Samantha Leaver is still in the running for Inked magazine’s cover model search.
The Duncan woman finished first in the group stage, which wrapped up on Feb. 18, and is now in the quarter-finals. Leaver will have to finish first in her group of 16.
“This has been a wild ride,” Leaver commented on Monday. “Watching the votes come in that helped me place first in my group and advance me to the quarter-finals felt amazing! My friends and family went over the top by sharing my page and were also calling and messaging non-stop to check in on the status. I went from third to first in a matter of minutes and held it for two and a half hours.”
Looking to give herself the “gift of self-confidence” as a 35th birthday present, Leaver submitted a selection of photos to the magazine’s contest, and was put in a group of 25 women in the first round of voting, which opened on Jan. 19. On Jan. 28, the day after her birthday, she made the top 15. On Feb. 4, she advanced to the top 10. On Feb. 11, she cracked the top five, and on Feb. 18 she was confirned as the group winner and advanced to the quarter-finals.
“I honestly never thought I would make it this far,” Leaver said. “My voters placed me in the top one per cent of all entries. I am happy with the competition so far and have achieved my goal. It’s not really about winning for me; it’s about the chance I got to empower not only myself but also hopefully some other women and moms out there too. This whole process has really taught me that amazing things happen when you step outside your comfort zone.”
Voting in the quarter-finals will close at the end of the day on Feb. 25.
The overall winner will grace the cover of an upcoming issue of Inked and receive $25,000.
To vote for Leaver, visit her profile page at cover.inkedmag.com/2021/samantha-leaver. Facebook users can vote once per day, and can buy additional votes with proceeds going to MusiCares, which provides critical assistance to people in the music industry.