"Itís Not Americaís Next Top Model, Itís Americaís Next Top Personality"Ė An Interview with America's Next Top Model 8's Samanthaby Phil Kural -- 03/12/2007
I had some high hopes for Samantha going into this season, based on her pre-show photos that were on The CW website. However, Tyra and company gave her the boot when they felt she was a bit to ďgreenĒ for the competition. Was that the case? I had a chance to chat with Samantha about her time on the show, and we discussed the whole ďmissing personality.Ē Oh, and Samantha didnít stop there Ė read on to see what she had to say about her experience!
RealityNewsOnline: Hey Samantha, thanks for taking time out of your schedule to talk with me today! Had you watched previous seasons of the show, and what factored into your decision to apply?
Samantha: I watched previous seasons of the show and have always been a fan. I applied because Iíve always wanted to model and figured this would be a great way to get my face out there and learn some tricks of the trade. Honestly though, it was my boyfriend that pushed me to audition!
RNO: Did you know or realize that being away from home would be your hardest obstacle? Had you ever been away for an extended period of time?
Samantha: Iíve been away from my family for about two months before which is about the amount of time I would have been away to do the show. It didnít really bother me so much being away from them, but when youíre on the show, you are cut off from everything. I mean, we had one phone, which I could only use once or twice ever few days because we were so busy, so being shut off from everyone was the worst. I had no way to really communicate with anyone.
RNO: One of the reasons you were eliminated was because the judges didnít see personality. Do you feel you were showing more than what shown on TV?
Samantha: I really do. I mean, I was only shown a few times, like when I was crying and writing on my bed. Then you see the worst part of my photo shoot. I wish they would have showed more of my personality. I got along with all the girls in the house and became pretty close with some of them. Then, with the judges, I didnít want to be rude and interrupt their critiquing of me Ė I wasnít raised that way. So me not speaking up translated into me not having a personality.
RNO: It looked like you actually enjoyed secluding yourself from the other girls. Was that your way of staying out of the drama or is it that you are more of a loner?
Samantha: I was edited that way. As far as the drama, I stayed out of it. I just didnít listen Ė Iím from a big family and people get mad all the time. They made it seem like I wanted to be alone and just go home, which wasnít the case at all. I still donít get it!
RNO: Was there conflict with anyone that we didnít see?
Samantha: No, I didnít really have any conflict with the other girls. I think being out there made me realize how important my family is to me. I already felt that way, but not as strongly. For some reason though, the editors wanted me to look like this young, conservative, southern belle.
RNO: Standing with Natasha in front of Tyra, did you think you would be the girl sent home or was there still some hope that you would stay?
Samantha: There was always some hope. However, I know that itís a competition. I was told I took great photos and looked great in person, then Natasha was told that she canít translate her beauty in her photos, and I felt I still had a chance to make it through. I mean, I spoke fluent English and understood when I was given a compliment or a critique. Itís not Americaís Next Top Model, itís Americaís Next Top Personality. They wanted drama, so they kept Natasha. Itís okay though, Iíll be successful in real life and donít really need a reality show for that.
RNO: Being eliminated so early in the competition, and having to go through so much casting, do you think it was worth the time and effort to be on the show? Would you ever do reality TV again?
Samantha: It was definitely worth it. I learned a lot about the industry and being a model, even in my short time on the show. This is what I want to do though, and I plan on looking for an agency, or moving, if thatís what it takes. As for reality TV Ė I donít think so.
RNO: Renee had mentioned that some girls were put out of their comfort zones for photo shoots, while others were given relatively easy assignments. Would you say that was on point or do you think it was balanced?
Samantha: I agree with Renee completely. I was actually right next to her when she made that comment, but once again, I wasnít shown! She would have done great with my assignment for the last photo shoot, and I would have done well with hers. I just think that if you are going to bring some girls out of their comfort zone, then all the girls should be. It just makes the most sense.
RNO: What about Jay Manuel and the photo shoots? Did you feel that you were given enough direction, or were you almost expected to know what to do, even with such little experience?
Samantha: He tells you want he wants to see and then lets us do our own thing. Then, if we stray, he will bring us back in. Itís the judges that expect too much. The show is supposed to be about building a model, but then Iím eliminated for being too ďgreenĒ and not knowing enough about modeling. Thatís the point of the show! Weíre supposed to learn how to walk, pose and do go-sees, but then we are eliminated when we donít know how to do these things.
RNO: In retrospect, do you think if you were a little more outgoing in the house and at panel, do you think you would have stuck around, or was your elimination in stone? In other words, do you think you could have changed your fate?
Samantha: In some ways, I feel like my elimination was pre-determined. Just like how they always have a shocking elimination every season. I think some of it is thought out well in advance. I feel that I had some better photos than what was chosen for me, but then again, I donít think itís all about the photos. I juts think that was the icing on the cake.
RNO: I guess we can assume from the runway challenge that you wonít be attending any ďghetto fabulousĒ proms anytime in the near future, right?
Samantha: Ha! No, I donít think so.
RNO: There are two plus sized girls this season on the show. Honestly, do you feel itís possible for a plus sized model to win this competition?
Samantha: Diana would have a huge chance to win. Sheís so pretty and so proportioned. Sheís a beautiful girl. Honestly though, I donít think it will happen. I just donít see them choosing a plus sized girl as the winner, ever.
RNO: Knowing what you do now about the industry, do you think you are still going to pursue modeling?
Samantha: Oh yeah, I am certainly going to pursue it. This is what I want to do. I would never do it on a reality show again, but the clothes, the runway, the photos Ė I love it! Iím going to get out there as soon as I can to pursue it further.
RNO: What else do you plan on doing for the future? Whatís your plan B incase modeling doesnít work out?
Samantha: Well, I want to go back to school and focus on interior design, and if I donít end up making it in the modeling agency, Iíd love to design furniture. Thatís another thing Iím interested in.
RNO: Is there anything you would like to add or say to fans of the show?
Samantha: I just want people to know that Iím so grateful for the opportunity to be on the show, and I really did learn a lot. Thanks for the support!
RNO: Thanks, Samantha!Phil Kural is an office manager at a law firm, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. You can send feedback to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.