Teen a model citizen

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Teen beauty Cherie Patterson had a model start to the week – in more ways than one.

Three visiting judges for New Zealand’s Next Top Model voted hands-down on Monday to shortlist the 16-year-old for TV3’s upcoming reality show.

Cherie is among 14 girls picked out of 42 hopefuls from the show’s first Kiwi audition at the Queens­town Performing Arts Centre. When national try-outs wrap on January 21, shortlisted candidates will be whittled down to 33 finalists who’ll fly to Auckland to compete for 13 places on the show itself.

Cherie – who’s from Taranaki but is spending summer in Queenstown with aunt Jan Prudden – must have courted lady luck.

She landed a waitressing job on the weekend – after a month of hunting – and wasn’t even going
to audition.

“Cherie spent [Sunday] night filling out the application form,” says Prudden, who took her niece
to the auditions on her lunch break.

“She didn’t want to but I made her do it.”

Cherie, who has no modelling experience, was grilled by Colin Mathura-Jeffree – the only TV judge present – along with TV3 producer Anna Lynch and Andrea Plowright of Auckland agency 62 Models & Talent.

She left with her face pink, voice shaking, “pretty pumped and excited” to get in.

Another Queenstown-Lakes teenage stunner had a cracking start to her week too.

Mathura-Jeffree and Plowright clocked Charlotte Gardiner, 18, on their flight into Queenstown.
Gardiner was flying home after placing fourth in the long jump at the national secondary schools track and field championships in Hamilton on the weekend.

Says the graduating Mount Aspiring College student: “They came up to me and said I should come along and audition. I was pretty excited.”

Gardiner has done some commercials in Queenstown but says modelling is “a closet thing” she doesn’t tell anyone about.

But if she makes it on to our screens in 2009, it won’t be a secret any longer.