Bravotv.com: Let's dive right into the first episode. How is it different being a mentor this year?
The difference is that you're kind of part judge and part father at the same time. There's more stress on you because you want them to succeed. I always want them to do well. Even when I was a judge I always wanted them to do well. They're still kids and you always want them to succeed.
Bravotv.com: From the get-go they got thrown into a shoot. Have you ever done a shoot quite like that elevated box one before?
Up in the air like that? I can't say that I really have. I never had to do anything that crazy. As time goes by there are going to be things that kids are doing in fashion that we never really had the chance to do. There's gonna be a lot of stuff like that going on.
Bravotv.com: What was the direction the models were getting? What was the key to being successful?
The direction was that they were going to be put in front of an audience. A lot of times when your'e working you're put into an environment where everyone's watching and you're not really wearing a whole lot, but you still got to perform. What we wanted them to do was still sell the clothes that they were wearing, which was sexy and intimate sleepwear. They had to work it with their partner. Some of them were able to do it. Some of them really bombed at it. It was just their first time so it was understandable.
Bravotv.com: Let's go group by group and you can give your first impression of the models. What about Branden and Chris?
Branden was concerned about being grouped with Chris because he was gay. What did you notice with them? I talked them through it, I guess they had to cut that down. I spent a good deal talking to them. I told Brandon, "Look man, you're into girls." I turned to Chris and said, "Man, you're into boys." I told Brandon, "What do you have to worry about? What do your friends at home care? They're sitting on the couch and you're doing something with your life at 18 years old. Come on, buddy. Step up and be a man. All you gotta do is remain professional." And that's exactly what he did.
Bravotv.com: Their vibe was almost dominant/submissive.
Yeah, it was. That's how it was. That's how he was feeling. He was ready to submit to a life of fashion. I'm not saying everyone has to go through photo shoots like that. You just have to be professional and get it done. There's never a photographer or stylist or ad company who is going to put you in a predicament that's going to make you uncomfortable, because at the end of the day they'll look bad. Nobody's going to take that chance.
Bravotv.com: What about Amanda and Kerryn?
Those are some of the sexiest girls on the show but they couldn't seem to get it together. Even though they look sexy, that doesn't mean they will act sexy. You would think these two would get together and make you say "Oh, wow!" but once they got up there they were two stiff boards. And these two had some experience in modeling, but it didn't work out.
Bravotv.com: What about CJ and Jordan?
Well, Ms. Jordan thinks she knows it all because she has a little experience in modeling. She doens't know it all. They shouldn't have been telling eachother what to do, they should have listened to what Nicole was telling them. Since Jordan had some modeling experience she was trying to tell CJ what to do. What we're trying to tell them is, "Don't listen to the other one who thinks they know. The reason why you're both here is to benefit from us. Turn to your mentors and ask." The thing is to ask as many questions as you want, to understand what's going on. Knowledge is half the key to the battle. If you don't ask, you're never gonna know. When you think you know you don't do well at all and that was the case with those two.
Bravotv.com: Colin and Ken?
That was a disaster. Ken couldn't model or fight his way out of a paper bag. I could find someone on the street better than Ken, he was not a good use of my time. You defended Colin later though. Colin I could work with. I can fix him. Out of those two, he was better than Ken. Did you see Ken's walk? He was supposed to be a masculine and tough trainer, but he walked like a sissy. Colin just needs to work on confidence though. In this business, you need to have that swagger. To walk down a runway in front of tons of people you have to know that you look good, that you're body is in shape, that you're supposed to be here. You have to think, "These people hired me for a reason." You have to sell it. You have to portray it even if you don't feel it. You gotta get up there and act the role. That's what Colin is lacking and I think that if he gets that confidence he'll do better. This was just his first try though.
Bravotv.com: Gabriel and Salome?
Here's another one, Gabe, thinking he knows what he's doing. He got up there and he was trying to do things, but he didn't know sh--. He's a photographer, so he thinks he knows what the photographer needs. In no way was he listening. He was too busy getting a hard-on over Salome! Has that ever happened to you? Never! Even if I liked the girl! Suppose the boyfriend is watching? Be professional and think about Grandma. What about Salome? She's hot, she's gorgeous. She's also over-confident. She does well in the photo shoot, she commands well. But she can't walk to save her life. Her top jiggles a little, her bottom jiggles a little. One's going left, the other's going right and they don't seem to work together. And she takes one of the weakest girls to the casting, who actually did better than she did. CJ looked better in the clothes, but when it was time to walk she didn't have that confidence. Her walk was way better. If I had to book one of the two, I would book her over Salome. Salome threw it out the window. She went in there too cocky. She needed a little bit of a reality check. These kids have to remember why they're on the show.
Bravotv.com: What about Jonathan and Laurie?
Very good. We actually had to cool them down a little. I gotta have some respect for Jonathan. It's kinda hard to be married and be in a box with a fox like that. Fox in a box. Yeah, baby.
Bravotv.com: And Mountaha and Sandhurst?
I was thinking that that was a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship in the making if I ever saw one. I'm glad they got to shoot together. They worked well together. I think Sandhurst is great and that accent is so real, so proper. Wish he had a little bit more edge though.
Bravotv.com: Last we have Karen and Shawn.
Shawn looked like a possessed child. He had a stiffness. Both Kerryn and Shawn had a little bit of that bugged-out eyes thing. Whatever you did with them, you still go back to these eyes. Shawn couldn't walk to save his life. Also you can tell that Kerryn played sports, because she's got this stiff jock at the lunchroom table thing. We gotta get a little bit more femme in her.
Bravotv.com: Did anyone really stand-out for you on the catwalk?
I thought Jordan's walk was OK, and I thought Sandhurst's walk was pretty good. Jordan's walk was alright, but what she had on helped. We'll see.