Click to read my interview with Dionne below:
Me: Hey Dionne!
Me: How are you feeling!
Dionne: I'm fine, how are you?
Me: I'm good. Well congratulations on making it to the top 4!
Dionne: Oh, thank you so much!
Me: Did you think that you would be leaving that week? Because when I was watching the episode you seemed a little angry and upset when Tyra didn't call your name.
Dionne: I was angry and upset, because I was in the bottom two ONCE AGAIN. And you know, it just always sucks to be in the bottom two because you never know what's gonna happen. I was just very disappointed at that point.
Me: Yeah, I would have liked to see you go a little further, myself.
Dionne: I would have too! I wanted to so badly!
Me: Well Tyra asked the 4 of you who you thought had the most and the least potential in the competition, do you think that it hurt your chances any when you didn't name yourself as someone with the most potential?
Dionne: Yes, I do think that it did hinder me from winning, but at the time it was a lack of communication because when she asked me that question, she asked, "Dionne, who do you think has the most potential out of the girls?" And I'm standing in front of the girls, so I'm thinking that she's asking about the girls standing behind me. So I'm like, ok, I think Jaslene has the most potential, but when I find out I'm gonna be in the bottom two, Tyra was like, "Dionne, you were the only person who didn't say yourself as someone who has the most potential in this competition." And I was like, "Oh my God!" you know, I just didn't realize that that is what she was asking me, so I look at it as a lack of communication.
Me: It was a bit of trick question.
Me: So do you think maybe that the fact that you went first kind of affected how you answered that question?
Dionne: No, I don't think it was the fact that I went first, I think it was like I said before, it was really just a lack of communication.
Me: Oh ok. Well you're from Montgomery, Alabama right?
Dionne: Yes, correct.
Me: What were you doing before Top Model came calling?
Dionne: Before I made it onto Top Model, I was actually going to school at Alabama State University studying dentistry, and I was working at the mall at J. C. Penney doing my thing there and just being a mom!
Me: Ok, so you were pretty busy before.
Dionne: Yes, so you know, when I made it onto Top Model, it was pretty easy for me to wake up in the mornings like we did, because I was already doing that. I would wake up at 4 AM to get to work for 5.
Me: How were you selected for the show?
Dionne: I went to the auditions in my hometown, then they called me to come to Atlanta for the callbacks, and I met with casting directors there, they picked me to go through, and then they called back again to tell me that they wanted me to come to L.A. for the semi-finals. I think they called back like 34 girls to come out to Los Angeles, but then they chopped that number down to probably like 20, and from the 20 they cut it down again to the final 13. So when I went in for my first meeting with panel, I said all kinds of crazy things about my hair, you know, that I used #1B/30, you know what I mean? So I think that that was something that they liked about me. I just told the truth, and in my mind I'm just letting them know who I am, and I think they really liked that.
Me: You were just keeping it real.
Me: You also spoke a lot about your daughter, was it difficult to leave her to go and do the show?
Dionne: Of course! I actually ended up missing my daughters 2nd birthday, and I was just heartbroken behind that, but I tried not to show that on the show. I just kept it inside, you know, trying to be professional. And I talked to her on her birthday, but it was hard, it was extremely hard. The only thing that I could do was just not think about her, because if I thought about her too much, then I think that would have hindered my chances of going as far as I did.
Me: You think it would have really affected your performance?
Me: Well does your daughter even realize that her mommy is a model now?
Dionne: Oh wow. Let me tell you! When I'm at home with her, she goes into my closet, she takes out my stilettos and she's just walking around the house, you oughtta see her! It is so cute and so funny! She watches the show too, she knows Top Model, and when she's watching and she sees me on TV, she goes, "That's mommy! Look mommy, that's you!" And I'm like, yeah, that's me! You really should have heard her when she saw herself on television, it was so funny.
Me: Do you think she's gonna want to be a model too?
Dionne: Well, you know, I think I'm going to start her in gymnastics, I think she would like that.
Me: You guys had an Australian story-telling dance challenge and you seemed a little irritated at first when you found out that you would have to come up with your own dance. But then when it was your turn to tell your story, I thought you pulled it off beautifully. Your story was really easy to follow, and I think that you really inspired people when you talked about your mom and what happened with her. So how'd you turn that around? Because you didn't seem like you wanted to deal with it at first.
Dionne: You know what? That's just me. I can NOT wanna do something, but I know if it can benefit me, I'll do it anyway and just make it seem like I really wanted to do it, with a smile on my face and everything! Sometimes I don't wanna make myself look bad. Even though I may not wanna do it. At the beginning, I was like, "What the hell? I don't want to be out here in the wilderness wearing a tube top and flip-flops! I don't wanna do it!" But you know, like I said, it benefitted me, so I went ahead and did it anyway because I'm not a quitter, I'm not gonna quit just because I don't want to do something, I'll do it anyway.
Me: Well I really think that you did a great job on that challenge.
Dionne: Thank you very much!
Me: Ok, the judges also kept telling you that you were looking "mean" in all your photos. What do you think about that? Have you had a chance to go back and really examine all your photos to kind of try and see what they were talking about?
Dionne: Let me tell you something! When I look back at ALL of my photos, I have NOT seen a mean face yet. I haven't seen it! But you know what, I do agree with them when they told me that I had a "scowling" look on my face, but that's just a natural look for me, and I've been told that all my life. I can't really change that until you give me a reason to change it. In my first photo shoot, I don't look "scowling" at all in that photo. It was just kinda crazy, but I've learned to correct that now. It's something as simple as raising a muscle in your face like raising my eyebrows just a tad bit, that made a complete difference. And now I understand what they were saying. But in my photos, I didn't see a scowling look at all.
Me: I think you took some really nice photos.
Dionne: Thank you!
Me: And congratulations on the magazine spread in US WEEKLY.
Dionne: Oh, did you see it?!
Me: I did! I actually picked it up at the airport to read the Ricki Lake story, and I had no idea that you and Jaslene, Renee and Natasha were even in the same issue, so I was pleasantly surprised to see you guys in there under STAR STYLE.
Dionne: (laughing) Well, you know I haven't even seen it yet!
Me: You guys all look great!
Dionne: Oh really?!
Dionne: Now you have me all excited! I'm gonna go and find that magazine!
Me: The US WEEKLY magazine spread was showcasing "Hot Summer Dresses" but I saw that you stated in the article that you're more of a "jeans and t-shirt kinda girl."
Dionne: I am! I love to wear skinny jeans and just a tank top! Now, I don't really do dresses at all. I'll wear a dress occasionally, but I love my jeans and my short shorts, that's me.
Me: That's it?
Dionne: That's it! And give me a cute stiletto, like if I'm going out to a club, but when I'm going to school? I'm putting on tennis shoes and a pair of cute shorts. Because at my school, there are lots of hills that you have to walk up and down and I'm not trying to walk up and down any hills in stilettos!
Me: Can't say that I don't agree with you there. The US WEEKLY article also said that you were a "Flavor of Love" fan.
Dionne: Yes! That's me! I love "Flavor of Love" and "New York" she is so crazy! And I love Schatar too (Hottie) they are so, so funny! I love 'em both!
Me: So did you watch, "I Love New York" too?
Dionne: Yes, I did watch "I Love New York" and I thought it was crazy funny! Chance tripped me out the most! That little part where he would always say, "I'll cut your ass up!" Oh my god! I would fall out in tears laughing because it was so funny!
Me: He did keep the show going! Ok, Dionne on Top Model, there are 3 girls left. Who is your personal pick to win the top prize?
Dionne: Well I don't have a personal pick on who I want to win, I would just say, may the best model win because you never know who is actually going to win, so whoever it is, I'm all for it! I'm for all three of them anyway! I'm just really excited to see who is actually going to win.
Me: You're so diplomatic, I love that! So what's next on your agenda?
Dionne: I'll probably move to New York, I don't know when, but I really want to go to New York because I've never been there before, and I've had professionals tell me that I would do very well in New York, so I think I'm gonna take a crack at it and see how it turns out! But I'm definitely gonna continue to pursue modeling.
Me: Ok, I think that you'd do well in New York too, and I also think you'll love it!
Dionne: Yeah, I think so too! I think it'll be a good experience for me!
Me: Well thanks so much for talking to me Dionne!
Dionne: Oh, you're so welcome!
Me: You were fun to talk to! And I just wish you much success in your modeling in the future!
Dionne: Oh, thank you so much!