Isis King is a self-proclaimed Renaissance woman and America’s Next Top Model’s only transgender contestant. The cycle 11 vet, who famously transitioned on television, returned to ANTM as one of 14 all stars and blogs exclusively for TV Watch about cycle 17.
In this post, the fan-favorite poser sounds off about the show’s model-mansion, wearing a revealing bikini, being judged by Nicki Minaj and landing on top with the coveted photo of the week.
I walked into the mansion (which made the cycle 11 house look like an apartment in comparison) full of beautiful Top Models with intriguing personalities that matched.
Although I knew my complete transition (I had sex reassignment surgery in 2009) would be discussed as a refresher for those who haven’t kept up with my story, I must admit I was a little taken aback by seeing my “pre-transition picture” featured in the premiere episode.
Nonetheless I was excited to jump right back in during the photo shoot – even though I had on the skimpiest outfit out of the models. But I anxiously busted out of my robe to flaunt a nude bikini, copper chainmail vest and Christian Louboutins for the first photo shoot.
The theme of the shoot was revisiting our personas from our original cycles, mine being “confidence.” And I did just that, showing what I am known for: unique posing. And this put me in a good position at our live judging panel in front of hundreds of fans and Nicki Minaj, who was an amazing guest judge.
Wanting to show off my design skills, I worked the runway in a green dress I created myself. Hopefully one day Nicki will cause a front-row frenzy at my future fashion show! During panel, my photo prompted judge André Leon Talley to say, “You are the new mermaid, darling!” I have a huge obsession with mermaids and anything aquatic so the comment was exciting. Mermaids are exotic, glamorous and sexy, divas of the sea.
Elimination was bittersweet for me because my name was called first, garnering me the honor of best photo of the week, but my friend, “party girl” Brittany Brower, was sent home.
Though I was initially unsure of returning to ANTM, I’m glad I did because I needed a little rattling to push me to the next level in my career. I look forward to the upcoming challenges and hearing your thoughts about the episode.