Girl on Top

From small-town girl to Amer­ica’s Next Top Model Jour­dan Miller is liv­ing the dream. By El­iza Thomas

CLEO (Malaysia) - - YOUR LIFE, YOUR RULES! -

Us­ing all the tips, tricks and lessons taught to her by Tyra Banks, Jour­dan Miller posed and cat­walked her way to win­ning Cy­cle 20 of one of the world’s big­gest re­al­ity TV com­pe­ti­tions, Amer­ica’s Next Top Model

(ANTM). Any­one who’s watched any sea­son of the show can tell that 16 beau­ti­ful be­ings go­ing head to head for the cov­eted Top Model ti­tle is no easy feat. Cy­cle 20 took an un­fore­seen turn when, for the first time in the se­ries’ his­tory, the fe­male mod­els were pit­ted against equally-as-gor­geous male mod­els. Al­though only 20 years old, Miller has had ex­treme ups and downs but seems to have blos­somed de­spite the false starts. She cred­its her suc­cess to the love and en­cour­age­ment of her loved ones. “I wasn’t even look­ing to try out but they kept telling me that I had to at least try.” Af­ter a failed mod­el­ling stint in New York at 17, she said, “I didn’t think I had the time to do this be­cause I needed to work to take care of my bills and what not.” Not sure about what changed her mind at the last minute, Jour­dan rushed to the au­di­tion, even meet­ing with a mi­nor ac­ci­dent on the way there. Fast-for­ward sev­eral months, Miller is in Malaysia along with top four con­tes­tants Renee Bhag­wan­deen, Cory Hin­dor , Chris Hernandez, and Marvin Cortes as part of a fan meet-and-greet ses­sion or­gan­ised by Guess. At her first ever cover shoot, she sat down with CLEO for what turned out to be the most in­sight­ful episode of be­hind-the-scenes at ANTM and her plans af­ter the hit TV se­ries.

Con­grat­u­la­tions! Did you ex­pect to win?

Thank you! I hon­estly didn’t ex­pect it. I thought that since they were bring­ing guys into the com­pe­ti­tion for the first time that they’d to­tally choose a guy to win. When I won, I was think­ing, “Wait, you’re re­ally go­ing to choose me? I’m Amer­ica’s Next Top Model?” It was such a hon­our, and so shock­ing and over­whelm­ing. It felt amaz­ing hear­ing Tyra (Banks) call out my name. I’ll never for­get that mo­ment.

I’m sure you’ve wanted to model as a kid, right?

I’ve wanted to model my en­tire life. I found out when I was 11 that I had the right type of body frame to be a model. When I hit 15, that’s when I re­ally started get­ting into it – go­ing on test shoots and learn­ing how to pose and all that. At 16, I moved to New York, stayed in a model’s apart­ment for a lit­tle bit and got some mod­el­ling ex­pe­ri­ence un­der my belt. And then my agency closed down and un­for­tu­nately did not pay me for any of the jobs I had done for them.

Be­fore the show, I did not like con­fronta­tion; I did not like ght­ing with peo­ple.

Wow, that is ter­ri­ble!

Yes, I’ve never re­ceived a pay cheque for mod­el­ling. Ev­ery job I have done, I’ve never been paid for. I get paid now, thanks to the show (Laughs).

How did you get by then without a pay cheque?

They de­ducted money for rent, food and util­i­ties. I had this one job that paid well, that even af­ter all the de­duc­tions, I’d end up with a good chunk of change to take home but I never saw that ei­ther. When it was sup­posed to come to me, that’s when they closed their doors. They sent me a phone num­ber and said if you need pay­roll, you can call this num­ber but it wasn’t even a work­ing num­ber.

That must have been de­mor­al­is­ing …

I kind of lost my drive. So I went back to col­lege. I couldn’t a ord more than one term so I left and be­came a tele­mar­keter. It was then that I heard about the au­di­tions for ANTM. I hap­pened to get o  work early on the day of the au­di­tion and had half an hour to get to the venue.

That’s when the ac­ci­dent hap­pened? Tell us about it.

It was snow­ing and the roads were slip­pery. I hit a tree. I thought to turn around and go back but some­thing just pushed me for­ward so I backed up my car and went on to the au­di­tion to thank­fully make it in time. I got a call back two weeks later, telling me I made the cast.

If you didn’t make the cut to the top 16, what would you have done?

I would have gone back home and picked up where I left o  be­cause I wouldn’t have had the money or the re­sources to get me to where I need to be. I’m ac­tu­ally go­ing to be mov­ing to Los An­ge­les soon, which is nice. I can’t even be­gin to de­scribe how ex­cited I am to work, shoot and do my job.

You’ve never been in the bot­tom two dur­ing panel judg­ing. Were there times that you felt you could have been?

Def­i­nitely! The scari­est week for me was the Style Fash­ion Week when I didn’t book any of the run­way shows. That was heart­break­ing and I thought that I’d end up in the bot­tom two but I knew it wasn’t enough to send me home be­cause of all the best pho­tos I was get­ting.

I r!

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