ANTM Visits Chicago
By Lauren Strejc

I was driving to work on Wednesday, September 14 th, flipping through radio stations, when I when I heard Eddie and Jobo of B96 announce that past contestants of America’s Next Top Model would be joining the radio jocks in their studio.

Sure enough, five models from the past cycles (the phrase used for seasons) announced that they would be signing autographs at the Belmont and Clark DSW Shoe Store. The ladies were on the “Top Model Top Stars” tour which kicked off on September 12 in New York City , then traveled through the US and stopped in Boston , Chicago , San Francisco , Las Vegas , and Los Angeles . The models that graced these cities were Cycle 4 winner Naima Mora, Cycle 3 participants Ann Elaine Markley and Tocarra Jones, Shandi Sullivan of Cycle 2, and Shannon Stewart, runner-up of Cycle 1.

Simultaneously, a south tour included Cycle 4 runner-up Kahlen Rondot with other Cycle 4 contestant Keenyah Hill, Amanda Swafford and winner Eva Pigford of Cycle 3, and Cycle 2 runner-up Mercedes Shorte. That group visited Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, met with the “north team” in Los Angeles, and concluded in Las Vegas.

In each city, the models made radio interviews, public and television appearances, and signed autographs, except in Los Angeles, where they attended the Emmy Awards parties

During their Chicago visit, the girls also interviewed on WGCI radio, and appeared on Fox News in the Morning with David Novarro and Tamron Hall. Fortunately, I was able to meet the models at their private social party at the Blue Water Grill, following their autograph session.

They all love Chicago, even Naima, whose was visiting the city for the first time. Tocarra raved about shopping on the Magnificent Mile, and Shandi was happy to visit again; her last time in town was for a Bjork concert. We may be seeing more of Shannon, as she is now signed with Ford Models here. Due to a personal time constraint, I had to leave early and didn’t get a chance to speak with Ann.

Immediately after the social, the ladies had to hop on a plane to San Francisco to continue their tour and promote the upcoming cycle. The fifth cycle of America ’s Next Top Model debuted on September 21, 2005 on UPN. You can view this cycle’s contestants and access more Top Model information at

From Left To Right: Ann, Shannon, Naima, Tocarra, and Shandi.
Photo Courtesy of UPN