June 24, 2010
Diane Hernandez at Royal Gala Auction Premiere to Benefit Mentor Foundation at Phillips de Pury & Company in NYC (Nov 08)
June 24, 2010
Diane Hernandez and Yaya DaCosta at Mentor Foundation Royal Gala at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC (Nov 08)
June 24, 2010
In October of 2005, Reality News Online interviewed Cycle 5‘s Diane Hernandez following her elimination and appearance on the show. Here is the text from the interview (written and posted by Phil Kural):
“I Want Someone To Go On That Show And Beat Those Skinny Girls!” – An Interview with America’s Next Top Model 5’s Diane
Diane was the fifth girl eliminated this season on America’s Next Top Model, if we are counting Cassandra quitting. Although Diane was the “plus sized” girl, she had no doubts about who she was or what her goals were. Find out here what she had to say about her experience on the show.
I’ve always been very against there being a plus sized girl on America’s Next Top Model. This has nothing to do with my preference in women, but simply because I don’t think it’s fair, and I don’t think they have a true shot at winning. I had a chance to speak with Diane, the most recent girl eliminated from the show, and she has a totally different perspective. Diane was a pleasure to interview – upbeat, happy, and willing to share all her thoughts about her stint on the show. Here’s what she had to say:
RealityNewsOnline: Had you watched previous seasons of the show, and did you know going in that you would have a greater challenge as a “plus sized model”?
Diane: Oh, yeah, I watched previous seasons – especially season three. I knew that I was going to have to be mentally prepared to be on the show because I would be going up against all those skinny girls!
RNO: What factored into your decision to apply and did you send in a video or go to an open call audition?
Diane: Actually, I had sent in a video first. When I didn’t hear back from them, I was like, “Awww, man!” Then I realized there was still one open call left, in New York. So I figured that I had nothing to lose! I hopped on a plane and headed to NY. Then, out of the 3,000 girls that were there, I got picked! I was shocked, but so happy. That’s when I knew this show was going to give me a run for my money.
RNO: Once you made it to the finals, it did seem as if you just faded into the background. Was that the case or were you just not starting enough drama?
Diane: Well, I guess both. I didn’t have any drama with the other girls because I don’t have any in my real life. I wasn’t going to act a certain way just because I was on TV. I’m real like that, and I wasn’t about to be someone I’m not in real life.
RNO: We’ve seen Lisa trying to “help” the other girls become a model. Did she ever offer any advice to you, and were you eager to hear it?
Diane: Oh, yeah, you saw how she tried to give me “advice” on how to pose my face. Honestly, all she was doing was taking things that Jay [Manuel] had told us already. I was fine with that because it was stuff the judges had already told me. She was just trying to make it sound like she really knew what she was talking about.
RNO: Did you ever figure out what the phrase “learn to work your curves” means? I have no clue!
Diane: Honey, I was going to ask you the same thing! If you ever find out, you let ME know!
RNO: One of the gripes we heard from the judges was that you were full of personality off camera, but every time you were ready to take a shoot, you would fizzle out. Was that just nerves, or did you bring everything you had to the photo shoots?
Diane: The most stressful thing about the show was panel. You are critiqued on everything you do in front of those judges, so sure, I was nervous when it was time for my photo shoots, I’m not going to lie. The situation was quite stressful for everyone, and I hated not knowing how I was doing with my poses.
RNO: Standing with Bre, did you know you were going to be eliminated, or did you think you still had a chance?
Diane: I was so surprised and heartbroken that I was eliminated. I wanted to win this so bad, and prove to people that a girl with some meat on her bones could win this thing. I really broke down and bawled my eyes out when I had the chance. It was so upsetting!
RNO: Undoubtedly, there will be more “plus sized” girls in future seasons of the show. Would you encourage them to apply, and do you think it’s realistic for a plus sized girl to win this competition?
Diane: Why not?! I would definitely tell plus sized girls to apply. I want someone go on that show and beat those skinny girls! If a plus sized girl wins, she must really have it going on! There is nothing wrong with having some extra meat on your bones – you know, some cushion for the pushin’! The fact is, we bigger girls represent the majority of America. People want someone they can relate to, and I think a plus sized girl can look beautiful and comfortable with herself, and other women would relate to that. It would be really cool if they put more than one plus sized girl on the show. I just want to see the battle of the big girls!
RNO: What kind of advice would you give to any girl that is thinking about applying for future seasons of the show?
Diane: I would say to just keep your eye on the prize. That prize might seem blurry at times, but you have to remember why you are there. However, know who you are. Don’t be fake and act out of hand just because you are on TV!
RNO: Kim is always picked to go along with the girl that wins the weekly challenge. Is she really that much fun to be around?
Diane: Oh, goodness, that Kim is a special girl! She’s so funny and entertaining and knows how to make people laugh with just a comment or a facial gesture. Everyone loved to be around her.
RNO: It was clear that you were in pain during your last shoot. Do you think that pain might have contributed to your loss, or did it even matter?
Diane: No, I don’t think the pain mattered at all. If anything, I think it helped me, and showed the judges that you can throw anything at me, but no matter how much it hurts, I’m going to keep coming back. I was there to prove something, and nothing was going to stop me.
RNO: In a way, do you think you were doomed either way? Sometimes it seems like the judges are already set on who they are going to eliminate before evaluations are through. Do you think that’s the case?
Diane: Yes, I really do think I was doomed, in a way. Not to sound cocky, but I had one of the best pictures this past week, and I would even say that it was my personal best! If they were basing their elimination on photos alone, then I was robbed this week!
RNO: Do you think you were portrayed pretty accurately by the editing, or was there things about you that we didn’t get to see?
Diane: I would say I was portrayed pretty accurately. I mean, I’m just a laid-back kind of girl and don’t really have time for games or drama. I’m just low key, but on the show, I guess I was a little TOO low key.
RNO: Is modeling something you are going to continue to pursue, or are you ready to go back to being a criminal defense investigator?
Diane: Oh, modeling is still something I would love to do. God has blessed me with so much, and this experience has really opened some doors for me. I’m grateful for this experience alone! I would do anything, though – acting, I mean, I could be the next CSI!
RNO: Is there anything you would like to add or say to fans of the show?
Diane: I just want to thank all the fans of the show for the support that they have given not only me, but all the girls! I have nothing but mad love for everyone!
In October of 2005, Fans of Reality TV (FORT) interviewed Cycle 5‘s Diane Hernandez following her elimination and appearance on the show. Here is the text from the interview (written and posted by Hepcat):
The FORT Interview with Diane, 10/15/05
Latest to find herself the odd model out was twenty-three-year-old Diane, who put her career as a Criminal Defense Investigator aside to be on the show. Admittedly more curvacious than the usual runway model, Diane nevertheless showed potential for success in the plus-size market with her classic features and steady improvement during the competition. Tyra and Co. didn’t find fault with her posing so much as they found her personality lacking – specifically, Tyra told her she was not “bubbly” enough. It must be odd to be standing next to a skinny model who just finished breaking down in tears during her judging session, yet be told that you are being eliminated for not being sunny and carefree before the judges. Maybe I’m no Tyra, but I prefer Diane the way I found her: animated and lively, without any phony fake cheerfulness.
Thank you for talking to me this afternoon, Diane, I’m just sorry that it’s so soon in the competition.
No worries, thanks for wanting to talk to me!
First off, what attracted you to the show, especially since you already a successful career as a Criminal Defense Investigator?
I’ve always loved modeling. I love fashion and dressing crazy. I love beauty! I embrace beauty. I was just so scared of so many modeling scams out there, you can’t really trust anybody. I thought this show was a great opportunity and a great chance to have a great exposure and know that you’re not going to be “done in” by the modeling agencies or anything like that.
Have you modeled before or was this something totally new for you?
I’ve done some hair shows for the people who do my hair, but I’ve never done real modeling – this is the first.
At the end of the audition process, did it make you nervous to be the only plus-size model standing there?
No, it didn’t make me nervous. I was just so excited to have the opportunity to be let in the house because you get noticed in the house. I was more excited and grateful for the situation than nervous.
It sounds like you watched previous cycle of the show, so what did you think of the new house, the stretch hummer; in short, the more luxurious feel to the show?
Right, oh God, I thought, we must be the best of the best! Then I thought, I guess they’re making money now. It was just awesome! The experience, to this day, honestly, it’s just surreal. I’m like, that’s me, for real? It hasn’t hit me yet. People recognize me and all that. When I first saw the house, I thought, “Oh, we gotta bring MTV Cribs to this house! Ain’t nobody got it like we do!”
What was the best part of the experience?
The best part to me was just giving a plus-size girl an opportunity to be on the show. Previous seasons didn’t have a whole lot of plus-size girls, I think that was the best part of the show.
What was the hardest part of the experience?
The hardest part was boot camp. Because, honestly this show is like boot camp modeling. These people are going to critique you in everything you do. What you think is good or you like, they may not like. You have to be ready – mentally, physically and emotionally prepared before you come into this competition.
Who would you say was the most annoying person in the house?
Hmm…the most annoying. (Pauses)
There had to be someone.
Well, for me it was Nicole. Just because she nagged so much sometimes. I was like, “Oh, God.” She didn’t do it all the time, but as you guys saw, the time she did nag, we were like, “Okay, look. (Laughs) You’re nagging a bit too much.” (Laughs) It wasn’t something like I couldn’t stand her, but it did bother me a little bit. I didn’t let it get to me.
Who were you closest to in the house?
Nik. We’re still close. She’s the bomb.
What did you think of the “plastic surgery” theme for the photo shoot?
Honestly, at first? I thought it was cheesy. I was like, “Oh, God, what now!” It turned out to be so classy that I loved it. At the end I thought, this was bad, this is gonna look good. It turned out to be a great photo shoot.
Your profile in that picture was classic beauty.
(Laughs) I know, it was like, dang! I look great!
In fact, I was so surprised that you got eliminated after that picture.
Can you believe that? One of my best pictures and I gotta go home!
Didn’t they tell you in the judging that you had improved? Were you surprised to be on the chopping block?
Yeah! I was working so hard, honestly, I would really go in there and I would work. I would work on my runway and I would work on my posing throughout the house. And that’s something they say: embrace your body, show it off, show it in your pictures. And I believe that with every shoot, with every week, I think my body improved. So, I was like, this really sucks. Just when I was starting to get good! Even Nigel, you know, he don’t be blowing on the big girls side, but even he said, “She’s improving every week, she has a good shot. She’s getting better and better and that’s what the competition is about.”And then to get booted off, I was really bummed.
What was it like to work with Janice Dickenson?
She’s awesome, I love Janice. She’s as blunt and outspoken as anyone in this world could be, and I admire her for that, because I’m the type of person that I’m going to keep it real, and I’m going to give you the real deal. And if you don’t like it, that’s fine. You know, everybody wanted to know what Janice had to say about them, whether it was good or bad. We all asked each other, what did Janice say about you? (Laughs)
What was your take on the drama between Lisa and Coryn? Did you hear any of Lisa’s talk with Janice Dickenson?
I felt bad for Lisa because honestly, Lisa has a big heart. She’s such a loving and caring person. She used to make coffee for us in the morning and stuff, cook breakfast for us – she is just so nice. I felt bad for her because really, her intentions are not bad. I know that’s the way they portrayed her on TV, but deep down her intentions are not bad. Lisa and I actually got close before I got eliminated. Nik, her, and I got real close after Ebony was eliminated.
Do you see yourself as more of a runway model or do you prefer to do photoshoots and print modeling?
I like the photoshoots. I like runway, but I like being crazy and just being up there and stoking that camera, you know, and showing the clothes off. I like them both, but for me, I like the photoshoots better.
What is your opinion of what Tyra said during judging, that to be successful as a plus-size model you have to bring more bubbly personality than the skinny girls?
I think it’s true to a certain extent, but being in this competition, you go through so much. Being in front of judges that critique you in everything that you do, and when at the end of the night you know somebody is going home, I don’t think that there’s nothing to be bubbly about. I mean, it’s a stressful situation! I’m not going to sit up there and be like, (perky voice) “Hiiii!” No! That’s not really how I feel, I feel like I’m stressed! And a lot of people felt that, like they showed with Bre breaking down. This is hard! This is not a joke, this is serious.
Do you read the internet sites where fans talk about the show?
Which site are you?
Yes, I read you guys! I did, somebody told me about it because I never knew about that stuff. I started reading that and I thought it was really cool. [Ed.: Diane confirmed she has posted on the site.]
What’s ahead for you? Do you plan to continue modeling?
I want to pursue this modeling. I love my job, but I really want to pursue modeling and anything else that comes my way. Acting – I would love to be on an episode of CSI Investigators – that would be awesome. I really want to pursue this and I know it will work out for me.
Is there anything else you would like to tell the viewers?
Thank you for watching! Thank you to everyone for their support, and thank you for interviewing me!
Many thanks to Diane for being so fun to talk to, and thanks to UPN for granting the interview.