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"They Always Need A Shocking Elimination!" – An Interview with America's Next Top Model 9's Lisaby Phil Kural -- 11/28/2007
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When this season began, I wasn’t really a huge fan of Lisa. I thought she was good, but I never really got why everyone thought she was so great. That being said, I was actually semi-shocked that she was sent home last week. I certainly expected her to be in the final three, but as you’ll read in the following interview, Lisa had a good inkling that her time was coming. What am I talking about? Read on to find out!
RealityNewsOnline: Hey, Lisa! Thanks for taking time to talk with me today. Had you watched previous seasons of the show and what factored into your decision to apply?
Lisa: I had watched previous seasons of the show, and from what I’ve seen, I would sit there and know that I could try it. I always had my favorite girls and the ones I rooted for, so finally I just decided to give it a try!
RNO: Early in the season, most of the girls knew your occupation was a dancer. What kind of dancing were you doing?
Lisa: Well, I was an exotic dancer, and I had to explain that as best I could to the other girls. It was for money, and I purposely wasn’t a stripper because I knew that I wanted to be a model one day. I tried to make the other girls understand that, and I think the judges did – since it was never brought up. It was simply exactly what you called it – an occupation!
RNO: Did you think that your background would play to your advantage, or did you expect the other girls or the judges to look down on you?
Lisa: I phrased it in a way hoping that it wouldn’t happen that way. I would say that dancing was an advantage for me, since prior to dancing, I was very uncomfortable with my body and being so slim. Dancing helped me overcome that and be more aware of my body and my moves. At the same time, I knew that Cover Girl has this conservative, all-American look that I might not exactly fit into!
RNO: You were very emotional during your Cover Girl commercial, and seemed very upset the week before when you did poorly in the runway challenge. Do you think your nerves got the best of you?
Lisa: It was half nerves and half because I was pushing myself so much. Knowing that I didn’t do so great last week, I really wanted to step it up and pull through. I’m a perfectionist, and I wanted to prove that I had what it takes to win. What sucks the most is that I knew the lines right before I went on set. They didn’t show it, but I actually went first, so that made it harder. I’m watching the show with my fiancé and I say to him, “Oh, watch me, I go first!” He was all, “Umm, I don’t see you!” So it looked even worse because they edited it to make it look like I was last!
RNO: The judges and the other girls thought you were one of the better girls this season. Is it safe to say that you were the shocking elimination of the season?
Lisa: Yes, definitely! They always need a shocking elimination. I kind of knew going into the shoot that I was on the chopping block, so I didn’t want to mess up even once so that they didn’t have a thing to use against me. I knew my time was up though. They were scooting me out and there was really nothing I could do – there’s a pattern you start to see, and even during my last shoot I thought that I had stronger photos than the one they chose. They used a nice one, but I had a ton of other photos trying other things. I dropped pretty quickly. Two weeks ago, I was called first during the video shoot. When the judges were back in control though, I knew I was sliding down.
RNO: What was the deal with the way the other girls constantly picked on Heather? Did you feel things were that way or was it played up for the cameras?
Lisa: Oh, definitely! When I was there, I didn’t think that it was all that serious. There’s a lot of focus on Heather, and we never tried to make her feel bad at all. A lot of it is in the editing. Heather wasn’t treated special compared to the other girls, but we didn’t undermine her either – she was one of us! We had fun with her, and sometimes she was the butt of jokes and it was taken out of proportion, but I think the editing made it even worse sometimes.
RNO: Do you feel like you learned enough about the industry to actually go out and enter the modeling world?
Lisa: Most definitely. Even if I was the first girl to have gone home I would still go out and try modeling. I moved to Jersey City originally to try and be a model. Now I have so much more experience with angels and expressions and with working with photographers that I think it will make me so much better. NYC is my backyard, so I’m excited to see what I can do.
RNO: What would you do differently if you could do it all over again?
Lisa: I think I would have hidden my emotions more when I felt bad. I wish I hadn’t shown them and just kept slipping by. But I guess you just have to ask: What can you do?1 2 Next-->
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