First person: Model student

CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson Clovis High senior Kayleigh Mitchell claimed a regional competition in Lubbock for “America’s Next Top Model, the College Edition.” She is one of 40 regional winners, 16 of which will be selected for the show.

Kayleigh Mitchell hit a home run in her first at bat as a model. Now she’s trying to make it to the big show.

Mitchell, in her first modeling competition of any kind, won a Feb. 25 regional event for “America’s Next Top Model, The College Edition” in Lubbock. The Clovis High senior is now hoping she’ll make the cut for the show, which will take on a college theme in its 19th cycle. She is one of 40 regional winners, 16 of which will receive a show invite.

Kayleigh, 18, is a lifelong Clovis resident and the daughter of Mike Mitchell and Carol Bare. She played outside hitter for the Lady Cat volleyball squad.

Favorite thing about Clovis: Everyone’s friends with everyone; it’s a small town.

When she started modeling: Not long ago, a month or two. I used to work at The Buckle, and this guy I know worked in the Buckle in Lubbock, and the photographer (who’s from Clovis) was shopping there. (My friend) said, ‘You’ve got to see this girl in Clovis.’

The guy gave me his card and said, “Let me take pictures of you.” I said, “Cool,” and it happened. I got a portfolio done, and I did this Top Model thing, and that’s it (for modeling so far).

The show: My photographer (told me about it). I made a video. They asked a bunch of questions, such as why I want to be a top model. Real girls can be models too. They’re not all superficial. I’m from a small town. I want to show girls that. And being rich and famous wouldn’t be a bad part either.

The process: After the interview, they have the actual fashion show. There were a bunch of girls, we had to walk the runway. They call you out, and you introduce yourself, tell them where you’re from, your name, your age. They asked us a question, and we answered it, which was the hardest part. And then we strutted our stuff on the runway.

Making the cut: They called top five. I was pumped. There were a lot of pretty girls. I competed against about 24 girls. They were all tall and gorgeous. I’m 6-foot, and I’m used to being the biggest one. They were all so tall and pretty. I thought, “Whoo, I can hang with these girls,” which was a surprise. We did the questions and everything again. They deliberated, and they called first, second and third, and I won. Girls had been there that have modeled forever, done actual runway shows. I’m new to this stuff; I just said, ‘We’ll give it a try.’

Next step: We’re doing a national competition. There are 40 girls that won what I won. They’re going to look at our videos. If I get a call back, I go on to L.A. They’ll just call and be like, “Let’s go.” It would probably take up most of my summer.

It’s pretty much out of my control. It’s in God’s hands, I guess. We’ll figure it out.

If she doesn’t get the call: I have this expo I’m going to in Dallas. Other than that, I’m just going to hang out like a regular 18-year-old.

I have no idea where I’m going to college, but I am going for a business degree (a long run on the show would affect her first semester).

Favorite volleyball story: One of the funniest stories we can’t put that in the newspaper. (I’ll go with) when we kicked Carlsbad’s butt in Roswell (in the District 4-5A championship tiebreaker game).

— Compiled by CNJ staff writer Kevin Wilson