10 Most Memorable ANTM Contestants

With finals week starting in less than 24 hours, my only solace is in the fact that contestant descriptions for Cycle 24 of America’s Next Top Model are being periodically released on antmvh1’s Instagram. A life-long lover of ANTM and admitted super-fan, I have seen every cycle at least once (even that God-awful cycle earlier this year with Rita Ora). Anyway, instead of working on finals, I’ve composed a list of the top ten most noteworthy ANTM contestants (spoilers, sorry). Enjoy!

10. Toccara Jones (Cycle 3)

Toccara, Toccara, Toccara. The first “plus-size” contestant on ANTM (although not really all that plus-size in the grand scheme of things…) was pretty much only memorable as being plus-size. Toccara’s pictures were, frankly, pretty bad as far as Top Model photos go. She was sweet, a little over-dramatic, but pretty plain. All things considered, Toccara is a name that even casual ANTM fans know, but not really for good reason. I’m all for representation, but the girl couldn’t take a picture to save her life.

9. Shannon Stewart (Cycle 1 and Cycle 17)

Shannon Stewart will forever be remembered as the girl who refused to pose nude or in underwear. Shannon is super Christian, something that made some of the girls uncomfy, and super modest. Although a lot of people aren’t big Shannon fans, the woman takes a damn good picture. Shannon is in the top five most beautiful women to have ever appeared on ANTM, hands down, and every picture she took was absolutely banging. Love her or hate her, Shannon is one fierce model.

8. Elyse Sewell (Cycle 1)

Elyse was edgy where Shannon was sweet, and together they made Cycle 1 worth watching (sorry not sorry, Adrienne). Elyse was super smart, super attractive, and super catty aka the three things a top model should be. There was nothing sugar-coated about Elyse but, while some of the contestants can’t keep their shit together when they’re annoyed (read: Bianca), Elyse was always composed, honest, and agreeable.

7. Romeo Tostado (Cycle 21)

Cycle 21 was full of terrible guys. Although Romeo may sound like a Shakespearean dreamboat, he was…not. Romeo practiced witchcraft, which is cool, but used his black magic to try and hurt or manipulate other contestants off the show. Believe in the magic or not, the beautiful and kind and talented Ivy didn’t survive another week after he set his mind to getting her eliminated. An instigator and antagonist who no one really got along with, Romeo was kicked off the show after head-butting Adam (who usually would have deserved it but was actually in the right in this one singular instance) due to Tyra’s zero-tolerance policy for violence. Good riddance?

6. Tiffany Richardson (Cycle 3)

Okay, so, Tiffany is mostly remembered as the girl everyone was rooting for. Which makes sense because her pictures were good, but not great, and her attitude was pretty poor. Tiffany, like so many other girls on the show, was a survivor and I commend her bravery for overcoming challenges, but she didn’t take great photos. I wasn’t rooting for Tiffany, and the only reason she’s on this list is because Tyra pummeled her into a pulp on national television.

5. Naima Mora (Cycle 4)

Naima is the most beautiful contestant to have ever won ANTM. She was mostly just nice and sweet, which I’m not complaining about, and she kept to herself. But Naima was stunning. Like, knock your socks off, take your breath away, beautiful. Just, honestly, a gift from above. So beautiful. I don’t have anything else to say about her. Just, wow. A stunning and kind woman. The only winner I truly agree with. I love you, Naima, please dm me.

4. Amanda and Michelle Babin (Cycle 7)

Okay, I know that Amanda and Michelle competed as individual contestants, but this is a good opportunity for me to write about both of them without having to make this “11 Most Memorable ANTM Contestants.” Amanda and Michelle were obviously gorgeous, and they were great models, but they were also interesting characters in the house and were fun, although sometimes a little tedious, to watch. Experiencing Michelle’s coming out on TV was weirdly intimate but mostly inspiring. I love them both, and they were the original ANTM twins (ahem, Tash and Cody, you ain’t news).

3. Lisa D’Amato (Cycle 5 and Cycle 17)

I am not a fan of Lisa D’Amato. I know she’s a fighter, I know she’s a fan favorite, I know I know I know. But TBQH I don’t think Lisa is a good model, I don’t think she’s a good musician, and I don’t think she deserved to win Cycle 17. She annoyed the poop out of me. Lisa ranks third on this list for one very important reason: she peed in a diaper on a nationally televised modeling competition. That’s all. That’s enough to get her on the most memorable list. Good going, Lisa, I wish you all the best.

2. Will Jardell (Cycle 21)

Will was the only reason to watch Cycle 21. In fact, Will is the only reason to pay attention to any of the guys on the male-inclusive cycles. A 6’4” gay dance teacher from Texas who shows up in six-inch heels and takes fire photos every week is something you won’t get on any other show. Although Will never really mastered the masculine side of photos (much to the panel’s chagrin), I really didn’t think he needed to. Will looks pretty masculine by nature, so I think the contrast with his more feminine photos was actually kind of nice. Anyway, now he runs a super cool travel blog with his boyfriend James Wallington which you can check out @backpackingboyfriends.

1. Allison Harvard (Cycle 12 and Cycle 17)

I know this isn’t surprising, I’m sorry I’m so cliché and predictable. But Allison Harvard is the best contestant to have ever appeared on ANTM. Fascinated by blood, cringingly awkward, drama-free, absolutely incredible to look at, creator of the tooch, Allison had everything she needed to be a lovable contestant and a good model. Allison was runner-up on both of her cycles (wtf, Tyra) but she’ll always be a winner in my heart. Also, apparently she was a meme once?