I try not to dwell on the fact that the reality contestants I write about might actually read
what I say about them. I'm not a fan of hurting anyone's feelings, but I like to think there's an implicit agreement between reality stars and viewers that makes lighthearted mockery acceptable. If you get to be on TV, we get to make fun of you. Seems fair, right?
It's only once you talk to the reality star you mocked over the phone that things get a little ... awkward
. Because that's when you remember: Oh yeah, these reality characters? They're people.
Who have the internet. And can read. And if you were on a reality show, wouldn't you google your name to see what the blogs were bloggin' about you? And if you found a blogger who called you a "s***stirrer" (which, I admit, is a real "pot, kettle, black" thing to say) and then got that blogger on the phone, wouldn't you want to mention it? I know I would.
It turns out Lexie Tomchek, who was eliminated from America's Next Top Model last night
, would do the same thing. Because that is what she did when we talked today. And I couldn't be happier that she did, because it broke our conversation wide open and showed just who she really
is: Honest, aware, and willing to make fun of herself, even the moments she may wish hadn't aired on America's Next Top Model
this season. Even when the subject turned to her heated feud with Kacey, Lexie was forthright: She still doesn't like Kacey, and she told me exactly why. That kind of honesty is bound to stir things up in a modeling competition. But it's also refreshing. And makes these interviews a whole lot more entertaining. So, thanks Lexie!Lexie and I talked about a lot more than her "s***stirring," including her final photo shoot, makeover, and her feud with Kacey. Here's what she had to say:
Hi Lexie, how are you?
America's Next Top Model is available on Amazon Prime.
I'm doing well, how are you?Good. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me.
Well I've been looking forward to this interview the most. I read all of your articles.
Yes, I quoted you. I have a quote. "Lexie's a real
s***stirrer, which is great for TV but it would bug me if I knew her in
"real life." Maybe I should tell her when I talk to her after she gets
eliminated. But probably not."
Oh my gosh! OK, I really wanted to ask you about that, because I
have to take into account when I recap that obviously there's a lot of
editing going on, and I can't always say, "Oh, I'm sure she's not like
that in real life ..."
[Laughs] I just thought it was funny that you said, "Maybe I'll talk to her
when she gets eliminated." And I'm like, "OK, I'm going to keep that in
mind for when I talk to her."Somehow I should have known that you of all people would
call me on that. I love that. OK, let's get into it then. How do you
feel like you were portrayed on TV? Do you feel like that was accurate?
The first episode was awful for me. And I knew it would be.
And the reason is that, honestly, when you're in casting week, they
stress the whole camera-time thing, like you need to be in front of the
camera, and I'm like, "Alright. I can do that." And of course I went,
like, the douche route. I wasn't very genuine the first episode, which
is ironic because it was kind of like, my platform. The first episode
was just bad for me.
I think from then on, I kind of redeemed myself. I
was a lot more of myself. And I admit that I'm obnoxious. And, I don't
know. I need to entertain myself, so maybe I am a s***-stirrer. I openly
admit that I'm obnoxious, and that's just me, and if people don't like
it, then ... don't talk to me. It's not difficult. So I don't think that
how I was portrayed was that inaccurate. Except for the first episode.
After that, it seemed like there was a lull in the drama until the
last couple episodes, when it picked up again with you and Kacey. What
was going on there beneath the surface?
There was a lot that
wasn't shown, I guess. I'm surprised, actually, that they didn't show
more of Kacey's personality. It takes a lot to get an entire house of
girls, especially nice girls like Esther and Jane, to not like you. It's
gonna take a lot. Like, you have to really be a bitch. I think that
kind of also helps me, mentally, that I'm not a complete bitch, because
I'm still friends with everyone except for Kacey. She's just very, very,
very self-centered. She's not nice. She's very rude. And I just called
her out on it. A lot of people will take the route of just talking s***
behind the person's back, but I was actually going to tell her. She
asked me. That's how the first fight started. I didn't go out of my way
to start that fight.
That probably diffused a lot of what she could have brought against you, that you were just upfront about it.
and actually I also commend Kacey for being the same way. That's one
thing that I do admire about her: If she has something to say, she'll
say it. Maybe she doesn't say it in the best ways. But, the fact that
she says it, I can appreciate that.
How did you feel about your shot last night? Did you expect to be in the bottom?
expected to be in the bottom after the photo shoot. To me, it seemed,
it doesn't even matter how your picture looks. Someone can say it looks
bad or it looks good. It's completely up to their opinion. But at the
actual photo shoot, I got really harsh feedback from Mr. Jay, as usual.
But I knew that after all the photo shoots we'd had, and I get bad
feedback all the time, that eventually it was going to have to catch up
to me. I was already in the bottom two. I didn't like that photo shoot,
and I knew I didn't do well, and I knew I was going home.
Do you think Ann deserved to get four best photos in a row?
I don't know if it was deserved. She's very talented and she
definitely deserves to get top photos, but I have to say that there are a
lot of other girls who had really good shots. But if I could have
anyone absolutely killing the competition, I would want it to be Ann. I
think she's awesome, and she has the personality for it, and it doesn't
get to her head. I'm happy for her. She's awesome.
What did you think of your makeover?
Now my hair is really
dark and short. But my makeover ... I was surprised by it. I didn't
necessarily dislike it. I was pretty neutral about it. It was alright. It seemed pretty safe. And not just yours, a lot of the makeovers seemed pretty safe to me.
Yeah, it was very safe. In my opinion, it made me look more
pedestrian, which I guess is a word people have been using to describe
it. I didn't really have a problem with it, and I definitely wasn't
ready to cry about it.
Speaking of crying ... can you explain your makeover prank?
Ann and I were home alone and we were like, "What should we do?" At
that point we were really bored. There's a lot of things you're not
allowed to do around the house, like listen to your iPod, read, play
games. Like, you can't do anything. So we were going to do a prank.
Everyone was obsessed about the makeovers. Every single day we'd be
like, "I hope it's makeover day!"
After Tyra gave us hints about our
makeovers, we just decided to go with it, and made the fake list. We
didn't try to make it seem like Tyra left it. We more tried to make it
seem like someone from the crew left it. We have a ton of people walking
in and out who aren't contestants, so it actually is plausible that
someone would drop a note. I don't know why our makeovers would all be
written out on a piece of paper, but that's the kind of thing we had to
sell. We talked about how we were going to convince them. Knowing I was
home with two of my friends, and people could definitely see that prank
coming from me, we decided to give myself a really bad makeover, and
actually, since no one liked Kacey at that point, we made Kacey have her
head shaved. We wanted her to freak out a little bit, because she kept
saying she would cry if all her hair was cut off. So to sell it, I, who
said I'll never cry over a makeover, started to cry over my afro.
Yeah, your acting abilities were quite impressive.
Oh, thank you! You got to work with some major names in the fashion world. Which judge was your favorite?
von Furstenberg--I freaked out when I saw her, I was so excited to even
be in the same room as her. She's absolutely huge--not her size, but
she's just a big name. I got to talk to her a little afterward, and she
was so nice. She came over and talked to us, and complimented everyone. But also I got to work with Matthew Rolston more, and he's
absolutely amazing. He treated us ... a lot of the time, we got treated
like we are on a reality show posing as models, but he actually treated
us as real models who he actually would have booked. The level of
respect from him was really great. He's very professional, and very
nice, and very talented.
Do you plan to continue modeling?
I do. I've been test
shooting while the show airs, and I'm probably going to try to find an
agency, but I really want to focus on acting and get that going. I think
I'm more suited for acting than modeling anyway. Maybe I can find a
reality show based on acting and go that route!
I'm guessing this experience taught you whether you were comfortable in front of the camera, and obviously you were, right?
Yeah, definitely. I really enjoyed the experience, and hopefully people will still be seeing me around.
Well, I really enjoyed watching you, even though I did call you a s***-stirrer. I mean that as a compliment.
[Laughs] Oh, it's totally OK.Well thanks for reading! Any last words for your BuddyTV fans out there?
I really appreciate everyone's support, and everyone who's reached
out to me on Facebook, or Formspring, or Twitter, I try to respond to
everyone, and it really does mean a lot. Every fan I have is awesome. So
(Image courtesy of the CW)