Final Exam Interview with 'Top Model' Cast-Off Darian Ellis: 'I Didn't Try To Be Someone I'm Not'
Monday, September 10, 2012
Last Friday, the competition kicked into high fashion gear on America's Next Top Model: College Edition. The girls were given the opportunity to accept or deny their makeovers. Maria Tucker of Harvard University opted out and ultimately left the show. With another model gone, the question on everyone's mind was, "Will someone be eliminated?" Unfortunately, yes and that someone was Darian Ellis of LSU.
Sure, Darian may have been somewhat swept under the drama radar, keeping her less talked about versus other models, but her eyes were steadily focused on the ultimate prize of model swag. She expresses, "I didn't try to be someone I'm not," and anyone could easily see that. With a strong walk and signature pouty lips, Darian shed her braids and left a mark on this wild and wacky Top Model cycle.
I had the opportunity to give Darian a "final exam" interview, following her stint on the show. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insight with us!
Name: Darian Ellis
College Attended: Louisiana State University
Do you feel you represented your school well? What has the reaction been to your appearance on the show?
I feel like I represented my school pretty well. I am a TRUE southern girl and we tend to be very "spirited." LSU is the perfect college to attend. You can get a great education and experience a really fun campus life. I maintain a pretty good GPA (3.0+) and I have a great time at school! I love LSU! I think I'm having an overall positive reaction to my appearance on the show. I didn't try to be someone I'm not and I think my fans/family/friends appreciate that.
Which previous models and/or challenges inspired you to tryout for ANTM?
My favorite models from ANTM are Naima and Eva...hands down! I watched their growth during their cycles and I remember being so inspired. I knew that if I found the courage and had the confidence that I could definitely make it on the show. However, one of my favorite photo shoots/challenges was during the All-Star cycle when the girls had to model on stilts. It looked like so much fun!
What do you feel your strengths were, going into the competition?
I feel that no matter what was said, I definitely had the best runway walk. Another strength that I have is my ability to take constructive criticism and, even after being eliminated, still produce beautiful pictures.
The show has undergone tons of changes for this College Edition. Is there any aspect of the previous make-up that you feel you missed out on?
I really wish that I could have met J Alexander and the other previous judges! I loved watching Jay on previous cycles. I have a passion for runway. It was one of the main reasons I wanted to become a model. I was shocked to hear about the change because criticism or praise from him would have been a great experience for me.
How do you feel about the newly incorporated social media aspect of ANTM?
I thought it would be interesting to have people on social media give their opinions on our photos and leave videos for us to watch. However, I was a bit skeptical on the voting aspect. I mean, I'm a realist. People have their opinions and I was really afraid that the BEST model might not receive the "majority" of the votes simply because sometimes society has opinions and ideas on what "models" look like.
Given the opportunity, would you go through the process again? And if so, what would you do differently?
If I had the chance I would definitely go through this process again. It was a great learning experience. I know and understand what works and what doesn't.
Was there any part of the process you weren't ready for prior to trying out?
I can actually say that I was pretty prepared for the majority of the process before trying out, minus the "new" aspects. I was prepared to live in a house with 12 other girls. I knew there might be one that might not like my outgoing nature. I was ready to deal with the different personalities. I was ready for the cameras and spotlight. The ONLY thing I lacked was experience so I was very afraid of that. ANTM was my first time having photo shoots and you can practice in the mirror all day but experience helps.
How has this experience changed your personal/professional life?
The only significant change in my personal life is that I'm recognized more. Professionally, this experience has only heightened my interests in modeling. The day I was eliminated I cried all night. The next day I woke up ready to learn whatever I could to become the best model I can possibly be. I accept all constructive criticism. ANTM has made me want success as a model even more!
What are your aspirations as a model?
I WANT TO MODEL EVERYWHERE! However, my biggest dream is to work internationally. I want to walk in Paris Fashion Week more than anything. ANTM was my first time leaving home and visiting Jamaica was my first time leaving the country. I want to work and travel the world. I want to meet people from different cultures and connect through fashion!
Who do you believe is the strongest of the remaining models?
It's really hard to say...but it would have to be between Brittany and Nastasia.