Thirty beautiful girls stood before Tyra Banks, but only 13 would go on in hopes of becoming America’s Next Top Model. Andie Miller, theatre junior, was among those awaiting the decision.
In orange high heels and a Texas State T-shirt, Miller represented the university and theatre department during her six days in Los Angeles. Out of the 5,000 girls who auditioned, Miller was the last selected to participate in the season. Unfortunately for Miller, she did not make it past the first episode.
The reality series aired the first episode of its 19th cycle in late August. The current season is known as the “College Edition,” where girls compete not only for a modeling contract but also for a variety of prizes including scholarship money and 100,000 dollars in cash.
The college theme is not the only twist this season. During the casting week in LA, the thirty girls’ fate was in the hands of the show’s judges and voters.
“After our photo shoot, we were told to upload our pictures on Facebook,” Miller said. “Each ‘like’ was worth one vote.”
Miller had been approached by a talent scout in Austin who encouraged her to audition for the show. She was told to make a video about Texas State and her personal life in case she was selected.
After reviewing and signing the contract, Miller was informed that she was the last girl Banks picked to fly out to LA. There, she and 29 other girls competed for limited spots on the show.
“We weren’t allowed to speak to the other girls off-camera,” Miller said. “They wanted everything to be on film.”
On the day of their photo shoot, the models boarded a bus and were not told where they were headed. They arrived at a Victorian style red brick house that was formerly owned by actor Nicolas Cage.
The models were ushered into the backyard where they were greeted by lights, cameras and a crowd of people. There was a runway across the pool where the girls were told to walk two at a time in front of everyone.
Miller said Banks greeted them on the back porch and told them that the house would be the official home of the chosen girls. She then explained the rules of the show and introduced the cycle’s new judges.
Miller had her photo critiqued by a panel of judges in a white room with bright lights surrounded by cameramen dressed in black. The judges asked her to talk about herself and perform an improvised scene.
“Tyra said she wanted me to act like this poor Russian woman in the middle of an economy crisis who just lost all of her potatoes. It was so ridiculous,” Miller said, laughing. “Thank God they didn’t air it.”
Potatoes aside, Miller left a positive impression with the judges. Although she was not selected to continue on with the show, Banks encouraged her to move to LA after graduation to pursue a career in modeling and acting.
Full episodes of the season can be watched on The CW’s website. Miller said she is featured in the episode called “The Girl Who Made the Grade.”
Since her return, Miller’s career has started to flourish. She recently signed a contract with a modeling company based in LA and will continue her involvement with the Texas State Department of Theatre and Dance.
Miller has gained much support throughout the years, particularly from David Teran, a San Antonio-based photographer. Teran has photographed Miller for over a year.
“The first thing you notice about Andie is that she’s very tall and very beautiful,” Teran said. “She is also laid back and great to work with. I’ve shot her several times now and consider her to be one of my friends.”
Miller plans on completing her theatre degree at Texas State before moving to LA. She said being on the show provided her with experience and positive reinforcement.
“The goal is still to go into acting,” Miller said. “But if modeling comes about, I won’t hesitate
to do it.”