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.

To learn more about Cycle 5‘s Sarah Rhodes, visit her bio page here.

Source: FORT
Photo:  CW