MODEL BEGINNINGS: From a fast-food restaurant in Salt Lake City or sorority house in San Francisco to the runways in Milan and Paris, a new reality show about the modeling industry shows what it takes to turn the girl next door into a professional model. “You are watching the first 72 hours of a girl’s modeling life,” said industry expert Michael Flutie. “You see the discovery process and get to learn about the family and who the girl is. It’s sort of like watching “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

In each episode, a few girls are tapped by local scouts around the country and in some cases, flown to New York City to meet with Flutie, Nylon’s Dani Stahl and model mentor Berri Smither. The potential model is made over, takes a few photos and then meets with Scott Lipps of One Management, who makes the final decision about signing them. “The industry is so much more competitive now and I think there is a huge model movement,” Flutie said. “You are seeing a reemergence of the model, in pop culture, following a celebrity fallout where we know too much. The Lindsay Lohans of the world have created this.”

This story first appeared in the November 28, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“Scouted,” which makes its debut tonight on E, evaluated hundreds of potential models before settling on 15. “The girls we scouted never considered modeling before,” Flutie said. “That makes this show different. In school they were probably called dorky or considered lanky. With us, they might appear on the next magazine cover.”

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