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"I Wasn’t Caught Up In The Drama"– An Interview with America's Next Top Model 10's Anyaby Phil Kural -- 05/19/2008
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I was very nervous to interview Anya. Not because I was intimidated or scared, but because I wasn’t sure if I was going to understand her or not! I had a great time talking with her though, and understood every word. She really is a sweet girl, and in this interview, she goes into how she stayed out of all the house drama this season, what her focus was, and where she plans on going from here!
RealityNewsOnline: Hey, Anya! Thanks for taking time out today to chat with me. Had you watched previous seasons of the show, and what factored into your decision to apply?
Anya: Oh, I watched every season of the show. Honestly, I had always wanted to get into modeling, but I never saw it as something that could possibly come true for me. You don’t realize how dedicated you have to be before you even get on the show. You have to go on the internet, fill out this crazy long application, shoot a video, and go to casting calls. It’s so intense, but I really wanted to be on the show and become a model, so I was dedicated from day one.
RNO: I have to ask, since I’ve been curious all season… what kind of accent do you have?
Anya: It’s kind of a Hawaiian-Creole type accent. Most people born and raised in Hawaii have the same accent, but my whole thing is that I was adopted when I was four years old. English was my second language, since I had already spoke Russian as well. It’s something I’m still working on – having people understand me more clearly, but I’m not ashamed of my accent or who I am.
RNO: From the beginning, you were one of the judges’ favorite girls this season. What was your plan to stick out from the rest of the girls?
Anya: I was never really like that. Each week, I would just pray that I would do well. It was more about pushing myself through the challenge and being myself. I couldn’t be focused on the other girls because then I wouldn’t be focusing on myself, and the second you start losing your focus on you, that’s when you get cut.
RNO: Going into the show, who did you think was going to be your biggest competition and why?
Anya: All of them. When I saw all the girls together for the first time, all I could think of was how beautiful they all were, and that they all wanted this opportunity just as much as I did. I was a bit intimidated by all of them, but realized that you can’t question yourself – you have to just go for it, and I did.
RNO: Winning challenge after challenge, was that a boost of confidence for you, or more a worry since the judges would expect more from you?
Anya: I was humbled by it all. I know some girls were saying that when you keep winning, it’s bad. However, I wasn’t really thinking that way. When you are in the competition, you want to impress the judges and win challenges. You never think for a second that you should NOT win in order to keep going. That wouldn’t make sense! Ha!
RNO: Were you confident in your runway walk going into the final runway? The judges just weren’t impressed by it, and I’d love to know why! Was it the dresses?
Anya: At fashion shows you can’t pick and choose what you want to wear, so I had to deal with the cards I was dealt. I was confident with the dresses, and Whitney really did have some awesome clothing to work with, but I just wasn’t able to work with the dress the way I would have liked to. You can’t change it now, and I’m confident that today I could totally walk better with that dress on, but the past is the past!
RNO: Have you been surprised, watching the show back, at how much drama there was this season?
Anya: I wasn’t caught up in the drama. You watch reality TV shows and wonder why people are fighting. However, when you are there, you are bored and stuck in a house with 13 other girls. It’s distracting and people begin to focus on other girls, and that’s where the problems start.
RNO: When I interviewed Kat a few weeks back, she said this season should have been called the “Whitney and Fatima Show.” Do you agree?
Anya: All I will say is that both girls have strong personalities. I can’t agree with that statement though, since I think everyone had a good amount of camera time this season. Whitney and Fatima had their moments, and there were in some of the drama, so maybe that’s why they were featured a little more.
RNO: Going into the final panel, on a scale from 1 to 10, what did you think were your chances of winning, and why?
Anya: I’m not so sure about the final two, but when we went into the final three, I thought I was done for. I was so shocked that not only was I called, but I was called first! I have no clue how I made it up there, and all I can remember is my feet just moving to Tyra to get my photo… I was just so excited that I was going to be in the fashion show!
RNO: Early in the competition, did you think it was possible for a plus-sized girl to win this competition, and did you opinion change at all as the season went on?
Anya: When I met Whitney and saw how much confidence she had, I knew she was going to go far. In past seasons, the girls that were considered plus-sized would break down, but Whitney was never intimidated. She was always very confident in her body and her personality and worked on what the judges told her to. I had a good feeling she was going to do very well in the competition, and she’s such an amazing girl!
RNO: What are your plans from here? Do you plan on moving from Hawaii and pursuing a full time modeling career?
Anya: Oh, definitely… modeling is my passion and my heart. I’m moving to NYC soon to find and agent. I know I won’t be able to model for the rest of my life, so I definitely want to continue growing and possibly get into drama and maybe even writing. I love to write.
RNO: Do you have anything else in the works, or is there anywhere we can expect to see you soon?
Anya: I do have a website where people can keep up with me and ask more questions if they like. I’m always happy to answer them and talk with the fans of the show. Other than that, I’m just getting ready for the move and ready to start my career!
RNO: Is there anything you would like to add or say to fans of the show?
Anya: I want to thank all the fans for the tremendous support that I have received. It’s funny because you don’t really know people from seeing them on TV, yet I get so many people come up to me on the street and tell me how well I did and how much they loved me – it’s amazing, and I’m so happy for all the positive feedback I have received.
RNO: Thanks, Anya!
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Phil Kural is an office manager at a dental office, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. You can send feedback to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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