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“Never Once Did I Compromise Myself” – An Interview with America’s Next Top Model 8’s JaelPage 2
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RNO: Did you have a feeling, standing with Brittany, that you were going to be eliminated, and do you think that the judges were more lenient on her because of her accident?
Jael: I think the judges have a right to their opinion, and they decided that it was my time to go. I was in the competition for so long, and I did my best. I wasn’t going to sacrifice myself for the competition and change who I was. If they had sent Brittany home over me, I had decided at that point that I would sacrifice myself and tell them I wanted to go home.
Jael: Yes, I’m being serious. Her photos were great from the first shoot. She deserved to be there more than I did at that point.
RNO: Had you known that if you toned down your personality a few notches, you could have made it further, would you have tried to be a little more low key?
Jael: Not at all. I was comfortable, and I have no regrets. I lived every day to the fullest and will continue to do so. I got so much exposure, I had tons of fun, and to be honest, from this experience, I think there is so much more in store for me.
RNO: What was your take on Renee? It seems like every time she got called out, the only person we really saw her apologizing to was you. Was there more to your relationship than we saw?
Jael: In the beginning, Renee and I bonded immediately. She was the first girl that I talked to in the semifinals, when we were in the bus on our way to boot camp. We immediately bonded and became friends fast. I think it’s normal to have emotions for someone and get upset easily, but I love Renee now.
RNO: Would you say that you were edited fairly, or did we really only see your more extreme moments?
Jael: I think all of my moments were extreme and still are! I live life to the fullest and know that I have more energy than most people. I’m excited about life and infuse that into everything that I do, so yes, I’d say that I was edited fairly.
RNO: Has there been anything on the show that you were actually surprised to see that you didn’t realize was going on when you were there?
Jael: I didn’t know that Renee was making so many comments about people all the time behind their backs. To our faces, she was kind, and I think she was so mild with me because she was intimidated and knew that I have a mouth. When we all confronted her, she told the girls things that she would have never said to me. However, I forgive Renee, and I think everyone else did as well.
RNO: What’s the best piece of advice you can give to girls that want to apply for the show?
Jael: I would encourage any girl that wants to apply for the show to just really express who you are. Don’t be an actress or a character. It’s nice to free yourself and be fun. It’s motivating to be seen in your own skin and is truly liberating. People watch you and know who you are – you don’t have to act or be someone you’re not.
RNO: Is there anywhere people can expect to see you in the near future, or do you have any immediate plans for after the show?
Jael: I want to do my own reality show. It’ll be about music, though, and no modeling, so you should be on the look out for that!
RNO: Is there anything you would like to add or say to fans of the show before we wrap it up?
Jael: Thanks to all the fans and I really do hope that I represented. Also, I hope that I showed other girls that not being mainstream and somewhat of an outcast can be cool – there’s nothing wrong with that. Be yourself and be comfortable with who you are.
RNO: Jael, I have so much more respect for you now! Good luck with everything!Phil Kural is an office manager at a law firm, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. You can send feedback to him at email@example.com.
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