September 20, 2010
September 20, 2010
In December of 2007, RealityShack.com interviewed Cycle 6‘s Wendy Wiltz following her elimination and appearance on the show. Here is the text from the interview (written and posted by Syrone Harvey):
Interview With Wendy of America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 6
At first, New Orleans beauty Wendy appeared quiet, shy and emotionally withdrawn from the Top Model competition. Surviving the recent devastation of Hurricane Katrina may have contributed to her slow response. Even the judges felt she had lost concentration and focus on becoming America’s Next Top Model. Wendy, the second eliminee, was charming, easy to talk to, and overall grateful to have made it as far as she did.
Hi Wendy! Thanks for speaking with us. I imagine things have been pretty busy for you.
Hi! Yeah, but it’s no problem.
Did you watch previous cycles of America’s Next Top Model?
Well, when I first started watching, I watched season 1, then season 2. Looking at everything that they did… I was interested in modeling as well. To me everything seemed so easy. I’d be like “Oh I can do that.”
At first I didn’t know how to go about applying for the show, so when they posted information on the internet I applied. That was cycle 3. I actually got a call back. Then I went to Atlanta to go up for the interviews with casting. I didn’t hear anything from that point on but it didn’t discourage me. I figured maybe I wasn’t what they were looking for this season, but maybe next season they were probably going to be looking for a different girl. Then the following season it was the same thing. I just kept on trying and the last time it paid off.
What compelled you to audition for the show?
I think what most inspired me about the previous winners is that all the girls are so different. It pretty much proved to the world that your typical top model isn’t this painted picture where everyone is like the same person. From looking at Adrianne, Yoanna to Eva… I mean they’re all totally different people. Then you have Naima and Nicole – everyone is so different so it’s like there’s not just this one model type out there.
Did you have prior modeling experience before America’s Next Top Model?
The experience I had was only a little taste of what I really wanted to experience. It was nothing compared to being on the show or auditioning for the show or what I’m doing now. It’s crazy. You know, I loved what I was doing before but I wanted to be in a busier atmosphere like New York City. I wanted to do more of it and I knew if I went back to New Orleans it would’ve never happened. Then when the hurricane happened it kind of put me in a place where I wanted to move and pursue my career.
What was your life like before Hurricane Katrina?
Before, I was trying to do as much modeling as I could in New Orleans. It’s just hard. You send out pictures then you never hear anything. Some people say, “Well, you have to wait 6-8 weeks for us to give you a reply,” then it just ends up in a pile. I just felt like I was so looking forward to living out my dreams but yet no one took me from New Orleans. I was planning to move away and I really like my hometown. Knowing that my parents, especially my mom is afraid to fly, so I figure wherever I move she probably won’t even come visit me. So if I moved and it’s a long drive… I think a part of it is that so many people are afraid to leave their comfort zone. I was comfortable with where I was. I had done a little bit of modeling and I was working and going to school. But the hurricane pretty much forced me to make some adjustments in my life. Looking at the aftermath of it now I think it was for the better. I don’t know if I would’ve auditioned. I’m grateful now that I had the opportunity to move forward
It sounds like you gained a lot of strength through this ordeal.
It definitely helped. I know that everything I go through now is only going to make me stronger. I know that in the industry there’s going to be some doors that are opened and some that are closed and I still have to be prepared each time. You know, whatever comes my way or knocks me down I just get back up and keep going at it. This experience definitely proved that and it definitely helped me get through it. That was the toughest thing because even through the show when I got eliminated, I didn’t really understand why, but I know that everything happens for a reason and I may not know what that reason is now but I’m like, in the end I will. Hopefully this is preparing me for the road that’s in front of me.
The judges were pretty critical. Jay Manuel thought your photos seemed lifeless and at times you looked stiff and uptight. Do you agree with their perception?
I don’t know if I was uptight or lifeless, I think that maybe sometimes I was trying a little bit too hard to get my mind off some things that were going on and I think that I wasn’t really that focused. In the back of my mind I wanted to be there so I tried to stick it out and just do whatever I had to do to keep my mind on the set and not on other things. And then I think I was distracted with always watching the show and trying to do this and then actually being there, it’s totally different. I was like, “Wow, I know I’ve watched it but now I’m here what do I do?”
Was it difficult sharing a house with the other girls?
Well, it was a big house and we weren’t all in one room so you pretty much had a little privacy besides the fact that there were cameras around. We were pretty safe and the house was set up so that once we got home from doing whatever we were doing, everyone kind of went their own way unless we met up by the pool or in the kitchen or something. I’ve lived with girls before so it didn’t really bother me in any way but I know there were times where I just wanted to be left alone or be able to read a book or just be by myself and I was able to do that. I didn’t feel that I could never have privacy.
Did you have conflict with the other models?
I don’t think I did. I know they said on the show that me and Jade might’ve had some conflict but I didn’t really look at it as conflict. I just kind of brushed it off.
So far, Cycle 6 has offered a unique variety of photo shoot challenges. Which shoot was the most difficult for you?
Probably… honestly I think I’d have to say the bald shoot was the hardest only because the photographer was telling me, you know, I didn’t really get in front of the camera and do what I wanted to do. He was telling me like, “Do this, do this, do this,” but then I’d hear Jay Manuel say, “Why is she doing that?” I was like, “Oh no.”
I don’t want to not do what the photographer is telling me but they were like back and forth with that so I kind of felt like I really didn’t have a say so. Jay’s like, “I want her to do this…” and the photographer was like, “Do this…” I was like, “Who do you listen to in that situation?” Then he was like, “Oh it didn’t work out…” Really I’m thinking in the back of my mind, “Well if it didn’t work out it’s your fault it didn’t work out.” But of course I can’t say that so I was like, “Oh my gosh!” So, when it was over with I just kind of thought about it and wished I had sort of got in front of the camera and pretty much did my own thing.
Did you notice areas of growth or improvement from being on America’s Next Top Model? If so, which ones?
Being on Top Model, the one area I’ve improved on is my presence. It’s not that easy when you’re 12 years old and you’re almost 5’ 9”. You walk in the room when you’re in school and you’re like the tallest one in your class and you’re taller than all the boys. You know, that’s not even going through high school. I went through that. But it’s like now this is what I want to do and the field I want to be in. I’ve kind of developed this confidence. I don’t really walk out of the house if I don’t have on 4 inch heels. It feels different than it was like being a kid. When you went to a dance in high school you didn’t want to wear high heels because you didn’t want to be taller than your date as opposed to now it’s like… you know, I have to have heels on when I’m walking around so people will feel my presence and know that I’m here. Like, I want to be the tallest person walking in the room now which is kind of weird. That’s what it helped. It boosted my confidence and even gave me the determination to make it through this struggle.
I’ve heard some people say, “Oh you know if I had been in your shoes I never could’ve done that.” It means a lot to me when I hear people say those things because I was really trying to stay strong at the time. I think I did a pretty good job at it and now that everything is all said and done I’m still willing to move forward with this and not give up but keep on trying. Even though that didn’t work out for me, I mean, I made it. I made it to the top 13. I mean 13 out of 10,000…that’s pretty good. If anybody has anything bad to say about it I’m like, “Well I didn’t see you in the house.”
Did you feel intimidated by any of the judges?
I’m not going to say I was really intimidated by Twiggy but I guess our personalities like just didn’t click or didn’t vibe or something. I know she made a comment on the show that she kind of just didn’t get me but at the same time I kind of really don’t get her either. With some of her comments, I don’t know… but I’m sure if I had a chance to talk to her and get to know her as a person she may be my favorite judge but I don’t really know much about her so it just seems kind of weird to me.
Well Wendy, it’s been nice chatting with you. Best of luck as you continue to pursue the field of modeling.
Okay. Thank you. Bye!
September 20, 2010
AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL CYCLE 6
WENDY ELIMINATED FROM UPN’S “AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL: The Interview
Wendy’s exotic beauty has been the topic of many on-line discussions and debate. To set the record straight, she is African-American, Italian, and Native-American Indian. We talked about her makeover, and the “J. Lo” look she was given. “Everyone keeps saying that!!” she laughed over the phone. “My hair is naturally curly, and I can do it either straight or curly. I can do either in about 20 minutes actually. I guess I’m lucky.” Lucky is an understatement, and I had to tell her I should hate her for the ease with which she can look so stunning. “It’s not my fault!!” she laughed “I was born this way!”
But it wasn’t her look alone that placed Wendy in front of millions of televisions viewers. Wendy believes that it was determination that earned her a spot in the coveted top 13 of America’s Next Top Model. Maybe it’s the old saying “3 times a charm”.
“The 1st time, I sent in an audition tape and application. Like they tell you to do. They called me to go to the audition in Atlanta with 400 girls. I ended up sitting next to Amanda from Cycle 3. The 2nd time there were 100 girls.” With each audition she learned. She updated her photos and changed her look, but one thing never changed: “My persistence. My dreams and goals stayed the same.” She also knew what to expect over the other girls auditioning, and it was her 3rd try that placed her in LA with 12 other contenders. “I knew how many girls wanted this. The point is to be on TV and to be seen. That alone is a great accomplishment.”
But as many people now know, the road wasn’t easy for Wendy. The timing of her 3rd audition and subsequent trip to Los Angeles coincided with Hurricane Katrina, which left her and her family homeless. “I was living in a hotel at the time. I had to pack everything I owned in a suitcase when to LA. The worst thing that could have happened then was if the airline lost my luggage. But they didn’t, which is a good thing!” she laughed. But living with the stress of not knowing where she was going to live after the competition was difficult for her. “I tried to hide how I felt about what was going on. But it was very hard.” As for her family now, “They’re ok [now]. No one is able to move back. I think it still has everyone in shock.”
Wendy would “do it again in a heartbeat” she began. “I could go on and on about how great of a time we had. Meeting everyone. The 2 Jays. Everyone.” But she does have one regret. “I wish it would have happened at a better time for me. I’m more focused now. All of my worries are kind of gone now.” So what was it like to watch herself on TV? “It’s weird. Being on the show is different than seeing yourself. You’re followed around 24 hours a day, and obviously the show isn’t that long. You don’t know what they’re going to show.” Wendy watched the show air with friends, “they asked why are you shocked? I was having flashbacks of watching the show in previous seasons. I’ve always watched it, and now, I’m on it.” We wondered if any of the judges comments surprised her. “I was a little anxious to hear what they [the judges] had to say. I heard that I looked like an actress, I looked sad. I wanted constructive criticism.”
Wendy’s past experience of modeling helped her with one potentially difficult part of being on the show: living with 12 other women. “When you live with 12 girls, some people work on your nerves. You’re always waiting for people to get out of your way” she explained. “In 2004 modeled and was in a different city every day. It gave me great exposure, and I knew what to expect. I was on the road with 11 other girls!”
For now Wendy is continuing on the road to her dream: becoming a model. She is looking for agencies, getting her face out there. “I’m ready!” As for her fans, “I hope that I can inspire everyone else. Don’t let a small impediment stop [you]. Believe in yourself!”
With legions of fans believing in Wendy, we wish her the best of luck and look forward to seeing her again.
~March 16, 2006
September 19, 2010
From Hurricane Katrina Survivor to America’s Next Top Model Contestant
She found out she was chosen to compete on America’s Next Top Model after she lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. Now Wendy, a 22-year-old retail assistant manager from New Orleans, is talking about her experience. Here is Wendy’s story, in her own words.
* The following is made up of quotes taken from my interview with Wendy after she was eliminated from America’s Next Top Model.
Wendy: “When I actually found out that I had made it into the [Top Model] top 32, it was after the hurricane. I had already evacuated.
They actually found me by email. The phones weren’t working. The signals were out for weeks. I wrote back and two days later someone called and said ‘we’re flying you out to LA. You’re in the top 32.’
It was good news but I knew that I was going to have to encourage myself a little more and build up the strength to deal with the competition at that time. You know, with so much going on.
I’m hearing all the girls’ stories and everyone had something going on. Not to make myself seem like I was better than anyone else, but some people’s stories were just like not as serious as you think it is. Like, here I am out in L.A. and I don’t even know where I’m going to live when this is over with. When will I move back home? Can I move back home? Do I stay where I’m at? Read more.
I didn’t really enjoy the experience as much as I would have liked to. I always had something going on in the back of my head. I was always wondering about what friends and family were not telling me over the phone because they didn’t want to ruin my time on the show.
I think it affected me a little bit. As much as I just looked looked forward and tried to ignore what was going on, I would just go to sleep at night thinking about the conversations I had had on the phone or the things I had seen on TV.
I just hoped that everyone that I knew was OK.
Everyone was OK. But he stories that I hear now are just crazy. You just want to tell everyone to stop talking. I don’t want to hear any more.
My parents were actually in the middle of it when everything was going on and the stories that they can tell you are just like ‘oh my gosh.’ I’m just glad that I was able to get away because it was the first hurricane that I had ever evacuated for.
At my parents home, there was nine feet of water. It was pretty much gone.
I live in Rutherford, New Jersey now. I wanted to move to the New York area. I found that this is the best place for me to be. For years, I had been talking about moving to New York . New York isn’t the easiest place in the world to move to. It isn’t the most affordable either. You really have to be ready to make the sacrifice. I just made the sacrifice and came out here. If this isn’t a good time, then I wouldn’t know a good time if it was right in front of my face. This is the time for me to just go and do it!”
Wendy plans to continue modeling.
September 19, 2010
In November of 2007, DogOnVillage.com posted an article regarding Cycle 6‘s Wendy Wiltz following her elimination and appearance on the show. Here is the text from the article (written and posted by DogOnVillage staff):
Fashion Rocks in New Orleans
New Orleans, LA – Wendy Wiltz is proud to present “Fashion Rocks Friday” on Friday November 2nd, 2007. The event will bring together local politicians, business professionals and entertainers for a fashion filled event.
The event featuring exquisite New Orleans cuisine begins with black carpet arrivals at 7pm located at Ray’s Over the River, 2 Canal St. on the 31st floor inside the World Trade Center. In addition to breathtaking panoramic views of the city and Mississippi river, the event offers a live performance and Conrad Lamour fashion show featuring models from the hit television series America’s Next Top Model and is topped off by a mixer for all patrons. Proceeds are being donated to Deuce McAllister’s Catch 22 Foundation.
Deuce McAllister’s Catch 22 Foundation is an organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of under-privileged youth and adolescents in the Gulf south region. It provides positive role models providing unique opportunities and a financial commitment to making a difference.
For additional information including, but not limited to tickets, sponsorship packages, and/or press/media info please call (646) 644-1425.
September 19, 2010
In December of 2007, Black Star News interviewed Cycle 6‘s Wendy Wiltz following her elimination and appearance on the show. Here is the text from the interview (written and posted by Black Star News Staff):
Wendy, New Orleans Beauty
[Our Beauty Of Day]
Where She’s From: Wendy Wiltz was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. “One of the most important things I learned from my parents I would have to say is that you have to be yourself and love yourself. My parents always allowed me to be free spirited,” the beautiful model tells The Black Star News.
Wendy went to Cabrini High, an all girl Catholic High School and LSU for three years. “I started modeling my sophomore year in high school after signing with a local agency and booking my first gig, a Pringles Commercial,” she recalls.
“I have experience in fashion shows, shoots, commercials, even film, but still nowhere near to where I want to be,” she continues. “I want to make the big screen. Doesn’t everybody? But no, I really do want to take my career as far as it will let me. I never want to limit myself. I’m always up for challenges.”
“Believe it or not, I was always the shy girl growing up,” Wendy continues, when asked how she deals with challenges in the industry. “Never had many friends and was never the social type. I’ve had to overcome that, especially because of wanting to be in the industry. When you want something so bad, you have to make sacrifices.”
“I’m very proud of all of my gigs ever booked,” she adds. “It’s not an easy industry to get into and I’ve never taken any of it for granted. I am just as proud as my film extra roles just as much as my appearance on Top Model or the Ebony Fashion Fair tour.”
“There are a lot of crooks out there, and sometimes people can assume you’re just a pretty face,” Wendy warns, of why it’s important to have a game plan in the business. “You have to let them know you mean business too.”
So how does this supermodel in waiting prepare to step out?
“I love Citizens for Humanity jeans,” Wendy says. “I’m a size 26, but I have curves too. My favorite perfume is Burberry London, it’s a clean scent and lasts until you wash it off. MAC lip-gloss in wonderstruck would have to be my favorite makeup essential and let me not forget Johnson & Johnson’s creamy baby oil, it’s the best.”
Wendy’s Words Of Wisdom: “No one was ever quoted for saying, “Life is easy” you have to take on challenges to achieve great things. Believe in yourself and all that lies ahead.
Wendy’s Secrets Of Success: “I’ve always been a true believer in things happen for a reason and when it’s your time. That alone will get you far.”
Wendy’s Favorite Three Movies: “The Wedding Planner, Jersey Girl, and Diary of a Mad Black Woman.”
Three Leaders That Have Most Inspired Wendy: “My mom, dad, and brother.”
The First Three Things You Would Do As President: “Develop programs to help the homeless get back on their feet; set up clinics in disease infected countries; and, come up with a plan to solve all issues which normally end in war.”
Wendy’s Favorite Cars: “CL550, G500, and Range Rover. I’m not a girly girl. I’m more into sporty and classy rather than cute and classy.”
Wendy’s Favorite Entertainers And Their Songs: “I love JLo and Beyonce and pretty much everything they’ve ever made.”
Wendy’s Favorite Websites: “Myspace, TMZ, Google, Yahoo.”
Source: Black Star News