America's Next Top Model auditions scheduled July 8 in Tampa
I'm sure I've said this before. But after a period where every unscripted show from Who Wants to Be a Millionaire to The Bachelor, Shark Tank and Biggest Loser have announced tryouts in or connections to the Tampa Bay area it's truly official:
Reality TV loves Florida -- especially the Tampa Bay area.
Exhibit Z: News that Tyra Banks' unscripted CW hit America's Next Top Model is coming back to audition hopefuls for its 14th (!?) cycle on July 8 at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa -- one day before tryouts begin in Orlando for American Idol.
I wrote about how unscripted "reality TV" producers increasingly were turning to the Tampa Bay area for casting back in 2004, when Top Model first brought a casting call here. Since then, it's only gotten more intense, with major competitors on CBS' Big Brother and Amazing Race, Fox's American Idol and ABC's True Beauty hailing from TV's 13th largest market.
My hunch: Producers are learning what some consumer research firms scoped out a long time ago about this area. Namely, that its demographics are close to the rest of the nation's -- big enough to offer a diversity of people, but out of the way enough that every applicant doesn't already have an agent and 20 different sets of head shots.
If this audition works the way last year's cattle call did, applicants must be female -- although the show has taken contestants who are in-transition transsexuals before -- aged 18 to 27 and at least 5' 7" or taller (in last cycle's auditions, they did take shorter women, but apparently, that's done). Participants also need to bring three photos: one of a facial closeup, one of a full, clothed body shot and one of a full body shot in a swimsuit (at left, early 2008 winner Whitney Thompson, a Florida native)..
What I find most interesting is that every eligibility requirement outlined in the rules is accompanied by a disclaimer saying the producers can disregard it if they choose. So if you're a totally hot, height-challenged 35 year old with a taste for personal drama, maybe you can still make the cut.
The Tampa tryouts are co-sponsored by local CW affiliate WTOG-Ch. 44 and WFLZ-FM (93.3 FLZ).
Click here for the application and more audition information. Click below to read the official press release:
CW44 and 93.3FLZ are proud to host the Tampa Bay’s search on Wednesday, July 8th at the Ritz Ybor from 9am-3pm. Participants must me female, between the ages of 18 and 27, 5’7’’ or TALLER in height, a citizen of the United States Citizen and live in the United States. There is no weight requirement and no modeling experience necessary. A list of comprehensive rules, regulations and eligibility requirements are now available on CW44.com.
Applicants must provide CW44 at the event copies of both a driver’s license and passport, OR social security card and birth certificate. If selected by the network, each girl must acquire a passport if they don’t have one. Each girl must also fill out an application prior to event, currently available on CW44.com, and must bring 3 photos at the participant’s discretion.
Wednesday, July 8th – Tampa, FL
The Ritz Ybor
1503 7th Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33605
AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL CYCLE 14 premieres Wednesday, September 9
(8:00-10:00pm ET) on CW44.