'America's Next Top Model's Sandra Nyanchoka: I'm a nice person
By John Bracchitta, 04/07/2009
Sandra Nyanchoka wants America to know one thing: She's not as testy as she may have looked during her time on America's Next Top Model.
"No. I'm like a really sweet girl. I'm really nice and I don't feel like it did [portray me accurately]," Nyanchoka told reporters following her elimination from last week's episode of The CW's reality modeling competition. "That's why I feel like people shouldn't judge me based on what they see on the show."
Nyanchoka added that she had begun worrying that she may be portrayed as the "bitch" of the house after learning she had made it to the finals after her argument with another semifinalist during the season's semifinals round.
"Right after the photo shoot we had during [casting,] and I was standing up for myself, [and] right after that I had a feeling, I was like 'Okay. they didn't pick her, and they picked me, so they're gonna expect me to act like that,' and I told myself I'm not gonna act like that. I'm not gonna be the 'bitch,' she told reporters.
"I was just like, 'I don't want people to think that of me... I don't wanna be portrayed as that,'" she added.
She also urged those out there who had formed such a strong negative opinion of her based solely on the portrayal of her on the show to step back and realize that the show had taken liberties in order to make the show entertaining.
"I feel like [people] just need to not take it so seriously because it is TV. Everything's overly exaggerated. It is reality TV, you know?" She told reporters. "People should not judge me based on that, because the first episode, unfortunately I got into an argument with one of the semifinalists and that was just me standing up for myself and it was edited to look like I started the whole thing. They shouldn't judge me by that."
As for her elimination -- which seemed to come early after her statements that she was the best model of the show's finalists -- Nyanchoka maintained that she felt the judges had made a mistake but could see the writing on the wall after judge Nigel Barker demanded a straight ahead shot of her instead of one in profile, which was her strength.
"I kinda feel like they did [make a mistake eliminating me], but then again I don't know," she told reporters. "I feel like they wanted to see a straight on photo of me. And like Tyra said I have really, really good sideways pictures, [but] she didn't pick those because Nigel wanted to see a straight on picture of me. So I kinda saw it coming after [the judges] deliberated.
Nyanchoka did take issue with the fact that the judges had pegged her relying too much on her profile shots and forced her to change while many of the show's contestants were still falling back on their strengths at that point in the competition as well.
"I feel like Allison was one of the girls, like, she always had the same face through all of her pictures," Nyanchoka told reporters. "I don't know, I just think they wanted me to go home."
However, any criticism by Nyanchoka of Allison ended there, as she also selected the 20-year-old artist from New Orleans, LA as her favorite to win the competition.
"I would say Allison because she has a very unique beauty," Nyanchoka told reporters. "I've never really seen a girl that looks like her before on the show.I just think she might win... If she gets better on the runway she might take it."
When asked what type of modeling she preferred, Nyanchoka told reporters that she had a clear preference for modeling in photo shoots over strutting her stuff on the runway.
"I love photo shoots more because I find I try to express my feelings more in front of the camera. I love that," she told reporters. "I love the fact that I can express how I'm feeling or express what I'm trying to convey."
She also revealed that it was her lack of experience on the runway -- at least in comparison to her photo shoot experience -- that had led to her puzzling runway walk during the competition's first round when she only walked halfway down the runway before suddenly turning around and walking back early.
"I feel like the reason I walked halfway on the runway was because was because I almost fell," she told reporters.
Nyanchoka told reporters that she plans to continue to pursue modeling, but added that she also intends to pursue another dream of becoming a journalist as well.
"I'm gonna continue modeling, but I eventually wanna be a journalist," she told reporters. "I've always loved writing and in school I was part of the [newspaper], and I was news anchor for my school news, and I always did stuff like that. But modeling is my passion and I will continue doing that as long as well."
Nyanchoka also seemed more than willing to combine the two interests in a career as a fashion journalist.
"Oh maybe! Yeah, in the future I could see that [happening]," she told reporters. "That way I'm doing two things that I love, and [have] the opportunity to pursue both."