In April of 2005, RealityNewsOnline.com interviewed Cycle 4’s Michelle Deighton following her appearance on the show. The interview discusses feeling like an outcast, how she felt about the girls’ overreaction to her impetigo and how she felt about her elimination. Here is the text from the article (written by Phil Kural):
“I Took The Judges’ Advice And Ran With It”: An Interview with America’s Next Top Model 4’s Michelle
Michelle, the girl that constantly seemed like the underdog, was the ninth girl eliminated this season on America’s Next Top Model. According to Michelle, she never even thought she would make the semifinals of the show. Find out what she thought about the whole experience right here.
I don’t want to sit here and say that I wasn’t a Michelle fan, because deep down, I did like her. However, I did find her annoying, and her crying at times was just a little too much to handle. I was fortunate enough, as always, to get to interview Michelle. In this interview, she talks about who she connected with, what she thought of the experience as a whole and whose elimination shocked her the most. In my opinion, I don’t think Michelle was ready for this show. She’s a good looking girl, but I think the judges tore her up, especially when they knew they could upset her by critiquing her. Janice just had too much of a field day with her.
RealityNewsOnline: Had you watched previous seasons of the show, and what factored into your decision to apply? Did you send in a tape or go to an open call?
Michelle: To tell you the truth, I had no idea what America’s Next Top Model even was. I was actually called by one of the producers of the show, who had seen my picture on a web page, and asked me if I was interested in being on the show. So we ended up meeting, I made a video, and I kept on moving through the process until I found myself in the semifinals! I never thought I would even get there!
RNO: From the beginning, did you feel like an outcast compared to the other girls?
Michelle: Yeah, I did a little bit in the beginning, but that’s only because I thought all the other girls were so beautiful, and I didn’t think that I really measured up to them. Over time though, I started to gain more self confidence, which helped me fit into the group a little more, but I’d says I was always an outcast.
RNO: Even though it seemed like you didn’t seem to connect with the other girls, was there anyone that you felt a connection with?
Michelle: I’d say that I connected with Tiffany the most, although, when I “came out” to the three girls – Tiffany, Noelle and Brandy – I’d say they all got to know the real me. However, I really got to like Tiffany, and she was always there to listen, as I helped her when she was feeling sad about not having her baby around.
RNO: When you got impetigo, did you know what the other girls were saying about you, and did you feel it was blown out of proportion?
Michelle: God, I never knew they were overreacting the way that they were, or even saying half the stuff that was said. I think it was blown out of proportion, and the fact that we are all cooped up with nothing to do could have had something to do with it. I mean, some of the girls were more upset with it than I was, and it was on MY skin!
RNO: You noted several times that your self confidence had grown from the experience. Could you elaborate a little more on that?
Michelle: When I first started on the show, and went to LA for the semifinals, I didn’t even think I was going to get picked. For some reason, I didn’t feel like I deserved to be there, and didn’t think that I was going to make it any further. When my name was called, I was in shock, since I was just hoping that Tiffany would make it after hearing her story from the season before — so when they called my name, I didn’t even know how to react. From that point on, I just started growing, and after each shoot, I became more confident with who I was.
RNO: You had been one of the last girls called at several eliminations. Each time this happened, did you think you were going home?
Michelle: Until the elimination when I was standing there with Keenyah, I was confident that I would be sticking around. However, for the elimination that I went home, as we were waiting while the judges deliberated, I knew that it was my time to go. The other five girls had worked just as hard as me, and deserved to be there. I knew that I would be the one going home at that point.
RNO: Being a wrestler, and probably a little more rough around the edges than some of the other girls, did you feel that you were at a disadvantage?
Michelle: Actually, I think being a wrestler helped me in the competition. I was toned and had the strength to work though the shoots. Also, I had no problem faking the grace, and I know how to walk in heels. I worked it out, but being a wrestler helped me in the competition.
RNO: What did you think of South Africa, and is it some place you could see yourself going to visit again?
Michelle: Oh, I would love to live there! I’ve always enjoyed other cultures, and I’ve read in books about the safaris and desserts and rainforests, but it was cool to see the other side of South Africa. It was just like Indianapolis, and I loved it there. It was so beautiful and I would love to go back again.
RNO: Do you feel that some of the girls underestimated you in the competition?
Michelle: I do feel like some of the girls underestimated me, but I never once underestimated any of them. I had taken what the judges had told me from each panel session and worked with their critiques. Every time another elimination went by, and I was still around, I think the other girls realized that I was a threat just as much as the next girl.
RNO: Honestly, were the lions really that close to the jeep that you might have been in any kind of danger?
Michelle: Well, they were about two feet away from us, and I feel like had the driver not pulled away, we would have been eaten. I wasn’t all that worried, but when a lion is looking at you like you are a big meatball, you do get a little nervous!
RNO: Sometimes it seems like Brittany acts like she is in high school, with her being the popular girl and everyone having to pay attention to her. Was that the editing, or did she always need to be the center of attention?
Michelle: I think that’s just Brittany’s personality. She was an only child, and she’s used to getting all the attention, but she’s a great girl and just likes to have fun. The editing pretty much has her down, but under all that loudness, Brittany is one of the most caring girls you could know.
RNO: Knowing how long and stressful the whole process was, do you think you would do it all over again?
Michelle: Oh, I would do it again in a second. I learned so much from the whole thing that I would go through it all over again. Even Janice taught me some things, and when she would come down on me, that would want me to prove her wrong even more.
RNO: Whose elimination shocked you the most?
Michelle: I think the double elimination shocked me the most. I had thought it would be Rebecca when she was standing there with Tiffany, since she had been in the situation before. Then, when Tyra had the blank picture, I didn’t know how to react. At first, I thought it was a mistake, but when she said that both of the girls were going home, nobody knew what to do since none of us saw it coming. That was the biggest shock for me the whole time I was there.
RNO:Since you have been on the show, have you gone back to wrestling, or are you going to try and pursue modeling full time?
Michelle: I have been doing some wrestling, but when the show is over in the middle of May, I think I’ll be done with it. I’m going to move to NYC in June, and pursue modeling. A choice had to be made, and I could only do one or the other, and I want to do modeling. If it doesn’t work out, I can always go back to wrestling, and how that maybe the WWE will give me a call — I’m here, call me! I’ll be all right.
RNO: What kind of advice would you give to girls that are thinking about applying to future seasons of the show?
Michelle: I would just say that if you want to do this — go for it. Just be strong and know who you are. Don’t take it too seriously, the way that I did. There is no reason to be as hard on yourself as I was. If you believe that you are a star, than you will be.
RNO: Thanks, Michelle!
May 19, 2010
About.com interviewed Cycle 4’s Michelle Deighton following her appearance on the show. The interview discusses the reason behind auditioning, coming out of the closet on TV and her skin issues she endured during the competition. Here is the text from the article (written by Latoya West):
Interview With America’s Next Top Model’s Michelle
This season of America’s Next Top Model just wouldn’t have been the same without Michelle, a 19-year old wrestler from Terre Haute, Indiana. Before she became the ninth girl eliminated from the competition, she had viewers glued to their television screens when, among other things, she got a nasty skin virus and revealed to the world (and her parents) that she is bisexual. Here is what Michelle had to say about her experience on America’s Next Top Model.
What was the best part of the Top Model experience for you?
The best part was me changing personally myself. When I started out on the show, I didn’t even have a smidgen of confidence. I didn’t even think I should be there in the beginning but then by the end, I really felt like I deserved to be there and that I had a chance to make it to the end. My confidence is a lot better.
What made you decide to audition for the show?
Actually, I had an agent before. And I was about to quit that agent because in two years, he had not gotten me a job or anything. And they saw my picture on his website and they actually called me. They asked me if I can send them an application…I sent it to them and I got to the semifinals. That’s how it got started.
People tend to think that models have high self esteem because they have put themselves in that glamorous field…
Well before, when I started with it I always had my mom with me. That helped out a lot because she would handle the business side of it and I would just be there. I never had to really present myself and be there by myself and she was always like the backbone of that.
Looking back, how do you feel about the fact that you didn’t connect with the other girls on the show?
I guess it was more important to me then than it is now. It’s just that I was away from home for so long and I wanted to connect with someone and talk to someone and all of that, instead of calling home. You can’t really say much when you call home so I was just trying to connect with them. But every time I made a comment, there would be like little jokes because someone would say something. So I was just like screw it, I’ll just sit here by myself and read.
Why do you think they picked on you?
The main reason is that I didn’t stand up for myself at the time. I let them get away with their little comments in a way.
While you were watching the episodes from home, did the comments they made behind your back hurt your feelings?
Not anymore. I was just like that’s their problem and not mine. I definitely don’t really care anymore but my thing is if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. I try to do that. I try to put the best out there.
How hard was it for you to reveal your bisexuality on the show?
I thought it was going to be really hard actually, to let someone know. I had been hiding that for four years. I think that’s why I felt disconnected from the girls. I was trying to hide that and it hid some of my other emotions that I needed to express. And when I started talking to Noelle about it, it kind of slipped out and she was just like ‘Oh really?’ I just started talking about it and it was really easy. I turned around and there was a camera there and I was like ‘Oh, shit.’ Besides that, it wasn’t too hard to talk about.
So the people in your life found out about your bisexuality by watching the TV show?
Actually, a couple of my friends knew about it and that was it. So when I said that, not only did my family and parents find out, but all of America.
Did you try to talk to them about it before the episode aired?
I talked to them about it a little after I was off the show but besides that, no. So it was a big surprise.
What was their reaction?
At first they weren’t too happy about it but by that point, I was like ‘You can accept it or you can’t. If you have a problem with me being bisexual, then it’s your problem.’ I just let them know that I wasn’t any different. I hadn’t changed in any way. I had been that way for a long time. It’s just they had never known about it. So, they’ve gotten over it. When it’s on TV or something like that, they still get a little uneasy. But besides that, I think they’re OK with it.
Wow. So much happened with you on that show. Tell me about the skin problems you had.
I’ve never had any skin problems until I got on this show. I think I was the least freaked out about it. The other girls were freaking out and running around, calling people and I’m like O.K. I didn’t think it was a flesh-eating virus but I thought it was something serious. I talked to Tyra about it and I got the dermatologist appointment. It turned out to be nothing and I overcame it. I didn’t want to cry too much about it but when it was getting worse, I did freak out a little bit there.
Before the episode aired, I saw clips on those entertainment shows where they were making it look like a flesh eating disease had hit Top Model. What were you thinking when you were watching those shows at home?
My mom freaked out about it when she saw the previews for it. I thought it was actually kind of amusing. Everyone was freaking out about it and I was like ‘You guys just have to watch the show.’ I couldn’t tell them what it was. I actually got a kick out of it.
So you were a wrestler before getting on the show? Tell me about your wrestling.
I started about a year and a half ago. I was actually the first female to start in my [local] federation.. I was the first woman champion but now there are three other girls that I dragged into it. My last wrestling show is actually coming up here soon because I’m moving to NY. I had to choose between one or the other.
What’s more difficult – wrestling or modeling?
[Laughs]. I’d have to say that modeling was more difficult. In wrestling, when I go out there I am like a character, a totally different person. So I can do whatever the hell I want. When it’s my character, it’s alright because after the show it’s all done and over with. In modeling, it’s a lot more competitive and I think especially for women in the modeling world, it’s a lot more competitive. In wrestling, there aren’t that many women so you have a better chance of getting in.
You mentioned that you’re moving to NY. That’s a big step!
I decided when I got voted off the show that no matter what, I was going to NY. People kept saying that you don’t want to go to NY and all that. But a while back, I set the date of June 1 and June 1 is the day I am leaving for NY. I’m actually really excited about it but my mom isn’t too happy. I’m the first kid in the family. I’m the oldest so there’s definitely going to be a big change. I’m the babysitter of all the grandkids.
Who do you think should win the competition?
That’s a tough question because now you don’t really know what the judges are looking for. They’re looking at so many different things so if you falter once, that could be it even if you had a perfect record up until then. I think all the girls deserve to be there so it all depends on how they perform…I have some people that aren’t on my favorite list on the show but they’ve overcome a lot. Hopefully, the person who wins deserves it.
May 18, 2010
May 18, 2010
May 18, 2010
Logo presents a one-hour special reuniting TV’s favorite gay and lesbian reality stars. Hosted by Kim Coles, participants of shows ranging from American Idol to Real World are brought together to reveal their experiences and meet with others who embarked on similar journeys.