Britain"s Next Top Model is back with two new judges and a 20 catfighting finalists… FEMAIL meets the girls ahead of tonight"s show

Britain's Next Top Model is back with two new judges and a 20 catfighting finalists… FEMAIL meets the girls ahead of tonight's show
New judging panel sees Elle Macpherson and Julien Macdonald joined by male model Tyson Beckford and Hills star Whitney PortJulien Macdonald says finalists are 'best we've ever had' on BINTM
Girls sent on shock trip to Dubai for bootcamp – and two walk out before they've even started



17:41 GMT, 10 July 2012

Elle Macpherson is back with a brand new series of Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model. The judging panel has been refreshed with two new faces, The Hills star and Teen Vogue model Whitney Port, and U.S. male supermodel Tyson Beckford, who join Elle and outspoken Welsh designer Julien Macdonald for this eighth series.

The 20 finalists were selected from auditions across the country for their model potential and what BINTM have dubbed 'fashion fierceness'.

The girls this year are the strongest yet, says Julien Macdonald. 'I think this is the best selection of young girls we’ve ever had. They are energetic and they capture the essence of the look at the moment and of what is going on in fashion, youth culture and modelling. I don’t know who will win but I think they will be the best winner we’ve had, with the most potential.'

Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model contestants: The final 20

Top row, from left to right: Emma Sharratt, 18; Amelia Raven, 18; Emma Grattidge, 19; Catherine Corry, 22; Jennifer Joint, 19; Madeleine Taga, 20; Anne Winterburn, 23; Louisa Warwick, 19; Diona Doherty, 22; Tasmin Golding, 21

Bottom row, from left to right: Vanessa Cox, 19; Lisa Madden, 19; Roxanne O'Connor, 22; Kelly Forde, 21; Rissikat Oyebade, 22; Letitia Herod, 18; Anita Kaushik, 19; Danielle Steven,19; Penelope Williamson, 19; Anna Vokes, 21

Elle agrees, saying this groups is the 'most skilled' yet.

'This particular bunch of girls has been the most skilled as far as modelling is concerned,' Elle says. 'We have seen girls start strong and get stronger, and we’ve also seen girls start strong who have not been able to maintain it because looks only go so far.

'Versatility, stamina, sense of humour, courage, willingness to try new things, being flexible, reinventing themselves… there are a lot of challenges for them. A gorgeous girl can come in and then leave in the first couple of episodes because she doesn’t have that range. /07/09/article-2171093-13FEB908000005DC-43_232x455.jpg” width=”232″ height=”455″ alt=”The judges: Elle Macpherson” class=”blkBorder” />

Julien Macdonald says this year's girls are the 'best yet'

Whitney Port has appeared on The Hills and modelled for TeenVogue

Tyson Beckford has been in the modelling industry for two decades, and is known as the first male supermodel

The judging panel, from left to right: Elle Macpherson, Julien Macdonald – who says this year's girls are the 'best yet' – Whitney Port and Tyson Beckford

In tonight's episode, the group will
be in for a few surprises as Elle Macpherson unleashes the unexpected on
the nervous girls.

The group meet at the St Pancras
Renaissance Hotel in London, where host Elle Macpherson reveals their
first challenge – a catwalk in front of Top Model fans and members of
the press, and of course, Elle herself.

Elle says: 'I want to see your
personalities, I want to understand who you are, your personal style.'
Some girls struggle with nerves in front of the crowd, while others work
the catwalk and sparkle with model potential.

But as Elle gathers the girls to give
her opinion, she has a surprise in store: 'I don’t think I’ve seen the
best of you all yet, so I really need the help of my fellow judges. Now
unfortunately they’re not here at the moment, so I guess what we’re
going to have to do is go and join them. .. in Dubai! Never before on
Top Model have we taken 20 girls on a trip, so you guys are really
special… I’ll see you there.'

But it's not long before the claws
come out, and the girls find themselves fighting soon after arriving in
Dubai. Personality clashes come to a head as the girls discuss their

Madeleine is singled out, with Anita
voicing that she 'cannot stand' her. Although others defend her,
believing that 'she’s just very confident,' Diona adds that she finds
her character to be 'very aggressive.' Amelia concludes 'she’s come
here to win, not to make friends.'

It's just a taste of things to come as tensions will no doubt reach boiling point as the show unfolds.

Watch this space as we report on all
the drama, from the highs and lows inside the house to the evictions and
interviews with the girls.

Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model airs tonight and every Monday at 9pm Sky Living.

VIDEO: Elle dishes the gossip behind the scenes!…