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Thread: ANTM 7: Interview with A.J.-"I Don't Know Who Was Making Up Those Names"

  1. #1
    Retired! hepcat's Avatar
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    in a good place

    ANTM 7: Interview with A.J.-"I Don't Know Who Was Making Up Those Names"

    The latest eliminee from Tyra boot camp is A.J., the pixie-haired student from Sacramento who was a surprising boot, considering the praise she reaped from the judges in previous weeks. A.J. took the persona assigned to her by the ANTM production machine Ė dark and disturbed Ė and used it to turn out one of my favorite ANTM pictures ever of a caged cannibal feasting on manflesh. It takes talent to turn an obvious setup on its head, and she showed us plenty -- so I was surprised to learn that this was her first foray into the world of modeling. But I doubt it will be her last.

    Hi A.J., how are you? Itís a pleasure to talk to you today.

    Iím just fine.

    Although I have to say that I didnít expect to be talking to you this week.

    (laughs) I donít think anybody did! (laughs)

    So first off, some general questions for you: how tall are you?

    Of course. I am 5í11Ē as far as I can tell. (laughs)

    How did you come to be on the show?

    Actually, it was kind of a fluke. I was contacted on Myspace. I was going to school in LA and I got this message, an email from the casting directors. They said, ďDo you want to try out for it?Ē and I thought, ďThat is hilarious, yes I want to try out for itĒ because first of all, I had never seen the show before. Iíve never modeled before. I thought, what a hilarious thing to do, basically.

    Do you have a Myspace right now, or can you share that?

    I believe weíre not allowed to have Myspaces right now. And Iím not sure Iím going to go back. I might go back to Myspace, but itís kind of taking over the world. (laughs) Itís going to take a while before I get back in there. (laughs)

    I guess it takes you away from the real world.

    It really does. (laughs)

    What was your favorite photoshoot?

    Probably the cannibal one. Itís pretty obvious I was really excited that they were giving me such aÖI guess ďscaryĒ is what you would characterize it as. What they thought was scary I thought was awesome. I was excited that there was a naked boy in my cage and blood and meat and stuff. I just thought it was so funny. (laughs)

    What was the most difficult part of the experience?

    The most difficult part was trying to get used to the cameras in my face all the time. Iím an only child so Iím used to isolation. Iím used to having privacy. Being in that environment, just being taped and watched 24/7 was really, really crazy. It took me a while to get used to it. Often I would shut down because of it. They show me being very quiet on the show sometimes, and itís just kind of like Iím trying to deal with the whole situation. Itís so weird.

    What was the atmosphere like in the house?

    Overall, there were two groups of people: there were the girls I hung out with, and then there were the girls who were just kind of there. I had my friends and we would hang out and cope with it as best we could.

    Who were you closest to in the house?

    My closest friends were Megg and Caridee. I also really loved the twins and Anchal. But Megg, definitely, number one. Sheís my buddy. We have a lot in common and we could tell it immediately. Sheís just a very real person.

    What with the ďSmellrose and Mel StankĒ Ė was there anyone in the house who got along with Melrose?

    I donít know, I think that people will choose their alliances for more than one reason whether they a actually want to be friends or they just want to be political. Iím not really sure. I wasnít close to Melrose, and I donít know who she was close to. (laughs)

    Who came up with all the names, or was that something that just sprung up from everyone?

    You know, I noticed that. I was watching, and they said something like ďsmellroseĒ and the way they panned to my face made it look like I said that, but I didnít say that, someone else said it. I donít know who was making up those names, honestly. (laughs) Because I donít do that, so that was disappointing, actually. I saw that, and I was like, ďDude.Ē (laughs)

    Maybe a producer whispered it in there.

    Probably. (laughs)

    Were you surprised to learn that Tyra saw Melrose as sweet and bubbly when she had her one-on-one with you?

    No, I wasnít surprised at all. I think that some people are really good about turning it on when they need to turn it on. Thatís what it is, and I wasnít surprised. I began to learn that a lot about the experience was not as it seems.

    So when you watch the episodes, itís the first time you get to see the judges deliberate. Do you think the judges had the impression that you wanted to be dark and mysterious?

    I think thatís their angle. I think everyone on the show has a stereotype, and physically, thatís what I fit into so thatís what they want to default to every time. But actually, if you pay attention to what the judges are saying, theyíre not talking as much about that. I think a lot of them thought I had a lot of potential, it was just Tyra who said, ďOh, she wants to be dark, not glamorous, so there she goes.Ē So I was like, ďOkay, whatever.Ē

    As a viewer it seemed so abrupt because there were other girls who were in the bottom two a few weeks Ė

    Multiple times. (laughs)

    But to go from being at the top of the list to being eliminated Ė what do you think about that?

    I think a lot of it is not typical, because I was actually almost pleased with the situation because I was seeing Ė especially, actually, from where youíre coming from, Fans of Reality, because I do read there by the way.

    Oh, awesome! Thatís great to hear.

    Yes, and I know I have a lot of supporters there and I think itís awesome and I want to thank them all. But there was such a fan base or support for me, and to have it go like that was really funny. I was almost pleased to have it surprise everyone. I donít know, I think part of it has to do with politics on the show. You could dig deeper into that but I probably shouldnít. (laughs)

    You were so popular that I asked fans to send me their questions, because I know a lot of people wanted to talk to you.

    I was so surprised when I found out you guys were interviewing me. I was like, ďThatís awesome, I love FORT!Ē

    Can you give us your insight into the other women in the house? Iíd like to read off their names and you could give me a few words or a sentence about them.


    Amanda: Sheís sweet. She struck me as quiet but I think as I was watching the show last night and seeing what Michelle was mentioning, itís very easy to close down Ė I went through it too - and not be completely who you are when youíre in that environment because it is so not reality. Itís reality TV but itís not a reality youíre used to, so youíre actually kind of forced to become a little bit different than you normally are, and itís odd. I can understand why people would think she was quiet, but I think sheís a sweetheart.

    Brooke: Sheís a sweetheart too. I wasnít close to her, but I thought she was funny. She had a lot of spunk. She struck me as one of those people that in high school I would have just thought, ďOh my GodĒ but she was quite nice. (laughs)

    Caridee: Wonderful spirit. Sheís just amazing. Sheís a great girl and sheís just out there. Sheís just really, really great.

    Eugena: Didnít really get close to her. Itís hard to form opinions of people I wasnít close to, but she struck me as kind of Ė I guess Tyra wanted to paint her as the girl who thought she was better than everyone, and I sort of got that vibe from her.

    Jaeda: JaedaÖagain, I didnít know her that well personally, so itís hard to comment. I donít know. (laughs)

    Letís just move on to Megg: Oh, I donít know what I can say more about her. I just think sheís awesome. Rock ní roll Megg, love her! (laughs) Weíre buddies, weíre great.

    Melrose: I donít know, I think the show wanted to play up a lot but I wasnít too into Melrose. It wasnít so much ďI hate this girl, sheís making everyone miserable.Ē I think Melrose has a very good way of portraying herself to the judges, and sheís very good at turning it on when she needs to turn it on. Thatís all I want to say about that, I guess.

    What do you think about Monique calling her a monster?

    I donít know about a monster. Itís justÖ

    I donít want to make you talk about it if youíre not comfortable.

    Oh no, itís not that! Itís that Iím not even sure what I would say about her. Imagine me shrugging my shoulders and saying, ďwhatever.Ē

    Anchal: I told her the first time I met her, ďYouíre the most beautiful girl Iíve ever seen.Ē And she needs to remember that. They showed me comforting her when everyone was talking smack about her, and part of that was because I sympathize. I know what thatís like, and itís okay, we got your back. Sheís a sweetheart, sheís a really, really nice girl.

    Megan: Megan, I loved her too. She was very real. I was upset that she went so soon, because I didnít get to experience more of her, but Iíve actually hung out her after the show and sheís a great girl. We went to a show together.

    Michelle: Michelle is very outgoing. I like her personality a lot. Sheís very funny, just a comedic girl. She always had something funny to say, and I liked her a lot.

    Monique: People want to paint her as the ultimate bitch or whatever, but in my opinion, she was just kind of there. She didnít bother me because she didnít do anything to me. We all wanted to use the phone, right, so that was annoying, but she just struck me as incredibly immature. Nothing past that. (laughs)

    Or just young and never had a roommate before.

    Or just maybe made to think that sheís the center of the universe. (laughs)

    You got J Lo and Marc AnthonyÖwas that any worse or better than what the other girls were given?

    I think it was ridiculous that they gave me that. I think it was funny but I also think it was Honestly, how do you play Marc Anthony? J Lo, you have some idea how to portray that, but Marc Anthony? He doesnít do anything, he just stands there. It was totally awkward and part of it was that I didnít feel I could play the part because they didnít make me look the part. They just painted my face, and I looked ridiculous. (laughs)

    Was that booty photoshopped or was that all you?

    You know what they did? It was hilarious. I think on the show you only saw a split second where I was saying ďOwĒ and they were doing something with the wedding dress. They shoved a pillow in my butt to make it like J Lo butt, because I have no butt, so that was awesome. (laughs)

    So A.J., now that you're eliminated which girl are you rooting for?

    Either Anchal or Caridee. Yeah. Definitely.

    What did you mean when you were hugging Melrose goodbye?

    Yeah, I basically said, ďYouíve got it, now just be nice.Ē I realize she might not rub me the right way, but she obviously has something that the judges see. She might have what it takes. She knows how to use the situation to her advantage and I respect that. She was doing well in the competition, and I wanted to be chill about it. Yeah, I might not like her personally but I didnít want to be the person who leaves with huge grudges. It wasnít that I was trying to make up or anything, it was just like no ill will, I guess.

    So what do you think of the Tyra now that youíve been through this experience?

    Personally she was never anything but nice to me to my face so I have no other opinions of her other than the few occasions we got to be with her, and she always struck me as being very open and very nice. I think sheís genuinely trying to give girls a shot at this life, and I respect that. I think thatís very cool.

    Can you tell me about your plans for the future?

    Iím actually going to try and see if I can model at this point. It had never crossed my mind before I entered the competition, but now itís kind of like, ďHey, maybe I should give it a shot.Ē So Iím going to see if thereís anything out there for me.

    So this was like the first modeling youíve ever done?

    Ever. (laughs)

    Wow, almost everyone on the show has had some experience. You did great!

    Thank you! Yeah, I was really surprised. Iím pretty sure I was the only one who had never done absolutely anything. Iíd never been on a runway before. Iíve never even worn 4-inch heels before, I was like, what is going on?

    Is there anything else youíd like the fans to know?

    I just want to give a shout out to my supporters. I think itís awesome and I totally read the support, and I appreciate it.

    Iíll let everyone know that, and feel free to stop by FORT any time.


    Thanks to A.J. for such a ďchillĒ interview, and many thanks CW for letting us talk to her. Also, thanks to antmANNfan, Bibito, 4LeafClover, and rt1ky for sending me questions.
    You've gotta hustle if you want to earn a dollar. - Boston Rob

  2. #2
    FORT Newbie
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    Sep 2006
    Great interview! Thanks a lot, hepcat.

    I posted this in AJ thread about the 'Mel-stank' and 'Smellrose.' Thought I should post it here, too.
    I re-watched the episode again. It's definitely not AJ who said 'Mel-stank' and 'Smellrose' but the camera was on her when these words were spoken. It was actually Jeada who said 'Mel-stank', and it was Eugena who said 'Smellrose.'

  3. #3
    Dream, dream, dream. . . Ultramarine's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Planet earth most days
    Marvelous! Thanks, A.J. and best of luck and good wishes to you!

  4. #4
    She reads around eh? Is she reading this? I LOVE YOU AJ

    wahh i hope she gets a myspace ::Crosses Fingers::

    I’m an only child so I’m used to isolation. I’m used to having privacy.
    Same here! its cool we have something in common.

  5. #5
    NAOMI HIT ME. thestranger's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Can't wait to see what she does in the future.

  6. #6
    FORT Fogey Fashion_Nazi's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Das Boot
    I was wondering if she did the show as a lark. Good for her at giving modeling a shot. She's only 20 years old and there is plenty of time to go back to school.

    I think she's a natural and has a lot of potential. Hopefully we see her in the future. I think she would make a great runway model.

    Maybe Tyra did the right thing be eliminating her. She's too good for ANTM.

  7. #7
    Great interview and thanks for asking my question Hepcat. I liked her answer to it and I think it's cool of AJ to see Melrose might have what it takes even if they weren't close.

    I hope AJ continues modeling because she's got the goods. Get her away from the ridiculous photoshoots and I think she'll have a really good shot. Plus for someone who never modeled before, she has a really good walk. I thought she had experience for sure!

  8. #8
    heather - jenah - chantal flavios2mollies's Avatar
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    May 2006
    great interview

  9. #9
    dont mess with me
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    AJ is a diamond in the rough indeed. Good luck AJ, I know you wont need it though.
    Last edited by John; 10-20-2006 at 08:47 PM.

  10. #10
    Chakos::Linkletter::Epley breezez_air's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    London, England
    I really like AJ from this interview. I wasn;t too keen on her before but now...
    I don't wanna get fat like you
    Don't even believe in the F Word...FAT
    ...Perhaps you meant PEE AYTCH AY TEE
    Yeah...I did
    - Stacy Ann and Whitney- ANTM 10

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