Episode six of America's
Next Top Model: British Invasion
featured the departure of the provocative Azmarie.
Her exit was both swift and predictable, given that she declined to participate
in the "booty tooch teach," in which she would've been forced to wear butt-padded
underwear. Azmarie was the third American to be ousted from the program,
leaving four Yanks and four Brits to battle it out for the crown.
BuddyTV caught up with the outspoken,
androgynous castoff to get her thoughts on whether or not she thought she was
fairly labeled as "cocky," and also to look back at some of her favorite
moments of the cycle.
Take us through your thought process as you decide not to do the "booty tooch."
America's Next Top Model is available on Amazon Prime.
What was going through my head was, "Okay. You're gonna get sent home." (laughs) That's pretty much it. I said no to something that I didn't feel comfortable doing. And I knew I was going to get sent home.
I mean, I got dressed to do it. It wasn't like I had a problem learning, you know, how to tooch. I just didn't feel comfortable wearing butt-enhancing underwear and shaking my rump.
Well, you certainly took a principled stand in not doing it. But, as you alluded to, having watched past cycles, you knew what was coming. But, I suppose, this was a case where your integrity came before your desire to stay on the show, right?
It was just matter of not being comfortable. When I made the decision, I made it from a model's standpoint - as someone who, before going on to the show, had four years of experience, and, you know, a nice body of work. And being represented by different agents and things where they're like "If you're uncomfortable doing something, you don't have to do it." And so that was how I felt. I didn't feel comfortable doing it, and I felt like I had the right to say no. I did it knowing that I'd get sent home, but I still had that right.
[My reasoning was] You know what? Tyra gave me the greatest opportunity. I had six weeks on the show to really show my potential and what I've been doing over the course of the last four years. I got to show the entire world who Azmarie was. I apologized in the end - not because I regretted not doing it, but because I didn't want there to be any animosity. I didn't mean it as a slap in the face or anything. I was just uncomfortable.
As viewers, we're watching Kyle look stiff as a board during the music video - so the producers were clearly trying to sell us a bill of goods that maybe there was somebody else who was a viable candidate for elimination. But it sounds like you just knew.
I knew. Honestly, I kind of knew even before the booty tooch, just going into the music studio. With everything that happened last week. And they were all of a sudden starting to say, "Watch her ego."
Did you think that was a fair criticism?
I don't think it was. I am NOT a cocky person. I was confident. I've been turned down so much, and I've heard a lot of negative feedback over the years. But with all that, I was able to stay confident and keep moving forward in my career.
For five weeks, [they] didn't show anything on the show of me being cocky, or having an attitude, or getting into any drama. Then all of a sudden it changed.
I got [criticized] for my voice [too], and how I sound when I rap or when I'm on a track. They thought that I was playing. And I really wasn't. If you'd heard some tracks I recorded before the show, then you know that's how I actually sound. I remember the first time I heard myself recording, I was like "whoa! I really sound like this?" And I didn't know it. So I had to adjust it
From afar, it seems a bit contradictory for the judges to, on one hand, say that that want you to be super confident in front of the camera, but then be completely humble when you're not in front of the camera.
I mean, it can work both ways. [Confidence] is something that I can turn on and off. You'll get the advice "Look at it like acting." Well, really, I damn near acted the whole show. Because I did some things that were like, "This is not me." Like I wouldn't be part of a girl band called, "Stop, Drop, and Tooch." But because they wanted me to do it, I went in there and did it.
It was like, "I have to be how you're presenting me to be." And yet, by the same token, I still have to shine out, and show who I am. [I was told] "You can't please everyone all the time," and I kind of carried that advice with me.
Let's talk about some of your favorite moments from the cycle. What stood out to you watching the final cut?
Everything was amazing. From the very first episode and Universal Citywalk and walking the runway show - to shooting with Nigel. [Another highlight was] Traveling to Canada and having the opportunity to be right in the heart on Fashion Week, and be on castings - real, live castings - that aren't controlled by the show. And it felt good [to book three of eight gigs]. Especially after the first couple of weeks where it was like, "What are you doing? We're expecting you to bring more." And I think [from their standpoint] it was like, "If you throw it in her face, how's she gonna respond?" And I didn't really give them too much. I just took it in and embraced what they said. I just kept trying to perfect my craft. And that was my whole thing: Just get through it.
But those were the really exciting points for me. Going into it, this is why I was excited to be on the show at this time of my life. I wanted to explore, and thankfully Tyra gave me that opportunity. So I'm very grateful for everything. I had an amazing time.
Were you pleased, ultimately, with the way you were portrayed on the show?
I am. They didn't really show me in too many clips talking. And I think that's because I really didn't have too much drama. I'm not the kind of person to give drama. I don't talk down on anyone. You don't really have too much of me saying anything bad. So when they got to the challenges, I finally had the opportunity to show that I was more than just a model. To those that have just been introduced to me over the course of the last six weeks, I feel like they saw me in a positive light.
What's next for you?
I'm hoping to be on the big screen soon! I've gotten some offers to come in and read with some directors for films and TV shows. So my fingers are crossed that I can move in that direction as well. Joe DepauloContributing Writer(Image courtesy of CW)