It's no secret that I have a deep, abiding love for talent/fashion-based reality shows. Project Runway, Shear Genius, Top Chef, Designer Superstar Challenge, From the Ground Up...I could go on and on.
My special favourites are all of the incarnations of the Top Model franchise. None of which have produced an actual Top Model. Some working models, yes, but top? Not so much.
While looking for online episodes of Season 2 (I refuse to call it a cycle) of Canada's Next Top Model, I came across a YouTube contributor who has given me the most amazing gift - the entire just passed season of Australia's Next Top Model. And it is just madly brilliant.
It's amazing to see what a new production company does to make an idea their own; AusNTM Season 3 has thrown a couple of excellent twists into the mix
- lowering the minimum age to 16;
- sending only the final three contestants overseas, completely on their own, to work with people that they've never met before;
- having the final two audition for a place in a Australian Fashion Week runway show instead of just giving a place to them;
- actually having the runway show be an actual show that would go on without the series' participation;
- competitions throughout the season that had the winners take part in paying modeling gigs;
- giving the viewing audience a vote as to who should win, with a weighing of 15% in the final decision;
- making the finale a live show where the judges deliberated and voted out loud for the winner;
- and, most importantly, having mentors that addressed the realities of the industry.