Italia's Next Top Model, Cycle 2 is the second season of the Italian reality television show based on the American program of the same name. It is broadcast on SkyVivo, a channel of the Italian subscription television Sky TV. It began airing in September 2008 and is currently airing.
The host is once again the Russian top model and actress Natasha Stefanenko. The other permanent judges are Micheal Giannini, art director and talent scout of model agency d’Management, former top model, Gianni Versace's and Giorgio Armani's muse Nadege du Bospertus and fashion Journalist Giusy Ferrè. Recurring judges are photographer Ciro Zizzo and photographer Settimio Benedusi.
Michela Maggioni ended up being the winner of this cycle thus receiving a richer prize consisting of a one-year-contract with d’Management Group as well as a 150,000 € contract with Max Factor to become its face for the 2009 Italian campaign.
Ex top model and Gianni Versace's muse Nadege du Bospertus was a less strict judge during Cycle 1, her conversion into a harsher judge is aimed at making the competition tougher for the contestants, who are heavily criticized by this judge with harsh and ruthless remarks for every single detail on runways or on photos. Actually, producers and judges intended to raise the level of the competition for this season by picking fresher and more high-fashion-looking girls and by putting the aspiring models under increasing pressure, with a more severe evaluation at panel, in order to select a winner that can truly work in the fashion world like Gilda Sansone who won Cycle 1. These changes have made Italia's Next Top Model one of the toughest Top Model spin-offs, compared to the more relaxed attitude of ANTM, and have been welcomed by the viewers.
After months of castings throughout Italy the 30 pre-selected semi-finalists arrive in Milan. They are welcomed by Natasha Stefanenko, the host, and Michael Giannini, art director of d'Management, in a modern luxury hotel where the final castings will take place. Soon the girls start their individual evaluation in front of a panel made up by Natasha, Michael, former top model Nadège, model scouts Danilo Di Pasquale and Anna Peggion. Interesting and determined contestants show up at panel, such as Claudia B. coming from a small village in Sardinia, Claudia C., a karate expert, Diletta the soccer player, Beatrice, with an ethereal modelesque look, Claudia M. with a wonderful body and a bubbly personality, Giorgia, who shows great self-confidence despite her body flaws and Amy, the Ivorian woman with a hard past reflected in her eyes. Unfortunately, only 20 will continue to the final choice, and the girls are asked to show their walks and potential.
Later on, Natasha reveals the 20 aspiring contetants that have passed the selection and some tears are shed by the eliminated ones. But there is no time for rest for the others, since they must face a photoshoot to show their facial intensity to the judging panel.
After the judges' deliberation Natasha welcomes the girls at the final cast selection. Once chosen, the selected contestants show happiness and joy, but, while leaving the hotel, some of the rejected girls express rude remarks about some picked ones or by saying the judges will regret not casting them.
The 14 finalists are sent to the exclusive sea resort of Santa Margherita Ligure to be immediately tested by facing their first photoshoot with famous photographer Settimio Benedusi who also worked for Sports Illustrated. The contestants must pose on rocks with aggressive but modelesque attitude in front of the Ligurian sea while wearing bikinis. Some need to be coached, others perform naturally.
Later the excited girls enter their Milan home, but Natasha's letter inform them they will be judged the following day.
At their first judging Amy and Michela are highly praised for their effortless performance, Beatrice is noted for her high fashion features, whereas Claudia B. disappoints the judges with her unacceptable shot and Noemi produces a vulgar photo. Giorgia and Giulia are told to work on their bodies.
Noemi and Claudia B. land in the bottom two for being uncomfortable at the photoshoot and Claudia B. is sent home for losing her determination in front of the camera and having a bad body posture.