America’s Next Top Model

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Cynthiana’s Celia Ammerman is one of 13 finalists in running for TV title

By Becky Barnes

Growing up in Cynthiana, Celia was the bottom step of the Ammerman’s three stair-step-aged children, each spaced two years apart.

Today, 25-year-old Celia Ammerman is on top of the world and she’s heralding the support of her older siblings, her parents and the rest of her family and friends for their support.

Celia is one of 13 women competing for the title of America’s Next Top Model. Her debut appearance on the reality show by the same name will be Wednesday, March 4 at 8 p.m. on The CW.

“It was such an adventure,” said Celia, the 2001 Miss Harrison County Fair, via e-mail with The Cynthiana Democrat. “In fact, it was the most terrifying, exhilarating, chaotic, fun, exhausting, triumphant, intense, dramatic experience I’ve ever endured. It will make for a very interesting cycle!”

It was a friend that got Celia involved in ANTM, encouraging her to send photos to one of the casting agents.

“I received an e-mail a few hours later inviting me to a more intimate casting,” she said. “There were only about 500 girls auditioning as opposed to the thousands who auditioned for the open casting call nationwide. It was three rigorous days of cuts. Each cut they made, I was shocked I had made it that far. They had apparently seen something show-worthy in me and I was so flattered!”

The taping of the show is over, but the outcome remains a secret.

During filming, the 12 contestants, who are all living together, are under 24-hour camera surveillance.

“I’m very excited and quite nervous about how I’ll be portrayed,” Celia said. “It’s condensed so heavily, I just hope I am accurately portrayed. But, I think it will be both fun and surreal.”

On opening night, one of Celia’s friends in New York is hosting a party with about 10 other friends.

Celia moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., in July 2006 after attending the University of Kentucky where she studied merchandising apparel and textiles.

She put her studies to work at a high-end men’s clothing store, where people from all over the world quickly became Celia’s clients.

“I became like a little investigator,” Celia said. “I would quiz them and had a thirst for any knowledge or wisdom they wanted to share with me. I was mostly interested in the Japanese clientele and began taking classes on the language just so I could converse with them.”

She said she enjoyed her work in designer fashion sales, particularly the part where she was given a designer clothing allowance.

“Everyday I would walk into work feeling like a superhero,” Celia said. “The clothes would transform me.”

The 2001 HCHS graduate said she has many memories of growing up in Cynthiana.

She was a competing hurdler for HCHS as well as a member of the state champion marching band.

Celia was also one of the founding members of the Harrison County High School dance team, which continues today.

Celia’s modeling career has been limited to this point.

She said she did some runway shows for Lexington’s General Eccentric, Bella Rose and the Beaux Arts Ball. She was also available to photographers looking for portfolio subjects.

Her first official photo shoot was with Cin Weekly Magazine out of Cincinnati.

For the winner of ANTM, modeling contracts with Elite Model Management, Covergirl and Seventeen Magazine, are on the line.

“The reality series exposes the transformation of everyday young women into potentially fierce super models, as they face weekly tests that determine who can make the cut,” states the ANTM website. “With mentoring by super model Tyra Banks and exposure to high-profile fashion-industry gurus, the finalists compete in a highly accelerated modeling boot camp, a crash course to super model fame.”

Judges for Cycle 12 include: super model Paula Porizkova, runway expert J. Alexander and photographer Nigel Barker. There will also be guest judges throughout the cycle.

Celia tried not to watch recent episodes of ANTM just so that she could have a fresh approach and so that her strategy would be her own.

She said she will likely be in Cynthiana at some point during the course of Cycle 12.

“I end up craving Cynthiana’s air and people about four or five times a year,” she said.

Some of those “people” are her family: parents, Meg and Bob Ammerman; siblings, Sarah Wylie and Joseph; grandparents Joe and Betty Smith; brother/sister-in-law Griffin VanMeter and Jesse Switzer. She is also the granddaughter of the late Joe and Esther Ammerman.

“They are the most fun, supportive amazing people,” Celia said. “I couldn’t dream of a better family.”