America’s Next Top Model cycle 22 brought back the eliminated models in a beautiful twist that reheated some drama from the past. We have an ANTM exclusive interview with eliminated models Dustin McNeer and Justin Kim, who talk about love, distractions, and the challenges of the insanely competitive modeling industry.
CDL also has a full recap of America’s Next Top Model season 22 episode 10 right here. Don’t forget to keep checking CDL for all your ANTM cycle 22 needs and wants!
How did the dynamic change coming back into the competition for a second chance?
“The other contestants were definitely stressed and dramatic. The competition seemed to be getting to everyone, so when I came back it was a different environment. Everyone seemed upset most of the time.”
You seemed to rub Hadassah, in particular, the wrong way. Can you give us any insight into what happened with the sudden tension?
“I’m not 100% sure, honestly. We were on good terms, but she seemed to grow a dislike for me. I’m not sure where that come from. I came back and it felt like she was struggling, so when I came back and beat her by 1 point, I think it bothered her.”
Justin picked you for the partner challenge, but you ended up taking his spot. How did play out for you both?
“I felt SO bad! He’s my boy, and I know that after he left he was ok, but I felt terrible. When I left, I was rooting for Justin and Nyle, so it was bittersweet. We still talk and we’re trying to maintain a friendship and I still feel tight with Nyle and Stefano, too. Delanie and I actually started talking as well. It’s great to have people that support you and you can talk to about things that happened during the competition.”
Bum-rushing Mikey and Ava during the mad rush around L.A. didn’t go over well. Do you feel that played a part in Justin being sent home?
“That was a complete accident. We arrived and we didn’t see any cars, or a camera crew, so we went up and were directed toward the designers. If we would have seen someone else was there, we wouldn’t have even gone up and just skipped it. I tried to explain but I didn’t get much of a voice in that situation.”
The extras seemed to capture your attention and focus. Did that play a part in your second downfall?
“I don’t think they took my focus, I was just happy to have someone else to talk to. All the other contestants were very touchy and easily angered, so I talked with the extras. I don’t think it played a role in distracting me. It was just nice to meet new people. I love to make new friends.”
What experience on ANTM taught you the most about the modeling industry?
“A lot happened. I learned so much, so it’s impossible to pick just one moment. Yusi gave me so many tips and the panel was an amazing opportunity to learn. Tyra knows the industry and was always eager to teach us all about it.”
You picked Dustin who ended up taking your spot. Is there any hard feelings? How did that work out for you?
“Man, I hate him! I’m just playing! Stefano and Dustin are my boys, so I was rooting for him.”
The letter you left Mame was obviously filled with lovely sentiments. Respecting your privacy, we won’t ask what was in the letter, but what would you like to share about building a relationship in a reality show setting like ANTM?
“It’s the last thing you could have expected. Getting close with someone like that; it was a blessing. It’s completely unexpected, but having someone to talk to and trust really helped. Just being able to talk to someone in the competition was so helpful and it was relief to have someone you could trust. We still talk and meet up, but it’s tough. We just got back from L.A. actually. As far as a serious relationship, it could happen. It’s tough but possible.”
What do you feel was the biggest challenge in regards to not just modeling, but modeling on a Tyra-level?
“It’s completely different. It’s like a regular shoot multiplied by 1,000. I don’t really consider myself as a model, but this was a can’t-miss opportunity. I had to take a chance and I’m glad I did.”
What do you consider yourself in lieu of a model?
“I’d love to act. It would be great to test those water and modeling is great, but I think it might be a great stepping stone.”
If you could change one decision you made during the entire competition, what would it be?
“Honestly, I probably wouldn’t change anything. I went in with the attitude of no regrets. Maybe I wish I would have stepped outside my comfort zone more, but I wouldn’t change any decisions.”
What is next for you?
“I’d love to try acting. Maybe some acting classes? I’m actually working on an athletic and sportswear fashion line. My business partner and I are still talking with manufacturers and have 2 different names picked, but the line would be very functional and clean – just like my style. And, I’d love to get into philanthropy by giving back. I’d like to focus on shoes, actually. I’ll never forget that feeling of getting a brand new pair of shoes as a kid, so I’d love to find a way to give that experience to kids in need.”