Renee Bhagwandeen is living the dream. Her dream — of being on America’s Next Top Model. “I wish my grandmother could be alive to see this,” says the local looker (pictured) of the show premiering 8 p.m. Friday on the CW.
“It’s an opportunity I never would have expected.” The Trinidad and Tobago native, who came to South Florida at the age of 6, has admired ANTM host, supermodel Tyra Banks, as long as she can remember. “I’m a big, big Tyra fan,” says Bhagwandeen, who went to South Plantation High School. “When you meet her you’re just like, ‘Seriously? You’re kind of friggin’ awesome.’ Everything you expect her to be and more.” This season of ANTM is a little different: The wannabes are both male and female. Though the contestant can’t reveal too much of what went down in the two-gender competition, it should make for some interesting television. “I don’t think any cycle has anything on our cycle,” Bhagwandeen promises
“It’s like nothing that I’ve ever seen before and I mean that in a good way.”
Bhagwandeen joins fellow local, Chlea Ramirez, who lives in Coconut Grove. The two became instant buds. “We’re South Florida girls. We’re happy to be alive and happy for the opportunities we have. We bonded because of that,” says Bhagwandeen, adding: “And we’re both Libras. We love everybody.”