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America's Next Top Model: College Edition - Exclusive Interview with Darian Ellis

Posted on 09/11/2012 by Kylene in Americas Next Top Model and Cast Interviews

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By Kylene Hamulak


America's Next Top Model: College Edition recently said goodbye to LSU's Darian Ellis in the closest elimination of the season so far - the vote came down to mere tenths of a point separating the social media scores of Darian and Yvonne. Reality Wanted talked exclusively to Darian about her journey, her future, and what she really felt about cutting off her signature braids.


Q. Kylene, Reality Wanted: So how did you end up on Top Model - what made you try out, and what was the process like for you?
A. Darian: Well, I wanted to model and just being honest with myself about what would make me happy in life. I saw an ad in the newspaper for New Orleans Fashion Week. Baton Rouge is pretty far, so New Orleans would be the closest place for me to go to experience fashion and they picked me for two shows and I was able to experience that. I was just, like, this feels on whole other level I can do this, it just completely opened my eyes. Then there was an opportunity to go to Austin to try out, and I just had to go, I had to take the trip. I turned into some homework early and I just went for it.


Q. Kylene, Reality Wanted: Mean girls, nerds, jocks - several of the other contestants described themselves with particular labels. If you had to pick one group that you could best relate to, who do you feel like you represent?

A. Darian: Um a certain type of girl - I wouldn't say I'm a certain type of girl, I'm a fun girl! If you're around me we're laughing, we're joking. But I'm also someone you can talk to about anything. I'm a girl's girl. All girls are different, and I can relate to anyone. You know, the smart girls, geeky girls, serious girls - I'm just...I'm THAT girl, how about that. I'm all of them.


Q. Kylene, Reality Wanted: Obviously there was a little incident with being a "fun girl" in the house with the Kiara incident. Was there anything you'd want to share with the viewers about that incident that we didn't see? Was it tense in the house, or was that sort of a one-time deal that happened?

A. Darian: That was pretty much my outburst with any of the girls simply because of the type of girl I am. I wouldn't say I'm a catty type of girl, you know? I understood that there were going to be different types of personalities and people might not like my outgoing nature, but it's all about how you present yourself to people. And that whole situation could've been avoided simply by asking me, just by saying, you know, you kept me up all night, could you keep it down, I would've apologized first, I'm sorry. But the way it happened...it just didn't work out like that. The fans weren't able to see how me and the other girls got along, just having fun in the house. That's what I wanted. It's a great opportunity, I just wanted to get the most out of it. We had a lot of fun in the house.


Q. Kylene, Reality Wanted: When found out via social media that the fans weren't really reacting well to your braids, you volunteered for a makeover if that's what the people wanted. Ultimately, of course, you did have them cut. Did/do you regret that decision and how do you feel about your style now?

A. Darian: Well, you know, it's Tyra Banks we're talking about. These are people who are professionals in the modeling industry, and I'm just a girl from Louisiana, so they're gonna know what's best for me. But even Tyra said, that she would keep the braids, but with the whole social media aspect, they weren't responding to my braids. So she even said, it wouldn't be fair for her to keep them just because SHE wanted to keep them, you know, because they're the ones voting, and I needed their votes. She was like, we're gonna change it up, make you more versatile, you know? I love my braids, and maybe sometime in the future, you know - they made me stand out. Not that many girls can pull off the braids. I love them, but I'm all about change. I can change and go back and forth with them. Maybe further down the line, if I'm not modeling, or maybe I'll start a new trend. You never know!


Q. Kylene, Reality Wanted: So what are you studying now? Are you currently taking classes?

A. Darian: I'm a Biology major at LSU. I'm taking a few classes because my grades are really important to me and I have a pretty decent GPA at LSU. I didn't want these new experiences to hinder my grades, I didn't want my grades to dip. I'm just taking my time and not being a full student full time right now. I go to classes, and a few kids have recognized me, but I get recognized a lot in places I wouldn't expect like Wal-Mart and gas stations, it's just crazy. It's crazy, but I love it. People want to talk to me everywhere I go, so it's always, you know, a great thing.


Q. Kylene, Reality Wanted: How do you see model fitting into your future?

A. Darian: To be completely honest with myself, I always wanted to do this, I just never had the confidence. Now that I've seen and gotten positive feedback and people can relate to me and people liked me and I guess, you know, that I have a look that can be accessible to the industry, I'm going for it. I mean, modeling agents have always said "It's all about the right now." School is important, but LSU isn't going anywhere, you know, and like I said before, I have good grades, so I can go back anytime. I can finish that up anytime, so right now I want to follow my dreams, and modeling is something that I want to do.


America's Next Top Model airs on Friday at 8pm on The CW.

(Image courtesy of The CW)



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