Congratulations to Danielle Hayes, Cycle 2 winner of New Zealand's Next Top Model. And kudos to the judges for awarding the title to a Maori model – long may that trend continue. I must admit, I've been a Danielle naysayer since the beginning of the series. Sure she's strikingly beautiful, but the combination of her attitude to challenges, man-casual clothing and god-awful attempts at walking in high heels didn't do anything to sway my opinion. However, watching the finale show on demand yesterday, I'm convinced that she was the right choice. On paper, Michaela was the obvious winner. She aced the finale Covergirl shoot and TV commercial and walked pretty flawlessly in heels. But when push came to shove, she lacked the x factor that is so badly needed in a model – and Danielle had it in spades.
Danielle still needs a good few months' full time development (like, major high heel boot camp) but I have a feeling that with a bit of work she might just have an international career ahead of her. Could she be New Zealand's answer to everybody's favourite androgynous model of the moment Freja Beha Erichsen?
I'll await developments with keen interest.
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