Local girls falter in first phase of Next Top Model

Tauranga's New Zealand's Next Top Model hopefuls who made it into the show's first episode have failed to emulate the success of last year's success story, Tauranga Girls' College student Lauren Bangs.
Four Western Bay girls made it on to the popular show, which screened on TV3 last night.
But in the words of host Sara Tetro, none of the models will continue on in the hope of being New Zealand's Next Top Model.
Tauranga girl Eden Harris, 17, exited the show by her own choice after asking to leave.
Knocked out in the first round of eliminations were Jana Lee Penwarden, 17, of Tauriko, and Bethlehem College student Rose Ackland, 16, of Te Puna.
Otumoetai College student Claudia Billinge, 16, of Omokoroa, fared best in the competition, but was knocked out in the second round of eliminations after making the top 33.
Claudia was badly injured in a motorbike accident that killed her best friend, Daisy Fernandez, in 2007. Claudia suffered a broken leg and a shattered pelvis in the accident, in which she and Daisy were hit by a 15-year-old motorcyclist riding without lights on Ripiro Beach in Northland.
Claudia underwent extensive surgery to insert plates and screws to fix her pelvis - but has fought back from grief and injury to pursue her dream of modelling.
She has had a long interest in fashion and modelling.
Last year, she entered the Global Connexions Fashion and Art Competition for secondary schools in the Bay of Plenty.
Claudia picked up second place in the Nurtured by Nature category and was highly commended by judges for her design for the Evening Wear category.

She has already done some modelling jobs.
Last year, Tauranga Girls' student Lauren Bangs made the show's top 10.
Lauren, now 17, has since signed with agency 62 Models, and has featured in a fashion shoot for Creme magazine.
She is hoping to pursue a career in modelling.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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