“Maybe I Was Just Too Quiet!” – An Interview with America's Next Top Model 7's Christianby Phil Kural -- 09/22/2006
I really felt bad for Christian. She obviously had her heart and soul in this competition and really wanted to be there. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Christian was the first girl sent packing this season, which I have a good feeling is going to be full of surprises. I had a chance to speak with Christian about her time on the show, and she a had a lot to say, so keep on reading!
RealityNewsOnline: Hey, Christian! Thanks for taking time out of your schedule to talk to me today. Had you watched previous seasons of the show, and what factored into your decision to apply?
Christian: Hey, Phil! Yes, I had been watching the show since the beginning. I had always wanted to get into the modeling industry, and I figured that the show would be great for some exposure. I had done some runway in the past, but I knew that I needed help with photo shoots, and if I had been around awhile, I figured I could get some experience in that aspect of modeling. You can always hope, but it just wasn’t meant to be!
RNO: Most of the girls I have interviewed in the past admitted that they knew they were going home. Were you really caught off guard?
Christian: I really was caught off guard. Although I was in a group with some very beautiful women, so anyone could have been the first girl eliminated, and I was just hoping that it wasn’t me. However, like I said, I’ve watched the show from the beginning, so when I saw it was me standing next to Melrose, the girl that messed up royally, I knew things were not looking good, since the first girl to go home normally doesn’t make many waves, and they tend to keep the girl that screws up. So when I was in the bottom two with her, I knew what was going to happen.
RNO: Do you feel that you were given any tips or shown anything that would help during your first photo shoot, or was it more like just being thrown in front of the camera and told to make it work?
Christian: No way, we were definitely just thrown into it. My topic was very hard, too, so I think that some girls got off easy. It also seemed like some girls were getting more help than others. I don’t know, really, to be honest, but we were all just thrown into the first shoot and were expected to know what we were doing, and some of us had no clue!
RNO: Why didn’t more people stand up against Monique when she was stealing beds and refusing to compromise concerning house issues?
Christian: To be honest, I’m not really the type of girl to really get into something that doesn’t concern me. It’s just not me. I was cool with Monique, and I did give her some advice after everything went down. I was raised with the Golden Rule. Had someone done the same thing to Monique with the bed, she would have been angry, and I told her that. I try to give people my side of the story without coming down on them, and I think I did that with Monique, it just wasn’t shown.
RNO: Did you feel that imitating Tyra’s poses might possibly end up being used against you?
Christian: It’s funny you bring that up. I never once said that I was trying to be Tyra, or that I was trying to imitate her. In my audition, I was asked to pose like Tyra, and that’s what I did. I’ve always looked up to her, and I was a bit offended that they tried to do that to me. Especially since Tyra knows what that’s like. When she began her career, everyone tried to compare her to Naomi Campbell, even though they were very different. We are told that if we want to succeed in this business, we should study it and know what’s going on. I studied and knew, yet they used that against me, when I never asked to pose like Tyra but was told to do so.
RNO: Do you think the experience was still worth it, even though you were the first girl eliminated from the house?
Christian: Oh, it was definitely worth it. I got some face time on TV, even if it was two hours, and people recognize me now. I think that will help. Also, I’m starting to hear that some people were really mad that I was eliminated so early, which is good since I never wanted to be the girl that everyone thinks should be eliminated every episode. I did learn a lot in the short period of time that I was there, and I lost a lot of the self-doubt that I had prior to being on the show.
RNO: What did you feel would be your strengths in the competition?
Christian: I felt my personality would get me far. Some of the other girls were being very hard to work with and complained about everything, acting like they had so many other things at home they could be doing. I was a bit offended, honestly. I worked hard to get there, so I had no problem waiting a few hours to do a shoot. I didn’t want to be the “Jade” of the group and complain about everyone and everything. I was taught that you must practice at being silent. I figured my personality would really help me, but I guess there was only room for one “good girl,” and that’s Brooke.
RNO: Did anyone’s personality shock you or change from the time you went from L.A. to moving into the house?
Christian: I guess you can say that Monique’s claws came out pretty fast once we got into the house. She really did change. That might be her just wanting airtime and wanting to be on camera, but I didn’t want to take that route. Maybe I was just too quiet!
RNO: Why was posing nude such an issue for some of the girls? Had they watched the show before or did they really think that they would never have to do that? Did anyone explain to them that it wasn’t total nudity, meaning that nobody on TV would see their privates?
Christian: Well, to some girls it was a big deal because they were raised a certain way and their religions and stuff like that. Brooke was upset and I had a talk with her, and I was a bit upset, too, but I knew I would do it anyway, so there was no reason to complain about it. I know you are saying, “Well, then why did these girls even apply for the show?” Well, I think some were just hoping that we would be the cycle where they didn’t want a nude photo. I think what we did was great – it was very tasteful and beautiful.
RNO: How did you think you did after the first photo shoot? Did Jay Manual give you an idea that he wasn’t pleased with the way the shoot went?
Christian: I thought I was misled. I really did get lost on the concept. I started with my poses, the ones you saw on the show, and Jay told me I was doing a great job and to play with it. After that, Jay said to me, and I quote, “I think we got the shot, so just keep playing now.” So I figured that it wasn’t terrible, and that we at least got a good photo. I had no idea that he was so displeased.
RNO: Did you at any time feel that maybe some girls were cast more for their “story” than for raw talent? What about the twins? Did you think that was a genius or unfair move by producers?
Christian: Oh yeah, I definitely feel that some girls were cast more for their story. Don’t get me wrong – all the girls this season are beautiful. However, I think some of the girls are more there for reality TV than for modeling, and the producers are always trying to hype up an underdog and find their Cinderella story. As for the twins, I’m not going to knock production for trying to make money since that’s what they are trying to do, but I think that twins on the show defeated the purpose of being an individual model. I think the twins were cast for a reality TV reason and for reaction from the public. It’s the whole “let’s see which twin bites the dust first!” mentality.
RNO: After your experience on the show, is modeling still something that you want to try and be involved with?
Christian: Oh yeah, modeling is something that I did before the show and something that I want to continue doing. It’s my passion, and regardless of what happened on the show and when I was sent home, I still made it to 13th place out of thousands of girls that tried out, so I have a leg up on many people. Plus, the feedback was great, and I know what I have to work on!
RNO: What is your plan B incase you decide that modeling isn’t for you?
Christian: I guess we’ll have to see. Right now, though, I’m just going to concentrate on modeling and see if I can make it in the industry before I start thinking about something else.
RNO: Sounds good – best of luck to you! Thanks, Christian!
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.
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