Look at me now! Jade defies bullies to be crowned Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model


Shocked: Jade, pictured on last night's show with runner-up Juste, as she is revealed as the winner of Next Top Model

20-year-old Jade Thompson was crowned winner on the final episode of Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model tonight, taking the top prize ahead of rival, Lithuanian Juste Juozapaityte.

‘I’m over the moon,’ the one-time insurance advisor told us after the show. ‘I never thought I would win. I was the skinny ginger nut at school - and now look at me.'

The victory, says Jade, is one in the eye for the children who taunted her at her primary school in Stoke-On-Trent about her unique appearance. ‘I looked unusual, I was skinny. Everybody teased me. My hair was much redder then than it is now – it was bright orange,’ she says.

Emotional: Elle Macpherson comforts Juste after the ersults have been announced. 'You will work and work and work,' reassures Elle

‘They called me freckle-face and ginger nut. People used to stop and stare at me in the street, or point at me.

‘Now they’ll stop and stare, but for a different reason – because they recognise me as the winner of Next Top Model.'

Jade was billed as the curvy one among the girls - frequently told she represented 'real women,' despite being 5ft 10in tall and a UK size 6 to 8

The final showdown saw Jade and Juste negotiate a complicated catwalk in a dramatic walk-off, wearing knitted creations by Mark Fast as they led wayward dogs down the runway under the eye of judges Elle Macpherson, Julien Macdonald, Grace Woodward and Charley Speed, and guest panellists Daisy Lowe and America's Next Top Model's Miss J Alexander.

Jade, centre, on the Mad Hatter photoshoot: 'Every one of the photoshoots was nerve-wracking,' says Jade. 'You never knew what to expect - they were all so different'

Early days: Left, Jade pictured with fellow model Rebecca during the early stages of the show, and right, Juste with Brenda, before her hair was cropped and tinted dark brown

Fierce: Jade impressed the judges with her strong shot. 'I didn't realise I could do editorial,' she said

‘Jade has a different look – everybody liked her because she was so unique.

‘She’s more commercial – she’s represents the real women – she’s curvier than me.

Indeed, despite being 5ft 10in and a slender size 6 to 8, Jade was continually labelled as the ‘real’ model, the curvy one, while Juste - 6ft and size 8 - was painted as the androgynous one.

Elle was Juste's biggest supporter, telling her she would get signed even though she didn't win

source: dailymail
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