My favorite grrrls from previous seasons… not many from recent cycles that I connected to unfortunately.

Shandi, Cycle 2

Her ‘geek to chic’ transformation was one of the most powerful in the entire series so far. Her story of how she was the black sheep of her family touched me a lot, and the infidelity she committed on reality TV was so shocking that she may always have a special place in my heart.

Mollie Sue, Cycle 6

Mollie Sue is second only to Elyse as being the most successful ANTM Alumni. She had an awesome makeover too. I always think about her exit interview when she said, “Me going home before Jade is just…!? You just kicked off your winner right here!” She sure showed them!

Elyse, Cycle 1

Elyse is the most successful ANTM Alum in the history of the show. On top of that, she is an interesting, intelligent and fiery personality on the show. In the early days of reality TV her confessional was one of the most memorable. She also has an interesting story, having tried out as a joke while waiting for med school to start.

Danielle Cycle 6

Danielle had that awesome attitude and I loved that she wanted to keep her gap. I have a gap in my front teeth too and I think she is a great role model (without being forced) for girls to embrace their flaw and love how it makes them unique. I wish Tyra hadn’t made her ‘fix’ it. She has an awesome walk too.

Kahlen, Cycle 4

I wish Kahlen had won this Cycle. Although I really like Naima too, partly because she is so alternative as a beauty role model, Kahlen had a really interesting edge. She looked totally girl-next-door but gave some amazing fierceness in her photos AND in her runway walk. She was so devastated when she lost.. and I don’t think she has modeled since.

Adrianne, Cycle 1

I was happy Adrianne won this cycle. She had a great story and a good attitude about modeling. What she’s done since the show hasn’t been so great – she’s been called a reality TV whore and posed for playboy… but for the first cycle, she was a definite standout.

Yoanna, Cycle 2

I loved Yoanna’s story. Her transformation from chubby babysitter to high fashion beauty model was amazing and it was really inspiring to see someone go after what they want with so much determination. She was sometimes a little flat in personality but undeniably gorgeous.

Heather, Cycle 9

One of my few favorites from the later cycles when things got progressively weirder on the show. Her Asperger’s syndrome was made out to be a bigger obstacle than it really was but her photos are memorable and surprising and she really was thinking about it as a form of art, which I appreciated. Sometimes its nice to have a humble girl do well on this show instead of just the ones who are obviously gorgeous and popular.

Kim, Cycle 5

Kim was the ‘boy-girl’ and had a very cool sense of style but a hard time being feminine in her shoots. She improved a lot over the cycle and always had memorable things to say. Who can forget her mini lesbian love affair with Sarah?

Mercedes, Cycle 2

Who didn’t love Mercedes? She was the perfect bubbly girl, made all the more special by the fact that she is battling a serious chronic illness. Her final shot was so mesmerizing, I don’t know how they decided between her and Yoanna.

April, Cycle 2

Yes, I do have all four of the final four girls from Cycle 2 on this list. That season was just chock full of really interesting girls. They seemed really real and relatable unlike some of the later seasons. April was so devastated after losing and I felt so bad for her. She had some amazing photos and so much drive. As an ANTM winner, I think she would have gone far.

Edited to add:

Ann, Cycle 15

Ann was one of those rare birds who was successful from the very beginning and throughout the show.. and yet still never ever got cocky about her position. Refreshing.

Marjorie, Cycle 11

Possibly my favorite contestant ever (maybe even overshadowing Shandie!) is Marjorie.