“I Like Being Me”: An Interview with Xiomara Frans from ‘America’s Next Top Model 2’by Phil Kural -- 02/12/2004
It’s no secret that Xiomara was a personal favorite of mine this season. Before the show even began I picked her as one of my favorites, and she didn’t disappoint me one bit. In fact, she made me love her even more! You could only imagine my excitement when I found out I would be interviewing her next, even though it did mean she was eliminated. In this interview, Xiomara lets loose on what photo shoots she loved, which ones she hated, what she thought of Bethany, Camille, Shandi, and apparently, a whole bunch of partying that the viewers didn’t get to see!
RealityNewsOnline: After finding out that you made it to the finals, did you do anything to prepare for it or did you just dive right in?
Xiomara: I can’t really say that I went out of my way to do anything special. I knew that there would be a nude photo shoot somewhere along the way, so I did try to get my body a little more toned up, but other than that, I pretty much just went as myself.
RNO: When you saw the other girls for the first time, did you think anyone would be a pushover, or that someone else would be huge competition?
Xiomara: When I saw the other girls, the first thing that came to my head was how different I was compared to them. I was more edgy looking and I thought that it would be an advantage for me, and to an extent, it was. Camille had this beauty pageant look going on, but there wasn’t anyone that completely stood out to me. I was worried more about myself at the time.
RNO: Do you think that African-American, Asian, or any ethnic models have a tougher time getting into the modeling industry than say the “blonde hair, blue eyed, All-American” type of girl?
Xiomara: Absolutely! The competition between minority models is much greater than that of “white” models, and I hate saying “white models.” Take a runway show for example: There are normally only two or three ethnic models, and the rest are normally white. Therefore, it is tougher for minority models to get into the show, which makes ethnic models more depressed about getting into the industry. It sucks to realize things are that way, but that’s the way it goes.
RNO: Which photo shoot was your favorite and least favorite? Why?
Xiomara: My favorites were the celebrity photo shoot and the Garden of Eden photo shoot. Obviously, my least favorite was the underwater shoot. At first, I didn’t like being turned into Grace Jones because I wasn’t even really sure who she was. I remembered her from some movies, but I never knew that she was a supermodel. I loved the shoot though because it showed me in a new light and was fun because it took a while to change me into Grace, which the viewers didn’t get to see. Oh, and I hated the underwater shoot because it just plain sucked, for me at least!
RNO: Several of the other contestants said that even though she wasn’t there that long, Bethany was the source of much of the tension in the loft. Can you shed some light on this?
Xiomara: The thing about Bethany is, she talked about all the other girls behind their backs, but was super nice to them to their faces. She even did it to the girls that considered her their friend. It never had an effect on me because I wasn’t her friend, so I didn’t care, and I have nothing against people that talk crap anyway, I just think you should do it to someone’s face if you’re going to do it at all.
RNO: Looking back, what could you have done differently to stick around longer? Did you expect to get eliminated when you did?
Xiomara: There are a few things that I could have done differently. The biggest thing that I could have done was to stay more positive. When Adrianne came to visit us, that’s when I started to lose my momentum. She told us the good things about being a model, but she told us the bad things as well, like how people would turn her away just because she won this competition. That really made me worry. I should have just stayed as positive as I was and took it step by step. I also shouldn’t have taken the judges’ criticism so literally and relaxed a bit. After each elimination, the judges would tell us what we needed to change. That was where I went wrong – I shouldn’t have tried so hard to change. I like being me, and I urge everyone to just stay who they are and not change their personality for anyone.
RNO: Can you look back and laugh at what I think is the funniest quote of the season thus far, when J. Alexander said to you: “Gurrl, you walk like you on crack!”
Xiomara: Haha, yeah, I can look back and laugh about that now. What you have to realize though, is that I only walked like that in front of the judges, nowhere else in that episode did I walk like that. I just got nervous, and it showed. Honestly, I felt bad for people on crack when he told me that’s how I walked! Although, I didn’t take it too seriously when it was said the first time, simply because of who said it. No disrespect to J. Alexander, but you know what I mean.
RNO: What was it about yourself and Shandi that made the two of you become such good friends?
Xiomara: We were just so alike, and you would have never known it. Looking at us, it doesn’t look like we would become such good friends. However, we had the same taste in everything. We are both very rebellious and we are our own person. I picked her from the get-go as someone that I would remain friends with. Shandi is great because she has her own sense of originality and didn’t stray from that. I love the girl.
RNO: Was there tension between yourself and Catie after what happened at the elimination ceremony when the two of argued?
Xiomara: Nope, none. After she sort of passed out, and we had the elimination that night, Shandi and I went out to the club. After we got back, I was a little drunk, Catie was the one to take care of me. We quickly talked about it, but there were no hard feelings. Like I said, she was right there to take care of me when I got home that night, and it showed that she was sorry for what happened.
RNO: I know we see Camille being pretty obnoxious sometimes, but was she really that bad that everyone wanted her to be the next person gone?
Xiomara: Wait until you have to interview HER, then you’ll see what the problem is! No, just kidding. The thing about Camille was, she was trying to portray herself as someone that she really wasn’t. She came in with an attitude and when she wasn’t praised for how beautiful she was, she took it to heart. Maybe she’s just used to not being around other pretty women and always getting the compliments, I don’t know. Maybe it was insecurity that she wasn’t the queen bee, but whatever it was, it came out in a nasty attitude.
RNO: Was Nole really as annoying as he came off during the shoot and the elimination ceremony? He didn’t seem to be anything but mean.
Xiomara: Oh, we called him Dr. Evil! I swear, he hated women and that was the problem. The guy wanted to be one of us. HE wanted to be America’s next top model and since he couldn’t, he took it out on us. I can honestly say that he wasn’t nice to one of us.
RNO: Knowing what you were getting yourself into, do you think you would want to do it all over again?
Xiomara: I would do it 1000 times over if I could, simply for the exposure that it gave me. I love when I’m recognized in public and people come up to me. People know me now, and its fun, but I want to put something behind my name, and use the exposure for something. That way, I can say I made the most of my time on the show.
RNO: So what are you up to now? Are you checking out something new or do you want to try and stick with modeling?
Xiomara: Well, I do bartend sometimes, and I have been scouted twice since I have come home. I am very lucky that I live in Brooklyn and that I’m 5’11” because both of those are big advantages when it comes to modeling. Of course, I can’t do anything in the business until I’m done with the show, but I hope when it’s all over and the dust settles, I’ll have some opportunities waiting for me.
RNO: What is the one thing you feel wasn’t shown about you on the show?
Xiomara: Definitely the partying. We went out at least one time a week and we always tore it up. It was so funny. They left out so much good stuff by not showing the times we went out. It made it look like the whole competition was so serious and that we never had any fun. Shandi and I were the biggest partiers, but let me tell you, Yoanna is a clown! It doesn’t come across on the show, but she is one of the funniest women I have ever met.
RNO: Is there anything you would like to add or fill us in on something that maybe the editors left out?
Xiomara: There are just so many. We would go out all the time and sometimes get a bit wasted and be a little sick the next morning. Camille would be bad so we would try to make her not go out. She would be all about going out one night but once the attitude came out, we would tell her that she was being bad and couldn’t go out that night. The whole experience was so much fun. Like I said, I would do it again 1000 times if I had the opportunity.
RNO: Xiomara, thank you so much. You know I loved you on the show and I was disappointed to see you go! Good luck in the future!
Xiomara: Aww, thanks Phil, I was looking forward to talking with you. I knew you had my back from the preview article I read that you did on the show, so I’m a big fan of you as well!
Phil Kural is a senior at Temple University, and can be reached at email@example.com.
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