Hey, all you women of a certain age. Want to be inspired to strut your stuff? Well, check out TV Land’s She’s Got the Look (Thursdays, 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific) now in its second season, which can be described as the America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) for women over 35. Like ANTM, women vie for a modeling contract; in this case it’s with Wilhemenia Models. The winner will also receive a photo spread in Self magazine and $100,000 cash.
The competition is fierce and fiery this season due in part to the rivalry between contestants Shelly and LeeAnne…and Shelly and the rest of the women. So you know me, I need to get to the bottom of things, So I commissioned The Ride (a.k.a. me) to talk to LeeAnne Locken, 41 of Dallas, TX, about Shelly [Marks], crazy Laurie, and great tips for looking and feeling good at any age.
The Ride: Hey LeeAnne. First of all, love the show. What inspired you to audition in the first place?
LeeAnne: One of my best friends saw the first season and really wanted to audition. She sent in her information and they called her for a pre-audition. The very next day someone called me and asked if I would audition for the show also. I thought it would be GREAT to do the show with my best friend!! Unfortunately, she didn’t make it.
The Ride: Now, you know I must ask you about your former fellow contestant Laurie (the chick that had the breast-bearing meltdown). And the obvious question is: Was she for real? Did you see the crazy coming?
LeeAnne: Laurie wasn’t sleeping at all! I flew out to NYC with her and she was fine on the plane. Other than being very particular about her diet, she seemed really nice. I think the lack of sleep and stress just really got to her. She actually told me her plans to get naked on stage and I begged her not to, but crazy is as crazy does.
The Ride: Enough about Laurie. She’s gotten her 15 seconds of fame. What’s up with you and Shelly not getting along (to say the least)? And it seems like she has beef with Cindy and Theresa as well.
LeeAnne: Shelly is a very different person. She is definitely unique. I might have been Shelly’s biggest target, because of our similar external appearance, but everyone had their moments with Shelly. The first night she went off on Delores –the sweetest 72 year old on the planet –over a bed! Come on!! I think we all just took a step back and went–look out!! ALL of us tried to reach Shelly, including me, at one point. I wish just one of us had made a connection. I think she could use some good friends!
The Ride: More about Shelly. I was quite surprised that she seemed to evolve quickly from a shy, self-effacing child/woman to this bossy barracuda out to get the brass ring. (Who knew she had modeling experience?) Were you as sideswiped by her change in personality as I was?
LeeAnne: NO! She was bossy from the first night on! She wanted the attention and loved the drama!! The judges accuse me of being “fake” because I am “on” all of the time but so was she, just in a manipulating way. Her idea of making friends was to divide and conquer with lies. We all started talking more once THAT was discovered. No feelings were ever concealed in the loft!!
The Ride: Do you think the “mean girl” antics between you and Shelly leave you vulnerable? Cindy did try to set you up for defeat by pairing the two you in the “statue/art” challenge.
LeeAnne: I think the editing made me the mean girl in the first two episodes. A LOT of comments were taken out of context to create drama where there wasn’t that much. Cindy’s plan for us to eliminate each other by pairing us up was brilliant! I would never have done it! That is why I caved to everything Shelly said or wanted. It was a team challenge and I never give up on challenges! If the front door is locked, try the back, then the window. If necessary — shimmy down the chimney like Santa! There is always a way to have a positive result! I NEVER saw Shelly as an obstacle! That is not how I compete. When you focus on someone else you lose. I stayed focused on me and what I needed to do to win! I was grateful for the friendships that developed from this show. These women were absolutely amazing!!!
The Ride: Do you believe that women can be competitive like men — fight hard but leave it in the ring when it’s all over?
LeeAnne: NO! I think women hold on to stuff longer than men. It is one of our biggest handicaps. Men fight and let go. Women lie still waiting for the next opportunity. We need to learn from this!! It doesn’t benefit us to hold on and yet we do.
The Ride: Enough about that. What’s it like standing before judges waiting for your critique? I think I’d be nauseous throughout the whole process or would have to take a nervous pee.
LeeAnne: Ugghh!! “The judges were hard me!!” Well, we ALL felt like that! It was awful! They went on and on about every negative thing they could come up with. Just listen to them, hardly ever a compliment. We wanted constructive criticism. Something we could go home and work on. After reviewing our images, we would all wait together in the green room and discuss all the bad stuff we had just heard. I am NEVER painting a room green. [laughs]
The Ride: Who is the toughest judge?
LeeAnne: That would be Sean. He NEVER got me! Look, I get it. I am either black or white, not a grey drop in me. He LOVES grey! I think to myself — try harder, work harder. Who knows what he was looking for or if he was really looking. Ask any of us.
The Ride: I’m always about getting some beauty secrets. A girl needs all the help she can get. (Okay, I’m not a girl but I’m young at heart, that counts, doesn’t it?) You have amazing skin. What do you do to maintain it?
LeeAnne: Thank you! I haven’t always had good skin. I didn’t really know how to take care of my face until I met a great dermatologist and my best friend — the reason I did the show — well, she owns a medical spa. Every time I need help — one of them always has the answer! Usually in the form of me getting yelled at for something I did wrong. [smiles]
The Ride: What’s the secret for looking good at any age?
LeeAnne: I could tell you — eat well, exercise and take care of yourself but what I think REALLY makes someone look great for their age is LOVING YOURSELF! As women, we look in the mirror and tear ourselves apart, STOP!! We are all beautiful! Listen, my nose is crooked from a car accident, I have a cut above my eye from doing flips on my grandma’s bed, I have a huge gash on my knee from running track, the list goes on…WHO CARES!! Look at yourself the way your pet looks at you. Like you are AWESOME! Because, well you probably are! LOVE YOURSELF!
The Ride: In a recent a recent episode, you offered fellow contestant Theresa some great advice: “Calm down and live”. Do you have any words of wisdom for women looking to get in touch with both their inner and outer beauty?
LeeAnne: I am not sure I am one to give advice on anything. I have made mistakes and I have done things right, but most of all I am just myself. We are each so unique and each have so much to offer, if we could just believe!! Belief in oneself is probably the greatest task ever. But it yields the biggest rewards.
Thank you LeeAnne. You’re the best. And best of luck.
She’s Got the Look will return for a third season. Open casting call will be held in the following cities: Los Angeles (12/6), New York City (12/12), Memphis, TN (12/13) and Columbus, OH (12/15). Check http://www.TVLandPrime.com for more details.