Exclusive: Catherine Thomas talks 'Top Model: British Invasion' (Pt. 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/04/2012
Catherine Thomas, a 5' 9" 22-year-old British model from Folkestone, became the ninth girl eliminated from America's Next Top Model: British Invasion during Wednesday night's broadcast on The CW.
On Friday, Catherine talked to Reality TV World about her America's Next Top Model: British Invasion experience -- including why she believed it wasn't her time to go yet and what she found a bit unfair and "offensive" about her elimination, what her expectations were going into the show after finishing second during the fourth season of Britain's Next Top Model, how badly she wanted to win the competition, and what surprising piece of information she revealed about the remaining Top 5 finalists.
Below is the first half of our exclusive interview with Catherine. Check back with Reality TV World next week for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised to be eliminated or did you somewhat see it coming beforehand?
Catherine Thomas: Yeah, well I wasn't surprised I was eliminated because when I saw my photo pop up on the screen, I was like, "Oh God, that's awful." I knew I was going home with that picture, but I don't think that I did deserve to go home that week.
I do think I had a lot better pictures than what was chosen. I had a lot of emotion in my pictures, but unfortunately, that wasn't what was picked for me. So yeah, I knew it was coming.
Reality TV World: You said in your final words that your experience on Top Model changed you a lot. Could you talk about that a little bit? How did you change?
Catherine Thomas: It was basically sort of that I've grown a lot as a model when coming onto America's Next Top Model. A lot of the photo shoots are so crazy and you've got to have a tough skin because you've got so much thrown at you.
You have to have a tough skin in trying to survive as long as you can really, so it's just -- if anything -- I gained more of a passion for it and I've just learned so much from the experience about myself, about my confidence and that sort of thing.
Reality TV World: You placed second on Britain's Next Top Model, so when you decided to compete onAmerica's Next Top Model, did you anticipate making it that far again and possibly even winning this time around, or did you set the bar a little lower for yourself for any reason?
Catherine Thomas: Well, I was really, really nervous to be on America's Next Top Model because I had that pressure on me since I did so well in the British version. I was really worried that I'd be like first or second [eliminated] or something like that, and that would be horrible.
So, I really wanted to win. I thought it was my second chance to win this time, so I was aiming high and wanted to make it to the end. So, yeah, I was just really competitive and still proud I came in sixth. I would have loved to go further, obviously.
Reality TV World: What was it like posing with those silk worms during your photo shoot? Was it as bad as you girls had expected it to be and did you find the shoot to be very difficult?
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Catherine Thomas: It was really weird. I thought they were going to be like worms, like slimy in that sense, but they were like caterpillars -- so they were pinching your skin a little bit. It was very bizarre, but I actually quite enjoyed it. It wasn't as scary as it was sort of made out to be. It was just a bit creepy really. I didn't want to squash any of them. I was careful not to kill any of them accidentally.
Reality TV World: Jay Manuel ended up making you think of something that caused you to cry at the silk worm photo shoot in attempt to bring out some emotion in you for the camera. And while it seemed to work, the judges ended up picking a photo of you that was taken before you showed any emotion for your "best photo" at panel. You mentioned you knew you were going home when you saw that picture, so did it upset or frustrate you at all? Were you certain there was a better photo that existed of you in the bunch?
Catherine Thomas: Yeah, I felt kind of offended, because I put myself out there. I gave it 1000% percent on that shoot, and I actually did cry and I gave that emotion. I feel like it actually worked out quite well, so as soon as that picture popped up on the screen, I was kind of a little bit offended. I was like, "Oh, no way that they did this to me! I've done so well. I'm better than this!"
When [Tyra Banks] said, "Oh, I know you can do better than this, Catherine," I was like, "I can, Tyra! You know I can!" But unfortunately, I tried to defend myself and say -- because [Kelly Cutrone] made that comment about, "Oh, if someone dies, you put your hand out?" And I was like, "No, I did that before I started to show any emotion." And so, it just made no sense to me why they chose that picture.
Reality TV World: Before your departure from the show, Tyra told you that you had to hold onto your confidence. Were you actually losing your confidence throughout the competition, and if so, why? Was it because the girls were just extremely competitive or intimidating, or was it a personal matter that didn't involve the other girls?
Catherine Thomas: Yeah, I feel like I didn't lose my confidence in the competition. I was the kind of girl that was quietly confident. I would get into a situation and assess it first and then sort of jump in, so I wasn't so in your face and cocky. I sort of felt almost towards the end a little bit that I was losing hope a tiny bit, because I felt like Kelly maybe had some favorites in the competition.
It was hard to compete with someone when they've already got their favorites. So, it was kind of like, I don't know. I was losing help a little bit. I was hoping I could last, but I could see the end coming. So I was just getting a bit disappointed really.
Reality TV World: When I talked to Seymone last week, she said she was frustrated she got eliminated because other girls should've gone home instead due to the fact she wanted to win more than anybody else. She also told me that some of the girls kept insisting they wanted to go home, and if they didn't win Top Model, they said it wouldn't matter because they were already with modeling agencies. What are your thoughts on that? Who do you think she was referring to and would you agree that Seymone wanted to win more than anyone else?
Catherine Thomas: I remember those conversations. I remember several girls saying they didn't want to win. I think actually maybe all the Top 5 said they didn't want to win, so I do completely understand Seymone's point. I know Seymone was saying that if she didn't win Top Model, she didn't want to carry on modeling anymore and it meant that much to her.
But I don't know if it was -- I remember her saying that. And then they're showing these girls on TV saying they want to win. So, I don't know if that was them trying to brainwash people or have a tactic, but yeah, I do agree with what she said there.
Reality TV World: So where were you coming from? Did you really want to win? Did you feel you cared about the competition equally as much as Seymone did?
Catherine Thomas: Yeah, definitely. For me, this is like my second chance. After I didn't win Britain's Next Top Model, I was devastated. I put my heart out there and it's something that I'm really passionate about. So this time, coming to America, it was like my second chance. I was just -- especially since it means so much to me because I've watched America's Next Top Model since I was like 10.
I've watched it for so long, so I'm a real Top Model fan as well. So the fact I got to meet Tyra and she thought there was something positive about me, it definitely meant a lot to me to try to win Top Model. It would've been amazing.
Reality TV World: On this season of Top Model, there seems to be a lot of cattiness and drama, where girls -- most often the British girls -- frequently talk behind other people's backs and make fun of them and what not. However, viewers haven't seen much of you being involved in any of that. So where did you stand? Were you kind of on the girls' side who liked to, as AzMarie had told me, "find ways to make other girls cry," or were you one of the girls being talked about or put down even if it was in a harmless way?
Catherine Thomas: Yeah, I felt like throughout a lot of the competition, there were times when I tried to speak -- and you're being filmed -- I tried to speak my opinion. People like Sophie would be like, "Oh, shut up Catherine!" And try to make me be quiet.
I'm not the kind of girl that likes to be told that. Especially when those cameras are around, some people tried to increase their personalities and put on a bit, trying to get more air time, whereas I was just trying to be natural and show myself for who I really am. So I was a bit disappointed you don't see too much of me on the season.
But I do think what you see of me is good. I'm not b-tching about anyone. I'm not involved in the drama. I was just there to model really. So, yeah I was definitely the one who kept out of it. I do think some of the arguments were stupid arguments. There was no need for them. A lot of the arguments sort of centered around Laura really. She's quite a confrontational person.
Above is the first half of our exclusive interview with Catherine. Check back with Reality TV World next week for the concluding portion. About The Author:Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.