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The simple, yet beautiful girl rose to stardom after claiming "America's Next Top Model 3" title, on UPN's reality TV show that searched for a fresh face in the U.S. modeling industry. Eva Pigford competed against 13 other girls, as they all traveled around the world and persistently followed their dreams. The victory also included an opportunity for Eva Pigford to be managed by Ford Models, a $100,000 contract with with cosmetics company Covergirl, and a fashion shoot in Elle Magazine.
Meet Eva Pigford
Birth Name: Eva Marcelle Pigford
Age: 19 years old
Height/Weight: 5'7"/118 lbs.
Favorite Movie: "Crooklyn"
Favorite Magazine: Jungle, Elle and Newsweek
Favorite Food: Mexican
Other: Self-described over-achiever
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Student at Clark-Atlanta University
Marital Status: Single
Is 5'7" and weighs 118 lbs, making her the shortest girl from America's Next Top Model Cycle 3.
Appeared in the movie The Walk alongside MTV's Teck Holmes and singer Regina Belle.
'Top Model' Eva Has 'Hill' To Climb
It's early January and Eva Pigford is running on fumes. She's rushing from photo shoot to promotional event, walking the runway and doing red carpet television coverage, trying to launch a modeling career but also jaunting off to Toronto to make a guest appearance on "Kevin Hill." At one second, the third winner of "America's Next Top Model" can sound like she needs a week of sleep, but she also can't contain her enthusiasm about the way her life has changed in the past year.
"I'm high off life right now," she laughs. "I'm just soaring and just so enthused to get up and go to work every day."
Pigford may be new to the acting business, but she's already cagey like a pro when discussing how her "Kevin Hill" character, a model, naturally, interacts with Taye Diggs' titular lead.
"I get to kiss him and we're waking up in bed at the beginning of the show and there's a fashion show," she hints. "That's all I'm gonna give away. You have to stay tuned for sweeps weeks."
"Occupational Hazard," Pigford's episode, airs this Wednesday (Feb. 23) and there's already been buzz that she did well enough to prompt discussion of future appearances. Certainly Pigford is thinking big, as far as her career is concerned.
"I want to do something contradictory to being beautiful and being a model," she says. "I want to do like Charlize Theron in 'Monster.' She's a gorgeous woman and you know her for being gorgeous, and then she went and did this role that was just completely off-whack and she was phenomenal."
Unscripted shows move from one cycle to the next with manic speed, and it was just six months ago that viewers first met Diva Eva, a brash and articulate young woman whose only fear was that she was too young to win the competition. Today, Pigford is more a more polished product, shaped by Tyra Banks and her minions.
"When I started the show I was close-minded," says Pigford. "I knew I had potential, but I had a huge chip on my shoulder and I was like, 'Hey, I'm taking this and I'm not gonna let you take it,' which I ended up doing, but there's a different way you can go about handling the situation and 'tact' is the key word. If I've learned anything, I've learned tact."
Pigford's newly discovered "tact" is evident when discussing Adrianne Curry, the first "ANTM" winner currently having to strip and beg for attention on VH1's "The Surreal Life."
"I wish her all the luck in the world on her career and hope she stays blessed," Pigford says quietly.
Asked about where she sees herself one year from now, though, she's a bit more frank.
"I won't be on 'Surreal Life' because I'll be working my a..." she stops short and self-edits again. "butt off."
In the early stages of so many potentially lucrative careers, Pigford still has her eye on something else she started. When "Top Model" began last fall, Pigford was in her junior year at Clark Atlanta University balancing a speech communications/theater major and a criminal justice minor ("I do it all -- I'm the Jackie of all trades," she cracks).
"Within the next couple years I'll go back to get that degree so Mommy will be happy," she promises. "I don't like to think of it as dropping out. It's a slight postponing. I'm taking a leave of absence."
Eva Pigford is 'America's Next Top Model'
Eva Pigford has beaten all competition and won the third and final round of 'America's Next Top Model', super model Tyra Banks' reality show.
Yaya Da Costa Johnson finished second and blind contestant Amanda Swafford got the third slot. Eva was rewarded with a 100,000 dollars contract with Cover Girl, a spread in Elle magazine and a contract with Ford Models.
"I am a cover girl. This little tomboy from LA that has never been beautiful. I was not the cute girl in school," E-Online quoted Eva as saying. "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. Watch out, world-here comes Eva," added the winner.
Diva Eva On The Rise
Top Model’ to make guest appearance on ‘Kevin Hill.’ Let’s hope Eva Pigford’s acting skills have improved a bit since her last go-round with Taye Diggs. The winner of UPN’s “America’s Next Top Model,” who performed an awkward acting scene with Taye Diggs during one of the “ANTM” episodes last season, will appear opposite Diggs again, this time on his UPN series “Kevin Hill,” due to air sometime this month.
Since the “ANTM” finale, Eva has walked the NY Fashion Week runways for designers such as Michael Kors, and will make an appearance on a “Top Model” reunion show on March 1, reports Tasty Clips. The Inglewood, CA native, who won $100,000 and a Cover Girl contract as part of her “ANTM” prize package, says she’s even made some celebrity friends since the show. "Regina King has been real supportive," she told Tasty Clips. "She saw me on the show and offered to help me make the right moves in this business." When asked if she's gotten any play from male suitors, Eva said yes, but wouldn't name names. But the name 50 Cent managed to slip through before her publicist cut her off.
Winning Model Eva Pigford Turns Heads At Roots
During her visit to Toronto, Eva Pigford, (left), with Jarar Kazmi, Manager of Roots 100 Bloor Street West, came to the Roots flagship store where she exhibited some of her radiant presence that helped her capture first place in the recent “America’s Next Top Model” competition.
Eva Pigford wins UPN's 'America's Next Top Model
Eva Pigford, a 19-year-old student from Los Angeles who had been criticized for her "diva" attitude earlier in the competition, was crowned America's Next Top Model during last night's finale of the third cycle of the popular UPN "dramality" series.
Top Model 3's finale began with Eva, Amanda Lynn Swafford, and Camara "Yaya" Da Costa Johnson competing in a CoverGirl photo shoot, after which Amanda was the first girl eliminated in the finale. Eva and Yaya then 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 only one winner, and Eva Pigford took the title.
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 the People Magazine issue that will be available on newsstands this Friday. All three women rose to the occasion and produced gorgeous photos, causing the judges to be truly torn when it came time to eliminate one of the girls. Noted host Tyra Banks, "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, a 25-year-old mother from Hendersonville, NC, was eliminated
With Amanda no longer in contention, Eva and Yaya, a 21-year-old student from Harlem, NY, 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, and when it came time to strut, both 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 Nolé 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.
America's Next Top Model 3 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. Each week, the field was narrowed via a series of high-pressure, high-stakes competitions designed to determine the series winner. In addition to Tyra, Janice Dickinson, the self-described "world's first supermodel," Nigel Barker, a renowned photographer, and Nolé Marin, an acclaimed fashion editor and stylist, also served as judges.
America's Next Top Model 4, the next edition of the series, will premiere in March 2005.