Stepping out for Next Top Model

THE atmosphere was alive with anticipation, nerves and ambition yesterday as 187 Hunter girls strode the catwalk to gain a place on Foxtel's fifth series of Australia's Next Top Model.

The Newcastle audition at Westfield Kotara was the last of nine nationwide in front of fashion designer and program judge Alex Perry, and Lizzi Leighton-Clark from Priscillas Model Management.

The 14 girls who received a call-back now have an anxious wait until December when they find out if they are one of the 13 to make it onto the show.

Foxtel publicist Brooke Cashell said the audition was for girls aged 16 to 23, over 172 centimetres tall who think they have what it takes to be a top model.

"The show is Foxtel's number one series. This is our first audition in Newcastle since the original series, when the winner was local girl Gemma Sanderson and we've had a great response."

Kaitlin Williams, 18, from Forster, received a call-back and will be considered along with other hopefuls from around the country.

She said she had already done some modelling. "I'm a bit nervous, but modelling is all I have ever wanted to do. If you ask my friends and family that's what they'll tell you."

Kaileha Nash, 18, from Tea Gardens also received a call-back. With two more exams to go in her HSC, Ms Nash said she would love to be a model, but she also had long term plans of becoming a flight attendant.

"I wanted to see how I went. I've done a modelling course and the audition is a good learning experience. If I'm not successful, I can come back next year and know what to expect."

Ex-model Sarah Murdoch will host the new series which will begin filming in January.

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