BINTM interview: first model elimination

Elle Macpherson, Dannii Minogue and Tyson Beckford have bid farewell to budding model Christina Chalk in the first elimination of Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model.

Chatting to HELLO! Online, she talks about being called "forgettable", turning down a date with Irish actor Gerard Butler and taking on board Elle and Dannii's criticisms.





Hollywood star Gerard Butler once asked you out. What happened there?
"I was 16 and had to interview him on behalf of the Scottish Fashion Awards. At first he wasn't the nicest man, because he didn't know much about fashion and wasn't expecting my questions so I think he got quite aggravated with me.
But then he came up to me after and apologised, and we were just chatting. He was really nice and friendly, but when he asked for my number I was a bit freaked out. Everyone said I should have given it to him, but he's pretty much my dad's age. He's a really nice guy though."

What was it like having Elle and Dannii as judges?
"Elle just didn't seem real. Unless you touched her I still felt like she was on TV. The first couple of days we didn't really see the judges, but Danni did come on our first photoshoot so it was good to chat to her and get all of her advice. She's so small and stylish.
I really liked how Dannii was so honest and very straight to the point, but obviously when you're being criticised it can be quite hard to take but you really want to improve, so I just took it all in and tried to develop.
It was just a surreal experience because obviously they're very high profile celebrities and I just thought, 'holy moley'."

Was there much competitiveness from the start?
"At the start there were 20 of us, so to get down to the final 14 we really had to step our game up. I think when I made it into the house the competition disappeared a little because every day it felt like we were going on an adventure, doing photoshoots and having fun like a bunch of friends going on a trip."

What tips would you give to girls applying for the next series?
"I think definitely go for it and practise your walk beforehand. I would also say get some experience because everyone is really on top of their game. Do test shoots or some modelling before so you aren't instantly scared in front of the camera."

Did you learn much from the experience?
"I still don't know the proper reasons for why I was eliminated. The judges said I didn't understand the general idea of the shoot and that my walk was a bit too cocky, but when I was on set I was told I was natural. At the elimination the judges said I was quite forgettable and that I wasn't anything special so that was difficult to hear. And I thought, 'Hey, my mum tells me I'm special every day!'"



Overall did you enjoy the experience?
"I had an amazing time. Every day was a new adventure and I would do it all over again. I think I had far too much fun every day."

How did you feel leaving the show?
"I feel like I went out on a high because I was having such a fun time. Obviously I was gutted and didn't want to kind of miss out on all of the future adventures. I think the hardest thing was telling my family that I was coming home. In a way it's good timing because I had university exams to get on with, but to be eliminated first was quite upsetting. There's been such a build up before the show and it's been on my mind for ages, so to go was gutting."

What was the infamous model house like?
"It was really cool, very different to my student flat. We had a catwalk to practice our walks, a massive lounge, and a really cool swimming pool. The kitchen was always full of treats too. The interior design was just so nice. I stayed in the massive bedroom with quite a few of the other girls so that was really fun, having wee chats before going to sleep. But then of course it gets too noisy and you can't sleep."

Who did you bond with most out of the other contestants?
"I really liked Sophie and Naomi so I really want one of them to win. I think they'll do really well. As a house we all got on well and because I was eliminated so early, everyone was just starting to form friendship groups so it wasn't too bitchy yet."

Are you still pursuing your dream of modelling?
"I'm with a modelling agency in Scotland but there isn't masses of work here. You really have to be in London, and being in full time education is difficult to balance. I've just finished my second year at Glasgow University, so I'll concentrate on getting my degree and still do part-time modelling because I absolutely love it.
I don't know if I could do it full time though because I can't handle being rejected on my looks all the time. It's a really hard industry to be in. You've got stay really positive and be able to bounce back, and be ready to always evaluate yourself. I think you've either kind of got it or you don't. I still don't really know if I have it but I guess I'll have to wait and see."

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