updated 04/05/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 04/05/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT
America's Next Top Model winner Yoanna House shed 60 lbs. to walk the runway
With her reedlike figure and stunning transformation from a bespectacled Walgreens clerk to fashion-forward haute babe, Shandi Sullivan appeared to be the odds-on favorite to be crowned America's Next Top Model. But Shandi failed to make the cut, and Yoanna House, 23, won the second installment of the UPN show. As it happens, House has her own Cinderella story. Three years ago she weighed 189 lbs., "normal" for her height, says House, who's 5'11". But not for the fashion runway. After spending more than two years whittling off 60 lbs. with diet and exercise, she now has a contract with IMG Models. "It makes me really proud that there can be a healthy model out there to show you don't have to resort to crazy means to get the type of figure you desire," says ANTM creator Tyra Banks. House was criticized for extra inches around her middle, though. After the show finished taping in October, she banished even those with Pilates, yoga and a protein-rich diet. Now the former nanny just has to work on her balance. "I'm Converse, Birkenstock girl," she says. "The difficult part was adjusting to wearing heels."
Howard Stern: Fine Oprah, Too
First Janet Jackson got in trouble for baring her nipple. Then Howard Stern came under fire for alleged indecency. So will the next target in the cultural wars be...Oprah? Not likely. But after the FCC proposed a $27,500 fine on Stern March 18 (for a 2001 show on which he used innuendos to describe sexual acts), the radio host immediately called for similar penalties against Winfrey for engaging in essentially the same kind of discussion on-air. "If they fine me for this, then they got to fine Oprah," Stern told listeners, referring to a Winfrey show on teen sex. (Stern posted Winfrey outtakes on his Web site.) Winfrey had no comment, but the FCC noted in 2001 that sexual material may not be considered indecent if presented in a clinical context. Stern, who keeps telling listeners his show will soon be forced off the air by the FCC crackdown, maybe exaggerating his imminent demise: He has begun accepting audition tapes for a sidekick to replace "Stuttering" John Melendez, who left him to join Jay Leno's Tonight show.
WHY CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?
It can be hard work maintaining a rebellious rocker image while headlining a tour of suburban shopping centers. But singer Avril Lavigne, currently on a 21-city Mall Tour, is up to the task. For starters, she's happily fueling a feud with pop princess Hilary Duff. The trouble started when Duff, 16, said that Lavigne, 19, "needed to have more respect for her fans." Lavigne nyah-nyahed that Duff was "such a goody-goody, such a mommy's girl." Ramping up the threat level to DefCon 4, Lavigne told Scoop on March 19: "If she doesn't shut her mouth, then I'll shut it for her." The problem, according to Lavigne, is that Duff doesn't have the musical chops to criticize her. "Hilary is more of an actress than a musician," Lavigne says, noting that "people, like, wrote songs for her." Duff so far is refusing to deepen the rift. Informed of Lavigne's latest comments, Duff's rep told PEOPLE, "Hilary is sorry that her remark got blown out of proportion. She's never met Avril, but she is a huge fan of her music."
Moving in: Ian and Meredith
Meredith Phillips and Ian McKee got engaged during the Feb. 25 finale of The Bachelorette. But why wait for the wedding to set up house? The two decided earlier this month to move in and are now living together. "We just wanted to settle down and get things done," says McKee, 29, a former equities-research salesman born in Brazil, who has left Manhattan to join model Phillips, 30, in Los Angeles. The couple recently went shopping together at IKEA for their apartment. ("It was mayhem!" says McKee.) Though no date has been set, they say their wedding won't be a big affair. "I'll do it all myself, no wedding planner," says Phillips. "That's how small it's going to be." In other words, nothing like the televised nuptials of the first Bachelorette couple, Trista and Ryan Sutter. For now, Phillips, who loves Thai food, is focused on teaching McKee how to cook. Says Phillips: "We're a very normal couple."
BRITNEY AND PARIS IN DISTRESS
Two blondes. Two accidents. One healing method: shopping.
During a March 18 concert in Moline, Ill., Britney Spears aggravated an old knee injury and was forced to reschedule two shows. Two days later the singer, accompanied by mom Lynne, hobbled around Chicago's Caravan Beads and spent $650 on material for necklaces she planned to make for her dancers.
On March 19 Paris Hilton was thrown from a horse while filming her FOX reality show The Simple Life 2 at a ranch outside of Brooksville, Fla. The hotel heiress escaped serious injury but was airlifted to a hospital as a precaution. "I don't think I'll ride a horse for a while," she said later. The next day, with boyfriend Nick Carter, Hilton hit Florida shops and eased the pain by picking up five bikinis, two sarongs and six pairs of designer sandals.
What's the State of the Supermodel? Scoop posed the question to Rachel Hunter, 34, who's out and about promoting a Playboy photo shoot. And in the course of the conversation, she shared her current thoughts on her former partner, Rod Stewart.
Has modeling changed a lot since you started?
How I was discovered was, I was on the beach. And that's how they found girls. It wasn't these determined little 13-year-olds who are like, "This is what I want to do." That scares me—that this is what we're breeding.
Do you see any new supermodels emerging?
These girls now are in for a year. Gisele [Bündchen] is really the last girl that anybody knows of. Name one girl from the last two, three, five years that anybody really remembers.
So what's wrong with today's models?
These girls that are out now, they've got no boobs, they've got no butt—they're like boys. It's not attractive! They're like ironing boards.
Would you ever consider plastic surgery for yourself?
Absolutely, when the time is right. But I think I would find somebody in Europe who knew how to do it properly.
Which older women can still turn heads?
I want to know what Catherine Deneuve's secret is. And Sophia Loren. I love European women, how you still see the character of their lines. They're sexy. It's really beautiful.
We know it's been over for a while, but...do you and Rod Stewart get along?
He's great with the kids, and we keep in touch.
Are you surprised by the easy-listening music he's doing these days?
I wish he'd do Sam Cooke and Otis Redding and all those ones, 'cause he's got an amazing voice for that.
Have you told him that?
I've suggested it.
In your opinion, are rock stars better lovers?
A friend of mine said, "You know what it is? It's the boyish quality in them. Even in their 60s, they still are childish."
ON THE BLOCK
UMA ON THE PARK
PRICE: $6.5 million
PLACE: New York City
SPECS: Uma Thurman is moving on. After splitting with her husband, Ethan Hawke, Thurman recently sold her duplex apartment on New York's historic Gramercy Park. The 3,300-sq.-ft. co-op, which Thurman bought in 2000, includes four bedrooms and 3½ baths. Her next stop? She's not saying.