You know times are tough when even reality show judges can’t keep their jobs. That’s exactly what happened to former supermodel Paulina Porizkova who announced on CBS’ The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson this week that she will not be back on America’s Next Top Model thanks to a little downsizing. We caught up with her after Wednesday’s season finale to talk about Cycle 12’s winner, the show’s true losers and what it feels like to no longer be in the running to be a Top Model judge.
What did you think of Teyona’s win?
Well, I was there. I had a hand in it. But you know what? Honestly, now that I’m off the show I can actually say it. I didn’t vote for Teyona.
Who did you vote for?
Allison. Well, I’m not going to name names. But two of us voted for Allison and two of us voted for Teyona and one of us had to cross the line over to the other one.
Of the three finalists, who do you think is the most likely to have an actual modeling career?
None of them.
Really? That’s sad.
I know. I’m really very sorry. But they’re not models. Look at the history of Top Model. When has a winner not fallen down into that great big hole where the other sock goes? When? That’s because you can’t pick models from a TV show. Those tall, long giraffe things that don’t really look real are rare freaks of nature. And finding a freak of nature with a personality, that’s like finding a double freak of nature. So you’d have a TV show once every 10 years.
You announced this week that you aren’t coming back.
I didn’t announce that. I announced that I was fired on my birthday—April 9th They timed it beautifully.
Well, I was trying to be diplomatic.
Oh, yeah. I don’t think they meant anything ill [by doing it] on my birthday. They just didn’t check. They’re not bad people by any means. None of them. Not Tyra. Not the producers. And I actually had a really good time with Nigel and Ms. Jay and Mr. Jay. It was great. It was a really fun job.
Why did they let you go?
Well, they said that Top Model needs to trim the fat. So they cut me. It came as a little bit of a shock. I was a little upset that I was fired roughly four weeks before the new season was starting. I was being told to go have a physical for the show and then I got fired. I think they could have done that better.
Who is going to pick up your duties?
Oh, I’m sure they’ll have plenty of guest judges doing that stuff. Clearly they didn’t need me so they got rid of me. That’s pretty much the end of the story. And I am refusing to go the polite route of [saying] we had scheduling differences because, frankly, people get fired. I got fired. That’s the way it is.
Actually a lot of my friends from the show got booted, too. Makeup and hair people. And I shouldn’t say this because this sounds bitter. But if Tyra came in on time, they would save somebody’s salary. If she actually showed up on time for the judgings and they didn’t have to pay a lot of overtime, they would save a lot of money.
Was that the case even when you traveled?
Is this a cut that affects all CW shows or just Top Model?
I have no idea. But I assume it probably affects everything. But obviously Top Model is one of the top CW shows. So there are ways of arranging budgets if you don’t want to lose somebody. So it’s pretty clear that they didn’t so much mind losing me. That’s where my hurt ego comes in.
Do you think you did something to bring this on?
I did get pissy about Tyra being late a couple of times. I said, “I don’t think that’s right.” And they told me I had a big ego. So maybe that had something to do with it.
So what do you have planned next?
Well, the nice thing about being fired is that after you get over the hurt part of I-can’t-believe-they-can-do-without-me, there’s a kind of freedom. I’ve been in L.A. all week beating doors for a job. “Hello, I’m available! Would you like to cast me in a TV show?”
If they ask you to come back as a guest judge would you go back?
No. I think there’s a little too much bad blood. I mean I don’t wish them ill. But do I want them to blossom without me? No. I’m not going to lie.
Do you have any advice for future auditioners?
Yeah. Go to Top Model only if you don’t want to be a model. These girls want to be models so desperately. And the fact is the show is not even looking for fashion models. They’re looking for personalities. It’s a Cinderella story. But [many of] the girls who succeed on the show won’t succeed [in the industry] because they’re not models. I have become friends with some of the models on the show and they actually have lost jobs when it came out that they were on America’s Next Top Model, because the fashion industry will not touch those girls with a ten foot pole.
So they have to hide the fact that they were on the show?
Yeah. And if you’re a winner you can just flush yourself down the toilet. Unless you marry a Brady, in which case you have a career.
But some of the models, like Ya-Ya DaCosta, have found showbiz success.
Yes. Some of the ones who did not win have done much better than the winners for sure. But none of them have approached top model [status]. Out of the girls that we had this season: I think Aminat might have a future in shows because she’s a terrific walker, she has a great body, and she’s very tall. But that’s the closest anybody’s going to get to fashion.
Can you make a good living being a show model?
Used to be in the good ol’ days. But I don’t know now. She might have to do Starbucks on the side.
A lot of young girls look up to the show and it really hasn’t produced a top model.
They haven’t and they won’t. And now they’re doing the short girls. Like that’s ever going to catch on in fashion. It might be terrific TV. But it’s not about reality.
Hey, she said it. Not me.