In UPN's fifth season premiere of America's Next Top Model, one of the would-be catwalkers stumbled twice during her first runway show, then made out with a fellow contestant during a champagne-fueled free-for-all in the back seat of a limo. Yet it was Ashley Black, a poised boutique buyer from Miami, who got the Ugg boot. Perhaps host Tyra Banks was jealous of the girl's "pretty gene"? In anticipation of tomorrow's new episode (airing at 8 pm/ET), TVGuide.com checked in with the knockout.
TVGuide.com: First things first: You've gotta tell me about this pretty gene that runs in your family.
Ashley Black: It sounded like I was pretty cocky, but it's actually a little joke that we have. We're humble people. My mom looks just like Ashley Judd, and I have a cousin who looks like Sunshine [aka Kip Pardue] from Remember the Titans, so it's our "celebrity pretty gene." We get asked about it all the time!
TVGuide.com: The Top Model panel seemed to almost take offense to it.
Ashley: They thought it was a little humorous, but yeah, they did pretty much take it as a cocky comment, which is funny because I'm a girl who lost 70 lbs. — I've been teased by cocky people my whole life, so it's the last thing I'd ever want to be. Since I'm not very good at taking compliments, it just became sort of a joke. "Oh, we've got this celebrity pretty gene in my family. Thank you so much!" It got taken a little out of context here, but whatever, man.
TVGuide.com: It's ironic. They always want contestants to be confident, you seemed it, and yet they dissed you for it.
Ashley: Exactly! But that's OK. I don't have a lot of confidence, but I know I can get in front of a camera and take an OK photo. And they were already comparing me to Charlize Theron and Sharon Stone; that's why I put that out there.
TVGuide: Since you resemble two very successful stars, it might be a smart career move to try acting.
Ashley: I acted a lot in high school, but then I went straight to do the collegiate thing. And again, I lost weight and realized that I liked being in front of the camera, and also, I really liked fashion. I'm down for trying anything, but I think modeling is a lot harder than acting.
Ashley: Oh, most definitely! Actors get lines in order to portray the emotions they're trying to bring across, whereas models have to do it in a photograph. Whether it's high fashion or low, sad or happy, whatever the basics are, it becomes a little more complicated and much more of a challenge.
TVGuide.com: Hmm. Good point. Let's talk about Kim, the outspoken, out lesbian.
Ashley: We're really great friends. I went in there telling everybody that I'm pretty blunt and I'm very honest. I wanted to tell them beforehand that if anybody asks me something, know that I'm going to tell you the truth. So don't ask me if you don't want my honest opinion! I'm not a person who likes having smoke blown up her skirt. Kim's the same way.
TVGuide.com: So when she asked for help with her makeup during a challenge, she couldn't have been surprised when your response was, in essence, "You should have learned how to do makeup before coming on a modeling show."
Ashley: Yeah, that's a little bit true. But the situation with that was actually a little bit funnier than what they showed. You had 30 minutes to either do your makeup and hair or go network with the people in the lobby — stars, stylists, designers… all the people who were there. I came prepared with hair and makeup, so I chose to go network! So when Kim asked for help, of course I would love to help anybody, but it was a competition. I simply said to her, "I've got to go out and try to do this for myself just like you've got to try and do this for you." And she completely understood that. There weren't any hard feelings.
TVGuide.com: What was it like in the limo when Kim and Sarah were impulsively making out?
Black: It was just a fun, let's-all-go-out-and-have-a-good-time thing. They let us explore L.A. and hang out a little bit, and you know as well as anyone else that when you go out with people, you get to know them a little better. [Those two] just got a little bit wild! If you notice in the clip, I'm directly underneath them. They made out on top of me, and I was laughing so hard. It was such a memorable moment.