Photo: Andy Pickering
First, New Zealand's Next Top Model had been scrapped, then a return to screens was a 'distinct possibility', then an exciting announcement was hyped on the show's Facebook fan page. The latter was a surprise to TV3's group publicist Nicole Wood, who told me that if there was an announcement to be made, she would be the one making it - and she hadn't. Unusual, seeing as the Facebook page is controlled by TV3 - perhaps some overzealous minion got trigger happy before the self-imposed embargo was lifted. No update has been made on the fan page since, but TV3's own website has begun calls for pre-applications.
The New Zealand Herald broke the story on Friday, reporting that New Zealand's Next Top Model will return to screens later this year, and will once again feature season one's judging panel - superagent Sara Tetro, model Colin Mathura-Jeffree and photographer Chris Sisarich.
UPDATE: The below statement (in italics) that Christobelle is not signed with Next is incorrect. This from 62 Models: "Christobelle is signed with Next, but they don't have her up on their website because she doesn't have the necessary US Work Visas." Apologies for the mistake.
One little mistake that must be pointed out in the Herald's article though, is the information given about season one winner Christobelle Grierson-Ryrie. The Herald wrote that after winning the competition, Christobelle went on to be signed by Sydney agency Chic and New York agency Next. While Christobelle is listed as a model on Chic's website, a thorough search on Next's proved fruitless. One would assume that had she been signed by Next, she'd be listed on their site. Pity, because the Chic/Next relationship is one of the most symbiotic in the modelling world - producing stars such as Abbey Lee, Catherine McNeil and Myf Shepherd.
Besides a few test shoots and one ad for Christian Audigier featuring Michael Whittaker and other NZNTM alumni Hosanna Horsfall, Christobelle's workload looks to have been particularly light since winning the competition. I hate to be cynical - and I hope to be proved wrong - but it would seem she has met the fate of almost every other winner of a Top Model competition worldwide; a blast of fame, before fading into relative fashion obscurity - not quite the career trajectory of a top model.
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