Cycle Five of Australia’s Next Top Model ended last night with Perth teenager Tahnee Atkinson strutting away with a 12-month contract with Priscilla’s model management, a contract with Maybelline New York, an 8 page spread in Harper’s Bazaar magazine and $20,000 cash.
Atkinson fended off a spontaneous nosebleed and four votes for her rival Cassi Van “Boganista” Den Dungen by judging panelists Russell James, Priscilla Leighton-Clarke, Alex Perry and Claudia Navone. Not to be outdone the full-figured Atkinson countered with votes from Sarah Murdoch, Jonathan Pease, Charlotte Dawson and the ever important audience vote to claim victory.
While Atkinson’s wholesome figure is sure to momentarily deflect the negative body image for which Fashion is renown, her victory is surrounded by minor controversy. ANTM purports to reward undiscovered and unsigned talent however this cycle’s winner was not only a finalist in 2008’s Girlfriend Modeling Competition but also has a portfolio with Scene Models Management which can still be viewed online. Not quite the plucked from obscurity Cindirella story the Producers would have you believe…
For the loser our consolations but seriously don’t take the loss too hard Cassi, if the success of Top Model reject Myf Shepherd and the relative obscurity of every ANTM winner besides Alice Burdeu has proven, the accolade “Australia’s Next Top Model” is merely lip service. It’s like believing Anthony Callea was idolized by the Australian population. Ahh reality television how I love you so.