Ousted 'Top Model' Aimee Wright: "I didn't think I'd be eliminated"
By Christopher Rocchio, 03/28/2008
Aimee Wright didn't feel her performance during America's Next Top Model's most recent tenth-season photo shoot was poor enough to cause her elimination from the competition.
"I didn't think I'd be eliminated," she told Reality TV World during a Thursday conference call. "I thought that my [meat-packing plant] photo shoot was worse. So I didn't think that it was grounds to get me eliminated at all. But once I was in the bottom two, I kind of had a feeling I was going to be going home."
Go home she did, as the 18-year-old hostess from Spanaway, WA became the fifth contestant ousted from Top Model's tenth season during Wednesday night's broadcast of The CW reality series.
During the photo shoot that preceded her elimination, Wright was criticized by Top Model art director Jay Manuel for being inexperienced.
"I think that -- modeling-wise -- I do need to learn and grow a lot more," Wright told reporters. "But I think in general, I consider myself pretty mature for my age. Yeah, I was a lot more sheltered than a lot of the other girls on the show... In terms of me as a person, I don't really have that much that I really need to experience to become a more mature person."
Heading into the competition, Wright said she was aware her lack of modeling experience could play a roll.
"I kind of worried just because there have been girls in the past on previous cycles that have a little bit of experience. I knew that I'd be up there with girls that had done modeling before," she explained. "But nobody goes on the show with a great career. Everybody goes on the show because they haven't made it yet and they want to make themselves big. Going into it, I was just like, 'Well, everybody's kind of at the same point right now whether or not they've done more modeling than me.' It didn't worry me too much."
The photo shoot prior to her elimination had the nine remaining runway wannabes posing with various musical genres, and Wright received R&B but had a hard time making it work.
"I think with the musical genre, I didn't want to go up and grab the [microphone] and pretend like I was singing. I felt like that would be the general thing that someone would try to do," she said. "I kind of held myself back a little bit too much. I think what I needed to do was just let go a little bit more and not be so afraid of what the other people were going to think of me."
Wright also came under criticism during the competition for her posing problems in general, which she said was another example of holding herself back a bit.
"I really learned that I just kind of need to go for it and not hold myself back so much," she said. "I tend to be afraid of what people are going to think. I've grown a lot as a model definitely being on the show. I'm really glad that I went through it. I've learned a lot."
Wright said she's been watching Top Model "off-and-on since Cycle 1."
"About Cycle 8 I went online and saw that they had applications and open calls. So pretty much ever since then I've been really watching out for when the tryouts were," she said. "I turned 18 in July -- just barely made the mark to tryout for Cycle 10. I auditioned in Seattle for the show and made it to call-backs and made it on."
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Despite coming from a Mormon background, Wright said her family was "absolutely not" upset about her being on the show.
"They were really supportive of me," she said. "Everybody's been really supportive of me wanting to do this as a career. Obviously my mom was concerned about the clothes I'd have to wear. Nobody wants their daughter to go out there and wear extremely-revealing clothing. So I think that was the only challenge, but other than that, they were really supportive."
Wright was asked how she would have handled the nude photo shoot with photographer Nigel Barker that one of the other tenth-season contestants participated in after winning a challenge.
"I think I would have done it. I think I would have asked to do a simulated nude photo shoot instead of actually doing fully nude. That way it looks nude but I'm not actually really nude in the setting," she explained. "I've developed my opinions of what I'd do in the actual situation. For an actual client I would do it. I feel it's definitely not me selling my body -- I'm selling a product."
Wright added her one problem with her time on the show was how her modesty was portrayed as "being a negative thing."
"I felt like it was portrayed a little more negative than it actually is," she said. "I pride myself on being a modest person and modeling is a career. It's a job."
For the most part, Wright was able to avoid drama as a Top Model contestant. She said she's "not a very controversial person" so it was "pretty easy" for her to avoid drama.
"I don't like being in a lot of arguments and involved in a lot of controversy," she said. "So it was actually harder for me to be in arguments and stuff. I tend to take things a little too personally. I need to get a tougher skin, but I tend to try and stay away from arguments."
As for what's next, Wright said she's currently applying for college and looking forward to furthering her career as a model.
"I'm definitely going to be pursuing modeling once I get my portfolio," she said. "Now that I've got all these pictures, I'm really excited about getting out there and getting an agency and trying out modeling for real."