Exclusive: Destiny Strudwick talks more about 'Top Model: College Edition'
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/19/2012
Destiny Strudwick, a 5' 8 1/2" 18-year-old sandwich shop cashier from Columbus, OH attending Aveda Institute of Columbus, was eliminated from America's Next Top Model: College Edition during The CW's broadcast of the nineteenth season's fourth episode Friday night.
Destiny was ousted from the competition after she found herself in the bottom two based upon her total combined scores from the challenge, Top Model's three judges and home viewers' fan vote.
However, Destiny will get to participate in most of the upcoming photo shoots against previously-eliminated contestants Jessie Rabideau and Darian Ellis and future-eliminated girls in attempt to gain the highest social media score and earn a spot back in the competition.
In an exclusive interview on Tuesday, Destiny talked to Reality TV World about her America's Next Top Model: College Edition experience -- including what happened to the makeover Tyra Banks had promised her after her hair came out badly, whether she thought she learned much of anything from appearing on the show, why she stuck up for Victoria Henley and her quirky personality, and which girls she became really good friends with while in the house.
Below is the concluding portion of Destiny's interview. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: Your lack of confidence seemed to be an issue for you while competing on Top Model. Would you say your confidence level improved since you got to stay in the competition and compete against the other eliminated girls? Did you see a change in yourself as you kept modeling?
Destiny Strudwick: Yeah, I think I see an improvement. It's just like, I don't know. I don't know how to say this right. When you are -- I'm going to compare it to Kurt Cobain.
When he got rich and famous, he was like still super depressed because what had happened to him before had still happened. So it's like, so many people can tell you that you're beautiful, but I don't think you're necessarily going to believe it, you know what I mean?
Reality TV World: Kiara Belen has come across as a strong presence so far in the house, as she had issues with Darian Ellis and Kristin Kagay, especially. What was your opinion of Kiara while you were on the show? Did you get along with her for the most part or did you two butt heads?
Destiny Strudwick: That's a really, I don't know, hard one for me, because Kiara is literally like the image of my sister. She reminds me of my older sister in so many ways -- so many. So I could really relate to her and understand her about where she was coming from, and for people like Kiara, it's like all they know how to do is fight.
So that's what they resort to in most situations, but at the same time, she will do whatever it takes to get somewhere. She is a really, really strong person, and I respect her totally for that.
Reality TV World: Victoria has certainly been standing out so far this season because the girls think she's very sheltered and all that. It seems like she really annoyed some of the girls, while others gave her credit for doing so well in the competition considering her history. What did you think of her? Do you think she was just misunderstood?
Destiny Strudwick: Victoria's definitely a weirdo, but if you take out -- if you don't really know anything about what the world is, everyone's a weirdo. She's just different from most people. She was just raised different. She has different views.
She's a feminist, a very strong one, and I don't think it's right for people to treat her like she's this naive, stupid person when actually, she's one of the smartest people I think I ever met. And she's really, really respectful. It's like, how can you really hate someone for what? What is she doing? She loves her mom? Oh, like sorry. (Laughs)
When people come at her rudely and ask her really rude questions, she'll just respond in like the most polite, respectful, intricate way and really tell you why she acts the way she acts. In some ways, I think that's super awesome, because she doesn't get mad. And if she does, she doesn't flip out and try to pour milk on someone's head. She's super -- she's also very strong in a very different way.
Reality TV World: Without giving any details away, could you talk a little bit about what it was like to compete against the fellow eliminated girls? Did you go into it thinking you had a good shot to come out ontop? Due to how competitive it was, did you kind of wish you had just been able to go home instead of going through that?
Destiny Strudwick: Sort of, but I don't really know how to say this without giving anything away. I'm trying to think about it...
Reality TV World: Well for example, some of the girls I've talked to said that they thought it was even more competitive than the original competition because they were fighting for that one spot to come back rather than just fighting to get a decent enough picture to avoid falling into the bottom two each week.
Destiny Strudwick: Yeah, it was definitely way more competitive. I think the thing is though, behind the scenes, since you didn't get to see us do it, it's a lot nicer and less catty. You're a lot less stressed out, and when you're in that house, it's like a psychological thing. You get kind of screwed up in the head for a minute because you're away from everything.
You're stuck with these girls that you don't know and usually don't like. It's like, I don't know, you're kind of out of your mind for a minute. So when you're eliminated and trying to come back, it's like, "Well I can go to this photo shoot and do my best and then leave."
You had to keep a [mental] state that was like, "I have one out of blank chances to come back, so I don't need to get all my hopes up, but I still want to have an awesome photo." It was still very competitive, but I wouldn't say it was cut-throat, like, "I'm going to beat these girls up," or, "I want these girls to hit me so they get eliminated." It was just a lot more friendly.
Reality TV World: Who did you become close friends with in the house, and also, while you were on the show, who did you see as having the biggest potential to win Top Model?
Destiny Strudwick: I became really close with [Brittany Brown] and [Jessie Rabideau] and Darian and me and Kiara got pretty close. I was close with a lot of the girls in different ways, but I don't know. Potential-wise, I see a lot of potential in [Leila Goldkuhl], but I also see a lot of potential in Kiara in the sense that she has such a strong face and she will do whatever it takes to win.
Reality TV World: Earlier in the season, you got a makeover which Tyra Banks even admitted wasn't what she had envisioned for your new look. You didn't like the way your hair came out obviously and the judges seemed to agree with you, so what ended up happening with all that? Did they set aside some time to fix it for you?
Destiny Strudwick: Nope.
Reality TV World: No?! (Laughs)
Destiny Strudwick: No. They said that they were going to and nope. It looked pretty bad the whole time and I was pretty annoyed with it. I mean, especially after Tyra basically insults you about your hair that she chose on national television, it's like, "Okay well, do you want to fix it? Because I agree, this looks terrible."
Nope, she never fixed it after I got eliminated and I had to go through the photo shoots like that. And then I got home finally after shooting the whole thing, and I was like, "Well, I'm going to cut this flap off."
Reality TV World: So if your hair sort of short and choppy now?
Destiny Strudwick: Yeah, it's a little pixie.
Reality TV World: Better though, probably, right? (Laughs)
Destiny Strudwick: So much better! Oh my gosh.
Reality TV World: What are your plans for the near future. Do you think you're going to continue pursuing modeling, or did being on the show maybe make you realize that's not the career choice you want?
Destiny Strudwick: Well, I have a photo shoot like every day this week. I picked up and went to Chicago and I'm here with my best friend Ricky. And no, I definitely want to keep modeling. Obviously there's a lot of things I need to learn, and I don't think Top Model helped me do that at all, so what I'm trying to do is just continue learning.
Above is the concluding portion of Destiny's interview. Click here to read the first half.