Ashley Black, Cassandra Whitehead and Sarah Rhoades at America’s Next Top Model Cycle 5 Finale Event (Dec 05)
June 29, 2010
June 24, 2010
In October of 2005, OrwellProject.com interviewed Cycle 5‘s Sarah Rhoades following her elimination and appearance on the show. Here is the text from the interview (written and posted by Jackie Helm):
Interview with Sarah, the third-eliminated contestant from Cycle 5 of America’s Next Top Model
Hi Sarah! We are neighbors I am in Kansas City! I call you my hometown honey in my ANTM recaps!
You seemed devastated to leave. How are you doing?
I am good now. Even when I watched the show I cried. It was hard to watch myself be in that much pain. It was hard to watch and hard to go through. But I am fine now. It was kind of bittersweet, but I only have positive things to say about it now. It was fun.
Will you continue to pursue modeling?
I think so. You would think that I would be a complete mess but I had a fabulous time and I still want to. I wanted it before the show and I want it now. So yes, I do plan on going further with it.
What do you think about Cassandra’s exit?
It happened really fast and it was really sudden and shocking. I have respect and admiration for her for standing her ground. Would I have done the same thing – no! But I am not her. I know she is the only girl to ever quit the show. I don’t know; you do have to wonder about her. But I have respect for what she did.
Regarding your highly exploited friendship with Kim, did your boyfriend see the show?
That is the thing – he is not my boyfriend! We did date before but we are just friends now. He has always been a good friend and he has always supported me. I called him just to talk about things, but he was not my boyfriend. So that was not an issue at all.
When it comes to what people think about it; I think it is weird for them. Boonville is such a really town and L.A. is so different. There are so many different cultures in L.A. and it’s a totally different world. I am not sure anyone really knows how to take it.
Did you develop any real feelings for Kim?
It was very real. They did show it how it was. There was something there. I don’t think they even knew what to think and even I didn’t. I didn’t go on the show planning for anything like that. I didn’t even like Kim in the semi-finals. I couldn’t stand her so it’s really funny that it all happened. I don’t consider myself a lesbian or bisexual. I am just me! What happened – just happened, I was attracted to her, I don’t know why. I saw her as a person and who she was versus her gender. I date boys and am sort of seeing a boy now. I didn’t really want that all on TV. But it happened and I don’t regret it at all. Kim is a great person and I am glad that I got to know her.
You’re walk was often given harsh critique. Had you practiced the catwalk before going on the show?
I didn’t have a lot of modeling experience so I wasn’t really ready for that. I guess I thought they would teach us more about modeling. Which they didn’t and we just got thrown in to situations and were expected to perform like top models. We only had about 15 seconds each with J. Alexander so it wasn’t enough to help me at all. Also, I have a size 7 foot and I was in 9’s and 10’s so that didn’t help at all. Naturally I am a little klutzy even walking in tennis shoes. I have practiced a little bit since then and I hope to get better at it. I did my best there so it’s okay.
When it came down to you and Kim, did you know that it was going to be you to go?
Yes. I kind of had an inkling all day. I had a feeling that it was my time to go. It wasn’t fun, I wasn’t ready to go and I wanted to stay longer. I wanted to win of course and I wanted to stay with Kim and continue having fun with her. But I knew it was my time. It was an honor to go up against her. I wouldn’t have wanted to lose against anybody else. It was dramatic, but it was fun.
If you could do anything different what would it be?
I would have made out with Kim some more. (Laughs) I would have just tried to remain myself and stay grounded with myself. Instead of letting the whole tripping thing get me worked up. It just got into my head that I was going to trip and fall because that is what they thought that I did. I couldn’t get past it. I would try to let it go and tell myself that I was NOT going to trip and fall.
Do you think you’ll maintain friendships with any of the girls?
I hope so. I talk to Kyle and Coryn sometimes. I talk to Kim a lot; I just talked to her this morning. We all kind of want the same thing in life. I hope to remain good friends with everybody.
Who got on your nerves the most?
Lisa, for sure. You can’t like everybody. I made an effort to get along with her. Most of what she did was drinking and bossing people around. It was just annoying. I still don’t like her but I have respect for her and I try to get along with her when I am near her.
There was alcohol in the house?
No, no, no. She liked wine and she had her wine that she got for herself. Whenever they show her telling us what to do then running into the wall – she was a little tipsy almost at all times. There wasn’t really any drinking except mainly on her part.
Who has your vote to make it to the end or even win the competition?
I don’t know it’s hard to tell. You’ll have to watch. Vote for Kim! But I have no idea.
What was your favorite part of the experience?
The whole thing was surreal. The house was kick ass beautiful. We don’t have anything like that in Booneville at all. It was phenomenal. I still can’t believe that I stayed in a mansion-it was gorgeous. The limo was crazy fun. My favorite part about the whole thing was getting to know the girls and hanging out with the girls. I usually hang out with guys. So it was really fun getting in touch with that side of myself.
What was your favorite photo shoot?
I love the horse photo shoot. We were at the ranch and I felt at home and comfortable and confident. I loved that photo shoot it was the best. My sister works with horses so it was funny that I had a horse in mine.
Do you have any last words or shout outs?
I had really great time. I want to say hi to my sister Samantha because she is so supportive of me through everything and I love her so much. My whole family has been really great. To everyone in Missouri, it’s been very fun representing. It’s been great.
Well you represented us well. Thank you for talking with me
In October of 2005, Reality News Online interviewed Cycle 5‘s Sarah Rhoades following her elimination and appearance on the show. Here is the text from the interview (written and posted by Phil Kural):
“Plan B Is To Marry Rich!”– An Interview With America’s Next Top Model 5’s Sarah”
Sarah, the fourth girl eliminated this season on America’s Next Top Model, will forever be known as the girl who couldn’t walk in heels. Was that really the case though? In this interview with RealityNewsOnline, Sarah talks about her time on the show, her time with Kim, but most importantly, her time in heels! Find out right here what she had to say!
Sarah was probably one of the most “fun” girls this season. I think one of the reasons I liked her so much was because she was at a point in her life where she had never done much traveling and was just really discovering who she was. I had a chance to talk to Sarah about her time on America’s Next Top Model, and she was quite candid when we discussed Cassandra quitting, her relationship with Kim, and what she plans to do if modeling doesn’t work out. I’m sure you’ve seen her quote up top! Relax, she was joking!
RealityNewsOnline: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today, Sarah. Had you watched previous seasons of the show and what factored into your decision to apply?
Sarah: Well, I had bought the first season on DVD, since I had never seen it, and I saw all of the fourth season. I didn’t see any of seasons two or three. My aunt had encouraged me to apply for the show, and I had done so many other things to get involved in the business that this was kind of like a last resort, but I ended up getting picked!
RNO: What is it about yourself that you believed would make you stick out from the rest of the girls?
Sarah: Well, of course we have my lips! Really though, I just think they saw my personality and how badly I wanted to be a model. I was ready to do whatever it took to be in this competition.
RNO: Did you have any type of modeling experience before being on the show? I know you had stated that you spent money to get into it in the past.
Sarah: Well, I had been to conventions and paid some agencies to make me a portfolio, which Tyra says the conventions were scams. Anytime you have to pay someone to do these things, it’s usually a scam, and I believe her. I tried to get involved with many things, but it just never clicked for me.
RNO: A big chunk of this week’s episode focused on the relationship between you and Kim, whatever that might be. Fill me in on what was going on between you two.
Sarah: Nothing was really shown out of context with myself and Kim. It was what it was. I was at a very weird time in my life, and being sheltered and never really knowing any gay people, it was a change for me. I didn’t even like Kim during the semi-finals, so it’s funny to see how we ended up so close. I’m not sure what it was about her, but I found her to be quite comforting, and everyone was so stressed out.
RNO: So what’s the deal with Cassandra? Did everyone pretty much know she was going to quit, or did it come as a shock?
Sarah: It all happened so fast. I mean, after she received the first haircut, I thought she was going to stick it out. They only wanted to take off another inch or two of her hair, so I don’t understand what the big deal was! She already went though the worst of it, so one or two more inches shouldn’t have been a problem. I think we were all shocked.
Did anyone make any kind of attempt to stop her? Watching the episode, in your opinion, do you think Bre might have encouraged it?
Sarah: I don’t think anyone tried to stop her except maybe one of the stylists might have said something. As for Bre, I saw that too! This is a competition after all, so I guess anytime someone has a chance to talk someone else out of it, helping their chances to win, they are going to go for it. Bre is real like that!
RNO: I know that sometimes it’s hard to understand a situation unless you are in it. Cassandra’s biggest gripe was having all her hair chopped off. Had they wanted to do to you what they did to her, would you have gone through with it?
Sarah: Oh, I’m actually surprised that they didn’t cut mine shorter! I was expecting it, and you have to go into this realizing that they are going to make changes to you.
RNO: Is there a point you think you would have drawn the line, or were you ready to do anything?
Sarah: I don’t want to say “no” because then I’ll sound desperate. However, they never wanted us to do anything that was scandalous or made us feel really uncomfortable, so in that light, there really wasn’t a line to be drawn.
RNO: We saw you stumble several times while doing the runway walk. Had you practiced at all before you went on the show?
Sarah: I didn’t really practice because I didn’t think I was that bad! Of course, if I could relive that moment I would have practiced more before I was on the show. Although, it didn’t help that most of those times I was wearing a size 9 or 10 shoe, and I’m a size seven!
RNO: What was the most challenging aspect of the whole experience? Was it learning the walk, the lack of sleep, or dealing with Jay Manuel and his shoddy advice and diva attitude?
Sarah: Oh, Phil! I wouldn’t say it was the walking, I would say it was the stress. It always seemed like we had to go somewhere or do something. I just needed some moments to be alone and relax, and that was probably the hardest thing to deal with – getting that time!
RNO: You had been in the bottom two twice – once with Ashley, and then with Kim. Did you think or know that you would be the one eliminated either of those times?
Sarah: With Ashley, I had a feeling it might be me because of when I stumbled on the runway. I knew I wanted to be there though, and felt I deserved it more than some of the other girls. When I was up against Kim, I knew it was my time to go. I kind of knew all day. I’ve said it before though – I’m glad it was Kim that I lost to because it was an honor and I wouldn’t have wanted it to be anyone else.
RNO: Looking back at your performance, is there anything you could have done to stick around longer, or do you think your walk did you in?
Sarah: Actually, I don’t think it was my walk that did me in. I think it was more of a confidence issue. I mean, they saw how flustered I got. The walk could always be fixed in time. I had some problems with coping with the stress, and that was my downfall. I think I’m more relaxed and comfortable now though. But now it’s too late!
RNO: What kind of advice would you give to girls who are thinking about applying to future seasons of the show?
Sarah: I would just say that you better be ready to have all your emotions exposed. Your whole life will be exposed to the public and you have to be ready for that, so be comfortable with yourself and who you are.
RNO: So after all that you have been through, is modeling still something you want to pursue? If it doesn’t work out, what’s your plan B?
Sarah: It’s definitely still something I want to do. I’m obsessed with modeling and always have been. I’m going to keep on trying at least 10 more times and then I’ll take it from there. As for plan B, that would be to marry rich! I’m kidding!
RNO: Is there anything you would like to add or say to fans of the show?
Sarah: I just want to say that I had a great time on the show, I learned a lot and I made a bunch of friends. I don’t regret anything and would probably do it all the same if I had to do it over again. Thank you to all the fans and supporters of the show!
RNO: Thanks, Sarah!
June 24, 2010
In October of 2005 Fans of Reality TV (FORT) conducted an interview with Cycle 5‘s Sarah Rhoades following her appearance and elimination from the show. Here is the text from the interview (written and posted by Hepcat):
The FORT Interview with Sarah, 10/10/05
The latest to be eliminated from America’s Next Top Model was 18-year-old Sarah, a girl who gave up her job at the fragrance counter in small-town America to try her luck in the big city. Sarah was new to Los Angeles, new to runway walking, and new to lesbians. At least, that’s the way she seemed on the show. Does Sarah see herself as the clumsy small-town hick who fell head over heels for one of her fellow competitors? Ah, the power of reality show editing. Cassandra said it best, though, when she described Sarah as “lighthearted and fun.” Sarah’s bubbly personality was very much in evidence as she laughed her way throughout the interview.
Thank you for speaking with me this morning, Sarah. I’m just sorry that it’s so soon in the competition, as you were one of my favorites.
Oh, well thank you very much! That’s sweet.
You seemed to be gaining confidence as the competition went along. Was getting eliminated at this point a blow to that confidence?
Somewhat, but I’ve had time to kind of get over it now. You would think that being in a competition that’s so judgmental and critical would tear me down, but it’s really built my confidence a lot. In the end I’d say that I’m a better person, I’m more confident. I believe in myself a lot more now than I did before I entered the competition.
Did you feel like you were improving?
You know, I was doing the best I could at everything. Even my walk did improve a little bit – and I am working on it still. I think if I had been given a couple more weeks I could have done a lot better. (Laughs) It’s hard to improve on something that takes time to work on, and we didn’t have a lot of time with Jay Alexander. It takes a while, but I was working on it!
So how difficult was that revolving platform in the Sue Wong runway challenge?
(Laughs) Oh, my God. That was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever been on. I don’t know, it was really hard, and then my getup – they made me the wedding princess of it all and I had that thing on my head…so in a way, I was thinking, “Oh God, I am so set up to fail at this.” (Laughs) It was really hard! And with that train and that head piece, it was just one big disaster waiting to happen.
Had you watched previous cycles of the show? Was it different than you expected?
My aunt had told me about it a couple of years ago. In my town, we didn’t get UPN until last year, so I didn’t even have the opportunity to! But I watched Cycle 4 and I bought the first season [on DVD], so I kind of knew what I was getting into. I didn’t realize how intense it was until I was actually in it.
What did you think of your makeover?
I loved it! I was so ready for the makeover. I was a hair virgin, I’d never colored my hair or anything before, so I was ready for them to chop it off. I’m kind of growing it back out now just because I don’t trust anyone in Booneville to cut it! (Laughs) I still haven’t dyed it yet, but I really like my makeover and I think I’ve adapted to it.
What did you think of the personal style they chose for you?
I think they said I was a Ralph Lauren chick, which I can see because with the haircut I looked totally preppy. I don’t consider myself preppy at all, but I did my best to adapt to it. If I’d had some more time to shop maybe I would have looked a little more Ralph Lauren.
What do you consider your personal style?
You mean me, right now? I buy what’s on sale. (Laughs) That would be my personal style. I don’t really have one.
Did the experience give you any technical knowledge, like how to pose while accentuating your strongest feature, that kind of thing?
No. I mean, I learned more about myself and who I wanted to be and things I didn’t want to be, more than I learned about modeling. It’s kind of weird but it was like that. I think I learned a little bit, though, like how to pose with my shoulders. I have really broad shoulders. Tyra said, “Don’t pose head-on to the camera because your shoulders look even bigger.” So I learned a little bit about it, but more about myself than anything.
Do you consider your lips an asset or a liability?
Yeah, my lips. It’s so funny because I used to be really ashamed of them. I hated them. I would walk around with my mouth sucked in so nobody would look at them because I got made fun of so much for them when I was a kid. But now, they’re my favorite thing about me, and I think they’ll get me far.
What went wrong with your last photo shoot (the fashion police)?
Oh, God! See, I didn’t even think it was that bad! (Laughs) Jay Manuel, when I was doing it, he kept saying, “good job” and then when I see the video of him, he really didn’t think I was doing a good job!
The running thing was hard, and I was also at a place at that point in the competition where I was just so exhausted from everything, and so tired of feeling like I would never be good enough, you know? But I gave it my all. I thought it was good. I thought my outfit was kind of sh***y and all the other girls looked way more sexy than I looked. I don’t know if they made it like that or what happened.
Do you think sometimes they don’t actually pick the best photo?
You know, I completely – yes, yes, yes. You hit the nail right on the head there. Like with that last photoshoot: I could have sworn I had a better one than that! I wish we’d had more say in which picture they used. It’s the same with the horse photoshoot. I like that picture, but I did so many poses, I’m surprised they picked with my nose up in the air! I definitely wish we had more say in which photo they use, and I think I probably would have done a little bit better if they had.
Were you surprised to see Kim in the bottom two next to you?
It was emotional and really dramatic, because they were kind of splitting up the couple of the house! I don’t know if they did that on purpose or not, but I was honored to go up against her, and I wouldn’t have wanted to have lost against anyone else. It was emotional, it was hard, it was really bittersweet – but I was proud to have lost against her.
When you watched the show, were you happy with the way you came across?
Oh, yes and no. I know it’s an hour long show so they can’t show every facet of who you are, but for the most part I think I came off okay. And I am just a dork, so if it seemed like I came across kind of clumsy and silly, I am like that. It was okay. Some of it I think I came off as being more into the Kim relationship than I was. They would only pick certain things that I said when I had a lot more to say about it, you know what I mean? Like I said, “I like her but it’s not going to lead to anything.” With that, I know I chose to do that on TV, and I knew I’d have to think about it later, but I don’t consider myself bisexual or a lesbian. I just consider myself me, and I looked at her as a person and who she was versus her gender. So, it’s okay. That’s the only thing I thought, that they portrayed me as a little more into it than I probably was, that’s all.
Did you have to explain anything when you got home?
I’m going home tonight! I’m so scared, I don’t know if my little hick town is going to tar and feather me or what! (Laughs) It’s pretty different in Booneville than in L.A. so, they’re probably not going to be as open about it. I haven’t talked to my parents yet so I don’t know how that will go.
How did you find L.A. compared to Booneville?
It’s black and white, really, it’s two different worlds. I’m from a small town, we have one main street, and it’s just a quiet little town along the Missouri River, and L.A. is a complete rush and a blow to the head to me. It’s crazy! I do like it a lot, but when I’m here I miss my home town, and when I’m in my home town I miss L.A. Maybe somewhere in between is where I need to be.
Okay, I’m going to read off the names of your competitors, could you give your impression of them in one or two words?
Ashley – I didn’t get to know her that well, but I didn’t think she was very real. She put on a lot.
Bre – I have a lot of respect for her and she’s been through a lot, and I think she’s a very strong girl.
Cassandra – She was my roomie so I don’t really have anything bad to say about her. She stood up for herself and I have a lot of respect and admiration for her for that.
Coryn – See, they didn’t show it but Coryn and I were like best friends in this! Coryn is oneo f the most beautiful people I’ve seen in my life. We auditioned in Minneapolis together – we just happened to meet each other there. I think she’s so beautiful, and she’s got a really beautiful heart, too. She’s a great person.
Diane – Loud and funny as can be. She’s a really nice girl.
Ebony – Oh, God – she was funny, and I don’t know but I think sometimes she’s a little insecure. It seems like people who are making jokes all the time might be insecure, and that was my impression of her.
Jayla – I think Jayla needs to be in therapy. (Laughs) That’s about all I have to say about that!
Kim – She’s very different, and she’s very open. And she’s very beautiful.
Kyle – very preppy, very pretty – a classic all-American girl.
Lisa – Lisa is a drunken, fool, know-it-all idiot. (Laughs) That was my overall impression of her – a drunk, walking, talking fool. Cassandra said one time, “It’s America’s Next Top Drunk” because she was drunk all the time. It was the funniest thing.
Nicole -. I really liked her a lot, and I know some people didn’t, but I think she’s a funny girl, and I think she’ll go far. She’s really nice.
Nik – Nik is sheer perfection. It makes me sick, she’s so beautiful and so funny. I’m really glad I got to know her, she’s a beautiful person.
So it sounds like Lisa was the one who annoyed you the most in the house?
(Laughs) Yeah, you know, I’m beginning to see she annoyed everybody! You know, you can’t like everybody, and she’s just one of those people I don’t like that much. But I try to be respectful and get along with her when I’m near her.
What was the hardest photo shoot?
I don’t mind photoshoots at all, I usually have a lot of fun at those. It was the runway that killed me. That was the hardest part of my experience there.
What was your favorite photo?
My favorite photo was the horse photo just because my sister works with horses, and so I like them to. It felt comfortable for me to be out in country setting versus a big city. It was kind of like, more Booneville, you know?
What did you learn during this experience?
I learned to have respect for myself and I think that I just walked away with a lot more confidence. I used to struggle a lot when I was younger with who I was, and feeling very lost, and I was very sad. I have a new-found respect for myself and I feel happy that I am who I am today, and I have never felt that way before.
Do you read the internet sites to see what people are saying about you?
I do, I can’t resist! I do sometimes, and I haven’t read anything too awful or bad and I’m sure one day I will, but I just let it roll off my shoulders.
Do you plan to pursue a modeling career?
I do! I plan on pursuing it. I think I can only benefit from the show. I know my walk is kind of stumbly but I do like modeling and it makes me feel alive, and it’s something I have passion for so I’m definitely going to go for it.
So please stop by and visit us on fansofrealitytv.com, Sarah.
I will, I’ll go there! I had fun talking to you.
Thanks so much for your time, Sarah, it was fun talking to you too!
Many thanks to Sarah for chatting with me and thank you, UPN, for granting the interview.
June 24, 2010
Model Kicks Off “Trippy” Klutz
Cute as Sarah Rhoades is, the underdog sex kitten couldn’t walk to save her life, much less keep her in the running toward becomingAmerica’s Next Top Model (Wednesdays at 8 pm/ET, on UPN). Perhaps to keep her from bruising her pretty face by taking a spill, the judges handed Sarah a nice, soft seat on an airplane home to Boonville, Mo., which sucks for two reasons: 1) Both hot and warm, she was easily the season’s most appealing contestant, and 2) now we’ll never know how far her relationship with lesbian buddy Kim would have gone had they continued making out in limos and taking midnight swims together. Before she starts telling tales on today’sTyra Banks Show, I can make myself — and maybe you, too — feel a little bit better by letting you in on the not-at-all-dumb blonde’s master plan.
TVGuide.com: Journalistic integrity be damned; I want to give you a big hug!
Sarah Rhoades: [Laughs] Thanks!
TVGuide.com: I was so hoping that when Cassandra quit the show, maybe there wouldn’t be an elimination.
Sarah: I know! We were all thinking, “Yay! No elimination this week!” But we weren’t so lucky — or I wasn’t so lucky!
TVGuide.com: I’m going to guess that in real life you somehow manage to get from point A to point B without tripping. What went wrong on the show?
Sarah: [Laughs] I don’t know. See, I wear a size 7 shoe, and on the runways, I had a size 9 or 10 on — that didn’t help. And I’m kind of clumsy to begin with, so that probably didn’t help, either. And I think the first time I tripped, I became “the girl who trips.” You know, J. Alexander calls me “Tipsy Tumbles,” so it was in my mind that I was going to trip, that they expected me to trip and, well, I just couldn’t get past it!
TVGuide.com: In your last runway challenge, it seemed kind of mean to me that they made you wear the biggest gown and headdress this side of Vegas.
Sarah: Yeah, that was the only time I was kind of feeling as if I was set up to fail a little bit. I mean, I could have gone in tennis shoes and a skirt and still had problems, but still, with the head thing and the dress…. Whew, I was bound to fail!
TVGuide.com: How did it feel to be in the bottom two with Kim, the girl to whom you were closest?
Sarah: That was intense. I think all the girls were probably like, “They’re splitting the couple up!” It was hard, but in the end it was an honor to go up against her. I wouldn’t want to have stood there with anyone else. I was proud to lose against her. It was kind of bittersweet.
TVGuide.com: Are you still in touch?
Sarah: I just talked to her a couple minutes ago! We’re still good friends. Nothing romantic….
TVGuide.com: Hey, don’t start answering my questions before I ask them! Um… go on.
Sarah: I don’t even know what happened with [our flirtation]! I don’t consider myself bisexual or a lesbian; I just consider myself me. I didn’t go in there with intentions like that. And I couldn’t stand Kim during semifinals! I didn’t like her at all. So it was weird to be in that situation. But she’s a great person, and you get drawn to her when you meet her. I don’t regret it at all. It was fun, and she’s a beautiful girl.
TVGuide.com: If you’re going to make out with a girl, it might as well be a beautiful one!
Sarah: Hell, yeah!
TVGuide.com: How did your boyfriend handle your dalliance when you got home?
Sarah: See? I didn’t have a boyfriend. I know that [the subtitle on screen] said that was who I was talking to on the phone, but he’s just a friend, so that wasn’t an issue. I couldn’t tell anyone about Kim or any of that [until the show aired], so I think everyone sort of went through [their reactions] last night. I haven’t talked to my parents yet, so I’m not sure how they took it. We’ll see. Boonville’s not as out and open as L.A., so I may get tarred and feathered!
TVGuide.com: If that’s the case, maybe it’s time to move.
Sarah: You might be right!
TVGuide.com: Your parents must have at least seen the big limo makeout session by now.
Sarah: Yeah, they saw it. They were just like, “Oh, geez,” you know? And they probably would have been happy if it had ended there. So I’m not sure if they’re too happy about [last week’s show]. They didn’t call me after, so I don’t know if they’re upset or don’t know what to say. My sister is OK with it, but she’s [a teenager]. I hope I didn’t set any bad examples! I don’t want to go home and have her making out with girls!
TVGuide.com: Oh, come on! It’s only a bad example if you’re a bad kisser.
Sarah: It’s hard to be with these lips! [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: What are your plans now?
Sarah: I hope that I’ll go ahead and pursue a modeling career and get out of “Booneyville,” leave the cows behind.
TVGuide.com: A talent for pratfalls would be a big asset on a sitcom. Have you considered it?
Sarah: [Laughs] Well, I do love acting, which is actually the reason I started modeling in the first place, to try to bust into that. Hopefully! That would be fun!
TVGuide.com: I’ll see what strings I can pull.
Sarah: Put in a good word for me!
June 24, 2010
In October of 2005 AfterEllen.com conducted an interview with Cycle 5‘s Sarah Rhoades following her appearance and elimination from the show. Here is the text from the interview (written and posted by Malinda Lo, Senior Writer):
Interview with Sarah Rhoades from Top Model
Season 5 of America’s Next Top Model is the third time that the reality series has included an openly lesbian or bisexual contestant, but it’s the first time that two contestants have developed a relationship with each other during the show. After ostensibly straight Sarah Rhoades kissed openly lesbian Kim in the season premiere, their relationship quickly heated up and led to nighttime swims in the Top Model pool capped off with under-the-covers shenanigans caught by an optimally placed night-vision camera.
But though it might have all seemed like fun and games until then, Sarah’s teary-eyed confessional revelation that she was genuinely confused by the experience won her many lesbian fans who recalled their own early experiences in coming to terms with their sexuality. Unfortunately, after tripping one too many times on the runway, Sarah was cast off the show just as things between her and Kim were getting interesting.
We recently chatted with her about what really happened between the two of them, whether she considers herself to be gay, and what it’s been like dealing with the issue in her conservative Midwestern home town of Boonville, Missouri.
AfterEllen.com: I think that a lot of lesbian viewers really identified with you when you said that you felt really confused.
Sarah Rhoades: Yeah, that’s like kind of a constant state of mind (laughs). I guess I was confused about … everything. Really, being there is so intense and so stressful and it’s so different from my life, and me and Kim, we just kind of became each other’s support system, and I went to her for comfort and vice versa. And through that we kind of developed feelings—I know I did for her—and that confused me even more. (Laughs) It helped me, and it confused me, and—I mean, I don’t know. Even now, I’m like, whatever (laughs).
AE: Well, dealing with those feelings for the first time can be really, really distracting. Do you think that they distracted you from the competition?
SR: I don’t. Mainly when you watch the show, it looks like it’s all one big jumble … but really, when you’re modeling and when you’re in the house, they’re two very separate things, and if you can separate those—which I can in my head—then you’re fine. And I don’t think that hindered me at all in the competition. The initial tripping is probably what was worse for me, because it was kind of in my mind that “I’m gonna trip, I’m gonna trip,” so then every time I went out there I was like, “Oh I know I’m gonna trip,” and that’s what they want me to do, so I just always did. Not intentionally, it just kind of happened. So I don’t think it was Kim—I think it was more in my mindset at the time.
AE: You’ve said in some interviews after you came off the show that you couldn’t stand Kim during the semifinals.
SR: Yeah (laughs).
AE: What changed?
SR: I couldn’t stand her just because it seemed to me like she was using her lesbianism—(laughs) I don’t know the proper terminology for that—just to get on the show. I still don’t even know whether she did or not, or whether that’s why they chose her. Um, but to me it was constant, always like “Yeah okay, Kim, we know you’re gay, like shut up,” you know, ’cause that’s all she talked about. So I wasn’t really that happy when I found out we were going to have to live together, but she’s just one of those people [where] once you get to know her, she grows on you. And she’s a great person. I care about her a lot now as a friend. We’re friends still. But at the time I wasn’t her biggest fan.
AE: On the show you made a phone call to someone who was identified as your boyfriend, but I think you’ve said since that he wasn’t actually your boyfriend?
SR: Yeah … he wasn’t actually my boyfriend. We had dated before, and maybe that’s why the show labeled it as that, but yeah. (Laughs) That wasn’t really an issue when I got back because we weren’t together at the time.
AE: Do you think that you were portrayed accurately?
SR: Yeah, I mean, yes and no. They take tidbits out of your interview and just use the words they want you to say [when] really you have much more to say on the subject, but overall, I think I was portrayed okay.
AE: So, with this guy, you said you weren’t dating him at the time. Are you with him now?
SR: No, no, I mean, we hadn’t been together for six or seven months when I talked to him, and we haven’t ever been together since.
AE: So how about your relationship with Kim; do you think that was portrayed accurately?
SR: Yes and no. I kind of feel like they made it look like I was a lot more involved versus Kim, but we really [were] on the same page more or less, because I knew she had a girlfriend and she knew that I was semi seeing somebody. I don’t know, it kind of seemed like they made me like come off as the foolish one, when really I wasn’t at all, and I’m not now. So I didn’t appreciate that, but yeah, whatever. (Laughs)
AE: Tell me what really happened.
SR: They showed what happened, but in interviews they cut off a lot of what I was saying to make me seem like the needy, feeble, straight 18-year-old girl, and Kim was like the all-wise lesbian, which really wasn’t the case. I mean, we were on the same terms. I thought we were on the same page, and she thought the same. So, it’s fine (laughs).
AE: I think that many viewers actually feel that she treated you unfairly, that she was being more of a player than a friend to you. How do you feel about that?
SR: That’s pretty much what I mean. In the end I know what happened, she knows what happened, and the way that they edited it does make me come off as a fool and her being all powerful, but I know how it was and so does she. And we’re fine now, we’re friends, it’s really quite fine. I’m not mad at her.
AE: So you’re still in touch with her?
SR: She’s still with her girlfriend and I’m with someone, so it’s fine.
AE: Are you in touch with any of the other girls on the show?
SR: Me and Kyle talk sometimes, me and Diane, and Coryn now and then, we talk.
AE: Did you tell you family about what was going to happen before it aired, or were you not allowed to talk about it until the airdate?
SR: We weren’t really allowed to talk about anything. I kind of hinted at it, so I think they were kind of sort of expecting it, a little bit, so they were okay.
AE: How have they reacted to it? Have they talked to you about it at all?
SR: No, it’s kind of one of those unspoken things no one talks about it. No one mentions it or says anything about it, so it’s kind of like it didn’t happen, here. I’m from Boonville, Missouri, and the Midwest is very very different from L.A. [It’s] not as accepting, we don’t really have that many lesbian people or gay people or whatever out here at all, and no one really wants to talk about it, so we don’t. We don’t even say the word “lesbian!” (Laughs) It’s really different here, so, no, I actually have never talked about it with my mom or dad or anybody.
AE: Wow. Do you think that they might want to talk about it? Do you want to talk about it?
SR: I would if they wanted to, but they don’t seem to even want to acknowledge it at all. I mean, I don’t consider myself bisexual or a lesbian, so I’m not even sure what I would say to them at this point about it at all, so I’m kind of glad they don’t want to talk about it, I guess (laughs).
AE: Do you think, though, even if you don’t identify as lesbian or bisexual, do you think you just might not be straight?
SR: I don’t know. I really don’t know what constitutes as being considered one or the other. I don’t know, you tell me! (laughs) Kim’s the only person I’ve ever had feelings for, I guess, in that sense.
AE: In your parting words on the show, you said that you learned a lot about yourself. Tell me about something that you learned that has nothing to do with Kim.
SR: I’m a lot more confident and I have [more] respect for myself versus from before. I always had a low self-esteem and I didn’t like myself at all, and I didn’t think I could do anything, you know? I hated myself at one point in my life and the show has really brought out my confidence. I can honestly say that I like who I am today, and I have never been able to say that before, so I’m really thankful for the show in that way.
AE: That’s wonderful. What was your most unexpected experience on the show?
SR: Kim, for sure. That would definitely be it.
E: What was your favorite part about the experience?
SR: My favorite part was probably just getting to know all the girls, because I’m friends with a lot of guys here and I usually hang out with them. But I loved just being in the house and it was a really different experience for me. I loved getting to know the girls and I came out with some really good friends, so I’m happy.
AE: Are you dating someone now?
SR: A boy, yes (laughs). Yes, a boy.
AE: How does he feel about what he saw?
SR: He actually [didn’t see] the show. UPN out here is not a big station at all. We just got it in our town last year and they didn’t even show the first episode of it, so it’s not big at all here. There’s nothing here, no one really even knows about UPN, so he hasn’t seen it. A lot of people haven’t seen it, which kind of benefits me. So he hasn’t seen it, but he knows about it. I think he’s okay with it. He hasn’t really said much. It’s just no one talks about it here, which I know is weird to you, but we really don’t. He hasn’t said much, but I think he’s fine with it, and he’s a great guy, so he’s okay.
AE: Well, that’s good.
SR: Yeah, I hope.
AE: What was your least favorite part of the experience?
SR: My least favorite part I guess I hated that we did runway right off the bat, and then as soon as I left they’re not doing it anymore. That’s like, great. My least favorite part was probably not having any training. You think you’re going to go in and learn how to be a model, but you don’t and they don’t tell you anything at all. You have 15 seconds with the runway coach and that’s it. They just expect you to be a top model and they don’t teach you anything, ever. So I don’t really feel like I learned much about modeling at all versus, you know, learning about myself.
AE: Had you done some modeling in the past, though?
SR: I’ve been with an agency and gone to some conventions but I’ve never actually modeled, no.
AE: Have you been practicing your runway walk since then?
SR: Not a lot. I need to get in some classes I think. I need some serious help. (Laughs)
AE: What happened? It seemed like you were so frightened of falling that it might have tripped you up, actually.
SR: Yeah, well, I have a 7½ foot and all the shoes are 9s and 10s, so that doesn’t help at all, and plus after the first initial trip, it’s just in your head that you’re going to trip and that was probably my biggest; I mean it was more myself versus myself than myself versus the runway, you know?
AE: So what are your plans for the future? Are you still interested in modeling?
SR: Yeah, definitely. I think I want to move out to L.A. I just don’t think New York and me would mix too well, so I think I want to move out to L.A. eventually, maybe December or January, and I know people out there now, so hopefully it’ll be good.
AE: That’s great. Well, people will want to talk to you about this in L.A. All the time.
SR: Great (laughs).
AE: What is one thing that you want to tell people that you haven’t been able to tell them before about your experience on the show?
SR: I guess I don’t think it’s necessarily fair for them to judge me when they really don’t know what it was like in there at all, or what I’m like. If someone’s been on the show and they’ve experienced it, then it’s okay, but I don’t really think it’s fair for anyone to judge me at this point about my decisions or anything I did on the show, because they don’t know what it was like there.
AE: Who do you think is judging you?
SR: I guess just the public in general, and a lot of radio stations here in the Midwest trashed me, and the boy who was on the phone, even, he called and trashed me and called me a lesbian. So it’s a lot harder in the Midwest than it is in L.A. because L.A.’s so accepting.
AE: Well, there are plenty of people I know who would be happy to call you a lesbian and not think that it’s a slur.
SR: Well, thanks (laughs).