'America's Next Top Model' casting director talks shorties, what not to wear

Topmodelcastingtyra_lHoping to get the scoop on the story behind America’s Next Top Model‘s decision to fill season 13 with contestants 5’7" and under, PopWatch phoned the show’s long-time casting director, Michelle Mock-Falcon, and asked what gives. Haven’t we been told for 11 seasons (the 12th cycle premieres March 4 on The CW), that short is bad (hence 5’7" being the show’s previous minimum height requirement)? Why the sudden "short cycle"?

"Since the show started, we’ve always had girls under 5’7" asking and begging, quite frankly, Tyra to please give them a chance," she says. "I mean, she would get stopped in the street, in restaurants, anywhere, by girls asking how they can do it being as short as they are. We’ve been thinking about it for a while now, what a great opportunity to give these girls that opportunity. The show is all about opportunity…." But will these girls seriously have the opportunity to work after the show ends? "Kate Moss is a prime example," she says. "Tyra knows a stream of supermodels that are under that size and are very successful, so she said, ‘Why not?’ It’s gonna be all about the face and the package as a whole." (Since we’ve long stopped expecting any model on this show to actually be "super," we didn’t press her.)

As we’ve already noted, the Top Model application does say, "Producers reserve the right to make case-by-case exceptions" in casting, so if you’re 5’9" and fierce and have a backstory, cause. or prejudice that could make for great TV you might still want to attend one of the open casting calls, which begin Saturday, Feb. 28, in Miami. (Men, you’re still a tough sell, sorry. "Who knows?" Mock-Falcon says. "Maybe one of these days she’s gonna give the guys an opportunity. We get guys that come to the auditions all the time. They’re begging us to do males as well. Maybe they’ll get their wish, too.")

For those of you planning on auditioning for cycle 13, here are Mock-Falcon’s two top tips: (1) "Wear a tank top, jeans, and heels. I think girls think if they come like that, they’ll feel underdressed. Then they’reshocked if I call back the one girl in the line that’s Plain Jane. They’re like, ‘Ohmygod, I got this, I spent thismuch money.’ It’s not about that.’" (2) "Come as natural as can be. We’ve had girls who’ve had to go take all their makeup off because they have so much of it on. Girls come in wigs and all sorts of things. Really, we just need to see through all of that."

addCredit(“Top Model: David M. Russell/The CW; Michelle Mock-Falcon:Thos Robinson/Getty Images”)

Comments (151 total) Add your comment
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  • john

    Oh Tyra, the fact that you think yoy going to find the next Kate Moss shows how truly delusional you are. None of the winners have had a huge amount of success, this whole short thing is terrible gimmick. Put a fork in this show, its done.

  • betsybug

    Men, you’re still a tough sell, but real transsexuals (Isis) and rumored (Dominique) can rest easy that they might get the call.

    • duh

      they already got the call you idiot they were on the show!

  • ohno

    John may be right. At least when the girls are the right height, the viewer has the delusion that they could maybe have a real career. Trying to find a Kate Moss? Complete fiction. Some opportunity.

  • Marie

    Question to Tyra and Michelle Mock-Falcon: Besides Kate Moss, how many models can you name who are short and are truly successful in print AND catalog? What’s that? You’re thinking? You mean there really aren’t any?
    Can everyone just stop using Kate Moss as an example already! Out of the hundreds and thousands of models out there, there’s only been 1 mentioned in the past 20 years that’s short. If short models can really make it in the industry, don’t you think there’ll be more than one example? Kate Moss is the exception! Short people live with it already!

  • Matt

    Betsy, it’s because a transsexual is generally considered a WOMAN and is trying to compete in the world of female modeling. There’s not as much of a market for male “super”models (which Tyra herself has said,) so they haven’t felt like it was useful to have a men’s competition.

  • jen

    i’m sitting this current season out. but being a shorty myself (i don’t even reach 5′ 1″) i’ll definitely be watching these girls represent on cycle 13. seriously, you don’t have to tower over everybody to look good in clothes and accessories. petite chicks should be out there too.

    • Stacy

      Exactly jen! Thank you! I’m onlly 5’5″ and hoping they will give me a chance on one of the coming seasons. I can strut my stuff only being 5’5″ ! =D

  • Matt

    Sheesh, always so many haters on these boards. The show may not have created a supermodel yet, but they’re giving plenty of women a foot in the door, many of whom are actually working as models. And, they’re entertaining us in the process. What’s wrong with the possibility of it happening for a shorter woman, who might have even a HARDER time breaking into the industry otherwise? So the winner ends up modeling for Petite Sophisticate? I bet that’s more desirable that whatever she’s doing now, right? It’ll still be fun to watch Tyra and her bunch of kooks run through the process! :)

    • Lielah

      Well none of them rumors weather true or false will keep me from competing! Tryout Year #4 HERE I COME! Wish me luck*

  • Vicky

    This is great but are there any other way. I would love to participate and have been waiting for this moment for a while but due to particular circumstances cannot participate in the Miami trial.

  • visitor323

    Matt, who’re the haters?? We’re just discussing the fact that the modeling industry does not hire models under 5’7″, other than Kate Moss. She is an exception. So we’re wondering why Tyra feels entitled to exploit shorter women who will never make enough money modeling to pay their rents. Even if you think hiring only tall models is unfair or even crazy, that is the way it is. No haters, just pointing out that Tyra is slyly using our short bias to increase ratings.

  • netties

    does anybody know when or why this TALL thing became a modeling trademark anyway?

  • Natalie Carbajal

    i have always wanted to be a model i like talking pictures of my self what do i need to do to get in to a modeling compitition
    ps.u guys should really do a teen ageres americans nexted top modle plzzz writ back to me
    THAN YOU

  • Paz

    @visitor323 – how is Tyra exploiting short women? They are begging to be on the show, so she’s giving them an opportunity. No, they probably won’t end up on the cover of Vogue, but so what? So Tyra’s becoming a little more open than the normal fashion industry. So what? ANTM has always been more for entertainment value than for serious modeling.

  • MSz. NE~NE

    I AGREE W/ HER BELOW ME ABOUT THE TEEN MODELING… I’VE BEEN WATCHIN THE MODELS ASK “WANNA BE ON TOP” SINCE I WAS 10 AND I’M GOIN ON 17. HUH! DO I? THATS NOT EVEN A QUESTION TO ME, B/C ALL I EVER DREAMED OF WAS MODELING =}

  • visitor323

    it’s one thing to get an ‘opportunity’ to be on a reality show and another thing to think you have a shot at being a model. Like Simon on American Idol says, he’s doing them a favor telling them to find another job. Other than a limited catalog career, it’s very unlikely that women under 5/7″ can make a living as models.
    But, hey, it’s okay. Making a living as a glorified clothes hanger is not all it’s cracked up to be. There’re about 50 girls having a great, successful, career and the other 300,000 aren’t. It’s freeing for shorter girls! Find something great to do with your life!

  • R

    In Miami this week? Hit me for a photoshoot rdotcollection@yahoo

    • john

      hey victor 323 I dont know why you are so not into short girls

      they are the sexiest by far
      u havent found the right ones most of short girls are super georgous with great petite body they are stunning way more than tall girls

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