Interview with 'Top Model' All-Star Camille McDonald: Disappointed That the All-Star Cycle 'Tears Us Down'
Interview with 'Top Model' All-Star Camille McDonald: Disappointed That the All-Star Cycle 'Tears Us Down'
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
By bringing together the show's biggest stars and divas in one ultimate "Top Model-Off," America's Next Top Model: All-Stars was always bound to be dramatic. But who knew that some of the cycle's biggest drama would happen off-screen? And not between the contestants. Between the contestants and the show itself.

Camille McDonald, the stunner from cycle 2 with a signature walk, was our latest All-Star to get eliminated, after Tyra and the judges deemed her Express photo not up to par. Camille is also our latest All-Star to express plenty of disappoint with her All-Star experience. McDonald said she was promised a show that would help elevate her celebrity and brand her business (more on both of those below). Instead, she said, the All-Star cycle "doesn't show what we've done in the past, and it tears us down and harps on the negative."

Camille had plenty to say about why the All-Star cycle rubbed her the wrong way, and where she's going from here. Read on for our interview:

I've talked to Brittany, Sheena and Isis, and all of them have said that they were disappointed, and that they'd been promised one thing and then been thrown into something completely different. Do you feel that way?

I mean, yeah. I agree. And branding was my #1 goal on going back on America's Next Top Model All-Star cycle. I wanted the world to know, 'Who is Camille McDonald?' I wanted to show them my vibrant personality, which I very much so have but you did not see on the show, and what I had accomplished over the years, which you did not see on the show, and how I've grown spiritually, mentality and physically. And to stay afloat with my investments I've made, that's basically the reason why I went back on the show. Basically, the quote-unquote 'brand factor.' What was pitched to me was that the show would brand me in the light I was comfortable with, and it would be a vehicle for me to solidify my celebrity. Star power, you know? If they had said, "Oh, come back on America's Next Top Model so you can compete to be America's Next Top Model," I would have been like, "Oh hell no, not after my ordeal in Cycle 2. Not happening." Basically, I came in the door with a brand that I worked really hard for, which you don't even know, my Signature Walk Inc., never to be seen on Cycle 17, so that's sad.

They never showed me interacting with any of the girls. Instead I'm not saying much. And everything that they did have me comment on was negative. It had nothing to do with branding. It also makes it seem like we haven't been doing anything since our cycles, and that I'm dried up and concerned about my age, which is 100% completely false. And Brittany, she's like Chelsea Lately, and you don't see that. She's "not memorable," yet she has this big personality. Sheena? She can sing her butt off almost like Beyonce, and you never see her singing. Isis, oh my God. Amazing personality, extremely multi-dimensional, amazing designer. You don't see any of that. So, I don't understand. Maybe the person who wins or the first runner-up will get that whole branding thing, but if all of us do well, to me that would be an amazing reflection on Tyra. We're her top contestants, so for her to give us these positive platforms to go out and brand ourselves and capitalize and be mini-moguls of our own, which was told to us, but instead it's like ... it doesn't show what we've done in the past, and it tears us down and harps on the negative. I'm concerned about my future endeavors, and no matter what happens in my life I'm always going to push forward and move through, and I do have some new projects in the works.

Can you tell me about some of those future projects?

Well, yeah! When you have a signature walk, you have to have a signature shoe, right?

Right!

So I would love, God willing, to come out with my shoe line. And my cookbook -- I think and I believe that I'm an amazing cook -- that has recipes that I've gathered throughout my travels around the world as a professional model. Basically taking out the hardcore fatty stuff, because, you know, Italy, mmm. That food is rich. Indian, oh my God. Jasmine rice. How do you still experience it and eat healthy? And also, the launch of my new website, with never-before-seen photos of Camille McDonald, and the world can be the judge of those images. 
And I'm so happy to be working with an amazing team of people. Now that cycle 17 was paid, I can somewhat afford my manager, my accountant, my publicist, my agent, my lawyer, my style team. All these things cost money, so coming off the first few cycles of Top Model, we weren't paid, so it's hard to solidify yourself as a celebrity, and you're only as strong as the team you have around you. In this day and age of the social media celebrity, like Tyra said, being a model just isn't enough, so I need that team, and I'm really excited and look forward to those things to re-expose me and talk about the naked truth of who Camille McDonald is.

It's such an interesting irony that Tyra has you come on the show and says she wants you to expand your talents through every facet of the industry, but then she wants you to boil down your identity to this single word. What do you think of that as a branding strategy?

You gotta start somewhere when you talk about branding. So, if Tyra was to give me one word, what would her word be? Smize? I don't know. It's ... a start. But, you don't even see my critique by Martin, the brand expert. All you see is him giving me this thing. I know that in interviews, "sexy" was the first word evoked when they thought about Camille McDonald, "proud" and "strong." I'll take "sexy," because sexy can sell a product. Proud can sell a product too. But three seconds with a brand manager is not gonna do it. We should have all left with a brand analysis.

I don't want people thinking, "Oh, Camille lost her sizzle. Oh, Camille has bills, she hasn't been working, that's why she has bills. And she's old, and she's afraid of the other girls in the competition." Absolutely not. Unequivocally wrong. Big red X. I don't think so. That, in itself, is not helping me with my "proud" brand, it's not helping me sell shoes, cookbooks, beauty products. It's not.

Time on television is great, but at the same time, this is a business. I think we definitely need to let the world know who we are, because it's not like it's a product. It's our namesake. It's who we are. And that's a difficult thing to deal with, when you have to see people every day who have a perception of you that was developed by someone else for ratings, and it's not necessarily the case.

Any final words for your fans out there?

Visit me on Facebook fanpage, follow me on Twitter, and visit my website now and then wait for the launch, another two and a half to three weeks. It's going to be amazing. I have my blog, and I have an e-commerce section where you can purchase products and things like that. So I'm trying my best to connect with them so they can know who the real Camille McDonald is. And I just want to be a role model and leave a positive legacy. 




(Image courtesy of the CW)

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