Amanda Lynn Swafford was a contestant on cycle 3 of ANTM in 2004. She was placed as the second runner-up
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. Before appearing on Top Model, Swafford modeled under the name "Amanda Mellard" in Austin, Texas, where she was a somewhat established figure in Austin's fashion community.
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.
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 was also a hindrance as she is legally blind, which she announced to all of the top 20 girls after the first casting week cut. The judges were amazed by her photos, especially the un-retouched beauty shot that she took during the third week, which earned her first call-out.
Amanda thought that her biggest competition was Ann and Eva, the eventual winner. In episode four, when Amanda's healing crystals were missing, she accuses Eva of taking them, which leads to a big argument between them along with Ann and Jennipher.
She wound up in the finale along with Eva and Yaya. The judges had a difficult time deciding which to send home, Eva or Amanda, but it was Amanda in the end. One of the judges, Janice Dickinson was one of the strongest opponents of the judges, saying, "I love you!" to Swafford when she was eliminated.
After the show, Amanda has modeled in Moscow and Prague. She worked for Levi's in an ad campaign with other visually impaired models. In 2005, Swafford announced plans to write a multi-sensory book for children. 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.
In November of 2020, she was interviewed by Oliver Twixt for his Instagram. There, she revealed:
- She had modeling experience in Austin, Texas before auditioning.
- Ann and Eva hid the teddy bear from the girl who carried the teddy bear around during casting.
- Kelle, Toccara, and Ann probably did not have their best photos selected to further push the storyline
- Michelle (the stylist) had time to get Toccara’s size. She said that Michelle pinched Toccara with industrial clamps, which would hurt.
- Kelle was the most model-esque.
- Toccara did not lose her personality, she thinks they eliminated her because Tokyo didn’t have her size.
- The girls were offered drugs by Japanese drug dealers.
- Japanese officials were told that the girls were visiting their boyfriends, not that they were filming a TV show.
- Before makeovers, Tyra made the girls do colonics.
- In Guam they had to sleep on the hallway floor in a hotel.
After appearing on Top Model, Swafford was voted as one of the most memorable contestants by AOL entertainment. She was ranked number three on MsMojo's YouTube video "Top 10 Shocking Eliminations on America's Next Top Model". Her and Jennipher's fight with Ann and Eva ranked number seven on "Top 10 Craziest Fights". Her makeover ranked number 15 on "Top 20 Worst America's Next Top Model Makeovers".
- Amanda is the first ANTM girl to have four first call-outs in one season.
- "What's a ten dollar bill to catch a bitch?"
- "I'm missing 100 dollars and my laundry's gone. 'Cause of a certain bitch, uh, certain bitch, certain bitch."
- "When you're looking for something, vision's important!"
- Amanda's Facebook
- Amanda's Instagram
- TV.com biography for Amanda Swafford
- IMDb page
- Austin Chronicle
- Austin Chronicle
- Interview with Metro Online Last accessed 4 September 2006
- http://www.disabilitynow.org.uk/people/profiles/prof_oct_2005.htm Interview with Disability Now]
- Top Model Contestants We Can't Forget, II - AOL Entertainment Canada
- Interview with Amanda on August 15, 2005
- "A model of success" Interview with Disability Now.
- "Partially sighted model Amanda Swafford is new Levi's girl" Feature on UK Vogue website.
|Cycle 3 Contestants|
Amanda Swafford • Ann Markley • Cassie Grisham • Eva Pigford • Jennipher Frost • Julie Titus • Kelle Jacob • Kristi Grommet • Leah Darrow • Magdalena Rivas • Nicole Borud • Norelle Van Herk • Toccara Jones • Yaya DaCosta