The judges have deliberated, and America’s next top model is… Nyle DiMarco!
The 26-year-old model becomes the second male winner of the series -- following Keith Carlos, who won cycle 21 -- and the only deaf contestant to compete on the reality competition show. He’s also the final model to land on top after creator and host Tyra Banks announced the series’ cancellation midway through the cycle.
From the beginning of cycle 22, the judges -- Banks, Kelly Cutrone, and J. Alexander -- and other contestants made a big deal about his hearing, but being deaf didn’t seem to be a disadvantage. In fact, DiMarco said it helped him in the competition.
“The biggest advantage of me being deaf is that my language requires me to move my body,” DiMarco told ET in September, “so it's easy for me to show movement in my body and brings the best of me in photographs.”
DiMarco quickly became a fan favorite thanks to his washboard abs, piercing blue eyes and charming persona. But he also delivered fierce photos each week, winning two elimination challenges and only landing in the bottom two once.
While the competition itself may be over, DiMarco’s career is just beginning. The budding model told ET that he hopes to become the next male supermodel and to create an equal space for men in the modeling world.
“America's Next Top Model changed my life because I am more aware of the modeling world and I have a great network now,” he said of the experience, adding: “I have even more fans than I did before.”
Oh, we bet he does!
You can check out more about DiMarco in ET’s exclusive interview with him below. Check back next week when we sit down with the big winner to catch up on everything that’s been going on since the competition aired.