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“America's Next Top Model” star Shandi Sullivan recreates iconic “ANTM” photo 20 years later

“America's Next Top Model” star Shandi Sullivan recreates iconic “ANTM” photo 20 years later

"Shandi still has that magic and beauty," photographer Tanner Abel tells EW.

Nearly 20 years since her graduation from Walgreens staffer to America's Next Top Model cycle 2 finalist, Shandi Sullivan is still working it (and being fierce).

After a decade-long break from modeling, the Kansas City, Mo. native recently returned to set for a photo shoot with New York City artists Tanner Abel and Nicholas Needham to recreate her iconic Italian colosseum portrait from the show. The occasion was the image's 20th birthday, following its first appearance on the March 2, 2004 episode of the Tyra Banks–hosted reality competition series.

<p>Hulu; <a href="https://www.instagram.com/tannerabelofficial/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Shandi Sullivan photographed by Tanner Abel and Nicholas Needham</a></p> Shandi Sullivan recreates her 'ANTM' colosseum shoot 20 years later

"Very intentional references are a huge part of the work I create, no matter who the muse of the photo is," Abel exclusively tells Entertainment Weekly of the shoot, which he revealed Wednesday on social media as Sullivan's first professional shoot in 10 years. "Shandi’s Italian colosseum photo from 2004 was undoubtedly her superstar moment of the cycle and, personally, may be my favorite photo in Top Model history."

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As a longtime fan of the show, which aired its first 24 cycles between 2003 and 2018, Abel says Sullivan's image — shot for a mock eyewear campaign to test the contestants' modeling skills — first spoke to him after it "blew away the judges and photographer, who said it was one of his best photos all year" on the series.

"I wanted to nod to this image to showcase that Shandi still has that magic and beauty within her no matter how much time has passed or what her current career is, while also taking the opportunity to create a fresh 2024 interpretation of her through my eyes," Abel says of the photo, in which Sullivan lifts her leg up as a reference to the pose she did in the original shot.

<p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/tannerabelofficial/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Shandi Sullivan photographed by Tanner Abel and Nicholas Needham</a></p> 'ANTM' season 2 model Shandi Sullivan by Tanner Abel and Nicholas Needham

Sullivan quickly became a fan-favorite contestant during her run on ANTM, ultimately placing third in the competition, behind eventual winner Yoanna House.

Sullivan's Cinderella story (the show touted her former job as a Walgreens clerk heavily) wasn't the only thing that captured the audience's attention, as one of her storylines involved her tearful exchange with her then-boyfriend, Eric, on the phone after the model cheated on him with an Italian man.

The moment occurred after Sullivan and the other models partied with a group of young male models at their apartment, which Sullivan told EW last year she felt was a "manipulated" scenario production concocted to stir up drama.

<p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/tannerabelofficial/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Shandi Sullivan photographed by Tanner Abel and Nicholas Needham</a></p> 'America's Next Top Model' season 2 finalist Shandi Sullivan shot by Tanner Abel and Nicholas Needham

"I was really drunk, falling down. If I would've seen me out with that dude in [public], I would've been like, 'Okay, grab [her], you're way too drunk to even know what's going on,'" Sullivan told EW at the time.

"We had sex for two seconds, that was it, and then I passed out. When I woke up, I was like, 'Oh s---," Sullivan said. "It wasn't safe, and I wanted to make sure he was [clean]. They ended up [filming] me talking to the guy, like, 'Do you have STDs? When was the last time you were tested?' Thinking about that now, it's so bizarre. Like, this is my life, it's not a scripted thing."

A spokesperson for Banks said the supermodel "played no role in the events that occurred this night. Everyone, including production, was surprised to find out what had transpired." Executive producer Ken Mok declined to comment, while representatives for producer Laura Fuest Silva did not respond to EW's multiple requests for comment.

Full image credits: Shandi Sullivan wearing Michael Chamberlin photographed by Abel and Needham, with hair by Isaac Davidson. Makeup and styling by Abel.

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Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.