Ashley Howard talks about her 'America's Next Top Model' journey
By Christopher Rocchio, 10/13/2009
Ashley Howard feels she received very little criticism during her America's Next Top Model photo shoots, only to learn that she didn't do so well during the subsequent judging panels.
"I think a lot of times if you actually saw the photo shoots you probably wouldn't of thought that I was doing so bad. Then when I got to panel, it kind of seemed like a different story," she told reporters during a recent conference call.
"I never got, 'Oh, Ashley you're doing really bad. You really need to stop this.' I think that the difference was when I got to panel, that's when things seemed a little different. But I don't feel like I got any misdirection from anybody. I took what everybody gave me."
Howard said she specifically had a problem with the lack of feedback during a previous photo shoot when Top Model creator and lead judge Tyra Banks served as the photographer.
"I almost wish she would have said something to me instead of waiting until panel," Howard told reporters. "I couldn't do anything. I would have liked her to tell me that beforehand."
Despite having problems with the lack of direction she received, Howard said she "learned a lot from the show" and has no regrets.
"I wouldn't take back anything I did. I did my best," she said. "Overall, I think I represented myself well and I stayed positive throughout the entire experience."
Prior to her elimination, Howard thought she would have a chance to shine during a dance-themed reward challenge -- however it turned out to be a group challenge, and her teammates didn't exactly have dance experience.
"At the end of the day it was a group challenge and I knew that I wasn't going to win -- I knew they weren't going to just look at me, but the entire group," she explained. "So whatever they did was going to be a reflection on me and whatever I did was going to be a reflection on them."
Not only did Howard's group receive negative feedback after the challenge, but Top Model guest judge Josie Maran subsequently criticized Howard's photo shoot during panel -- claiming that Howard displayed a surprising lack of movement for a dancer.
"I don't know if she saw the film or she just saw that picture, if she was just going off of that one picture," said Howard about Maran's criticism.
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"Honestly, if somebody called me up and said, 'Hey, we want you to do this dance magazine or we want you to do something pertaining to dance,' what I would bring to that would be totally different. But when you tell me to model -- we're doing different shoots that don't have anything to do with dancing."
While Howard said she was told to use her skills as a dancer because "it's all relevant," she said it was "difficult" to inject dance into the photo shoots.
"I didn't want to bring dance or poses into this competition because it's not a dancing competition," she explained before lamenting that she mentioned her experience as a dance.
"I probably shouldn't have said anything."
While she studied drama in college, Howard said she did dance part-time and recently picked it back up -- as she's teaching dance to children. Still, she hasn't given up on modeling just yet.
"That's going to be added to what I do now. It's the kind of thing where you never really allowed to do something, and once the door opens, you're like, 'Okay, I just can't stop,'" she explained. "So I'm definitely going to keep going -- whatever I can do, I don't care what it is. I'm going o keep going after it and definitely try to pursue modeling from here on out."
Howard added she has "a few girls in mind" when asked about who she likes to win Top Model's thirteenth season.
"I would say [Ashley "Rae" Weisz, Sundai Love and Nicole Fox] are probably my Top 3 girls," she told reporters.
"I think they all have different looks and different heights, and that's coming from a personal view because I know each of them and also because I do think they have really great looks. So I'm kind of rooting for those three girls."