Top Model Tryouts

photos/Jason Corban
photos/Jason Corban

In this day and age of American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, and Americas Got Talent, few reality competitions on television are as substantial and compelling as the  ext Top Model series. Moving into its third season, the Canadian edition of the show — modelled after its American counterpart — features ten aspiring female models competing for the title of the Next Top Model along with a slew of other prizes including a modelling contract with Elmer Olsen Model Management, a beauty contract from Proctor & Gamble, and the opportunity to be featured in an editorial spread in Fashion Magazine. The show is also hosted by Jay Manuel, a Canadian who is also the creative director on the American version.

In addition to footage of the fashion and runway competitions, the girls are also filmed living together for the duration of the show. Not surprisingly, this usually leads to some of the more entertaining and catty events. Even before theyre subjected to each others overbearing personalities, they have to first deal with the stress that comes with trying to make it in the fashion world, and prove themselves worthy of being chosen for such an opportunity.

January 23 marked the fifth and final stop of the Canadas  ext Top Model casting call tour, and hundreds of hopefuls made their way to an alreadypacked Fairview Mall in Toronto for the final chance to make it to the second round of selections. Over 4,000 others had already submitted profiles and portfolios either in the mail or online. These selections, along with the second round of judging, is all that remains between them and making the final cut.

Shoppers intending to spend a nice relaxing day at the mall were met instead with masses of tall 18 to 23 yearolds decked in skirts and high heels — the line extending all the way down the main floor. Some shoppers were perturbed, but for the most part, they were curious (especially the men) with the proceedings.

At the front of the line, contestants were met by a swarm of local media (MTV and E! to name a couple) and the gatekeeper to the proverbial promised land, esteemed modelling agent Elmer Olsen.

Olsen provided his expertise throughout the tour, deciding in the process whether each one of the hopeful models had what it took to not only make it in the business, but to become the best. His guidance was not lost on most who tried out. After waiting several hours in line, many still appreciated the chance to get feedback from the prominent talent scout.

The third season of Canadas  next Top Model airs this summer on CTV.

Meaghan Dewarrenne-Waller gives us her impression of Derek Zoolanders infamous look, Blue Steel.Of all those who tried out, only a few made it past the preliminary round, Meaghan being one of them.