Joslyn Pennywell talks about her time on 'America's Next Top Model'
By John Bracchitta, 10/24/2008
After auditioning for America's Next Top Model several times before becoming a finalist on Cycle 11, Joslyn Pennywell, a 23-year-old student from Lucky, LA, didn't want her modeling dreams to be dashed because of an ill-timed bout with food poisoning.
While her attempt to overcome her illness during her commercial shoot challenge ended up falling flat with judges, Pennywell maintained that she was pleased with her effort, no matter how difficult it was for her.
"I tried to avoid looking as sick as I was feeling, because I was feeling very miserable. I felt very weak," Pennywell told Reality TV World during a media conference call that followed her elimination on Wednesday night's broadcast. "I mean I tried out so many times for the show and I didn't want all of my determination that I put into it to be in vain before I reached my goal of making it overseas and then reaching my next goal which would be to become America's Next Top Model.
"It may be goofy, but I was sitting there for my commercial and I was sick [and] I was like '[Joslyn] just smile, just smile as hard as you can!' Because if you smile and you make yourself feel happy then maybe you won't have that sick look on your face," she told Reality TV World.
She later told reporters with a laugh that her "bad acting" skills had most likely led to the judges' criticisms that her emotions were too exaggerated and fake in the commercial.
Pennywell didn't know where she may have received the food poisoning but told reporters that -- when combined with a cold she had already been fighting -- she had been in bad shape following her commercial shoot.
"I had a cold previously, like a couple days before [the commercial shoot], but I ended up having to go to the emergency room after I did the commercial. I had gotten dehydrated because I had been vomiting so much. The doctor told me that I obviously had food poisoning or something. [So] they gave me medication for the nausea. It had gotten pretty terrible and it weakened me pretty bad."
Pennywell told Reality TV World that she had "no explanation" for her fall off in the competition -- which saw her suddenly drop from Top 2 finishes in the show's early rounds to Bottom 3 finishes in the competition's more recent rounds -- but added that changes in her routines may have contributed somewhat to her problems.
"I think the biggest problem that came up for me was I was trying to do the photo shoots sometimes to my liking and [did] some things that they wanted me to change," she told Reality TV World. "When I tried to do that it took away from me and the way I've always done things. That was my biggest fallback. What I would end up trying to do at the end of the day was satisfy what they were telling me and still be myself that I was at the beginning.
"I tried to pick it up, I really did, and I was really confident about the commercial. What happened? I don't know," she added.
One thing Pennywell said she had succeeded in doing while on the show was to showcase her outgoing personality, which the judges continually mentioned as one of her strong suits.
"When people talk to me I make a connection with [them]. Anywhere I go I walk with confidence and I also walk [while] keeping in mind that I want to put a smile on someone's face," she told reporters. "I love to make people laugh, and I guess that's where my goofiness comes from. I wanted people to remember me for something, and I wanted that to be my personality."
As for the girls in the house, Pennywell told Reality TV World with a laugh that when she first entered the house that she hadn't seen any of the girls as serious competition for her. However, she added that as time went on both Samantha, an 18-year-old student athlete from Woodland Hills, CA, and McKey,a 19-year-old student from Lake Forest, IL, had improved the most in her eyes.
"I started to see great improvement in Sam, but only after she got her haircut," she told Reality TV World. "I didn't see Sam as a threat before she got her haircut but she somewhat was [a threat] after she got her haircut. McKey just is a beautiful person in general. Once you get to know her... McKey is a great person."
Pennywell also added she had become friendly with Isis, a 22-year-old program assistant at a non-profit organization from Prince George's County, MD, and Clark, a 19-year-old student from Pawleys Island, SC, while at the house and had continued to talk with them after their time on the show.
Pennywell didn't have the same kind words for Elina, an unemployed 19-year-old from Seattle, WA, whom she said often contradicted herself and had snapped at her after being told that her lack of emotions during her photo shoots was "just a "phase."
"Elina contradicts herself," Pennywell told reporters. "She's an environmentalist, yet she smokes cigarettes. She's against people having pets and she has a cat! She says that pets are slaves and I'm like 'Well why do you have a pet cat?!' It's like she's not practicing what she preaches."
Pennywell also criticized judge Paulina Porizkova, saying that she didn't "value her opinion too much."
While she admitted having not yet heard the comments firsthand, Pennywell also told reporters that she had been informed of -- and objected to -- Porizkova's comments about her saying she was more of a runway model than an editorial model.
"You know, Paulina always says some stuff that makes no sense, none whatsoever," She told reporters. "But that is her opinion. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and Paulina has hers. I feel like I'm both runway and print."
While she is now out of the running to become America's Next Top Model. Pennywell still held out hope that her constant laughing, smiling, and joking on the show may result in an eventual consolation prize from Tyra Banks: A Fiercee.
"I would say it would either be 'Best Personality,' or 'Goofiest' or 'Funniest,'" she told reporters. "One of the three!"