Kaci Cramer shed some tears over her appearance on the popular reality TV show America's Next Top Model.
Cramer, 19, a sophomore fashion merchandising major at and a Moon Township native, was among the top 30 models on the show and appeared in the first episode of the show's summer season.
But she just narrowly missed the cut to make it into the reality TV show's house — and a starring role in the season.
"I actually wound up being a runner-up for the show," Cramer said.
That means they kept her in Los Angeles for three days after the final cuts were announced just in case one of the girls who made it into the house had to drop out. As an alternate, Cramer would have been in the house in that scenario.
"It was really cool to have the opportunity to go out to L.A. for free, stay there for a week and meet all these people and do all these interviews," Cramer said. "On the last day of the week Tyra (Banks) calls out the names of the girls who are going to get into the house.
"When I wasn't called I started to cry and Tyra came over and gave me a hug," she said. "So that was really cool. I got a hug from Tyra Banks."
But those weren't the only tears.
The grad got the most support for her modeling career from her grandmother, Bobbi, who died just before Cramer left for Los Angeles.
"She was battling stage four breast cancer," Cramer said. "She passed away literally three weeks before I left for the show. When I was younger, she kind of figured out that I was interested in singing and acting. So she took me to acting classes and auditions, and all the auditions I went to they told me I should model."
That's how Cramer's modeling career took off. Her grandmother took her on a trip to New York City and arranged for auditions and meetings with modeling agencies.
"She and I were a dream team," Cramer said. "She just really thought I could do it. She would have been happy either way just knowing I made it to the top 30 and the first episode. It was kind of hard that she didn’t see the outcome of everything we had been doing."
Cramer already has a rich modeling portfolio that includes jeans campaigns for American Eagle and an ad campaign for Rue 21. She's been signed with Docherty Agency, a modeling firm with offices in Pittsburgh and Cleveland.
As a Kent State student, she plans to take part in the university's fashion shows and other modeling opportunities this year.
She's not sure if she'll pursue another attempt at the TV show, but Cramer plans a career in the fashion industry.
"I just love the whole industry," she said. "If I can’t model in the campaigns, then I would love to work on the other end of the campaigns and choose the models. That’s why I’m a fashion major. I just love that fashion’s always changing."