Lisa D'Amato: I look better than ever for my 'Top Model' return at age 30
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/13/2011
Lisa D'Amato will be one of fourteen returning America's Next Top Model contestants competing on the show's all-stars edition, which premieres on Wednesday, September 14 at 9PM ET/PT.
During a Monday conference call with reporters, the former fifth-season contestant talked to Reality TV World about the upcoming America's Next Top Model season -- including why she felt she's just getting start in her career at age 30 when the modeling industry focuses so much on youth and what her journey was like to become healthier and sober through her participation in Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.
Reality TV World: You are a few years older than the show's normal eligibility range -- which cuts off at 27 -- and as crazy as it sounds, that's considered old in the modeling industry. So what are your thoughts on that and how do you feel you make a good exception to the rule? Do you think you're just starting to heat up?
Lisa D'Amato: Personally, the reason why I went on the show was it's not a modeling competition anymore. It's really finding that star and having that star quality. I think that I definitely have that, not to mention it's the all-stars, so it's people from every single cycle. And I'm not there to be a model and try to break into the industry.
I've been modeling since I was 11-12 years-old. I'm going on America's Next Top Model: All-Stars to basically change history. I want to make history. I think that you're only as old as you look, and I think I look great. I think I look better than I ever have before in my whole life.
And in terms of my career, I've been pounding the pavement in Hollywood since I was 11-12 years-old. I think that being that I am 30, that's -- if you look at me as being 30 in the modeling world, that looks probably old. But all of the celebrities that everyone is obsessed with nowadays like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton -- they're older than me. But I think it's a double standard and I'm ready to change that.
Reality TV World: You mentioned in your CW video that you've gone through a lot, including how you participated in Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. Can you talk a little bit about your journey to become healthy and sober again? When did you decide it was time to seek professional help and how has your overall attitude changed since then?
Lisa D'Amato: To be perfectly honest, going on Celebrity Rehab was something that I never wanted to do. Absolutely not. From Season 5 of Top Model and being in the entertainment industry and my heart being the driving force since I was a little girl, I really couldn't shake the image that Top Model indulged in a bit of being the party girl, wild child -- the one who drank.
It was really hindering my career, so all in all, I did it to basically show the world that if I do have an addiction or could get an addiction, this is, "I'm going to do it in front of everyone." I'm like, "I'm not scared." I definitely want to pave a road of understanding with the public in terms of childhood trauma and someone who possibly feels they're on the same boat as me.
Ultimately, I want to be the healthiest I can be and that's what I learned there. I got therapy for childhood trauma. I learned about drugs and alcohol through brain scans and watching people detox. I personally didn't detox or do any of those things, but I did learn more than I could have ever been blessed to learn about drugs and alcohol and building a beautiful relationship within Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.
So, it was a life-changing experience and I feel blessed to have had that, but in terms of an addiction, I don't know if I could have gotten one. That's something that we'll never be able to see because luckily, I got help before anything went any further.
Also in the call, Lisa told reporters why she wanted to give America's Next Top Model another shot and how she planned to step up her game in the competition.
Why did you want to go back on the show?
Lisa D'Amato: I think ultimately I went back on the show for a few reasons. One is definitely for the fanbase and to really let them see something that they didn't see the first time around on Season 5. Ultimately, I think that I have been, what is it called? I basically have been the person who can do all of it. I'm an all-around -- I'm talented in all types of areas.
I've always been a seamstress. I have been acting since I was really young. I've been doing gymnastics. I can dance, I can sing, I can rap, I can do all of those things. And I was able to do all of those things, as well as modeling, from a very early age.
On Season 5, you only got to see me do modeling. So, it was a really great way to basically show all my talents as I should have been able to show them on Season 5. And redemption, of course, is always good.
What are you going to do this time around to step up your game in comparison to your first stint on America's Next Top Model?
Lisa D'Amato: Well personally, I'm better than I've ever been in my whole entire life and I've been modeling since I was 11-12 years-old. So, I've toured the whole world. I have everything that I need from experience to whip out and bring back into a modeling competition. I know my angles; I always have. You can't really strip 10-15 years of experience in the modeling industry away from me.
I will always have that. And even though I have been performing music for the past three or four years consistently, I still have also been doing modeling with Carlos Magazine and also with Swindle Magazine. When you've been in the industry that long, photographers and stylists -- they all come to you because they still want to work with you.
At the end of the day, people can call me crazy and they can call me this or that, but I am 100% percent professional and I will be there 10 minutes early and I will rock everyone's socks off -- period, point blank.