Atalya Slater thought she still had a shot at being America’s Next Top Model when fellow contestant Kim bowed out of the competition, but the judges decided to have their say anyway. They sent Atalya home for being too pretty and commercial without the high-fashion versatility.
How was your audition process?
A: I’ve been watching since Cycle One and always wanted to do it. As soon as I was 18, I said, "I’m going to audition" and I did. I auditioned in New York where I’m from and stood in line and they picked me out of thousands. And I also submitted a tape, and they picked me from that. So I got a callback and went to LA.
Your thoughts about being told that you looked too commercially pretty?
A: I think my look was a bit of both: high fashion or commercial. In previous cycles Tyra picked girls who were commercial. I wasn’t even expecting to be eliminated or at least let me make it to makeovers and work with me then.
When you were at Elite, what critique did Paulina Porizkova give you?
A: Paulina said I had beautiful, almond-shaped eyes but I had to watch my angles because my chin can be pointed and that could work for me or against me. I was not self-conscious about it. I’m aware of my body and all my advantages. I was not surprised when she critized me.
Will you still pursue modeling?
A: Of course modeling is still something I will definitely pursue. It doesn’t end here. I’m going to prove them wrong. Hopefully you’ll see more of me.
What makes you top model material?
A: I think I have the height, a versatile look. Yeah, it could be commercial or translate into a high fashion look.
What did you learn about yourself from this experience?
A: I learned ot be more independent when doing photo shoots. I really have to take a lot of risks. I learned to live with 13 other girls.
Now that you’re out, which girl would you want to win?
A: I’ll be rooting for Aimee because she’s 18 like me. We were the two youngest, had the most in common. I think she’ll go far.
Did you get involved in any of the drama in the house?
A: I just got in little petty arguments. Of course there’s bound to be drama with 13 other girls and there are cameras on all the time.
Did you think you deserved to go home?
A: I did not think I had the weakest photo or that I should have been in the Bottom Two. I think Allison and Amis had pretty bad critiques. I didn’t think I deserved to go.
Do you have a MySpace?
A: I’m going to have one now that my episode has aired. I’m going to get out there and pursue modeling.
How did you prepare for the homeless photo shoot?
A: Going into the homeless shoot I prepared by telling myself it is fashion and yet to be aware that I am homeless. So I tried to look sad, have a sad face, but then the judges said that you could have done different things. I could have took more risks with the photo shoot.
Did you see your other frames? Did you do better in those?
A: I don’t think [the picture at panel] was my best picture either. I think I had a better picture.
Were you cold when you did the Badgley Mischka show?
A: It was so freezing. That’s the first thing I thought about, but when I was on a runway, all the cold went away. that was the best part of the show for me.
Do you plan to still keep in touch with the girls?
A: I plan on keeping in touch with Kim, Marvita, who’s so funny, Aimee and Claire.
What’s your favorite part of the house, being in the house?
A: It wasn’t a big house. We used to play card games and stuff you didn’t get to see. The runway was nice. We played a lot of games in the house, stupid games being bored. Hopefully there will be a Top Model: Exposed where you get to see them.
What do you want to tell your fans?
A: I just want to say thank you so much for supporting me. I still feel like a winner since I made it out of thousands of girls.
What makes a Top Model?
A: A girl who is confident, strong, a good role model, someone who is independent and not a follower, someone who can be high fashion and commercial and work the industry and take it by storm. Someone with great personality.
Does the show help make strong models with their socially conscious photo shoots?
A: Yeah the photo shoots, some of them are controversial, but they’re based on issues in our society.
You said on the show that you missed your mom. What was her reaction when she saw that?
A: My mom was watching and she was shocked because I don’t act like that when I’m in the house. She was like, "What?" Everyone missed somebody. Some had kids. She said she was proud of me.
You said you felt more independent after the show? Why?
A: I actually lived on my own for a while. I didn’t get to speak to any of my family while I was there. I feel like I can do everything. I want to travel all over. I want to do a lot of things, and this made me a lot more motivated.
What were the girls’ overall reaction when Kim said she wanted to leave?
A: We were shocked. We didn’t see it coming at all. She didn’t mention, "I want to leave."
What did you think about them eliminating another girl even though Kim left?
A: I kind of thought Tyra would give us a break. They did that in the last cycle when somebody left, but she said the show must go on. I still didn’t think I’d be in the Bottom Two though.
Did Atalya leave too soon? Was it fair for another girl to be eliminated even though Kim took herself out of the competition?