Ben and the rest of the models hit the ground running.
On the first day we arrived in New York City not knowing what to expect, I was a little nervous. We soon found out that there was a stage set up in Times Square where Tyson and Niki welcomed us to New York. To make the day even more interesting, we found out that the competition started right then and there. We were doing a photo shoot on that very stage that was set up in Times Square.
Our photographer was Lee Strickland which was extremely intimidating considering I have never done a real photo shoot before. On top of it being my first photo shoot, I was in an all pink outfit. When I got on the stage I blocked everything out, the cold, the people, the noise, everything. I felt more comfortable than I expected once Lee started shooting. It was a huge high to be able to get the chance to do what you've wanted to do for so long.
Later that day we arrived at the house. I was completely amazed at how great it was. Everyone scrambled to get their bed. Me and Ronnie got the same room which is great because now I don't have to share a room with five other people.
Day two came early and the house was woken up by Tyson yelling for everyone to get up. He told us to dress our best because we were going on a go-see. I threw on my best suit and dressed to impress. So we went and what I saw made my stomach drop.
So Tyson said that you need to be willing to sacrifice to grow. I started by throwing into the fire my favourite cashmere sweater but then thought is this enough? I decided it wasn't so the rest of my stuff followed closely behind. It was hard to throw away the suit that I proposed to my wife in but I could justify burning something that was so full of memories in because we have the wedding day.
Within minutes I was standing in my underwear in 30 degree weather but I felt in my heart it was worth it. After that we went to New York Models where we were evaluated. Cory felt my weight loss of 20pounds was excessive but I felt as though it wasn't because it was done naturally. We went back to the house and a little while after getting settled Niki came in all dressed up and gathered us up. She said that GQ was throwing a party and wanted to meet us. I was so excited that this opportunity was presented to us, and to make it a little more interesting we had 20minutes to get ready. Once we arrived we were called down one at a time and walked down the catwalk. It was awesome Adam and Jim the editors were great guys and I felt extremely fortunate to have met them.
Day three - was a learning day we met our run way coach Debbie. And fourth panellist Jennifer. We were getting to basics and they put us in uni-tards so that they could see what needed to be fixed. I felt as though I improved but still had a lot to learn.
Once we got back to the house we were told that we had a surprise. It was our portfolios with a picture from the photo shoot with Lee. I was really excited and proud of my picture. It was so cool to see a picture of yourself that doesn't even look like you. That night I practised walking the runway for about 2hours. I felt really confident of my walk before I went to sleep. I know tomorrow was eliminations so I had to bring my A game.
Day four - Catwalk eliminations. The guys were dressed by Parke and Ronen. We were in swimsuits and sunglasses. They had two thongs and I was one of the two guys to wear one. I felt as though it would help me become more comfortable in my own skin. When it came time to walk the catwalk, I felt my confidence leave my body.After everyone walked we had to stand before the panel and hear what they thought, I was happy with most of what they had to say, except for when Tyson said he felt the officer in me walking and Jen said I had no confidence in my photo or my walk. My confidence will come in time I was relieved that I wasn't in the bottom three, I wanted to use this opportunity to learn all I can and to grow as a person and model. This is an amazing journey so far and the only thing that would make it better is if I could share it with my wife.
I just wish I could hold her and tell her how much I love her, I'm glad she has been so supportive through everything. I'm excited to see what the future holds.