Women audition for ‘Top Model’
The women who auditioned Wednesday afternoon for the reality television show “America’s Next Top Model” at Victoria Rose Bridal Parlor were as varied in shape and size as the array of shoes they wore.
Some towered over the competition in 6-inch stilettos with bows and zippers. Many clomped loudly across the catwalk in cork espadrilles, while others sashayed quietly in black ballet slippers. A few even opted to kick it casual-style in Ugg boots or classic Chuck Taylors.
“The shoes you wear are so important,” remarked Becky Hughes-Nelson, owner of Pinque Boutique and one of the judges for Wednesday’s competition.
“They show off your figure, and models are expected to know how to walk in high heels,” she said.
For some, wearing heels was their way to meet the strict height requirement of at least 5 feet 7 inches.
The first girl in line arrived from Arizona at 2 a.m. to wait for the doors to open at noon. Even before she could give her name, competition organizers turned her away because she was only 5 feet 6 3/4 inches tall. She left in tears.
More than a dozen girls were denied an audition based on height alone.
Some women stood on aching feet and braved cold temperatures in short skirts for hours just for the chance to fulfill their dream to be a top model.
Whitney Barnes, a 22-year-old data analyst from Johnstown, arrived in front of the bridal store at 3 a.m. She said being a model was an important goal.
“I’m here to boost my career in public relations. I’d be a great spokesmodel,” said Crystal Reese, a student at Mesa State College and the current Miss Mesa County for Cinderella Pageants.
The women’s bodies varied from thin to curvy.
“I’d like to show that anybody can be a model, not just the skinny, stick-figure girls,” said Kendra Brynoff, 19, of Westminster.
Judges offered useful criticism to candidates before their auditions.
“Take that white horrible shirt off,” said judge Hope Carlton, fashion editor of Grand Valley Magazine, to Kaya Piro-Stoute.
Stoute said modeling has been her lifelong dream, and she didn’t mind losing the shirt if it improved her chances to win a spot on the show. This is the second time she tried out to be a contestant.
Potential models answered pageant-style questions, such as, “What is your best physical feature?” or “Is there anything you would not do to win the competition?”
“I wouldn’t embarrass myself,” answered petite and soft-spoken Sasha McCole, 19, of Montrose.
Most women described themselves as competitive but said they would be able to avoid the female drama that often occurs between contestants on the show.
All of the Grand Junction auditions will be submitted to the show’s producers.
The winner of Wednesday’s auditions will receive prizes from local businesses and will be featured in an upcoming commercial for Victoria Rose Bridal.