Saleisha Lashawn Stowers (born January 20, 1986), also known as Sal Stowers, is an American fashion model who became the winner of Cycle 9 of ANTM in 2007.
Saleisha was born in Pasadena, California. In her Seventeen Magazine interview, She stated she had a rough life growing up because both her parents were drug addicts, with her mother also being bipolar, so she lived with her grandmother. She was working as a receptionist in Los Angeles.
She attended Camp T-Zone, Tyra's self-esteem camp for girls when she was 14. Before appearing on cycle 9, Saleisha was signed with Photogenics Model Management, and had also appeared in a 2006 commercial for fast-food restaurant Wendy's, with actor Tom Lenk. She was also an extra in an episode of the TV series Ugly Betty. She modeled on two episodes of the Tyra Banks Show, modeling for Rami, Project Runway season four contestant, and she was one of the models at the GenArt fashion show in cycle 6. She was a spokesperson for Especially Yours wigs, and was featured in a fashion spread for In Touch. She was then recruited for the show.
Saleisha entered the competition with a bubbly and confident personality, winning the judging style challenge in the second episode. At the smoking side-effects shoot, she modeled alongside fellow contestant, Heather, doing an image focused on second-hand smoking.
In the following episode, the girls had to walk for Collen Quen, and Saleisha again won the challenge. This caused jealousy between her and Bianca. The two later got into a screaming match at the house.
For the early stages, Saleisha had respectable pictures, but in episode four she received a bowl cut for her makeover, which is considered one of the worst makeovers in Top Model history by the fanbase. She later landed in the bottom two against Victoria for having dead eyes in her plant photo, but was saved.
From then on, Saleisha worked hard to try and win the judges over, finally achieving Best photo for the recyclable material shoot in episode six. Making it to the top six, Saleisha along with Lisa, Chantal, Bianca, Jenah & Heather left for Shanghai, China. When photographed by both Nigel and Tyra in episodes eleven and twelve, both were blown away by Saleisha's ability to be charming and professional on set and the ability to produce such strong photos. Against Chantal in the final, Saleisha's runway walk was significantly stronger. After a final deliberation, Tyra announced that Saleisha was the winner.
Saleisha later appeared on the finale episode of cycle 10 to give encouragement to the final three, and she opened for the mock Versace runway show.
Since Stowers's win, there has been controversy regarding her eligibility to appear on the show in the first place. The show's rules state that a contestant must not have appeared as a model in a national advertising campaign during the last five years. Stowers appearance in the commercial for Wendy's sparked a debate among fans over whether or not it's considered to be an advertising campaign. The CW said in a statement that Stowers did disclose her participation in the Wendy's spot, and "after reviewing the commercial, it was determined that her appearance did not amount to "modeling" experience, and therefore did not exclude her from participating in the show" although her modeling contract with Elite model management was shortened.
Several blogs, news outlets and fan videos have speculated that her past relationship with Banks (her participation in T-Zone camp and her past appearances on Tyra's television shows) have influenced her selection as the winner.
As part of her prize, Stowers won a contract with CoverGirl Cosmetics which features her campaigning for WetSlicks Fruit Splitzers, and appeared on the cover of the February 2008 issue of Seventeen Magazine magazine. She has also won a contract for representation with Elite Model Management. Like previous winners of ANTM, She appeared in weekly segments of "My Life as a CoverGirl" during the running of cycle 10. Saleisha has also signed to L.A. Models Runway Division and has a MetroStyle campaign, along with fellow winners Jaslene Gonzalez and Dani Evans.
Saleisha along with Tyra, Jaslene, Claire Unabia and Michael Bloomberg planted a tree on April 10 in NYC in honor of Earth Day. The filming of this aired on April 30, 2008 on The Tyra Banks Show. Saleisha has also attended The Fiercee Awards along with past ANTM contestants that aired on May 14th. Stowers was at the premiere of Polanski Unauthorized. She attended the Vavoom Upfront party with CariDee English and Jaslene. She also was at the CW Upfront party for the cycle 10 finale party with past ANTM alums. She has also appeared on the cover of Paper Doll Magazine.
Saleisha has walked for Tibi. Stowers has walked for Peter Som's Bill Blass Fall 2008 Collection at Saks Fifth Avenue on April 2. She has also walked for Carson Kressley's Safilo USA Spring/Summer '08 Designer Eyewear Fashion Show at Vision Expo East on April 12. Saleisha walked for Jose Duran for NYC fashion week.
Saleisha portrayed the role of Cassandra Foster on "All My Children". She made her debut on April 30, 2013. In March 2015, She guest starred on an episode of the ABC Family show, "Switched at Birth" as the character Tara. In June 2015, She joined the cast of "Days of Our Lives" as the role of Lani Price. In the same year, she guest-starred in an episode of "Major Crimes" as Heather. In 2016, she recurred on "Caged" as Shawna Carlson. In 2017, she was cast in the lead role of Krista in a film called "Tomboy", as well as Josie Miller in the series "Beyond Therapy". In 2018, she guest-starred in an episode of "The Fosters" as Priya.
She was an honorable mention on MsMojo's YouTube video "Top 10 Hated America's Next Top Model Contestants". Her fight with Bianca was ranked number two on "Top 10 Craziest Fights".
- Saleisha is the fourth black woman to win ANTM. She is after Eva Marcille, Naima Mora and Dani Evans.
- She is the second ANTM contestant from Los Angeles, California to win, the first being Eva.
- She is one of two winners who were never CoverGirl of the Week. The other is Nicole Linkletter.
|Cycle 9 Contestants|
Ambreal Williams • Bianca Golden • Chantal Jones • Ebony Morgan • Heather Kuzmich • Janet Mills • Jenah Doucette • Kimberly Leemans • Lisa Jackson • Mila Bouzinova • Saleisha Stowers • Sarah Hartshorne • Victoria Marshman