This week on America’s Next Top Model, a fan favorite and season frontrunner was eliminated from the competition. Heather impressed everyone with her photos and was consistently the viewers’ choice for Cover Girl of the Week. Living with Asperger’s syndrome, she rarely let her disability get in the way of her dream of becoming a model. She won challenges, was called at the top of the pack by Tyra, and was perceived as a threat to the other models in the competition. Unfortunately, two shaky weeks in a row became too much for Tyra and she eliminated Heather. Two weeks ago, she struggled through her Cover Girl commercial, and this week, she only made it to one go-see in Shanghai. Today, Heather talked to BuddyTV about her housemates, her fans, and her future plans.
Hi everybody, it’s Gina and today, I’m talking to Heather from America’s Next Top Model. Hi, how are you, Heather?
Was modeling something that you always wanted to do, or did you just try out for the show on a whim?
Actually I’ve been wanting to do modeling ever since I was fifteen, after seeing my own sister being at Fash Bash in Chicago.
And was this the first year that you tried out for America’s Next Top Model?
Yeah, it was my first try.
Really? And how was that experience for you trying out? Was it very stressful?
You know, it wasn’t really that stressful. I went to the private audition because I sent in an application, and I would go there and I would talk to these other girls, and they would be like “Yeah, this is my third try.” I thought “Wow, really?” It was just a really big surprise when they called and they were like “Hey, we need you to sign all these papers.”
Now did you feel any pressure being on the show? Living with Asperger’s, did you feel like you needed to show the world that you could handle anything that anybody else could?
Actually, Asperger’s didn’t affect me that much, but I did feel like I was a little bit pressured to show my family that they had nothing to worry about.
Was your family concerned about you going on the show?
They were concerned if I was able to do modeling. This was the real reason why I didn’t actually do modeling in the first place, because my family was very protective of me, and they were very worried that I would take critiques to heart. I wanted to show them that I could actually do this.
Some of the girls in the house, particularly Bianca, seemed to give you a really hard time. What was it like living with them in the house? Was it as bad as it seemed on TV?
No, it wasn’t. Actually the girls were a lot more polite to me in the house. It wasn’t really like intense. They weren’t really extremely rude to me, they were very, very polite to me.
And did you form genuine friendships with the girls in the house?
Oh, yes I did. Actually, I’m wanting to still talk to all the girls, and actually been hearing from Sarah and from Lisa, they’re doing pretty fine.
Do you have a favorite photo that you took while you were on the show?
Yes, actually my favorite photo was the rock climbing photo.
You were cover girl of the week every week. Fans loved you. What was the reaction when you got voted out? Did you see a lot of the reactions from the fans online?
No, my mother did, and then she told me and I thought, “Really, wow,”. Then I’m thinking to myself, “Wow, they might have made a really, really wrong decision,”. But at the same time I do respect their decision in eliminating me, because honestly if I was to be eliminated that was probably the best way for me to go. It wasn’t because my picture was bad, but because I was a little bit late.
Were the go-sees in China very frustrating for you?
Yeah, they were. It’s very hard to find anything in the city, and then I got rained on. Saleisha was the only one who had the umbrella. There was only one umbrella in that hotel, so she automatically got it because her wig would have turned into an afro if she didn’t have it.
A lot of the readers were mad that Jenah didn’t offer you a ride back in her cab. Was that against the rules?
Yes, that was against the rules. They told us we had to find our cabbie, and I was like, “Darn it!” She would have given me a ride home.
Everyone seems to think that you’re not going to have any problem getting work. Are you going to continue modeling?
Yes, I’m going to continue modeling. That makes me happy that everyone thinks I’m not going to have a problem, because before my family was very concerned if I was even going to be able to do modeling.
I think you’re one of our all time favorites, and we really hope we do get to see you do more work. The BuddyTV readers really love you, and we’re glad we got to talk to you.
– Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of CW)