Jun 10, 2014 11:53AM

'Next Top Model' Alumnae To Star In Whitney Houston Biopic

Remember Yaya from Cycle 3?

Remember your girl Yaya, the earnest lyrical dancer who came runner-up to Eva Pigford in America's Next Top Model: Cycle Three? It has been confirmed that Yaya will play a young Whitney Houston in the forthcoming telemovie about the late pop star's tragically short-lived life and her poisonous relationship with Bobby Brown.

The Lifetime biopic will be helmed by first-time director Angela Bassett, who starred alongside Houston in 1995 movie Waiting To Exhale. Having earned acclaim for previous portrayals of women in complicated (read: abusive, controlling) relationships — most famously as Tina Turner in What's Love Got to Do with It and Katherine Jackson in hit telemovie The Jacksons: An American Dream — Bassett seems an appropriate choice to handle the subject matter.

The Waiting To Exhale trailer. How amazingly '90s is the voiceover?

As for Yaya (full name Yaya DaCosta), well her post-ANTM career has actually been atypically fruitful, finding relative success in modeling but more so for her work as a film and television actress. She played a supporting role in Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right as the gorgeous gardening buddy and occasional lover of Mark Ruffalo, followed by spots in Tron: Legacy and Lee Daniels' The Butler... but to me she'll always be the self-righteous multi-lingual Next Top Model sass-monger who wore the "respeito" shirt.

The question is: can Yaya sing?

Better question: can anyone sing like Whitney in her heyday?

Suz Tucker

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