In a shocking turn of events on America's Next Top Model (Cycle 18, Episode 10: “Nicholas Tse”), British modelstant Alisha White decided to quit the competition early, citing emotional distress. Alisha had been branded Gam-A-Tronic by Tyra Banks, but she never quite seemed to grow into the character chosen for her.
In an exclusive interview with Wetpaint Entertainment, Alisha opened up to us about how limiting she felt her brand was, why she doesn’t regret calling Laura a “slag,” and how she wishes things had been different.
Wetpaint Entertainment: Do you regret leaving the show early?
Alisha White: Nope, not at all. I feel like if I’d stayed another week I probably would have acted a fool, and looked like a jackass on TV because I would have been more frustrated not leaving. So I think I made the correct decision. And I feel great now, I feel so so good. I actually feel like Alisha again.
What was going through your head at that moment?
That house is so hectic, and for me it was a whole thing of, I didn’t know what the judges expected of me. I really, really didn’t. I felt like all the other girls had a lot more guidance on who the judges wanted them to be; you had 30 Never [Eboni], and you had Illuminata [Sophie], and I was Gam-A-Tronica. And I mean, I can’t use my legs for everything. I physically cannot get my legs in a headshot, and I just felt like my marketing and direction wasn’t there. I was questioning myself as a model and I never want to do that because I’m so passionate about what I do, and the fact that I was questioning my ability … I just thought, this is really bad. My whole spirit, my confidence was crushed. I just had to leave. I didn’t want to be selfish.
Do you agree with Eboni and wish you had never been branded?
Yeah, I just wish I was never branded and we weren’t given superpowers. I feel like if I could have just stuck to being Alisha White, I would have done so much better. Like I did in Britain[‘s Top Model], I was Alisha White to the end. I was not given characters to play or things to imitate, I was just Alisha White, every picture was Alisha White. It’s about being versatile, but when you’re given a costume to be Elton John, that’s not who I am, so it got a bit difficult, very confusing. But I had a great time.
You appeared incredibly stressed towards the end. Was that an accurate depiction?
That was definitely the build-up to leaving because I was getting frustrated, and I think what they showed was literally just the desperation of me wanting it, but just getting wrecked about it because I didn’t know what was expected of me, so that was a build-up. I hope people saw that I’m actually quite funny. When I’m telling somebody off [on the show], I’m actually not 100% serious. When I’m actually telling people off, I put more back into it. I wish they’d shown my friendship with Eboni a lot more, because that started from the very beginning, way way back in the beginning. And whatever happens in the competition, I’m just glad I met such a good friend, such a great girl in the whole competition.
Do you blame the judges or Tyra Banks at all?
I don’t blame it on anyone. I just feel like there was a lot of lack of communication. If the judges had just sat down with me and said, “Alisha, we want you to be the sexy girl, we want you to be the fierce girl,” then I could have been that, but it was none of that, there was none of that. It was, “Okay, this picture’s bad.” I was like, “Okay the picture’s bad, what can I do to make it better? I’m already giving you everything I have, literally all that I have, and it’s not good enough, so obviously you tell me what you want me to do then and I can do it, I can show you that I can do it.” I don’t feel like I have to question my ability, why am I here then? They might as well send me back home.
Do you agree with Catherine, and think the photos they chose for you were unfair?
Yeah, 1000%. I literally looked at those pictures and said, “That’s not me. That is not me. That is not what I get paid for.” That girl in the pictures looked like someone that was trying out, or someone who was just starting out, it didn’t look like someone who had started modeling from the age of 8, it looked like someone who was just trying.
Is it true that Tyra didn’t even look at all your photos this season?
Yeah she did say. That she wasn’t going to be choosing the pictures, and that she wasn’t going to be looking through some of our pictures and stuff. And as soon as she said that, I thought “Well she’s never going to know my ability and stuff, because she’s not looking.” So even if that’s the pictures that they chose, that’s fine, but if she isn’t looking at the pictures herself, she’s never going to know. So that was very disappointing.
Was there really a lot of tension between you, Sophie, and Laura?
With Sophie there was really no tension between us two. It was just the whole thing of her going into my suitcase and taking things out of my bag, I think that’s really disrespectful, I would never do that. Laura, she is very unprofessional. I think she’s the most unprofessional person I’ve ever met. I don’t know how you could go on set and be so sexual with what you’re saying and what you’re doing. As models, we already have a bad name as being girls who sleep around and who do all that crap, and Laura just portrayed it to be true. And I don’t regret anything I said to her. I mean the first day I met Laura, she told me the whole of her sex life. I don’t know this girl, like you should not be telling me this. I don’t think she’s a role model to anyone. She might be great at what she does, but that’s it.
Who do you want to win the whole competition?
I respect Laura as a model, she’s great at what she does. But I’d have to pick Annaliese, because when I was low, she was there for me, and it’s those sentimental things that I think about as a person. We have to be role models to other people, and when I think of how she comforted me she could do that to a fan or a stranger, and it’s a beautiful thing.
Catch the next episode of ANTM Cycle 18 Wednesday, May 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
Molly Friedman is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @MollyFriedman.
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