ďThe Whole Show Is PoliticsĒ: An Interview with Americaís Next Top Model 7ís A.J.by Phil Kural -- 10/23/2006
Weíve seen it happen before. Sometimes itís the girl that everyone expects to do so well but gets sent home way before her time and we are left scratching our heads. It happened to Lisa in cycle 5, Mollie Sue in cycle 6, and for cycle 7, it happened to A.J. I had a chance to speak with A.J. about her time on the show, and despite not being happy with being eliminated, she felt it was her time to go. Read on to see what she had to say about the way things went down.
RealityNewOnline: Hey, A.J.! Thanks for taking time out of your day to talk with me today. What factored into your decision applying for the show, and had you watched previous seasons?
A.J.: Nope, I had never seen the show before I was on it. Actually, I didnít even apply; I was contacted on MySpace by one of the casting directors of the show who told me that I should try out. Well, one thing led to another, and even though I never thought I would make it, it actually happened. I thought the whole thing was funny, though, since I had never modeled before. The only reason I decided to even do it was because I figured I might as well see if I can do it Ė I had no desire to be on TV!
RNO: Did your elimination come as a shock to you, especially considering how well you had done in past photo shoots?
A.J.: Not at all. The whole show is politics. The judges have their reasons for getting rid of certain people when they do, and I realize that. To be honest, I was ready to go home anyway.
RNO: Do you think that pink hat had anything to do with it?
A.J.: Ha! I donít think that had anything to do with it, but to be honest, if they wanted to make that the reason that I was sent home, they would have found a way to make that the main reason, believe me.
RNO: Did you feel that maybe you deserved to stay more than Jaeda, especially considering your body of work received next to no criticism, compared to her photos, which never seemed to be a favorite of the judges?
A.J.: Probably. I mean, I thought I deserved to stay, but once again, the judges do what they want, and you never know which whey they will swing. Itís all based on politics, thatís all Iíll say.
RNO: What did you feel would be your biggest strength in the competition, and how did you plan on standing out from the rest of the girls?
A.J.: That never actually crossed my mind. I never thought of it as a competition, and maybe thatís why I didnít have that competitive edge they were looking for. I always looked at it like, ďOkay, A.J., letís just see if you can do the best you are capable of.Ē I didnít feel like I had to beat out the rest of the other girls, and thatís probably why I was sent packing.
RNO: Do you feel that had you done better in the interview challenge, you would have been kept around, or was the photo enough for your elimination?
A.J.: Personally, I donít think it was the interview challenge or my photo this week. Letís get real, it wasnít that bad. The judges have their reasons, and I believe that a few of the girls have stayed longer than they should have and that some were sent home way before they should have went home.
RNO: You were one of the girls that comforted Anchal after the comments Melrose made. Was Melrose really as controversial as she is being portrayed, or is it more in the editing?
A.J.: No, she is! Yeah, thatís all Iím going to say. There was nothing excessive edited into the show. What you see was what she did. It was very accurate.
RNO: Did you feel that during photo shoots, you got enough direction, or were you expected to just know what to do, even with the lack of experience most of the girls had?
A.J.: Well, it obviously wasnít affecting me since I was doing well. I never had any problems. Besides, most of the other girls had modeling experience before the show. I think thereís experience, talent, and ability. They are three separate things. You can have all three of them, a combination of two, or just one. Itís a combo, and each girl showed which they had.
RNO: In retrospect, do you look back and try to figure out things you could have changed or done differently in order to avoid elimination?
A.J.: No, I never try to go back. Whatís done is done. I was there and did what I could do at the time. For what itís worth, the show opened me up to the modeling world and gave me an interest in something I never thought I would do, but thatís about it.
RNO: In your opinion, who is the girl to beat at this point, and why?
A.J.: I really donít know. It all depends. Once again, itís all about politics. There are some girls that have that edge, and there are some girls that Iíd like to see win because they are awesome. If it were up to me, Iíd like to see CariDee or Anchal win, but the judges are crafty, so I guess weíll see.
RNO: Is there anything that you didnít get from the show that you were hoping to do, besides winning, of course?
A.J.: No, not really. I wasnít as interested in winning anyway. I got exactly what I wanted from the experience.
RNO: So what are your immediate plans following the airing of the show? Do you know what you want to do next?
A.J.: Well, Iíd like to maybe hook up with an agent and try my hand in the modeling world. I really liked it, so I guess weíll just have to wait and see, but thatís the plan right now.
RNO: Do you have a plan B in case that doesnít end up working out?
A.J.: Yes, I definitely have a plan B. I would probably go back to school and just figure it out from there. I realize that I still have plenty of time to figure out what I want to do, so I guess Iíll just take it as it comes.
RNO: Could you ever see yourself doing a reality TV show again? Do you regret the experience?
A.J.: Oh, I could never do another reality show. Itís just not for me. I liked doing the show for the whole modeling aspect, but reality TV? Never again!
RNO: Is there anything you would like to add or say to fans of the show?
A.J.: I just want to thank all the fans for watching and thank everyone that supported me. Hey, I won Cover Girl of the week two weeks in a row Ė that must count for something!
RNO: Thanks, A.J.!
If you havenít already, be sure to check out these other recent Americaís Next Top Model articles:
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.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find all of our recent articles on this show at our Americaís Next Top Model page and take a look at our sections on The Apprentice and Survivor. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!
For more news about Americaís Next Top Model, be sure to check out SirLinksALot: Americaís Next Top Model!