Finals 16 in Australia's Next Top Model revealed

THE claws have been sharpened and more back stabbing is ahead, with the search for the next modelling superstar well underway.

Hosted by Sarah Murdoch, Australia's Next Top Model is bigger than ever this year, with an increased number of finalists ready to strut their stuff and prove they have what it takes to make it in the high-stress world of modelling.

A total of 16 girls have been chosen this year - compared to 13 in past years - to appear in the upcoming sixth season, premiering on Fox8 in July.

Priscilla Leighton Clark, the founder of Priscilla's Model Management, says she's always so impressed by the girls discovered by the show.

"This season we have really been blown away by the calibre of models entering the competition," said Clark, a guest judge on past series.

"The momentum has built and Australian girls now understand that you can have a wonderful international modelling career from being discovered through the show.

"We are particularly excited this year to see such a broad mix of girls in the finals and, as a result, have had to increase the talent pool to see who will surface as this year's winner."

Finalists range in age from 16 to 20 with three contestants from NSW, five from Victoria, three from Queensland, three from South Australia and three from Western Australia.

Over the next few months the cameras will follow the contestants as they undertake various modelling assignments and tasks designed to turn them into model material.

Australian fashion designer Alex Perry and model-turned-TV personality Charlotte Dawson will be again be joined on the judging panel by international fashion photographer Jez Smith, who will reprise his judging role from season three.

The 16 finalists are:

- Ashton Flutey, 18, NSW
- Chantal Croccolo, 19, NSW
- Kelsey Martinovich, 19, NSW
- Alison Boxer, 16, Vic
- Ashlea Monigatti, 16, Vic
- Megan Jacob, 17, Vic
- Sophie Van Den Akker, 19, Vic
- Amanda Ware, 17, Qld
- Kathryn Lyons, 20, Qld
- Kimberley Thrupp, 20, Qld
- Brittney Dudley, 16, SA
- Joanna Broomfield, 18, SA
- Valeria Nilova, 16, SA
- Claire Smith, 18, WA
- Jessica Moloney, 19, WA
- Sally Geach, 18, WA
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