Michael Desmond/The CW
September 16, 2009 12:00 AM

What qualifies Lauren Conrad to be a guest judge on America’s Next Top Model alongside Tyra Banks? Well, she has designed her own clothing line and hired models for runway shows; she’s handled castings for photo shoots and fittings while working for Teen Vogue and People’s Revolution. She’s also a spokesperson for Avon’s mark line, a fashionable fixture at N.Y. Fashion Week and has been the subject of many a magazine spread.

Not to mention she’s a longtime fan of the CW’s model competition. “I don’t watch a lot of TV, but it is one of the few shows I watch. I’m such a fan of Tyra. So when they contacted me, I said yes,” Conrad tells PEOPLE. “I knew it would be a great experience. Working with the Top Model judges including Miss J Alexander and Nigel Barker was a treat.”

What wasn’t quite as easy, breezy or beautiful about the experience was the responsibility of taking one contestant out of the running and ending her runway dreams. “That’s the part I hated,” Conrad says. “It was so hard judging someone as every girl had qualities that should allow them to continue on. I am one of those that wish they could all be winners.”

Conrad’s episode, which airs tonight on the CW (8 p.m. EST), features a classic ANTM challenge — the nude photo shoot. The contestants posed topless with jockeys and racehorses at the Santa Anita Park racetrack.

Not so standard is the season’s twist which required all of the participants less than 5’7″-tall. But Conrad approves of the change. “I love the twist. I think women of all sizes are beautiful, so it is refreshing to see models of different heights. It’s a bit more relatable to us short girls.” –Carrie Bell

Michael Desmond/The CW

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