All the hoopla that was "Project Runway" is done for this season after Jeffrey Sebelia was chosen as the top designer for Season Three.
Earlier this week, OMC talked to top four designer Michael Knight's model Clarissa Anderson ("Project Runway's" Milwaukee model shares her experience). She was kind enough to give us a follow up.
Knight was chosen as the fan favorite and many people said he was poised to win, but he was actually eliminated first. Anderson experienced it first hand.
"It was a big shock to me. I think being pretty much on a team with someone makes you pretty biased. Makes you think Michael's going to win. Going to definitely win. It was so obvious he was the crowd favorite," she says. "On the show's poll, 40 percent of people said Michael. So it's just obvious that he was the crowd favorite, that he was going to win. It was a big surprise when he didn't."
However, she says she is happy that Jeffrey won.
"His clothes were really different. They (the judges) saw a future in all the designers' work. They thought Jeffrey would be the best. He did have amazing clothes," Anderson says. "My personal taste varies, preppy and one day girlie one day skater chick I don't have a specific style, there were things from collections I would like. I like Jeffrey's style a lot. I was looking at Jeffrey's collection thinking 'I could wear that.'"
The Internet has been abuzz with Anderson's comments about the models not being paid and knowing this fact up front.
"I just figured it would be good exposure for me, being on TV," she says. "Everyone in the fashion industry watches the show. If I get one big job out of it, it'll be worth all those hours I spent there."
But she wouldn't sacrifice the entire experience because of money problems since her overall opinion of the show is positive. "Project Runway" is helping her achieve her dream of modeling, which she's held since she was 12.
"I wanted to be a model. My parents made me go to college. They said you're not going to New York when you're 18, you're going to get at least an Associates Degree, you need something to fall back on," she says.
She graduated from Milwaukee's Pius XI High school in 2003 and went down to Florida to study at the Institute for Design and Technology, where she majored in fashion design and marketing.
While attending school, she was an NFL cheerleader for one season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. She graduated and moved up to New York.
"I moved to New York (just a little over a year ago). Every single agency said 'No, you're not right for us,' 'No I'm sorry' and, I mean, to keep on going after (being told) no so many times was hard," Anderson says. "It's hard to keep going, you want to give up because everyone's telling you no. But I wanted to do this for so long."
But she finally had some luck. Major Model Management gave her a call after receiving a set of photos Anderson had made copies of at a Kinko's.
"Katia (head of Major Model Management) called me back herself and was like 'when can you come in? I want to see you,'" Anderson says. "I went over to Major, walked for them, took a few photos. Next thing I knew, a contract was in front of my face."
"Project Runway" is Anderson's biggest modeling job to date although she's familiar with showroom modeling and runway shows.
"I just wish it would start picking up. I wish I had more than one job a week, two jobs a week. I wish I could be working every day, I don't see why I shouldn't be," she says. " I look at other girls and think I'm just as good as you, not better. It's something you have to wait for. Your time will come when it comes.
But she truly is missing the Brew City. She says she hasn't been this homesick before, but it's also the longest time she's been away from home.
"I've never been this homesick before. I've lived in Milwaukee my entire life. I miss everything. Driving a car, because in New York I walk every where. I miss Panera. We don't have Panera in New York. I just want some baked potato soup every now and again. I miss Mayfair Mall, even though New York is basically a big mall. I Miss everything about Milwaukee," she says. "I mostly miss my family."
Anderson says that the one thing she tells people is where she's from.
"I think people start to lose themselves when they don't remember where they came from. They're making money and get a little taste of fame," she says. "People do change. My goal is to always remember where I came from and that's all I need to remember and that will help me stay grounded."
Originally from Des Plaines, Ill., Heather moved to Milwaukee to earn a B.A. in journalism from Marquette University. With a tongue-twisting last name like Leszczewicz, it's best to go into a career where people don't need to say your name often.
However, she's still sticking to some of her Illinoisan ways (she won't reform when it comes to things like pop, water fountain or ATM), though she's grown to enjoy her time in the Brew City.
Although her journalism career is still budding, Heather has had the chance for some once-in-a-lifetime interviews with celebrities like actor Vince Vaughn and actress Charlize Theron, director Cameron Crowe and singers Ben Kweller and Isaac Hanson of '90s brother boy band Hanson.
Heather's a self-proclaimed workaholic but loves her entertainment. She's a real television and movie fanatic, book nerd, music junkie, coffee addict and pop culture aficionado.