Sheena Satana talks about her time on 'America's Next Top Model'
By John Bracchitta, 11/03/2008
Sheena Satana, a 21-year-old hostess/go-go dancer from Honolulu, HI who currently resides in Harlem, NY, was always aware of the tensions filling the America's Next Top Model house -- mostly because she appeared to always be embroiled in some type of conflict.
However, while it may have seemed that much of the tension surrounding her had only popped up as the show's rounds had progressed -- particularly in regard to the U.S. vs. U.K. debate that she found herself in the middle of prior to her elimination -- Satana told Reality TV World that she had seen the house's divisions begin building from the moment the season's cast began living together.
"I think that there was definitely a divide form the get go. It's like high school, everyone sort of fluctuates to their own cliques or whatever," Satana told Reality TV World in a media conference call that followed Wednesday night's broadcast of her America's Next Top Modelelimination.
"The division obviously got a lot [more noticeable] as more girls were cut because it got smaller so you got to really get to know each and every person a little bit more personally... That's when our differences started clashing," she added.
However, aside from saying that she had "a lot of love" for contestants Joslyn, a 23-year-old student from Lucky, LA; McKey, a 19-year-old student from Lake Forest, IL; Isis, a 22-year-old program assistant at a non-profit organization from Prince George's County, MD, and Samantha, an 18-year-old student athlete from Woodland Hills, CA; Satana said that her relationships with the show's other contestants hadn't been as contentious or passionate as they had looked on TV.
"I don't really have a favorite or a least favorite [girl on the show]. I think everybody is who they are," Satana told Reality TV World. "In terms of our disagreements, that's the only thing that was shown, but that's no reason to dislike anybody. If you get along with them you get along with them, if you don't, you don't."
Satana also said that she disagreed with her portrayal during her final photo shoot, during which photo shoot director Jay "Mr. J" Manuel was shown criticizing her as she posed straddling a pole.
According to Satana, the pose was the photographer's idea and not hers.
"[The photographer] was suggesting that I straddle it, he was suggesting that I try different things and I was just really following instructions, so it came off looking like it was 'hootchie' but I was trying to turn it around," Satana told Reality TV World. "I mean he told me to go straddle the pole, what am I gonna say? 'Um, no, I don't think that's a good idea?'"
"Mr. Jay didn't like it, but overall as a model you need to execute what is needed of you so that's what I felt like I was doing and they made it look like it was something else," she added.
Satana also told reporters that she had initially felt that repeated criticisms of her for being "hootchie" were unfounded and felt that the judges could have found a more appropriate word, such as "sexual." She added that she had only come to that realization as the show had progressed and she had begun to understand what the judges were really getting at.
"Immediately my reaction was 'Really?' and kind of appalled and surprised at the same time," Satana told reporters. "[But] then once I took a closer look at my progress I was like 'Okay, I understand where it's coming from.' I think a part of me -- or a component of me -- does have a lot of sexual charisma."
Satana also told reporters that the competition had taught her that -- when it came to modeling -- her strengths lay more in the "glamour" side instead of the "high-fashion" end of the business.
"Oh I'm definitely a glamour model hands down, and I kinda knew that once I got into [the show]," Satana told reporters. "Being that [Tyra Banks] has done Sports Illustrated and stuff, I felt that "Okay well she picked me because I have a good chance in that avenue of a career.'"
"In terms of modeling I'm definitely more for Maxim or a men's magazine, from a marketing standpoint," she added.
However, she also admitted that modeling was "not really [her] strength" and told reporters that she had aspirations beyond modeling and more focused on becoming a fully-rounded entertainer.
"I definitely see my self in entertainment, in television as a personality [or] as an actress, as a performer overall," Satana told reporters. "I definitely love to entertain. [I'm] definitely a singer [or a] dancer, that kind of person."
"My passion is to be an entertainer, to make people laugh, to make people smile. Those things, that uplift in spirit, is definitely what I strive for," she added.