Trying to Be the Next Best Thing: An Interview with Heather Blumberg from ďAmericaís Next Top Model 2Ēby Phil Kural -- 01/30/2004
From the beginning of the third episode of ANTM2, we got the impression that Heather would be the one eliminated that episode, and even though she did not spend that much time on the show, she came across as one of the sweeter girls in the competition. In this interview, Heather speaks out on why she felt like an outcast, what she liked about the whole process, and what was up with all the crying Catie was doing?
RNO: Did you expect the show to be so emotionally draining or the girls to be as cutthroat as they were?
Heather: Concerning the other girls, I was warned ahead of time that the competition might bet a little catty. I was on my guard for that because they even said that we shouldnít be surprised if someone put gum in our hair or something! However, I didnít expect the show to be so demanding. There is no way that in my wildest dreams I would have expected it to be so stressful on me either. I mean, I thought I would be able to handle it, but you saw how that turned out, haha.
RNO: What was your main motivation for being on the show and, looking back, do you think it was worth it?
Heather: Well, my main motivation was as simple as, ďI want this, so Iím gonna go for it.Ē I do think the whole thing was worth it, but there are some things that I would have done differently. Although, I wouldnít so much say that I would do things different as that I would just enhance myself a little more. You know, not be in the background as much. Thatís just me though; sometimes I like to hang loose and other times Iím just goofy. It just didnít work out in the end.
RNO: In the beginning of the episode you said that the other girls were forming cliques that you were not a part of. What were some of these cliques?
Heather: It wasnít so much a big deal; I think I just dragged that whole thing out of proportion. Jenascia and Mercedes hung out a lot, and Sara was usually with them. Camille was in a league of her own, and since she talked to Catie most of the time, Catie soon found out that Camille was a bad apple. Thatís when I finally started to hang out with Catie more. We are the same age and she understood what I was going through. I did bond with Bethany too, so when she was eliminated it hit me pretty hard.
RNO: Did you mention to Tyra or anyone else on the staff that your makeover didnít include as much change as the other girls? Were you disappointed about that?
Heather: I was pretty disappointed about the whole thing, yes. I wanted more of a change and it upset me a bit when I didnít get one. Concerning Tyra, I did mention to her that I was disappointed when all they did was made me more blonde. However, Tyra said that I shouldnít be worried because that just meant that I was fine the way I looked and didnít really need to have anything done. I think itís obvious that wasnít the case, but I guess I just have to deal with that. Makes me wonder if they knew I was going to be the one leaving.
RNO: If it was possible for you to get back into the competition, what would you do differently to last longer?
Heather: If anything, I think I would have worked harder on my body beforehand. That way, I would have walked in and blew them away with my body, making them want to keep me around as long as possible. I also think I would have tried to act a little more mature and not got upset over so much. Besides, if I could do it again, I wouldnít feel so bad being away from home because at least I have finally experienced that. Iím only 18 so I had never been away from home for so long and it was a shock to me. Now I think I would be able to handle it much better.
RNO: Did you feel that being one of the youngest girls, that would come to play against you, or did you think that it would be an advantage?
Heather: Oh, I definitely thought it would be an advantage. I mean, even though I am 18 that is still pretty late for someone to get involved in the modeling industry. It is rare to see someone my age just starting, not to mention those in their lower twenties. I thought that my age would help me last longer than some of the others, but I guess they werenít looking for me to be Americaís next top model.
RNO: Of the photo shoots that you got to do and the challenges that you were a part of, which was your favorite and why?
Heather: I loved doing the nude photo shoot with the body paint; that was so cool. Nigel, the photographer, was so cute and nice. He made the whole thing fun by encouraging us and helping us find the best shot possible. It wasnít like he was yelling at us or being degrading, he made the whole thing a fun process Ė it didnít even feel like work.
RNO: Did you mention to Yoanna that you were disappointed she didnít pick you for dinner? If not, did she at least apologize for not having you?
Heather: Na, I never brought it up to her. I just figured that if I were to win something, I would have to remember not to bring Yoanna along. Iím not really the kind of person that holds grudges. I get upset for a little bit, do my ranting, and than itís over. Thatís pretty much the way that dinner was. There was a little bit of bitterness at first, but when dinner was over, I was fine with everything. No big deal.
RNO: Is there anyone in particular that you hope does well in the competition now that you are eliminated?
Heather: Yes, there is! I hope Catie does well, I love her so much. We are so close in age so we really connected and it was nice to finally find someone that understood me and where I was coming from with the whole being away from home thing. I really hope she goes far in the competition, she deserves it.
RNO: How much time is in between each elimination round? How long does the elimination ceremony last?
Heather: There are four days between each elimination round. The elimination nights are a bit more confusing. It can take anywhere from 4-5 hours. First, they have to get all the girls together and tell them what was wrong and what was good. Than the judges have to deliberate and bring us all back in. The whole thing is rather dramatic and very exhausting.
RNO: Was it editing, or did Catie really cry for what seemed like on the hour, every hour?
Heather: Ha! She certainly didnít cry every hour. You have to realize that she was crying over pretty legitimate things. I mean, cut off an 18-year-old girlís hair and of course she is going to cry. Catie is also very scared of heights so she was a nervous wreck during the shoot. I cried too, but I knew it had to be done so I just got out there and got it done as soon as possible. It was obvious I wasnít going to die, so the quicker it was done; the quicker I was back on the ground. Iím just glad they didnít show me crying too.
RNO: What were the thoughts of the other girls and yourself as Xiomara and Catie were having it out at the elimination ceremony? Did you think either of them would be eliminated because of that?
Heather: I honestly thought Xiomara was going to be eliminated. Not because of her fight with Catie at the elimination, but because her shot was pretty bad. She blamed it on Catie, which was not Catieís fault. Everyone was in shock when it all went down. I donít think anyone could believe that it was happening in front of the judges. I did kinda laugh though, since it wasnít me.
RNO: Throughout the episode you really seemed like you wanted to go home. However, when you were eliminated, you seemed rather pissed. Were you happy to go home or mad because you were eliminated?
Heather: Mad. I was pretty mad that I was eliminated. I really wanted to stay but it was so hard on me there. I wanted to win this competition more than anything and do feel that I had more talent than some of the others. Iím a fighter, thatís for sure. Besides, I know that modeling isnít as stressful as it is on that show. Itís just extra nervousness and stress because the cameras follow you around everywhere and there is so much adjusting you have to learn to do in so little time.
RNO: What did your family and friends think about your stint on the show? Were they shocked to see you eliminated third?
Heather: So many people called me and couldnít believe that I had been eliminated third. My friends think the judges were nuts to send me home so soon. My family has been very supportive and couldnít believe it either. But they are my family and friends, so of course they were supporting me from the beginning and didnít want to see me eliminated anyway.
RNO: Is there anything you would like to add, say to your fans, or just something to share that we didnít get to see?
Heather: I think the editors did a very good job and got just about everything. Although, let it be known that when I fell during the runway practice, I wasnít upset or shook up about it. I was actually laughing when I got up Ė it was a really funny moment. It didnít bother me because I knew it was only a contest and the whole falling thing wasnít a big deal to me.
RNO: Thanks for taking time out of your day to talk to me, Heather, I really appreciate it. I thought you were great on the show.
Heather: Thanks to you too, I enjoyed it!
Phil Kural is a senior at Temple University, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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