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ďIt Just Wasnít For Me!Ē Ė An Interview with Americaís Next Top Model 9ís Ebonyby Phil Kural -- 10/26/2007
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Iím the first to admit that I didnít really care for Ebony when this season began. She was rude, judgmental, and didnít care what the judges had to say. However, over time, I grew to appreciate her carefree attitude, especially whenever she would brush off Jay Manuel Ė still canít stand him. So as usual, I had a chance to chat with Ebony about her time on the show, and she had no problem admitting that she was a quitter. In fact, after I was finished talking with her, I was surprised she didnít quit sooner. Read on to find out why!
RealityNewsOnline: Hey, Ebony! Thanks for talking with me today. Had you watched future seasons of the show, and what factored into your decision to apply?
Ebony: Yeah, I was a big fan of the show. My favorite season was the third Ė I was a big fan of Eva. I just wasnít happy doing the show, though. It was a great experience, but it just wasnít for me!
RNO: What did you think of the way you were portrayed? Did you feel you were more interested in the competition than they showed you to be?
Ebony: Itís funny. The only time Tyra saw me was at panel. Itís not like she was in the house all the time, so she really didnít know who I was. When I was at panel, I was always so nervous that I couldnít relax, and thatís what she and the other judges saw. So to the judges I came off as cold and not interested, when I was simply nervous Ė it wasnít attitude. Around the other girls at the house, I was silly and laughing all the time. Of course, you didnít get to see that.
RNO: What was the turning point that made you decide you didnít want to be in the competition anymore?
Ebony: The decision I made wasnít spur of the moment. I had been thinking about leaving for two weeks prior, but Lisa kept talking me out of it. I missed my family and didnít expect it to be so hard. When Iím normally feeling down, I can just call my mom or dad to pick me up. I wasnít able to call them all that often, so it really was pretty hard for me.
RNO: Why did you wait so long to tell Tyra and the rest of the panel that you were ready to go home? If you knew, why didnít you just tell them before they decided to pull your picture?
Ebony: Before I did what I did, I thought it was really over for me. Although the only reason I stayed as long as I did was because I was scared that my family and friends were going to be disappointed in me, and I didnít know what people would say. Finally, though, I stayed true to myself and just did what I thought was right. I could have not gone to panel that night, or quit during the individual evaluations, but I was never sure that my name wasnít going to be called last, so I waited to see how things played out first.
RNO: Tyra said that you didnít so much miss your family, but just couldnít take the criticism. Do you feel that was a true assessment?
Ebony: No, I really donít. Tyra can have her opinion and sheís more than welcome to have it. I can see how she feels that way, but I really did miss my family a lot. It was a combo of a lot of things, but that was really the main reason I left Ė I just wasnít happy there anymore.
RNO: What was the hardest aspect about being on a reality TV show?
Ebony: Honestly, not being around my family. Just not being able to call and talk with them as much as Iíd like to. I admit that I didnít expect it to be so demanding. I thought it would be totally different, and I never got over the cameras or the microphones. I was just so over the whole thing!
RNO: It didnít really look like you were connecting on a personal level with any of the girls in the house. Do you think had you fit more in, it would have played a part in how long you stuck around?
Ebony: The girls and I were really close, actually. It may have looked like I wasnít close to them by what you saw, but I really did connect with all the girls and still keep in touch with all of them.
RNO: Have you talked to Tyra since you left the show and at least squared things away?
Ebony: I have not spoken to or had any contact with Tyra since I left the show that night.
RNO: What about the end of the episode? Did you find it insulting or a smack in the face that they played your audition tape, where you begged Tyra to pick you to be on the show?
Ebony: I thought the whole thing was sad. Although they were playing it off like I died! They had the funeral music and all. I didnít take it as a slap in the face, but I did think that it was sad to watch that over again.
RNO: You stated at the beginning of the episode that your photos werenít that great, but the judges seemed to love them. Looking back, do you think you were doing a better job than you thought you were?
Ebony: I think I did good for a girl that had no experience at all before being on the show. I actually liked the first photo that landed me in the bottom two, and I really didnít think that I was doing so bad. I was hard on myself at times, but I was stressed, just like everyone else!
RNO: Looking back, and knowing what you do now, do you think you still would have applied for the show simply for the experience, or is it something you would stay clear of?
Ebony: I would totally stay clear of it. I am not interested in doing anything that deals with reality TV ever again Ė itís not for me.
RNO: Most of the time we saw you, it seemed like you were annoyed or just didnít want to bother with anyone. What were some of the lighter sides of Ebony that we didnít get to see?
Ebony: The girls and I would hang out in the closet every night and just laugh, talk about boysÖ you know, girl stuff! I donít know why they didnít show that stuff. Actually, I do know why. They only showed the bad parts, and there is so much you didnít get to see. We would play tag, hide and go seek, skinny dippingÖ.
RNO: Well, we did get to see that!
Ebony: Ha! Yeah, thatís true!
RNO: You had stated that you didnít think modeling was for you. Do you still feel that way?
Ebony: No, I donít. I just think that reality TV shows arenít for me. Iím not sure if modeling is something Iíd like to make a career out of, but Iím definitely still interested in doing it. Iím in nursing school right now, and thatís my passion, but you never know what is in store for you down the line, so Iím not going to rule modeling out.
RNO: Is there anything you would like to add or say to fans of the show?
Ebony: To the fans, I really just want to say thank you so much for the love!
RNO: Thanks, Ebony!
Phil Kural is an office manager at a dental office, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. You can send feedback to him at email@example.com.
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