The eighth cycle of the hit CW reality series premieres February 28

The competition intensifies for the eighth cycle of The CW's hit series America's Next Top Model, as the 13 finalists fight to turn their dreams of becoming a top model into reality. This season, an incredible transformation takes place as the finalists face tougher challenges and photo shoots ranging from the very glamorous to high-tech to controversial, all while living under one roof in a posh Los Angeles mansion. See the drama unfold in the two-hour, eighth-cycle premiere of America's Next Top Model on Wednesday, February 28 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on The CW.

America's Next Top Model participants are:

Name: Brittany

Occupation: Bartender

Age: 21

Hometown: Savannah, Georgia

Name: Cassandra

Occupation: College Student

Age: 24

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Name: Diana

Occupation: College Student

Age: 21

Hometown: Garfield, New Jersey

Name: Dionne

Occupation: College Student

Age: 20

Hometown: Montgomery, Alabama

Name: Felicia

Occupation: Sales Associate

Age: 19

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Name: Jael

Occupation: Band Manager

Age: 22

Hometown: Detroit, Michigan

Name: Jaslene

Occupation: Online College Admissions Advisor

Age: 20

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Name: Kathleen

Occupation: Hairstylist

Age: 20

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

Name: Natasha

Occupation: College Student

Age: 21

Hometown: Dallas, Texas

Name: Renee

Occupation: Stay-At-Home-Mom

Age: 20

Hometown: Maui, Hawaii

Name: Samantha

Occupation: Sales Associate

Age: 19

Hometown: Pinson, Alabama

Name: Sarah

Occupation: Photographer

Age: 20

Hometown: Lake Zurich, Illinois

Name: Whitney

Occupation: College Student

Age: 21

Hometown: West Palm Beach, Florida

During this cycle, the 13 participants live together and ferociously vie for the grand prize, competing in a highly accelerated modeling boot camp. The participants' abilities are tested each week as they strive to master the runway and fashion photo shoots, perfect publicity skills and learn the business aspects of becoming a supermodel, all under 24-hour-a-day surveillance of the America's Next Top Model cameras. Throughout the series, supermodel Tyra Banks, art director of photo shoots Jay Manuel, and runway guru J. Alexander mentor the participants.

Banks leads the panel of America's Next Top Model judges, comprised of leading fashion industry experts, including supermodel Twiggy, photographer Nigel Barker and runway expert J. Alexander, who closely evaluate the progress of the models to narrow the field each week. In addition, special guest judges appear to critique within his or her area of expertise.

The winner of The CW's America's Next Top Model will be managed by Elite Model Management. She also receives a $100,000 contract with cosmetics giant CoverGirl. Finally, the winner will appear on the cover and six-page fashion spread in Seventeen magazine.

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