Exclusive: Alexia "Lexie" Tomchek talks 'America's Next Top Model'
By Reality TV World staff, 10/12/2010
Alexia "Lexie" Tomchek's America's Next Top Model experience came to an end when the show's judges eliminated her at the fifteenth season's fourth elimination panel.
On Friday, the 18-year-old from Geneva, IL talked to Reality TV World about her time on Top Model -- including whether she agreed with Tyra Banks' comment that she didn't seem "invested" in her photos, who she felt offered non-constructive criticism that was sometimes "just mean," how she knew she was going home, and what she thought of the show's challenges.
Reality TV World: Before she eliminated you, Tyra questioned whether you wanted to be there and said you didn't seem "invested" in your photos. What was your reaction to that at the time and do you still feel the same way now?
Lexie Tomchek: I actually responded to Tyra when she said that, I said that I don't know why that was even brought into question because clearly I wanted to be there.
I didn't understand what she was saying at that point. I don't know if that necessarily made sense, but I definitely wanted to be there and it's unfortunate that they thought otherwise.
Reality TV World: Tyra did still seem to be a big believer in you. I think she said you're "genetically a model" and you just needed more practice.
Lexie Tomchek: Yeah. That was nice of her to say, but a lot of what I saw in deliberations -- I'm not sure if you see those things -- but when she said "you're genetically a model" it did show me that I was there for a reason. It least a reason other than drama. (laughs)
Reality TV World: The judges' biggest frustration with you was that you didn't seem to be able to bring your personality to your photos. Did you feel that at the time or were you frustrated when they kept telling you that?
Lexie Tomchek: I don't know what they expected me to do. I mean they told me all these things but never really showed us how. It was never elaborated on and -- I don't know, I don't know what they wanted me to do.
Like how am I going to show my personality in a Mexican wrestling photo shoot? I'm not quite sure, so.
Reality TV World: Did you ever have the opportunity to ask them [what they meant] when they told you that?
Lexie Tomchek: No. So it's one thing that they gave us the critique, but it was never elaborated on. I don't know, I don't know what I was supposed to do with that information. (laughs)
Reality TV World: What was your reaction to Karolina's visit?
Lexie Tomchek: Oh, I was so excited when she came to the house, it was such a surprise. She was so nice. She was incredibly friendly, I mean she answered any questions that we had and she seemed like she genuinely wanted to help us. She was so nice.
I got to talk to her after I got eliminated too, and she was very supportive and she gave me a lot of compliments. She was really nice.
Reality TV World: Did you ask her how to show personality in your photos?
Lexie Tomchek: She told me... I can't remember exactly what she said about that, but she said I definitely stood out out of the girls to her and I won't have a problem getting work, so that was definitely encouraging to hear from her.
Reality TV World: That's good. What did you think about the treadmill challenge? Even by Top Model standards, that seemed kind of wacky.
Lexie Tomchek: Ah, yeah. (laughs)
I think that was less wacky than the concept of the photo shoot, but... it was definitely interesting, I dunno. It was dangerous as well. We had to do it twice actually.
Reality TV World: What was the second time for?
Lexie Tomchek: We just went the first time and then we went back and they were like "you're doing it again" and they put the speed up. So, that was great. (laughs)
It's a good thing no one got seriously hurt, because it would not have been difficult to actually fall backwards and land on your head. So I'm really glad that didn't happen.
Reality TV World: Yeah, it seemed pretty strange. Obviously you had your issues with Kasey during your time on the show. What did you think of her victory scream? I know she was excited, but it kind of seemed in poor taste, especially given strained relationships with some of the other girls.
Lexie Tomchek: Yeah, that actually wasn't her initial reaction, her initial reaction was even stranger. But then that's what she did when we called her out. (laughs)
Originally she just went "Yayyyy." And we were all like, "Right, that's all when you unjustly won this challenge?"
Reality TV World: Unjustly?
Lexie Tomchek: Yeah.
Reality TV World: What do you mean by that, can you elaborate?
Lexie Tomchek: Yeah, I don't think anyone other than Kasey herself felt that she necessarily deserved it.
My critique, I guess the reason I didn't win, was because I didn't take the crowd's energy and feed off of it. So when Kasey smiled and winked at the crowd and waved, I guess that's what I'm supposed to do.
Which I've never seen on the runway, but...
Reality TV World: Well you've probably never need treadmills on the runway either, probably (laughs)
Lexie Tomchek: That's true. So treadmills while smiling and waving and laughing at the crowd in interesting (laughs)
Reality TV World: That's a speciality... (laughs)
Lexie Tomchek: Yeah, I guess that's something really unique.
Reality TV World: What are your general thoughts about Kasey? You two obviously had a couple of disagreements about bobby pins and food while you were there.
Lexie Tomchek: There's a lot more to that, a lot more than what was shown. I think the most trivial things were shown.
I definitely still don't get along with her, don't plan on talking to her ever. Apparently she made a lot of comments to me on the Internet, so she hasn't changed -- that's good to know.
Reality TV World: Was there any one particular thing that caused the issues between you two then?
Lexie Tomchek: It's pretty much her overall attitude and she definitely has this "Debbie Downer" thing about her. She kind of brought the whole group morale down.
When she would walk into a room it would just be silent, because no one wanted her to come in. She'd either brag or complain or be nasty to someone. Like when she knew someone had a bad photo shoot she loved to ask them about it and be like, "Oh, so you think you're going home, huh" and rub it in. I don't know why she did things like that.
And she's just very inconsiderate. I mean when you can get the entire house of girls -- including the nicest girls, like Rhianna, Jane and Ester -- when you can get people like that to not like you, you have to really be doing something wrong.
It doesn't take much for me not to like you, but for girls like that -- she definitely isn't nice.
Reality TV World: What were your general impressions of the wrestling photo shoot?
Lexie Tomchek: Honestly, if I was to get eliminated at any photo shoot in the history of Top Model, I think this is good one. Because I still don't quite understand how Mexican wrestling is high fashion. But I guess it is.
I don't know, I don't mean to be bitter, I'm being completely honest. Like if I was to be eliminated, it's better that -- something I find ridiculous -- than something that's genuinely high fashion like next week's shoot.
What I did, I don't think it is [high fashion]. I mean I guess it's good I got eliminated then, it's just the way I'm trying to rationalize it. (laughs)
Reality TV World: No, I understand -- it doesn't seem like a practical thing.
Lexie Tomchek: Yeah, it's something that I don't plan on ever running into again in my career, and I plan on having a good one. (laughs)
Reality TV World: After the wrestling photo shoot ended, you were shown admitting you were worried it hadn't gone well for you, but how concerned were you? Were you worried it had gone so bad that you thought were probably going to be eliminated or did your elimination come as a surprise?
Lexie Tomchek: No, during the photo shoot -- it was actually midway through the photo shoot -- I knew I was being eliminated. Partially because [Jay Manuel] said "I'll be surprised if you're here next week."
Reality TV World: That's a good hint.
Lexie Tomchek: The feedback I got from him, sometimes it was borderline just mean and not even constructive. And part of me wanted to be eliminated because I was over that. I mean it's one thing to be constructive, but he always seemed to be mean.
I knew I was going home and I made it pretty far, I think I made a good mark. So I'm not upset about it. I don't think I was cheated out of anything, I think it was fairly deserved.
Reality TV World: So I guess it's safe to say that when you got to panel and the judges all seemed to say pretty negative things -- at least based on what they showed on the episode -- that didn't come as a surprise to you?
Lexie Tomchek: No. It wasn't a pretty picture, I mean none of it. All of our poses were given to us, we weren't able to really choose them.
So I also kind of got mad that part of the show [was] that you got torn apart for whatever pose you were in but you didn't choose it and you don't really have an option to not be doing that. And that was part of my critique, which I found interesting.
But it's not like I could talk back. Like I couldn't be, "Oh, the photographers made me do that, they had that plan for me ahead of time."
Reality TV World: What do you think about Anne? She seemed to think she had struggled at this week's photo shoot and still won best photo again, giving her a record-setting four in row to start the competition.
Lexie Tomchek: I love Anne. It's not my place to say if she really deserves it or not, but if anyone is to get multiple first call-outs in a row Anne definitely deserves it.
She has such a great look, she's so talented, and has one of the best personalities. She can manage something like that without having it go to her head. I'm really happy for her.
Reality TV World: What are your thoughts on the pre-season controversy with the promo about how small her waist is?
Lexie Tomchek: (laughs)
Anne and I actually keep in close contact, we talk. Especially around that time, we talked every day. And I kept saying, "I can't wait until they see the fried Oreos because then no one is going to say Anne is anorexic." She eats deep-fried food.
Reality TV World: What was your reaction to the news that you were competing for Italian Vogue this season?
Lexie Tomchek: Oh my god! Between that and the fact that the contract was IMG, I freaked out. I was so excited and my first thought was that there was a reason I got in a car accident going to the Cycle 14 auditions.
Cycle 15, they definitely raised the stakes, and I was just so happy to even be chosen to be in the running to be on the cover.
Reality TV World: Do you think it made a big difference in how the girls approached the competition?
Lexie Tomchek: I don't know about the other girls [but] it didn't change that much for me. I mean I was definitely looking forward to more high fashion photo shoots and challenges rather than the ones that are gimmicky.
Reality TV World: So much for that. (laughs)
Lexie Tomchek: Yeah. (laughs)
I mean that's what I was really looking forward to.
Reality TV World: So are you a believer that the fact that the prize now includes Italian Vogue is going to make a big difference in how much success Top Model's winner has?
Lexie Tomchek: I think it definitely gives the winner a leg up, but I think it really depends on what they do with it and how they work it out.
Reality TV World: Even excluding the whole makeover prank that we saw, you seemed to have a reputation as the house jokester. Would you say that was an accurate portrayal?
Lexie Tomchek: Oh absolutely. Being the house jokester was definitely more accurate than the first episode where I was the total bitch. (laughs)
That's definitely more my personality, I'm definitely more not so serious. More outgoing rather than constantly gossiping and fighting and being a bitch. That's not me and I know that's how it seemed on TV, but I'm definitely more into having fun and not being so serious.
Reality TV World: This week's episode showed you calling yourself a "really, really strange person."
Lexie Tomchek: Yes.
Reality TV World: Can you elaborate on that a little bit?
Lexie Tomchek: (laughs)
Yeah, I'm definitely weird. Actually, my friends and I are all weird. I mean not like complete freaks -- I can still be social with the general public. But there's definitely a quirkiness, it's perfect that I was put in the quirky group.
Part of it is that I don't take myself so seriously, and I really need to joke around. I dunno, I can definitely make fun of myself and I'm never too cool for anything.
So when someone says "it's impossible to eat six saltine crackers in under a minute, we're bored, how about someone tries it," I'm like "I'll do it."
I don't really care if it makes me look like a complete idiot on national television, it's something that I would do. I'm going to be myself not matter what people are going to think.
Reality TV World: What made you decide to do the makeover prank?
Lexie Tomchek: Anne and Rhianna and I were home alone at the time, and leading up to that it's all any of us talked about. I mean every day we'd wake up and we'd be like "is today makeovers" and just hope somehow it would be makeover day.
And then once Tyra gave us the hints, it was definitely something that was easy to take advantage of, so we came up with the prank. It stirred things up, but not in a crazy, "let's get in fights" dramatic way, but more of a funny way.
It gave us something else to focus on, and I think it was a good distraction, if anything. We don't have a lot to do in the house. We can't have iPods, magazines, books. We can't write.
We can fight or eat or pull pranks on each other, so I guess I chose to do all of those things. (laughs)
Reality TV World: Earlier you mentioned you got into an accident on the way to the Cycle 14 auditions, was that the first time you had attempted to apply?
Lexie Tomchek: Yeah, I was actually too young to even apply, I was never old enough. I'm still 18 now -- actually until next week, then I'm 19. But I think I just would have made the cut, and since I finally decided to audition we got in a car accident on the way there.
And then on the way to Cycle 15 auditions, we witnessed a car accident happen to the car next to us on the same stretch of road!
Reality TV World: I'm assuming you were fine in the Cycle 14 accident, it was nothing serious?
Lexie Tomchek: No, it wasn't serious. I mean I have some back issues, I tore the ligaments in my back and I have long-term back and neck injuries. But it's not like anyone lost a limb.
Reality TV World: Oh geez.
Lexie Tomchek: Everyone was able to walk away.
Reality TV World: But [long-term back and neck injuries] still sound pretty serious.
Lexie Tomchek: I was out of commission for a while, but it's not that bad.
Reality TV World: After you were eliminated, was there anyone in particular that you began rooting to see win Top Model? Besides "not Kasey," I guess.
Lexie Tomchek: Yeah, I'm probably not on Kasey's side but I like all the girls except for Kasey. I really did get along with everyone else.
But Anne was my good friend and Anne's already killing the competition, so I'm definitely "Team Anne."
Reality TV World: What's next for you now, are you continuing to pursue modeling?
Lexie Tomchek: Yeah, as soon as I'm done with this interview and done walking my dog I'm going to an agency for an open call. I'm definitely going to try and get a modeling agency and do that, but I also really want to put most of my time and energy into acting and I want to try and get that career going.
So hopefully everyone will see me on TV and in movies soon.
Reality TV World: So are you still in Chicago then?
Lexie Tomchek: Yeah. I'm living in Chicago still now so there's not that much that I can do, but it is good for commercials. So hopefully I can get some commercial acting under my belt before I make the big transition to one of the coasts.