Grand Forks' Nicole Linkletter talks about her year as Top Model.
By Ali Rude
Herald Staff Writer
As the season five winner of "America's Next Top Model," Grand Forks native Nicole Linkletter knows what it's like to spend a year at the top.
It's been almost one year since the 21-year-old Linkletter was awarded the title of America's Next Top Model. The popular reality TV series on UPN has taken Linkletter around the country and across half the world. Before jetting off to Amsterdam for another modeling job this week, Linkletter was home in Grand Forks and had time to tell the Herald what the year has been like.
Linkletter, a 2003 graduate of Red River High School, had no prior modeling experience when she made the top 13 finalists and eventually won the grand prize of America's Next Top Model. Linkletter won the opportunity to be managed by Ford Models, a $100,000 contract with CoverGirl cosmetics, a fashion spread in Elle magazine and the cover photo of ElleGirl magazine, posing with supermodel Tyra Banks.
The ElleGirl cover was part of her prize package, but that's not the only magazine cover Linkletter has graced. In the past year, Linkletter also has made the cover of Women's Health & Fitness, Lemonade and Vanidades, a popular Latin women's fashion magazine. Combined, the magazines circulate to more than 1.5 million people.
She's had to get used to seeing her own face in and on those magazines.
"It's weird," she said. "But it's definitely one of the fun parts."
Another fun part for Linkletter has been traveling. She said she's loved traveling and is excited to do more. She ventured to London for "Top Model" and to Paris for her winning photo shoot. She's had extended stays in Los Angeles and New York City and says she'd really like to live in Japan for a few months.
Linkletter said she plans to continue to model for Ford Models as well as take acting classes. She says she definitely wants to finish her degree and will start taking night classes as soon as her schedule gives her the chance. For now, she said, she's taking it one day at a time and right now, she's taking that day in Amsterdam.
Still, even while adapting to the changes of a job that has made her be everything from a spokeswoman for CoverGirl to a judge for the 2006 Miss USA pageant, Linkletter says she loves coming home to Grand Forks.
"All my family and a lot of my friends are still around here, so I always enjoy coming home," she said. "And talking to my family and friends keeps me down to earth."