America's Next Top Model

Photography Massimo Campana

Kelly Cutrone is a known fashion publicist, reality TV personality, book author and America’s Next Top Model judge. Nu-Mode´magazine had the pleasure to ask Kelly a couple of questions about her work on ANTM, and hear her speak about the modeling industry, working with Tyra and making ‘smizing’ a new word in a dictionary.

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 The 20th season of America’s Next Top Model is going to be different. “The big change this season is the boys! The new season is more competitive; boys are cute, charming, charismatic…. We have lots of unisex challenges. Girls don’t compete against boys; they compete in mixed teams against each other. The dynamic of the show has changed. There are make-out scenes, which is something new this season and kind of an awesome combo…. [I would say though], guys are too sweet to the girls and they forget about competition, and I always tell them, ‘She is your competition, don't forget!’ But the girls are really working hard this season. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and these differences really come into play during the show. I like having men and women together on the show. I like the dynamic of it. Guys bring sweetness, and the girls are the tough ones.”

“When we cast for a show, we have a really broad casting that gets narrowed down. [We start with] 200 kids that have a dream of becoming a model, and end up with a handful of finalists. We are casting for fashion models, attractive young people and exotic types.”

 Regardless of the new opposite sex format, the structure of the show appears to be unchanged. America’s Next Top Model is still looking for that spark, that special quality that makes ANTM’ contestant transform into a professional model. “At judging panel we always look for a great shot. There is always a winning shot, whether it's a girl or boy.” And the casting process hasn’t changed either. “When we cast for a show, we have a really broad casting that gets narrowed down. [We start with] 200 kids that have a dream of becoming a model, and end up with a handful of finalists. We are casting for fashion models, attractive young people and exotic types.”

Photography Patrick Wymore

Photography Patrick Wymore

 Remarking on her part in the show, Kelly adds, “My role on the show is not to be sweet or nurturing. I do a lot of challenges…. My job is to see if the models are getting the shoots, if they know their angles. Modeling is a hard job. I see a lot of girls that want to get into modeling but don’t realize the harshness of the job. It’s not so easy. A lot of people are not getting the support that they need. And this is where our show comes in, to provide that support. You can be anything you want to be if you put your mind to it. Of course, for this job there is a physical requirement as well…”

“I love Tyra, she is super smart. She even acted as an etymologist, when she came up with the word ‘smizing’. I swear we are going to make it a word in a dictionary! Tyra is giving great advice and she is completely in touch with her body when it comes to modeling. She has control over every part of her body, all the little nuances…. And that makes her a great teacher."

 It sounds like the next season is going to be challenging, with potential surprises for both viewers and judges alike. “We don't get to see footage in the house, so it's a surprise to us as well. It's shocking sometimes to see the in-house footage. Some of the better behaved contestants are the ones that surprise the most…. We are definitely looking forward to seeing it.” Having the opposite sex models competing with and against one another is definitely going to bring a different level to the competition. “This season we are going to have some of the most difficult challenges. I saw guys crying like babies – it’s an interesting cross section. There are a lot of interesting stereotypes and misconceptions about modeling industry. I like to look at my contestants as individuals, but I can’t say that I have my favorites. Tyra gets more attached to the contestants than I do. She would text me about the contestants, and she would get really attached to some of them during the show.

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Photography Patrick Wymore

 Sharing her experiences on working with Tyra, Kelly confesses, “I love Tyra, she is super smart. She even acted as an etymologist, when she came up with the word ‘smizing’. I swear we are going to make it a word in a dictionary! Tyra is giving great advice and she is completely in touch with her body when it comes to modeling. She has control over every part of her body, all the little nuances…. And that makes her a great teacher. The work she is doing on the show is pretty amazing. She is not acting, not using the cue cards; she’s is truly passionate about her work. Tyra brings a lot of energy on the set, like jumping off the seat, winking – she lives for those moments. And I like it; it makes the show more fun.”

The Girl Who Becomes America’s Next Top Model

Photography Angelo Sgambeti 

Explaining ANTM’ long lasting appeal, Kelly adds, “The big difference between the show and real life is the fact that our contestants get more attention. They get mentoring and training on our show, when in reality models just come to a casting with the book and never get any feedback. The industry is a lot colder; you don’t get that kind of attention in the real world. When models come to our show, they don’t really know anything, but being on a show, the contestants get tons of tips on not only how to model, but how to live. And it’s amazing to see real life transformations.”

The 20th Season of America’s Next Top Model is scheduled to air on Friday, August 2nd at 8 pm. It will be a 2 hour special, with the following episodes showing at 9 pm.

Nu-Mode´ Interview Coverage Irina Romashevskaya

Photography Massimo Campana, Patrick Wymore & Angelo Sgambeti