Exclusive Interview: Teyona the Winner of America's Next Top Model Cycle 12
Exclusive Interview: Teyona the Winner of America's Next Top Model Cycle 12
Abbey Simmons
Abbey Simmons
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Today I had the pleasure of talking with Teyona Anderson, the winner of Cycle 12 of America's Next Top Model.

Teyona won America's Next Top Model with one of the most dominant performances in the history of the show. The finale was the first time she was in the bottom two. And only one of Teyona's photos before had found her below the top three in call-out order. From day one the judges were enamored with Teyona's unique alien beauty and even created a new adjective to describe her face, "wind blown."

Teyona and I talked about her favorite ANTM moment that we didn't see on TV, the surprising judge she felt the most support from, how while the rest of us knew she was winning, she wasn't so sure and what about being America's Next Top Model is most exciting.

This is Abbey from BuddyTV and today I have the pleasure of speaking with Teyona, the winner of Cycle 12 of America's Next Top Model. How are you doing today Teyona?

I'm doing great!

Congratulations on your big win! I was wondering, how did you come to be on America's Next Top Model?

Well it all first started with an audition. I went to an open casting call in Clementine Park New
Jersey and basically the only thing you did there was said your name and stuff on camera and did your walk and that was it, you left. So coming into that, I didn't think I was going to make it far. Actually, I didn't think I was going to make it at all. Then from there I got a call back to meet with the Casting Director in New York. So I went back to that and from there she was picking girls out of each bunch and she picked me. And we came back another day and then from there, she was like if you make it to the semi-finals you'll get a call end of September, middle of October. Then you'll know if you're one of the semi-finalists. So I got my call, I think September 18th, I got the call that I was one of the semi-finalists. And then from there I was one of 34 that was sent to Las Vegas.

And then it's all history.


So, what was life like in the Top Model house. Do you think growing up with rowdy brothers prepared you for the chaos?

Um, no. Because being around guys and being around girls is a totally different vibe. But I just think, you know, just going to school, and I know how some females act, so I kind of knew what to expect. I knew not everybody was going to get along. There are going to be people who don't like you. It's going to be different kinds of attitude. So I just basically stayed myself and kept my bubbly personality up and you know just make sure I have fun and keep myself laughing.

So it seemed like you and Aminat were very close friends, who were your other close friends in the house?

I was really cool with Nijah.

She went home too early in your mind?

Yeah. Very. She went home real early in my mind. But you can't stop what happens.

Was it more surreal for you to watch yourself on America's Next Top Model or to live America's Next Top Model?

I think watching it.  Because it really doesn't hit you until you are watching it. Because while you
are there, you really can't live in that moment.

Was it hard to watch it with friends and family knowing what you knew, that you were the winner?

No, it actually wasn't, because it would just be funny. They'd be like, before it started, did you win a challenge? Or tell me what happened! Just something that happened. And I'd be like, no no and no.

What was your favorite teach that you did during your time on Top Model?

Favorite teach? Ooh let me think. I think the samba dancing teach. Even though I was not good, I was horrible, I still loved it. You know, I had fun. We had a little thing, they didn't show it on TV,
where they had us dance with the guys and one of them picked me up and was spinning me
around in the air, dragging me all across the floor. Like the only thing I did was scream and close my eyes, but yeah, I liked that one the best.

What was your favorite photo shoot?

When we were on the beach in Brazil.  I just liked it, being on the beach in Brazil. You know,
number one, that was just great because I've never been to beach in Brazil. And you know, the
photo shoot went good, so I can't complain.

Was Nigel Barker one of your favorite photographers you worked with there? It seemed like you two really had a good thing going.

We clicked a lot. Yeah, he was a good photographer. I wouldn't say he was one of my favorites, I think you know everybody brought out the best in each of us individually in different aspects of the shoot.  But yes, I did like working with him.

What surprised you most about your time on America's Next Top Model?

The hurry up and wait! Because on TV, they make it seem like once you get there it's bam-bam-bam, boom-boom-boom. Nothing like that.

What was your favorite moment from America's Next Top Model that we didn't see on TV?

I would just say sitting around and laughing, playing and joking with Aminat and Nijah all the time. Incidents like the one time, Nijah didn't really like people being on her bed or anything like that. So the one time I had just showered and I was naked and I was just jumping on her bed, butt naked and she was ready to kill me.

So later on that night when I went to sleep. Her and Aminat dragged me off my bed, took the
mattress down and put it on the floor with me in it. So you know, little stuff like that. Like, we had
good times.

Hilarious. Are you a super heavy sleeper? I mean, did you sleep through that?

Um, no I actually woke up like half way through it and I was trying to hold on to the bed and

Who did you feel like out of the judges was your biggest supporter?

Towards the end I would have to say Paulina. Because I remember getting my (Cover Girl) picture, when it was going down to two of us. And Tyra said, "Thank Paulina. Because she convinced all of us that if you'd had more time you would have done great on this commercial." And I was like, oh my God. You like me enough to back me up and to have that kind of support for me? Yeah, so I would say toward the end, Paulina had my back.

So, watching the show, it seemed pretty clear you were the front-runner all Cycle. Did it feel that way to you?

No. It actually didn't feel that way to me. Because the things they show, they only show a little bit of snippets on TV, but when we were there we'd be getting criticized for like five minutes. Definitely, I know everybody has their own opinions, but I didn't think, by far that I was one of the front runners.

In an interview she did Allison said she told you before the final judges panel, "You know you have this." Did it feel like that going into the finale?

No! Because we were so neck and neck, that I thought that she was going to win. It was crazy, cause when she said it to me, she was like, "So when they call your name, like, do I stand there or do I walk off?" And I'm thinking in my head, "Oh my god, she is crazy." So when she said it I started thinking, what if they do call her name? Do I stand there? So yeah, it was just crazy.

What about winning America's Next Top Model is most exciting?

I think working with Elite (Model Management) and CoverGirl is going to be the most exciting part about it. You know, I've seen my cover of the Seventeen Magazine and I got the spread, so that's exciting to add to my portfolio. But, working with Elite, seeing that they are such a good agency and having that CoverGirl by my side, I feel as if I am going to do great things.

Beyond what you get to do for America's Next Top Model, what's your dream modeling job?

I want to book a campaign, for anybody, somebody who loves me. And besides that I just want to walk in runway shows, in Paris, Milan, and London. That would be my dream. Like, that would be my dream. I think that I would probably  pass out  of excitement on the airplane on the way there.

What's next for you?

What's next? I'm ready to meet with Elite and start these castings to get myself out there. Because without those, nobody gets to see me.

--Abbey Simmons, BuddyTV Staff Writer

(Image Courtesy of CW)