LIFE is about to change dramatically for Kassidy Ure and Aleyna Fitzgerald.
Both girls will star in the 10th series of Australia’s Next Top Model, which goes to air on September 20. Neither of them have modelled before but Kassidy, 19, of Elermore Vale, and Aleyna, 16, of Thornton, each have a one in 13 chance of winning. Not bad odds.
Kassidy attended Glendale Technology High and is a disability support worker who looks after children with special needs.
“In my job, all I do is help other people and on the show it’s all about me, so it was a completely different experience,” she told The Herald.
“I haven’t done any modelling before, really – I’d done a few small test shoots in Newcastle but nothing major.
“I’d always wanted to do modelling but I’d struggled to find an agency. It’s hard to get your foot in the door. I’d kind of given up on my dream of modelling and I was happy doing my job.”
On a whim she approached Priscilla’s Model Management in Sydney, which is where the winner of Australia’s Next Top Model is offered a contract, and they asked if she was interested in applying to appear on the show.
“I said yes straight away – I’ve watched the show since I was a little girl and I love it,” Kassidy said.
“They put my application in and I didn’t think anything would happen but I ended up having an interview with one of the producers of the show and it went from there.
“I went through a few interview phases, where they decided whether my look would fit the show and studied my personality. It was crazy but I got in.”
She very nearly didn’t apply. Nerves set in and she recalls waking up on the morning of her initial interview and telling her mother there was no way she could drive to Sydney alone – let alone meet a modelling agent.
“But then I thought if I don’t do it, then I’m going to regret it for the rest of my life. So it was meant to be,” she said.
“I’m excited but nervous about watching the first episode, it’s going to be so surreal.”
Being a contestant on Australia’s Next Top Model means sharing a house with 12 strangers who, thankfully, soon became friends.
“I got along with pretty much everyone. I was open and honest and was just myself,” she said.
“I tend to shy away from drama, but I made some amazing friends on the show and I know we’re going to be friends for a very long time.”
One of those friends is Aleyna, a former St Mary’s at Maitland student who was at Westfield Kotara having lunch with her grandparents when The Herald rang.
“I am so excited,” she said.
“The process is very long but it is all just going so quickly now.
“Kassidy and I didn’t know each other beforehand but we have mutual friends – that’s Newcastle though, everyone knows everyone.”
Aleyna, too, has never modelled before, but relished the opportunity to learn the basics.
“I was like a blank canvas and they could shape me how they wanted. It was great to learn everything at once and it definitely made me want it even more.”
Australia’s Next Top Model is hosted by Holmesville’s Jennifer Hawkins, who is also a judge alongside Megan Gale and Alex Perry. Guest stars include supermodels Elle Macpherson, Gemma Ward and Miranda Kerr.
The winner of Australia’s Next Top Model will receive a 12-month modelling contract with Priscilla’s Model Management and will feature in an editorial spread for fashion magazine Elle Australia. They will also receive a $20,000 trip to New York during Fashion Week, and drive away in a Mazda.