Exclusive: Annaliese Dayes talks 'Top Model: British Invasion' (Part 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/21/2012
Annaliese Dayes, a 5' 7" 24-year-old from London, England, became the twelfth girl eliminated from America's Next Top Model: British Invasion during last Wednesday night's broadcast on The CW.
On Friday, Annaliese talked to Reality TV World about her America's Next Top Model: British Invasion experience -- including whether she felt cheated out of the Final 2 because Top Model's judges wanted an American girl and British model facing off in the finale, what her theory was on how she made it so far in the competition putting her memorable personality aside, and why she believed Sophie would make a more fitting winner than Laura.
Below is the first half of our exclusive interview with Annaliese. Check back with Reality TV World later this week for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised to be eliminated or did you somewhat see it coming beforehand? You seemed to take the news of your elimination pretty well, as you didn't really appear to be shocked.
Annaliese Dayes: No, I was not shocked at all. When Eboni and Alisha left, and I looked to my left and saw Laura and Sophie standing next to me, I was like, "Yes, I'm going next. I better just prepare myself." (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Regardless of the photos you ended up with and how many go-sees you booked during this week's episode, in the end, do you think the judges wanted one American girl and one British girl in the finale for entertainment purposes considering the premise of the show? In other words, do you think Laura was basically a shoo-in for the finale and the judges were determining between you and Sophie?
Annaliese Dayes: I don't know that far, but I know it wouldn't have worked if it was two British girls in the final. It'sAmerica's Next Top Model. I'm sure they would've been outraged -- like outraged if there were two British girls in the final. But I'm just not mad at all to be honest.
I mean, I surpassed my expectations. I was aiming for better than what I did on Britain's, which was seventh, so I was aiming for sixth. Then when I got sixth, I was like, "Ooh, okay, maybe I can get fifth!" And then I thought, "Ooh fourth sounds really nice," but then when I made it to the Final 3, I must admit I kind of pooped myself a little.
Reality TV World: (Laughs) Okay so it clearly sounds like you didn't feel like you got robbed or like the show set you up for failure or anything like that, right?
Annaliese Dayes: No, not really. I didn't think I'd make it this far! It must've been the personality thing.
Reality TV World: Speaking of that, the judges said they were worried it was just your personality that was booking you go-sees and getting you good photos throughout the season rather than your actual modeling ability. So what's your response to that? Do you think your personality really got you all the way to the Final 3 or were you asking yourself, "How could I possibly have made it this far in the competition if I wasn't an excellent model as well?"
Annaliese Dayes: Well, I don't think I'm a bad model. I think I'm a great model. I just know what market I fit in. At the end of the day, I'm a commercial model. I smile and take pretty pictures. I'm not those Vogue girls who look awkward and make that kind of angry model face.
I don't do that, but I'm not going to lie, I do think that the reason I book most of my jobs -- especially back home -- is because of my personality, so I can't be mad at that either. However, come on. I came out with some good photos. I also have another theory. Do you want to know my other theory about how I made it so far?
Reality TV World: Yes, sure.
Annaliese Dayes: I was never in the bottom two and I never had best photo. So obviously if you are in the bottom two and the judges save you, next week they're going to be like, "Oh, well she really stepped up her game."
And then if you've got best photo, they're always like, "Oh, she better not fall from the top. So, let's see about that." I think you have to stay comfortably in the middle and then just go, "Pow! Here I am! I'm here in the Final 3" and just kind of surprise them a little.
Reality TV World: When the judges chose to put Laura into the finale, they told her they basically freaking out about her runway walk because she had so many issues with it throughout the season. So did you think Laura was kind of doomed going into the finale since one of the main challenges she'd have to face-off against Sophie in was that final runway show for Forever21? Did you think she stood a chance to win despite her criticized walk?
Annaliese Dayes: I think she definitely stood a chance. Her photos were actually amazing and I think obviously she did have issues with her walk, but the problem is, it was mainly in her head. Once it gets into your head, "I can't walk," no matter how hard you try, you know that you can't walk.
I think it's a lot about your mental state. If you go, "You know what, I can walk. That was just a fluke," then you just kind of believe it and you do a lot better. I think it just has a lot to do with the psyche in her head.
Reality TV World: So based upon what you're saying, if she thinks positively and confidently, she probably could walk well in the show?
Annaliese Dayes: Yeah.
Reality TV World: You said during this week's episode you thought America's Next Top Model should be a good role model for young girls, suggesting Laura probably wouldn't fit that description considering all she talked about was sex. Would you mind talking about that a little bit? Do you still stand by that statement or did the editing make her discussions about sex appear to be worse than they really were or more frequent than they actually happened?
Annaliese Dayes: I mean, yeah, editing is a b-tch definitely, but at the end of the day, Laura is a very sexual person. I mean, the first night we met each other, she was showing us her down-below piercing and getting buck-wild in the pool like naked. (Laughs) I mean, you can't edit that! She does love sex.
In fact, she talks about how eventually one day -- like in the future -- having her own talk show about sex. "Sex Talk with Laura." That's what we decided her show should be called. So, I pretty much stand by what I said. I think that Sophie definitely fits the brand ofAmerica's Next Top Model than she does. She's a bit too "zaggalicious."
Reality TV World: During panel critiques, the judges said you resembled a mix of Michelle Obama and a tennis player in your photo for Top Model's fragrance. Kelly Cutrone also commented on how muscular you looked. So could you talk about what was going through your mind when they were saying that? Did you take those opinions as a compliment or kind of an insult?
Annaliese Dayes: Oh, as a compliment! I love Serena Williams and I think she's hot. So I was like, "You know what? I'm going to take that with a pinch of salt," and I personally think it was a great photo considering the state of my mentality at the time. I had to comment a few weeks before [but] I don't think it made it into the show.
At the end of the day, I was a gymnast for 10 years. My muscles are here to stay and I quite like my arms! I wouldn't want to have the typical stick-thin model arms. So, I mean, there's nothing you can do about it. It's like them saying, "Oh, you're not tall enough" -- oh well, can't change it -- just smile and work with what you've got instead of wishing what you could have.
Reality TV World: Due to the fact you have a pretty muscular or toned body and what not, have you ever considered fitness modeling or anything like that instead of high fashion clothing? Do you think that'd be a good fit for you or would it be totally out of your element?
Annaliese Dayes: No, I do a lot of fitness modeling! I've done Nike, Puma, and Adidas, and I've worked for them all several times. Just like I said, I'm going with what I've got and I like my body, and if all the brands want to hire me because of it, then I'm all for it!
Reality TV World: When I talked to Alisha last week, she said she thought AzMarie was actually her biggest competition until she was eliminated and that she figured she would've made it to the finale had that little booty-tooch incident not occurred. Do you think AzMarie deserved one of the two final spots or do you think the Top 2 are the right Top 2?
Annaliese Dayes: Yeah, it's that whole "would've, should've, could've" thing. But AzMarie was just killing it in the competition. We might as well have just stayed at home and let her do all the challenges and photo shoots by herself...
AzMarie's amazing and at the same time, her look is very niche. Not everybody is going to want those tattoos in the shot or that androgynous sort of look. She's going to do very well in the future. That girl is amazing, but I don't know if it was right for the winner of America's Next Top Model.
Above is the first half of our exclusive interview with Annaliese. Check back with Reality TV World in the coming days for the concluding portion.
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