With all signs pointing to wide-eyed Allison Harvard coming out the winner of cycle 12 of America's Next Top Model, it came as quite the surprise when Teyona Anderson took the coveted title.
"I was surprised. I thought it was going to be Allison," Teyona tells us. "The judges loved her so much. It feels good [to win]. It's [just] hitting me now."
It was a hard final stretch for the model, though. "I think the last episode, when we did our commercial, I didn't feel like I could do it anymore," she admits. "I just felt the pressure of the competition. That's when everything hit me, like I need to do great if I want to be in the final two. I felt as though I could do it still, but that's when the pressure hit me."
And that's when the tear ducts started up. Teyona didn't shed a tear all season until her final shoot. She explains, "I felt bad and that made it worse because I lost it during a shoot. That had me thinking even more that I would be sent home. I'm glad it didn't get me sent home, but my nerves just got the best of me, and I couldn't control it anymore."
Of the online buzz that Tyra Banks was playing favorites, Teyona says it's rubbish. "If that was the case, if she was playing favoritism, why pick two black girls? Why not pick all three of them? So, I don't think that's true at all. I didn't feel like it was a favoritism at all."
Check out what the second- (Allison Harvard) and third-place (Aminat Ayinde) winners have to say...
On Being in the Top Three
Allison: "I certainly knew down to the bottom three that Teyona would be there. When we were about to walk out, I told Teyona, 'Don't worry.' I had a feeling [she was going to win]."
Aminat: "Being in the top three with Teyona and Allison...I couldn't ask for any better people to be in the top three with. Teyona and myself are really, really close. That's my boo. Allison is such a sweet girl. I can see why she made it as far as she did."
On Their Futures
Allison: "Nous Model Management offered a contract, or offered to sign me and Fo [Porter]. But, I haven't actually done anything yet."
Aminat: "With every muscle, grain, fiber, every bone in my body I'm definitely going to model. I have a true passion for it and love for the industry. You're going to see my face. I'm going to be pounding the pavement to get in every runway show. It's a love-love relationship between modeling and myself."
On Paulina Porizkova's Departure
Allison: "I didn't see it coming. She is a such a vibrant and eccentric personality, and the best part about it is that is exactly how she is off camera. She's really witty, and she's really funny. I didn't get to see enough of her to make any judgment call on ego."
Aminat: "I was truly shocked she got fired. I saw that Paulina is a mom. She's sweet, she's goofy, she's funny and she's real. I didn't get the vibe that she had a big ego. I got the vibe that she was just funny and honest."
Are you happy that Teyona won? Do you think it should've been Allison or Aminat?