Leaving the show in fifth place was Katarzyna Dolinska, who mystified the judges with her exotic-sounding name coupled with a calm, non-dramatic personality. Even pronouncing her name became shtick on the show, with Miss Jay nicknaming her ďNeutrogenaĒ when he couldnít wrap his tongue around the syllables. And yet, like everything in reality television, her name was more of a manipulated plot point than a genuine problem. In this interview, Katarzyna tries to set the record straight on her personality, her name, and why we didnít see her in more catfights.
I have some questions about your name Ė Iíve heard that you previously went by Kat or Kate, is that true?
Yeah, exactly. My friends back home all call me ďKateĒ, on the show the girls called me ďKatĒ, and thatís mostly what I go by in the every day.
Why did you change that for the show?
Actually, I told Tyra I could go by ďKateĒ or ďKat,Ē but she said, ďYour mom gave you the name Katarzyna, so weíre going to call you Katarzyna.Ē Thatís how that went.
Did you think it was deliberate when Tyra pronounced your name incorrectly after you corrected her?
To be honest with you, I donít know. I think would be kind of weird if it was deliberate. Iím hoping it wasnít, that she wasnít saying it to just to try to get on my nerves. I think sheís a woman of stature, I would think she wouldnít have to play around with that kind of silliness, you know? Paulina always said it correctly; I donít know if they showed that, I donít remember. But Paulina always knew it, but it somehow got lost in translation between she said and when it went over to Miss Jay and skipped over to Tyra.
I canít even hear it correctly in my head now because Iíve heard Tyra say it so many times.
I know, right? (laughing) Ka-tar-zeeena. Kat-tarrrr-zena.
What did you think about your edit on the show?
I have a personality, Iíd like to make that clear. (laughing) I do have a personality! When I heard about some of the interviews that some of the other girls did, like Lauren or Marvita or Amis, they all said I was funny and I have a personality. Iím friends with them, and theyíre not girls who have a lack of personality Ėand of course, I donít think I lack a personality. The cameras are on you 24/7, and I always felt watched. I was never able to separate myself from being watched, so I was always a little self-conscious. Because every single little thing Ė you know, if I fart, the mike guy is going to hear it and the camera is going to catch it. It was just a constant pressure over two months, just constantly. I wasnít fully comfortable, I just wasnít myself. But also, I think Fatima and Whitney got most of the airtime on the show. Every single episode, I see so much of them and not much of the other girls. I guess thereís not that much room to show the personalities of the other girls.
At first they would tell you that you were too sexy, then too boring. What do you think happened?
Well, besides hanging out with Paulina a little bit that one time, and shooting with Tyra Ė which was nerve-wracking so itís hard to show your personality Ė we didnít really get to hang out with the judges. We didnít get to know them - to actually be able to talk to them one-on-one, or get comfortable with them. So I donít really know how they can say too much about how we are really. Iíve heard before, though, that I can be sexy, but I think that it takes much more than a 5-minute edit every week to say that someone is boring. I think Iím funny, my friends think Iím pretty funny. (laughing) I think that Iím cool. I hope that some people were able to see that.
Do you think the judges watch tapes of the house at all? The reason I say that is that we didnít see you get into any of the fighting, so maybe thatís where they formed their opinion.
Yeah, Iím not someone who gets into all the drama. I wasnít there for all the other girls. I wasnít there to be on reality TV, I was there because I was really interested in modeling. We had so little down time during the day, the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was fight with girls Ė girls that start fights just to start fights. It was so silly, and I didnít give them any time to dwell on that. I didnít want to waste my energy. So yeah, itís possible. Obviously, I feel that if I had started more fights I would have gotten more air time on the show, but I wasnít there for that. Even though I got the boring edit, I am still proud of the person I portrayed and if my grandkids watch this in however many years, Iím not going to be ashamed or appear ignorant.
Did you feel like you had one particular judge that was pulling for you?
I donít know. I think Miss Jay liked my walk from the beginning, so I hoping that Miss Jay pulled for me. I like Miss Jay a lot, too. But for the rest of them, I could never figure them out.
Did you ever see your photo in judging and think to yourself, ďI know I had a better shotĒ?
Oh, yeah. That lingerie shoot, I only did two or three photographs that were overtly sexual like that, and I feel like they picked that one to make a point. Iím sure Ė for example, Tyra once admitted that she picked a photograph for Claire to show a certain point, that she liked her eyebrow a certain way, so I know they do pick them to make a point. I donít know about picking poor pictures on purpose to get them eliminated; I donít really know what goes on behind the scenes, because we never get to see all the photos we took. We only get to see that one shot.
How do you feel about Tyra personally after this experience, and how do you think she feels about you?
Sheís Tyra Banks, I donít know her personally very well. Obviously, we only got to spend a few moments together. Whatís kind of weird, though, is my friends, people who watch the show, are telling me things like, ďWow, Tyra really has it in for you. She really doesnít like you.Ē Or something like that. When I was on the show, you know, I have 20/40 vision, so Iím like Ė it was kind of like, from where I was standing to the judges panel, it was a little blurry. (laughing) I couldnít really see their exact expressions. But when they zoom in on the actual show, I feel like she scowls at me sometimes. (laughing) I donít know.
You seemed to be really comfortable with all of the girls in the house, was there anybody that you didn't get along with so well?
I didnít start any fights because if there was people I wasnít crazy about, I would avoid them instead of being confrontational. I guess I wasnít crazy about Fatima or Whitney.
Who were you closest to in the house? Did you stay out of the catfights?
I was closest to Marvita and Amis, but there are a bunch of girls I really liked. I really liked Lauren, I really liked Claire, and I like Anya as well. There are definitely girls that I like, but the show didnít showcase the fact that I made close friendships with some of the girls.
So after Marvita and Amis had left Ė
Yeah, it was tough because those were the girls that I found so much fun, I laughed so much with them. We had a really good time. After they started leaving, it was like five people had left because those were the people that were closest to you, you know? But I think that everyone knows that itís a reality, people have to go home, and all you can do is keep in touch after the show.
Can you give us your thoughts on the remaining girls?
Letís start with Anya.
Oh, I think Anyaís a sweetheart! Sheís a sweetheart. Sheís so funny. She would say things like, ďIíve never seen a castle,Ē but itís like Ė I donít know. You have to love her, sheís such a sweetheart. She would always take care of the kitchen, clean to make sure everything was good, when Fatima was sick she brought her food. I think she has a truly, genuinely sweet heart.
What did you think about the judges saying about Anya that it was better for models not to think too much?
Youíre thinking of last nightís episode, when they said ďWe want our models dumbĒ?
Just because Anyaís a little blonde doesnít mean sheís dumber than any of the other girls. I mean, Fatima Ė it goes in one ear and out the other! Really. Anya, sheís silly sometimes but at the same time, she has a lot of good insight sometimes that you didnít get to see on the show. Sheís not stupid. I think because of her accent she can appear that way, but sheís a good girl.
What do you think about Whitney?
I really donít like the way she speaks to other people and the facial expressions that she has. I really canít say anything about her real personality just because I really didnít like the way she spoke to other people, so I avoided speaking with her. I donít like the facial expressions she makes. She always rolls her eyes at everybody. Sheís just not the type of person I would be friends with.
How about Dominique?
Yes, she does believe in herself, and she does think sheís the best and all that, but sheís not someone who Ė even when she had that big fight with Whitney, Whitney would be throwing those really mean negative comments at her, really bad words, and all Dominique would say is, ďYouíre a really beautiful person, but your attitude sucks.Ē Dominique is confident in herself, and yes Ė she does talk quite a bit about herself Ė but sheís not mean-spirited at all. She doesnít put other people down to make herself feel better.
So that brings us to Fatima.
The thing with her is that she Ė I just think she doesnít really know how to make friends. I donít think she was friends with anyone from the show. She starts a lot of fights for no reason. She says that she likes to test people, but why would you try to make other people feel badly just to amuse yourself? I think thatís bizarre.
You won Cover Girl of the Week twice Ė did that surprise you?
Yes! Considering that my edit was ďthe boring girlĒ I think itís cool that people still thought of me. I guess this is like the Miss Congeniality of the week or something? Yeah, so thatís so cool. Itís great that people actually thought I was worthy of that even though I wasnít the most dramatic, or the most seen person on the show, but people still saw me.
What about your makeovers, since you were re-done. Which did you like better? Are you planning to stay with the short, dark look?
I donít know. I mean, shorter hair is okay. I kind of miss having my long hair and being able to play with it a little more, so Iím waiting for it to grow back. But I didnít mind the short hair. If the almighty judges think itís going to help me in my modeling career, then thatís awesome. Thatís important to me right now, and that was my priority on the show. But I like long hair because you can play with it. As far as color, Iíve been a color chameleon as long as I can remember. Throughout college I had really blonde hair, then really dark hair, really all spectrums of the rainbow except for red. So the color is okay with me. Iíll probably stay with this for a little bit and then Iíll go platinum blonde. (laughing) It depends on my mood.
What was your favorite photoshoot?
I think I had two favorites. I loved the photoshoot we did with Elle MacPherson. Sheís just such a warmhearted person, and she was just a pleasure to work with. And I really loved the music-themed photoshoot as well.
What about a challenge, did you have a favorite?
The runway challenge, because I won! (laughing)
What about a photoshoot you didnít like?
(thinking) Let me seeÖI donít know which one I didnít like. There were a lot that I didnít actually love, but I was more proud of some than others. I wasnít happy that the photo for the lingerie shoot was so overtly sexy because of the way that I did that photo shoot, and then just to see a photograph that is what you would expect from me in a way because the judges said I was sexy, that didnít lie easy with me.
What about posing with the meat, did that make you uncomfortable?
Oh, okay Ė the meat. It was freezing cold, because it was frozen meat. It was so cold, because it winter in NYC, and on top of that they put frozen meat on you. The meat stunk. We had some of the blood dripping down into our boots, so the insides of our boots were all wet. It was against our skin, so it was definitely a little gross.
Do you read any of the online sites about Next Top Model?
Yeah! Iíve checked out FORT before.
How tall are you?
Iím 5í9 Ĺ.Ē
Whatís next for you?
Future plans! Iím going to get back to New York hopefully, find an agency, and try this out for a while. If not, Iíll go out and get a masterís degree in some sort of management role.