CariDee English, the winner of this season’s America’s Next Top Model, recently took time out her now hectic schedule to sit down with us here at BuddyTV and discuss her experience on the show. We discussed what happened behind the scenes, how she dealt with the pressure, and her plans for the future. BuddyTV: What were you doing before Top Model?
CariDee English: I was working as a photographer in Fargo! How did you get involved with the show in the beginning? I just went on the internet and downloaded an application, filled it out, and went to an open call in Minneapolis. Have you always aspired to be a model? Oh, absolutely! I’ve always loved the camera, always looked to perform and everything. You won, you’re the new Cover Girl! How does it all feel right now? A little overwhelming? No, it’s awesome! It’s a little overwhelming just considering how busy I am and I’m not used that. But it’s not a bad overwhelming, it’s awesome. I feel so lucky and so blessed. You’ve known you were the winner since June. Was it hard to keep it a secret? No. It was harder not letting people know I was on the show because they didn’t find out until September. How confident were you going into the show? A lot of people got a sense that you’d be the winner, or at least one of the top few, early on. At what point did you start thinking to yourself, I really have a chance to win this thing? Not until I was in the top 2, actually, because my whole thing was just make it to the next cut, make it to the next cut. I never thought about the overall prize. So I wouldn’t just focus on that only, I just focused on getting to the next step, one step at a time. What was your first thought during the circus shoot when you found out you’d be wearing the elephant nose? Um…[laughs] This is going to be interesting. What was the final runway show like? Was there an audience? How many people turned out? It was a little hard to tell on TV. Yeah it was hard for us too because it was so dark. You know, like, the audience was dark. But it was a good crowd and it was actually a lot longer that what they showed; we ran each dress like two times. How nervous were you? Oh, it was absolutely nerve racking. Everything was riding on it. I felt like everything before didn’t really matter, besides that one. You’ve battled with psoriasis your whole life. How severe was it at its worse and how did you overcome it to get to the point where you are at now? I had it on 70 percent of my body, and I actually went to a new dermatologist and they recommended this medication called Reptiva and its an injection that I give myself once a week and it’s definitely changed my life. If you hadn’t ended up winning, who would you have wanted to win in your place? Who do you think besides you deserved to win? I think everybody was a winner, but I think…I can’t say besides me, because I don’t even want to think that way. I think definitely everybody had a great chance of winning, and it’s not just about the title, it’s what you make of it and what you make yourself out to be afterwards. On the show, they portrayed a lot of tension between you and Melrose. Was that exaggerated by the producers at all or did you guys really just not get along? Well it’s not like we didn’t get along. There was just tension because we were both really good competitors. Do you think Melrose and Monique were portrayed unfairly on the show, or do you think that they made everyone out to be what they were? It was pretty much accurate…yeah. Who were you closest with on the show? Do you still talk with any of the girls? I’m close to everyone. Really, I got close to everybody, so I can’t just say one person. Who was the hardest to get along with? Monique. [laughs] How did Nigel react initially to your comment about the stick? Do you wish you could have taken that comment back? Well, he actually joked back and it was all the power of editing to make the viewers think that he was really upset and to make me think that I was really upset because I found out an hour after I said it that it wasn’t good, but he actually joked back. So, it was to get in my head and to get into the viewers head. CariDee is a pretty cool name. Is there any meaning behind it? My brother actually got to name me. He’s four years older than me, so he named me Carrie after Little House on the Prairie. And then my Grandma’s name is Dee, so they just combined it. It was awesome! What was the hardest challenge for you this season? Were there moments during the show where you felt like you weren’t going to make it? Yeah…not make it like as far as the next step, but make it like during a challenge, was definitely the wobbly runway. That was just ridiculous. (laughs) Can you tell us what really happened with the dress-ripping incident? Oh, it was totally an accident. If you re-watch it, you can tell that we were turning to each other, and then we suddenly pivoted really fast to continue on our opposite ways, and my heel just got caught on her train. It was a wedding gown that had a four foot train, so total accident. Do you think the show portrayed you as the real you? Do you think your true personality came through? Oh, definitely. I’m funny and I’m goofy. I mean, the one thing they did, is they showed the extreme highs and the extreme lows to make me look a little manic. There was a lot of times when I was really chill, but that’s not really fun to watch I guess. No, I am outgoing and silly and I really don’t care what people think of me. Is there anything that you’d like your fans or viewers to know that maybe they couldn’t have guessed watching the show? Um…Jaeda was really funny. [laughs] She wasn’t all about her hair. Hmm…God, there’s so many juicies; that’s a good question. I mean, during especially the last episode, they said a lot of negative things about me, but that’s just the part they showed to trick the viewers. A lot of editing is to trick the viewers to not let them have a good gut feeling about who’s going to win. Part 1 / Part 2 Over the past few months, BuddyTV has interviewed a number of different people from all over the television industry. Thus far, we’ve featured an interview with Josh Schwartz (creator of The OC), an interview with Alfred Gough (creator of Smallville), an interview with John Shiban (executive producer of Supernatural), an interview with Mark Schwahn (creator of One Tree Hill) an interview with Hank Steinberg (creator of The Nine), an interview with David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik (the creators of The Class), and an interview with David S. Rosenthal (new Head Writer/Executive Producer of Gilmore Girls).
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