Currently studying at the University of Sussex, Georgia Mason Mottram decided to give this year’s Britain’s Next Top Model a chance when she saw the application form. At just 18-years-old, she felt she wanted to leave a lasting impression on the series, and whilst she may have been eliminated from the show, she’s definitely done just that!
In an exclusive interview for Female First, Georgia chats about her experience on the series, her elimination and more. Read on to find out what she had to say…
What was your experience with modelling before taking part in Britain’s Next Top Model?
When I was maybe around 15, my friend’s sister owned a model company so I would test for them. I was still in education, so occasionally my Mum and I would go and do the odd test shoot, but nothing really happened with that. I also modelled for a company called Baba who make bracelets. It’s actually my Mum’s friend’s company and so I do the photos for the website.
Why did you decide to apply for BNTM now?
I knew it would give me a really exciting summer and I wanted the chance to meet some amazing people outside of my friendship group. I watch the show and I see some really amazing challenges and I always think, ‘How would I do it?’ I was sat with my Mum in the lounge one day looking through the application, so I filled it in and just sent it off.
How was the experience? Was it what you were expecting?
Unfortunately it was cut short, because I wasn’t in there for long! But even in a week there is so much to do, you are just being filmed all the time. It’s not what you expect because you’re really thrown into it.
My degree is filmmaking and my Dad’s an editor and he does Geordie Shore, Big Brother and stuff, so I do a lot of that and kind of knew how everything worked and how people can play with the camera. Some girls were really shocked at how things worked, but I was expecting that part of it.
Were you inspired by anyone in Geordie Shore or Big Brother?
No! I love Love Island, but not for inspiration, just pure entertainment.
Can you talk about your exit? What happened and how did you feel?
It was really shocking because I did the first challenge and came out of it super buzzing. Cinderella was amazing – I wasn’t expecting it because the first thing Abbey said was that we were going to be taking off all our makeup and being bare. We were put in these really tiny body suits. That was quite uncomfortable for me as although I like the way I do my makeup, I am a bit insecure about the way I look when stripped bare. Abbey was judging and she was pointing out things girls were doing with their walks – a slight hunch or walking wobbly – but I was quite pleased with mine. Unfortunately, my bra strap did fall down, but that was quite funny!
And then the big challenge; I did actually quite like it. I was put in one of the biggest dresses that was actually like double my weight! So we were all put in these amazing ball gowns and it was like a fairy tale theme, makeup as well. It was really fun and gave me time to get to know the girls, and there’s a shot of us in the makeup room in these dresses slumped on the floor and it’s a big explosion of material. It is very nerve-wracking.
I feel like I was never fully relaxed because you are always anticipating; you never know anything and never know what’s happening next, so I always had this horrible sick feeling. After the challenges I always thought, ‘I want to do it again, I really like it’, but I never really got into the right state of mind. I went out on the next set; the Debenhams shoot.
I was surprised because I came out and I was super buzzing and loved it and I thought they seemed like they loved my shots. I think compared to the other girls I was put in a really difficult position, physically I was crouched in this foetal position holding this bag and looking up whereas the other girls were standing straight, so I thought, ‘I’m really different so that could take me further’.
I didn’t think I’d done badly but then unfortunately, it just wasn’t the best and you just never know. Some girls thought they did terribly, but actually had a lovely shot.
Do you think it was unfair then?
In all honesty, I didn’t think I was the worst. They looked at my challenge, which was us at the theatre walking in these big boots for the musical Kinky Boots, and they didn’t slate my walk and said it was easy to watch. The criteria was to be very dramatic but I went with the generic catwalk.
With the photoshoot, Abbey said that I have a really pretty face, but it doesn’t communicate on camera. Same for the girl beside me, Kira. So that’s fair enough. I do agree sometimes that I think I look a lot different in photos people take of me, compared to photos I take of myself.
Is that the problem with the selfie generation?
Yeah exactly. You practise in the mirror with the face you’re going to do and then it looks nothing like the face I do on the day.
I wonder if a lot of people have that issue…
Oh yeah I bet, if you ask any of the girls. We have grown up for 18-20 years with exactly how we want to look on camera, so that was super difficult when I was testing, when I was young, too! I didn’t know how to look. I always stand there thinking, ‘I look just like my selfies’, and it’s not.
A whole generation needs to learn how to look like their selfies…
That’s why social media is really big now – like, Instagram models are sometimes better than catwalk or editorial models because they know exactly how to pose, where to tense, suck it in.
Someone like Kylie Jenner I suppose?
Yeah, same as Kendall [Jenner] as well, definitely Kylie and just knowing how she wants to look and getting the work that way.
So would you spend less time taking selfies? Do you think that makes you a worse model?
It doesn’t make you a worse model but it makes you forget that you really need to give your best when you’re not controlling it. You don’t know what photo or poses they want, but when you have your camera you know what to practise, what to change and you can immediately tell what you do and don’t like.
I don’t think [the judges] were wrong. It was really fair criticism, some of the girls get really bad criticism from all the judges whereas I was only two out of four. I don’t know what they base it on or what the real judgement was. It may have been the right time to go.
Why, did they have something particularly horrific in mind for you?
Maybe they would have just chopped my hair off or something, I don’t know.
What’s the plan next?
Well it kind of depends on where this takes me. I think if I had to choose between this and being in education, I think for now I really want to stick this out in education. I’m based in Brighton and that’s not the best hub for getting loads of work, but I’m honestly going to take every opportunity that this show gives me.
Social media is the thing I am most excited about and really hopefully promoting and showing I really enjoyed myself and benefitted doing the show. I want to show my friends. It’s not an opportunity that every girl will ever get so it’s really exciting. I’m super proud that I did get here, now. Although I think after I was eliminated I didn’t come out of my uni room for a week!
Did it knock your confidence a bit?
Yeah a bit, but eventually you step back and see the bigger picture and think, ‘I’ve actually achieved a lot’.
What is your absolute dream?
Well it’s tough because when you see models, again on social media, it looks like they’re having the best time but sometimes you just don’t know what happens behind closed doors and obviously, when I was young with testing it would be early hours up in London, sometimes I would travel all the way to London for a 20-minute test, then back down. So it’s similar to most professions like acting and stuff; it’s very hard, and I think I’m one of the youngest girls in the competition, and I think that maybe I should wait a bit. I don’t want to sound like I’m being lazy but I’m weighing things up. For now, I’m seeing what I’ve done in the competition and who will be interested in me, and who will want to work with me; I just don’t know.
Who’s your female icon?
I feel like every girl says it but I do look up to Cara Delevigne. Everyone says she’s so beautiful but it’s not always about that. I think a lot of models – let’s say for example Kylie Jenner, her whole life is modelling and makeup, whereas other models take their profession and do bigger things with it. So Cara is an activist as well; she’s gone into acting and she’s a feminist, so it’s not always about being vain.
Some models, especially Instagram ones, really care about their image but I don’t think she really does. Obviously she’s really stunning but that’s not what it’s all about for me. She’s great and I am obviously really into my acting; I was in drama society at uni, so it’s inspiring that she does both. I always thought when you’re tall and you have a certain face that acting isn’t for you, but she seems to have done that.
What would be the dream role for you then?
My main base is in musical theatre; I sing classical music and that’s my favourite thing to do. So I would totally love to have a bigger part on stage but in film, it’s weird because I’m studying film; I’m studying to kind of follow my Dad. I do like what my Dad does and he seems to really love his job, and that’s rare to see in adults sometimes. I want to make something, I want to see something and I want my ideas to be something that I’ve worked hard for.
Who’s your male crush? Do you have a boyfriend?
I have a big crush on actors. I like a funny face, so like Chris Pratt, Miles Teller... I think I put Tyler Posey on my application but I don’t fancy him anymore. I love the funny face.
I did have a boyfriend for around three or four years when I was 14-18 and it was quite intense and felt like I wasn’t ready, so by the end of it we were just friends.
Then in Freshers’ Week at uni, I arrived on the Saturday and it was the Tuesday. I saw a guy at the front of the line and I said ‘that’ll do’, so I got my friend to go over to him and then I bagged him!
Is he really supportive of what you’re doing?
He’s very different; he’s a bit older and from the West Country so he’s not really into it. It was when I started to really like him and see him properly that I was getting the BNTM interviews and so I think he was worried for me that it was all going to go to my head. He’s really proud of me and the night before I was nervous and he was really nice, and said ‘just be yourself’, and it was really nice. He is the best. It’s been a journey. It’s tough, because all of the girls were missing their boyfriends.
Britain’s Next Top Model continues Thursdays on Lifetime TV (Virgin 208/9, BT 329, Talktalk 329, Sky 156).
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