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[12/16/04 - 12:00 AM]
Eva Pigford Is America's Next Top Model

[via press release from UPN]

EVA PIGFORD IS AMERICA�S NEXT TOP MODEL

Los Angeles Native Wins Competition

Eva Pigford, a 19-year-old student from Los Angeles, was crowned AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL in the finale of the third cycle of UPN's hit dramality series. The three remaining participants completed a CoverGirl photo shoot, after which Amanda Swafford was the first girl eliminated in the finale. Eva and Yaya moved on to the final competition where they appeared in a Noriko Fukushima runway show. While both girls gave impressive performances during the show, the judges had to choose one winner, and Eva Pigford took the title.

In last night's finale, the first challenge for the three remaining girls was a photo shoot for CoverGirl Wet Slicks Crystals lip gloss, in which the winner�s best photo will be used in a CoverGirl ad in People Magazine, on newsstands this Friday. All three rose to the occasion and produced such gorgeous photos that the judges were torn when it came time to eliminate one of the girls. Tyra noted, �Last week, when I said we didn�t think you guys were really ready � those pictures proved us very wrong.� However, the judges were forced to make a choice, and Amanda was eliminated.

Eva and Yaya then faced their final challenge, walking the runway in a fashion show for renowned designer Noriko Fukushima. The girls were surprised by the unconventional square-shaped runway with audience members seated in the center. Runway expert J. Alexander instructed the girls that their walk should be very somber and slow. Eva and Yaya impressed the judges with their calm, professional air on the runway.

At the final elimination, the judges evaluated each girl�s final runway performance as well as their photos taken throughout the competition. The judges noted that the two finalists offered different representations of beauty and felt each had potential as models. As she prepared to announce the winner, Tyra Banks commented, "The decision was hard tonight. It was so hard because you two are so different�Both of you represent beauty from different aspects."

But the judges had made their decision, and Eva was announced as AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL. "Eva has vitality, she has sass and spunk that make her relatable to young girls everywhere," said Tyra. "She is a true cover girl."

In describing Eva's transformation, acclaimed fashion designer Nol� Marin said, "Today, I almost fell down when I saw how incredible Eva looked�she looked like a superstar." He added, "Eva�she's like Cinderella. She comes in like a little tough boy, and she turned into this incredible gorgeous woman."

�I am a cover girl,� Eva exclaimed in emotional response to her win. �This little tomboy from L.A. that has never been beautiful. I was not the cute girl in school. I came here the shortest and the one that had the most insecurities inside of them, and now I�m America�s Next Top Model.�

In becoming AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL, Eva receives the opportunity to be managed by Ford Models; a $100,000 contract with cosmetics giant CoverGirl; and a fashion spread in Elle magazine.

This season, Tyra Banks once again led the panel that narrowed the field of girls each week as they went through a high-pressure, high-stakes series of competitions that determined the series winner. The world's first supermodel Janice Dickinson, renowned photographer Nigel Barker and Nol� Marin, an acclaimed fashion editor and stylist, also served as judges.

The third installment of UPN's hit dramality series AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL followed 14 young women as they attempted to prove they had what it takes to make it in the high-stress, high-stakes world of modeling. Banks, who created the show, also serves as executive producer along with Ken Mok ("Making the Band"). Anthony Dominici ("The Amazing Race") serves as co-executive producer.

For more information about AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL, log on to www.upn.com.





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· AMAZING RACE, THE (CBS)
· AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL (CW)
· MAKING THE BAND (MTV)





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