Talent Before Ta-Tas: An Interview with Bethany Harrison from ĎAmericaís Next Top Model 2íby Phil Kural -- 01/26/2004
Bethany Harrison was the second eliminated contestant from Americaís Next Top Model 2. She was criticized by the other girls for the shape of her body, stood up against Camille for trying to steal the limelight, and spoke her mind whenever she had an opinion. In this interview, Bethany talks about how she dealt with the cameras, what the real deal with Camille was, and what would happen if there was a mud wrestling contest between two of the judges.
RealityNewsOnline: What was your main motivation for doing the show and do you feel that you achieved any goals that you had set?
Bethany: My main motivation for doing the show was basically ďNow or never.Ē Basically, 23 is rather old to begin a modeling career but I wanted to show that I could get in there and that I had what it takes to become Americaís next top model. As far as goals, I was happy to make the final 12. I mean, when you think about it, top 12 out of 3,000 or 4,000 girls isnít so bad. Of course, I didnít get as far as I would have liked, or won, but getting to where I was turned out to be a goal in itself.
RNO: Were your breasts really that big of a deal? Do you feel they were a main reason you were eliminated?
Bethany: At first, I didnít really think that my breasts would become an issue. Besides, the judges had seen me in previous rounds and nobody ever mentioned anything about my chest. So I had just figured that everything was fine. However, I wasnít sure how the other girls would take to me, and you see how that turned out. My breasts may have been the reason I was eliminated, but Iím really not sure. To be honest, I still donít think I know exactly what the judges were looking for.
RNO: Did you have any previous modeling experience before you applied for the show, or was this your first time? Or, is anyone else in your family involved in the modeling industry who you could have gotten advice from?
Bethany: None of my family has modeling experience or is in the industry. I am like night and day with my family, basically always doing the opposite. I had done some modeling when I was 15, and I actually joined an agency at that time as well. I had also learned a good deal concerning make-up basics and the like. I had done a few runway shows in New York as well, but I was young and wanted to be at home during that time so I gave it all up. Now Iím trying to pursue it again.
RNO: From the time that you had on the show, what would you say was the hardest thing to deal with? Was it learning how to get changed so quickly, the photo shoots, the runway walk, or living with the other girls?
Bethany: Actually, the worst part about the whole thing was the cameras. It was horrible at times. When you wake up, brush your teeth, get a drink of water Ė the cameras are always there watching you. It was hard adapting to the fact that the cameras were going to capture your every move and there was pretty much nothing we could do about it.
RNO: Thatís why I just recap these shows, and Iím not on them. I wouldnít be able to handle all that.
Bethany: I know, right! I need to start doing what you do!
RNO: While Yoanna complained about her weight and Jenascia her height, you seemed to be very comfortable with your body even though you noted that you were bigger in the chest than the other ladies. Do you feel that you had higher self esteem and confidence than most of the others or were you secretly scared that your chest would be your downfall?
Bethany: Itís funny that you say that. Yes, I have always been comfortable with myself and my body. I am very proud of myself. There is nothing that I need to prove to myself because I already feel that I am a good person, inside and out. Itís also funny that you note me and my body because, oddly enough, some of the other girls had the same chest size as me. Believe me, we compared. However, with me, they happened to make a big deal of it. I know that my body is proportionate with itself, so Iím happy with everything about me.
RNO: Which of the other contestants did you feel the closest too, and besides Camille, was there anyone that you had friction with?
Bethany: I got along the most with Sara and Heather. Heather was my roommate and we learned to adapt to the whole situation together. We had some long talks and really got to bond with one another. Sara became a good friend because we are so similar. We had the same taste in music, movies, and almost everything else. It was nice to meet Sara because it was like talking to one of my friends from home. As far as friction, Camille was it, and she was on and off, so sometimes there was friction, sometimes none. It all depended on the day.
RNO: If Janice and J. Alexander had to mud wrestle, who do you think would win, and why?
Bethany: Haha, I think it would have to be Janice. I say Janice because she is such a strong-willed woman Ė I loved her. She was so honest. Janice would go out of her way to try as hard as she could and I have faith that in a mud wrestling contest, she would come out on top of J. Alexander.
RNO: Based on what you have seen from the other girls, if there is one person you could pick to win the competition right now, who would it be and why?
Bethany: No, not really. There isnít someone that I could pick to win the competition right now simply because I donít think I was there long enough to get to see everything and all that each girl has to offer. Also, like I had stated before, Iím still not exactly sure what each of the judges are looking for when they are making their eliminations and deciding who will go and stay.
RNO: I have to admit you came across as someone who tells it like it is, and thatís why I admired you. Is that the way you have always been, and if so, did you think that would get you in trouble?
Bethany: Well, my mouth usually does get me in trouble, and I need to stop talking sometimes. But you know what? That is who I am and who I probably always will be. You have to accept that with me, comes a big mouth. The other girls didnít know me and didnít understand who I was or how I act when I am around people. It was nobodyís fault, just the way that I am, and I happen to speak my mind most of the time.
RNO: Knowing what you do now, do you think you would do the show again, or is it safe to say that once is enough?
Bethany: That is a very good question, and Iím not so sure. You know what; I think I would do it again, but not the reality part of the show. Plus there are things that I would do differently, like not taking things so seriously when the judges would critique me. I was worried way too much. Plus, I would have kept my mouth shut at certain times. I wasnít a fan of the living conditions, or the reality part, so I would definitely want to eliminate those parts, but as far as my mouth, if you give me like five minutes after I get upset, I stop talking and usually calm down.
RNO: Thus far, from what we have seen of Camille, she is pretty confrontational and refuses to accept criticism. Is there more to her, or are we getting a pretty accurate portrayal thus far?
Bethany: Concerning Camille and her criticism, I was very curious as to if they would even show those parts. You could imagine my excitement when they did. It was a very accurate portrayal. She actually thought of excuses 24/7, but you only got to see one hour of it. The thing about Camille is, she has a great heart and is a very creative and caring person. Iím just wondering if since watching the show, she has changed her ways and has started taking criticism better, instead of just thinking of excuses.
RNO: Do you still plan to try and get into the modeling business or was Americaís Next Top Model your last stop?
Bethany: As far as modeling, yes, I do want to continue trying to ďmake it.Ē Iím hoping that someone saw me on the show, liked what they saw, and will contact me about some work. It frustrated me because I wished nude shots werenít the first shoot because that isnít my best light to be shot in. I have so much more to offer that wasnít shown because I didnít have a chance to showcase all of my modeling abilities that I feel I possess.
RNO: What is the one thing about Bethany that didnít come through on the show that you want people to know?
Bethany: Iím a very funny person that loves to laugh. I was sort of edited as if Iím somewhat confrontational, when in reality, Iím very easy to get along with and in general, love to smile and have a good time. It is hard to see someoneís true personality when you only get to see one hourís worth of footage that has been shot over the course of several days.
RNO: Is there anything else you would like to add or fill the public in on? Maybe something we didnít get to see, or a funny moment that didnít make the show?
Bethany: The producers and editors pretty much got the best and the worst on the show. I mean, yeah, I did freak out a few times, but none of that made it to the show, thank goodness. They focused more on Camille being bratty than myself, which I was definitely thankful for. Some of the girls handled the cameras better than others, but for the most part, we all had an awesome time.
RNO: I just want to say thank you Bethany for taking time out of your day to answer my questions. This was fun and I loved talking to you.
Bethany: My pleasure, thank you so much!
Phil Kural is a senior at Temple University, and can be reached at email@example.com.
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