An Ode To The Ugly Ducklings Of “America’s Next Top Model”

Ann Ward is by leaps and bounds the most awkward girl to appear on “America’s Next Top Model.” At 6’2″ she towered over the other already-tall contestants and she had a Vivien Lee-sized waist that caused controversy before Cycle 15 even started. Oh, and her personality. Ann is not just soft-spoken—when she speaks, it actually sounds like it hurts her to force out words—and she is shy to the millioneth degree. While Ann continuously blew the judge’s away with her photos over the course of the season, when it came to walking the runway she was like a baby giraffe to take its first steps. And when it came to shooting commercials, it was just hard to watch. See: her falling over and over again and breaking into tears during the roller skating commercial.

But now, SPOILER ALERT, Ann is no longer the season’s the freaky girl. She is America’s Next Top Model. She somehow managed to out-model her icy blonde competitor, Chelsey, and will get the most high fashion placement the show has offered this far—a spread in Vogue Italia as well as representation by an agency. Ann, of course, represents a familiar “Top Model” archetype—the ugly duckling Tyra hopes to turn into a swan. Let’s take a look back at Ann’s sisters in awkward.In this, the 12th cycle of “America’s Next Top Model,” 20-year-old Allison Harvard has stolen our hearts with her creepy goth vibe and giant anime eyes. Why? Because she can barely walk in heels and said during casting, “I have a really big fascination with blood—I just think it’s really pretty.” When Tyra confessed she gets nosebleeds, Allison squawked, “Jealous.”

Marjorie Conrad from cycle 11 dubbed her signature pose “the hunchback” and had Tyra on her case from episode one about her lack of self-confidence. Marjorie crazy over-exaggerated her facial expressions, did really awkward things with her hands, and always talked about how no one understood her because she was “European” since she moved to America when she was super young. [Jezebel] — Still, she made it pretty far and didn’t get booted until episode 11.
Heather Kuzmich, from cycle nine, was most famous for having Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD. Some of the girls bullied her for her “awkward” behavior, but she made it to fourth runner up. She lives in Chicago now, where she studies video game design. [TopModelGossip] — Which rules way more than being a model.
Twin sisters Michelle and Amanda Babin competed against each other in cycle seven. Both six-foot ladies were impossibly gangly and sad to watch on the runway. Michelle was more interested in basketball than modeling and came out as gay during the competition, much to her twin sister’s surprise. She was sent packing fourth to last while her slightly less awkward sister made it to the final three. [RealityTVWorld]
Shandi Sullivan from cycle two, worked at Walgreen’s before auditioning for “ANTM” and had a stringy ponytail, coke-bottle glasses, and vaguely horse-like features. Her mom even called her “ugly duckling.” Amazingly, Tyra turned her into a blond-haired goddess who totally would’ve won if she hadn’t cheated on her boyfriend with a male model in Italy and lost her concentration. Instead, she came in third. These days, Shandi works as a DJ in New York. [PaperMag] — An upgrade from Walgreen’s.
Elyse Sewell was a med student who tried out for “America’s Next Top Model” on a lark. But it was the first season, and the competition wasn’t too stiff, so she made it onto the show. Her first shoots were painful, but by the end she was totally rocking the skinny ingenue look. Her boyfriend, Martin Crandall from the Shins, made an appearance on the show before she got booted second to last. Elyse is still popular in Asia, where she does magazine covers and ads. [ElyseSewellLiveJournal] — Being famous in Asia is equal to being a quarter famous in America.

Noticed a trend? Yep, the awkward girl never wins. Allison, it’s on you to break through for weirdo girls everywhere!