Exclusive: Jennifer An talks about 'America's Next Top Model'
By Christopher Rocchio, 11/13/2009
Jennifer An knew that she didn't have her best photo shoot during America's Next Top Model's penultimate thirteenth-season episode, and she was right to be nervous heading into the double elimination at the judging panel.
The 23-year-old 5'5" model from Philadelphia, PA who currently resides in New York, NY was eliminated from America's Next Top Model's thirteenth season during Wednesday night's episode of The CW reality series.
On Thursday, Jennifer talked to Reality TV World about why felt "shaky" heading into the panel; if she feels she should have stayed over Erin Wagner had the double elimination not occurred; why she feels she wasn't portrayed accurately on the show; and how she braved the casting "melee" in New York City for an opportunity to compete.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised to be eliminated during Wednesday night's panel? Did you think you had done enough during the photo shoot to make the Top 2?
Jennifer: Okay, well it's so hard because when you get to that point in the competition you just have to believe in yourself, right? I had to believe that I was going to continue on.
So much of me thought that [Top Model creator and lead judge Tyra Banks] was going to pull out my photo. But on the other hand, I was up against some pretty stiff competition. I really didn't know how it was going to go, I could only hope that I was going to be in the Final 2.
Reality TV World: Were you confident about the way your photo shoot during Wednesday night's episode went?
Jennifer: No. (laughing) There were definitely shoots where I walked off the shoot and I was like, "Yes! I nailed it!" But this was not one of them. I really felt shaky from the beginning, so there was more reason for me to worry then I let on.
Reality TV World: Had it not been a double elimination do you think you would have made the Top 3 over Erin?
Jennifer: I think about that all the time, but I really can't honestly answer that question because Erin's photo was amazing. Personally, I thought she had the best photo of the week. So if it's based on the photo, she definitely would have made it into the Top 3, but then also the fact that she was on shaky ground for being in the bottom two for three panels. It's so hard to predict that.
Reality TV World: One of the funniest moments from Wednesday night's episode was when they told you it was going to be a double elimination and Top Model photo shoot director Jay Manuel had to tell you lift the bottom of your jaw since your mouth was open with surprise.
Reality TV World: How much of a factor do you think knowing that it was a double elimination hurt you during the shoot? It seemed like the judges thought it mentally messed you up during the shoot.
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Jennifer: I can't say that it did or that it didn't because I don't really know. Maybe subconsciously it did. I really just tried to let go of that fact.
But I do know that the photo shoot itself messed with me because we worked with so many different elements -- like the rocks, the water, the crashing [waves], our outfits. I was not on point that photo shoot. Maybe it's because I knew two people were going to get sent home and it was going to be really tough. But I'm not really quite sure what it was. I definitely wasn't myself.
Reality TV World: You've already mentioned the "stiff competition" you faced at Wednesday night's panel -- but it was the first time you were even up for elimination and you had been the first girl called out at panel several times. Based on that, do you think your ouster was simply the result of the stiff competition you faced from Nicole Fox and Laura Kirkpatrick?
Jennifer: I think so. For example, Nicole and Laura have never been in the bottom two either. Erin's been kept on because the judges love her so freaking much -- and week-to-week, her photos are really great. I think she has such a strong portfolio. When it comes down to it, it has to be that week's photo that decides who's going home because we're all pretty much on even ground.
Reality TV World: Was there anything more you think you could have done to make the Top 2?
Jennifer: Oh I don't know. If I could have done that shoot over I definitely would. (laughing) I would take that moment back definitely! But other than that, no. What can I say now?
Jennifer: It was my first time because I knew that I was definitely too short to make it otherwise. I went to the New York casting -- the original New York casting, with the whole melee. It was just a disaster. Then after they sent us all home after waiting in line for nine hours and the stampede (laughing), I went to the second casting. That's how I got cast.
Reality TV World: Do you feel you were portrayed accurately on the show?
Jennifer: No, I don't. I feel that I got an extremely unfair edit because they made me seem so nice all the time. I'm sorry, but no one's like that! I am not that nice all the time and I definitely bitched a lot and complained. I had my moments when I was a complete brat and they didn't show that. I'm thankful! I'm not complaining about my edit at all! (laughing) But I have to say that's not who I am -- that's not how anyone is.
Reality TV World: That's a funny answer because most people I ask that question to complain about being portrayed a lot meaner than they actually are. But you're saying the opposite of that?
Jennifer: (laughing) Yeah, I'm a complete bitch!
Reality TV World: Between Laura and Nicole, who do you think is more deserving of winning America's Next Top Model and why?
Jennifer: Deserving!? That's such an awful way to put it! (laughing) They're both deserving. I honestly can't answer because honestly they're both so deserving of it. They have gone through so much -- even just within the competition. They have broken through so many barriers. These two girls have shown the world that you can be 5'7" and shorter and still model and be gorgeous and do it well.
They're both such great girls and I'm rooting for both of them honestly.
Reality TV World: What's next for you? Are you going to pursue a career in modeling?
Jennifer: Yeah, of course I am! (laughing) Before I went to Top Model, I was modeling in Philadelphia -- I was with an agency. Now I'm looking for an agency in New York. I'm going to get my [Screen Actors Guild] card because I'm SAG eligible now. I'm just going to go from here, I'm just going to run. What other choice do I have?