From the moment she stepped on set in a wig and thrashed on the floor in front of her idol Tyra Banks, Alasia Ballard, 18, was undeniably one of the most entertaining Top Model
contestants this cycle--maybe even of all
cycles. I mean, she inspired both my favorite soundbite ("Shut up, shut up, that's how girls get BEAT UP!"
) and my favorite fight (when a tiff about frozen vegetables
turned into a full-on yelling match about parenting skills) of the cycle. Those are two major
achievements--in addition to placing an impressive sixth in the competition.Alasia's America's Next Top Model Season in Review
Last night Alasia said her adieu to Tyra and Top Model
after a week in New Zealand. She failed to impress the judges in a photo shoot that put the girls, all in the same dress, next to a sheep
. They asked for magic, and she gave them monotony. But that's certainly not
what she gave outside of the photo shoots--or in interviews. Today, after watching her Top Model
tale end, Alasia spoke to the media about her role as a drama-magnet, her goal during those crazy photo shoots and what the heck
she was thinking when she wore that silver bathing suit to panel.Here's what she had to say.How did you decide to enter the competition?
A friend at my school was pressing me to try out. She found out when the casting call in Atlanta was, and I went and ... got in!You were still in high school at the time. That's not very common for America's Next Top Model, is it?
Yeah, I don't think there's been too many girls in high school. Usually I think they wait until they graduate first. But I didn't want to wait for an opportunity like that.How did you end up getting time off from school to do the show?
Basically the way the system works at my school is that we only take four required classes a semester. I was only taking two required classes last semester. I dropped those classes, and then came back next semester and took those classes and the last required class I had to take.You told your teachers a different story than that you were going on America's Next Top Model. What did they say when you came back? Did they find out where you were?
I told them I went to live with my uncle in New York. They didnt know I was coming back, so they were asking me, "Oh, I didn't know you were coming back!" One teacher knew already, because in order to leave I had to tell one teacher. When she found out the promo [for the first episode] was on the Internet, she went and told everybody else. All the teachers were walking up to me and saying, "Oh my gosh, Alasia, is that where you went?"Tell me about your makeover. Did you like it?
My makeover was actually curled. I did like my makeover hair, I loved it. It was really bouncy and curly. but I couldn't maintain it because I didn't have that type of curling iron. I do have something similar right now. I really liked it.Why were you wearing a wig during the first episode?
The wig had started like a month before I went to the casting call. Initially I just wanted to see what I looked like with short hair. i went to school with it and people kept asking me, "Did you cut your hair?" And I thought, "I smell a prank coming on." So I wore it to school for two months. I thought people from my school would be there, so I wore it to the casting call.During the show, how did you prepare for your photo shoots mentally?
My main focus ... this was brand new to me. I really hadn't done it that much. So my main focus during the show was to calm down. In pictures you can see any emotion that you're feeling. If you're nervous, you're going to look nervous. So I tried to just take a deep breath and calm down. Calm my nerves.During the last go-see in New Zealand, you forgot your map and then ended up showing up late. Why did you go back to get the map? The cab driver must have known where the agency was. Couldn't he have just driven you back?
The cab driver could not tell us where to go. They knew how to get there, but they couldn't tell us, we had to navigate them there.Why were you involved in so much fighting in the house?
I'm 18 years old, and I felt like they were picking on me because of my age. I don't wanna sound like I'm being mean, but I'm not that type of person to judge someone based off of anything. I judge people based on their actions. But they were judging me based on my age. I felt like at times they stepped completely out of line. It was really cutthroat in there.What is it like for you to watch those fights on TV?
It's actually kind of funny to me. Usually I go back and apologize, because I felt like I don't like to go off like that. But i felt like, if it continues on, they're going to keep doing it. I don't think I'm really being mean, it's just I felt extremely disrespected at those moments. But it's funny. It's pretty entertaining.Did you feel pressure to perpetuate drama to help you stay in the competition, since it's a TV show?
I'm in high school, so I've seen some fighting, but nothing like that. That was brand new to me, I've never experienced anything like that before. They literally crossed the line and kept on walking when they said the things they said, in the situations they said them. If I could go back, I'd react differently, because now I've been through it and I know. But I don't feel a need at all. That was my decision to react that way. I never felt a need to start drama. I think other girls did.Which was your favorite photo shoot?
My favorite photo shoot was the vampire photo shoot. I liked the whole gore, I liked the bathtub full of blood. And I liked that there was a guy, the male model, there to model with us. We were living in a house full of females, and we rarely got to be around guys to interact with.Now that you're out of the competition, who do you think should win?
Alex and Angelea. Alex is very relatable, and I feel the same way about Angelea. There's something they can teach young girls. They're both nice, really sweet. I feel like if you met them and asked for their autograph, they'd be really friendly. And they could both handle the pressure of being America's Next Top Model, because that's a really big role.Why did you wear that silver bathing suit to panel?
Before I came on the show, I'm obsessed with printed t-shirts. All my shirts are printed t-shirts. They all have some sort of design on them. I love those kind of shirts. That's all I would really buy. So when i got there I had a small collection of plain shirts. Basically I didn't have a large wardrobe. I had a whole bunch of dresses and sweaters and two plain t-shirts. I was trying to get away with that with a jacket over it, but that didn't go over very well. [Laughs] You can't wear anything with a logo on it. Anything with a picture on it, anything with a cartoon character, because they have to pay royalties. So i basically didn't have anything to wear.How did you feel about the nude photo shoot?
I was really nervous about that. With the article I got, yeah, I was basically completely naked. It was really awkward for me. I've never experienced anything like that, and there were a bunch of guys around. I was extremely nervous.
What are your plans for the future?
Well, I'm actually waiting for my portfolio to get sent to me. I graduate May 22. Graduation's really important to me. My career is too, but I really need to graduate. I'm going at the industry full-force. I really want this. Since I've been home I've developed such a passion for this.Do you plan to stay in Atlanta or move to New York or L.A.?
I'll go wherever I need to go to get the job done. Right now I guess I may just start in Atlanta because thats the easiest thing for me to do, because I don't have the money to get an apartment on my own, especially in New York. I'm going to find an agency first, and they can tell me what I need to do.