Colin Steers said he didn’t get noticed by girls when he was at Western Albemarle High School a few years back. Others say he just didn’t notice how much notice he was getting. He graduated from WAHS in 2005 and now is in his last year at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, majoring in psychology and neuroscience.
He may soon wish he wouldn’t get noticed again. Steers debuted March 4 as a contender in the second season of Bravo TV’s show Make Me a Supermodel. The winner, the survivor of 13 episodes of elimination trials-the show’s finale will happen sometime in late May-gets $100,000 and a contract with New York Model Management.
He was curious about the show, Steers said, but didn’t want to let it on. “I was looking online about Project Runway and I happened on the casting call for Make Me a Supermodel. My friend said, ‘You’d be hilarious.’ Another friend was going to New York City for that weekend, so I went along.” And when it was time for the casting call, well, he happened to be there. “I didn’t want people asking about it later,” he admitted. “I didn’t want to have to tell people I didn’t make it.
“From the moment of the first call back, my jaw dropped,” he remembered. “It was so unexpected and it was so exciting. It got my hopes up.” Steers explained that his looks improved when he went to college and changed his glasses style. Funny enough, doing those things don’t seem to get most people into a supermodel competition.
Filming the show took several weeks in the fall and Steers lost a semester of college. He’s making it up this spring, taking courses with labs that add credits and he’ll graduate on time in June.
“So much happened that doesn’t come out in the show,” he said, aware as he spoke that a show producer was listening, party to all his conversations with reporters, to guard against the chance that clues to the show’s outcome could slip out. Steers could reveal nothing about the show itself. For instance, he could not answer, the producer intervened to say, if he had decided to sign on with a modeling agent after his experience.
“The cast members get so close,” he said. “Everybody was crying after the first elimination, and we hadn’t known each other a week. You get attached really quickly. It’s not like it’s all positive vibes, but you really bond.
“I’m definitely staying friends with some of the cast members. We’re talking about living in New York together.
“I feel like it’s inevitable that [the contestants’] characters are not changed, but get flattened. I think I’ll still come across as myself to viewers.” Even to those in his hometown, he said. “I still have Crozet pride,” he said. “Crozet and Charlottesville are still home.”
Making a TV show involves incredible amounts of waiting, Steers said. The other thing he learned was of a little more philosophical nature: what makes something beautiful.
“I feel like I didn’t have respect for the physical. I didn’t have much regard for appearance. I got an education in aesthetics.”
Steers can talk plainly after the show’s season ends. For now, he said, “I’m kind of surprised. I’m sure modeling is something I want to do. I didn’t think something non-academic was an option for me.”
The show will air Wednesdays at 10 p.m.