Jaslene Gonzalez, the 20-year-old online college admissions advisor from Chicago, won the eighth season of CW reality show "America's Next Top Model" on Wednesday. She beat out Natasha Galkina, the 21-year-old Russian-born college student from Dallas. Renee Alway, the 20-year-old stay-at-home mom from Maui, was eliminated earlier in the finale, with the judges commenting that she photographed noticably older than the other two.
As part of her prize package, Jaslene was awarded a modeling contract with Elite Model Management, a $100,000 contract with Cover Girl Cosmetics, and a six-page spread and cover photo in Seventeen Magazine.
In the finale, Jaslene and Natasha faced off in a fashion show in Sydney, Australia. At one point on the runway, Natasha's skirt slid to her feet, but she stepped out of it and kept walking, and was praised by the show's judges for making it look planned.
According to the judges' final discussion, the decision was close. Legendary 1960s model Twiggy called Jaslene's photos "some of the best of all of the girls'," but went on to say "they're both lovely girls."
Jaslene had tried out for the previous season of "Top Model" but was not chosen. "I think that shows to all young women, if you have that drive, keep going," she said of her second chance.
Both women were praised for their strong ethnic cultures, and Natasha gave part of her final thank you speech in Russian, while Jaslene delivered part of hers in Spanish. She also noted "I'm the Latin spice here. I'm not your girl next door but I'm your girl down the block in your hood."
Model Tyra Banks hosts and co-produces the show.
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