herald

Saturday 30 August 2014

The 12 beauties battling to be a supermodel

These are the 12 Irish beauties who will battle it out in RTE's brand new reality show The Model Agent.

The search, headed by infamous scout Fiona Ellis, was first launched last September and has been marred by controversy along the way.

Throughout the filming process the model boss was reportedly less than impressed with what Ireland had to offer, even blasting many of the country's top models including Sarah Morrissey, Sara Kavanagh and Pippa O'Connor as "very commercial, pretty, blonde girls".

Quest

But, as our picture shows, it seems Ellis, who is credited with discovering supermodel Erin O'Connor, was eventually successful in her quest.

The no-nonsense scout has been in the business for more than 22 years and claims she can tell in an instant whether a girl has supermodel potential or not.

She is pictured here alongside the internationally renowned supermodel and a dozen perfectly groomed girls' plucked from around the country, all of whom fulfil the 'tall, thin and beautiful' criteria.

Interestingly none of the girls in the photograph appear to be wearing fake tan and there is just one blonde among the group.

Ellis flew into Ireland late last year to put the aspiring catwalk queens through their paces at several televised auditions.

She held four rounds of interviews in Galway, Cork, Dublin and Belfast and while aspiring male models were welcome to enter, it was made clear from the start that the competition would be more female-focused.

The lucky finalists will be selected to fly to New York and go on to London, with the ultimate prize a lucrative contract with the British model agency, Independent, home to top international models Helena Christensen and Liz Hurley.

Programme producers Sideline, makers of Hollywood Trials, are behind the show and are confidant it will be a huge hit for RTE.

"She [Ellis] has got an unbelievable amount of experience that she's going to bring to Ireland," a spokesperson from the production company said.

"Let's face it -- Ireland has never really produced a supermodel, a big name that's known internationally, so this is the perfect chance for an unknown talent.

Face

"Obviously the modelling world in Ireland is very different to London," the spokesperson continued. "If you're on the books of a big agency over there, their client list is massive and you're pushed forward a lot more.

"Independent agency have found the next face of Gucci, Burberry, Prada and Versace, have provided models for the covers of Vogue and HQ and they do all the international runway shows, so the sky's the limit," the spokesperson added.

The series will run for six weeks and will kick off on RTE Two on Monday April 20 at 10.25pm

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