Tech student talks about time on America’s Next Top Model
By Brooke Bellomy
Published: Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, June 1, 2010
If you followed the drama of America’s Next Top Model this past season, you would not have seen much of a commotion from Texas Tech’s own Alexandra Underwood.A senior mass communications major from Kerrville, Underwood tried to avoid the drama between the contestants living in the Top Model house for ANTM cycle 14. Unfortunately, drama makes for good television and Underwood was not featured on the show as much as others.
“I left the room when the drama started,” said Underwood. “I probably lost air time because of it but I’m really not into that sort of thing.”Bebe Petree of Lubbock, a long time friend of the Underwood family and the responsible party for talking Underwood into auditioning for the show, said she agreed based onUnderwood’s personality of steering clear of quarrels and not participating in cliques.
“I knew she was perfect for the show,” said Petree. “She has the height, the face and the personality, and her personality shines through on the show.”Underwood’s hometown friend, Jessica Reese of Kerrville, said the Underwood shown on television is the same goofy friend she’s always been and still is even since the show has aired.The two and a half months of filming, which spanned from Sept. to Nov. of last year, took the top ten contestants from across the United States to Los Angeles and New Zealand.
Underwood said she enjoyed the travel opportunities — especially New Zealand — the show offered her.“I loved New Zealand,” she said. “Everyone is so active and outdoorsy. I’d love to go back.”Over the course of filming, Underwood was only able to talk to her family twice. She said that was particularly challenging since she normally talks to her mom, dad and sister daily. She also missed Thanksgiving which was especially difficult for her.
After filming, Underwood returned to Tech to take classes this past spring. Around Lubbock, Underwood said she has been recognized at Market Street on 50th Street and Bless Your Heart but people have been hesitant about approaching her on campus.
“I think people were confused that I wasn’t filming while the show was airing,” she said, “but I really am approachable.”
The show aired this spring and until the final episode, Underwood was contractually obligated to keep a tight lip about her experience and more importantly about the outcome of the show.“I begged, cried and pleaded but she never would tell me how she fared,” said Petree.
Show followers now know Underwood completed the show as a Final Four contestant. Although she is not America’s Next Top Model, a modeling career is a very real possibility for Underwood as a plus size model.“At first, it was odd to say I was a plus size model because I don’t wear plus sizes or plus sized clothes,” she said, “but celebrities like Shakira, Kim Kardashian and Beyonce have made it more accepted.”
Of her final episode, Underwood said she was frustrated to have been in the bottom two and did not expect to be eliminated.“She should have won but I guess I’m biased,” said Reese. “We’re so proud of her because she gave 100 percent to the competition just like she does everything she does.”So what’s next for Underwood?“I’m looking forward to an interview with Wilhelmina in New York City this July,” said Underwood.
Wilhelmina Models is a prestigious international modeling agency and leader in the model management industry. The company is given the first opportunity to sign the show’s contestants. Until then, Underwood is not allowed to work in the industry.
Should she sign a contract with a modeling agency, her impending December 2010 Tech graduation may be postponed.“This opportunity has been put before me for a reason,” she said. “I have to pursue this right now.”