Ivano Grasso/The CW
Tears. Pounding hearts. Even laughter.
These were just some of America's Next Top Model finalists Ann and Chelsey's reactions when they watched the cycle 15 finale for the first time tonight.
Even though both girls knew the results, it was an emotional hour—which we shared with them in a screening room at the CW headquarters here in L.A.
Read on to hear what the girls told us afterward about their experience on the show, from joy to dreckitude...
Of course, both girls knew the outcome of the show, but runner-up Chelsey said, "My heart started pounding again and it was like reliving it."
Newly crowned America's Next Top Model Ann said they've known the results "ever since the end of July, adding that "it was definitely stressful" keeping it secret all this time—even from her parents. "I bet my mom is sobbing even now," she laughed.
Although still quiet, Ann showed a new poise and confidence while speaking to reporters. "I think that winning America's Next Top Model has helped my confidence enormously," she told us. "Before the show I hardly even talked even a sentence in a day. I've overcome all the negative things I've been through, all the [people] picking on me." And she has a message for other victims of bullying:
"I really hope that if people who have been picked on too watch the show they're inspired by me and by my story. I hope they can find a way to look at their differences in a positive light."
Both girls attribute Chelsey's harsh comments about Ann—criticizing her "lackluster personality," for example—to the "competitive environment." "I don't mind," Ann insisted. "I really don't think she meant anything negative about it. It was just an observation, because I had been having trouble with my personality at the time. But we're really good friends so it really didn't bother me that much."
"She knows that I love her," Chelsey added. "I was in the competition mode. It was neck and neck, so I'm not worried I hurt her feelings."
The only thing that troubles Chesley is how she was sometimes portrayed on the show. "I think I got more of an 'attitude' type of edit than I felt that I really have. I don't talk about people behind their backs, and on the show I think it kind of looks like I did. It's a little disheartening to watch it because I know that's not how I am. But I just know that I move on from it and know the people who matter know the truth, including Ann."
Ann herself is only chagrined about her final (bulgy-eyed NYC Housewife Ramona-channeling) runway show.
"The runway was really, really fun, and I'm happy that my walk improved," she told us, "but watching the show, ugh—my face! What was I so scared of?"
Now Ann is looking forward to hitting the runway again. "I plan to move out, maybe to New York," she told us about her future plans. "I'm going to try my hardest to get my name out there, do more runway shows and maybe appear in more magazines."
Maybe? Based on her pictures this season, our money's on definitely.