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America's Next Top Model, Krista White

Brian Edwards/Pottle Productions Inc

If at first you don't succeed…try, try again. And then again. And then one more time. Krista White, the winner of cycle 14 of America's Next Top Model, can definitely attest to taking that phrase to heart.

"I've been auditioning for this show since I was 18 in 2003 when it first started," the Arkansas native tells us. "I fought to get in that house and I was gonna stay!" And stay she did, all the way until the very end, where she was crowned by Tyra Banks herself. Krista was clearly a front-runner throughout the competition—she was never in the bottom two—but did she really think the competition was just a cakewalk down the runway?

"I didn't think I had it in the bag at all. I was struggling and learning and trying to pick it all up," she admits. "Every time I went into panel, I thought there was a chance that I could go home." Her "go big or go home" attitude was tireless, which is quite a feat considering her countless attempts to get on the show. "I've auditioned in Arkansas maybe four or five times. I've been to Memphis, to Texas, to California, to Vegas," Krista rattles off. Geez, that's a whole lot of days filled with "smiling with your eyes" and strutting it for the judges. Was it everything she thought it would be when she finally got to the house? 

"It was very different! There is so much that you don't see [on TV]." And what of the great and powerful Tyra? "I thought she was going to be a superstar, but she was like the homegirl from next door, chilling on the couch," she gushes. And for you Miss J fans, rest assured, the fabulousness is not a façade. "How you see him on TV is exactly how he is in real life," Krista is happy to report.

The bubbly beauty has big hopes for her future, throwing around plans for acting, singing ("if I knew how!"), talk shows and mentoring little girls. "I want to do everything. I want to do so much and just be that inspiration for other people. I'm excited, I can't wait to see where it's going to take me," she says, downright giggly with anticipation. Her passion is endearing, and it's precisely why she came out on top. "I know it'll be a struggle, but I'm used to fighting for what I want."

So for those of you who have tried out for ANTM and hit a roadblock, just take a tip from Krista and strap your stilettos back on! As for the rest of you, did you guys see Krista winning all along? And don't forget to tune in next week on the CW for the Top Model Insider episode, with never-before-seen footage!

—Reporting by Jenna Mullins

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