On Thursday, the 22-year-old who previously appeared on Top Model's thirteenth season, talked to Reality TV World about her America's Next Top Model experience -- including whether she was surprised to be eliminated since she had finished with best photo the week prior, why she never saw it as an issue to be a very "cute" or "sexy" model, and what she thought she had "lost" when Tyra Banks told her something was missing in the all-stars competition that her modeling performance featured during her first time around on the show.
Below is the first portion of our exclusive interview with Laura. Check back with Reality TV World on Tuesday for the second half.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised to be eliminated or did you somewhat see it coming beforehand? Because for the most part, it seemed like the judges were pleased with all the girls' performances in the motion editorial.
Laura Kirkpatrick: Yeah, well I was definitely shocked, like I could not believe I was going home. I did not expect it up until the point where I was holding [Allison Harvard]'s hand in the bottom two. I was like, "Dang, you know what? A lot of people love Allison and she is really what Vogue is looking for. I might be going home." And that was the first time I realized that I might be going home. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: So it sounds like you kind of thought it was the end for you when you realized you were in the bottom two with Allison, right?
Reality TV World: Did it worsen the blow of your elimination at all knowing that you had just won best photo for your Olympic sport photo shoot the week prior? I'm assuming you went into the week with more confidence than before because you had just been acknowledged for good work.
Laura Kirkpatrick: Yeah, definitely. I thought -- of course I don't think I have nothing to worry about. We are in the Top 4 with the best of the best girls because this is all-stars, but at the same time, I was like, "Okay well, you know, I can be a little bit confident because I did get voted best potential to win Top Model and I did just get best photo and I really did prove myself."
But I really thought I had the confidence to be still safe. So to get eliminated, you're like, "Dang, you just never know in life!"
Reality TV World: Right before your elimination, Tyra told you the judges worried about whether you could get past your cuteness look and be able to do high fashion. Did you find that reason strange especially since you made it to the final four in the all-stars competition and runner-up in your first season, like how could they not be sure yet that you're capable of doing high fashion?
Laura Kirkpatrick: Yeah, that was definitely really confusing, because there's obviously models -- a lot of high fashion models don't look like me, but there are some that are cutesy and that have my face shape -- more rounded and less structured like Doutzen Kroes, a Victoria's Secret model. She's not super edgy. She's a beautiful, cutesy kind of model.
There's so many more, so I think it's just kind of confusing for girls when they're told you're getting eliminated for being too sexy -- you know I got that comment a lot -- and then also for being too country and too cute. Well, not all high fashion models look super edgy and have crazy bone structure.
There are some that do look like me. So, it is confusing. And also, she brought me on again knowing how I am and that I am also a little bit commercial and that I don't have bone structure like that.
Reality TV World: Since you were told most of the time your photos either came out too sexy or too cute, do you plan on attempting to find that happy medium in your future if you continue modeling or are you simply happy with who you are and how you've been modeling already?
Laura Kirkpatrick: Up until then, I never saw myself as being too sexy. That was kind of a shock to me. I do know that when I take photographs, I am completely different looking than my personality. I know I'm bright and bubbly and then I totally switch when I take pictures.
I never really thought I looked too sexy. I think I will find a happy medium for times when I need to, but then there's also times I need to be super cute and bubbly and times I need to be super sexy. So, I'll probably keep it in mind, but also just keep on doing what I'm doing.
Reality TV World: Did you find it a little ironic that with all the parts you could have played for Tookie during the motion editorial you were given the obsession with whipped cream scene? Especially since you had been criticized so much for being too sexy and you said it would be difficult to act out that scene without looking that way, did you feel it was kind of a setup at all or no?
Laura Kirkpatrick: Yeah, I definitely believe that it was given to me to really push me and test me knowing that they think I'm too sexy and they're like, "Well, okay, we're going to try to really push her and really see what she does with this."
I think I did good -- as good as you can with whipped cream. I mean, come on. It's very much associated with over-sexual kind of stuff and so, it was definitely a rock and a hard place.
Reality TV World: During last night's episode, Tyra said one of the judges said that if they were on a movie set for three months, they'd want you to be their co-star. Assuming it was model and guest judge Tyson Beckford who said that, what was your reaction? Would you ever consider a career in acting? Because the judges seemed to think you had a lot of potential there.
Laura Kirkpatrick: I really love modeling. It's my true passion. A lot of people tell me I should act because of my personality and because I'm so expressive with my face and everything. It's nothing that I've really ventured into.
I never took acting classes ever or really got too many jobs with acting, but if I was going to be booked for a job in acting then I'd definitely do it. So, you never know where things are going to lead you. We'll see!
Reality TV World: After your elimination, you got very emotional and told Tyra you just want to be respected as a good model. Tyra told you that you definitely were one, but you lost a little something during the all-stars competition. Do you have any idea what Tyra was referring to? It seemed like you performed quite well throughout the season, so could you pinpoint something that was maybe different in your modeling than your first time around on the show?
Laura Kirkpatrick: Absolutely not. I was totally confused. I mean, I'm sure she could tell us better what she meant by it than me, but I was really confused because I thought I did better.
Last cycle, I was going into it as a new model -- not knowing what the heck I was doing. I just mimic stuff that I see in magazines and catwalks and what I was taught by my mom, but this time, I was going in as a professional model actually booking jobs.
And I also got best photo twice during this cycle. Last cycle, I got best photo once. It wasn't even [as good] because it was a group shot and someone in my group went home. So, I was really confused but what can you say? It's with Tyra. You can't really stump Tyra. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: During that Greek salad photo shoot, you seemed to be very sick and suggested you may not even be able to go through with the photo shoot. Would you attribute your photo shoot results to feeling sick in that maybe you weren't feeling like yourself or weren't able to give it your all since you were under the weather?
Laura Kirkpatrick: I guess you can kind of say that, but for the most part, I think I did good. I just didn't know that being overly sexy was a huge issue and I kind of thought that also, my brand is lovable and people love me for being country, obviously. But I didn't necessarily know that it was as big of a problem as it was and that the judges made it out to be in panel that go around. So, ehh, I don't know. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: How sick were you and how long did it last? Did you ever end up seeing a doctor or anything?
Laura Kirkpatrick: No, it actually just passed within 24 hours. That night, when I went to bed, I was still sick. When I woke up, I was feeling better -- just a little weak. But I think the medics and stuff said that it was just the traveling and the stress and then also the bacteria in the water.
It takes your body adjusting and getting used to, and that's the first time I've ever been out of the country. Because on my cycle, we went to Hawaii, which is not out of the country -- it's just across the ocean. So, it just took my body some kind of getting used to.
Reality TV World: When you girls wrote songs and performed in music videos, the judges seemed to really like your video. Would you ever consider a career in music? Because when I talked to Dominique Reighard last week, she said she was looking forward to pursuing music after that.
Laura Kirkpatrick: Well, it's really funny that you said this because everyone that's interviewed me today has asked me about it and I've said, "Absolutely not!" Right before your interview, my agent called me and said, "Someone wants you to make an album." And I was like, "Have they not seen Top Model?" (Laughs) But I was like, "You know, why not?" You gotta try everything once, right?
Reality TV World: If it makes any difference, I thought your music video was good!