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Gina Choe Interview with St. Petersburg Times (Mar 06)

September 14, 2010

In March of 2006, St. Petersburg Times conducted a phone interview with Cycle 6‘s Gina Choe following her elimination from the show. Here is the text from the article (written and posted by Sharon Fink):

Like a pincushion
The Wesley Chapel 22-year-old who likes modeling but not being a target talks about being ousted from America’s Next Top Model.

Gina Choe thought that America’s Next Top Model would be more about modeling and less about drama.

“I was really naive,” she said.

The theatrics of spending 24 hours a day with women she was competing against to win one of TV’s top reality shows was her downfall. Getting too caught up in them to do anything well, the 22-year-old Wesley Chapel resident got the boot by the show’s five judges in this week’s episode.

“I know it was a reality TV show,” Choe said in a phone interview Thursday. “And it was about modeling and stuff. I just think some of (the drama) was really not necessary. . . . I just wish I would have focused on modeling instead of getting involved with fighting and having arguments with other girls and stuff.”

Choe made the final round of 13 contestants after surviving a casting process that began with an open call at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa. Her strength was her face. But from the start of the season, she was portrayed as someone with no confidence who became an easy target for one other contestant in particular: Jade, an obnoxious 26-year-old from Philadelphia who can’t understand why she isn’t a famous model already.

Jade (Top Model’s network, UPN, won’t give last names until the contestants’ fates are determined) was shown tormenting Choe almost constantly. She told Choe that she didn’t have any sense of who she was. She belittled her at meals and in exchanges at the house the contestants lived in. She tried to intimidate her with long stares during the modeling challenges the contestants had to do.

But she wasn’t the only one who made Choe’s confidence an issue. Other contestants were shown talking about how she lacked it. The show’s judges, led by series creator-supermodel Tyra Banks, brought that up when reviewing her challenge results. And many of her scenes portrayed her as weak, though she didn’t help herself. In previous episodes she was shown getting drunk at a dinner and having a long, loud meltdown over modeling an outfit on a runway while a roach was attached to her.

“For the longest time,” Choe said, “I’m sure everyone watching thought “Gina is the weak one, she doesn’t know who she is, she doesn’t know anything about anything.’ ”

Choe said she is confident, but the show was just too much pressure for her to handle. (Apart from getting on national TV, the contestants, of which nine are left, are competing for a $100,000 Cover Girl cosmetics contract, a fashion spread in Elle magazine and the chance to be managed by Ford Models.)

She said she doesn’t blame anyone, including herself. Or Jade.

“I’m just not used to people not liking me,” Choe said. “I think if we met again, I would definitely be a little bit more tough, not mean, but not be as weak as (Jade) saw me. She’s not a big bully or anything, just very strong-minded, very opinionated. There’s really nothing wrong with that. I’m just not used to it.”

But still, Choe’s favorite episode was her elimination one. Because when Jade pushed her to a breaking point (by sitting on Choe’s bed when Choe got out of the shower; okay, not a big deal, but it was at the end of a long, hard day), Choe finally stood up to her.

“At least . . . I confronted the girl who was picking on me. I felt like justice was served, and I showed I was not as weak as I was perceived,” she said.

Back home, the bay area native is studying fashion design at Tampa’s International Academy of Design & Technology. She still would like to model, too. She has been asked to model in the school’s annual student fashion show in May.

“I don’t know if I should do it,” Choe said. “I’m just kind of thinking about it.”

Another bay area woman is among Top Model’s final nine, Mollie Sue, a 25-year-old waiter from Tampa.

To learn more about Cycle 6’s Gina Choe, visit her bio page here.

Source: The CW
Source: SPT.com

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