Alasia Ballard, a senior at Wheeler High School in Marietta, lit up the TV screen during this season’s “America’s Next Top Model,” finishing sixth after entering the competition with zero modeling experience.
As the youngest contestant, she often acted that way, too. She got into frequent arguments with other housemates, including Dacula’s Anslee Payne-Franklin. A couple of times, she was shown running late for challenges, annoying the other women. She was wildly inconsistent, finishing in the bottom two three times, yet winning two challenges.
But she was always entertaining, bringing a personality that ranged from prickly to bubbly to goofy in a heartbeat.
“I don’t have any regrets,” said Alasia in a phone interview Thursday afternoon, a day after the episode in which Tyra Banks informed her she was going home. “I had never experienced anything like that. I thought I’d been through stuff in high school but these people were so cutthroat!”
One time, she was walking by the room where they get to talk to a camera outside the earshot of other women. But she overheard Raina Hein bitching about the other women and began eavesdropping. She called her out: “She had sworn up and down to us that she wasn’t talking about anybody. When I walked up, I didn’t know she was there. I heard talking about people. I proved she was not telling the truth.”
And that’s one thing Alasia is: straight. “I’m just honest,” she said. “It’s easier than lying. That’s stressful!”
Although she didn’t always come across in the most flattering manner, Alasia had no complaints about the editing. “I do believe I was portrayed fairly,” she said.
She acknowledged that some of the women treated her like a baby. “They knew my age,” she said. “They would disrespect me because I was younger than them.”
Alasia said Anslee got on her nerves at times because “she acted like she knew more than everybody else. Maybe she felt she had to prove something to people.” But Alasia blamed it at least partly on the stressful environment.
With the show behind her, Alasia is ready to get into acting and modeling “full force” as soon as she graduates this spring.
“I learned so much” on the show, she said. She tried to take the judges’ critiques but found it difficult at times “trying to learn to apply what they’re saying. How to use my face, how to use my body and put emotion into it. It’s weird. I felt going home at that time was the right thing to do. I accomplished what I needed to accomplish. I feel like a winner.”
Among the current top 5, she is rooting or Angelea and Alex. But she said Krista (who didn’t particularly like Alasia) has a shot to win as well.