The competition featured 10 finalists chosen from more than 19,000 national entries, all vying to be the grand-prize winner for 2005.
By the end of the night, the judges had a winner: 43-year-old Thea Kelly of Indianapolis, Ind., a self confessed "dessert addict."
The first runner-up is Angela Paul from West Hills, Calif. She just turned 50 in February and is writing a book about beauty and aging. And the second runner-up is 42-year-old Cynthia Gouw from Philadelphia, Pa. She is a reporter and TV show host.
Kelly, Paul and Gouw, along with More magazine's editor-in-chief, Peggy Northrop, who was one of the judges, visit The Early Show to talk about the contest.
The 10 finalists included: Maria Cole, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Kristina Davis, New York, N.Y.; Cynthia Gouw, Phoenixville, Pa.; Kathryn Ironside, Western Springs, Ill.; Thea Kelly, Indianapolis, Ind.; Angela Paul, West Hills, Calif.; Marcella Preuss, Eden, N.C.; Sherid Putman-McGhee, New York, N.Y.; Laurina Richardson Alexander, Kansas City, Mo.; and Adrianna Sachs, Beverly Hills, Calif.
The winners were selected by a panel of judges including Northrup, More beauty and fashion director Lois Joy Johnson; Wilhelmina president Sean Patterson; celebrity make-up artist Bobbi Brown; Wilhelmina agents Daureen Castonguay and Gina Barone, photographer Antoine Verglas, hair stylist Mitch Barry and stylist Elisa Goodkind.
Previous winners in the More Model Search have gone on to model for Ford, Nordstrom, Talbots, Macy's, Easy Spirit, Eileen Fisher, Tropicana, Novartis and Healthy Choice, among other well-known consumer brands. Liz Cullumber was the very first More Model Search grand-prize winner, winning in 2000. She is a former speech pathologist, but now works as a full-time model. And she is the most in-demand model of any age in Wilhelmina's Los Angeles office.
The top three prize winners will receive Wilhelmina modeling contracts and Nordstrom gift cards. The grand-prize winner will also receive a Ford Five Hundred luxury sedan and a five-night trip to Rome, Italy, courtesy of Alitalia/Italiatour.
Each of the 10 finalists will also receive a one-year supply of Garnier Nutrisse haircolor and hair-care accessories, a deluxe beauty package from Bobbi Brown, a Cinema fragrance collection from Yves Saint Laurent, and a Cabochon Glass Ring from Lalique. Restylane will also be presenting a "Best Smile Award" and a prize to one of the 10 finalists.