Good things come in small packages.
Before the first-ever petite cycle of America's Next Top Model came to a close tonight, Southern belle Laura Kirkpatrick and the unprepossessing Nicole Fox had two more chances to prove they deserved to be on top.
First came the requisite CoverGirl commercial shoot, which left both girls fighting for their composure as the only words they could get their glossy lips around were easy, breezy and beautiful. (Both ended up with decent takes, but it was torture getting there.)
Then it was on to the runway for a Julia Clancey fashion show.
Off Laura and Nicole went, their dresses billowing, fringe flapping and faces shellacked with shimmer, as Tyra Banks, Nigel Barker, J. Alexander and Eddie Murphy(!) looked on from the audience.
The show—which also featured lucky losers Erin, Sundai and Jennifer—went smoothly and both finalists stalked the catwalk like pros, and tall pros at that!
So who was the last girl standing at the end of cycle 13?
It was high fashion over beauty as Nicole Fox was named America's Next Top Model.
And the swan-necked redhead—who didn't even smile when she made the top 13 because she was so shocked—immediately burst into tears.
"I'm a dork and I'm America's Next Top Model!" exclaimed the 18-year-old from Louisville, Colo., who now has a contract with Wilhelmina Models, a six-page Seventeen spread and cover and a $100,000 CoverGirl deal to look forward to.
Nigel Barker/Pottle Productions Inc
Of course, that left Laura, one of the most genuinely likable girls to ever pose for the Top Model cameras, one photo short of her dream.
"You go out there, and continue to do that beautiful thing that Laura does," Tyra said soothingly as the 19-year-old Kentuckian sobbed in her arms.
But Nicole, who at "only 5-foot-7" made her awkwardness work for her and stayed focused and true to herself throughout, was the one the judges pictured walking runways in Milan.
"This journey was incredibly hard," Nicole said. "I had to learn to embarrass myself—and to speak, which was a struggle. Sometimes I didn't think I was going to survive the journey. Like, I remember during casting week I went home and I cried because I was like, 'What have I gotten myself into? I can't deal with this.'
"And I didn't think it would be OK to be that dorky girl. But I'm a dork and I'm America's Next Top Model!"
Elsewhere in TV-competition land tonight, another hopeful was eliminated from Top Chef. Read all about it right here.