Australia's Next Top Model's bumper season

A dozen Cycle 8 hopefuls land modelling contracts

Australia's Next Top Model keeps on launching professional modelling careers - more than any other Next Top Model franchise in the world, it seems.

Four former contestants and competition entrants walked the recent Spring/Summer 2014 show season: Cycle 5 runner-up Cassi van den Dungen, Cycle 7 winner Montana Cox and two names from the Cycle 7 Top 100 list, Kia Low and Mikaela Bell, who never made it into the actual show.

Pretty, petite, 16 year-old Melissa Juratowitch was crowned the winner of Cycle 8 - by public vote, we hasten to add. Her winner's prize booty included the November 2013 cover of Harper's Bazaar Australia, above, and a worldwide contract with IMG Models, which became the show's new model agency affiliate earlier this year.

According to IMG Models Australia managing director Danielle Ragenard, Juratowitch will head to Paris at the end of the year during her school holidays for testing and go-sees, but is due to return to Australia to complete her tertiary studies.

But Juratowitch is not the only Cycle 8 participant to have scored an IMG contract.

The Australian arm of the world's biggest modelling agency has just signed a total of nine contestants of the latest series - over half of the 15 contestants in other words - including controversial Taylah Roberts, who was disqualified after episode six after an alleged assault on fellow contestant Ashley Pogmore.

Ragenard reports that some of the nine signed Cycle 8 contestants have also been signed to world-wide contracts with the agency - with others merely repped in Australia at this stage.

All are now featured on the agency's 'Development' board. They are:

And they are not the only girls with a Cycle 8 connection to have been signed by the agency.

Although Ragenard declined to identify names, she said "a couple" of other girls who were spotted during the interstate audition roadshow earlier in the year, who may have been under the show's 16 year age minimum, had also been signed to the agency's Australian Development board.

In Ragenard's experience, she added, it was unprecedented for any Australian model agency to have signed so many contestants from a single season of the show. Both Ragenard and her senior manager Jaz Daly used to work at other local agencies previously affiliated with the series - Chic Management and Priscilla's, respectively.

That's not counting Nicola Walsh, who was shortlisted during the Cycle 8 Brisbane auditions, who Frockwriter profiled earlier this year.

Offered a contract by the AusNTM producers to participate in the introductory 'Boot Camp' episode alongside 49 other semi-finalists, Walsh - who was already repped by a small Gold Coast model agency, but had yet to do any professional work - turned down the opportunity for further consideration for the show in favour of a paid gig in David Jones' Autumn/Winter 2013 runway showcase in Sydney and signed with the Chadwick agency in Sydney.