Sarah Vonderhaar, a photographer from Lake Zurich, Illinois, was the sixth girl eliminated from America’s Next Top Model on Wednesday night. As one of the few girls that had modeling experience prior to being on the show, Sarah had a difficult time making her poses look natural during her photo shoots. Sarah was kind enough to take some time to chat with us at BuddyTV about her experience on the show, who she thinks will win, and her plans to pursue modeling and music.
Read the full interview transcript and listen to the MP3 audio below.
BuddyTV: You were one of the few models to have had modeling experience prior to the show. What sort of work had you done and why did you decide to try out for the show?
Sarah: Previous to the show, when I was 17, I decided to go to a call for Elite and I’ve been modeling ever since with Elite Model Management in Chicago. And I actually didn’t end up trying out. I got scouted for Cycle 7 and didn’t make Cycle 7, but they called me back for Cycle 8 and everything. And I thought, you know, it would be a great experience and I love the show so much that I thought it’d be awesome to be on it and just to see what happens…and here I am.
I know you’re also a photographer, what kind of photography do you do?
I’m a professional fashion photographer in Chicago. And I do a lot of advertising and commercial photography. I just had my first ad, my first national ad, that’s out in Forbes Magazine this month that I’m very proud of. I do a lot of stuff that’s regional but that was my first national.
So if you had to pick one, would you rather be in front of the camera or behind the camera?
You know, I was thinking about that question and I think you know, I like both to tell you the truth. I love modeling, but they’re so, they’re so different you know? And I love shooting, but I love being in front of the camera and modeling and everything. I’ve always loved being on stage and acting and stuff, so I would have to say I love doing both.
The show made your win at the Sears display challenge seem like you were taking credit for the work that others had done. How did the situation actually play out from your perspective and did you think that it was edited fairly?
I don’t think that it was edited fairly because during that, you know, we had 20 minutes or what not. Before I even went and got stuff, Dionne picked out some clothes, and I’m like, “I love the blue, I love the blue.” And she’s like, “Oh, okay, cool.” And then I went and grabbed my stuff. I always wear blue, I love blue; it brings out my eyes. And if you can’t tell, I wore that blue jacket with the blue plaid all the time. And I love it so much I’m wearing it right now actually. So then I came back and I was like, “Oh, where’d my clothes go?” And I should have thanked Dionne and Renee, but you know, I was just so excited that I won I couldn’t believe it. I was like so excited that you know I just got caught up in the moment. I did go up to Dionne and Renee afterwards and apologized to them and said I’m so sorry I didn’t acknowledge you guys and everything. I thought everything was taken care of, but I guess not you know. I apologized and stuff but I feel bad because that’s not me at all. I’m not one of those people to do that, to take credit for somebody else.
One of the criticisms you received was that you were too “posed” and not natural. Did you agree with the judge’s assessment?
You know at times because I could see myself posing a little bit too much. But at the same time you know I’ve modeled before. You know, when you see the girls in the magazines with like the editorials, they do those very interesting poses and everything and that’s what I’m used to modeling and doing and doing high fashion and stuff. But I think that they wanted to break me out of that mold because I am really used to doing that, so yes and no. I really thought that my last photo shoot I did well. I think sorrow was bad. I hated that picture. The anger one, you know it could have been better, but I really liked my happy side. They said the happy one looked corny, and I thought it was cute…that’s me when I laugh.
Do you feel like you should have been eliminated last night?
Yes and no. I think it was my time and I knew that it was my time. But I just, I thought, I didn’t mind the pictures to tell you the truth. In all reality, it’s the judge’s decision whether or not you’re eliminated.
How did you feel about living in the house with the other girls and was all that tension with Renee against the other girls really genuine?
Yeah, there was a lot of tension between Renee and all the other girls. But I loved living in the house. We had so much fun. And they don’t even show us; we used to goof off. Like me and Jael and Brittany, were just like goof heads the entire time. We had so much fun, which I’m upset that they didn’t show. But you know, sometimes fun doesn’t make for good reality television. I’m crossing my fingers they do a recap episode but I’m not sure if they’re going to. But the tension with Renee and everybody I think they made it out a little bit more than it was in the beginning, but yes there was a lot of tension between everyone and Renee. And you know I really hope after the talk that we had with Tyra that she’ll change her attitude. You know actions speak louder than words, and I guess we just have to keep on watching to see.
Which of the remaining girls do you think is the strongest model and who would you like to see win?
I think that the strongest models there are Brittany who has consistently taken amazing images and amazing pictures, and she’s a little bit cocky but I couldn’t see Brittany being cocky, I wasn’t around her in the shoot. I think Brittany is amazing and I think Jael, I think she’s beautiful. She’s got such an interesting face and stuff like that; she just needs to take herself a little seriously. And Jaslene probably. So those would be my three that I would say that have a very strong chance of winning.
What are your plans now and will you continue to model?
I’m definitely continuing to model. I’ve been continuing to do my photography since the show has been done airing or done filming I should say. And I’m also in the process of recording an album actually. Music has been such a huge part of my life and you know, since we finished filming the show I haven’t been modeling so I’ve had a lot of free time to really pursue music. You know, before I was just so busy and music’s turning out absolutely fantastic. I’m recording with amazing people out in Chicago and I just finished two songs up here a few weeks ago with an amazing producer Marshall Altman. The lyrics are so amazing that we co-write together.
Do you have any final thoughts about either about last night or the show in general?
I wish all the girls that are still on the show good luck and I really want to thank Tyra and everybody for making this all possible. It’s been such an amazing experience and I wouldn’t change anything in the world. Especially all the fans out there that give Top Model so much support, it’s so sweet. When I go outside in Chicago and I get recognized and people want to take pictures, it’s surreal but it’s so sweet when you see they’re so excited, and I love it so much. So I want to thank the fans again, without them none of this would be possible.
(Interview conducted by Royce Yuen)
(Photo courtesy of CW)