Exclusive: Dominique Waldrup talks about 'America's Next Top Model'
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/14/2011
Dominique Waldrup became the fourth girl eliminated from America's Next Top Model's sixteenth season during Wednesday night's broadcast on The CW.
On Friday, the 23-year-old college graduate from Houston, TX talked to Reality TV World about her America's Next Top Model experience -- including why she was already "over" the show before she left it, what she hated about being on America's Next Top Model, how she felt being a realist negatively affected her modeling, what was actually behind her breakdown during the couture photo shoot, and which fellow contestant she didn't give a "rat's ass" about.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised you got eliminated or did you somewhat see it coming beforehand?
Dominique Waldrup: No, I was surprised. As far as seeing it beforehand, yes, no. I don't really have an answer for that. Things just happen.
Reality TV World: You said in your final words that you had a great personality but it just didn't show. Why do you think it didn't show? Were you just a little uncomfortable in the atmosphere and maybe held back a little because it was a new experience for you or do you think you just didn't have enough time on the show to really show your true colors and open up?
Dominique Waldrup: I looked at the situation when I got into this competition that I thought it was just a competition. I totally forgot that it's really a reality TV show. So, what made me uncomfortable was the fact that we had a reality TV show going down.
I guess I was more -- I let the reality TV part get the best of me more than the competition -- I was so focused on realizing that oh my gosh, this was a reality TV show and it wasn't going how I felt it would go. I wasn't necessarily overwhelmed by the cameras...
I guess what it was is that you guys can't see my personality due to the fact of how much they edit out. You have to understand that they cut and paste and they pull whatever they want you to see, and as for saying it to [Tyra Banks] and all of them, Tyra didn't see -- she doesn't interact with us -- I honestly don't know. How can I put it? How can I explain the situation?...
The reason why they couldn't really see my personality to me, was because I kind of like -- Ya'll saw me -- I was eliminated that week. Whatever. But I kind of eliminated myself, should I say, ahead of time, because of the fact when I came into the situation, although I know it's a reality TV show, but psychologically we're looking at it from our TVs at home.
We look at it as, 'This is just their life.' We don't look at everything that goes on when we have cameras in our face, and so when I actually got there on set and realizing when it sunk in like, 'This is a real f***ing reality TV show more than it is a competition,' I started to fall back.
I felt like I wasn't there to -- I felt like weren't really chosen to compete -- we were just chosen to be a part of TV just for ratings. And so, I held back.
The things like, my personality wise, the things that I am capable of showing or that I know I have or that they even are aware of that I have, it didn't translate into a photo or anything dealing with the show, because I was kind of at the point, I'm not even gonna lie, I was kind of like, 'Forget the show.'
Reality TV World: So did that make you a little self conscious then to open up in regards to how the editing would make you come across?
Dominique Waldrup: No, I didn't hold back at all. It's just yeah, I didn't hold anything back. Whatever they caught on camera, they caught on camera. If they used it, they used it. If they didn't, they didn't.
Reality TV World: In you final words, you said you're going to become a great asset to the modeling industry. Can you talk about why you're so confident about that and what you feel you're going to offer the industry?
Dominique Waldrup: Well I think for everybody, you're not going to go into a situation and say, 'I'm not going to be the best.' It's just kind of like, you have to have that -- you have to tell yourself that so you can at least strive to be the best -- it wasn't necessarily saying, 'Oh, you know, I'm just extremely confident that I'm just about to get out in the industry.'
It was just a matter of 'I'm going to get in the industry and I'm going to shoot to be the best person that I can possibility be as for a model.' And as for my assets, it's just like my personality, who I am, the type of person that I am, period.
I feel like I'm a well rounded person that people know would help in the modeling industry. Not necessarily for the sake of just taking a photo, but just being in the industry period. I guess you guys, ya'll took it to a -- ya'll took it like too -- nevermind. I don't know what I'm trying to say.
Reality TV World: It's interesting because during the couture photo shoot when you posed in groups, Jay Manuel said you needed inspiration and Tyra ended up telling your modeling needs to come from the inside out. Also, during your first photo shoot in the season premiere, Tyra told you that although you had a striking unique look, the cameras would capture what's genetically there but not what's inside your soul. Those comments are obviously implying you lacked passion or inspiration so why do you think your modeling came across like that to them and what is your reaction to their criticisms?
Dominique Waldrup: Honestly, I don't know. The first time, okay you know what, I understand this question. Like I told the other reporters who have asked me this question, it basically is, how can I put it? I don't go into a situation and I'm just like, 'I have to be happy so I'm going to smile for this photo' or 'Oh, they want me to be sad, so cry for this photo.'
Yes, I know that's what a model should do. A model should be versatile where they can also act as well so that when they're behind the camera lens, their basically putting on this facade of acting. I don't know how to do it. I'm not going to lie. Being honest, I don't know how to do that and with me being the realist that I am, if I'm not feeling a certain way, then it's not going to come across that way.
I mean, if you really noticed, I never knew until they showed on the camera that I made so many facials. It's what I was thinking at the moment. If I'm not feeling it, then I'm not feeling it, and at that point in time, I didn't have no sad thoughts.
I didn't have no happy thoughts. I didn't think I was in "Alice in Wonderland." I didn't think I was out in the swamp. I was just there and I guess from week to week, it just seemed to go. I don't know.
Reality TV World: After Jay told you that you lacked inspiration, you got extremely upset and claimed there were many things in your life that inspired you and you felt like you were giving it your all but Jay just didn't see it and she was unsure of why that was coming across to Jay during the photo shoot. Can you elaborate more on how you felt about that? How frustrating was it that they thought you had no inspiration when you disagreed and what were your actual inspirations?
Dominique Waldrup: Yes it is frustrating for them to say something like that, because I know I got into this industry for a reason. I actually went to the audition for a reason. I honestly didn't have to go.
I was invited to come to the audition, so in reality, I didn't have to go if I didn't want to go. But there was inspiration inside of me that made me want to go and the things that inspire me the most are just the fact that my family wants me to succeed.
I think that with anybody in their life and since I was younger, I kind of wanted to follow behind my mom's footsteps and be a model just like her, but my grandfather and my grandmother and all of them told me, 'Get your education first. Get your education first.'
So, it was kind of like God sent it to me because of the fact that I had just graduated in May and that wasn't even a good three months and I was scouted my first say doing like a part-time job just to get some side money -- doing a little side hustle -- and they scouted me at my first day at work. They were just inquiring about me and invited me to a closed audition.
So, how do I put it? It just -- yeah it pisses me off when someone tells you that you must not be feeling anything -- or something like that. I feel a lot of emotion! But just because I'm not portraying them in the photos that you put up on the board -- that's another thing -- you have to play a lot of these things in that everything is kind of related in some way.
If you noticed, they said the same thing damn near every week, and I don't even care what anybody f***ing says. We take a million and one photos and you can't tell me that that one photo out of all the photos was the best one... Can you repeat the question?
Reality TV World: Yes, you mentioned how the show discovered you, so you obviously had no modeling experience before the show then?
Dominique Waldrup: Oh, no. Not at all.
Reality TV World: Okay. How did you respond to Jay's comment during the couture photo shoot when he said he thought the three-shot was really just a two-shot of Jaclyn and Dalya and if he were to print that photo, he would crop you out? Do you think that was a little harsh?
Dominique Waldrup: Honestly, I didn't care. He can crop my ass out all he wants to. Like I was saying, there's a million and one photos to pick! I don't care what nobody f***ing says!
You can't tell me that was my best shot, because again, it's a competition. There are three girls there and they are looking for the best of the best, and I don't know. It is what it is.
Reality TV World: You said earlier you were basically giving up on the show a little bit, so did Jay's critiques suppress your spirit at all, playing any role in that?
Dominique Waldrup: I don't want you to misinterpret what I said. I wasn't giving up on the competition because of the criticism I was receiving. I was giving up on the competition because of the fact that behind the scenes, which you guys will never see about production, about how reality TV is actually taped. I didn't necessarily agree with it.
If I could go back in time and it was just a modeling competition with no team around, no production, no one to tell me to be quiet when cameras are around, being told to talk when cameras are around, then I would do it. But I wouldn't do it again if cameras were around.
It wasn't when they were telling me, 'Oh, you look like this. You look like that.' No, they didn't bother me. I could careless. There are people that tell me that all the time. It was just the fact that it was reality TV and honestly, I could careless about reality TV as of now.
Reality TV World: So it's apparent Jay's comments didn't make you lose confidence, right?
Dominique Waldrup: No. What's so funny is that they showed me crying but I was crying because of production, about how things were going, and they're experts on what they do. Everybody that's behind the scenes are experts at what they do. They see me crying, I'm mad at something, they're like, 'We have to get you right now. Right now, right now!'
So, of course me crying -- I can't suck up my tears right now -- I have to tell them. They want to ask me questions right on the spot. 'So, how do you feel that Jay said this about you?' If I wasn't crying before about production, about just being upset about being there period, then it wouldn't have came across like I was crying because he said this.
Because I don't cry when people are criticizing me about something. It was just a matter of -- I just didn't want to be there anymore because of production -- you guys will never know. It will never be seen on TV, but that's because at the photo shoot, I took off my microphone.
I told the cameraman to get out of my face, and I told them I'll find my own way home. I'll find my own money to go buy my plane ticket to go home, because I was just so through with the competition. Not the competition, but the actual production. The reality TV part.
Reality TV World: On a brighter note, what do you think of your new look after the makeover? Do you think they changed your look for the better or for the worse and did you keep the red hair or did you change it when you got home?
Dominique Waldrup: I definitely feel like the makeover was for the better. It was something that's made me stand out a little more. A lot of people have always told me that they wanted me to go red and I didn't even tell them that at all. 'Hey a makeover that I would like would be red' or anything like that.
It's just like, everything happens for a reason, and you know how people kind of say stuff? You hear it all the time and then it just kind of happens, and as of the day before the premiere, I actually still had the hair still in my head and now my hair is like an orange color. I made it like a lighter orange color and it's straight. It's not loud and kinky anymore.
Reality TV World: What did you think of Molly's "Diana Ross-like" blonde extensions? She seemed to hate it and even Tyra said it had to be fixed. What was your opinion on her makeover and did any of the other girls' makeovers stand out to you for any reason?
Dominique Waldrup: They messed up with Molly's ass. I ain't even gonna lie. (laughs) We laughed hard at that because she looked like she had a whole other head on top of her head. Man, that's just foul.
That was a foul move. I'm not going to say Tyra did it, because Tyra just came up with the idea of like, 'Hey. We want to do you this way.' But I will say that it's kind of like, I feel like they was wrong for the situation.
It's falling on how production is compared to what you guys see during the actual competition. The guys -- I honestly can't even remember the fellas of the salon that we were in -- whoever the stylists are or whatever. This guy that was on the show, he only did one person's head and that was Brittani's. He chopped her hair, colored it, and stuff like that.
Everybody else, the people, the stylists, from my understanding, they were people that were like -- I don't know if they were union workers or what -- but they basically are hired to do like all types of television and production and stuff like that. So then in my understanding, in the state of California, people don't even have to have their cosmetology license, and so just think about that.
They basically would put anybody in our heads. So, it was just kind of like damn, they probably didn't know that they had somebody who didn't know how to do hair and they was hoping for the best, but yeah, it just came out for the worst.
Reality TV World: Were you shocked that Ondrei quit and what was your opinion about her deciding to leave after making the commitment to be one of the finalists on America's Next Top Model? Monique said she probably shouldn't have tried to go on the show in the first place if she was dealing with such tragic losses. So what was your reaction to her story and everything?
Dominique Waldrup: Actually, I call her "Oddy." She was known as "Oddy" to us, but we talked and Oddy was like my little sister on the show. Well, not really saying on the show, because that was f***ing like, her and I's situation was reality. That was true reality.
Like f**k the reality TV show of what you guys see. You guys see only certain parts. You guys don't really know the real f***ing reality behind every f***ing thing.
You know what I'm saying? Her like, I knew it was coming, and I wasn't surprised, but I wanted her to stay in the competition for the sake of the competition... But I knew it. She had made comments and stuff and it's so funny, like it made her look like I had no care in the world from what they showed, which is totally opposite.
I think I was the only one -- well not the only one -- but I was one of the ones who was like, 'No, Oddy. Stay. Don't do this, Don't do this.' And I really wanted to go home but I didn't say on camera that I wanted to go home. I said it behind the scenes, that I wanted to go home.
But, I was kind of like sad that she left, but at the same time, she didn't feel that she was ready to be in a competition. But then again, it's a competition but it's for reality TV, so I think she was just tired of being behind cameras and dealing with the bulls**t like I was.
Reality TV World: You were one of the girls who fell in the initial runway bubble challenge. Can you talk a little bit about what that challenge was like and did it hurt at all to fall and what was your reaction after it happened? I know you laughed it off and kept going but how did you really feel?
Dominique Waldrup: I don't care because it wasn't a real runway-type experience. So, yeah, it was taken as a f***ing joke! One of the stylists that we had in the back -- ya'll don't see -- we actually do that twice.
We did that runway twice. The first time, I walked without falling in the water. The second time I walked, I fell in the water, and of course, since it's f***ing reality TV, they're going to show me falling in the water, right?
Reality TV World: I think there was only one other girl that they showed falling as well.
Dominique Waldrup: That was Oddy as well that fell of what they showed. You gotta understand. They can make you look like however they want you to look. If they want you to look like an ass**** for the show, then they're going to make you look like an ass**** for the show.
Reality TV World: How do you think overall you came off on the show watching it back from home? Were you happy with how you came across on the show?
Dominique Waldrup: I mean, that's me. I'm cool with how I came across, but I feel that a lot of things were missing. Like the girls and I, we call each other after each show and say like, 'Oh my gosh! They really showed just that?! It makes it seem like it looks like this,' but in reality, we're like, 'No, the whole thing that was said or done and then America would see something differently.'
But, I can't be mad! It's f***ing -- I signed up to be on a reality TV show! -- I knew I signed up to be on a show, but I still was thinking in my mind that I was only seeing one side of it before I got into the competition.
I was seeing like, 'Oh my gosh! This is a once in a lifetime competition. I want to be America's Next Top Model.' But when you get in the situation, you're like, 'You know what? This isn't for nothing but f***ing ratings!' Like for people to see. They just want people to laugh, and so what you see it's hey! It's just entertainment!
Reality TV World: What were your impressions of Alexandria and her potential in the competition? She said she wasn't there to make friends and she seemed to come off strong, especially when she was complaining about her hair during the makeovers and was acting like a diva.
Dominique Waldrup: I can give a rat's ass about Alexandria. Let's put it that way. What you guys see of her is her -- ya'll see just a portion of her -- you don't see her. Like I said, it's reality TV so they only show you so much and then you have to think about -- ya'll are only seeing an hour of all the days that they've recorded us -- so you guys only see little segments, little seconds.
So, just think about how she is. You guys see her acting like an ass****. Just be honest. So, just think about that times -- it was just an hour what you saw or 30 minutes of what you saw -- just think about how she is 24/7.
Reality TV World: You've mentioned many times that there was so much stuff that happened that viewers didn't get to see. Could you elaborate on what some of those things might have been?
Dominique Waldrup: I mean it's nothing that I can remember specifically, because she did so much s**t. It's just like, she just whines all the time. She is so offensive.
When one person says something she is totally like -- that whole situation with the chicken with Dalya -- Dalya was just making a remark to everyone and her dumbass was acting like Dalya was over there talking to her and she was like, 'Don't talk to me!'
I'm like, 'Come on now. She was making a joke. She was saying it to everyone, but your dumbass took it like she was talking to you' and she made a big situation out of nothing. She's like that, which pissed us off.
Reality TV World: Do you intend to continue modeling now? You told Tyra you would go to every agency possible after your elimination, so what are your plans for the near future?
Dominique Waldrup: I'm definitely going to continue as soon as we get this contract off my ass. I'm actually going to be sending my photos in to -- I have a list of agencies that I want to pinpoint -- and I'm basically going to send off my photos in hopes that someone is willing to work with me and try to develop me to be the potential model that I can be.