­It can’t be easy to outlast eight model hopefuls in pursuit of the Canada’s Next Top Model title, let alone to face constant criticism from the show’s panel of judges. But for the competition’s three finalists, their harshest criticism may have come after the show began airing.

“The show makes me seem evil,” said Calgary’s Nikita Kiceluk, sitting on a leopard print couch alongside fellow finalists Linsay Willier from Edmonton and Winnipeg’s Meaghan DeWarreng-Waller at Toronto’s CTV headquarters.

The editorial-looking finalist with straight black hair and an edgy attitude believes her bold personality and routine sarcasm was taken out of context on the show, portraying her in a negative light.

It also generated a lot of hate mail for Kiceluk who said she is unsure how the presentation will affect her career.

“I’m not going to let that get in my way and I’m not going to not model because I know people don’t want to look at my face. I’m sure some people do.”

Many people want to look at DeWarreng-Waller, however. She said she has had to deal with loss of the anonymity she held before entering the competition.

“I have no private life, unless it’s behind closed doors,” she said. “You go out and people are watching, listening, following and wanting pictures.” People even want her to kiss their babies, she said; a request made of her on her plane ride to Toronto the evening prior.

But children have posed a different problem for Willier. On an early episode in which the women were whisked to the Bahamas for a photo shoot, mention was made of Willier’s history of fighting, rendering her a “tough chick”, which she said is not the case at all.

“I work with kids. I don’t want kids thinking that’s cool, because it’s not,” she said. However, Willier maintains the belief “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” despite any misrepresentation. “Now all of Canada knows our names.”

What Canada may not know is the true motivation behind the apparent mockery of recently ousted Iranian immigrant Maryam Massoumi from North Vancouver, B.C., at the hands of Kiceluk and DeWarreng-Waller. The show’s last episode showed the women imitating Massoumi’s speech, which could be interpreted as racist humour.

“The whole Maryam thing was an ongoing joke between the girls in the house,” said DeWarreng-Waller. “People don’t always see it like that,” added Kiceluk.

“They could think we’re making fun of her because of her race, nationality or accent.

“It’s none of the above.”

– Canada’s Next Top Model concludes Tuesday night on CTV

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