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HOME > America's Next Top Model > America's Next Top Model 9

Ousted Victoria Marshman takes shots at 'Top Model', blames editing


By Christopher Rocchio, 10/12/2007 

Victoria Marshman believes the "prickly" personality she displayed during the America's Next Top Model ninth-season judging panel that led to her elimination was blown out of proportion -- but even so -- she wouldn't change a thing about it.

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"I've been getting a lot of flack for asking questions during panel," Marshman told reporters during a Thursday conference call.  "The way it was edited, I did joke around a lot at panel and I did smile.  We had a good dialogue.  They just took snippets of the conversation and it made me look very, very abrasive.  I'd always rather ask questions than smile and nod and look pretty... I'd always rather speak my mind and go home than be a submissive, passive person."

The 20-year-old Yale University student from New Haven, CT always appeared to have words with former fashion icon Twiggy, who serves as a Top Model judge.  Marshman said she believes one of the reason she may have been given the boot from the competition was for what she described as "baiting Twiggy."

"I actually like and respect Twiggy a lot," said Marshman.  "I was sort of put in a Catch 22 situation.  She tried to label me as insecure, but when I asked questions I was labeled as abrasive... They definitely had a a character-type for me and all the girls on the show."

While the runway wannabes received their makeovers during this week's Top Model 9 broadcast, Marshman said she found a packet that contained information about her and the other girls, which she assumed she "really wasn't supposed to read."  But she apparently couldn't help herself, and learned Top Model producers labeled her the "smartest girl" ever to compete on the show, which meant she wouldn't be easily manipulated.

"The person they were trying to portray me as was not me, to put it mildly," she told reporters.  "So there was definitely sort of a very -- I don't want to say scripted -- but a focus on bringing different aspects of people's personalities out that definitely did not exist.  I mean nobody is as crazy in real life as they're portrayed on the show."

If she wasn't ousted for "baiting Twiggy," Marshman supposed she was eliminated for not portraying a "fierce" enough cactus during the photo shoot broadcast on Wednesday night.

"I definitely think I had better pictures than what was shown on panel," she explained.  "But I loved doing all the photo shoots, and the cactus one was no exception.  It was kind of fun being dressed as a cactus."

At the judging panel that led to her elimination, Top Model creator Tyra Banks said the judges "love" Marshman's "atypical" look, but her attitude "isn't very appetizing."  Banks added nobody will want to work with Marshman if she's "abrasive, talks back," and is "snappy."  However what Marshman said The CW didn't broadcast was her asking if the other contestants agreed with Banks' assessment, which she claims they did not.

"It clearly wasn't shown because it makes Tyra lose face," boldly stated Marshman.  "They needed an excuse to eliminate me, and they sort of went with the abrasive, inquisitive one, which is fine.  I'd rather have that as an excuse than something else."

Marshman said she had never even seen an episode of Top Model, however her roommate at Yale is an "avid fan" and suggested the two audition.  While the roommate couldn't go to the casting call at the last minute, Marshman said she was still "pestered" to attend, so she did.  Despite feeling "a little out of place," Marshman decided "a good story would come of it," so she stayed.  To her surprise, she kept making the cuts until she was eventually cast.

"Basically I auditioned for the show on a dare, and I was very up front about that from the beginning," she explained.

But Marshman said she quickly realized "book smarts" aren't really suited for modeling because it's an "appearance-based industry."  By the time she was eliminated after three weeks of competition, Marshman said she "wasn't invested" anymore and was also "physically exhausted" due to the lack of sleep.

"Not everyone wants to win a reality TV show.  I sort of fall into that category," she explained.  "I think more than a lot of people on the show, I realized it is a reality TV show.  It's not really taken seriously by anyone in the industry outside of the judges themselves.  It was sort of hard for me to adapt to the reality TV world where you're put under a lot of pressure to perform.  If you don't perform, than you're a failure at life... But that's not really that true... I'm not going to pretend that this is the end all and be all for me."

Marshman is currently studying medieval history at Yale, and while she said it may have appeared she was "playing the Yale card" during her time in the competition, that wasn't the case and she found it a "little irritating."

"It really wasn't an issue in the house," she said.  "I never even told the girls I went to Yale, the producers sort of gave it away to them and then they tried to make it into an issue but it really wasn't at all."

Marshman said she's close with several of the girls she met on Top Model, including Jenah, an 18-year-old student from Farmington, CT who visited her just last week.  She said she'd like to see either Jenah or Heather -- a 21-year-old college student from Valparaiso, IN who suffers from Asperger's, a mild form of Autism that hinders her social interaction and verbal communication -- win the competition because they'd make "outstanding role models."

"In terms of winning the show, if it's based on pure ability, I would say Jenah, Chantal or Heather.  Maybe Ebony too," guessed Marshman.  "They are extremely striking in person and take amazing photos.  But since the show really isn't based on ability, I would predict someone like Sarah, who's lovely and would be a great plus-size model.  Or maybe someone like Saleisha, who looks like Tyra and walks like her."

Marshman said she enjoyed certain aspects of her Top Model experience, but said she's unsure if that's where life will take her unless there can be a compromise.

"I really did like the modeling aspects of the show.  I'd love to pursue more of that," she said.  "That being said, I would never drop out of school to be a walking coat hanger, no matter how glamorous it may seem.  But if I could do both, that would be ideal."

(Photo credit The CW)


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