America’s Next Top Model: Looking for More Than Just Talent

The new America’s Next Top Model season will be beginning on February 20, 2008 and with the excitement mounting, I couldn’t help but reflect on some past winners whom I felt didn’t really deserve the victory. So perhaps the winner has to have more than talent, maybe she has to display not only the characteristics of a top fashion model, but those of a true role model.

Cycle 7

Cycle 7 of America’s Next Top Model had some of the best talent in the shows history, but Melrose Bickerstaff outshined them all. She had so many characteristics of a successful model. She had enthusiasm, drive, incredible talent, and she was friendly. The girls in the house said she was rude, however, it seems that a lot of people bought into the gossip just because all the other girls were saying it. When the comments are ignored, it is clear that Melrose was simply doing what she was there to do- model. Melrose’s pictures were phenomenal and her runway walk was brilliant. Nevertheless, it seems inner struggles are judged just as much because Melrose’s opponent, CariDee English, overcome a skin condition before entering the competition and became the cycle 7 top model.

Cycle 8

Cycle 8 of America’s Next Top Model came down to two unconventional beauties, Jaslene Gonzalez and Natasha Galkina. Throughout the competition, Natasha was friendly, consistently improved, showed optimism, and exuded unrivalled talent. Natasha took criticism and actually implemented it, fixing all the little problems in her modelling technique. However, Natasha seemed to be somewhat of a mail-order bride. Her husband was twice her age and she couldn’t even communicate with him when they were first wed (not quite the characteristics many moms want their daughters emulating). On the other hand, Jaslene showed perseverance when she was kicked out of the competition in cycle 7 and vowed to come back. Consequently, Jaslene Gonzalez was named the winner of cycle 8.

With so many current models doing drugs and dealing with anorexia, Tyra Banks, the host of America’s Next Top Model, seems to want to turn that image around. History shows that America’s Next Top Model winners must have more than incredible talent and fierce runway struts, they’ve got to have heart and a lot of it. So those looking to win need to do some soul-searching and really open up to the judges; otherwise, chances are, the title won’t be theirs.