"They Always Need A Shocking Elimination!" Ė An Interview with America's Next Top Model 9's Lisaby Phil Kural -- 11/28/2007
When this season began, I wasnít really a huge fan of Lisa. I thought she was good, but I never really got why everyone thought she was so great. That being said, I was actually semi-shocked that she was sent home last week. I certainly expected her to be in the final three, but as youíll read in the following interview, Lisa had a good inkling that her time was coming. What am I talking about? Read on to find out!
RealityNewsOnline: Hey, Lisa! Thanks for taking time to talk with me today. Had you watched previous seasons of the show and what factored into your decision to apply?
Lisa: I had watched previous seasons of the show, and from what Iíve seen, I would sit there and know that I could try it. I always had my favorite girls and the ones I rooted for, so finally I just decided to give it a try!
RNO: Early in the season, most of the girls knew your occupation was a dancer. What kind of dancing were you doing?
Lisa: Well, I was an exotic dancer, and I had to explain that as best I could to the other girls. It was for money, and I purposely wasnít a stripper because I knew that I wanted to be a model one day. I tried to make the other girls understand that, and I think the judges did Ė since it was never brought up. It was simply exactly what you called it Ė an occupation!
RNO: Did you think that your background would play to your advantage, or did you expect the other girls or the judges to look down on you?
Lisa: I phrased it in a way hoping that it wouldnít happen that way. I would say that dancing was an advantage for me, since prior to dancing, I was very uncomfortable with my body and being so slim. Dancing helped me overcome that and be more aware of my body and my moves. At the same time, I knew that Cover Girl has this conservative, all-American look that I might not exactly fit into!
RNO: You were very emotional during your Cover Girl commercial, and seemed very upset the week before when you did poorly in the runway challenge. Do you think your nerves got the best of you?
Lisa: It was half nerves and half because I was pushing myself so much. Knowing that I didnít do so great last week, I really wanted to step it up and pull through. Iím a perfectionist, and I wanted to prove that I had what it takes to win. What sucks the most is that I knew the lines right before I went on set. They didnít show it, but I actually went first, so that made it harder. Iím watching the show with my fiancť and I say to him, ďOh, watch me, I go first!Ē He was all, ďUmm, I donít see you!Ē So it looked even worse because they edited it to make it look like I was last!
RNO: The judges and the other girls thought you were one of the better girls this season. Is it safe to say that you were the shocking elimination of the season?
Lisa: Yes, definitely! They always need a shocking elimination. I kind of knew going into the shoot that I was on the chopping block, so I didnít want to mess up even once so that they didnít have a thing to use against me. I knew my time was up though. They were scooting me out and there was really nothing I could do Ė thereís a pattern you start to see, and even during my last shoot I thought that I had stronger photos than the one they chose. They used a nice one, but I had a ton of other photos trying other things. I dropped pretty quickly. Two weeks ago, I was called first during the video shoot. When the judges were back in control though, I knew I was sliding down.
RNO: What was the deal with the way the other girls constantly picked on Heather? Did you feel things were that way or was it played up for the cameras?
Lisa: Oh, definitely! When I was there, I didnít think that it was all that serious. Thereís a lot of focus on Heather, and we never tried to make her feel bad at all. A lot of it is in the editing. Heather wasnít treated special compared to the other girls, but we didnít undermine her either Ė she was one of us! We had fun with her, and sometimes she was the butt of jokes and it was taken out of proportion, but I think the editing made it even worse sometimes.
RNO: Do you feel like you learned enough about the industry to actually go out and enter the modeling world?
Lisa: Most definitely. Even if I was the first girl to have gone home I would still go out and try modeling. I moved to Jersey City originally to try and be a model. Now I have so much more experience with angels and expressions and with working with photographers that I think it will make me so much better. NYC is my backyard, so Iím excited to see what I can do.
RNO: What would you do differently if you could do it all over again?
Lisa: I think I would have hidden my emotions more when I felt bad. I wish I hadnít shown them and just kept slipping by. But I guess you just have to ask: What can you do?
RNO: What was your biggest challenge with being on a reality TV show, and was it the way you expected it to be?
Lisa: Oh, I was so unprepared for it! You watch it and wonder why the girls cry. I thought that I had it hands down, and then I get there and you realize how stressful it is with the cameras being around all the time. It really does take its toll! Being around the girls is something else. We get along, but you are still living with 12 other girls. There are general problems that you have to work though, not to mention worry about taking good photos and making the judges happy. It seriously was crazy.
RNO: Was your elimination the big talk at the Thanksgiving day dinner table?
Lisa: Oh my goodness if you only knew! My family was so shocked and they loved my last photo. They talked about how each of the other girls should have gone home. I mean, it happened already, so Iím over it now. I have a saying for things like this: ď$#!t happens!Ē My family was shocked over it, but seriously, you have to just be able to get over it Ė itís the past now, so I have to just move on from here!
RNO: Now that you have been eliminated, is there anyone in particular that you are rooting for, or has the potential to be Americaís Next Top Model?
Lisa: Now that Iím gone Iím going for Heather or Jenah. When they perform, they put it all out there and have some great photos. I think that on the show, you get so caught up and lost in the drama that you really do forget there are some really good models there. Heather and Jenah are amazing!
RNO: How about Twiggy not being around next season? Was that a shock to you?
Lisa: I think that if they feel a new personality would be good for the show, then thatís on them. Twiggy was a sweetheart on the panel and I loved her. Honestly, they need to bring Janice Dickinson back Ė I loved her! I actually wouldnít have minded if she was on the panel when I was there and ripped me to shreds. I would have loved it!
RNO: Do you intend on continuing to pursue a career in modeling, or are you ready to move onto something else?
Lisa: Iím definitely going to try modeling. Iíve talked to other models out there, and they tell me that I simply need the energy and how to be professional. Itís not as hard as they try and make it out to be in order to succeed out there. Iíd love to try acting as well, so weíll just have to see where it goes.
RNO: What is your plan B, in case modeling doesnít end up being the right choice for you?
Lisa: I guess Iíll have to do what my mom told me and go to college to figure it out! As much as I donít want the typical job, I guess thatís what Iíd have to do. Iíd love to travel though Ė thatís one thing that made modeling appeal to me. I want to see places and meet people Ė and meet designers. Something fast paced!
RNO: Is there anything you would like to add or say to fans of the show?
Lisa: Iím just so happy that I was there. Overall, I was so grateful to be on the show and Iím thankful for the fans that I meet and the ones that have written about me. The support really does mean a lot!
RNO: Thanks, Lisa!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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