Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Exclusive Interview with ANTM 1st Male Winner! KEITH CARLOS

America's Next Top Model 1st Male Winner
By Belinda Trotter James

Keith Carlos, the sexy Sagittarius born December 19 was crowned the first male winner of America's Next Top Model. Actually this is the second cycle that Tyra Banks incorporated male contestants into the competition.  This year there were three male finalists. The guys really brought their A game and took advantage of the opportunity to beat the girls to claim the top prize.

Before Top Model Keith was actually a pro football player however, he got released because he tore his hamstring. That would explain why he really wanted to win the title not only for himself, but for his family as well. A football contract would have also set him and his family up for life however, when there are life changing injuries, it changes the whole ball game. Keith explains, "In football none of the money is guaranteed.  You don't get any of the money until you play a full season. So you can have a contract for 400K, but you won't see it at all until later."  It was in pre-season that he injured himself. He didn't get a chance to play in the regular season.  

Maybe it wasn't meant for Keith to be a football player. He said he was actually at practice when he got the news about Top Model.  What looked like a set back was actually a set up for Keith to step into his new life as a model.  "I feel blessed”, says Keith.  “I feel everything from the past has prepared me for this moment. I knew I wanted to get into modeling and acting. I won a cover search magazine competition in 2011, but I was so into football that I wasn't able to let it go. So when I got hurt, I heard that top model was casting. So one of my PR friends sent in my information and the next week I was in California," remembers Keith.

In this cycle of America's Next Top Model the last three male contestants left standing were fierce competition.  They were all neck-in-neck and it could have been anyone's game. Keith felt he won because of his overall personality throughout the competition. Keith adds, "My measurements fit the clothes well, I was the most personable on castings, I was the most versatile model when it came to the runway and random jobs. Don't get me wrong Will and Adam were both great models, physically attractive and well put together, but I feel I was the most versatile.

Creative director, Yu Tsai was so hard on Keith at almost every photo shoot throughout the competition. After a while it looked like Keith had tuned out and was not going to follow his direction. Some of the things they wanted Keith to do this cycle looked girlish and models have to realize that sometimes they have to come out of their comfort zone.  Keith explains, "He was very annoying and his critiques were pretty good, but coming from a football background I'm used to taking that aggressiveness. When a coach is annoying, you can go out on the field and take it out on the opposing team, but modeling is less aggressive so I had to channel my emotions into the photos.  If I would have given into Yu Tsai aggressiveness along with my emotions and let it really bother me, we probably both would not have been on the show. I had to tune him out and turn the aggression into my pictures."

Keith definitely had the right attitude when trying to produce a good picture under the circumstances.  Some of the shoots for the guys could be a little uncomfortable because it probably felt a little girly especially when you're standing in front of a crew of people in your underwear.  One of the shoots required the guys to wear long gloves that practically covered their entire arms designed with long fringes and they were outdoors in their underwear…. (Or something that looked like underwear.)  A few more fringes and we could have called them Birdmen.   The director was yelling for them to twist and turn plus swing their arms like a bird. Yup, I can see how someone would feel really silly however; the camera’s eye doesn't see the silliness of it all.  The camera transforms the images into a work of art.

Keith adds, “Yes, I definitely had to step out of my comfort zone a lot.  Most of the challenges were uncomfortable especially the challenge where I had to whip my hair [with hair extensions] and on top of that Yu Tsai's voice was very annoying and once again I did tune him out.  It was just awkward.   I was really uncomfortable so somehow I had to get used to it and just deal with the situation so that I could get through each week."

There were some very good lessons learned here because as a model what do you do when you don't want to take direction from the person who is the creative director or photographer? How do you mentally get through the shoot to produce a good photo? Keith explains the process that went through his head as he struggled with following Yu Tsai’s annoying directions, "Basically in my head I did tune him out and I was saying to myself, ‘Shut up, shut up, just please shut up!’  I had to ask myself why I was here and what got me here in the first place.  I had to go back to what I know and do what I had to do."  

Keith's advice to those who are pursuing a modeling and acting career would be to have thick skin. He goes on to say, "There are a lot of critics and if you let them get to you, they will definitely break you down and knock you off your road to success as a model and also you just got to have this sickening belief and faith in yourself.”

It is nice when you can make friends in the house amongst other fellow contestants and if there's a love connection, that's an extra perk. However, the goal is still to win the competition. In the house Keith hooked up with Kari, a beautiful female contestant.  They had a good friendship while they were in the house together. Kari got eliminated early therefore; Keith had no real distractions and could really focus on the competition. "Kari and I are still friends," says Keith. “We all keep in touch with each other. We all are like an extended family and we share our successes and current events that's going on with each other, but we are definitely still in contact and she's a good friend.”

 On the show Keith talked a lot about his family and the relationship he had with his father. Even though Keith’s father is no longer on earth to share in the victory, he knows his father is watching over him and is very proud of what his son has accomplished.  "My family is very excited to the point where my mother is annoying me because she is calling every 10 minutes to see what I'm doing and what's coming up next,” laughs Keith.  “They are very excited, overwhelmed and they now have bragging rights. They are getting a little taste of being a celebrity themselves from everyone in the city…. So, it's cool

There are definitely a lot of great things coming up in the year ahead for Keith as the winner of America's Next Top Model.  Aside from all the fabulous prizes Keith has won totaling $100,000, there are other amazing things in the works. We will just have to follow him on his social network to keep updated on his projects.

Fans can keep up with our sexy new male America’s Next Top Model on Twitter and his website at

  All rights reserved -- no part of this website may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission from Who's That Lady Entertainment.

No comments:

Post a Comment