l on Wednesday, Oct. 10, was painted as the brainy Yale student who was prickly and just kept talking back to poor Twiggy. The student is back at school now, but granted an interview to set the record straight.

Were you a fan of the show? Didn’t you know better than to talk back?
V: I’ve been getting a lot of flack for asking questions at panel. It was the way it was edited. I did joke around a lot at panel and had a good dialogue with the judges. They just showed snippets of conversation to make me look very, very abrasive. I always ask questions and try to learn more. I speak my mind.

Did the producers encourage you to act a certain way towards Twiggy?
V: I like and respect Twiggy a lot. I didn’t cry and I didn’t catfight, so they didn’t know what to do with me. I felt it was time for me to go when we got out makeovers. There were these packets floating around with our picture on it and our blurb how we were going to be portrayed on the show. I got my hands on it, the person they were trying to portray me as was not me. It also had my religious and political views on it, and I thought it was not appropriate to give it the people who were doing my hair. There’s a focus on bringing certain aspects out. Nobody is as crazy in real life as they were portrayed on the show. You’re so sleep deprived it’s so much easier to fight or cry or be abrasive at panel.

How would you like the editing to have been different?
V: Every episode was about me going to Yale. It’s annoying. I didn’t tell the girls I went to Yale. The producers gave it away to them so it would become an issue. But it wouldn’t. I just gave one interview talking about Yale and they put a splice of it in every episode.

You auditioned on a dare?
V: I didn’t really watch the show, but my roommate was an avid fan. So late one night, we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun if we went?’ I’m a happy-go-lucky person. At the last minute she wasn’t able to go, but pestered me into going. I showed up at the casting call. It was so many girls. I was in jeans and a t-shirt. I ended up sticking around. I felt like a good story would come of it. I made the cut and the next couple and then the callback for the next day. I called my friend, and she got really excited, saying I had to stay or she wouldn’t let me back into the dorm. I had missed the train back anyway, so I stayed. I didn’t have any change of clothes or even a hairbrush. I ended up wearing the same clothes the next day for the callback. So everybody gets up in front of the casting director and everybody was saying how they love fashion, how it’s is their dream. I had nothing to lose, so I said why I was there and what was on my mind. I like history, so I went into medieval stuff for a little bit. The cameraman was laughing at me for it. I guess it worked to my advantage. They called me in may in the middle of exams to tell me I made the show. And I believe it’s better to always do something than to not having done it.

Did you question whether you really wanted it?
V: I stayed there mainly because I really like the girls in the house. They’re funny and entertaining, really great people. The show makes the modeling industry into something it’s not; I saw the pure ridiculousness of what they said. It’s hard to distance myself in that respect; everyone has their bias, and the judges certainly did from the beginning. I wasn’t invested in the competition. I was physically exhausted. So it was wisdom to get out early. My goal isn’t to win a reality TV show.

What were some of the other hardships?
V: I couldn’t sit down because the cactus outfit wouldn’t allow it. I was going through a lot of physical ailments. I had a food allergy so my face actually swelled up at one point. And I had severe poison ivy and I dealt with it privately and by myself which is probably why they didn’t it put it on the show.

Why were you so quick to remove your shoes when you were eliminated? Was it a slap in the face to the judges?
V: You saw very little of what happened at the judging panel. The shoe thing was that my feet were turning blue, they hurt so much. Three weeks after the show ended, I still didn’t have feeling in my feet.

Do you keep in touch with any of the other models?
V: I still have some friends. Jenah I think is one of the best people ever. She just visited me. Heather, I really became close to. I think she’s beautiful, talented and brave. I email her. I’d like to see Jenah or Heather win. They’re outstanding role models and very articulate people.

Any message to the fans?
V: Thanks for watching. I’m glad you supported me when I was doing my thing on reality TV. Just remember it’s very edited. Reality TV is not reality. I’m very happy being a student out of that world. The whole experience was very strange but fulfilling in a weird way. I’m happy where I am right now.

Has your opinion about Victoria changed after this interview?

Posted by:Hanh Nguyen