Key Points:

Southern girls will give the Jafas a run for their money in the race to be New Zealand's Next Top Model, says one of the judges.

At this stage the odds are fairly long but international model of more than 17 years Colin Mathura-Jeffree would take a bet that New Zealand's Next Top Model will be from the south.

Having visited Queenstown, Invercargill and most recently Dunedin, in the past three days, Mathura-Jeffree, who is part of the selection panel for TV3's new show, said he was "impressed" by the talent.

"Judging by the talent we have already seen I really think the south is going to give Auckland girls a run for their money," he said. "I'm slightly exotic and so I like people that are interesting and have an understanding of fashion."

At Dunedin's Fortune Theatre yesterday morning, about 10 women sat nervously waiting for their names to be called.

Having made sure they were over the required 170cm in height and had filled in details on the application form such as what their life dreams were they were sent in to see whether they would make it as a "finalist".

Most said they had been "pushed" into turning up by their friends or workmates. One girl said she was coming along as moral support for a workmate but was talked into facing the panel.

Greer Morris-Clark said she had come to the audition "on a whim" after some convincing from friends and workmates.

Mathura-Jeffree said shy New Zealand girls would often stay away from such an audition, but he urged friends of "hot" women to take them along.

About 30 people auditioned in Dunedin.

- OTAGO DAILY TIMES