The southern belle tells PEOPLE how she celebrated her victory
It wasn’t an easy road, but Danielle Evans was named America’s Next Top Model on Wednesday’s finale.
On her way to earning the title – and beating out finalists Jade and Joanie – the Little Rock native endured hospitalization (for dehydration and exhaustion brought on by a 22-hour flight to Thailand, site of the show s final four episodes) and elective oral surgery (to close the gap between her front teeth).
So how did she celebrate her win? “I slept,” Evans tells PEOPLE. “Like, the whole entire day.”
No doubt she dreamt about fashion. “I’ve wanted to be a model since I was 12, but not just a model – a supermodel,” says the nearly 6-ft.-tall Evans.
Her prizes – signing with Ford Models, a $100,000 CoverGirl contract and a spread in Elle – should prove a good start, but what will really set the UPN series’ sixth winner apart?
“Danielle has an amazing attitude. She took what we said in judging and made it work in her photos,” says creator Tyra Banks. Indeed, all four judges consistently praised Evans’s pictures, focusing their criticism on her heavy southern twang – unbecoming for a spokesperson, they said.
“I didn’t realize I had an accent until I watched myself on television!” says the former babysitter, who ultimately toned down the accent by speaking more slowly. Her likely move to New York City or L.A. may help as well.
As for her goals, “I really want to do a runway show for Dsquared and Valentino,” she says. And make one special purchase. (Spoiler alert: Mom, stop reading now.) “She doesn t know, but I m going to get Mama a car,” says Evans. “She’s going to be so excited.”