By Emily Mitchell
If you haven’t caught yourself spending a whole day on the couch watching America’s Next Top Model marathons on MTV, then you need to check yourself. With 12 cycles already done, the show has so much variety and creativity throughout each season that catching a random episode can fill your gloomy Saturday with sunshine and rainbows of ferocity.
And I will also admit that after watching, I find myself standing too long in front of the mirror in the bathroom trying to capture emotion with my eyes and lengthen my neck. But being 5-foot-3 (I’ll give myself the half inch), I’ve never had to worry about taking my poses and faces to the runway … until now!
The new season of ANTM is all about the short people. As in, all the models are 5-foot-7 or below. Tyra Banks is back with the 13th cycle of ANTM, and this season’s short theme is relatable and realistic for a chunk of its audience.
Fourteen women will once again be chosen to live in a house together in Los Angeles and compete to become America’s Next Top Model and win a bevy of prizes, including a modeling contract with Wilhemina Models, a cover on Seventeen magazine and a $100,000 contract with CoverGirl Cosmetics. Here is a run-through of all the models, who look to be the youngest class ANTM has ever had:
LAURA: This 19-year-old from Stanford, Ky., is a country girl who lives on a farm and whose genuine personality makes her even more beautiful. She wears clothes made by her grandma, and curls her hair by wrapping it around sheets of rolled up paper towels.
NICOLE: She is 18 from Louisville, Colo., and is one of the most promising models. She is quiet, not social and giddy like the other girls. She’s stoic and kind of odd, which makes her more intriguing. But her unique red hair makes up for her silence.
SUNDAI: Although she is the shortest out of the bunch (5-foot-3), her positive outlook about life gives her an extra confidence boost for an 18-year-old. Her childhood stories about an abusive mother and foster homes are heartbreaking, but she has molded them into her beautiful mosaic and not looked back.
KARA: When she auditioned for ANTM, she was living in Costa Rica on a sheep farm. She is a free-spirited 19-year-old with piercing blue eyes and an exotic Gisele Bündchen face.
LISA: After one of the original 14 girls had to drop out for personal reasons, 19-year-old Lisa was called up and given a second chance. Her eyebrows are fantastic!
JENNIFER: She is the only Asian model on the show, and has a knack for elongating her body in photos. She’s also the oldest model in the competition at 23.
RAE: Her icy blond hair matches her icy blue eyes. At 21 years old, she is a single mother starting her modeling career on ANTM.
LULU: One of four African-American contestants, this 19-year-old student from Brooklyn’s short mohawk to match her spunky personality.
RACHEL: She is one of the youngest contestants at 18, with one of the most unique looks. Her nickname as a child, “Bambi Eyes,” suits her big batting eyes.
COURTNEY: A cheerleading coach by profession, this 22-year-old broke her foot a few weeks before filming began for ANTM. But she works the catwalk, crutches and all, without complaining. Her fierce red hair adds flame to her positive fire.
ASHLEY: How she was discovered and chosen to be on ANTM is amazing: She was an audience member at The Tyra Banks Show, and Tyra’s hairdresser spotted her, suggesting Tyra get her information. Now this 22-year-old is proudly strutting her stuff on ANTM.
BRITTANY: She is a 22-year-old math student from California who is very intellectual and “lives in the library basement,” studying 10 hours a day. And while she is very methodical, she has grace and presence in front of the camera.
ERIN: Her big blue eyes remind me of the Gerber baby! She’s only 18 years old, but this Kenosha, Wis., native has great potential.
BIANCA: Not to say she is a diva, but … she’s a diva. Her confrontational attitude is entertaining, but could get her caught up. A Nnenna lookalike from Cycle 6, her features are strong against her shaved head.
So tune in! Tyra is back and looking gorgeous with her entourage panel of Miss J. Alexander, Jay Manuel, and Nigel Barker. The guest judge for the first episode is model Chanel Iman. Cycle 13 of America’s Next Top Model begins with a two-hour premiere on The CW Wednesday, Sept. 9 (8-10pm ET) with encore performances on Fridays (9-10pm ET).