America’s Next Top Model Mikaela: I am Not into Drama

Courtesy: Pottle Productions, Inc./Baldomero Fernandez

Mikaela Schipani, who had been in the bottom two several weeks on America’s Next Top Model, finally get her walking papers on last week’s episode. But when Brittani, who had been one of the top contenders had a meltdown at panel, there had been a glimmer of hope Mikaela might be saved. At least that was what host Tyra Banks wanted.

But Tyra was outvoted by the other judges and Brittani, who had had a confrontation with Alexandria at the Warriors in Pink photo challenge in front of the client, was given the opportunity to stay and redeem herself.

Now talks to Mikaela about the conflict between her fellow models, why she joined the show and what is next for her.

I was surprised to hear last night that you were going home. It seemed as if your shoot had gone so much better.  How did you feel about it?

Mikaela: There were some moments in my photo shoot when good things were happening and Mr. Jay was trying to help me out. I thought I would see a picture that was better than the one I saw, so I was definitely disappointed when my pictures showed up at panel.

You had modeled previously. What was happening with your modeling career that made you come to Top Model?

Mikaela: I started modeling when I was 15. Mostly amateur stuff. When I turned 17, I signed with Wilhelmina. I was with them for three years. I did a ton of runway, editorial stuff, magazines, when I turned 21, I decided I wanted to cancel my contract with Wilhelmina and go do something better. Then just a couple of months later, I got an e-mail about America’s Next Top Model. I was confident enough to do it and I decided to do it and see how far it would take me. Also, the exposure didn’t sound bad.

Did you think your experience on America’s Next Top Model would take you above what you could do at Wilhelmina, because that is a good agency?

Mikaela: Wilhelmina was good for the time I was with them, but things started going downhill with their agency and they are still having trouble. I wanted to do something for myself and I thought America’s Next Top Model as a launching pad for that. I wanted to do something bigger for my career. I am really happy with the way things turned out. The exposure was great. I am getting tons of offers. I couldn’t ask for more.

Do you think that Tyra was right when she said that sometimes you had what you needed in your eyes and sometimes you didn’t? Do you think you learned from the experience so it will help you when you go forward?

Mikaela: I value Tyra’s opinion. There is a reason why she is such an amazing model and has such an amazing career. I guess I was a little frustrated. I have never experienced a problem like that. I have never been told my eyes aren’t intense enough. It isn’t this. It isn’t that.  It was something new for me. I didn’t realize that would be an issue in the competition for me. I didn’t see it coming. I value her opinion and the judges’ opinion. Obviously, for the rest of my career, I am going to keep an eye out for that. I am going to make sure that doesn’t show up in any of my film because it is not a good thing.

But she also told you what a great face you have … how gorgeous. You should hold on to that, too.

Mikaela: Right. Tyra was nice the whole time. I was really happy that she wanted me to stay. It was nice to hear that.

There was a lot of drama on last week’s episode. What do you have to say about the conflict between Brittani and Alexandria?

Mikaela: I don’t think any of us were expecting such a blowout. I didn’t think that Brittani would be in the bottom two that day before I got to panel, but once I saw her meltdown and her photo, I knew she was going to be in the bottom two with me. Both girls have a valid opinion. I don’t think either of them are bad people. They are good people. They each had a side to their story. Alexandria wanted to be recognized for her work and wanted to be congratulated. Brittani didn’t think she deserved it. What followed was pretty intense.

The thing with Alexandria had been building all season. It seemed in the episode as if you were all aligned against her and Brittani was the one who spoke up.

Mikaela: I can only speak for myself and how I feel. I know a lot of girls had a problem with Alexandria and I never had a fight; we never had an altercation. I took it as a competition. She was my competition. I never saw a reason to argue with her or anything like that. From my point of view, I was, “I don’t know why we need to go into this. Let’s all treat it as a competition and move on.” I am not into drama; I am not into fights, so I guess that is where I stood.

There is always someone on every reality show who says, “I am not here to make friends.”

Mikaela: I actually made a lot of friends. I still talk to most of the girls from the show.

What was your favorite photo shoot and why?

Mikaela: The jaguar shoot was my favorite. I had so much fun. I did a really good job. I was very pleased with my photo. For some reason, the judges didn’t like it as much as I did, but I am going to use it in my book.

Do you have any regrets?

Mikaela: I am not the kind of person who has regrets. I just think, “That didn’t go the way I wanted it. Or, that did go the way I wanted it. I will do better next time.” If I had to do it over again, I would do the exact same thing. I was myself. I didn’t give into the drama. The way I did it is the way I would always do it.

Now that you are no longer there, who do you think will win?

Mikaela: I always thought from the beginning my biggest competition was Molly and Brittani. I think they are strong models. I think they have a lot to bring to the table. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them wins.

I think Brittani may have hurt her chances last night. Tyra wanted her to go and you to stay.

Mikaela: There are other models who have done much worse than Brittani did in the way they conduct themselves. Brittani has a strong work ethic and she produces a good photo. I think she will be able to redeem herself.

So what is next for you?

Mikaela: I am going to continue working. I am going to New York this summer. I have a lot of offers from agencies. I just need to sort through it and see what is right for me. I am going to continue modeling and, hopefully, I will have some great opportunities in store.

Some of the other girls said they were coming to L.A. Any thoughts on that?

Mikaela: I loved L.A. I want to go back as soon as possible, but I think I want to go back for film. I make films. I have been acting since I was 15. But that is something I want to do in the end. I know models have a shelf life. I want to model for as long as I can.

America’s Next Top Model airs tonight at 8 p.m. on The CW.

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