The FORT Interview with Sarah, 10/10/05
The latest to be eliminated from Americaís Next Top Model was 18-year-old Sarah, a girl who gave up her job at the fragrance counter in small-town America to try her luck in the big city. Sarah was new to Los Angeles, new to runway walking, and new to lesbians. At least, thatís the way she seemed on the show. Does Sarah see herself as the clumsy small-town hick who fell head over heels for one of her fellow competitors? Ah, the power of reality show editing. Cassandra said it best, though, when she described Sarah as ďlighthearted and fun.Ē Sarahís bubbly personality was very much in evidence as she laughed her way throughout the interview.
Thank you for speaking with me this morning, Sarah. Iím just sorry that itís so soon in the competition, as you were one of my favorites.
Oh, well thank you very much! Thatís sweet.
You seemed to be gaining confidence as the competition went along. Was getting eliminated at this point a blow to that confidence?
Somewhat, but Iíve had time to kind of get over it now. You would think that being in a competition thatís so judgmental and critical would tear me down, but itís really built my confidence a lot. In the end Iíd say that Iím a better person, Iím more confident. I believe in myself a lot more now than I did before I entered the competition.
Did you feel like you were improving?
You know, I was doing the best I could at everything. Even my walk did improve a little bit Ė and I am working on it still. I think if I had been given a couple more weeks I could have done a lot better. (Laughs) Itís hard to improve on something that takes time to work on, and we didnít have a lot of time with Jay Alexander. It takes a while, but I was working on it!
So how difficult was that revolving platform in the Sue Wong runway challenge?
(Laughs) Oh, my God. That was the most ridiculous thing Iíve ever been on. I donít know, it was really hard, and then my getup - they made me the wedding princess of it all and I had that thing on my head...so in a way, I was thinking, ďOh God, I am so set up to fail at this.Ē (Laughs) It was really hard! And with that train and that head piece, it was just one big disaster waiting to happen.
Had you watched previous cycles of the show? Was it different than you expected?
My aunt had told me about it a couple of years ago. In my town, we didnít get UPN until last year, so I didnít even have the opportunity to! But I watched Cycle 4 and I bought the first season [on DVD], so I kind of knew what I was getting into. I didnít realize how intense it was until I was actually in it.
What did you think of your makeover?
I loved it! I was so ready for the makeover. I was a hair virgin, Iíd never colored my hair or anything before, so I was ready for them to chop it off. Iím kind of growing it back out now just because I donít trust anyone in Booneville to cut it! (Laughs) I still havenít dyed it yet, but I really like my makeover and I think Iíve adapted to it.
What did you think of the personal style they chose for you?
I think they said I was a Ralph Lauren chick, which I can see because with the haircut I looked totally preppy. I donít consider myself preppy at all, but I did my best to adapt to it. If Iíd had some more time to shop maybe I would have looked a little more Ralph Lauren.
What do you consider your personal style?
You mean me, right now? I buy whatís on sale. (Laughs) That would be my personal style. I donít really have one.
Did the experience give you any technical knowledge, like how to pose while accentuating your strongest feature, that kind of thing?
No. I mean, I learned more about myself and who I wanted to be and things I didnít want to be, more than I learned about modeling. Itís kind of weird but it was like that. I think I learned a little bit, though, like how to pose with my shoulders. I have really broad shoulders. Tyra said, ďDonít pose head-on to the camera because your shoulders look even bigger.Ē So I learned a little bit about it, but more about myself than anything.
Do you consider your lips an asset or a liability?
Yeah, my lips. Itís so funny because I used to be really ashamed of them. I hated them. I would walk around with my mouth sucked in so nobody would look at them because I got made fun of so much for them when I was a kid. But now, theyíre my favorite thing about me, and I think theyíll get me far.
What went wrong with your last photo shoot (the fashion police)?
Oh, God! See, I didnít even think it was that bad! (Laughs) Jay Manuel, when I was doing it, he kept saying, ďgood jobĒ and then when I see the video of him, he really didnít think I was doing a good job!
The running thing was hard, and I was also at a place at that point in the competition where I was just so exhausted from everything, and so tired of feeling like I would never be good enough, you know? But I gave it my all. I thought it was good. I thought my outfit was kind of sh***y and all the other girls looked way more sexy than I looked. I donít know if they made it like that or what happened.
Do you think sometimes they donít actually pick the best photo?
You know, I completely - yes, yes, yes. You hit the nail right on the head there. Like with that last photoshoot: I could have sworn I had a better one than that! I wish weíd had more say in which picture they used. Itís the same with the horse photoshoot. I like that picture, but I did so many poses, Iím surprised they picked with my nose up in the air! I definitely wish we had more say in which photo they use, and I think I probably would have done a little bit better if they had.
Were you surprised to see Kim in the bottom two next to you?
It was emotional and really dramatic, because they were kind of splitting up the couple of the house! I donít know if they did that on purpose or not, but I was honored to go up against her, and I wouldnít have wanted to have lost against anyone else. It was emotional, it was hard, it was really bittersweet - but I was proud to have lost against her.
When you watched the show, were you happy with the way you came across?
Oh, yes and no. I know itís an hour long show so they canít show every facet of who you are, but for the most part I think I came off okay. And I am just a dork, so if it seemed like I came across kind of clumsy and silly, I am like that. It was okay. Some of it I think I came off as being more into the Kim relationship than I was. They would only pick certain things that I said when I had a lot more to say about it, you know what I mean? Like I said, ďI like her but itís not going to lead to anything.Ē With that, I know I chose to do that on TV, and I knew Iíd have to think about it later, but I donít consider myself bisexual or a lesbian. I just consider myself me, and I looked at her as a person and who she was versus her gender. So, itís okay. Thatís the only thing I thought, that they portrayed me as a little more into it than I probably was, thatís all.
Did you have to explain anything when you got home?
Iím going home tonight! Iím so scared, I donít know if my little hick town is going to tar and feather me or what! (Laughs) Itís pretty different in Booneville than in L.A. so, theyíre probably not going to be as open about it. I havenít talked to my parents yet so I donít know how that will go.
How did you find L.A. compared to Booneville?
Itís black and white, really, itís two different worlds. Iím from a small town, we have one main street, and itís just a quiet little town along the Missouri River, and L.A. is a complete rush and a blow to the head to me. Itís crazy! I do like it a lot, but when Iím here I miss my home town, and when Iím in my home town I miss L.A. Maybe somewhere in between is where I need to be.
Okay, Iím going to read off the names of your competitors, could you give your impression of them in one or two words?
Ashley - I didnít get to know her that well, but I didnít think she was very real. She put on a lot.
Bre - I have a lot of respect for her and sheís been through a lot, and I think sheís a very strong girl.
Cassandra - She was my roomie so I donít really have anything bad to say about her. She stood up for herself and I have a lot of respect and admiration for her for that.
Coryn - See, they didnít show it but Coryn and I were like best friends in this! Coryn is oneo f the most beautiful people Iíve seen in my life. We auditioned in Minneapolis together - we just happened to meet each other there. I think sheís so beautiful, and sheís got a really beautiful heart, too. Sheís a great person.
Diane - Loud and funny as can be. Sheís a really nice girl.
Ebony - Oh, God - she was funny, and I donít know but I think sometimes sheís a little insecure. It seems like people who are making jokes all the time might be insecure, and that was my impression of her.
Jayla - I think Jayla needs to be in therapy. (Laughs) Thatís about all I have to say about that!
Kim - Sheís very different, and sheís very open. And sheís very beautiful.
Kyle - very preppy, very pretty - a classic all-American girl.
Lisa - Lisa is a drunken, fool, know-it-all idiot. (Laughs) That was my overall impression of her - a drunk, walking, talking fool. Cassandra said one time, ďItís Americaís Next Top DrunkĒ because she was drunk all the time. It was the funniest thing.
Nicole -. I really liked her a lot, and I know some people didnít, but I think sheís a funny girl, and I think sheíll go far. Sheís really nice.
Nik - Nik is sheer perfection. It makes me sick, sheís so beautiful and so funny. Iím really glad I got to know her, sheís a beautiful person.
So it sounds like Lisa was the one who annoyed you the most in the house?
(Laughs) Yeah, you know, Iím beginning to see she annoyed everybody! You know, you canít like everybody, and sheís just one of those people I donít like that much. But I try to be respectful and get along with her when Iím near her.
What was the hardest photoshoot?
I donít mind photoshoots at all, I usually have a lot of fun at those. It was the runway that killed me. That was the hardest part of my experience there.
What was your favorite photo?
My favorite photo was the horse photo just because my sister works with horses, and so I like them to. It felt comfortable for me to be out in country setting versus a big city. It was kind of like, more Booneville, you know?
What did you learn during this experience?
I learned to have respect for myself and I think that I just walked away with a lot more confidence. I used to struggle a lot when I was younger with who I was, and feeling very lost, and I was very sad. I have a new-found respect for myself and I feel happy that I am who I am today, and I have never felt that way before.
Do you read the internet sites to see what people are saying about you?
I do, I canít resist! I do sometimes, and I havenít read anything too awful or bad and Iím sure one day I will, but I just let it roll off my shoulders.
Do you plan to pursue a modeling career?
I do! I plan on pursuing it. I think I can only benefit from the show. I know my walk is kind of stumbly but I do like modeling and it makes me feel alive, and itís something I have passion for so Iím definitely going to go for it.
So please stop by and visit us on fansofrealitytv.com, Sarah.
I will, Iíll go there! I had fun talking to you.
Thanks so much for your time, Sarah, it was fun talking to you too!
Many thanks to Sarah for chatting with me and thank you, UPN, for granting the interview.