Preparations Continue for Cycle Nine of America's Next Top Model

It seems like just yesterday that Jaslene Gonzales was given the top spot in Cycle Eight of America’s Next Top Model. But there is no rest for Tyra Banks and the ANTM bunch, and plans for Cycle Nine are moving ahead briskly.

And for one lucky America’s Next Top Model hopeful, this weekend will give them the chance to fast-track it all the way to Tyra and Cycle Nine.

Glaceau Smartwater is running a special promotion linked with America’s Next Top Model in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. This weekend, ten pre-selected contestants will compete for a chance to “skip the line” and proceed directly to the final casting process that is part of the premiere episode. From ten in the morning to six in the evening, the hopefuls will compete in three separate challenges at a local mall: runway modeling, spokesmodeling and posing for photographs. The winner will receive an all-expense paid trip for two to the televised auditions in Los Angeles.

Auditions have already happened in New York in previous weeks, with around 1500 women showing up for their shot in Cycle Nine. The show is looking for women between the ages of 18 to 27, and meet minimum height requirements, but many women did not quite meet up with the desired profile.

Once they were able to make it into the taping room, the women taped a message to Tyra as part of their personal pitch to make it on the show. The ANTM casting director, Michelle Mock-Falcon, described some of the pitches to the Australian journal The Age: "There are girls who will do a song and dance for her and there are girls who will cry, they can't even get the words out."

Beyond the minimums, Mock-Falcon says, "We're looking for a look - if it's different from the girls we've had in the past and if it's unique in some way. We pretty much show Tyra everything."

Although recent Wikipedia posts have said that the cast has been finalized, it appears that was erroneous information. Tyra and her team must still be working through those taped messages and local auditions as they whittle their way down to the final set of Cycle Nine America's Next Top Models.

- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Source: The Age, Fort Worth Staf Telegram)