Strictly business for next models
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