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Pics: America’s Next Top Model welcomes first deaf contestant

By Attitude Magazine

If you’re looking for a compelling reason to tune into the current season of America’s Next Top Model, his name is Nyle DiMarco.

As the show premiered last week in its 22nd cycle, the 26-year-old model from New York City stood out among other contestants not for just his rugged Latino looks, but also as the first deaf contestant in the history of the program.

The Gallaudet University graduate writes on his website he only recently discovered modelling after finishing a degree in Mathematics at the world’s only university for the deaf.

While the Washington Post reports a filmmaker friend gave DiMarco his first taste of working the camera several years ago, he said the way he fell into modelling was completely accidental and could serve as an inspirational story to others.

“I vividly remember the day I was cast by ANTM, and I could not believe it at all,” he said in a Youtube blog.

“I was shocked, inspired and I really looked forward to the experience. But Switched at Birth (SAB) also offered me a recurring role. Here’s the catch, SAB and ANTM would both happen on the same month, which means I would have to choose one.

“I really didn’t want to choose one because both of them would be a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

After speaking with friends and family, DiMarco said he weighed up the pros and cons of each gig, and remained uncertain until he received a sign in the form of a video of his puppy Foxy running towards two tennis balls, one labelled SAB and the other ANTM – the dog chose the later.

“I decided to accept the ANTM casting offer,” he said.

“Now that decision was indeed the best decision ever because after I was finished with ANTM, I immediately heard from SAB and their interest in recurring my role. I was amazed and that also meant that ultimately in the end, I had the best of both worlds.”

We’re quite happy to see a lot more of Nyle: