Julia Is Crowned True Beauty!

Julia Is Crowned True Beauty!
Greg Zabilski/ABC

02/24/2009 AT 12:00 AM EST



The former pageant queen reigned supreme!

After eight weeks, numerous hidden-camera challenges and the biggest test of all--living under the same roof with nine other self-proclaimed perfect 10s, Julia Anderson emerged the winner of last night's True Beauty.

Calling her victory a "second chance to redeem" herself, the one-time Miss Teen Texas proved to be the only Beauty contestant to pass all of the show's hidden challenges.



In last night's finale, Anderson, 23, along with the show's two remaining finalists, Joel Rush, 26, an imagining software salesman from Tampa, Fla., and Billy Jeffrey, 31, a vitamin shop owner and Chippendale's dancer from Lewiston, Ida., faced what host Vanessa Minnillo called their "last and most important challenge." Which was, of course, the PEOPLE magazine challenge.

The last hurdle came in two parts: a one-on-one interview with a secret guest judge, PEOPLE Executive Editor Jess Cagle and then a photo shoot. Joel was the only finalist not able to pass the interview portion, responding to Cagle's question of whether he had friends that were "not good looking" with this response: "If you run with dogs, you get fleas."

Meanwhile Billy exposed his vulnerable side (he had to overcome a bout of high school acne!) and Julia showed her first true emotions, openly weeping over her having to give up the title of Miss Teen Texas. (Both Billy and Julia ended their interviews with mascara running down their faces.)

Back in their comfort zone-- in front of the camera -- the finalists went "semi-nude" in their photo shoot, posing for celebrity photographer Matthew Rolston in nothing more than lube, a red bath towel and a smile.

In the end Anderson, with her combination of looks and niceness, easily nabbed the top prize. Taking her victory in true beauty queen stride, Anderson repeated her mantra, "Thank you! Thank you so much!" --Reagan Alexander

MORE: Watch Julia's exclusive PEOPLE.com video interview here! Also, find out what's next for Billy and Joel!

Tell us: Are you surprised Julia won the title?

Greg Zabilski/ABC





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