‘Model’ Student in the Making

What better way to spend a school night than watching your peers compete to become “Campus’ Next Top Model.”

Hundreds of on- and off-campus students traversed to Montgoris Dining Hall to see who would become the spokesperson of their student body as they performed numerous tasks to prove themselves.

“Modeling is something I love to do and to be able to do it, no matter how big or small the opportunity is something I sincerely enjoy,” said winner Toni Burnett.

The Washington, D.C., resident and freshman communication arts major discussed how she idolizes Naomi Campbell because she is “…fierce [and] she has a recognizable face and image sells products,” and used the supermodel’s influential swagger throughout the competition.

The competition consisted of six challenges, which included making a couture shirt in five minutes, reading a teleprompter with various “difficult to pronounce” designer names, performing an entertaining script that was sent to the contestants the night before the show, a photo shoot while dancing, and a runway show (which included all of the models), where the two finalists had to battle on the catwalk for the judges.

Burnett’s favorite part of the show was, as the audience could tell, the catwalk portion.

“During my time on the catwalk, I turn into a far more fly and fierce version of myself,” she explains. “I don’t know where it comes from but when I am walking down the runway I become a force to be reckoned with.”

Burnett, whose life influence is her mother, Caroline, she says possesses “strong principles and morals,” and taught her about modesty.

Unlike most competitions where the contestants are extremely competitive and contestants will only praise themselves, Burnett praised her biggest competitors, runner-up Bianca Jones and Jomaire Crawford.

“Bianca was very serious about the competition…’Jo Jo’ (Crawford) nailed everything, she was prepared…not to mention they were both knockouts,” she said.

The purpose for “Campus’ Next Top Model” was not to crown another pretty face in the crowd. During the auditions, questions about each contestant’s life goals, organizations and community service were asked in order for the judges to make sure whoever was in the competition would be the best representative of an above average college student at St. John’s.

Burnett wanted to prove to the judges that she is more than just a model. As a civil rights activist currently serving as a representative for the youth and college chapters with the NAACP (and president of the NAACP Youth Council in her hometown), Burnett’s drive and confidence made her the perfect candidate to becoming “Campus’ Next Top Model.”

“I am very satisfied with Toni Burnett,” said Melissa Cornelius, last year’s winner of CNTM, and one of the judges of this year’s competition. “She exemplifies ‘Campus’ Next Top Model’ to the best of her ability and may she have much success.”