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'America's Next Top Model': Jessica says Raina deserves to win

May 12, 2010 |  6:21 pm
Americas-next-top-model-jessica Jessica, the young mom from Conway, Ark., struggled with the worst thing Tyra Banks can say about an “America’s Next Top Model” contestant: You’re too commercial.

Despite some early wins, Jessica found herself eliminated in the last episode. The good thing is she has taken the criticism and owned it. The model recently relocated with her husband and 2-year-old son to Los Angeles so she can take advantage of her commercial appeal.

“Oh, I’m definitely done with editorial,” Jessica tells us. “Unless someone randomly called me and wanted me to do something, of course. I would never reject a job. I’m definitely keeping my focus on commercial work. I knew if I had to go swimming, I’d have to go in the pool, and L.A. is definitely the pool.”

We talked to Jessica about the drama in the “Top Model” house, what it was like to be in the bottom two with Raina, and her pick for Cycle 14’s winner.

The other women gave you some grief after the toaster fire. Can you see now why they thought that was funny?
To an extent, yeah, I can see. Personally, anything that anybody can make a joke out of, I think you’re going to take the opportunity just because, who doesn’t like to laugh? But, I still stand by that was a good idea up until the taco fell into the toaster [laughs]. I don’t know how that taco fell into that toaster. I’ve said it was pushed in there. But, it was a good idea, dang it [laughs].

Angelea and Krista broke up their alliance in the last episode. What was your take on that?

I think they didn’t realize how much competition they truly were for each other in the beginning, and once they started to realize they really were each other’s competition, it separated their friendship. They were getting maybe a little bit jealous of one another and stuff like that, so I think that kind of pulled them apart. And I think that Krista and Alex started to get close, as well. Maybe Angelea got a little jealous and started to pull herself away.

We’ve been getting different accounts on Angelea and Krista from the other eliminated contestants before you. For example, Alasia said Krista was a bully. Which one did you have the hardest time getting along with?
It’s different at different times. Krista really is a funny girl. She was kind of a bully in a way. A lot of stuff was done in private. And at any time there was a fight or an argument going on between two girls, it always seemed like she was there to root it on in a way. She never tried to put out the fire. She always seemed to add gas to the flame. She got into fights, but not too many. I think most of the fights would come from Angelea and Brenda or whoever else. But, I still hold [Krista] accountable. Because she wasn’t in the fight doesn’t mean she didn’t have anything to do with it. I actually got along with Angelea, but it doesn’t show so much on TV. We got along. We had good times together. We got to talk a lot. Whenever we had any miscommunication, we’d always sit down and talk about it.

Americas-next-top-model-jessica-2 Tyra continually said that you're too commercial and that is death in “Top Model.” How did you keep your spirits up every week?
I kept being told I was commercial over and over, and I knew that going into the competition, so it wasn’t really anything new for me to hear from them. I guess I used that critique as fuel for motivation and kept trying harder. In each shoot, I tried to bring the best out of myself. I had good friends there to support me, like Brenda and Raina and Tatiana – Tatiana and I are very close. So that made it easy to keep a smile on my face, when you have friends there.

It’s that time in the season where the good models have to be in the bottom two. When you were standing there with Raina, did you think you were going to go?
I felt like I had such a good shoot with Tyra. I really enjoyed it, and that wasn’t shown on TV. Tyra even said at panel that I was doing good and gave her good angles. So I was thinking I was getting good feedback. Then we went back while they were deliberating and I got this feeling like, dang, Jessica, you might go home. I kind of prepared my heart for that. When I was in the bottom two, I kind of had a feeling that Raina would stay. She is editorial and she’s good. She’s really good at what she does.

Who do you think is going to be “America’s Next Top Model”?

It’s between Alex and Raina, because Alex has been really making her way up in the competition and they’ve really been liking her. I really think that Raina is probably going to win. I think she deserves to win out of everybody, because she’s the only girl in the house who watches what she eats. We all ate whatever we wanted. She was the only one who would work out. Bless her heart. She was the only one who studied her poses in the mirror for an hour. That’s seriously so hard. It’s so boring standing there in the mirror watching your poses. She just tries so hard and she really delivers a good picture. I hope the judges do pick her and that she wins.

Do you agree with Jessica? Should Raina win “America’s Next Top Model”?

Thursday: We're interviewing Cycle 14's winner. If you have questions, please leave a comment below.

-- Jethro Nededog (follow me on Twitter @TheRealJethro)


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Top photo: Jessica, the last girl eliminated from “Top Model.” Credit: Jonathan Mannion / Pottle Productions

Bottom photo: Tyra Banks shot Jessica in the photo shoot that eliminated her from the competition. Credit: Martina Monica Tolot / The CW