Strictly busi­ness for next mod­els

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

AUS­TRALIA’S Next Top Model con­tes­tants were starved, not of food, but of in­for­ma­tion and con­tact with the out­side world dur­ing the film­ing of the Fox­tel se­ries.

The as­pir­ing mod­els lived un­der Big Brother house rules, mean­ing all necessities of a young girl’s life – mo­bile phones, TV and the in­ter­net – were banned from the $15 mil­lion man­sion they lived in.

ANTM ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Shaun Mur­phy says the girls had a live-in chap­er­one dur­ing the three-month tap­ing of the se­ries to over­see their needs and also to en­force the show’s strict guide­lines.

‘‘We want them to fo­cus on be­ing the best model they can,’’ Mur­phy says.

‘‘We had an as­so­ciate pro­ducer liv­ing in the house 24/7 and we made it ob­vi­ous that if they needed help there was al­ways some­one to chat with.’’

ANTM re­turns for the first time in two years with for­mer Miss Uni­verse Jennifer Hawkins as the host. The new­ly­wed is not the only new face.

Model and DJ Di­dier Co­hen joins reg­u­lars Alex Perry and Char­lotte Daw­son on the judges panel. The ad­di­tion of Co­hen, 28, brings a more con­tem­po­rary edge to the show, says Mur­phy.

‘‘It’s a new set, Di­dier’s new and there’s four judges be­cause Jen’s also in­volved,’’ he says.

‘‘Di­dier’s a young fresh male face which we haven’t had be­fore as a judge on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.’’

The mod­els are aged be­tween 17 and 21, with a num­ber of them still study­ing.

Sev­eral girls even took their ex­ams be­fore en­ter­ing the house, while oth­ers com­pleted their stud­ies at the same time they were ap­pear­ing on the se­ries, which was filmed be­tween Fe­bru­ary and May.

‘‘Some have taken ex­ams . . . some have de­ferred and some are do­ing some study as they go and get­ting in­for­ma­tion fed to us by their par­ents or school.’’

Where 16 as­pir­ing mod­els en­tered the house last sea­son, 14 com­pete in sea­son eight.

The se­lec­tion process is also a lot sharper and smoother for ob­vi­ous rea­sons, says Mur­phy.

‘‘Last sea­son we went from 100 at boot camp down to 20 and then 16 went into house,’’ he says.

‘‘This time it’s a boot camp of 50 and by the end of boot camp we have 15 girls and then we head over­seas and one was go­ing to be elim­i­nated.

‘‘This way we are get­ting to know the char­ac­ters ear­lier and quicker.’’

Aus­tralia’s Next Top Model: Tues­days, 7.30pm, Fox8.

Di­dier Co­hen, Char­lotte Daw­son, Jennifer Hawkins and Alex Perry

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