The FORT Interview with Diane, 10/15/05
Latest to find herself the odd model out was twenty-three-year-old Diane, who put her career as a Criminal Defense Investigator aside to be on the show. Admittedly more curvacious than the usual runway model, Diane nevertheless showed potential for success in the plus-size market with her classic features and steady improvement during the competition. Tyra and Co. didnít find fault with her posing so much as they found her personality lacking - specifically, Tyra told her she was not ďbubblyĒ enough. It must be odd to be standing next to a skinny model who just finished breaking down in tears during her judging session, yet be told that you are being eliminated for not being sunny and carefree before the judges. Maybe Iím no Tyra, but I prefer Diane the way I found her: animated and lively, without any phony fake cheerfulness.
Thank you for talking to me this afternoon, Diane, Iím just sorry that itís so soon in the competition.
No worries, thanks for wanting to talk to me!
First off, what attracted you to the show, especially since you already a successful career as a Criminal Defense Investigator?
Iíve always loved modeling. I love fashion and dressing crazy. I love beauty! I embrace beauty. I was just so scared of so many modeling scams out there, you canít really trust anybody. I thought this show was a great opportunity and a great chance to have a great exposure and know that youíre not going to be ďdone inĒ by the modeling agencies or anything like that.
Have you modeled before or was this something totally new for you?
Iíve done some hair shows for the people who do my hair, but Iíve never done real modeling - this is the first.
At the end of the audition process, did it make you nervous to be the only plus-size model standing there?
No, it didnít make me nervous. I was just so excited to have the opportunity to be let in the house because you get noticed in the house. I was more excited and grateful for the situation than nervous.
It sounds like you watched previous cycle of the show, so what did you think of the new house, the stretch hummer; in short, the more luxurious feel to the show?
Right, oh God, I thought, we must be the best of the best! Then I thought, I guess theyíre making money now. It was just awesome! The experience, to this day, honestly, itís just surreal. Iím like, thatís me, for real? It hasnít hit me yet. People recognize me and all that. When I first saw the house, I thought, ďOh, we gotta bring MTV Cribs to this house! Ainít nobody got it like we do!Ē
What was the best part of the experience?
The best part to me was just giving a plus-size girl an opportunity to be on the show. Previous seasons didnít have a whole lot of plus-size girls, I think that was the best part of the show.
What was the hardest part of the experience?
The hardest part was boot camp. Because, honestly this show is like boot camp modeling. These people are going to critique you in everything you do. What you think is good or you like, they may not like. You have to be ready - mentally, physically and emotionally prepared before you come into this competition.
Who would you say was the most annoying person in the house?
Hmm...the most annoying. (Pauses)
There had to be someone.
Well, for me it was Nicole. Just because she nagged so much sometimes. I was like, ďOh, God.Ē She didnít do it all the time, but as you guys saw, the time she did nag, we were like, ďOkay, look. (Laughs) Youíre nagging a bit too much.Ē (Laughs) It wasnít something like I couldnít stand her, but it did bother me a little bit. I didnít let it get to me.
Who were you closest to in the house?
Nik. Weíre still close. Sheís the bomb.
What did you think of the ďplastic surgeryĒ theme for the photoshoot?
Honestly, at first? I thought it was cheesy. I was like, ďOh, God, what now!Ē It turned out to be so classy that I loved it. At the end I thought, this was bad, this is gonna look good. It turned out to be a great photoshoot.
Your profile in that picture was classic beauty.
(Laughs) I know, it was like, dang! I look great!
In fact, I was so surprised that you got eliminated after that picture.
Can you believe that? One of my best pictures and I gotta go home!
Didnít they tell you in the judging that you had improved? Were you surprised to be on the chopping block?
Yeah! I was working so hard, honestly, I would really go in there and I would work. I would work on my runway and I would work on my posing throughout the house. And thatís something they say: embrace your body, show it off, show it in your pictures. And I believe that with every shoot, with every week, I think my body improved. So, I was like, this really sucks. Just when I was starting to get good! Even Nigel, you know, he donít be blowing on the big girls side, but even he said, ďSheís improving every week, she has a good shot. Sheís getting better and better and thatís what the competition is about.ĒAnd then to get booted off, I was really bummed.
What was it like to work with Janice Dickenson?
Sheís awesome, I love Janice. Sheís as blunt and outspoken as anyone in this world could be, and I admire her for that, because Iím the type of person that Iím going to keep it real, and Iím going to give you the real deal. And if you donít like it, thatís fine. You know, everybody wanted to know what Janice had to say about them, whether it was good or bad. We all asked each other, what did Janice say about you? (Laughs)
What was your take on the drama between Lisa and Coryn? Did you hear any of Lisaís talk with Janice Dickenson?
I felt bad for Lisa because honestly, Lisa has a big heart. Sheís such a loving and caring person. She used to make coffee for us in the morning and stuff, cook breakfast for us - she is just so nice. I felt bad for her because really, her intentions are not bad. I know thatís the way they portrayed her on TV, but deep down her intentions are not bad. Lisa and I actually got close before I got eliminated. Nik, her, and I got real close after Ebony was eliminated.
Do you see yourself as more of a runway model or do you prefer to do photoshoots and print modeling?
I like the photoshoots. I like runway, but I like being crazy and just being up there and stoking that camera, you know, and showing the clothes off. I like them both, but for me, I like the photoshoots better.
What is your opinion of what Tyra said during judging, that to be successful as a plus-size model you have to bring more bubbly personality than the skinny girls?
I think itís true to a certain extent, but being in this competition, you go through so much. Being in front of judges that critique you in everything that you do, and when at the end of the night you know somebody is going home, I donít think that thereís nothing to be bubbly about. I mean, itís a stressful situation! Iím not going to sit up there and be like, (perky voice) ďHiiii!Ē No! Thatís not really how I feel, I feel like Iím stressed! And a lot of people felt that, like they showed with Bre breaking down. This is hard! This is not a joke, this is serious.
Do you read the internet sites where fans talk about the show?
Which site are you?
Yes, I read you guys! I did, somebody told me about it because I never knew about that stuff. I started reading that and I thought it was really cool. [Ed.: Diane confirmed she has posted on the site.]
Whatís ahead for you? Do you plan to continue modeling?
I want to pursue this modeling. I love my job, but I really want to pursue modeling and anything else that comes my way. Acting - I would love to be on an episode of CSI Investigators - that would be awesome. I really want to pursue this and I know it will work out for me.
Is there anything else you would like to tell the viewers?
Thank you for watching! Thank you to everyone for their support, and thank you for interviewing me!
Many thanks to Diane for being so fun to talk to, and thanks to UPN for granting the interview.