MOMENT IN THE SUN: Phillipps and Evans film a scene; Inset, a sultry Phillipps.
On Friday night, America’s Next Top Model was given a dose of bonafide island charm and true Jamrock hospitality, thanks in large part to an appearance by Jamaica’s own Yendi Phillipps, who stepped in front of the global cameras on the popular modelling reality series (whose current Cycle 19 and College Edition is largely set in Montego Bay) as a representative of the Jamaica Tourist Board.
As we have come to expect no less of her, Yendi was the perfect ambassador for Brand Jamaica and a natural choice to represent us on the show.
Exuding radiant intelligence while channelling effortless, easy-breezy glam in a flowing, earth-toned dress and minimal accessories, the former Miss Universe runner-up joined judge Rob Evans and the top-four finalists (Kiara, Laura, Leila and Nastasia) at the Half Moon Resort for a fun, sea-side challenge, courtesy of the JTB. The challenge: each contestant was required to pen and shoot a 15-second commercial – on horseback! – promoting Jamaica to the world as a first-class island getaway.
The results, as could be anticipated, were mixed. But in the end, Kiara (a dark and lovely 22-year-old University of California undergrad) was announced the winner. For her prize, Kiara won $10,000 towards her college scholarship, and, perhaps more importantly, she will star in an upcoming worldwide campaign for the Jamaica Tourist Board.
Yendi was pleased with the final decision. “It was really tight,” she said, “but myself and members of the Jamaica Tourist Board were very impressed that [she] was able to highlight a lot of the facts about Jamaica.”
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