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HOME > America's Next Top Model > America's Next Top Model 11

Ousted 'Top Model' Nikeysha Clarke: I was just trying to explain myself


By John Bracchitta, 09/12/2008 

Nikeysha Clarke didn't need America's Next Top Model to find the best way to describe her unique personality.

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"I'm kind of like a 'say the first thing that comes to my mind' kind of person," Nikeysha told Reality TV World during a Thursday conference call with reporters.

Following a bottom-two showing in the competition's first photo shoot, the 19-year-old Bronx, NY native was revealed to be the second girl eliminated from Top Model on Wednesday's broadcast after judges found her unable to stay quiet and accept criticism for sub-par film throughout the competition's early rounds.

"The thing is ... it came off as I was arguing with [Top Model host Tyra Banks] or I was just snapping off and cutting her off. But really I just was trying to explain myself," Nikeysha said of her repeated interruptions during both weeks of the judges panel.

She added that while she felt her personality was not unlike Banks', their similarities in character may have contributed to their uneasy exchanges.

"I think that's maybe why we clashed, she said. She's outspoken, I'm outspoken. She loves to talk, I love to talk. And when two people love to talk, no one ever hears what the other person is saying. I think that was probably the problem."

Nikeysha told reporters that, in terms of her portrayal on the show, she was not as "pushy" as she seemed on TV. She added that while the show had showcased her admittedly "crazy" side, it had dwelled on the negative instead of accentuating the positive aspects she had found in herself.

"I am a crazy person, but more in a positive light," she said. "[The show] showed me more negatively being crazy and more negatively being talkative. But moreso I just like to talk and have fun and be a cool person and do crazy things and be outgoing, like flashing and just doing wild stuff."

Regarding her small figure, which the Model judges criticized during the second week of the competition, Nikeysha said that she had healthy eating habits but had been told by a modeling agency try and drop weight before the competition.

"I guess because of that... I just dropped a little bit too much weight," she said. "But it was unintentional, I never meant to be too thin."

When it came to issues between the wannabe models, Nikeysha said that she had overcome initial stereotypes regarding transgendered model Isis and had become friendly with her.

"Where I'm from, a lot of people don't believe in [sex changes], they think it's wrong. But [Isis] convinced me, I believed her," Nikeysha told Reality TV World. "I believe she was a woman. I believe she felt she was a woman, And you know what? If she says she's a woman, she's a woman... Who am I to say she's not one."

However she did acknowledge that other contestants had not shown the same willingness to accept Isis for who she was.

"Me and [semifinalist] Kacey were cool during casting, and she went on and on and on about Isis," Nikeysha told Reality TV World. "I was like 'wow, she's really, really, really mean."

Calling Isis "a really cool girl," and saying that she wouldn't have known Isis was transgendered if she had not been told, Nikeysha said that any criticisms of Isis were uncalled for and added that the modeling profession was filled with so many unique and different people that a transgendered model was not as odd as it may initially seem.

When asked about the fallout Hannah and her comments that some of the girls in the house perceived as racist, Nikeysha said that she had spoken with the Alaskan native since being eliminated and had no animosity towards her at all.

"We never really had any issues on the show," she said of her experiences with Hannah while in the house. "I mean, I heard that [Hannah] said something about me and I confronted her -- they didn't show that [on the show] -- and she said no she never said anything bad because we never had any problems."

Following the confrontation that lead to Hannah being asked about her prejudices and eventually crying in the kitchen, Nikeysha said that she was among the girls that had attempted to rectify the situation.

"I went and I hugged her and I told her 'look I'm not trying to attack you and didn't mean to attack you' and she said it was fine," she said. "We just really wanted to know how she felt because there were way too many incidents."

When asked what she learned from the competition, Nikeysha said that she had taken the judge's criticisms to heart and learned when to reign in her strong personality.

"There's always a time and a place for everything." she said. "In the industry when you go on castings or try to get signed to agencies, there are certainty things you can and cannot do because you need to make certain impressions.... You might have the look, and you might take great photos but if they remember you from going to the bathroom or talking way too much it's gonna be a bad first impression."

While currently in schoo,l Nikeysha -- who explained her post-elimination reference about becoming an anesthesiologist had been a reference to her English teacher's suggestion that she pursue the field as a profession -- was adamant that she still was determined to become a successful model.

"I'm still gonna pursue modeling," she reiterated numerous times throughout the interview. "The cliche: 'reach for the stars, land on the clouds.' Well modeling is the stars, school is a cloud. So you know what? ...I'm gonna reach for modeling, and if it doesn't work out I'm gonna land in school."

(Photo credit The CW)


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