Sunday 28 May 2017

Scouting for Girls: The search for Ireland's next top model

Justine Kelly
Justine Kelly
Tabea Weyrauch
Jessica Kelly
Aishling O'Connell
Lauren Owens
Katie McGinn
Becky Ali
Ellen Flanagan
Lucy Moore
Sarah Taylor
Heather O'Brien
Shannean Gormley

One of them reckons she’s a 9¾ out of 10. But most reckon they’re a six or seven. One of them would like a tasteful boob job. Most of them don’t have much time for the Government, but they all agree on one thing—they want to be Ireland’s next top model, picked by two of the world’s top talent scouts.

Jeni Rose and David Cunningham, vice presidents of international development in IMG Models Paris and New York, have visited Ireland for the first time in a quest to source a new face for their agency. As RTE’s ‘The Model Scouts’ kicks off, we reveal the finalists who will compete for the ultimate prize of the first LIFE cover of 2011, and a one-year contract with IMG Models, the home of numerous supermodels, ranging from Gisele Bundchen, Heidi Klum and Lily Cole to Naomi Campbell. Let the bitching begin. Photography by Gordon Goodwin



Justine Kelly, 17, Achill, Co Mayo, student

What are your hobbies and interests?

Fashion, swimming, walking, reading.

Why have you entered this competition?

Because I see it as a challenge and great crack.

Why should you win The Model Scouts?

I think I have what it takes.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In a professional job, perhaps in the fashion industry.

Physically, how would you rate yourself out of 10 and why?

7/10. I’m pretty comfortable in my skin.

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

My iPhone.

Who is Ireland’s best and worst dressed person?

Worst, Podge and Rodge! Best, Enda Kenny!

What do you think is the worst fashion crime?

Wearing tights with ladders in them.

Do you have a boyfriend?

Yes.

What do you look for in a man?

Good sense of humour.

What is the most important thing you have learned in life?

If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

If you could implement one thing in this country to help us out of the recession, what would it be?

Discover a gold mine!

If you were on a desert island and could bring three items, what would these be and why?

My iPhone, my laptop and my 3 USB modem so I can keep in touch with the world.

Are you a good girlfriend?

Yes.

If you were to have plastic surgery, what would you have done?

I would get veneers. They look pretty cool.

Tabea Weyrauch, 17, Derry, student

What are your hobbies and interests?

Fashion, running, cooking.

Why have you entered this competition?

My friend Nuala told me to!

Why should you win The Model Scouts?

I’m serious about this as my career.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Working with major design houses — I hope.

Physically, how would you rate yourself out of 10 and why?

6¾.

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

Shoes.

Who is Ireland’s best and worst dressed person?

Best, my friend Jane Doherty. Worst, I wouldn’t be so cruel.

What do you think is the worst fashion crime?

Wearing pyjamas out of doors.

Do you have a boyfriend?

No.

What do you look for in a man?

Height!

What is the most important thing you have learned in life?

You have to work hard to succeed.

If you could implement one thing in this country to help us out of the recession what would it be?

Improve the Dublin-Derry/Donegal road!

If you were on a desert island and could bring three items, what would these be and why?

Sunscreen, sunglasses and lots of food. Sun protection is obvious — and I like food!

Are you a good girlfriend?

I don’t know.

If you were to have plastic surgery, what would you have done?

Ask me when I’m older.

Jessica Kelly, 17, Darndale, Dublin 17, student

What are your hobbies and interests?

Shopping, socialising with friends, the gym.

Why have you entered this competition?

I have an interest in fashion and modelling.

Why should you win The Model Scouts?

With help from the experts I believe I could make it as a top model.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully modelling on a catwalk!

Physically, how would you rate yourself out of 10 and why?

Nobody’s perfect, so maybe 7 or 8.

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

My phone, I can’t live without it.

Who is Ireland’s best and worst dressed person?

Best is Una from the Saturdays, worst is Louis Walsh!

What do you think is the worst fashion crime?

Socks and sandals on men.

Do you have a boyfriend?

Yes.

What do you look for in a man?

Honest, funny and good looks too.

What is the most important thing you have learned in life?

Always believe in yourself, and don’t take things too seriously.

If you could implement one thing in this country to help us out of the recession, what would it be?

Just tell everyone it’s over so we can start spending again, ha ha!

If you were on a desert island and could bring three items, what would these be and why?

Phone, iPod, and a decent bikini.

Are you a good girlfriend?

You’d have to ask my boyfriend that!

If you were to have plastic surgery, what would you have done?

Eh, not sure I’d get surgery done.

Aishling O’Connell, 18, Castleisland, Co Kerry, Topaz shop assistant

What are your hobbies and interests?

Spending time with my family and friends.

Why have you entered this competition?

I just thought I would give it a go.

Why should you win The Model Scouts?

I don’t believe anyone has a God-given right to win, but I just hope it’s me.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

You never know what’s around the corner.

Physically, how would you rate yourself out of 10 and why?

That’s a hard question for any woman.

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

My laptop.

Who is Ireland’s best and worst dressed person?

Best, Laura Whitmore. Worst, Brian Cowen.

What do you think is the worst fashion crime?

Socks and sandals — need I say more?

Do you have a boyfriend?

Yes. His name is John.

What do you look for in a man?

Sweet, charismatic and fun to be around.

What is the most important thing you have learned in life?

I know how important it is to have people close by that you can depend on and trust.

If you could implement one thing in this country to help us out of the recession, what would it be?

Mugabe would be an improvement on this lot.

If you were on a desert island and could bring three items, what would these be and why?

My phone — can’t live without it. My iPod — self-explanatory, and a jet ski for when I’m ready to leave.

Are you a good girlfriend?

Ask John.

If you were to have plastic surgery, what would you have done?

I don’t agree with plastic surgery.

Lauren Owens, 17, Rush, Co Dublin, student in 6th year

What are your hobbies and interests?

Hip-hop dancing at competition level, fashion, music, health and fitness

Why have you entered this competition?

To get an insight into the modelling world, gain the experience, increase my confidence levels and make new friends

Why should you win The Model Scouts?

I think I should win because I believe I have worked hard in the competition, kept focused and positive, and learned so much.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Finished college, and in a career I enjoy.

Physically, how would you rate yourself out of 10 and why?

I would rate myself 7/10, because everyone has flaws and parts of themselves that they don't particularly like.

What's the most expensive thing you've ever bought?

It's my mum who does all the spending in our house, and she buys me lots of expensive gifts for birthdays and Christmas, and sun holidays.

Who is Ireland's best and worst dressed person?

Ireland’s best dressed would be Lorraine Keane or the Westlife guys. Worst dressed? Oh, that's a hard one — probably the female weather presenters or some of the female TDs.

What do you think is the worst fashion crime?

For women, not wearing a bra, and for guys, white socks with shoes!

Do you have a boyfriend?

No, I don't at the moment

What do you look for in a man?

Honest, clever, generous, kind and devoted. Physically, no spots, good hygiene, tall and smells nice!

What is the most important thing you have learned in life?

To not expect too much of people, be patient and be as happy as you possibly can.

If you could implement one thing in this country to help us out of the recession, what would it be?

To cut down on the huge expenses claimed by Government officials. Get them to use the train instead of €200k Government cars!

If you were on a desert island and could bring three items, what would these be and why?

1) book to pass the time; 2) blanket to keep warm; 3) picture of my family because I love them.

Are you a good girlfriend?

Yes, I believe I am.

If you were to have plastic surgery, what would you have done?

Firstly, I hope I wouldn't need plastic surgery for a lot of years to come! But if I did, it would more likely be for a tasteful boob job, if needed.

Katie McGinn, 17, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, student

What are your hobbies and interests?

Swimming, sailing and surfing. I am a total water baby! I am also really interested in the fashion industry, I follow it religiously.

Why have you entered this competition?

To win!

Why should you win The Model Scouts?

Because I’ve seen the competition . . .

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Finished college and walking down the runways of Paris and New York.

Physically, how would you rate yourself out of 10 and why?

If I had to rate myself out of 10, I would say nine, because I am almost perfect!

What's the most expensive thing you've ever bought?

Well, seeing as I am not on a supermodel's salary as of yet, my beloved purple studded boots from Topshop. Watch out for them on the show!

Who is Ireland's best and worst dressed person?

My mum is Ireland's best dressed person, her style is pretty cool. And Ireland's worst dressed? Well, I have to say my dad. Sorry!

What do you think is the worst fashion crime?

OMG. Why are the men of this country obsessed with white socks and sandals? Lads, it is a total no-no.

Do you have a boyfriend?

Nope!

What do you look for in a man?

My ideal man will have to be honest, romantic, chivalrous and definitely not wearing socks with sandals!

What is the most important thing you have learned in life?

OK, well, seeing as I am in the middle of my Leaving Cert, I would say the theorem of Pythagoras; my maths teacher would be so proud.

If you could implement one thing in this country to help us out of the recession, what would it be?

That is an easy one: the Government should pay the salaries of college graduates for two years in companies with export potential. It's win-win.

If you were on a desert island and could bring three items, what would these be and why?

It would most definitely be sun cream, my floppy sun-hat and loads of water. I am trying to keep the wrinkles at bay.

Are you a good girlfriend?

I think you would have to ask my friends that one. They will probably say no, because I haven't told them about being on the show. Well, now you know!

If you were to have plastic surgery, what would you have done?

This is the hardest question to answer. I honestly don't think I would want anything done, but then again, never say never!

Becky Ali, 17, originally from London, now living in Gorey, Co Wexford, student

What are your hobbies and interests?

I play football for Carnew AFC and I also play Gaelic football for my school. I love listening to music and going out with my friends, and yes, I'm addicted to Facebook.

Why have you entered this competition?

I've always been interested in modelling and when my friend Siobhan's mum, Lorraine, told me about the auditions in Dundrum I asked my dad to bring me, not really knowing what to expect.

Why should you win The Model Scouts?

I think I should win because I am determined to do my best and give it my all.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I hope to have finished college and have a successful modelling career.

Physically, how would you rate yourself out of 10 and why?

Physically, I'd rate myself an 8/10 because I train twice a week and have at least one match a week.

What's the most expensive thing you've ever bought?

When I was 12, I bought myself a trampoline with my birthday money.

Who is Ireland's best and worst dressed person?

I think the worst and best dressed people in Ireland are Jedward!

What do you think is the worst fashion crime?

Personally I don't think there's good or bad fashion, it's whatever inspires you.

Do you have a boyfriend?

Nope, I don't have a boyfriend.

What do you look for in a man?

I like a guy with a nice personality, good sense of humour, style and someone easy-going.

What is the most important thing you have learned in life?

Life is too short and you have to try and make the best out of every situation because you don't know what is going to happen next.

If you could implement one thing in this country to help us out of the recession, what would it be?

Cut the politicians’ wages to a reasonable amount!

If you were on a desert island and could bring three items, what would these be and why?

My iPod, because I can't live without music; my phone — well, who can live without their phone? And a can of Cherry Coke, because it's the nicest drink ever.

Are you a good girlfriend?

Yes, I think I'm a good friend as I am a good listener and always give the best advice I can.

If you were to have plastic surgery what would you have done?

I wouldn't have anything done. Plastic surgery doesn't appeal to me at all.

Ellen Flanagan, 16, Sandymount, Co Dublin, 6th Year Leaving Cert student

What are your hobbies and interests?

Piano, fashion, music, camping.

Why have you entered this competition?

Ciara Hunt, my friend, persuaded me to.

Why should you win The Model Scouts?

That's one for the judges.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Modelling on the catwalks of the world; if that doesn't work out, medicine in UCD!

Physically, how would you rate yourself out of 10 and why?

9¾.

What's the most expensive thing you've ever bought?

Prada perfume for my mum's birthday.

Who is Ireland's best and worst dressed person?

Best, my English teacher, Miss Rankin. Worst, my dad on holidays.

What do you think is the worst fashion crime?

Streaky fake tan.

Do you have a boyfriend?

No.

What do you look for in a man?

Taller than me, loves music, and can make a good cup of tea.

What is the most important thing you have learned in life?

I can always rely on my family; there's a plan, and we're part of it.

If you could implement one thing in this country to help us out of the recession, what would it be?

Buy Irish and be positive.

If you were on a desert island and could bring three items, what would these be and why?

Teabags, guitar, and my best friend.

Are you a good girlfriend?

See above.

If you were to have plastic surgery, what would you have done?

Ask me in 10 years!

Lucy Moore, 17, Donnybrook, Dublin 4, student

What are your hobbies and interests?

Anything arty, and music.

Why have you entered this competition?

Well, modelling is something I'd really love to do as a career. This was the most amazing opportunity to pursue that.

Why should you win The Model Scouts?

Well, I'm so driven when it comes to this. I would really work hard. But all the girls are great; it’s really tough competition.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully, I'll be working in this business. Right now it's all I like to think I'll be doing.

Physically, how would you rate yourself out of 10 and why?

Honestly, I prefer to let other people have opinions on me if they want. To me there's no point in judging yourself, I guess. But I'm in perfect health! So what does that make me?

What's the most expensive thing you've ever bought?

I think it was a vintage dress I bought a year ago. I don't wear it a lot because it's really delicate, and last time I wore it, it ripped a lot. But I love it.

Who is Ireland's best and worst-dressed person?

Probably the worst-dressed person would be Graham Norton for me — his suits are always so bright and shiny! The model Catriona Balfe has to be top of the Irish bestdressed list.

What do you think is the worst fashion crime?

It kinda kills me when people wear leggings as pants without a longer top. But I actually sort of like socks with heeled sandals!

Do you have a boyfriend?

Nope.

What do you look for in a man?

He has to be able to keep up his end of the conversation and have a sense of humour.

What is the most important thing you have learned in life?

I used to let others walk all over me, but now I control myself for me. Also, I don't know everything. I'm still learning!

If you could implement one thing in this country to help us out of the recession, what would it be?

Hold an election.

If you were on a desert island and could bring three items, what would these be and why?

My dog, an onion (to remind me that there are things I hate more than what I'd have to eat) and a spare pair of socks.

Are you a good girlfriend?

I think so.

If you were to have plastic surgery, what would you have done?

Now, nothing, but I haven't started to sag yet.

Sarah Taylor, 20, Banbridge, Co Down, student of marketing

What are your hobbies and interests?

Horse riding, spending time with my friends, partying, shopping, going to the cinema with my boyfriend, Conaill. I'm an average girl, really.

Why have you entered this competition?

I've been modelling in Belfast part-time for two years now and I've really enjoyed doing it, but I want to make a career out of it. I want to do it full-time and travel the world.

Why should you win The Model Scouts?

I truly believe that with some guidance and help from The Model Scouts I could be a great international model. The opportunities and experiences would be incredible.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I will be 25, so I would like to see myself in a steady career, modelling, but I am aware that it will only be for a few more years. I would have travelled the world and maybe be beginning to think of returning home to live near my family again.

Physically, how would you rate yourself out of 10 and why?

Oh, God! . . . Mmm, without being overly confident I would say I am 6/10 because I am not overly toned or athletic, my skin is quite dry as well as my hair and nails. On the up side, I'm very grateful to have inherited my daddy's long legs and slim build.

What's the most expensive thing you've ever bought?

It was a puppy for my boyfriend's 21st birthday, a working cocker spaniel called Diesel; he was £250. I wouldn't really spend that amount on one item of clothing; I would rather buy lots of high-street items.

Who is Ireland's best and worst-dressed person?

I think a lot of politicians and news presenters dress terribly. As for the best dressed, I think that Jayne Wisener [Johnny Depp’s co-star in Sweeney Todd] always looks amazing. I have seen her at social occasions in Belfast and she is stunning.

What do you think is the worst fashion crime?

For me it is when people don't dress right for their body type, wearing things that are too small or too big for them. I love seeing people experiment with fashion and push the boundaries, but it can go horribly wrong.

Do you have a boyfriend?

Yes, for two years now. I met him in university. He does my course. Everything is going very well.

What do you look for in a man?

Initially it's all about looks but, after that first encounter, personality is very important. Good personality, manners, gentlemanly, good sense of humour, and I like it when they are a little bit jealous too. But just a little bit.

What is the most important thing you have learned in life?

“Cherish yesterday, dream of tomorrow, but live today.” It is sewn on to a pillow my mum gave me, and I never forget those words.

If you could implement one thing in this country to help us out of the recession, what would it be?

Trust me, if I had a good answer I would be emailing it to the Prime Minister. We all need to help each other to get out of this recession and I hate seeing people losing their jobs, houses and families because of it.

If you were on a desert island and could bring three items, what would these be and why?

My dressing gown, because it is the comfiest thing in the world, my hand cream, because I can't live without it and my BlackBerry so I can still go on Facebook.

Are you a good girlfriend?

Yes, most of the time. My boyfriend spoils me so he sometimes needs to bring me back down to Earth but I need that and that is why we work so well.

If you were to have plastic surgery, what would you have done?

I am not against surgery, but I am wary of it. I've heard it's addictive and dangerous. I think that when I’m older I would get an eyelid lift if I got saggy eyelids. I would never touch my lips or my nose — I've seen too many bad examples of that going wrong. Yes, I’m talking about Janice Dickinson.

Heather O’Brien, 20, Mullagh, Kells, Co Meath, student

What are your hobbies and interests?

Horse riding, the gym, fashion and cinema.

Why have you entered this competition?

Friends and family encouraged me to enter.

Why should you win The Model Scouts?

I love fashion, working hard, travelling, and this is something I've wanted to do for a very long time, and I could put 100 per cent commitment into it.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Who knows? I would love to see myself in the fashion world.

Physically, how would you rate yourself out of 10 and why?

Fitness-wise, 8/10, I work out a lot and love sport.

What's the most expensive thing you've ever bought?

My first car, a 10-year-old Ford Fiesta that cost €900. I love it, and boy, did I work hours to save for that car.

Who is Ireland's best and worst dressed person?

Andrea Roche. I love her sense of style, and I couldn't tell you who is worst dressed — everyone has their own unique style.

What do you think is the worst fashion crime?

Shell suits.

Do you have a boyfriend?

Yes.

What do you look for in a man?

Honesty and fun to be with.

What is the most important thing you have learned in life?

Never give up on something you really want to do, keep trying and you will get there.

If you could implement one thing in this country to help us out of the recession, what would it be?

New government; we could do with one.

If you were on a desert island and could bring three items, what would these be and why?

Lip balm, phone and a gallon of water.

Are you a good girlfriend?

I hope so.

If you were to have plastic surgery, what would you have done?

Each to their own! I wouldn't rule it out. I'm only young; I'll see what I look like when I am 50 and if I have enough money, LOL, but hey, look at Julia Roberts, she looks amazing and claims to have had no plastic surgery.

Shannean Gormley, 16, Gorey, Co Wexford, student

What are your hobbies and interests?

I love being with my friends, watching all the soaps, and shopping. I love all sports and my interests are fashion, cooking and athletics.

Why have you entered this competition?

I entered this competition because I'm really interested in the fashion industry and I wanted to be more confident in myself and I just would love the experience of being a model walking down a runway in beautiful clothes and living the model life.

Why should you win The Model Scouts?

I should win The Model Scouts because I feel I have what it takes to be a successful model and that I would take the opportunity and use it to the best of my ability — it would be a life-changing experience.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully living in America, modelling.

Physically, how would you rate yourself out of 10 and why?

I would probably say 6/10 because I'm always out and about, I love to swim and run when I can and I just love being active.

What's the most expensive thing you've ever bought?

€90 on jeans, but I'm not a big spender.

Who is Ireland's best and worst dressed person?

Everyone has their own sense of style so I wouldn't like to single out one person.

What do you think is the worst fashion crime?

Probably clothes that are so tight that you can see everything.

Do you have a boyfriend?

Not at the moment, I’m a single pringle, ha ha.

What do you look for in a man?

Well, he has to be a nice person. Funny, loyal, and I love really tall, athletic lads!

What is the most important thing you have learned in life?

Not to take life for granted and to live life to the full because you have only got one chance to live it.

If you could implement one thing in this country to help us out of the recession, what would it be?

Reducing the number of politicians and councillors would save loads of money. Then reinvest it in local businesses and help out the people who can’t pay their mortgages and bills.

If you were on a desert island and could bring three items, what would these be and why?

1) Food so I can survive 2) My family and friends so I won't be lonely 3) My Xbox 360 so I won't be bored

If you were to have plastic surgery, what would you have done?

I wouldn't have plastic surgery because I’m happy with the way I look.

‘The Model Scouts’ begins next Tuesday on RTE Two at 9pm

Photography by Gordon Goodwin

Styling by Caoilfhionn Walsh

Make-up by Christine Lucignano

Hair by Zara Cox, Queen Beauty Emporium,

66/67 Aungier Street, D2,

tel: (01) 478-9633, or see www.queenbe.ie

Shot at Carton House, Kildare,

see www.cartonhouse.com

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