The women on "America's Next Top Model" didn't fight as much as the UPN reality series implies, according to one contestant recently eliminated.
"It's not the way they portray it on TV," said Giselle Samson, 18, of Corona, Calif. The judges in the series, in which 10 women have competed for a modeling contract with Revlon, eliminated Samson in the June 17 episode. She was the fifth woman to leave the series.
The episodes were taped last winter in New York City. New episodes air at 9 p.m. Tuesdays, with reruns preceding them at 8 p.m.
The judges were impressed with Samson's performance during a photo shoot that required the models to keep moving while the photographer worked.
But the judges said Samson's apparent need for positive reinforcement to boost her self-esteem would keep her from being America's next top model.
"I thought you were actually the best in terms of movement," executive producer and supermodel Tyra Banks told Samson in the episode. "But I heard you when you walked off the set. And you were fishing for a compliment."
Samson answered back, "All women fish for compliments."
During the phone interview, Samson said she felt the judges had penalized her for following instructions. She said the episode didn't show the entire story.
"Tyra told me I was too confident, that I didn't want people to see me as a cocky person," Samson said.
But Samson said that after she worked to make certain she didn't appear overconfident, the judges eliminated her for self-esteem reasons.
Still, Samson said she had fun living in New York City for the series.
"I don't feel I learned anything from the judges, but I learned from Tyra," said Samson, who works as an entertainer at Disneyland. (She said that under the theme park rules, she couldn't elaborate further about her job there. "It's all supposed to be real.") "I think I did well; I'm very proud," she said about "America's Next Top Model."
"I was taught how to be sexy without being sexy. You don't have to look sexy and sensual to come across as sexy and sensual," Samson said. "It's all in the face. It's not about being pretty girls. It's about the emotions behind the eyes."
Like virtually all reality shows, "America's Next Top Model" has focused on the personality conflicts among the participants.
The TV series is emphasizing the cattiness instead of the nice moments, Samson said.
She said she hopes to use her exposure on "America's Next Top Model" to get contracts for modeling work in print ads and TV commercials.
The contestants on "America's Next Top Model" are learning about the rigors of the industry, including a photo shoot in bikinis in the freezing cold on top of a New York skyscraper.
Samson said she enjoyed that experience but noted she got through it in five minutes. "It was such an adrenaline rush. I was nervous, but I had a great time."
Of modeling in general, she said, "The only glamour is when you're done up in your hair and makeup."