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Exclusive: Sundai Love talks about 'America's Next Top Model'


By Christopher Rocchio, 11/05/2009 

Sundai Love feels her America's Next Top Model ouster was "shocking," however she understands why the judges decided to give her the boot.

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The 18-year-old 5'3" student from Bakersfield, CA became the tenth finalist eliminated from America's Next Top Model's thirteenth season during last night's broadcast of The CW reality series.

On Thursday, Sundai talked to Reality TV World about the surprising nature of her elimination; why she's curious as to what the deciding factor was in booting her instead of Erin Wagner; how she feels the constant compliment that she's "cute" was a also an insult; and what cable network she'd ultimately like to land on.

Reality TV World: Were you surprised at the judges decision to eliminate you instead of Erin?

Sundai: Yeah, it was actually a very, very shocking elimination -- I mean everyone was crying. It was pretty sad. I Guess I didn't expect it so much because she had been in the bottom two so many times in a row and I actually liked my photo.  But the judges have been doing this for what, 13 cycles? So they know what they're doing and they know that when they picked Erin they must have saw something in her that they really liked, so I can't be too mad.

Reality TV World: You just touched upon this, but last night was your first time in the bottom two while it was Erin's third consecutive time. Do you think that should have played a role in their decision and do you think it should have been a bigger factor?

Sundai: Yeah. She's been in the bottom two so many times in a row, but there's also the fact she had less frames and I had way more frames -- so they had to weigh that out and what they wanted.

[Top Model creator and lead judge] said it was by a hair, so that hair is something that I don't know. (laughing) Because I kind of thought I was going to be staying so it was definitely kind of shocking.

Reality TV World: Did you agree with part of their reasoning for your elimination -- that you made up too many excuses during the underwater shoot and it hurt your photo?

Sundai: Yeah, I think that's what hurt so bad because I really wasn't trying to make excuses at all. I really wasn't. I didn't want Tyra to see my as someone who's whiney and nagging and has excuses. But I really did hurt my ear when I jumped off the cliff [during a previous photo shoot challenge] -- with the waves hitting me into the rocks and water getting into my ear. Then going underwater, of course all that pressure on it was making it hurt even more. I just knew I had really, really bad asthma and I can't breathe with a regulator so I had to stay kind of close to the surface to come up for air every now and then. So I wasn't trying to make excuses, it was really a problem.

Reality TV World: The episode didn't show it, but did you try to defend yourself and respond the comments that you were making excuses?

Sundai: I probably did, but I don't think they showed anything.

Reality TV World: What did they say when you defended yourself?

Sundai: She was just like, "You have to work through it sometimes. You shouldn't complain." I do agree. I shouldn't have even mentioned anything in the first place. But I was looking out for my safety. But at the same time, they're not going to let anything bad happen to me so I shouldn't have even said anything I guess.

Reality TV World: You made a few comments during last night's episode about how life would be over if you were eliminated, however you seemed to come to peace with your ouster during your exit comments. Why do you think you had the change of attitude?

Sundai: Because this whole time in the competition, I mean I'm so short I wanted it so bad -- I thought this was pretty much going to be my only way to be able to model. So I wasn't thinking of anything besides winning. When I didn't, I was just so devastated.

But after a while, I was like, "This is a good lesson. I got a lot of experience and I know a lot more than I did." There's nothing wrong with it. It happened, so I'm going to have to deal with it.

Reality TV World: Several times during the season -- whether it was a photographer or guest judge -- commented how you were "cute." How did you take that comment? Did you think a compliment like that is a bit backhanded?

Sundai: It was like an insult -- like trying to find a way to say something good about me but your not a model. Like, "Oh you're cute, but you're not a model." That's kind of what they were saying. At the time, it just made me want to work harder to show them that I'm not just cute! (laughing)

Reality TV World: How were you cast for America's Next Top Model?  Was it your first time applying for the show?

Sundai: It was definitely my first time because I never even wanted to try out because everyone had to be SO tall. My sister ran back from Chicago after she tried out and was like, "You have to go! You have to go! They're definitely going to pick you!" I was like, "No way!" She's like, "Yeah, just try out." So I did and actually got really, really far -- so I'm still shocked.

Reality TV World: Do you feel you were portrayed accurately on the show?

Sundai: Kind of. I'm actually a very, very sweet person and so, so funny -- I was always cracking them up, but they didn't really show too much of that. But I mean they only show what you say, so... it's fair.

Reality TV World: Of the remaining girls, who do you want to see win Top Model? Who do you not want to see win?

Sundai: I actually love all the girls. I really want [Laura Kirkpatrick] to win because she's my best friend and she's such a sweet and humble person. She deserves it pretty much next to me, she wanted it. Although [Jennifer An too], because she helped out everyone in the house no matter what. She made sure everybody was set and okay and ready to go before we even stepped out of the house. I also like [Nicole Fox], but everybody can't win. I wish everybody could win! (laughing)

Reality TV World: What's next for you? Are you going to pursue a career in modeling?

Sundai: Oh yeah, I'm definitely going to still try no matter what. I think I can do something -- print work would work for me. I also just really, really want to be on the Disney Channel, so hopefully Tyra saying I look really cute can help! (laughing)

(Photo credit The CW)


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