Norelle took some fabulous pictures during her time on America’s Next Top Model. She’s been called a true Cinderella story by some of the other models, and no one has had a bad thing to say about her. Well, except for maybe Eva…
Hi Norelle! What inspired you to apply for the show, and how nerve-wracking was the selection process for you?
Well, modeling is something that I’ve always wanted to do. People at work were always telling me, “You should do that show! You should do that show!” So I looked it up online and the casting call was the next day.
It wasn’t too bad really. I stood in line for 12 hours to see someone, and they asked me to stay and I made a tape. Then I didn’t hear back for like a month or two. When they called me and said I’d made it to the semi-finals, I freaked!
When you found out that you had made it to the final fourteen, did anyone else stand out as stiff competition for you?
Definitely Ann because we’re very similar. We’re close to the same height, I have green eyes and brown hair, she has green eyes and brown hair; we just have the same physical qualities.
When you get Tyra Mail and find out you’ll be doing a photo-shoot, what goes through your mind?
I always got so nervous! You have no idea what to expect and everything happens so fast. You get there, then you’re suddenly doing makeup and getting ready, and then in the back of your mind you just really want to take a good picture.
After seeing the footage of what Eva actually said to Ann, do you think the resulting argument was blown out of proportion?
No, I don’t think it was blown out of proportion originally. It became a target conversation for everyone to jump in though, and then it got to be a bit too much. I think Ann was sticking up for me because Eva and I were super-close, and Ann was close with Eva as well. So she felt hurt and wondered if Eva would say things like that about her too. Ann had every right to be upset and speak her mind, but then it just became a target conversation with Yaya jumping in and everything.
I love Eva and I know she wouldn’t say anything to hurt me.
Did you get the chance to go shopping for Hello Kitty stuff in Tokyo?
I did get to go shopping a little bit! But where I went there wasn’t much Hello Kitty stuff, unfortunately. It was great though; they have a lot of cool stuff that you can’t get here. There were some great deals too, but it’s a little confusing with their money. I’d buy something and they’d be like, “That’s 400,000 Yen”. You just have no idea how much that is!
Nicole said in her interview that you were one of the only people who was edited the way you really are. Do you agree?
I think everybody was shown how they really were. I think it was very accurate. I was nervous to see how I’d be portrayed, but they did a great job and I’m happy with the editing. Nicole wasn’t shown too much which was a shame, but overall they did a great job.
How would you describe each of the remaining four girls?
Oh, that’s tough! I guess I’d say that Yaya is too prideful, Eva is too confident, Ann isn’t confident enough, and Amanda should concentrate more on being a model than on being blind.
Out of all the industry people you got to meet, who was your favourite and why?
Heatherette! No surprise there! They’re just such cute boys and amazing designers. Their shows are so outrageous and it was so much fun meeting them and being in their show.
What was the most important thing you learned about yourself during your experience with the show?
I learned that I’m a lot stronger than I thought I was. I have more confidence now because of that. I know that I can handle criticism and disappointment, and I can be away from my family and friends and still be strong.
I think I grew up a lot over the time I was there. I’m very kid-like, that’s just the way I am. I like to have fun and be happy, and I’m not at all about the drama. I like to think that everyone has good intentions, although I know that’s not always the case.
Are you still eager to get out there and work as a model?
I can’t wait! I want to do everything! Look out Kate Moss, here I come!
Are there any funny things that happened that didn’t make it on the show that you’d like to share?
One night I was so tired, and Ann and Eva were up talking and making noise. I told them to shut up so I could sleep, and it got quiet for about five minutes. Then they came over and dragged me out of bed by my feet, and we all just danced around. It was so much fun!
Then another night it was like 3am, and Ann got a phone call from a boy that she really liked. She gets out of bed and runs out to get the phone, and there were these curtains hanging around the door – she steps on the curtain and slips, and the curtain falls down on top of her. She was so excited to speak to this boy!
What advice do you have for anyone who is thinking of trying out for America’s Next Top Model?
I think every girl should try out! But … remember to try and stay out of the drama as much as possible. You’re there to be a model, not to be on television. There’s so much you can learn about the industry if you just concentrate on yourself and the advice you’re given.
Have fun, have a good time – I sure did! But pay attention to the criticism from the judges. It’s much more beneficial to concentrate on modeling instead of being a drama queen.
Thanks so much Norelle – I’m looking forward to seeing you grace the cover of fashion magazines in the future!
For sure!! Thanks!
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