With America's Next Top Model
becoming as much about the art of "branding" as it is the art of modeling, British contestant Annaliese Dayes hit the show right at its sweet spot this season. Her Tyra-given nickname was "Excite-to-Buy," meaning that she could sell anything -- including, and especially, herself. And even though in her final episode, Annaliese's photo for the Top Model fragrance "Dream Come True"
didn't sell the perfume well enough for the judges' liking, on her way out the door Annaliese still made the ultimate sale: finally earning the approval of the ever-critical Kelly Cutrone, who'd had it out for Annaliese all season.
We spoke to Annaliese the morning after her elimination episode aired, and Miss "Excite-to-Buy" was just as chipper and lovely as ever, even when we asked how she felt about haunting Kelly Cutrone's dreams! Here's Annaliese:
Congratulations on being on Top Model and being in the top three!
Well, thank you! I'm very impressed with myself!
You should be! What's the reception been like with your friends and family back home?
It's been so good. I could not wish for more supportive friends and family. I'm an only child, so I'm really close to both my parents, and they are amazing. I can't believe that they're up for supporting me in my random choices in life.
How did you feel going into the top three judging panel? How did you see things playing out?
Oh, I was terrified, I'm not gonna lie. You know, after Alisha and Eboni left, I did kinda think I'm going home next. Just because Sophie and Laura have done so well throughout the whole competition, and if I'm being honest, I do think they are better models than me. They are more high fashion and they do a lot more different sort of things. Don't get me wrong, I did want to do my best, and I wasn't going to give up at that moment. But I was satisfied. Very satisfied.
You did do really well this week, in the challenge and the photoshoot. What did you think of your final Dream Come True photo?
Considering my emotional state during that photo shoot, I actually thought the picture was insane. Just because, I mean, it didn't go well for me, that shoot. I think everybody saw that. But there were a lot of things you didn't see, and it just was a bit ... sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, and this was one of those shoots where it wasn't working for me. So I thought my photo was going to be hideous, and I thought it was a lot better than I anticipated.
What was going on that we didn't see?
It was more of the same. Me being emotional ... right after the shoot, I sort of spoke to Jez [Smith, the photographer] and to the client and Jay, and kind of just apologized for my poor performance and how bad I felt. And then obviously just went straight into an interview with the camera pointed in my face. And I felt like I just cried my way through that whole interview. But, I don't know. I'm not really mad at myself, to be honest. I tried.
You left with a really positive attitude. Is that because you were expecting it, or because you were thinking about the whole experience and how you'd come so far?
Yeah, I just thought I'd come so far. I was satisfied with how far I'd made it, and I think it would have been a shame to leave on a bad note. Even if I got eliminated five episodes beforehand, I always would have tried to leave on a happy note with some dignity. Smile and just be grateful for the experience that you've had. I think it's hard when you get eliminated, because people want to get further, but I can't be upset. I was third on America's Next Top Model!
I have to ask you about Kelly Cutrone, since she had it out for you this season. And she said some strange things, like that you haunted her in her sleep. What's your take on that?
I thought that was pretty good! Kelly Cutrone's nightmares! OK, maybe not nightmares. Maybe dreams would have been a better word. But the fact that I'm in her mind, to me is a huge compliment. Yeah, she was tough on me. But I think it just made me work that much harder, to push myself constantly, so I can't even hate her for that, to be honest.
If you can turn her opinion around, it seems like you could do it for anybody.
Exactly. Exactly. That's why I said it meant so much to me to hear that she'd changed her mind. Like, wow, I know you mean that, because you wouldn't say it if you didn't.
I'm assuming you're rooting for Sophie to win?
I am, indeed, rooting for Sophie! The Brits all the way! I mean, the thing is that I love both Laura and Sophie. I was close to both of them in the house and think that they're both amazing models. I just think Sophie would do better for the brand. I think she would just be more ... I think it would suit her more. Laura's a bit too zagalicious, I think.
Last night you said something to the effect of Laura might be too sexy or too sexual for the role. Do you still feel like that?
Yeah, I do. I really do respect Laura for her personality in the sense that she owns it, she knows who she is and she goes with it. I would disrespect her more if that's who she was and she tried to hide it. I think she's a great girl for going with it. But at the end of the day, even if we don't want to be, we are role models, and I don't think she would be ... the best role model? Is that really mean? But ... true.
Looking back on the whole thing, is there one best thing or best memory that sticks out in your mind?
There are so many! But I would have to say that one of them was actually my 25th birthday, on the day we did the shoot with Kris Jenner and Kendall and Kylie. Sitting on Kris Jenner's lap, yeah, was one of those moments when I looked around and went, "Oh my god, is this my life? This is insane." So definitely that. But also the music video! We had so much fun on that music video day. We really came together, and it was so much fun. It was like being a Spice Girl for a day.
There's been a lot of talk this season about how you'd be a great host or TV personality. That's something you've been pursuing for a while, right?
Yes, definitely, that is, to be honest, my ultimate aim and passion and goal in life. To be a TV and radio presenter.
Is that something you're pursuing full-force, or does modeling still fit into your plan?
I will model for as long as I can. As long as people are willing to pay me and take photos, I will do it. I love being in front of a camera. But I just think that I am a better presenter than I am model. I think I can make a bigger splash in the world of TV and radio than I can in modeling. I mean, I'm 25 years old. If I was going to be a super model, it would have happened already.
What's next for you?
I'm doing a lot of different things. At the moment I'm in America, in Miami, just sort of reaping the benefits of being on a TV show out here. If someone offered me a job out here, I'd be here in a lightning flash. Blink your eyes and I'd be here. It's just about seeing what comes my way. Back in the UK, I'm definitely going to be continuing doing my radio show, and just keep doing what I'm doing, because I love it too much to ever stop.
(Image courtesy of CW)