Ousted 'Top Model' Lisa Jackson: I wish I'd been less emotional
By Christopher Rocchio, 11/27/2007
Lisa Jackson knew she had a tendency to be overly emotional before she even was cast as an America's Next Top Model ninth-season runway wannabe. She just wishes it hadn't been on display so regularly.
"I wish I was able to kind of hold back my emotions because like, my cousins watch it and they're like, 'Oh my God, you're so sensitive!' Because I cry about everything," Jackson told reporters during a Monday conference call. "I just wish I was able to hold back on some of those emotions. I think that's the one thing I would have done differently, really wouldn't have been so hard on myself."
The 20-year-old dancer from Jersey City, NJ was especially hard on herself during a CoverGirl commercial shoot in China that directly led to her becoming the eighth girl eliminated from Top Model 9 during last Wednesday night's broadcast of The CW series.
The CoverGirl commercial shoot was an emotional one for Jackson as she stumbled over her lines and froze in-front of the camera, causing her to be in the judging panel's bottom two for the second week in a row and unable to escape it.
"When you're in the bottom two -- when you thought you were doing good and you drop -- you tend to put a lot more stress on yourself and I definitely do that to myself any ways," Jackson explained. "I'm such an over-analyzer and I'm always trying to perfect myself and push myself... The harder I try not to show [my emotions] the more I show it and I do it all the time. I can't stand it, but I really can't help it either. Especially there, it kind of just broke me."
Jackson described herself as being from a "small town with big-city dreams" and always thought modeling was something she wanted to pursue.
"I had always really just wanted to be on the show when I first saw it," she said. "Finally I got the opportunity, so I took it. I went to an open call, and I just kept getting call backs. Basically from there, I just kept getting lucky, so I just kept going with it."
While Top Model's ninth season has been mostly drama free, Jackson found herself at the center of some cattiness during the premiere broadcast when her occupation as an exotic dancer was criticized by fellow cast member Bianca.
"I explained that I had danced only for a short while. It's actually weird because I only danced because I had this job that I was in for two years, and I couldn't live in Connecticut. I quit my job and I moved down to Jersey and I needed a job because I wanted to really make it," Jackson told reporters as to why she took the job as an exotic dancer.
"They focused a little bit more on it, but at the same time I brought it up too," she continued. "I told them about it because I didn't want anything to come back and haunt me in the future or anything. But I think it didn't really affect me either. If anything, maybe I wasn't conservative enough for CoverGirl... If anything."
Despite Bianca claiming Jackson couldn't be crowned Top Model because her job as exotic dancer would provide a poor role model for younger girls, Jackson said it's all in the past.
"At the time, I was just so upset because [the beginning of the competition is] the time when you're most aware when you're being filmed a lot," said Jackson. "I felt like [Bianca] was trying to say that because of my prior occupation that I'm not a good enough model. I'm just glad that I had a chance to prove her wrong. I don't hold grudges... At the time I was upset, but now I look back on it like, 'Whatever.' I'm over it."
With only five girls remaining in the competition, Jackson said she wants "to see all the girls succeed." However she did single out Heather, a 21-year-old college student from Valparaiso, IN who suffers from Asperger's, a mild form of Autism that hinders her social interaction and verbal communication.
"All my friends love her -- and to a lot of people -- she's become somewhat of an inspiration," explained Jackson. "So I think if she won, that would just be great."
Jackson said Top Model provided her a "fabulous experience" to learn the ins and outs of the modeling industry, a profession she "definitely" plans on continuing to pursue.
"The area I live is so convenient to New York City that I actually moved out to Jersey City just to be a model, so of course I'm just going to keep going at it, going to ever agency and submit all my pictures out," she said. "Me and [Ebony Morgan, who previously quit the competition] have even talked about going to L.A. together and trying to figure something out there if things don't work out here."