Montana Cox is crowned Australia's Next Top Model of 2011 at the Sydney Opera House.
Montana Cox is crowned Australia's Next Top Model of 2011 at the Sydney Opera House. Seanna Cronin

Montana crowned Australia's Top Model

EIGHTEEN-year-old Montana Cox has been named Australia's Next Top Model in a glittering live finale at the Sydney Opera House tonight.

The Victorian beauty, who had no modeling experience before auditioning for the popular pay-TV series, beat out Brisbane's Liz Braithwaite and Wollongong's Simone Holtznagel.

Cox thanked the show's producers, judges and the public for voting her winner.

"First of all I'd just like to say a huge thank you to Sarah and the judges and also the crew everyone," said a very composed Cox.

"It was such an amazing journey and such a life changing experience. I loved every moment of it. It was such an opportunity for us girls to get out there and pursue modeling. And thank you to the fans and everybody here, it's just been amazing."

Cox will appear on the cover of Harper's Bazaar magazine and has won a 12-month modeling contract.

She was an early front runner in the seventh series of the Fox8 show, which was taken over this year by new production company Shine Australia.

The live finale went off without a hitch, with Sarah Murdoch surely breathing a sigh of relief after last year's bungled announcement of the wrong winner.

Murdoch was handed a black envelope with the result. Voting lines were closed at the beginning of the show, 7.30pm AEST, which was earlier than last year.

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