By Sarah Batcheller

America’s Next Top Model has a knack for introducing audiences to their next, most beloved reality stars. The reality TV competition is known for being lathered in glamour, sophistication, and fun. Not to mention, some serious eye candy. This summer brings in Cycle 22 of Top Model, and with it an up-and-coming heartthrob, Justin Kim. Loads of social media adoration surround Kim already, as admirers anxiously await his on-screen debut. A Northern Virginia native and George Mason University alumnus, Kim is taking the modeling world by storm. In this exclusive celebrity interview, Cupid talks to Kim about the road to stardom, the adventures along the way, and his best dating advice.

Cupid’s Exclusive Celebrity Interview with ‘ANTM’ Up-and-Comer Justin Kim

Kim wasn’t apt to put any of his dreams on hold while he was attending college. He explains welcoming a modeling career into his life, stating, “I went to [George Mason University], and I commuted, so that allowed me to do my thing on the side. Going to Mason was a blessing in disguise, because at first I’d wanted to go away to college and get the “full experience.” Then, my sophomore year [a friend of mine] asked if I wanted to be a secondary model for a shoot. I told him ‘no’ at first, but a week beforehand he contacted me again, so I did it. People saw the shots, they submitted me to a casting call,  and I ended up getting signed. I got to do shoots in D.C. and network. So, it just happened.”

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Believe it or not, perfecting his “smize” wasn’t Kim’s biggest battle. In fact, he claims that living with roommates was his first real, personal challenge. “These were essentially my first roommates in my entire life!” he exclaims. “It was a huge culture shock, and there were so many different personalities.”

As far as the culture shock goes, Kim explains that his upbringing allowed him a healthy perspective. “I’m blessed…My parents raised me in Northern Virginia, and that is one of the most diverse locations in the entire country. Back at home, there are so many different cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds,” he reveals. “For some of the castmates I was with, that was new. For example, one person had never met an Asian-American person in their life.”

The newness of the experience must have brought the cast members closer together, though, because Justin named Nyle DiMarco, Dustin McNeer, Stefano Churchill, and Mamé Adje as his closest pals while filming. Although, anyone who has participated in the aforementioned social media hype may be suspicious that Adje and Kim are more than “just friends.” Maintaining full-blown mystery, Kim says of his castmate, who is also known as Miss Maryland 2015, “Mamé is an awesome friend.”

One relationship that the budding fan-favorite does gush about, though, is that with Tyra Banks. Of the show’s host, Kim raves, “Tyra can back up all the hype around her. The aura I felt while standing in front of her is just real. It was amazing…She’s so genuine. Off-camera she would come and make sure we were doing okay.”

Justin Kim Offers Dating Advice for Millennials

As for relationships and love in general, Kim discloses that things haven’t changed much for him since beginning his road to stardom, but that he is mindful, and trying to make smart choices. “I try to keep everything the same, and not let anything change me,” he says. “People do tell me to be careful of who to meet now because they might have the wrong intentions, and that’s true, but at the end of the day you just have to go for who you like, and who you want to be with.”

As a recent college graduate, Kim has some dating advice for other millennials who are looking for love. When it comes to figuring out when to settle down, this Top Model has a “first things first” attitude. He proclaims, “You should take your time – you don’t want to jump into anything. Especially because nowadays everyone is so career-driven. For example, I’m all about stability. I want to be financially stable before I settle down. There’s no point in rushing – we’re still young. Experience life.”

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According to Kim, experience should have its limits too. He offers some insight on finding love, clarifying, “You could be playing the field, but if someone is already on your team, you shouldn’t be looking for free agents! If you have someone who’s special and who you don’t want to lose, then don’t mess around.”

For more from Justin Kim, “like” him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @Seoulful_J and www.instagram.com/seoulful_j/, and be on the lookout for his upcoming athletic line. Tune in to America’s Next Top Model on The CW.