Being the first Brit to win ‘America’s Next Top Model’ like a ‘dream’ for Sophie
Sophie Sumner was so good at keeping her “America’s Next Top Model” win a secret that the pink-haired model might want to consider another high-profile career.
“One of my friends said, ‘They should hire you for MI-6, you’re pretty sneaky. You’re really good at keeping a secret,’” says Sophie, who spoke to CTV.ca over the phone during a break from a photo shoot in the south of France.
“But it’s funny because obviously I knew so long ago and I felt all those emotions then and then watching it back (on TV) they all came back.”
The 21-year-old from Oxford, England, became the first Brit to ever win “America’s Next Top Model” on the May 30th finale when she beat out 20-year-old old American runner-up Laura LaFrate.
“People keep saying that and my stomach kind of (flips) each time someone says it but it feels amazing! It’s like being in a dream,” Sophie says.
Cycle 18, called “America’s Next Top Model: British Invasion,” featured a crop of new American hopefuls and former contestants from “Britain’s Next Top Model” for the first time ever.
Sophie’s “illuminata” personality and strong photos made her stand out to the judges early on in the competition, but the model admits she didn’t think she was going to be the won who took home the top prize.
“I said to Laura beforehand, ‘Laura, you’ve got this. I really want it but I’ll be happy for you,’ and then they called my name and I was like, ‘Whaaat? Are you kidding me?’ … I was standing there and I had Tyra (Banks), Kelly (Cutrone), Nigel (Barker) and Jay (Manuel) all talking to me saying, ‘We really love you’ … and I was like, ‘Oh my God this is the weirdest thing.’”
Sophie had come in second during Cycle 5 of “Britain’s Next Top Model” and had been working as a model in London, but knew she wanted to keep pushing herself further.
But besides her determination, Sophie says she isn’t sure what gave her the edge in the competition.
“I went into the competition just wanting to have loads of fun, I wanted to enjoy myself. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I didn’t want to crack under the pressure … it seemed to have paid off. It seemed to go down quite well.
“Maybe it was the pink hair,” she adds with a laugh.
After returning home to London until she could announce her win, Sophie will now embark on her new endeavor as “America’s Next Top Model,” which will include a spread in Vogue Italia, a guest correspondent spot on “Extra,” a new music single and video and a trip to the Calgary Stampede (a prize she won during a challenge on the show).
She will also be relocating to the U.S. and will likely be based in either L.A. or New York, or both, she says.
“I love the States. I had so much fun on ‘Top Model’ … The only thing I’ve got to do is I’ve got a little pink puppy that will need to get a puppy passport. A lot of my friends are going travelling or are at university so it is leaving a lot behind, I will miss my family loads, but it is something so exciting. I just can’t wait.”
Sophie hopes her win will open up plenty of modeling doors for her in America.
“I think you’ve also got to put in as much as you get back almost so you’ve got to really push it. The American market is massive … I’m hoping the States will welcome me with open arms,” she says.
“I just hope I make people proud and thank you to everyone really, it’s been a pretty wicked ride.”
About Sheri Block
Sheri Block has been covering entertainment for CTV.ca since 2008. In addition to covering Will and Kate’s Royal Wedding in London, Sheri’s highlights have included going on tour with “Canadian Idol,” being a stand-in on “Canada’s Next Top Model” and meeting Colin Farrell at the Toronto International Film Festival.Follow her on Twitter!