April 08, 2011 06:00 PM by Allyson Wells
America’s Next Top Model experienced one of its most dramatic panels, as Brittani had a meltdown over her conflict with Alexandria. The front runner Brittani found herself in the bottom two with Mikaela, who had been in the bottom two previously. Mikaela had prior modeling experience, but it was not enough to overcome Brittani’s strong work of photos throughout the competition. Mikaela is speaking out on what it was like to have the support of Tyra Banks and that notorious and dramatic panel.
Question: Were you expecting to be eliminated this week? Especially after everything that happened with Brittani at panel?
Mikaela: To be honest, I was in the bottom two the week before and my photoshoot didn’t go as well as I planned so I figured I was going home. I had kind of made peace with that before I was told I was leaving.
Question: When Tyra said she wanted you to stay did that make your exit easier to accept or more difficult?
Mikaela: I knew I was going home and just to hear Tyra say that she wanted me to stay was more of a confidence booster. It felt great to know she supported me and wanted me to continue in the competition but, of course, she was outvoted. That’s just the way it is, it’s a democracy. It was time for me to exit and I was just super grateful I had the opportunity to do everything I did. I was so happy I made it that far and it maybe made it a little easier to leave knowing that she wanted me to stay and I had that kind of support.
Question: What was your mindset going into this week?
Mikaela: When I was in the bottom two with Monique I was really upset. I didn’t understand why I was in the bottom two, I didn’t understand why she was in the bottom two – I couldn’t really come to terms with it. I came back the next week and really tried to step up my game. I thought I was doing my best and I was confused about why I wasn’t then seeing good photos at panel. I was trying to figure out where the gap was and why I wasn’t getting these good photos that I thought I was getting. When I got to panel this week and saw my best photo, I knew it was a horrible photo – it was terrible! – and that I’d be going home.
Question: What was it like to have Tyra tell you she wished you were staying instead of Brittani? Did she or any of the judges say anything else after your elimination?
Mikaela: You know, after the elimination I didn’t talk to the judges, but it meant a lot to me that Tyra wanted me to stay. I love Brittani and I’ve always said that she was my toughest competition. I had a great time on the show, and I had a good run.
Question: What side do you fall on when it comes to Alexandria and Brittani?
Mikaela: To be honest, I think both girls had a point, I don’t dislike either of them – I respect both of them and think deep down they are both good people. I’m not somebody to take sides or hate people for no reason. Brittani had a good point – she was upset and didn’t feel that Alexandria deserved to win. Then on Alexandria’s side, she felt like she won and should have been congratulated. I did congratulate her when I was eliminated. I felt bad that I didn’t say it earlier, but I hugged her and said goodbye. I hope everything works out for both of them.
Question: How awkward was it being at panel this week?
Mikaela: Let me tell you, it was awkward to live it and watch it again! It was kind of unexpected. Nigel said, ‘Brittani why don’t you talk about this…’ She told her side of the story and it turned into a meltdown. I didn’t expect it to go that far but, of course, it makes for great entertainment and I’m sure people enjoyed watching it.
Question: Having had so much modeling experience in the past, do you feel that Top Model accurately prepares girls for the hardcore world of modeling? Was there anything you didn’t expect?
Mikaela: To be honest, it was definitely unlike things I’ve experienced before; in the real world you can take a look at your photos and see how the shoot’s going, so the photographer/model relationship is a bit different in that respect. But Top Model is like model boot camp, so it does prepare you for it in some ways.
Question: Do you have a favorite photoshoot from your time on the show?
Mikaela: I loved the jaguar shoot! I loved my photo and getting to work with the animal – he was so adorable! He was a biter but he was very cute. I had a great time at that shoot and thought I did a good job. I don’t think I was called very high at panel but I’m so pleased with my photo and I stand by my work.
Question: What was your favorite thing about the entire competition?
Mikaela: My favorite thing was probably the runway challenges. My favorite part of the industry is runway, and those were so much fun for me, and they were unlike anything I’ve ever done before.
Question: Who do you think should win?
Mikaela: All the girls left are really strong models but from day one I always said that Brittani and Molly would be my biggest competition. I wouldn’t be surprised if either of them won and they both deserve it.”
Question: What’s coming up next for you?
Mikaela: I’m moving to New York this summer and see who wants to sign with me. I was with Wilhelmina with 3 years before top model, so I just look forward to getting back to work. That’s been hard for me – not being able to work since the show.
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Photo credit: The CW
Topics: America's Next Top Model, CWTV Reality TV Shows |
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