It’s November, which means it’s almost December. Which means it’s almost time for Tyra Banks to return to America’s Next Top Model for Cycle 24. I’ll be recapping the return season week by week, but until Tyra is back in all her glory, here’s a look back at all of the most underrated models from my favorite Tyra-hosted cycles.
Elyse Sewell (Cycle 1)
That snake photo. This is all that needs to be said about Elyse. Look at it. Though she placed third in the competition, she went on to have a very successful modeling career, mostly in Asia.
Nik Pace (Cycle 5)
If there’s one thing ANTM fans know for sure about Cycle 5, it’s that Nicole Linkletter should not have won. Behold Nik Pace, the model who should have won. Nik still did really well for herself after the show, appearing in several magazines and eventually signing with Ford Models.
Lisa D’Amato (Cycle 5)
So she was a little crazy and drank a lot of wine. But damn, Lisa could model. She was eliminated eighth on Cycle 5, but she’s always been one of my favorites. Lisa became a lot less underrated when she appeared on Cycle 17, the All-Stars Cycle, and eventually won after Angelea Preston’s disqualification. Lisa modeled a lot after her appearances on ANTM, but now she’s focused on her music career.
Amanda and Michelle Babin (Cycle 7)
Finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, these twins were awkward af, especially during that kissing commercial thing. But both of them continued to nail their photos throughout the season, despite having no modeling experience. They were both naturals. I’m still not sure how CariDee English won this cycle. Both twins did some modeling after the show, and the both appeared in the 2008 film From Within.
Natasha Galinka (Cycle 8)
It was obvious Jaslene was going to win this cycle from the get-go, and rightfully so. But damn, I love this crazy bish Natasha. There was some odd speculation that she was a mail-order bride during her cycle, so she wasn’t always treated very well by the other women. Despite her lack of friendships with the other contestants, she had such a great attitude and lovely personality that made her so watchable. And how hot is this swimsuit photo? Natasha is currently signed with Red Model Management in New York and works under the name Alie M.
Jenah Doucette (Cycle 9)
Jenah placed third on Cycle 9, but come on. She was the best. She still has one of the best overall portfolios from this show. The burning car photo? Damnnnnn. Unfortunately, she’s not currently signed with an agency.
Katarzyna Dolinska (Cycle 10)
This cycle was STACKED with amazing models. And an okay model won. Katarzyna somehow placed fifth, which is mind-blowing. She has appeared in several magazines and is signed with agencies in New York, Athens, and Paris.
Dominique Reighard (Cycle 10)
Another standout model from Cycle 10, Dominque placed fourth. She has signed with agencies in Los Angeles and New York and was a spokesperson for Carol’s Daughter as a result of her win in Tyra’s other spin-off competition, Modelville.
Elina Ivanova (Cycle 11)
Fifth-place finisher Elina was criticized for her lack of optimism and enthusiasm, but I thought she was just perfect. (Who needs to be positive all the time? It’s not realistic.) Elina’s face is perfect for high-fashion editorials, so it’s no surprise that she continued modeling and was signed with agencies in Seattle and Los Angeles.
Allison Harvard (Cycle 12)
It kind of feels like cop out to say she’s underrated because everyone loved her, but I honestly don’t know how she didn’t win Cycle 12. Can we talk about her eyes and her incredible poses? She was amazing. Plus I love how weird she was. It’s ballsy to talk about your fascination with blood on a modeling show. She was also the runner-up a second time on the All-Star Cycle, and she continues to model.
Kayla Ferrel (Cycle 15)
I freaking loved Kayla. Unfortunately, she finished about in the middle of the pack. She’s currently signed with an agency in Japan. Her post-show photos are stunning.
Chelsey Hersley (Cycle 15)
Chelsey was the over-prepared runner-up to Ann Ward. I can’t help but feel like she’d have won if she was up against anyone else but Ann. I loved her unique face.
Molly O’Connell (Cycle 16)
Molly was one of the runners up that should have won. Winner Brittani Kline laughed while posing and then literally FELL DOWN during the final runway, and she still won. It felt like they must have picked her to win long before that final week. Molly was a bit abrasive, but she was the better model. Also she DIDN’T FALL during the final runway.
Catherine Thomas (Cycle 18)
Catherine placed sixth in the British Invasion cycle. I loved her unique look and thought she shined in her music video challenge, as cheesy as the whole thing was.
Leila Goldkuhl (Cycle 19)
Ugh. This Cycle. The “College Edition.” “(Eye roll.) This is when public voting became a thing and kind of screwed the best model in the pack, Leila. Though she won the comeback series, being away from the competition seemed to ruin her chances in the end, and she placed third. She’s killing it now though and doing some amazing high fashion work. Side note: I love the gap in her teeth.
Nina Burns (Cycle 20)
Wonderfully nerdy Nina was so delightful. She was eliminated way too early.
Cory Hindorff (Cycle 20)
On the first cycle to feature male models alongside the women, Cory Hindorff was the most underrated male. He has this beautiful androgyny going on that is just stunning to look at.
The next two seasons were just okay, with the exception of Nyle DiMarco, one of my favorite contestants ever. Thank goodness he won, or you’d be getting a LONG paragraph about how he was robbed.
I’m so ready for the fierceness and the booty tooches to come back. I’m so ready for weird Tyra-isms that turn into gifs. BRING. ON. 24.
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The authors of this blog are four women with opinions about pop culture. That's all you really need to know.