On Thursday, the 25-year-old who previously appeared on Top Model's eleventh season, talked to Reality TV World about her America's Next Top Model experience -- including why she felt her team had lost the Extra interview challenge, whether she believed Tyra Banks actually had her back or not despite the obvious support during judging panel critiques, why she thought she didn't get to accomplish a majority of her goals while on the show, and what her plans are for the near future.
Below is the second half of our exclusive interview with Isis. Click here to read the first portion.
Reality TV World: If you could sum up why you think your team lost during the Extra interview challenge what would you say? Would you place full blame on Lisa D'Amato since Nigel Barker made it clear she spoke over you ladies at times and kept high-fiving everyone after their answers?
Isis King: I wouldn't put blame -- I mean, yeah of course Lisa did that and I wanted to stop her. I kept giving her the eye like, "Lisa, stop." But I wouldn't put most of the blame, because honestly, a lot of our team was weaker. I wasn't weak (laughs) but as a whole, the team was weaker. So, all the blame can't be placed on Lisa for that.
Reality TV World: It seemed like when the judges either dissed a photo of yours or weren't entirely sure whether they liked your end result or not, Tyra often stuck up for you. For example, during the Pink's hotdog photo shoot, Nigel called your picture a bit dirty while Andre Leon Talley said he wouldn't want to know you and would run to the car after seeing that picture, but Tyra said she got it and read it differently. Also, this week, Tyra said she commended you for being proud of who you are. So would you say Tyra had your back?
Isis King: I want to be real right now and say that I've learned a lot about branding in this experience. I've learned a lot more about your own branding and how each person has their -- you know, so Tyra has her own brand. I don't know if that kind of answered your question, but she has a brand to stick with and she doesn't want to affect that.
So do I think she really cares? No. I would hope that she does, but it's reality TV and I've seen enough and been in there enough now that you never know how someone really is or what happens when the cameras are on or what was cut.
Reality TV World: When we talked to you before the season began, you said your goal for coming back on the show was to prove you were a more well-rounded person than just a model and a girl who can walk on a runway. You also said you felt like you got "axed" from your first season too soon. So did you feel like you accomplished what you came to do since you were unfortunately eliminated in the third episode, and would you say again that you were "axed" too soon?
Isis King: Of course. No. 1, being axed wasn't justified. Even from the photo shoot of what was shown, you can see in the photo shoot that I clearly delivered many different poses and high energy. So, I was definitely axed quick. I am happy that at least I was -- the first episode was mine. Most people fall off after the first -- the first is normally when it has its biggest ratings.
So, I'm just glad that the world got to see how I am in real life. That was a better portrayal of me. I'm confident. I was confident the first time around, but they just focused more on my transition. So I'm happy in the sense that they were able to see that I'm more well-rounded. You still didn't -- they still cut out most of my personality, but at least you got to see that I'm a fun person, I'm a focused person, I'm a driven person.
Reality TV World: So it sounds like you didn't get to accomplish everything you wanted out of the show but you at least made some progress, right?
Isis King: Yeah, I guess so. But also, it was supposed to be about branding and they cut out all the things of me talking about me being an actress and how that's pretty much one of the most important things in my life right now. You didn't get to see any of my character development even on the show, just having fun and that aspect of my life.
But I am working -- or I will be going abroad to shoot my first full-length film Hello Forever this winter in the Philippines. So hopefully the world will continue to see more and more of my variety of skills and talents.
Reality TV World: You also said during that [prior interview] that you considered yourself a "specialty model" in which you could boost ticket sales when you're in a show or you'd have a certain kind of client. After going on Top Model:All-Stars and learning more about your brand, do you still feel that way or have you changed your perception of what type of model you are now?
Isis King: Oh, no. Never. I knew that from the very beginning. You have Kate Moss, who's short, but just height-wise alone, I'm only 5'7"-5'8" depending on whether I have heels on. So as far as real runway, that won't cut it most of the time. As far as training people or as far as even being the best runway walker you've ever seen on that runway, I can deliver that.
I consider myself a specialty model because I've never been the one to just go to the go-sees and I'm willing to do that for acting, but for modeling, that's never been my thing even before and after my first cycle on Top Model. So that's why I consider myself a specialty model.
Reality TV World: What was your reaction when you saw how scared and nervous Bianca Golden was before the photo shoot on stilts? Did it surprise you when she actually came out with a good photo in the end?
Isis King: Well, Bianca was a little nervous but all the crying and stuff came after she finished on the shoot. So, it wasn't before. It looked like that, but she was nervous and crying and stuff afterwards. It didn't surprise me, because Bianca, I think, is one of the biggest personalities and best models there.
She's also one of my good friends, so I believe in her confidence and I know that she can deliver. I wasn't surprised at all. I was happy for her that she conquered her fears, because I know that in her first season she was afraid of heights.
Reality TV World: So besides Bianca then, who else did you see as being your biggest competition while you were in the house?
Isis King: Well, I always saw Allison Harvard -- even before we went into the competition -- as one of the girls who might be there, and for some reason she just always popped in my head. So, I don't know. I just think that she embodies an all-star and I went in there and we became really close and really good friends.
You didn't get to see the dynamics of our friendship at all. We would just sit there and talk while we did our hair and be goofy and weird together. I love Allison. So definitely I think -- basically all the girls I was closest to were also the girls I think had the most potential. So definitely Allison and she's one of my great friends.
Reality TV World: Was there any specific aspect of the competition you were looking forward to that you think you would have excelled at?
Isis King: Yeah, definitely. I know that if they wanted to focus more on what our individual goals were, mine was acting mostly and hosting and speaking. So, I would look forward to mostly anything really that had to do with acting, especially because the world never really got to -- or haven't really seen that part of me yet.
Also the hosting, because I just feel like I love to be in front of the camera and talk to people and I can keep people entertained. I just think that both of those would have been something that I would have excelled at.
Reality TV World: When you entered the house, was there anyone you were really surprised to see or disappointed to see would be joining you as part of the all-stars cast?
Isis King: I wasn't surprised at anybody. I figured, like I said, that Allison would be there, Bianca, I wasn't surprised really. I don't know. I just wanted to get in there and I wasn't really focused on who would be there and who wouldn't be there. I was just like, "Time to win. Time to win. This is going to be fun." And I ended up leaving the competition with a lot of friends -- most of the girls there.
Reality TV World: What's next for you? What are your plans for the near future?
Isis King: Well, I'm going abroad to film, like I said, my first full-length film Hello Forever in winter and hopefully my fashion designs -- someone will take an interest and either help make that a reality for me right now or even if I became a designer for a major label -- just something because fashion design is my life. It's what I've been doing.
I got a full scholarship to college for it and hopefully acting and designing are both something that you'll see more from me. Modeling, you'll see definitely, and hosting, appearances, and I'm still traveling the country doing motivational speaking.
I actually am going to be speaking at the University of Reno next month. I'm going to be hosting their school fashion show and I'm also going to give a lot of words of advice and wisdom and just bring a whole lot of fierceness to the school... my fans should follow me on Twitter @MsIsisKing
(Photo credit The CW)
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