ďI Never Reached My Full PotentialĒ Ė An Interview with Americaís Next Top Model 8ís Cassandraby Phil Kural -- 03/16/2007
Last week, in my recap, I said that Cassandra would probably be the next girl eliminated. We hadnít seen much of her; she wasnít causing drama and was consistently in the middle of the pack. Turned out, I was right! I did have a chance to talk with Cassandra about her brief time on the show, where she filled me in on her premonition that it was her time to go, Brittanyís complaining, and some other juicy tidbits. Read on, my friends!
RealityNewsOnline: Hey, Cassandra! Thanks for taking time out of your schedule to speak with me today about your time on the show. Had you watched previous seasons, and what factored into your decision to apply?
Cassandra: I had actually watched quite a bit of the show, but I never actually applied Ė I was scouted. I was shopping in a store and a woman came in and asked me if Iíd like to be on the show. She took some pictures, and then lo and behold, I was called back!
RNO: Wow, talk about being in the right place at the right time, huh? Were you even interested in being a model before you were on the show?
Cassandra: Yeah, tell me about it! I was actually interested and always wanted to be a model. Before I was on the show, I was with an agency, Seattle Models Guild, so it worked out for the best.
RNO: What did you feel would be your biggest asset in the competition, and did you feel you had any hindrances going into it?
Cassandra: My biggest asset was that Iím tall and lanky, just like a runway model, so I knew that would work for me. However, I knew going into the competition that I would need to work on being more dramatic in my photos and work on my posing.
RNO: We saw you worrying before elimination because you felt that your disqualification in this weekís challenge might be held against you. Did the judges ever even bring it up?
Cassandra: Actually, it was never brought up in panel. However, I still think it played a large role in my elimination. I think that [the disqualification] and my photos were the two main reasons I was sent home when I was.
RNO: Last week, when I spoke to Samantha, she said that the judges would rather keep a girl with personality over one with good pictures, but you were sent home despite having a great personality. Do you feel pictures or personality are more important?
Cassandra: Honestly, I think both are. The judges want someone with a lot of personality, but they also want someone that is going to take good pictures. The bottom line is that itís their decision to make, and they can eliminate anyone for whatever reason they like. Itís basically out of our control at that point, and we just have to accept it, but I do think they want a girl with personality, but she has to have good pictures.
RNO: Was Brittanyís complaining as constant as the editing made it seem, and had anyone said something to her about it other than Whitney or Renee?
Cassandra: It was played up a lot in the editing. She was mainly complaining because her weave was too tight. Brittany has very silky hair, and itís hard for someone with such fine hair to have a weave Ė itís painful! Black girls have more texture in their hair and we can handle it a lot easier. I donít blame her for crying and complaining about it. The only two people I think that really made a big deal about it were Renee and Diana. I donít think anyone else said anything.
RNO: During panel, did you feel confident that you were going to be called before the bottom two or did you have a feeling that you might be in danger of elimination?
Cassandra: I had a pretty good feeling that I was going home the whole time, and I was fine with that. I knew it was my time to go and I had accepted it.
RNO: You said at the beginning of the episode that you were there to compete, yet be yourself. Did you realize that the other girls liked you so much, or was Tyra telling you the first time you realized it?
Cassandra: I did realize that the other girls liked me. My whole time there, I had nothing but positive interactions with all the girls. I got along with everyone and I didnít have any drama with anyone and there was no animosity. In the end, all that showed, and it made me feel really good to see how much I was liked.
RNO: Well, now we know why you were eliminated Ė you didnít start any drama!
Cassandra: Ha! Youíre probably right!
RNO: Both Kathleen and Samantha had said they donít feel a plus-sized girl could win this competition, based on the criteria. What are your thoughts on a plus-sized girl winning and representing the show and Cover Girl?
Cassandra: Well, I think Queen Latifah does a pretty good job, and sheís a plus-sized girl that represents Cover Girl. I donít think itís impossible at all Ė anything is possible. A plus-sized girl could win this competition because ANTM is a reality TV show and isnít exactly what the high fashion world would expect, so in the context of the show, yes, I think itís very possible.
RNO: What did you think of your makeover and the bigger hair? Did you decide to stick with the look?
Cassandra: Yes, I love the hair. The afro makes a very proud statement, and I see myself sticking with this look for some time. No more sewing wigs into my hair!
RNO: Tyra said that your beauty wasnít transcending in your photos, but we didnít hear any bad critique for you in the first two episodes. Were the judges more critical of you and we just didnít see it?
Cassandra: There were definitely more critical comments that you didnít get to see in the first two episodes, as well as the third. However, there was a lot of positive feedback that you didnít get to see as well. It really did balance itself out.
RNO: In all honesty, do you feel your elimination was based on your performance or do you think it might have been predetermined?
Cassandra: Oh, well, I like to think that it was based on the way I was performing in photo shoots and challenges. I honestly donít think it was predetermined. I mean, it could have been, but I doubt it.
RNO: What would you say was the hardest aspect of the show? Was it the hours, the photo shoots, being away from home, etc.? Do you think you would ever do a reality show again?
Cassandra: It was definitely the hours. We didnít get enough sleep or rest, and I like to get at least eight to ten hours of sleep a night, and we were working on about three or four every night. I never reached my full potential. The reason I say that is because I never felt fully rested, so I could never give my best. Thatís no excuse, though, since all the girls were working on the same hours. If someone did better than me and still had the same amount of sleep, then itís all fair.
As far as another reality TV showÖ itís a possibility. However, at this point in my life, I think this experience was enough for right now!
RNO: After you elimination, you said you still wanted to pursue modeling. Is that still the case?
Cassandra: Well, Iím still working with the same agency that I was before, Seattle Models Guild, and they are fabulous. However, if another opportunity comes my way, I wouldnít be opposed to it. I plan on going back to school as well, though, so weíll see how that goes.
RNO: What are your other aspirations, and what do you want to do in case modeling doesnít end up working out for you?
Cassandra: Honestly, I donít even know yet. Iím not quite sure what I want to do, and want to see where modeling takes me first.
RNO: Is there anything you would like to add or say to fans of the show?
Cassandra: Thank you all so much for the support, it really has been great. Thanks for watching, too!
RNO: Thanks, Cassandra!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 email@example.com.