‘ANTM’s’ Mikaela dishes on all the drama at the judging panel and her elimination
It was a drama-filled week on “America’s Next Top Model,” ending with an unprecedented outburst at panel by Brittani and Mikaela going home. The 21-year-old college student from Boca Raton, Fla., talked to CTV.ca about what it was like to witness such a tense situation, how she felt about being eliminated and what her future plans are. Excerpts are below.
CTV.ca: What an episode this week. Can you tell me about all the drama between Brittani and Alexandria at the judging panel?
Mikaela: Going into panel, everyone knew that Brittani was really upset about the Alexandria situation and her challenge win but I don’t think any of us expected it to get that intense. It went pretty far and of course, as you saw, poor Brittani was having a panic attack and Alexandria was really upset, too. I don’t think anyone was expecting it. I know I wasn’t.
CTV.ca: I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone walk out of panel before on the show.
Mikaela: I think she just had enough. She was having a panic attack and she couldn’t breathe so I think the best thing for her to do was just walk off and take a couple minutes.
CTV.ca: How were you feeling? Was it hard to believe what was unfolding?
Mikaela: It was weird. I kind of had two thoughts going on at the same time. I knew I was going to be eliminated before I was, yet on the other hand I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, what does this mean for Brittani?’ Because going into panel, I didn’t think she would be in the bottom two with me but once the meltdown happened and then she came back and we saw her photo, I knew that she (would be).
CTV.ca: What did you and the other girls think of that whole situation? Did you agree with Brittani that Alexandria shouldn’t have been a spokesperson for an important cause like breast cancer?
Mikaela: I know a lot of people are lumping the girls together saying everyone hated Alexandria but to be honest I never had an altercation with Alexandria. We never had a real issue. The only thing that bothered me was the way she treated people on set.
As far as who was right and who was wrong, they were kind of both right and both wrong. If you look at their points, Alexandria wanted to be recognized for her work, she wanted to be congratulated for her challenge win and Nigel chose her … but then Brittani thought she didn’t deserve it. So neither of the girls backed down from their point and they both had a case to argue.
CTV.ca: You said you had a feeling you were going home? Why did you think that?
Mikaela: The week before I had been in the bottom two and I didn’t really think I deserved to be. I didn’t think Monique deserved to be either. That was frustrating and I was trying to find a way to impress the judges. I felt like I’d had a couple good photos but I also felt like I wasn’t getting any kind of recognition, even for my good photos. When I went into (the Universal Studios) shoot … I was really trying to translate that into a great photograph and although I had some great moments, it wasn’t a successful shoot … Once I got to panel and saw my photo, I figured I’d be the one going home.
CTV.ca: Tyra said she didn’t want you to go home and voted for Brittani to go instead. How did you feel about that?
Mikaela: I was really grateful that she said that to me. It was nice to know that she wanted me to stay and that she saw that I had potential and that really meant the world to me. So even though I had to go home, knowing she was supporting me and wanted me to stay, that’s huge. It’s Tyra Banks.
CTV.ca: You’ve modeled before so why do you think you struggled with some of the challenges on the show?
Mikaela: I’m not sure what it was. I’ve been modeling since I was 15, so about six years, and I’d never been told that my photos weren’t intense enough or there wasn’t enough emotion in my eyes so that was something that was new for me and when I got into the competition, I almost didn’t know what to do with that information. It’s hard to know what you’re doing, you can never see your film doing photo shoots … it was very hard for me to bridge the gap between the comments I got from Jay on the photo shoot sets and then the picture I would see at panel.
CTV.ca: Do you think going on the show was still a good experience for you and will give you a leg up even though you didn’t win?
Mikaela: The show was a fantastic experience for me, just the exposure alone. And I’m getting so many offers every day from people in the industry. I can’t wait to get back to work.
CTV.ca: What do you plan to do next?
Mikaela: I’m living in Boca Raton, Florida and I’ve been working out of Miami (since I was younger) … I want to go to New York for the summer (to see how much) work I can get but I might be back in Miami when their (fashion) season starts back up again in the fall.