After auditioning for 12 consecutive cycles, Krista White was finally named America’s Next Top Model Wednesday evening. Although the 25-year-old Arkansas native wrapped shooting in December, she tells PEOPLE it still hasn’t hit her that she won the show. “I still feel really, really regular,” she says.
That may be because after Krista won cycle 14, she went right back to work as the manager of a clothing store.
“As soon as I came back from New Zealand, I went right back into going to work,” Krista told PEOPLE over the phone en route to a meeting with Wilhelmina Models. (She nabbed a contract with the agency as part of her winnings.) “I still feel like myself, so going back to work was a breeze. I was still being the boss like I normally would.”
Now that her victory has been announced to the world, Krista says she’s ready to hit the ground running. She already had a list of career goals that includes modeling, acting, mentoring young and running her own talk show.
But more than anything, Krista is just excited to be a Cover Girl. “I can’t wait to walk in and see my face next to the makeup, which is going to be so fun!” she says. “I might pass by myself. Everybody goes in Walmart.”
Even though she had the best photo the last three weeks, Krista says she never expected to win. “I could think of a reason for everybody to win but myself,” she says. “Even when it got down to Raina and me, I was like … she’s just as great and her face is undeniable, so this is going be really difficult.”
But Krista’s victory is especially sweet considering she almost gave up on her dream. “The show told me ‘no’ 12 times before they told me ‘yes,'” she says. “I’m used to having the doors slammed in my face, but I’m gonna keep knocking on your door until you tell me ‘yes.’ And look how it worked out for me!” -… Jessica Wedemeyer
Credit: Tony Drayton/The CW