Cory Hindorff finished the twentieth season of America's Next Top Model in third place during The CW's Friday night finale broadcast of the first-ever Guys & Girls edition.
Cory, a 6' 2 1/2" 22-year-old wedding singer from Philadelphia, PA, was defeated by runner-up Marvin Cortes and winner Jourdan Miller.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Tuesday, Cory talked about his Top Model: Guys & Girls experience. Below is the first half of his interview. Check back with us on Friday for the concluding portion.
Also, to begin reading our exclusive interview with Jourdan, click here.
Reality TV World: You seemed devastated obviously when you got eliminated. Did you feel like you definitely had it over Marvin or did you think it was going to be the two guys duking it out on the runway for the finale?
Cory Hindorff: I do have to say it did come as a shock to me. You know, in the beginning of the competition, like, when Tyra first walked on the runway -- before we did the walking down the side of the building -- and she announced that the prize package was Guess, I did count myself out at that point.
I was like, "You know what? I've seen Guess models and I don't know that I quite fit the bill, and I'm probably not going to get it." But then, as I progressed through the competition, and I got to the Top 3, I was like, "Oh my God, I could actually get this!" And it started to become real for me, so yeah, to lose it at that point, it was really heartbreaking for me.
Reality TV World: You said your goal coming onto the show was to show people the beauty of androgyny. Do you think you accomplished that?
Cory Hindorff: I do think so. I definitely think that I displayed another side of the modeling world. I definitely feel like I displayed another type, and I feel like my type was so different from anybody else in the competition.
But it is a very real type that [isn't prominent] in the industry, and I'm so happy to have represented that market type in the modeling world. Because I do believe that it is beautiful and it should be brought to the forefront.
Reality TV World: In your final words you said, "I know that now I can just be myself out on the runway. There's no more pretending to be this masculine dude that I'm not." It sounded like you were pretty frustrated and maybe almost a little bit relieved the competition ended for you at that point. Could you elaborate on that a little more? Did you feel like the show was making you into something you're not?
Cory Hindorff: Yeah, at that moment when I knew I was eliminated, I did feel like there was nothing left to prove, because I felt like, from the beginning, it was me proving to the judges that I was masculine, proving to the judges that I was a man, kind of, do you know what I mean? The vocabulary was all over the place.
I remember at one point, Rob just said, "You look like a man in this shot. Good job." I was like, "Oh, I thought I was a man! Thanks." That was pretty offensive even though I knew he was just giving me the industry opinion. I knew what he meant and I knew that Rob is the sweetest guy ever.
He would never intentionally try to offend me or any member of my community, but it caused a lot of [backlash] and it got a lot of people upset. Yeah, it definitely felt like, at that point, there was nothing left to prove. And I did feel free in that moment. It was pretty awesome.
Reality TV World: So it sounds like had you chosen to display a softer, more feminine look in the Guess and Nylon photo shoots, the judges and clients wouldn't have approved?
Cory Hindorff: Yeah, and I mean, even earlier on in the competition, I made the decision to give them masculine because I wanted to progress, you know what I mean? And I know I would've gotten sent home a lot earlier if I had displayed femininity the entire time, even though that is my comfort zone.
Reality TV World: How did you internally deal with all the mixed criticism you received from the judges? They constantly disagreed and bickered over your shots this season, saying you needed to do this or less of that. How did you determine what you should and shouldn't do?
Cory Hindorff: I was kind of excited to have caused that discussion right there. Just to even have caused that polarity and being a cause of such polarity on the judges' panel, I felt it was really cool, actually. Because I think that's what the fashion industry is all about as it progresses. It's about taking risks, it's about -- "Is that okay or is it not okay?"
It's sort of just like, you know, art in itself is subjective. So to be a force that caused that polarity on the judges' panel, that was really cool for me, and that's why I was so quiet for awhile. I was just kind of watching it take place, because I was like, "Wow, this is pretty exciting that this is happening and it's on TV."
I'm very passionate about discussions like that being brought to the forefront and people addressing it rather than just turning a blind eye, because so many times, people just pretend like it doesn't exist. So yeah, I feel like male femininity is masked in the entertainment industry, and I'm so honored to be a part of what has shed some light on that fact win or lose. So yeah, that was huge for me.
Reality TV World: Listening to you, I definitely understand the positive in sparking such a discussion on the panel. But I guess, it seemed clear your varying judges' scores are kind of what stopped you from getting to the end. When you got eliminated before the final runway show, you received a 10 from Tyra, a 7 from Rob and a 5 from Kelly. Only one point separated you from Marvin. I just want to get your thoughts on that.
Cory Hindorff: Yeah, well, I think the 5 from Kelly came from the fact I did look like the guy in the ad, but I didn't look like "the guy" -- that sexy guy. All I pulled off was looking like a man -- or whatever that means. And I have to be honest, I wasn't really happy with the photo myself, because it wasn't genuine at all.
I feel like it didn't really show me. It was just my act. That photo was just my act and everything that I sort of put on to get to that point in the competition. So I'm not really -- I don't really care that she gave it a 5. I don't really care about that photo, to be honest with you, it's totally erased from my memory.
But I think that Tyra was very supportive of me in everything I was trying to do and I think that's where her scores came from. I love her so much for putting her show out on the line for me like that and giving me that 10 and sort of showing me that she stood behind me. That was pretty awesome, and that alone, again, was a huge win for me!
Above is the first half of Cory's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us on Friday for the concluding portion. To begin reading our interview with Jourdan, click here.