ďThe Battle Was Me and the Alarm ClockĒ Ė An Interview with Americaís Next Top Model 10ís Claireby Phil Kural -- 04/04/2008
A tear is still in my eye for Claire. I loved her so! In fact, she was one episode away from becoming one of MY girls! I should have named her earlier, although that would have just doomed her to second place, like it normally does. Anyway, as usual, I had a chance to chat with Claire about her time on the show. We got into everything from her feelings on being sent home to her fight with Dominique over the alarm clock. Oh, and I just KNEW she had previous modeling experience! Read on to see.
RealityNewsOnline: Hey, Claire! Thanks for taking time out of your day to speak with me. Had you watched previous seasons of the show, and what factored into your decision to apply?
Claire: I had always been a fan of the show, and that definitely factored into me wanting to be on it. I have a love for reality TV, and the fact that this reality show dealt with something I thought I could have a future in, it just made sense for me to try out.
RNO: Did you have any modeling experience prior to being on the show?
Claire: I did have modeling experience, yes.
RNO: Ha! I knew it!
Claire: (Laughing) You could tell? I did some modeling before the show when I was younger, and I had recently, right before being on the show, had done some pregnancy modeling and modeling with the baby. Iíve always enjoyed it.
RNO: Going into the house, what did you think would be your biggest strength and your biggest liability?
Claire: Honestly, I thought my biggest strength and my biggest liability would be the same thing Ė my personality. I knew that being a smart person with a good personality would be great in front of the judges, but bad, too, because you begin to care for people and when they begin becoming very taxing on you, it affects you. I knew that I was letting things that were said about me get to me, and being a smart person, I was overthinking most of it.
RNO: Were you shocked to go home so soon, especially considering the rave reviews you were receiving from the judges during the first few episodes?
Claire: I wasnít really shocked because I was in the bottom two the week prior, so I knew I had to have the best photo possible. I saw it wasnít the best photo of the bunch, so I knew I was going at that point.
RNO: It seemed like everything began to fall apart after your big fight with Dominique. Did you feel you were focusing more attention on her than yourself?
Claire: I wouldnít say that I was focusing on her, but the negativity did take a hold of me in the competition. Itís just when you are around so much negative energy, you canít really help but let it affect you.
RNO: Was your semi-feud with her really all it was blown up to be, and was it really you, Whitney, and Lauren versus her?
Claire: The battle was me and the alarm clock. Thatís all it really was! The fact that Whitney and Lauren jumped in was because they already had it out for Dominique and were just looking for a reason to get in a big fight with her and start trouble. I had no issues with her after I switched rooms so I didnít have to hear it. She got the brunt of my aggression when I was pissed off, and thatís when we went off on her when she was in bed.
RNO: Standing with Lauren and listening to Tyra, did you think you were going to be eliminated or were you thinking it would be Lauren?
Claire: I didnít think I had a chance at all. I could tell just by the way the judges were looking at me that it looked like I had the sign of death on my forehead. There was no doubt in my mind at that point that I was going home.
RNO: Did you have any idea before going into the last elimination that the judges felt you were only giving one look throughout all of your photos, or was that something suddenly just sprung on you?
Claire: They had said the week prior, during the country photo, that I needed to begin to give a softer look. I tried to be soft, and that ended up looking weak to some of the judges. Tyra had said that she loved my roll of film, though, and that she was a fan of almost all my photos, and thatís all that really counts, right?
RNO: Why in the world did you jump onto that hard plastic after Jay had told you not to? Didnít you expect it to hurt as much as it did?
Claire: Jay really didnít tell me anything about jumping onto the Mylar until after I had did it. The intention was to just slide onto it, and Jay told me not to do that since it wasnít necessary. However, I still tried to slide, but I hit my chin on the Mylar, and thatís why it really hurt on my neck. Looking back, though, yeah, I probably shouldnít have done that.
RNO: Were you surprised at how many weeks in a row the viewers chose you as the Cover Girl of the Week?
Claire: I was so surprised at how many times I had won Cover Girl of the Week! I mean, five times? Itís funny that people all across America voted for me week after week, and itís such a wonderful feeling. Itís great being told that I have touched peopleís lives and really inspired them to go after what they want. Thatís the best feeling in the world!
RNO: Do you think it is harder for a mother to break into modeling world more than a single girl, since she has extra responsibility?
Claire: I think itís harder for a mom to pursue any career with those kinds of ties at home. I donít think it should be any harder to get into modeling, unless someone already has it in their head that you canít model because you have something going on at home. That would be discriminating, though. If anything, I think that moms are extra grounded and down to Earth, so itís a good thing!
RNO: Do you intend on continuing to pursue a full-time career in modeling?
Claire: I definitely intend on pursuing a modeling career, but everything else in media as well. Iím going to stay in NYC, though, unless someone in LA writes a TV series about me, and then I might consider moving to the west coast.
RNO: What else do you have planned out? Is there anywhere we can expect to see you in the near future?
Claire: I have a short film planned out that I am editing now, and that will come out shortly. Of course, I plan on posting it online so that people will be able to view it there as well. I have a lot in the works, so keep on the lookout for me!
RNO: When your daughter is old enough, do you think youíll let her watch you on MTV and VH1 when they play marathons of the show all day?
Claire: She has already watched a bunch of episodes now. She understands the show and is a natural at modeling. I mean, sheís 16 months old now, and is a total ham. She loves the camera, and Iíd love for her to model, but I would never push her into it if it wasnít what she wanted to do.
RNO: Is there anything you would like to add or say to fans of the show?
Claire: Just thank you all so much. The support means so much, and I hope that you will all continue to support me in my future endeavors and whatever else I decide to do. Thanks!
RNO: Thanks, Claire!
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Phil Kural is an office manager at a dental office, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. You can send feedback to him at email@example.com.
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