Exclusive: Kayla Ferrel talks 'America's Next Top Model' (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/01/2011
Kayla Ferrel became the sixth girl eliminated from America's Next Top Model all-stars edition's seventh episode, which featured a special double elimination in which fellow contestant Bianca Golden was also ousted, during Wednesday night's broadcast on The CW.
On Friday, the 20-year-old who previously appeared on Top Model's fifteenth season, talked to Reality TV World about her America's Next Top Model experience -- including what her theory was on the type of brand the judges' hoped the winner would portray and what they based their eliminations on, why she was shocked that Shannon Stewart was sent home over Bianca, how difficult it was for her to concentrate during the Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and NeNe Leakes photo shoot, and what her response was to Bianca's claim that she was the "only model" in the house while the rest of the girls were just reality TV stars.
Below is the second half of our exclusive interview with Kayla. Click here to read the first portion.
Reality TV World: Jay Manuel said you got distracted with everything around you -- people screaming and such during the Snooki photo shoot. How difficult was that photo shoot for you and was it very hard to focus or looking back, do you think you could have concentrated more and performed a little better?
Kayla Ferrel: The funny thing was, the Snooki shoot and NeNe photo shoot, I had a lot of fun with that one. It was fun to actually get on that motorcycle and ride around and see everything, because we're in the house all the time, so we don't necessarily get to see our surroundings. So, I actually had a lot of fun with the photo shoot.
I know that it appeared like I was super distracted by the people, but me personally, we're riding around block by block and we're riding around for I'd say a good 10-15 minutes waiting to get the shot. You don't always have the best background, so there would be times when Mr. Jay would be like, "Okay wait. We're going to wait until there's a building with nice lights or a good background."
So sometimes, we would wait for the better backgrounds. While I was waiting, I would make jokes like waving and saying, "I feel like I'm on a parade float!" or something like that. Then Jay would say, "Okay, it's a good background. Let's shoot; Let's do it." I think it was more or less -- it wasn't the people that distracted me.
It was more of the, "Okay, take a break. Now do it again. Take a break, now do it again." But it wasn't shown like that on TV. So, it wasn't really the people that were distracting me.
It was more of knowing when to, "Okay, break. Let's wait for a good background to come around and the go again." Because I'd still be having fun, so yeah. I could see -- Yeah, I don't know. I think it came across in a way that it really wasn't.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised that Shannon was saved instead of you and what were your thoughts on how the judges decided to let her stay in the competition over Bianca?
Kayla Ferrel: I'm sorry, but when Bianca went home, I was super shocked because I could understand their point of view on me. Like I said earlier, [Lisa D'Amato], Bianca -- There's a lot of people in there with really, really big personalities. When you think of them, you know exactly what type of person they are.
And when Bianca went home, I'm like, "Okay, now I'm confused. I don't really know what's going on," because she was one of the people that everyone in the house thought, "She's going to be in the Top 3." She has a really standout personality. If you see her in person, this girl is like frickin six-foot Amazon woman. She is so skinny and beautiful it's crazy, you know?
She seems like she has the total package and I don't know. Maybe, I don't know. I can't even address that even now, because I was really shocked by that. I didn't think -- I thought [Dominique Reighard]'s photo was horrible. I thought Shannon's was not very good. And so for me to go home because I remember one of the judges said that I looked too much like a model, that was kind of confusing to me.
Reality TV World: During the Express photo shoot towards the beginning of the season, Bianca told Jay, "Out of all these girls here, I'm the model." When I just talked to Bianca, she said she still feels that same way and wouldn't take that back -- calling the other girls in the house just simply "reality TV stars." What's your reaction to that and how she seemed to instigate a lot of drama throughout the season? Because for the most part, it didn't seem like you were involved in it.
Kayla Ferrel: Yeah, that sounds like Bianca. (Laughs) I understand why Bianca would say, "I'm the model," because she does. She works for [Ford Models]. I've actually driven her to some of her jobs for Sears and things like that. She really is a model and there are some girls in there that -- I kind of agree with her. I don't really see them as necessarily models.
I can see them as reality star girls or something, but not necessarily as models. So, I can see where she is coming from, but she wasn't the only model in the house. I'm a working model. I work overseas in Japan. I'm signed to an agency. [Bre Scullark] has done so much. She's done Fructis, Dove -- she's a model. She's done acting. She's done it all.
So, she's not the only model in the house, but I think she was thinking more of particular girls in her mind and sometimes the things that she says come across, I don't know, in the wrong way. I can see where she's coming from by saying that she's a model, but she's definitely not the only model in that house.
Reality TV World: When it came to all the drama that Bianca was involved in, Bre would always come to Bianca's defense and stop arguments for her. So what was your reaction to that? Because it seemed like many of the girls felt bad for Bre because she stuck up for Bianca even if she may not have agreed with her and Bre wasn't even involved in the issues to begin with.
Kayla Ferrel: Well, I feel like it was Bre's choice. Bre and Bianca are really good friends outside of the house and I remember Bre telling me one time that she wasn't even sure if she wanted to come back. The whole reason she came back in the first place was for Bianca. She wanted to be there with her and support her and help her out and just make sure everything was going over smoothly.
So for me, when I heard Bre say that, I kind of knew from the beginning if Bianca was in any drama, that Bre would be right there. I don't think it was the smartest decision. I think that it kind of made Bre like a shadow of Bianca and I don't think that it was a good decision on her part. But, you know, it was what she wanted to do.
If she ever heard anything that Bianca was getting into, Bre would just run. It was like she was going to rescue her or something. I think that Bre looks at Bianca like her little sister or something like that, and I don't think Bre would take it back. I mean, I don't think so. I don't think that she would take it back.
So, I don't necessarily feel sorry for Bre, because it was her choice. I still think that if it happened all over again, she'd make the same choices. So, yeah, I don't know. I don't think it was a good idea, but I don't think that Bre regrets it either. I can't say that I feel bad for her.
Reality TV World: During the flag football game, you obviously won that photo shoot challenge and when I talked to Bre last week, she said she was shocked about your athletic ability. She said she was surprised how strongly you would tackle her when you're a petite girl. Why do you think that whole challenge went so well for you? Were you confident or just having fun with it?
Kayla Ferrel: Well basically, it's because I'm a lesbian and we're really good at sports. (Laughs) No, I'm just kidding. I don't know. I mean, it's true. We're really good at -- I used to play on the flag football team when I was in middle school. I played for two years. I know how to -- even when I was on Cycle 15, I shared that I played soccer for nine years.
I'm skinny and I'm little, but I have a lot of power to my punch. I used to always mess with her because I used to tell Bre she was like my little girlfriend in the house. She strongly disagreed with that, but I felt that in my head.
So, when we were on the field, we kind of got to pick which girls would be on defense and they wanted me to defend [Laura Kirkpatrick], and I was like, "No way! I'm defending Bre all the way!" I used to taunt her and I'd look at her and I'd mess with her and stuff. And she was like, "What's wrong with you?!" That was the funnest things hands down.
It was so fun because we were stressed out all the time and there were girls arguing and b-tching and ahhh! So it was fun to be able to play football and really get some of that frustration out. We actually had a lot of fun with that one.
Reality TV World: Most of the other girls I have interviewed said they found no differences between their first season on Top Model in comparison to the all-stars edition. Isis King, for example, felt the competition was still strictly about modeling although the all-stars version claimed it would be all about branding and finding the total package. What are your thoughts on that? Do you think the all-stars version lived up to what it was promoted to be? Did you go into the show thinking it was one thing and then discovered otherwise?
Kayla Ferrel: Honestly, I kind of went into the competition thinking, "Oh, I'm going to knock this out of the park." I really did go into it thinking that it was about modeling still. I knew it was about branding, but I'm like, "Well if you're going to want a model and this and this and that, somebody who's good at that aspect of it" -- but when I got there, it seemed like -- right away they eliminated [Brittany Brower].
They eliminated [Sheena Sakai]. There were a lot of people with big personalities and then Bianca went kind of towards the beginning, I guess, or in the middle. So it was kind of confusing to me. I really didn't know where they were going with it. But yeah, I do still think that it's still about branding, but it's more -- I don't really know how to put it.
I don't really know. It's really confusing to me, because it's like they did kick out big personalities, but at the same, they still have some big standout ones left. I think that from day one, they kind of could see who had a really great standout brand and who maybe the Top Model fans would kind of go for the most, I guess you can say. So, I don't know.
I don't think it's 100% percent about modeling. I think a lot of it is about personality and you're total package and what brand you represent and how positive that brand is. So, maybe Bianca was eliminated because her brand wasn't necessarily a positive one.
Maybe Brittany was eliminated because there was already Lisa in the house, you know? Maybe Sheena was eliminated because they don't really think that that's a standout positive personality brand. So, I don't know. I think that they're thinking of the brand first when they're judging, and I think that they're thinking about the model second.
Reality TV World: Why did you want to go onAmerica's Next Top Model's all-stars edition and what were your goals? Also, what are your plans for the near future?
Kayla Ferrel: I wanted to go on the cycle because I wanted to just really go back and really prove to myself that I can have fun and enjoy this experience and that I was still that model that I was in Cycle 15, and that I could show them that I've grown.
I honestly wanted Tyra and Mr. Jay to be proud of me and see how much I've grown, so it kind of felt like it didn't come across that way or that they didn't feel that way. So, I can't necessarily say that I accomplished all my goals during the all-stars cycle that I wanted to.
I'm going to continue working in Tokyo, working in Japan. I really love it out there. I love working overseas. It's really nice to be able to work just a couple times of the year and get to go on an adventure. So like I said earlier, in February, I'm booked to do a lot of jobs and I'm ready. I'm excited, so I'm excited about everything but I'm kind of just waiting for February to roll around.