Tonight Tyra Banks will crown either Laura LaFrate or Sophie Sumner the winner of America’s Next Top Model after the two finalists film their CoverGirl® commercial and photo shoot. But all does not go smoothly and one of the women has a panic attack and winds up in the hospital.
But before that happens, we talk to Annaliese Dayes, who placed third in the competition. The 24-year-old from London, England had a bubbly personality, which took her farther than she thought she would go. But she never won best photo, which may have been the nail in coffin that resulted in her elimination in the semi-finals.
America’s Next Top Model airs tonight at 9 p.m. on The CW. But first, read on to get Annalise’s take on her time on the reality TV series.
How hard was it to get so close to winning and still be so far away?
I don’t even think of it like that to be honest. I was overly impressed by how far I made it. I was the underdog and nobody thought I would make it that far. Initially, I just wanted to do better than I did on Britain’s Next Top Model. I came in seventh on that, so once I was sixth, I was really happy. Then I was getting greedy. I was like, “Oh, yeah! Final five.” Then I made it to four and then I jumped to three.
I actually thought you had a shot at winning because you were doing so well, especially in the last few episodes when you really kicked up your game. Can you talk about your journey — how you grew through the process?
I think from the start, it was expected I would be going home really soon. I was kind of in the middle ground. I think I survived so long because of the personality thing, but I was never in the bottom two and I never got best photo.
This is my theory: I think that meant that I kept out of the way of the judges. For example, if you are in the final two and they save you, next week they are going to be, “She better have stepped it up.” If you get best photo, they are going to be, “She didn’t keep up her game. Where is she going?” I kind of slipped in through the middle and then just went, “Pow! I am still here in the final three.”
I think part of Tyra’s success is her personality, not just her looks. So, I am not sure the advice they gave you to become a TV presenter may not be the correct thing. What is your take on it?
Presenting is what I do. I enjoy presenting. I love modeling as well. I have been doing it since I was 13 years old and I will continue doing it as long as I can, but I just think I can make a bigger splash as a presenter than I can as a model. I enjoy it and I get the same, if not more of a buzz, standing on a stage and talking to people than I do standing in front of a camera.
So is that what you will pursue next?
I have been doing presenting since before Britain’s Next Top Model. I just kept it quiet on Britain’s but since doing it, I have my own radio show in the U.K., I host live events and have done a little bit of TV presenting, but we want to make that bigger.
What was the most important thing you learned from doing the show?
Just to stay positive, humble and always be yourself. I think a positive attitude will get you far.
You had such a good attitude. Is that who you naturally are?
Yes. It is. I think growing up modeling, you take rejection all the time. I learned to have a thick skin about it. You can’t take it personal and, at the end of the day, you are not going to get anywhere if you have a crappy attitude. You are just going to get more negativity. I keep positive because I know it will bring more positive things into my life.
It looked like there were some hard times living in the house. What was that like?
It was a nightmare. I am an only child, I like my own space and that, obviously, is something you do not have in this house. I was also one of the oldest girls in the house. There were a lot of young girls running around screaming, and sometimes it just made me feel really old. I just wanted to sit down and read a book. The one time I did try to get involved in a bit of silliness, it went really bad. I went, “You know, Annaliese, go read a book. It will keep you out of trouble.”
Who are you rooting for now?
It has got to be Sophie. I am going to stay loyal and British. I think Sophie can represent America’s Next Top Model better than Laura can. Laura isn’t a bad model. That girl is going to go out and book some major campaigns — but, I think, in terms of the brand of America’s Next Top Model, she is a little too shagalicious. She is a very sexual girl. I admire that because at the end of the day, she is who she is. She doesn’t pretend not to be. She goes with it. When you are comfortable in yourself, it makes you a very attractive person.
What is next for you?
You are allowed to do what you were doing before the show, so, luckily, I was modeling and doing the presenting before the show, so I have been able to go on with my life. But right now, I am in America, so I have been able to watch the show on TV, as opposed to a laptop and I am just really enjoying reaping the benefits from being on a TV show out here — attending to fashion events and smiling and being me. I just want to keep on doing that. I think somebody should get me a job.