Updated December 08, 2005Nicole Linkletter was crowned the winner of America's Next Top Model 5 during Wednesday night's finale. She wins a management contract with Ford Models, a $100,000 contract with CoverGirl cosmetics, and the opportunity to appear in a fashion spread in Elle magazine. The 20-year-old student from Grand Forks, N.D couldn't be more excited. Here's what she had to say the day after the Top Model finale.
My Interview With NicoleHi Nicole. Congratulations!
How are you feeling today?
Good. Really good. It's starting to sink in and it feels really great.
Was it hard keeping it from your family and friends?
It was really hard keeping it from them. Yes. It's like this secret that you want to tell everyone and you can't tell anyone.
Are they ringing your phone off the hook now?
Yes. Everyone is calling me today. They were all freaking out last night.
You were at the finale party last night, right?
How was it?
The finale party was great. Just getting to see all the girls and just hang out. Everyone was low key. No drama.
When you tried out for the show, did you think you would end up being the Next Top Model?
I think you have to go into it with that attitude or noone else will think that you're going to be the Top Model. Everyone should go into it thinking that.
What was the best part of the experience for you?
Just meeting everyone that we met. Totally. We met so many great people.
What was the worst part?
Not having your support system there. That was hard because during panel you kind of get brought down sometimes. It's hard when you don't have your people there to bring you up again.
What are you most looking forward to about the next year?
I am most looking forward to being a Ford model and a Cover Girl and whatever comes with it. I'm looking forward to moving to New York and starting out. This is the beginning, not the end. It's exciting.
Are you nervous about moving to New York?
I am slightly nervous. You know, you have to be going from a small town to a big city. But I'm more excited than I am nervous. It's going to be awesome.
How did your life change when you went back home after doing the show?
It was kind of weird. People in my town are really chill and they don't really make a big deal about it. So I was just going to classes and a lot of people would ask me questions and a lot of people would stare at me but it was good. It was fine. It was a nice way to get a break because the girls who lived in the big cities were getting a lot of attention. I figured that when this was done with, it would be my time.
What did you enjoy doing more? Modeling on the runway or modeling for photos?
I don't know. I love the runway. There's something about it that's just so fun.
You worked it on that last runway challenge.
So, is the drama with Bre forgotten now?
Yes. I'm not a person who holds grudges. We're cool. She's a nice girl. The competition just got to her a little bit. She started acting out and it wasn't cute but it's over with now.
Would you ever do another reality show, like how [season one winnner] Adrienne did The Surreal Life?
No. I want to be a model. That's why I did the show. I don't really think of it as a reality show. I think of it as an opportunity and something I did to get myself into the industry. I didn't do it for reality TV.