Amanda Lynn Swafford (born October 30, 1978 in Hendersonville, North Carolina) came in third place on Cycle 3. Swafford is legally blind; she is afflicted with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye condition. Swafford has stated that the condition will leave her completely blind by age 30.[1] She has modeled in Moscow and Prague after the show.
Amanda Swafford

One of Swafford's pictures that earnt her 1 of her 5 first call-outs

Early life

Swafford's family relocated to Plano, Texas during her childhood years. She was a track and field athlete at Plano East Senior High School in 1997. In 2000, she graduated from Austin Community College, Rio Grande[2].

America's Next Top Model

When Amanda tried out for Cycle 3, the judges all noted that her most stunning feature was her ice-blue eyes. Though her stunning eyes were her assets, it nevertheless was also her lost as she is legally blind. But that did not stop her from wanting to participate as a cast on the show and she was called 10th during casting. Amanda took some of the most memorable and stunning photos during her cycle. The judges were amazed by her photos especially the un-retouched beauty shot that she took during the third week of the competition. Amanda thought that her biggest competition were Ann Markley and Eva Pigford (Winner).

She wound up in the finale along with winner Eva Pigford and Yaya DaCosta, but Amanda was eliminated when she and Eva were in the bottom 2. The judges had a difficult time deciding who to send home, but in the end, it was Swafford. One of the judges, Janice Dickinson was one of the strongest opponents to the judging, saying, "I love you!" to Swafford when she was eliminated.

She was recently voted as one of the most memorable contestants by AOL entertainment.[3]


Before appearing on America's Next Top Model, Swafford modeled under the name "Amanda Mellard"[4] in Austin, Texas, where she was a somewhat established figure in Austin's fashion community.[5][6] After appearing on America's Next Top Model, Swafford modeled for Levi's in an ad campaign with other visually impaired models.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag. In 2005, Swafford announced plans to write a multi-sensory book for children.[7] Amanda has appeared on the covers of Bliss for Bride Magazine and Access Magazine, and has modeled for Felt It! Stitch It! Fabulous! and WEBS.


  1. Interview with Metro Online Last accessed 4 September 2006
  2. biography for Amanda Swafford
  3. Top Model Contestants We Can't Forget, II - AOL Entertainment Canada
  4. IMDb page
  5. Austin Chronicle
  6. Austin Chronicle
  7. Interview with Disability Now]

External links