Adam Smith from this season of America’s Next Top Model and I went to high school together at White Station High School in Memphis, TN and so once I found out about him being on ANTM I knew I had to get him to do an interview with us. Naturally, he’s a busy dude these days but he was still gracious enough to take the time to join us for this Q&A.
CM: How does a true Memphis playa end up on America’s Next Top Model?
AS: Kind of a funny story… I was out in Atlanta last Halloween, and my friends and I were dressed as the Magic Mike stripper crew. We were being pretty ridiculous, hammered drunk, giving girls lap dances and everything. Then this guy came up to me and asked if I had ever considered modeling before, and said that he works with casting for this TV show and he wanted me to apply. I didn’t think much of it but he called me the next day, and I thought, well this is too funny of a situation not to at least try, I have nothing to lose. I ended up successfully getting through a few rounds of the application process and the next thing I know they’re flying me out to LA for casting week as a semifinalist. When I initially had to call my parents to tell them I needed to take the semester off of grad school to go be on America’s Next Top Model, they were a little concerned to say the least, but they are amazingly supportive parents and my biggest fans.
CM: Since we’re both proud graduates of White Station High School in Memphis and presumably you’ll be getting a lot of love from friends back home, I have to ask- what’s your favorite memory from high school and/or growing up in Memphis?
AS: Looking back to high school, there were so many incredible situations that were constantly occurring that I appreciate so much more now being older. The INSANE pep rallies when snap music and the concept of “crunk” was at its peak; The utter ruthlessness of the crowd at our talent shows, honestly I could never have gotten up there on that stage…far more nerve wracking than being on a national TV show in my opinion (shout out to my boy Mark Bolding for absolutely killing it and taking the crown with his Billie Jean performance sophomore year). THE M-TOWN CHOPPERS DANCE CREW, HOLY SHIT. The P-Squared parties were so absurd, the level of slutiness and underage drinking was off the charts at those things, there were literally no rules…the fact that they made the (front page?) of the Commercial Appeal as like a warning to our parents was so f**king cool (shout out to Philip and Philip). And I miss even the simple stuff like just hanging out in the senior parking lot every day after school for hours because we literally had zero responsibilities and nothing to do; Saving up the little money that we somehow made back then and spending it all on huge stupid subwoofers for our cars; Dude, we rolled up 10 bros deep to that SummerJam rap fest at THE PYRAMID, without blinking an eye, and everyone loved us. I could keep going on… The diversity of White Station was incredible, man high school was awesome.
CM: You’re bringing some of your new L.A. friends to Memphis- where are you taking them? On the flipside, where in L.A. are you taking folks from the South when they visit?
AS: If I’m showing Memphis to my LA friends, I would definitely take them to get some BBQ at Rendezvous, then head out to Beale Street to party after a big Grizzlies win at The Forum. I didn’t get to go to Beale Street ever in high school really because the fake IDs we had then were photoshopped pictures glued to gift cards, but going back to Beale since college has always been a great night out when I’m in town. Out here in LA, I’d bring my southern friends around the Hollywood scene…it’s interesting and different for sure, there’s always a party going on, and everyone seems to be in the entertainment industry in some capacity so you meet a lot of cool people out. My ATL and NY crew from Emory can still out party everyone out here hands down though!
CM: What’s the funniest TV show or movie you’ve ever seen? First thing that popped in your head.
AS: The Hangover is probably a pretty typical answer here, but honestly that was the first movie that popped in my head. And that shit really was hilarious. I also thought Superbad and 21 Jump Street were both genius. I’m not a huge TV guy for comedy, but The League on FX is pretty badass.
CM: Favorite Tyra Banks movie- Life-Size or Coyote Ugly? Honest answer.
AS: This is embarrassing, but I haven’t seen either one actually. Momma Banks is going to kill me! I’m watching them right after I finish this interview, I promise.
CM: Have you gotten to attend any wild parties since being a part of America’s Next Top Model? What celebrity would you most want to party with?
AS: Yeah of course, nothing too special though, man, I’m a f**king vet. #ProfessionalPartier #1percent
If I had to pick a celebrity to party with, it would 100 percent be Dan Bilzerian, that guy seems like the f**king man. If I can accomplish that I will count my time here in LA as a win.
CM: Speaking of partying, let’s talk about a project you did before you got a spot on America’s Next Top Model… BeerontheHead.com. Tell people about what made you choose to explore this phenomenon and what is the best example you’ve seen?
AS: Well you see, BeerontheHead is a very intricate concept, it is incredibly difficult to explain to the intellectually inferior population. I could write a detailed thesis on it, but I’ll spare you. I didn’t even start this groundbreaking trend actually, I just made the website and the logo and began documenting it for the general public’s enjoyment. The roots of BeerontheHead is still a topic of heated debate within my fraternity, but to my recollection it was my buddy Jonas who was the founding father. So next time you are in a nice social situation, don’t think too hard about it and just pour that ice cold beer right on your own head, and be content knowing the fact that you are part of a movement far greater than yourself. Send all videos to videos@BeerontheHead.com. Check out our website for more info, and go buy a T-shirt to support my drinking habit. Tank tops coming out soon.
CM: In addition to America’s Next Top Model, you also recently got to participate in the Young Hollywood Awards. What’s going through your head when you’re on stage next to so many celebrities?
AS: Yeah so that was a great first Hollywood experience. I initially thought they were going to let me present an award, I was amped about it of course, but shocked. I was like, wow these people are really going to trust me with a microphone on stage and let me say whatever the hell I want to this crowd? But then I found out I was just the trophy holder guy haha. I wasn’t really star struck at all though. Honestly I didn’t know three quarters of the people who won awards that night. What was going through my head was like, I’m pretty sure a lot of these people aren’t even that smart, there is no reason for me not to be good at being famous as well. Being up there next to Bieber was pretty crazy though, you have to respect that guy, he’s killing it. I didn’t get a chance but I wanted to ask him if he could introduce me to his manager Scooter – he was actually in Sigma Nu at Emory as well but I never got to meet him because he left before I was a freshman. Afterwards I went out with the whole dance crew that performed that night, met Derek Hough, great group all around.
CM: With being in the spotlight obviously comes with lots of new attention on social media. Have you had any interesting interactions with fans so far? I’m imagining there are a lot of interesting people out there…
AS: Yeah I never did Instagram before the show…thought it was pretty stupid, but now I’m really into it. I catch a lot of hate on social media for my personality on the show, and in general. People just need to lighten up and laugh. I just f**k around a lot. I don’t even take myself seriously, so why are you trying to? I have plenty of friends, I really don’t give a shit if people don’t like me out there. I’m just a guy trying to have a good time…
CM: And speaking of the fans, say some chick watches the show and really digs Adam Smith- what traits does it take to get your attention?
AS: I like a smart girl who I can have fun and laugh with. Personality is king of course, but yeah, she also has to be hot too, sorry. And I’m kind of big on good teeth…my dad is a dentist. If a girl has crooked or yellow teeth that’s definitely a gamebreaker for me. If you’re hot and want to get my attention just message me a NSFW pic on Instagram…I’m pretty simple.
CM: What do people watching the show not know about you that you think they should?
AS: People watching the show should know that I’m really not a huge asshole, I swear. I know I may come across like that, and I know I won’t be able to prove it to anyone without personally hanging out with him or her, but you have to trust me! I like to think that most all people I come in contact with genuinely think I am a good guy and enjoy my company. I could be wrong of course. But ask anyone who knows me man, really.
CM: How would you characterize your persona on the show? Do you think the Adam Smith we’ll see on TV is a good, fair representation of you? What are you ultimately hoping this experience leads to?
AS: Yes I think it is a good and fair representation of that aspect of my personality. I presented myself as the crazy, frat, party boy…and that wasn’t an act at all, that is exactly PART of who I am. You can’t keep up a fake persona for 2 whole months while filming, it would be very hard to do that and no one cast for the show is a professional actor of course! You choose what aspects of your personality to magnify for TV, and the angle I played was my wild party side. No TV show wants to see the nerdy, actuarial science grad school Adam. No TV show wants to see the calm, reading a book, lazy on the couch Adam. I’m actually a pretty quiet guy in certain settings; to some people I even come across as shy and introverted. So you sort of play like a caricature of yourself if that makes sense. I had never modeled before so I was just there for the crazy once in a lifetime experience of being on a reality TV show. My strategy was to just have a hell of a time being there, and at the same time soak up as much knowledge as I could about modeling since I had never really been exposed to it. Ultimately, I have no idea what this experience will lead to, I just knew it was too big to turn down when I somehow stumbled into it. I moved out to LA to enjoy my 15 minutes of fame, and hopefully I will meet the right people out here, and who knows what will happen. I’m a smart guy, I’ll figure it out… I’m not too worried.
CM: Say, hypothetically, you have friends who have never seen an episode of America’s Next Top Model but plan to watch it this season because they know someone on the show. What can and should they expect to see this season?
AS: For someone who has never watched the show before, I would say that you have to at least give it a chance! In its 21st season, it is one of the longest running reality TV shows to date. I wouldn’t have dropped out of grad school to do the show if it was some stupid MTV pilot that no one knew of, but even if you’ve never watched, everyone has at least HEARD OF America’s Next Top Model. I know it doesn’t get near the amount of viewers that American Idol or The Bachelor gets, but you know Tyra and Ken Mok are doing something right with this show for it being on the air for over a decade now. I know I’m biased but this season is honestly straight up entertaining, it’s solid TV. For all the trash on your DVR and just generally worthless stuff you do on a weekly basis, take 42 minutes off and tune in to Top Model this season. Don’t take it too seriously, remember it’s a reality show as well as a modeling competition, and Tyra’s persona on the show is incredible. There is plenty of drama, fighting, crying, even some sex, and of course hilarious over the top photo shoots and challenges to keep you entertained each week. Take some time and get invested in the characters a little, and I promise you’ll develop a guilty ANTM addiction in no time.
You can (and should) check out Adam Smith on America’s Next Top Model on Mondays at 9/8pm central on the CW.