Exclusive Interview with Esther of 'Top Model' Cycle 15: I Could Tell the Girls Wondered Why I Was There
Exclusive Interview with Esther of 'Top Model' Cycle 15: I Could Tell the Girls Wondered Why I Was There
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Hailing from Massachusetts but born in Israel, brunette beauty Esther Petrack was memorable on this cycle of America's Next Top Model for several reasons: First, she took this gorgeous photo at right with fashion photographer Matthew Rolston, easily one of my favorites, if not #1, from the season so far. More on that below. She also entered the cast with a splash, revealing to the judges her 30G chest size and that she is an observing Orthodox Jew. She promised neither would get in her way as a model--and they didn't.

What got in Esther's way, surprisingly enough, was that the judges deemed her not memorable during the all-important photo shoots. I had the chance to chat with Esther, who's currently back in Israel, on the phone this morning about her time on Top Model, including what the other girls in the house thought of her, and what she thought of their latest challenge, a crazy commercial shoot on skates. Here's what she had to say:

I hear you're in Israel right now! That's exciting.

Yeah, it is.

Did you get a chance to watch the show over there?

I've been watching every episode. I haven't actually be able to watch my elimination episode. I've watched the whole Zac Posen part, and I saw myself get kicked off. My friend sent me a message saying, "Oh, it was so great," so I was like, "I should see this!"

He said it was great?

No, not that I got kicked off, but he was like, "You didn't cry, you weren't freaking out, you weren't acting like a three-year-old," so ... yay!

That's true, you did take it very well, but that's probably how you remember it also, right? Or was there a lot of emotion there that you just kept in?

There was a lot of emotion there that I guess didn't really make it on to TV, because ... it's weird. You really live in that mode. You really live in Top Model Land for the weeks or month you're on there.

So it was kind of a shock to have to go back into the real world?

Yeah, very much so. I remember, like an hour or so after I was eliminated, I was taken to a local mall. And I didn't even want to go shopping. I was like, "I just need to be around people. I just need to be around strangers who don't know my name."

What was life like in the Top Model house? Which girls did you really connect with?

I really connected with the girls in my room, so I loved Jane, Ann. I liked Rhianna, I liked Lexie. I liked a lot of the girls. Almost all the girls. I think sometimes it's hard because you're with a bunch of people that you would not necessarily be with in real life. Like, I know some of the girls would never be with me in real life, and I would never be with them in real life. So it's different.

Which was your favorite photo shoot?

I loved the Matthew Rolston one. The whole planning ... everything just came together so well, and the styling, and I really loved the story of the underwater sea goddesses. I thought it was a really great photo shoot. It was such a smooth day. I remember talking to Claudia, one of the people who works on the photo shoots, she organizes everything. And I was, "Claudia, everything is just happening so incredibly smoothly." She was like, "Yeah, we're working with Matthew Rolston, we're not going to go ahead and screw that up." And I loved the Patrick Demarchelier one, too.

I thought your Matthew Rolston photo was beautiful. Maybe how much you loved that shoot was shining through.

Yeah, I also think that part of it was finally there was a week where I did well. That was the first week where I saw my picture and I was like, "Oh, maybe I'm competition too." Before that, I know there were some girls who were like, "Oh, she's still in the house. She may be pretty, but she's not really good for this. Especially for this cycle." I could tell there were some girls that were like, "Why is she here?" I think after that photo shoot, I was like, "This is why I'm here!"

Were they saying those things to you, or is that just the feeling you got from them?

It may have been partially my insecurities, thinking, "How did I end up here? How did I end up among these girls who have been modeling for ten years and counting?" But part of it, you can just kind of tell, because you live with people. I had never been to a real, legit photo shoot before the Deborah Anderson one, which was the first one. So, for me, that was a huge deal. And Chelsey was like, "This isn't usually how photo shoots are. There's this, there's that." And I'm like, "OK, I'll take your word for it. OK, sure. This is my first real photo shoot, so I'll just play along with it!"

Last night's commercial shoot was really out of the ordinary, with the rollerskates, and selling that product. What was the hardest part about that shoot for you?

I think the hardest part for a lot of people was just pulling everything together. Like you said, there was just a lot going on. You had to roller skate. You had to look good doing it. You had to look interested in the guy also. You had to remember your lines. You had to look funny and engaging. And you had to sell the product but make sure you're not shoving it down people's throats. At the same, making sure all your angles are right for the camera, which is at your side. And all these things. So we all had to make a list in our heads, like "What's most important for me?"

How did you feel about your shoot afterward?

Afterward, I did not think I would go home. I knew I hadn't done that well, but some girls had done much worse than I had. Some girls told me that they'd botched up their lines. I was like, "I would be nervous if I were in your shoes at panel." Some girls were telling me that Nigel told them, "You were uncomfortable," and that's it. My feed back was ... He told me every take I get is better. I did not think I would go home.

Did you find Tyra's criticism during panel helpful?

Yeah, I did. I'm one of the big fans of Tyra's criticism. Everything that you're told, it's a direction that you could be better. Here's how you will be better in the future. And so I'm a big fan of the judges' criticism. If you can give me critique, the more the merrier. I need all the help I can get!

Who are you rooting for?

I'm rooting for really any girl who really appreciates what she's getting, because I think winning this cycle ... like, may we all get to be on the pages of Italian Vogue someday, without Top Model. But I know that's not going to happen, we're not all going to get there. Only the winner is. I just want the girl who wins to appreciate what she's getting, and appreciate how big of a deal it is.

Are you going to continue modeling?

Yes, I definitely want to continue modeling. I want to see where this takes me, where it goes and what I can do.

(Image courtesy of CW)