The last girl to be interviewed by FORT is Anya, the happy-go-lucky girl with an accent so mysterious that itís been debated up and down on the internet. The show made Anya a platinum blonde, which led to too many producer-prompted blonde jokes, if you ask me. But thereís no denying that our 2nd place finisher has a way about her thatís hard to pin down Ė somewhere between annoying and Pollyannaish Ė thatís nonetheless charming.
Good morning Anya, congratulations on your second place win, thatís quite an achievement.
Thank you so much! Oh, I know, and I felt so happy. It was a huge challenge in my life and it was a good experience. I was so ecstatic to make it in the top two so I could do the runway and actually make it that far. That was just super. I was very grateful.
Iím with FansOfReality TV, where you have a lot of supporters Ė most of these questions are from your fans. So what they want to know first off, is how tall are you?
(surprised) 5í10Ē. I was like, oh wait, is this a trick question? (laughing)
Can you explain your background and your accent?
Iím Russian, I was born in Russia and I was adopted by my family when I was four. When I came to Hawaii I would speak Russian, so I think itís my Russian background as well as the Hawaiian culture I was raised with. Over here we speak a pidgin thatís like a Hawaiian-Creole kind of thing. I enjoy speaking pidgin but I speak it so frequently that I forget that Iím speaking pidgin, so I think itís just those two mixed together.
Do you still speak Russian?
No, I donít. I wish Iíd kept up with it. Itís so funny because I saw a video of myself of when I first came to Hawaii and I was speaking Russian! I saw myself speaking Russian and I was like, ďOh my gosh, thatís me!Ē I was a baby and I could speak a different language, it was interesting.
Letís talk about the judging panel. Who do you think was your biggest supporter? Who did you feel wasnít really pulling for you?
Oh, honestly, every single one of those judges were huge supporters of each and every single girl. Of course, each girl has their flaws, but I canít see that one judge wanted another girl to win more. It was more like Tyra, Nigel, Miss Jay, Paulina Ė they just want to see the girls grow and become successful models. The show definitely made me become more successful in knowing the industry and just learning different things about it. I truly believe that all those judges had the best interests in mind for each girl.
Who gave you the most valuable advice, and what was it?
Thatís so tough becauseÖ(thinking) Hmm. I mean, thereís so much. With Nigel when I won a challenge, he was able to run me through each steps, how to pose, what to do, he was tremendously helpful to my future career in the modeling industry. Tyra really showed me how to walk and have confidence and poise. I love Paulina. She is so amazing, sheís very down-to-earth, and sheís so easy to relate with. She talk to you and she really helped me. Thereís a lot of things sheís overcome in her life and it just inspired me to do the same and keep on striving no matter what. All those judges are amazing and Iím so grateful to all of them.
What about Mr. Jay, where does he fit in for you?
Oh my gosh, Mr. Jay, I love him! He made it so much easier with his direction and his vision in the posing and stuff. He was like a security blanket almost. You know he would be there to direct you, and every day is a learning process, and you have to be able to go out there and do things on your own, but itís so great to have someone teaching you like Mr. Jay because heís phenomenal. He has great direction where you feel so comfortable. He was definitely very, very helpful on the photo shoots.
What can you say the show taught you in terms of modeling skills?
When I went on the show, I thought like, ďI think I can pose, I think I can do this, I think I can pull it off.Ē But when I went on the show I didnít know that I could actually do this kind of good, you know what I mean? I think it just made me be confident in myself in the sense that I have to take direction, I have to learn from these different people, but I just have to have confidence in what Iím doing. Because you can learn you to walk, and you can learn how to pose, but you have to know what youíre doing. You have to have confidence while youíre doing it. You have to be sure in yourself or it will show in your pictures. The judges will be saying, ďOkay, this girl doesnít know what sheís doing.Ē I think if anything it taught me to just be sure in who you are and be confident in everything youíre doing in life.
For two challenge wins your prize was to pose nude. How did you feel about that?
I think the photo came out beautiful and it was awesome to be able to put that in my portfolio. Nigel Barker is a famous photographer. It was amazing to me to be working with him and have that opportunity. I was definitely nervous when I came on the set, but he calms you and youíre able to feel very comfortable with him. It was definitely fun working with him and I think the pictures came out phenomenal, so Iím really happy to have that in my book.
But it was twice you did nude photos for a challenge win, right?
Yes, I also did that with 7-Up. I was on a bed with lemons and limes, and then I had a tube top and they put a leaf on top. That was the 7-Up ad that went through. That was amazing because it was actually Ė the difference with Nigel and this photo shoot was that it was like a real photo shoot. You know, not like, ďYou only have fifteen frames! Give us one more!Ē It was like you just kept going until you got a good shot. And you actually got to look at your pictures. Itís a huge advantage to look at your pictures because you know what youíre doing wrong and what you look like. I didnít realize how much of an advantage that was to do a shoot that was like the real world. It was so much fun.
What was your favorite photo shoot and why?
Besides the ones that I won, I would say that we did in Rome with Nigel. That just came out beautiful. That was the hardest shoot for me, it was a real challenge to be acting and not really posing, but just go with the flow and ďThis is your boyfriend or whoever and youíre getting caught by paparazzi.Ē So that was definitely hard, and Iím glad I did it because next time I will know what to do and know what to expect from it. The photos came out so beautiful and it was just caught in the moment perfectly. It was definitely a huge learning experience for me. I was really happy with it.
Do you think you should have won over Whitney?
I think the winner of Americaís Next Top Model deserved to win and Iím just so proud of Whitney and truly I believe that she did deserve to win. She represents America and not just this show. I think she will represent Americaís Next Top Model at its best. To be competing against this person, on the side of her Ė I mean, her and me had such a really good relationship. Weíre like the best of friends, and I love her so much. I was just so proud of both of us to have made it that far, it was such a huge accomplishment. I was really content and happy where I was.
Weíve seen in past cycles that the winners donít necessarily go on to become popular models in the industry. Does that take the sting out of losing?
I think itís whose opinion matters the most. The press is going to have opinions, reviewers are going to have opinions, random people on the street are going to have opinions. But itís whose opinion matters most, and for me itís my family and friends that Iíve been close to my whole life. I donít think itís necessarily that the winner wonít make it, you have to choose if youíre going to make it or not. You canít just sit on the side and say, ďI have the Americaís Next Top Model title, can you please help me?Ē Itís more, you have to go out there, you have to push so hard. Whitney has a fighting determination, and she will. I believe she will. Sheís an amazing person. Even the other contestants, they often do that thing, ďCanít you say I was on Americaís Next Top Model?Ē Itís not that at all, itís you having to really humble yourself and go to each door, knock on the doors, and get jobs so people will say, ďOkay, this girl really wants it.Ē Thatís what you have to do.
You seemed to stay out of the drama, but who were you close to in the house?
I think it was so overwhelming, the whole experience. It just hits you at once. Youíre in a house with 14 girls and cameras everywhere and youíre getting miked every single morning. So I think itís a natural reaction to have drama because thereís going to be drama amongst 14 girls in a house, but I think the fact that I was able to stay out of it and actually know my reason for being in this house and not let it override me Ė it definitely took me further. I made great relationships on the show. Claire, I loved her so much. Sheís from Hawaii Ė sheís from North Shore, so me and her were able to really bond because we understood each other because weíre both from Hawaii. So many people Ė Stacy Ann, Aimee, Amis Ė sheís so hilarious. I think the reason me and Whitney were able to bond so much is because we were with each other the whole time throughout the entire show. While girls were leaving me and her were still together so I think thatís also why we had such a close bond.
Do you and Whitney hang out together after the show?
Yeah! She came to Hawaii to visit me and we had so much fun! Itís so fun just to talk without cameras, without people judging you, you know? Itís just a huge experience but I canít wait to get out there and model and do the thing Iím most passionate about.
When you watch the show now, and you see people making comments about you not being so bright or making ďblondeĒ comments, is that hard to watch?
Well the thing is you have to rise above that. I think thereís going to be a lot of people are going to make commentsóyou canít judge people by what you see on TV. You canít let that overtake you. Because once you do, every single comment on TV or a blog is going to get you, and youíll be crushed. In this industry, you really have to be strong. Once you let jealousy get you, itís downhill from there.
Did it hurt coming from Whitney, though, since sheís your friend?
It was kind of weird, but it was funny because, right after the showóI mean, we didnít get along in the beginning, but it was so cute, right after the show she came up to me, and said to me, ďAnya I have to tell you something, I said stuff about you on the show.Ē I know Whitney and I know her heart. I mean, there is ďDid you really say that?Ē but at the same time, I knew where Whitneyís heart is.
Did you like your makeover? Are you going to keep the platinum blonde?
I love the makeover. But the thing is, itís so hard to maintain; it just burns. Of course it is fashion, but itís just so hard and Iím so sore. If I have to keep it up, I donít know if I can. Itís just so painful. I might dye it hazel brown or something, but platinum is so high fashion and edgy. I think it looks really good.
Thereís always wigs.
Oh, thatís true!
Do you ever read top model fan sites?
No, I donít. People say really nice stuffóI appreciate everyoneís support so muchóbut thereís always going to be people out there who try to get you, you know what I mean? You always see the bad stuff, and itís hard to look at the good stuff. So I just try not to get caught up in that, since a lot if it isnít true anyway. Itís their opinion.
Just so you know, you have tons and tons of fans.
I know, and Iím so grateful, I really am! They can reach me at my website, itís under construction right now, but itís at AnyaRozova.Com. Iím going to have my email contact and everything up there, so they can email me questions, comments, anything and I will be more than happy to respond to them. I appreciate their support so much.
You are going to be flooded with emails, let me tell you.
(laughing) Iím so grateful for it all.
So are you going to pursue modeling? Have you been signed?
Oh my gosh! (laughing) Iím not going to say if Iím signed or not, but Iím definitely going to pursue modeling. You canít come off of this show and just say, ďIím just going to cruise that whole modeling thing,Ē I want to do more, a hundred times more! Iím definitely going to move to New York, and Iím definitely going to pursue modeling. And Iím definitely going to pursue other things, because I know you canít model your whole lifeóTyra, Paulina, Heidi Klum, they all have their other things going, and if anything, theyíre inspirations to me because they so beautiful but they have so many other things they do, like clothing lines, television shows. But for now itís modeling. But thereís other things I like, like I like to draw, and write poetry, I like to write short stories.
Is there a brand or designer I really want to model for?
Oh my gosh! Especially in New York, Iíd love to model for Betsey JohnsonóI love her clothesóand Luis VuittonóI canít even describe it, I just want to be in all those fashion shows. I just have to work on my walk, and really getting to know the industry. I just canít wait to experience all those things.
We wish Anya the best of luck, and thank you to the CW for letting us speak to her.