This morning I had the chance to sit and chat with Gabriel, the latest contestant to be eliminated from Make Me A Supermodel
Gabe and I chatted about life in the Make Me A Supermodel
house, if his budding romance with Amanda continued after the cameras stopped rolling, and his thoughts on the 2(x)ist underwear incident.
This is Abbey from BuddyTV and this morning I’m speaking with Gabriel from Make Me A Supermodel. How are you doing this morning, Gabe?
I’m well, Abbey. Thanks.
So how did you come to be on Make Me a Supermodel?
I was actually attending Belmont University - which is in Nashville - and one of my friends called me and told me about a casting they were having, kind of like the day of, and it was pretty close by so I thought I’d stop by. Why not?
In your Bravo bio it said that you had had modeling experience before, and it mentioned something about Milan. What was your modeling experience before Make Me a Supermodel?
I’ve always made education my priority, so that’s gotten in the way a little bit. But I’ve worked in Atlanta some, and New York some, and I was in Milan for about six or seven months.
Wow. Milan is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and definitely a fashion capitol. Is that a place you’d want to go back as a model or just as a traveler?
Yeah, well, Europe’s amazing, and Italy definitely has a lot of amazing cities. But as far as working, yeah I’d definitely like to get back. I think Milan definitely has amazing clients, definitely for the shows, for the show season it's definitely a good spot to be.
What was life like in the Make Me a Supermodel house?
What was it like? I mean, guess anytime you’re going to have sixteen roommates in the same spot... In college I think the most roommates I ever had were three and that was quite a challenge in itself, so fifteen other ones was definitely pretty crazy. Not to mention that a lot of the reason that you even get on a reality show is because you have a big personality. So there was definitely a lot of drama and definitely some conflict.
Who were your roommates in the house? Were you in the gigantic ten person room or one of the smaller rooms?
I was in one of the smaller rooms. I was in there there was Jonathan, Sandhurst, we had one more person there. I can’t even think of it. But yeah, I was in one of the smaller rooms.
Who were your closest friends in the house?
Jonathan - he’s a great guy. We’re still actually really close. I saw him a few days ago. I’m good friends with Shawn. Shawn’s a good guy. Colin, Mountaha, they’re probably the ones I stay in contact with most I’d say.
So you had a bit of a budding romance on Make Me a Supermodel.
Or a flirtation at least - a budding flirtation. Have you guys stayed in contact?
Uhh… Are you talking about Jonathan or Amanda?
Amanda! Though I wouldn’t blame you for crushing on Jonathan either.
Right. No, Amanda, you know - I’ve probably talked to her four or five times since the show. I just saw her in LA too, recently. I guess when you’re in the house and in that situation it’s very different from the outside world. I mean, she’s a cool girl, she's good looking. In the real world I’m not sure it’s in the cards for us.
So you were very critical of your photos during the show. Were you pleased with any of them?
You know, I thought going in I didn’t know who a lot of the photographers were, but everyone talked about how they were these world renowned photographers. Of course, I didn’t say anything on the show, because I didn’t be rude or anything, but I really wasn’t that impressed with a lot of them. I was hoping to at least get a few good pictures for my book or something. But I don’t know if it was with the show, or just the people taking the pictures, or the people choosing the photos. I mean, I have a book, you can go to my MySpace or Facebook and you can see a lot of my pictures. Yeah, except for maybe one...I thought the battleship was kind of cool, but aside from that I wasn’t really crazy about any of them. Definitely wouldn’t put them in my book or anything.
As a freelance photographer and somebody who likes photography do you think you looked at the photo shoots in a different way , or had different expectations for the photo shoots?
Being a model - that’s a job too. So you’ve got to be conscious of not getting too distracted by what the photographers are doing or how they’re doing things. You’ve really got to trust them and be vulnerable, and do your job to model. You know, I thought some of the photographers were good, and I thought some of them - I wasn’t really crazy about some of their work.
What did you think about Perou, who is a fellow photographer and turned out to be your biggest critic.
Right. Perou’s actually a pretty cool guy. I’ve met with him outside of the show. But you’ve got to realize going into this whole thing that you can’t take it too seriously. It’s a TV show. Things like that are going to happen. You’ve kind of just got to roll with the punches and play your cards right, so to speak.
What was your favorite photo shoot of the season?
I would probably say the battleship photo shoot. That was my favorite hands down.
Was there anything about it you liked particularly? Working with a partner or the theme, or just where you were shooting it?
I thought the photographer was really good. He gave really good direction. He just seemed a lot more professional to me. I liked his work. The whole concept was interesting. Shooting on a battleship was cool, so it was a great location. And I actually loved the wardrobe - some of the suits, some of the clothes they put you in. You’re kind of talking to the stylist. You’re like, “Maybe not so much.” But yeah, I thought a lot of the ingredients going into the shoot were pretty nice, so that was definitely my favorite.
Did you have a favorite runway challenge or show that you walked in?
I’d probably say maybe the first one just because it was the most normal. I mean, it’s a reality show so everything is big and showy so I don’t know how realistic it would be for a real show. You know what I mean?
Yeah, and you don’t necessarily walk with lollipops a ton, I don’t think.
Yeah, well that was my problem, because I’ve already worked before, so it was really hard for me to take a lot of it seriously. For the first show you just walk down and walk back. It’s not freaking hard. So that was probably the best.
Yeah. As a model do you prefer photo shoots or runway?
I think I like print more. Not to say that photo shoots aren’t, but runway is definitely about showing the clothes. You’re really just modeling them entirely, whereas with photo shoots - I think advertising and marketing have definitely kind of evolved. That world I think originally was primarily just the clothes. Now it’s about selling a fantasy or a lifestyle.
So you can look at Dolce and Gabbana advertisements for an example. A lot of times they’re very provocative. The reason for that is because there’s so much emotion with the models. When you look at them you’re not even really seeing the clothes. You’re seeing what they’re doing. Like, very sexy, because they’re selling a world. You know what I mean? So when you look at it you’re trying to buy into that, the fantasy, and that’s the reason you buy clothes.
Definitely. Would that be your ideal modeling job, something like a Dolce and Gabbana campaign?
I mean, yeah. Obviously. Why not?
They’re a great client. For me as a photographer, I hate it if I’m shooting a girl and she starts doing all of these big silly poses. That’s not what it’s about. For me, I just love subtlety, just emotion in the eyes and the face. It’s not about trying to do some huge thing.
Do you think the fact that you were a little more subtle in general with some of your facial expressions and your runway walk played against you being on a reality show and all?
Oh, for sure. Like I said, look at my pictures on Facebook or MySpace. Especially working in Europe, everything’s very natural, very subtle, very raw masculinity and that sort of thing. For some pictures, the people aren’t even shaved. There’s natural hair. Like, very raw and organic.
And they look like men.
Yeah, exactly. They look like men. They act like men. But everyone has got their own unique look and you’ve got to use that in marketing. So essentially we’re a product working as a model. So you’ve got to keep that in mind.
Do you have any comments on your 2(x)ist underwear, and consequent leave behind?
That was the last thing I was thinking about. That was kinda tough because it was just underwear casting. They just waxed us a couple of days before that. And my body never breaks out but my chest was breaking out. My pictures in the show, I thought, were absolutely horrible.
Going on with Jonathan, I knew he was gonna get it. Obviously it’s in person but the whole reason you have pictures is because that’s what they’re paying for. They want to see what you can do. So his book was much better than mine on the show, so I knew there was no way they’re going to keep me. But yeah, it was funny.
Yeah, it was. At least you got a free pair of underwear, since you’re a big fan.
True. At least I got a free pair of underwear off of them. Good times.
What’s next for you?:
I guess we’re just going to see how the show plays out and see if any opportunities present themselves from that. I guess we’ll see what happens with that. Definitely open to working some more - but at the same time the market’s everywhere. Because of the market there’s not nearly as much work. I’ve got a friend in New York and Europe and Asia. I was talking to a friend last night actually and she’s a model in Hong Kong. She says she has two castings a week, which is awful.
Yeah, that’s nothing.
And Hong Kong has a lot more work than a lot of places. That’s definitely not something you can do for a living.
Yeah it seems like a lot of people are cutting back on their shows and the extravagance of their fashion week presentations and their ads.
Yeah, it’s not just models. I guess everyone has taken a hit. It’s definitely a tough time.
Now that you’re out of the competition who are you hoping will win this season?
Who am I hoping will win this season? I would have to go with Jonathan. For sure. We’re real good friends and he’s a real cool guy. It’s hard in any facet of life meeting real genuine people who are comfortable with who they are. They’re not trying to impress you or do this or do that. They’re just themselves. I think he’s great at that. He’s Jonathan. You know what I mean? There’s already Brad Pitt’s out there so you don’t need to be Brad Pitt. You just need to be yourself.
--Abbey Simmons, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image Courtesy of Bravo)