I got to speak to Natasha earlier, and I have to be honest, I had been dreading this very interview. I was terrified of the possible language barrier with her, but come to find out, I was all anxious for nothing. She was easy to talk to and she understood everything just fine. She's just a sweet girl with a really soft voice. So check out my interview with her and find out why she thought the girls were jealous of her, a little backstory on how she and her husband met, how she feels about Jaslene winning and a Hip Candy reader's question answered about the shoes they were wearing during the final elimination!
Read my interview with Natasha below:
Me: Hi Natasha!
Natasha: Hi Chanel, how are you?
Me: I'm fine, how are you?
Natasha: I'm great! Thank you!
Me: Well, hey you didn't win, but you made it to the top 2, that's something to be proud of, right?
Natasha: Yeah, that's great.
Me: So you're originally from Russia?
Me: And english is your 2nd language. [Natasha: Right.] How long did it take you to learn english?
Natasha: Well I was studying english in my school in Russia, and you know, it was very easy. I had a teacher also, so it was very easy for me. I pretty much knew a lot of english very fluently. At the age of 15, I knew it very good at the age of 15.
Me: Ok, it's been a while, so it wasn't too hard to overcome the language barrier on the show then?
Natasha: Well, I think it was more of the cultural barrier than the language. And of course the language barrier also played it's role, you know, it was hard at the times, because no matter how good the language, it's not your first language. Even though you can make logical mistakes with your own language.
Me: How do you feel about Jaslene winning America's Next Top Model?
Natasha: Well, very, very happy that she won, I wish her the best and I wish her a great modeling career.
Me: Did you think that she was one of your toughest competitors?
Natasha: No, actually I did not see any competitors on the show because I felt like I'm very different and I have my own unique features and I have my own walk, and I did photo shoots really great and I improved a lot. I showed judges that I can learn and do better and better. But in the final two with her, we were just different and they picked her because a Latina never won before and she could relate to all Latinas in America, so that's a great thing.
Me: Well you mentioned during the competition that you thought some of the girls might have been a little jealous of you, do you still feel that way?
Natasha: No! It was a competition! It was a show, and a show is a completely different thing, you know, right now we call each other and we keep in contact. On the show it was a competition. Right now, we all have our own lives. The reason I said that, just because their criticism was not constructive when they were telling the judges why they think I don't have Top Model potential. They were judging my personality, not my Top Model potential, that's why I said that they might be jealous, you know what I mean? Because it was not constructive.
Me: Ok. I can understand that. So were you close to anybody in the house?
Natasha: Yeah, yeah I was! You know it was really great being with all the different girls from different backgrounds in the house and they're all my friends now and we talk a lot, and it's really interesting to know what's going on with their lives now, and what they are doing, you know? Just yesterday, we were sitting and hanging out with Whitney, Diana, Jaslene and Caridee, so you know, we're still friends, it's great!
Me: Oh, ok that's fantastic that you guys are still friends. And I just wanna tell you that you seemed to really take criticism from the judges really well. You had a knack for flipping negative comments around and turning it into a postive, so I thought that was great.
Natasha: Thank you so much!
Me: Now you're married and you have a baby right?
Me: There was a bit of mystery behind your marriage while you were on the show. Some of the girls even started talking and speculating about it, so did you want to speak on that and clear some things up for your fans?
Natasha: Well umm, what I can say is that there was no mystery, if they would ask me I would certainly answer. I was rooming with 2 girls, Kathleen and Cassandra, and they knew everything about my life, especially Cassandra because she was very close to me, and she stayed until the 3rd week you know so, we were very close. She knew everything about my life, I knew everything about hers. I think there was comments about all the girls here and there, but there was no mystery about my husband. I would tell them about Stuart (her husband) and about Angelina (her daughter) a lot, you know? But I think that it was more interest in the way they put it on the show?
Natasha: Oh! Well I don't know if it was shown on the T.V. but I was talking about it a lot! We met in Moscow and it was so romantic. We were dating for a little bit less than a year and after that, we were traveling, and he's a really, really great man to have around. He's real supportive and very caring, he loves me a lot, and I love him to death! And I was almost 20 when I got married, so I wasn't that young like they showed it on T.V.
Me: Ok. Well what were you doing before you made it onto to Top Model?
Natasha: I was with a baby, and I was in college so I had a lot of things to do, I was very, very busy.
Me: How were you chosen for the competition?
Natasha: You know, that's a long story! There's no casting calls in my city, in Dallas. But I was in the mall and they asked me to like, take a picture, and it happened to be a model search. And I was in the semi-finals of this model search. And at the same time I went to Oklahoma and Texas border where Choctaw Casino was and I tried out for America's Next Top Model and I also was a winner there. So I had to choose to go to Houston to another Top Model casting call that would take me, hopefully to Los Angeles, or to stay in Dallas to start a modeling career in Dallas. And I decided to go with the Top Model and it turned out great, I ended up being a runner up, which I think is a great thing!
Me: I think you made the right choice!
Natasha: Thank you!
Me: What do you think was one of the hardest things for you in the competition?
Natasha: There was a lot of hard things and there was a lot of great things to be able to experience in our life. Thankfully we did, and I'm just very happy that I was chosen to be on the show. The hardest thing was to not be in control of your life, because you cannot do what you want to do. And of course having a good relationship with the girls, I just wanted to be close to the girls, you know?
Me: Oh ok, so what are some of your plans for the future?
Natasha: I have a lot of plans! You know, pursue modeling career and I'm just 2nd day off the show officially, I'm still doing a lot of interviews, my life is really, really busy right now. I hope it's gonna be like that in the future too so...
Me: Do you think you'll be able to juggle that with your baby and your husband?
Natasha: You know they're so supportive, like extremely supportive and proud and happy for me. My family in Florida, my mom is so happy with me, you know, and my family in Russia are really happy and proud of me. So yeah! I have support from my fans and many people, so I think that I can do it with both!
Me: That's great that you have a good support system. Well I have a question from one of my readers for you. Hip Candy reader Renata wants to know who made the black shoes that you and Jaslene were wearing right before they named the winner?
Natasha: Ok! Yeah sure, it was by Sass & Bide. Our dresses were by Sass & Bide and the shoes were by Sass & Bide also. I think it was from the new collection, the 2007 collection, but I don't know for sure because they didn't let us keep them, so I don't know for sure. Yeah but the shoes were Sass & Bide.
Me: Well that's too bad you couldn't keep them, they were cute.
Natasha: Yeah, we didn't ask, but yeah, they were very, very beautiful.
Me: Well thanks so much for talking to me Natasha and I wish you the best of luck in the future!
Natasha: Thank you so much and have a great day!
Me: You too!
Natasha: Thank you! Bye.