This season of America’s Next Top Model: College Edition is out with the old and in with the new numerical scoring system. Sure, Tyra’s acknowledgement of the show’s fans and their input is kind and thoughtful, yet models such as recent cast-off Leila Goldkuhl are suffering.
Leila proved herself to be a strong competitor right off the bat with her striking photos. So how is it that she found herself in the bottom two or even eliminated? This is all thanks to the neglect of overall cycle progression and focus on week-to-week performance.
Luckily, Leila was kind enough to complete a “final exam” and share her thoughts on these newly implemented rules. Thank you for your time, Leila!
Name: Leila Goldkuhl
College Attended: University of Rhode Island
Do you feel you represented your school well? What has the reaction been to your appearance on the show?
I do feel like I represented URI in a positive way. It has been great seeing support from students and RI natives who see me as a role model and want me to succeed. It was weird seeing me on the show, and I honestly never know what to expect! I didn’t realize just how emotional I got. I have gotten so much positive feedback since my appearance, the fan support is INSANE! It is overwhelming to see how many die-hard supporters I have out there, even after my elimination.
Which previous models and/or challenges inspired you to tryout for ANTM?
The go-see challenge is something I have always wanted the opportunity to participate in. When I made it into the house I was so anxious for go-see week! I told myself as long as I make it until then, I will have accomplished a long-time goal. When I got eliminated, possibly not being able to experience it was the first thing I thought about. I’ve been watching the show for 10 years and I always have my favorite models that I looked up to and still do today… Chelsey, Kendal, Jane, Sophie, Alison, Lisa…honestly the list goes on and on.
What do you feel your strengths were, going into the competition?
I enjoy being photographed and am very comfortable in front of the camera. It has come natural to me since I began modeling. I had to get comfortable being around people like Tyra, Kelly, etc. but I adapted quickly.
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 did miss out on working with Nigel and the Jays; I had been watching them for years! I’m lucky the social media score wasn’t my down fall. The numerical scoring didn’t really help. I got one 4 and that basically put me out the door! I don’t really like the judges’ deliberation being replaced by numbers. It overlooks past performance and future potential, judging based on one week at a time, not overall progress.
How do you feel about the newly incorporated social media aspect of ANTM?
I think it is great that the fans have some say in what happens! I had always wished for that opportunity as a fan in the past. However, the feedback can be pretty brutal… then again so can the judges.
Given the opportunity, would you go through the process again? And if so, what would you do differently?
It was a great opportunity and I learned a few things. I think one time may be enough for me, though. I tried my best and am proud of how I competed. Being put in that situation again, I would definitely keep my guard up and not be so trusting of some of my competitors.
Was there any part of the process you weren’t ready for prior to trying out?
I think I prepared myself pretty well. I was expecting some runway coaching on the show. I probably could have practiced my walk a little more, but I’m not too worried – it’s an easy fix!
How has this experience changed your personal/professional life?
My personal life isn’t all that different. I still go to class, work a part-time job and spend time with the same friends, family and my boyfriend. Professionally I have gotten exposure and some more opportunities but again it hasn’t changed much since pre-ANTM. Not yet anyway. The biggest change is the insane amount of supporters that have come into my life. There are some super fans out there and it is so heartwarming to see.
What are your aspirations as a model?
I want to make a career out of modeling. It is something I would be very content working hard towards and waking up early every day to do! I’ve never felt so invested in something in my life.
Who do you believe is the strongest of the remaining models?
Of the remaining models, there are still some strong contenders! My vote is for Nastasia and Brittany, especially after watching the competition on TV from an outsider’s view. Nastasia has one of the most unique looks and Britt is one of those girls that will go on to have success with or without the show. Plus they have great personalities and would represent ANTM well.
(Image courtesy of The CW)