"America"s Next Top Model" casting call in Grand Rapids draws 51 hopefuls
GRAND RAPIDS -- The back stockroom of the Meijer store at Knapp"s Corner was a long way from a fashion runway in New York on Wednesday.Or was it? The room was where 51 women auditioning for "America"s Next Top Model" waited before being interviewed and videotaped as part of an open casting call by CW7, an affiliate of WWMT-TV on which the show airs."People have been telling me I should for a long time, and I"ve always wanted to pursue modeling but I"ve never had a chance to," said Alexa Simon, 20, of Fowler. "It was faster than I thought it would be. It wasn"t bad."
Each audition lasted approximately three minutes and quizzed women about what sets them apart from others, why they would be a good model and their personality.When asked about the "craziest thing" she"s ever done, Simon, a Lansing Community College junior, told a story about eating at Taco Bell while wearing a Power Rangers mask.
Grand Rapids Community College junior Aza Baraka said modeling has been a dream she has carried across continents, and she jumped at the opportunity of the casting call. "I"m from Africa, and we don"t have this opportunity," she said.Oakland University sophomore Shannicia Love auditioned in April in Detroit and thinks the experience helped her this time around.
"When I auditioned last time, I didn"t realize how much work it was, so I"ve been hitting the pavement with different auditions for different agencies," said Love, a Grand Rapids native who works at a Culver"s restaurant and is taking part in a fashion show next month.Chris Karpinski of CW7 said the station will select a favorite out of all the applicants, but the decision of whether anyone gets a second audition is up to the "Top Model" producers.
"We"re going to pick one girl who we think is better than everybody else, and send her to New York," Karpinski said. "The producers could see somebody else we didn"t pick, and select them, too."CW affiliates have the option to hold open casting calls, said Melissa Chrystal of the affiliate of WWMT-TV. "Top Model" also accepts homemade audition tapes, but Chrystal thinks the casting calls are advantageous."This just makes it easier for the girls, because we can make sure their tapes are right," she said.