Victoria Marshman ’09 was eliminated from the reality television show “America’s Next Top Model,” on Wednesday night’s episode.
The show, hosted by Tyra Banks, characterized Marshman as uninterested in a modeling career and portrayed her as a nerd to magnify a personality clash with the other contestants, campus and national viewers said. Although Marshman has known the outcome of the contest since the end of filming this summer, she was bound until Wednesday night by a confidentiality agreement with the network that produces and airs the show, she said.
Marshman said she was frustrated that the show fixated on her Yale credentials even though she did not mention the name of her school to the other contestants during production. She did not see the final cut of the show in advance and did not tune in Wednesday night, she said.
Marshman, who was the third contestant to be disqualified this season, said she never expected to progress to the final rounds of the show because she did not take it as seriously as most of her competitors. She originally auditioned as a joke and was far from devastated that she lost, she said.
“I knew going in from the beginning that I wasn’t going to win and probably wasn’t going to get so far,” she said in a phone interview with the News on Wednesday night. “I still can’t take seriously skinny girls putting on clothes and walking up and down no matter how much it’s glamorized. You can’t convince me that there’s a lot of talent in that.”
The contestants on Wednesday night’s episode were assigned to dress as plants; Marshman dressed as a cactus. Toward the end of the show, she traded barbs with one of the judges, who accused her of having a “prickly attitude.”
“They basically portrayed her as not really being interested in modeling and in the show in general, which is accurate,” said Katharine Kendrick ’09, who has roomed with Marshman for three years. “I think it was refreshing to a lot of viewers to see someone who’s not so serious and doesn’t have her heart set on modeling, but it also probably irritated girls across America who want to be Tyra Banks.”
Although several viewers at Yale, who said they were rooting for Marshman, were not surprised when she lost, they were still sorry to see her go.
“Zelda [Roland ’08] and I held hands and almost cried,” Adam Gardner ’09 said. “It felt like we were getting kicked off.”
Gardner, who has followed the show loyally, said he would continue to watch despite his classmate’s elimination. But Kendrick said Marshman’s elimination “took out nine-tenths of the appeal of watching the show.”
Kendrick said a part of her was relieved to see her friend out of the spotlight.
Viewers outside of Yale also expressed dismay at Marshman’s elimination on a discussion board on the show’s Web site.
“I’m irritated that they sent the girl from Yale home,” wrote one user with the screen name courtnielaine. “She took a better picture than a couple of the other girls, they just didn’t like her attitude. Boo.”
After auditioning in Boston last winter, Marshman found out that she made the final cut last May.