IMG Passes on “Top Model” Molly O’Connell…WTF?

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @joeynolfi

I’ve seen a lot in my days of bitchily covering ANTM happenings. Girls talking to plants. Runners-up gracing more than just a few extra covers than the winners of their respective cycle. Hell, an ent from ‘Lord of the Rings’ even won Cycle 14.

But IMG’s recent passing up of Molly O’Connell really has me scratching my head.

The fact that Brittani Kline (repping PA, holla!) won Cycle 16 is still as baffling to many as Jade’s decision to turn down an invite to All-Stars, airing in September. But the fact that Kline was given the leg-up over O’Connell was the real shocker. O’Connell’s portfolio is one of, if not the, best portfolio the show has ever seen. Her bitchy attitude was much in line with how Paulina Porizkova described the actual industry successes in her blog posting last week on the Huffington Post.

So why did IMG, a top international agency, pass? No one knows for sure.

“Yep, now I get to search for new agencies. How fun,” O’Connell’s twitter says after she posted an update about a meeting with the famed agency, “Whatever, Life goes on I guess.”

The life of this topic certainly does. At least for the countless hoardes (ok, all 10) of us who still obsess over this show like Camille McDonald to a fame whoring opportunity.

Perhaps Kline sprinkled some gremlin dust on O’Connell as she slept (they’re roommates now, living in Hoboken, New Jersey. Oh the places the limelight will take you) seeing as her position with the agency was sort of, well, bought.

IMG reps and guest judges alike seemed to adore O’Connell’s look, at least judging from what we were shown on television this past cycle. Perhaps it was Tyra’s way of “spicing things up” to give us a “dramatic” twist of events during the finale in crowning Kline the winner. Fans were certainly shocked, and lunches were unavoidably tossed from their containing stomachs.

The future is still bright for Ms. O’Connell. I have no doubt she’ll be joining the ranks of Mollie Sue, Elyse, and Fatima as a high fashion queen of foreign editorials and hipster fanboys wet dreams.

Best of Luck, Molly. Lord knows you’re not going to need it.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @joeynolfi


  1. You should really do more research before publishing something like that. It was Kline that set up the interview for Molly, with IMG. And…have you SEEN Molly since the show ended? Maybe you should look up some recent pics, maybe that will answer your question of WHY she didn’t get signed.

    1. LOL what does Brittani having set up the interview have any relevance? If that’s true then that only adds more credibility to what I’m saying; a friend got a friend an interview, IMG is most likely afraid of the stigma. I made a joke about her being a gremlin, any anyone who believes I was serious when I said her horrid look rubbed off on Molly is severely misguided. Molly has twenty times the potential that Brittani does. The stigma from the show ultimately will plague both of them, and I feel like IMG didn’t want two models who would book no work based on their association with the show. Molly needs an agency that will do what Elyse, Mollie Sue, Lauren Brie, and Fatima’s did for them; to market her powerfully overseas and as an ediotrial-only. That’s the only way she’ll find work. Brittani will book a couple of lookbooks and boutiques, and this time next year she’ll be in the same boat as Molly.

      1. I guess you’ll have to stay tuned. Brittani is going to 2 go-sees today. And neither of them are for lookbooks or boutiques.
        The relevance of Britt setting up a meeting is defending her character. She wants Molly to succeed just as much as she does for herself. If you don’t want people to take what you say in your writings seriously, maybe you shouldn’t write those meaningless statements. Then you also wouldn’t have to insult the reader as being severly misguided because they are only being lead by your article.

      2. Well I apologize for the rude comments, but this is the kind of interaction I like with readers and sometimes I get heated. It’s boring to have someone who agrees with me. And it’s not so much an “empty statement” as me truly explaining my feelings concerning Brittani in the most blunt possible way. I thought it was funny. Apparently you didn’t.

        Anyway, I still think Brittani setting up the interview is irrelevant. Of course they want each other to succeed, seeing as you said they’re friends. It’s also obviously for monetary gain that they’d want to succeed. The issue of desiring to “succeed” is also irrelevant, everyone wants to succeed. My point is that the stigma of the show is still clearly at work here. Brittani will not work, just as the other winners from the show haven’t really worked much based on their modeling potential but rather their attachment to the show. Do you honestly believe Brittani would have been signed to IMG unless her position was bought with the airtime IMG received? If she attended an open call, I’d be willing to bet my life she wouldn’t have been signed. How many covers (aside from CariDee’s latest “Self” cover) have you really seen any of these winners on that doesn’t say “ANTM Winner!” next to their photo? I know it’s a tired argument, but the show really is career suicide for models. IMG would have been a nice fit for Molly, and I was definitely hoping she’d get in. But I think we all know that neither Brittani nor Molly will ever be taken seriously. Molly needs a strong international agency that is willing to market her.

        I also think you’re putting far too much weight onto my comments about Brittani. I don’t like the girl’s look, and a few biting comments that show that aren’t really worthy of all this banter. So once again I apologize for calling you “severely misguided” because you’re doing a fine job of explaining yourself, but you’re completely entitled to your opinion concerning mine.

      3. It has relevance because you made it sound like Brittani wasn’t for Molly. Just because you prefer Molly doesn’t (obviously) mean IMG does. That is why Brittani ultimately won, IMG wanted her not Molly.

      4. Ibelieveyou’rejusthatingcosbritanniisthebestmodelthereiandrightfromthebrginningshewassuretowinthecompetition

  2. You might not like it as I totally agree with you. Every word you said is a honest statement about how you feel about this show and the models involved and I can’t disagree with that. Love how you speak out our mind and you have a lot of common sense.
    Sending some love from France. xx

  3. brittani kline just had an editorial spread in VOGUE MEXICO rocking United Colors of Benettonm clothes. I do like Molly too. Actually I thought she would win, but lets admit it, with the kind of attitude that she has, she won’t have a very good start had she won. You think Naomi Campbell has always been that bitchy? hell no! They all started as humble humans pleasing clients and Molly is incapable of that. Brittani won because she’s equally good as Molly with the splash of right humility and attitude. and when they met with Franca Sozzani, Brittani made an impesion and Molly did not. I thought Ann- Chelsey battle was tough, but this one is waaaay tougher, Both are good. And I’m pretty sure that both of them would have a great future in modelling.

    1. I believe molly deserves to be on top, even though she did not won. So what if she didnt. She got the face that will surely thrust her career upward. She does not need to be an IMG model or whatsoever, she can go to any agency and im positively sure that she will still go far far far….as for brittani….leave her…i dont liked her in the first place…oops..sorry about that..but its free to comment anyways.

  4. Molly had one of the most stellar ANTM portfolios in the history of ATNM. She has the TOP model factor writtne all over her photos. The best contestant to ever grace the pannel,in my opinion. She is meant for greatness. She has the looks of the ‘biggest model’ in the world. I really want her-for some reason- to kick ass in the modeling industry. They ruined her, when they decided to cut her hair, she lost all the editorial shine a la Vogue that she exuded throughout the show.

    1. Just finished watching the rerun and (though I’ve already known) it was devastating to see Molly lose. She really has that high fashion look going on and she was able to deliver each time. She should’ve won!! And to think Brittani got chewed off by Tyra on some earlier episode. And I agree with Spiven that the really short hair didn’t go well with Molly. I wonder where she is now.

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