interviewed Cycle 4’s Keenyah Hill following her appearance on the show. The interview discusses what she felt missing out on the top three, what she thought of Africa and how she felt during her elimination. Here is the text from the article (written by Mark Williams-Washington):

Keenyah: After America’s Next Top Model

For many girls, becoming a model is a dream they have had since they were young. Some girls make this dream a reality and others do not. Keenyah Hill, from America’s Next Top Model, season four, has reached that goal. Shine Magazine recently caught up with Keenyah to see what’s going on now, and what’s she’s been up to since the show.

Shine: How are you? How have you been since the show?

Keenyah: I’ve been really good. I have a lot of work coming up. I got signed to a modeling agency and I’m going to be moving to New York.

Shine: How does it feel coming so close to winning on a reality show?

Keenyah: It felt very good that I made it that far on the show. But, realistically it was a real big tease. It really affected me when I didn’t make it because I made it to the top three, and usually the top three is such a big deal. And making it that far and not winning was a big downer. So it felt good to make it that far and then it didn’t feel good.

Shine: Could you describe the feeling?

Keenyah: Yeah, my heart was majorly broken. I was extremely surprised because the girl who was running against me had just received a really bad critique, and I thought that during deliberation that I was absolutely going to be the one that was going to stay and do the final fashion show with Naima. So, me not being able to make it really broke my heart. It was a big shocker. It affected me a whole lot.

Shine: Do you continue to talk to anyone from the show?

Keenyah: Yeah, I talk to a lot of girls from the show. I talk to Naima, the winner, Lluvy, Brittany, Kahlen, and Rebecca. We’re all really good friends.

Shine: How did you end up getting on the show?

Keenyah: I was actually watching Ricki Lake one day really bored and I saw a commercial saying “If you think you got what it takes come on down to this audition tomorrow.” It was the LA audition, and every girl in LA thinks she is a model. So it was tons of girls. We basically told the producers why we thought we should be on the show, and we did a runway walk and they kept calling me back audition after audition. Finally I made it to semi-finals, to making the cast of the show.

Shine: I’m glad you didn’t fit the “black girl from the hood” stereotype.

Keenyah: Thank you, I get that all the time. I think that is what set me apart from the other two black girls that were on the show. Even though I was from Compton I didn’t represent a stereotypical black girl. That’s why people think of me differently and people weren’t able to typecast me into a certain category.

Shine: Are there any photographers in particular you’d like to work with now?

Keenyah: I would actually love to work with Steven Meisel. He is a photographer for Elle Magazine and lots of other top magazines. He is wonderful. I love the way he works with models.

Shine: What designers would you like to work with?

Keenyah: A lot. I would love to work with Michael Kors, Alexander McQueen, and Dolce & Gabbana. Those are designers that I love among everyone that’s out right now.

Shine: Those is my dudes right there. I like D&G, Alexander McQueen, Yohji Yamamoto, and Christian Lacroix.

Keenyah: Oh yeah, I love Christian. Christian is up there.

Shine: Who’s your favorite fashion designer?

Keenyah: I would have to say Stella McCartney. She has a lot of style. It’s not very trendy and it’s something I could wear on the way to an event. I really like her individuality when it comes to styling.

Shine: What is modeling to you?

Keenyah: Modeling is everything to me. It’s kind of what I feel like I was put on the earth to do. Of course I liked school and everything a whole lot. But modeling is where my passion was and it’s where my heart always is. And then I fit the category of a model -tall, skinny – you know. I feel like I have the attitude, [and] the personality. Those things kind of make me feel like…when I wake up that it was really fit for me to be a model.

Shine: If it weren’t for modeling what would you be doing?

Keenyah: I would probably be in school studying to be a pediatrician. I liked biology a lot. That was number two if modeling didn’t work out. But it’s going pretty good so far.

Shine: You said your mom is an artist. What kind of artist is she?

Keenyah: She sculpts faces out of clay and frames them with glass. It’s really nice stuff.

Shine: What was Africa like?

Keenyah: Africa was crazy. Absolutely crazy. So many words for Africa. It was definitely one of the places that I wanted to go to before the show, and when I went there all the assumptions that I had were totally pushed aside. There weren’t lions and zebras running all over the place. It is actually a pretty civilized place. Very modern. Not a third world country and it’s very different. I liked being around my people, it felt very good.

Shine: Would you do something like America’s Next Top Model on Fear Factor?

Keenyah: No I would not. :::laughs::: I like watching Fear Factor but the season I was on already cut it kind of close. If it were to be anything along that line crossing onto the Fear Factor side I couldn’t do it. :::laughs::: Eating cow and all kinds of things, and jumping from planes wouldn’t be it for me. I don’t think so.

Shine: Do you have any tips for aspiring models?

Keenyah: For every girl who wants to be a model, actress, or anything in the entertainment industry you have to make sure that you really want to do it. Make sure that it’s your heart and your passion because if it’s not, whenever you come to a bump in the road it’s going to be twice as hard for you to move on. Really wanting things will definitely push you to do things that are beyond your imagination. So make sure you really want it.

Shine: Any last words or shout outs?

Keenyah: Definitely. Nobody is ever going to hear the end of Keenyah from America’s Next Top Model. So keep your eyes open.

To learn more about Cycle 4’s Keenyah Hill, visit her bio page here.

Photo:  CW / Nigel Barker