the world," he says. "I look forward to what's coming!"