Laura James, a 21-year-old from Paul Smith's College, was crowned "America's Next Top Model" on Friday's show.
The curvy James, daughter of actor John James, admitted, "I'm not your average model," on Friday's episode. Previously in the season, during host Tyra Banks' traditional "makeover" episode (some of which have been known to draw tears of anguish), James had her brunette hair dyed blond.
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In the final episode, the 6-foot-tall James' wobbly runway walk drew criticism from judges Banks, Johnny Wujek, Kelly Cutrone and Rob Evans. But her photo shoot won the judges approval and she bested finalists Kiara Belen and Leila Goldkuhl.
"Oh my God! I'm America's Next Top Model!" James said. "I think it's amazing that I'm now representing girls who are healthy and strong, [proving] it's OK to have a butt and a figure."
Us Weekly reports that Banks praised James for the positive message she sends young women. "Your healthy body image and determination make you an inspiration for girls around the world," Banks said.
Cycle 19 of "ANTM: College Edition" brought together a group of hopefuls who were also enrolled in higher education.
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James wins a feature in Nylon magazine, a contract with L.A. Models and New York Model Management, a campaign with Nine West and Smashbox Cosmetics, $100,000 and will promote "ANTM"-branded fragrance, US Weekly reports. James also collected $30,000 in scholarship money for winning three challenges on the show.
WENN reports Cycle 20 of "ANTM" will include male models for the first time in the show's history. Another big change: "ANTM" will only air in the spring, breaking its long tradition of airing two cycles per year, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
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