A college student from Valparaiso, Indiana, Heather Kuzmich was one of the lucky applicants of America's Next Top Model who sent in an application and received a call back. She was initially encouraged by her friends and family to join the reality show. She really wanted to get into modeling, but was not sure if the reality show was the right way to enter the industry. She was later convinced when a friend made her watch Cycle 7, in which CariDee English was named America's Next Top Model. Heather finally gave it a shot and sent in her application. She was surprised to receive a callback, and was happy to have her private audition, unlike all the other young women who had tried out more than once and just had to keep coming back for another chance.
Despite having Asperger syndrome, the then 20-year-old Heather bravely faced the reality competition and earned herself a spot in the final 13. She initially was noticed for having Asperger syndrome, but eventually the other girls learned to accept her as she was. In fact, they even helped her glam up in the episode entitled "The Girls Go Rock Climbing," and was eventually named the CoverGirl of the Week. She successfully retained the title for the rest of the cycle. In the episode entitled "The Girl Who Gets A Mango," Ambreal, Jenah and Heather teamed up to put together their public service announcements and ended up winning the challenge. Heather also won an extra prize, and was given a chance to participate in a photo shoot for Carol's Daughter, directed by musical artist Mary J. Blige. In "The Girls Who Crawl," the girls were tasked to shoot a music video with Enrique Iglesias. He later tells them that whoever wins the challenge will be featured more in the video. Heather and Lisa were then announced as winners, but the excitement stopped when Heather fainted due to over exhaustion. When things got better, Heather realized how much the girls cared for her, and genuinely touched by their concern. Heather then encountered a rather dry week, but bounced back in "The Girls Go To Shanghai," where she was rewarded with a shopping spree. However, this did not stop her from earning a spot in the bottom two. She encountered more trouble in the next episode, as she was not able to complete all her go-sees. She again landed in the bottom two after being criticized for not being able to handle the pressure. She was finally eliminated in this episode.
Since then, she has signed with Elite Model Management in Chicago and Hong Kong. Aside from appearing several times on print and the runway, she has also decided to study more at the Illinois Institute of Art.
LINKS:Exclusive Interview - Heather Kuzmich of America's Next Top Model
(Photo courtesy of CW)