Posted on: 12/09/2014

"America"s Next Top Model"s" first male winner

"America"s Next Top Model"s" first male winner Keith Carlos is "very surprised" "America"s Next Top Model" crowned its first male winner when Keith Carlos was named the winner of Cycle 21 on Friday (Dec. 5). Carlos tells Zap2it that he"s "so blessed" to have this opportunity and he is surprised that he came out on top. "I was very surprised that I won," says Carlos, "because Will was such a strong model and Adam was so red-hot towards the end. The fact that I came through and pulled it out was very surprising for me." "I"ve always been told I should model ... but I was so attached to football that I never really immersed myself into it," he continues. "So once my career came to an end, I was like, "I"m gonna do something different." So I jumped into modeling and "America"s Next Top Model" is this huge platform and a great start, where I can get the international exposure that I need. So I decided to try it out and look what happened!" Carlos also says his time on the show was an incredible learning experience, as it helped him get more in touch with his emotions. "I never really had to talk about how I felt before, but during confessionals or during our interviews, that was able to open me up and allow me to show some emotions," says Carlos. "As a football player, you"re taught to be hard and blah blah, but you"re not really taught to be emotional, as not emotional as far as sensitive. "I learned by opening up with these emotions, I was able to get a better photo. That"s what my mentors taught me. You gotta be able to model inside out because the film won"t lie. The camera can pick up on your emotions, so you have to portray that character you"re in in that moment." Now that the show is over, Carlos says he"s excited to get out into the modeling world in earnest. He walked in 2014 New York Fashion Week and now is looking forward to signing with Next Model Management and working on "getting as many campaigns as possible." "I"d like to walk in all the fashion shows I can - New York, L.A., internationally," says Carlos. "I"m looking everywhere to take this opportunity I have now and really make the most of it." You can follow Carlos" adventures on Twitter, Instagram and his personal website. "America"s Next Top Model" returns in 2015 with Cycle 22.