It was difficult to tell who turned more heads at last week’s second elimination for the Third Annual image Model Search competition: the models or the heckler.
As contestants sashayed down the red carpet just outside of Maggiano’s Little Italy at Fashion Show mall, a husky blond woman wearing a cowboy hat peered at each of them through a window inside the restaurant. When a model made her way down the carpet that the woman disapproved of, she hurried outside to let them, and most who attended, know. "You’re too short! … That’s not high fashion! … Short model, short model!" she yelled at them.
Cidney Dutton, who stands 5 feet 6 inches tall, had the misfortune of walking to the beat of the heckler’s heckling. "She was pretty distracting," Dutton said. "I could hear her screaming in the corner when I was trying to answer my question and then I looked at her when I did my walk. I’m not sure what she was saying, though, and I probably don’t want to know."
Despite one highly vocalized opponent, Dutton managed to make it through another round of eliminations.
Although the unidentified woman tried to bring the spirit of the event down, friends, family and Maggiano’s patrons countered the effort with cheers and applause. One contestant, Alexander Christensen, had several women inside the restaurant glued to the window to get a close look at the sandy-haired model. Feeding the fire, Christensen turned to the patrons before making his exit and lifted his shirt to reveal the kind of abs seen in soap opera love scenes and underwear ads. The women all but fainted.
"I know it’s only going to get better if I’m already a fan favorite," Christensen said. "I should be in a good position."
That’s because the voting process is changing. Up to this point, judges Clint Holmes, Ken Henderson (owner of Best Agency), Bryan Scofield (Channel 13), Michael Boychuck (celebrity stylist), Jerry Metellus (fashion photographer), Melanie and Michael (Sunny 106.5) and Susan Stapleton (image editor) have decided who makes the cut. Beginning Oct. 26, readers will vote online for their favorite contestants, who will be featured in head shots, casual, business casual, formal and swimwear in upcoming issues of image. Each week, one male and one female model will be eliminated until three women and men remain. Then, on Dec. 12, the judges will pick the final two winners at Fashion Show mall.
The grand prizes include a photo spread in image, a contract with Best Agency, a professional modeling assignment representing Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, a ZED card with pictures taken by Jerry Metellus, $1,500 cash and gift certificates from the Review-Journal, Amp Salon, Dillard’s and Michael E. Minden Jewelry.
PHOTOS BY DUANE PROKOP/