Kim from Top Model!

12.6.2005

By Bryan Buss

It's hard to know, because we watch these shows and we see these people being shaped into characters in a sense, and we know that there's editing, but at the same time, that's all we have to go on. So we look at it like, Lisa's a freak. Jayla's a bitch.

That's the other thing. Another answer to that question is Lisa. Lisa was a freak in the house, but I think Lisa's not someone you can understand unless you really get to know her. And so perhaps there is no way the editing could have captured that. It's too bad that it didn't, because she is a really genuine and thoughtful person. And when she was giving advice to the other girls, it came out as obnoxious and condescending. She really was trying to help. And that's something I learned and was so surprised by, but she absolutely was trying to help, and she just wanted to liven up the competition a little bit. So, I guess Lisa got a pretty bad deal as well, but that's also just the consequence of having such a strong personality.

And she does! So, tell us the real story behind 'Cousin It.'

[Laughs] Well, I mean that's something you should really ask Lisa. I wasn't there during the Cousin It conversation, but I think that she felt that the tree'was it a bush or a tree, I don't really remember'that it was really alone and left out and perhaps criticized by the shrubbery around it. And maybe that was a good analogy to the way she felt at the time. In the house, I tell you, you're lonely, you don't get to use the phone a lot, and you want to connect with something, and it's very sad that Lisa had to connect with, you know, the brush.

[Laughs] That's probably the best answer I've ever gotten from anyone about anything! Which girl who outlasted you do you think should have been cut before you?

You know, I think that the final five were all very strong in different ways. I think I would say Bre, just because I think our photos were very similar. Sometimes we weren't doing so well, and then we picked it up towards the end. But her walk was really amazing, and I think that really kept her in the competition for a while. I'm not sure I have an answer to that question. I think that ' even though I got better I didn't think my final photo was all that good. And the rest of the girls really did have strong photos. So if you ask a lot of people, they might say Bre because she doesn't really have as much of a model look as a lot of people. And there were a lot of people I would have put in the top five instead of myself. I think Kyle should have been there. Kyle had an amazing look and an amazing walk. I think Lisa should have been there too. Lisa was cut because of her personality and that's very clear. And that seems to me very unfair because she had amazing pictures. You know, whether or not you hated Lisa, you couldn't deny that her photos were amazing.

That seems to be the consensus about Lisa. Everyone was shocked because she was so consistently good the entire time and then, boom, out of the blue, it didn't make a whole lot of sense for her to get cut.

Yeah, it didn't make any sense to us either. It's still something that makes you question the judging techniques.

How's the harmonica playing going? Are you still doing that?

Well, the harmonica definitely comes back into my life now and then when I'm bored or feeling a little bit stressed out. And it really helps me, because I always feel like I'm doing a kind of Irish jig when I play the harmonica, and I sort of prance around, and it's very strange, but somehow relaxing. I love the harmonica. I'd never played it before. And I guess at that point I sort of started to go insane in that house and the harmonica was like my Cousin It, I guess.

Are you sad you didn't get to be on the show when Janice was?

Yeah, at times. I think Janice would have been a blast to have just because she's so hilarious and so outrageous, and I would have liked to mess with her a little bit. At the same time, I think that I made it so far, partly because of Twiggy and the fact that Twiggy and I had a connection and she really liked what I was doing in my photos. So perhaps it would have been fun with Janice, but I probably wouldn't have made it as far.

Death is not an option: drunk Lisa, hungry Bre, or topless Jayla?

[Chuckles] Oh, God.' Drunk Lisa all the way. Drunk Lisa can be a lot of fun. Hungry Bre equals kind of lunatic who you obviously want to stay away from and you're perhaps extremely frightened of. And topless Jayla, I mean, well'no comment.

Did Jenny Shimizu have any special advice for you as a lesbian model besides 'be yourself'?

I think just having her there and having physical proof that being yourself as a tomboy and a lesbian can actually work to your advantage on the runway, that was really helpful for me and it definitely gave me a bit of a boost of confidence.

What advice do you have for other aspiring young lesbian models?

The advice that I have for aspiring lesbian models is, don't let the people judging you or the people that are criticizing you merge your gender and your sexuality because that is a common and also a very unfortunate thing that happens. And I think that my masculinity was looked at ten times more just because I'm gay. So I would tell them to be aware of that. I also would say that it's not necessary to bring your sexuality to the professional life. I mean, I was on a reality show, so it was inevitable for me, but you don't have to do that. It's a business and you wouldn't, like, give an opening argument, if you were a lawyer, and tell everyone that you're gay. It's a business, and you can use it or not use it to your advantage. The other thing, though, if you do decide to be really open and out about sexuality, which is something that I would always decide, because it is something that I'm proud of and something I think is an advantage not a disadvantage, but when you go and tell someone that you're gay or that you're bisexual or however you define yourself, if you're confident about it, other people will respond well, whereas if you're timid and insecure, you're more likely to encounter criticism.

That's such a good answer. It's so well thought out!

Thanks!

OK, of the final three, who do you think is most and least deserving to win?

I think that Nicole is most deserving. I mean, I think that both Nik and Nicole have a great shot. They have fantastic photos, they've been consistent throughout the competition, and their walks are pretty good. It's not that I think Bre doesn't deserve it, but I just think that those two deserve it worlds more. I hope that Nicole wins, because I think that her personality is fantastic and her black-and-white photo still blows me away. And I think that Nicole's photos were the best, but Nik is a fantastic model as well.

The black-and-white photo of Nicole'

Oh, it was so haunting.

I know. It's like, how do I get a copy of that?

I know, right?

OK, last question. Imagine all 13 of you reunited for Survivor. Who would be voted out first and who would win?

I think given the nature of the show Survivor, Nicole unfortunately might be voted out first just because she hates pigeons, and when we did that obstacle challenge' she's a strong model, but she's not the strongest girl in the world. Which may be to her advantage, but I don't think that she would be fantastic on Survivor. The winner' that's a good question. I think Lisa may have won. Lisa is so determined and so strong and even if she's annoying, she's a good one to have on your team. So I think Lisa may have won Survivor.

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