Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model exit interview – Naomi Pelkiewicz

RadioTimes.com caught up with this week's eliminated contestant to hear all about nerve-wracking photo shoots and why she loved Dannii Minogue

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How would you describe your experience on Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model?

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Top Model was absolutely incredible. It could be emotionally tough at times, but overall, the whole experience was completely worth it and I would do it again any day. I learned so much about the industry and I really enjoyed meeting everyone involved. Being able to go to Barbados was just amazing and I am so grateful to everyone that helped me throughout the whole process.

Had you done much modelling before?

I’d never really modelled before the show, so everything was completely new to me – which I found to be so exciting! I never thought I’d even get on the show, so I think I was lucky to go so far in the competition with not much modelling experience.

What was the most nerve-wracking part of the competition?

The first day of bootcamp. I never expected there to be 28 girls on arrival, and it was so tense trying to work out who we thought was going home or going through. I was so sure I wasn’t going to make it past the first day, but to my surprise I managed to get into the final 14.

Eliminations were obviously horrendously nerve-wracking. Being in the bottom four was just the worst feeling and waiting around for so long to find out who was eliminated was tough as everyone wanted to keep their place in the competition so much.

What was your worst photo shoot?

I think my least favourite photo shoot was the cave shoot in Barbados. I found it really tough for some reason, and obviously getting eliminated at the end of it was just disappointing. I think Elle intimidated me on set as I never seemed to perform that well when she was there – like on the Fairytale shoot – I ended up in the bottom 2.

And do you have a favourite?

My favourite shoot was definitely the topless-on-the-beach day. I just had real fun, and with Dannii Minogue and Jourdan Dunn there as well, it went really well. To be rewarded with photo of the week was the best feeling – I just wish I’d got photo of the week again after that.

Who were you best pals with?

I got on best with Sophie, Saffron and Holly. We’ve all met up since the show and we just kept each other happy and entertained throughout the process. To come out of such a tough competition with great friends is such a bonus.

There were a lot of arguments in the house – did it become a stressful environment to live in?

It could be pretty stressful at times, but I just tried to keep out of arguments as much as possible. I wanted to keep my mind focused on modelling.

Was it hard going into the judging room and receiving negative feedback?

It was really hard receiving criticism, although the judges tried to make feedback as constructive as possible. I’m guessing that they were probably nicer than the real modelling industry is – I’ve heard they can be really tough. It was difficult to remember sometimes not to take it too personally, and to remember that BINTM is just a television show. Overall, I valued what the judges had to say to me.

What do you think went wrong this week – why were you eliminated?

It was difficult because last week, Elle told me that I had done well. To go from that to being eliminated was hard. I don’t know what went wrong, really – I think in my head I had a slightly wrong idea of the photo shoot brief. I assumed that because of our styling and location, we would be doing full length really edgy poses, but actually it was more of a beauty shot focused on the jewellery. I didn’t adapt quick enough and didn’t get a good shot at all. When I saw my picture in elimination, I think I knew it would be me – but I didn’t want to think about that.

Who would you have eliminated this week instead?

All the girls are so strong – that’s a really difficult question! No one deserves to go ever but it’s a competition and that’s the way these things work.

Is there anything you’d have done differently throughout the competition?

I would have practised posing more. I was consistently told off for having dead eyes so also working out how to look more ‘alive’ in pictures would be something I should have done. Saying that, I try to live without regrets, and I came fifth so I really have nothing to complain about.

How did you find the judges?

I got on best with Dannii. She was so helpful throughout and had so much energy. It felt like she really cared about all of us and that was really appreciated. She got to know us and we got to know her too, which was great.

What’s it been like watching yourself back on TV?

It was really strange at first seeing myself on television. I was very nervous before seeing the first few episodes, but now it’s a lot easier to sit down and watch them. Most I have watched with my family – I had told them everything about the competition already but it was really nice to discuss everything with them. I’ve been recognised a few times as well which is surreal.

What have you been up to since the competition? Have you done much modelling?

I haven’t done any modelling since the competition. I’m currently working in television (behind the cameras) and I am absolutely loving it. I’ve also been to two film premieres with some of the girls which were so much fun. 

Do you want to make a career out of modelling in the future?

We’ll see what happens with modelling. It would be amazing to carry on and do some more, but I’m really enjoying working in television at the moment. BINTM was an incredible experience, but even from that the pressure was immense. I can imagine being a working model to be possibly even harder.

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Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model continues on Thursdays at 9:00pm on Sky Living