AfterEllen.com reader Ilona tipped us off that one of the six finalists of Cycle 2 of Finland’s version of America’s Next Top Model — called Searching for Finland’s Top Model (or Suomen huippumalli haussa in Finnish) — is 25-year-old openly gay/bi contestant Nanna.
It’s unclear if Nanna identifies as lesbian or bi, but she has said that she hopes someone closeted will look up to her and find the courage to come out.
Much of the format on Finland’s Top Model is similar to ANTM — the models live in a house together, receive house mail with clues about upcoming competitions, and travel abroad for some competitions — the winner of Searching for Finland’s Top Model is decided based solely on the contestants’ photo portfolio, not on a runway show, too.
Finland’s Top Model puts a lot of emphasis on photoshoots, often doing two shoots per episode, and the shoots are just as varied as those on ANTM, requiring contestants to design an evening outfit out of haystacks, portray "Say no to Tobacco" in a pin-up style, and show off Max Factor cosmetics.
So how has Nanna fared in the photoshoots so far? Pretty well.
Here’s her photo for the Max Factor ad, which was the judges hands-down favorite:
Here’s Nanna’s latest photo, for a bubblegum ad in which the models were asked to write down something that described them, and then portray the emotion it evoked in them. Nanna chose "homo" as her word, and "pride" as the emotion. ("Homo" means gay in Finnish.)
I like! And not just for the obvious reason (gay pride = yay!), but because the contrast between this photo and the Max Factor one shows Nanna has some versatility.
The contest has been whittled down to six now, and since Nanna has not only survived, but thrived — she came in first in the fifth episode, and second in the last one — it seems like she has at least a decent chance of winning the whole thing.
But I’d love to hear from our Finnish readers — what’s your take on Nanna and her competition? Is she likely to be Finland’s Next Top Model? How has her sexuality been received by Finnish audiences? Inquiring minds want to know!
June 11 Update: Nanna has made it all the way to the finale, which airs Monday! Here are two more photos from recent shoots.
Check back next week to find out of she’s Finland’s next Top Model!