'America's Next Top Model' premiere: Our top 5 model standouts


We poked a little fun at Tyra Banks when she released the intro to Wednesday's (Feb. 23) premiere of "America's Next Top Model" Cycle 16 and told us the show wouldn't be what we expected.

After watching the episode, we'd have to say Tyra still has some tricks up her sleeve. There's something very energetic and new about this cycle. And that's not to say what we love (and expect) from the show isn't there. It just feels like there's a fresh energy about it. And as Tyra says, get ready to see the "biggest swerve 'Top Model' has ever taken." Not only does she start modeling school early in the premiere, but the show holds one of the most challenging, though visually spectacular runway challenges of the series.

As for the girls? They're a pretty impressive bunch. There's a lot of diversity in looks and personalities. And while we're usually used to a socially awkward girl in the bunch who will eventually win us over (i.e. Cycle 13 winner Nicole Fox and last cycle's winner  Ann Ward), none of the girls particularly stand out in that way. There are several that stand out in other ways, though. So, we figured we'd tell you which ones caught our eye, not because we think they'll necessarily win... These are the girls who got our attention in the first episode.

Here are our five model standouts (in alphabetical order):

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Alexandria, 21, from Newport Beach Calif.
Alexandria proves from her first few moments on camera that she's a force to be reckoned with. We can see her confidence will rub her fellow contestants the wrong way. But any "ANTM" fan knows, the bigger they are, the harder they bawl.

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Jaclyn, 20, from Belton, Texas
She's sort of the very simple, naïve girl of the group, and has no idea how hilarious she is. Referred to as the "baby face" of the group, she has the voice to match.

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Kasia, 26, from Wheaton, Ill.
Kasia has several things going against her. She's much older than the other girls and she's a plus-sized model. So, she needs to prove she can make it in the rail-thin world of high fashion modeling. She does have a few things going for her. She has modeled professionally and she has a really bubbly personality. And in "ANTM," personality goes a long way.

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Sara, 18, from Rio Grand Valley, Texas
Tyra loves herself a project and this Cycle offbeat Sara is it. If she were a snack, Sara would be granola and Tyra wants to turn her into caviar. 

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Mikaela, 21, from Boca Raton, Fla.
She is "the face" of this competition. She's pretty stunning. Of course, that face will also force her to come up with a personality that matches. And many a gorgeous girl have left "Top Model" when their personalities didn't step up to their looks. 

"America's Next Top Model" Cycle 16 premieres Wednesday (Feb. 23) at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

What do you think of our five standouts?
Photo/Video credit: Troy Jensen/ Pottle Productions