Crowd favourite Montana “Monty” Cox won top prize at the Sydney Opera House finale last night, having consistently impressed with her natural flair, down to earth charm and international appeal during season 7 of Fox8’s reality TV competition. Pocketing $20, 000, a modelling contract with Chic and a trip to New York, the ethereal beauty — “one of the best discoveries we've ever made,” according to judge Charlotte Dawson—spoke to WHO about her next, well-heeled steps.
Q&A:Has your win sunk in yet?
I think its just finally sinking in now doing all the interviews and publicity and stuff. I think I’m starting to realize it! I seriously feel like it was just a big dream last night and waking up it hasn’t happened!What does it mean to have won?
It’s a real honour. It’s such an amazing production and it was really great being on the show and this year—with the whole top 100 it was a huge year, the biggest yet, so to know that I got his far is really great.Do you view ‘Top Model’ as a credible way to begin a catwalk career?
Yeah, I think it’s a really great opportunity to learn and really get your face out there. And this year, I mean, where did the budgets come from? I chose a good season!How did you celebrate your win?
They had an after party at the Opera House with people everywhere. It was good to celebrate with family and friends and rub a few celebrity shoulders. I’m a big fan of Megan Gale and she came up to us before the show to wish us luck and tell us to be calm and we’d all do amazing. It was really good to hear those words.Were your parents there?
Yes! I saw them squealing on the sidelines and crying!What do they do for a living?
Mum, Julie, is a hair and make up artist, and my dad Darrell is a plumber. They are still getting used to it. Dad would watch the show every time he got home from work. He was in love with it!As a little girl, what did you tell them you wanted to become when you grew up?
It was modelling, always. I was in love with Kate Moss and I used to think I was her! It was a big dream, then it kind of went away for a bit because I didn’t think it would ever happen.What made you audition for Top Model then?
It just came as a realization—it was always in the back of my mind but I’d never acted on it, then in the past couple years, people were like, ‘You should model’ because I’d grown into myself.Judge Alex Perry proclaimed the show uncovered the “best top three ever.” Do you feel pressure to live up to that, as well as prove yourself beyond being just a reality TV star?
Totally! I don’t want to let anyone down after finishing this and I really want to live up to the expectations. I want to work internationally and probably walking in a Gucci show or something, I would definitely love that.Are you going to use your prize money to splurge?
I think I’ve got to get like a little designer bag, my first designer buy, like a little Chanel something something. Just one little thing!Some have compared you to Miranda Kerr. Thoughts?
Wow. To even be compared to her is incredible, so I’ll take that any day!How do you keep your figure camera-ready?
I think you’ve just got to eat all the right foods and exercise regularly—it gets back to basics like that. I get a lot of sleep and drink plenty of water. I am a gym girl and a big netballer; I play three or four times a week or more, as a defender. I’m a big sport girl, but no one ever usually picks it. It’s the long armsWhat are your immediate plans?
I’m in year 12, so I’ve got a couple of exams to do and then when they’re finished I just want to go off to New York and start my career!How did you manage to balance Top Model and your HSC studies?
It’s been pretty hard to find a medium between Top Model and school—they’re pretty different from each other! But it was good for keeping me focused and grounded because there was so much to think about.What are your best subjects at school?
I love literature, I’m a big fan of writing and also Media. Maybe it’ll help me out a bit with all this!Any rivalry with fellow finalists Simone Holtznagel and Liz Braithwaite?
We were close to best friends. This year everyone just got along really well, which is weird for a bunch of teenage girls to be stuck in a house together. You expect the claws to come out! They were so encouraging and supportive and I definitely have friends for life. I didn’t come into it expecting to make such great friends.When you head to New York, will you be leaving behind a boyfriend?
No, I’m not, so could find one over there [Laughs]!