ďThey Used Me for the One-LinersĒ Ė An Interview with Jenascia Chakos of ďAmericaís Next Top Model 2Ēby Phil Kural -- 02/05/2004
Jenascia managed to get pretty far in the competition, even though she overslept for her first photo shoot and was constantly ridiculed by the judges because of her height. In this interview, Jenascia shares with us what she thought about the whole height issue, where she stood concerning the other girls, and if she had a choice between two girls, which one would she rather be stuck with?
RNO: What was your main motivation for doing the show and did you think that you would make it as far as you did?
Jenascia: My main motivation for doing the show was for the money, point blank. I said from day one that I was there for the money. As far as making it as far as I did Ė I actually expected to make it farther. You see how that turned out though, but Iím very proud of myself.
RNO: It seemed like at every elimination ceremony, your height was brought up one way or another. Did you know that it would become such a hindrance in the competition, and were you sick of the judges mentioning it?
Jenascia: Honestly, I thought my height would be a problem for like a minute, then nobody would care anymore. I couldnít have been more wrong. It ended up being a problem with the judges the whole time! Well, except Tyra, who kept sticking up for me. The other girls didnít care about it, so I donít know what the big deal was. It just needed to be dropped.
RNO: When you were standing at the end with Catie, what was going through your mind? Did you think that you would be the one eliminated? Why or why not?
Jenascia: Oh, I knew I was the one going home from the second we walked back into the room. When the other girls were accepting their photos, I kept catching the judges quickly making second glances at me and trying to see my reactions. Thatís how I knew I was done for. Plus, I knew they wouldnít let Catie go so early. As much as she cried, she had a good walk, she was tall, and she just had all that hair chopped off. She wasnít going anywhere.
RNO: When did you end up finding out that Mercedes had lupus? Do you think it would have become an issue had all the girls known about it?
Jenascia: I actually found out while I was still on the show. Mercedes told me, but I really had no idea what lupus really was. I just knew that she took medicine for it and didnít want any of the other girls to know so that they wouldnít constantly worry about her and ask her how she was. Mercedes is a great girl and I consider her one of my best friends now.
RNO: It always seemed like whenever something would happen, the camera would always pan to you, and in turn, you would give insight on what was going on. Itís almost like you were the narrator of the show sometimes. Would you say that was because you werenít involved in the drama?
Jenascia: Oh, I did my best to stay out of the drama and did a very good job at it. I was almost never involved in it. Although, I think I lasted so long because they loved my one-liners and sarcasm. I think that is why it always seemed like I was narrating what was going on in the loft. They knew I was funny and played off the things I would say.
RNO: Of the four photo shoots you got to participate in, which was your favorite and why?
Jenascia: This is a hard question for me and I actually have two answers. My favorite shoot was the Steve Madden one because we go to do everything ourselves. It was fun because everything was in our own hands. As far as shots where I think the best picture came from, that would probably be the Garden of Eden shoot. Although, my costume was a bit too much and made me look really short. But the final shot was the nicest that I had, in my opinion.
RNO: Knowing what you know now, would you do the show again, and if so, what would you do differently to get further in the competition?
Jenascia: I would do the show 1000 times over if I had the chance. I figure if I do it that many times, they would have to let me win eventually. If I just keep doing it again and again, eventually I wonít screw up anymore and they would have to name me Americaís next top model! It would be a win-win situation!
RNO: Did you ever confront April about the fact that you helped her during the first runway show and she never bothered to wake you up for the first photo shoot? How about the other girls?
Jenascia: Ahh, I knew this one was coming. Actually, I never really had it out or anything with April, or any of the other girls for that matter, over the whole incident. I didnít wake up, and that was that. I didnít expect any of them to wake me up either because I understand that itís a competition and everyone was there to win. April wanted to come up and get me, I know that, but the others would have left her to if she had done that. I donít blame her for anything. We made up the same night, it was not that big of a deal.
RNO: Were you happy with being made to look like Selma Hayek, or was there someone else that you think you would have looked more like or wanted to be?
Jenascia: There were actually several people that I thought I would have looked better as. However, the purpose of the shoot was to transform you into someone you didnít necessarily ďlook like,Ē but someone that you could pull off. The shoot was designed to actually make you look like someone else, not just pretty you up and make you look more like someone you already resemble. I liked it though, it was fun.
RNO: If you had a choice to be stuck on an island with Camille complaining the whole time, or Catie crying the whole time, which would you choose and why?
Jenascia: Haha. I think I would have to go with Camille on this one, based on the fact that I know Camille and I would eventually have a few intelligent conversations. Thatís not saying that Catie canít hold an intelligent conversation, but I think all the crying would eventually drive me crazy. I canít be having that. At least I know I could deal with Camille.
RNO: Nobody ever chose you to go along with them after they won a challenge or a competition. Were you not in any specific group, or did you not get along with most of the other girls?
Jenascia: Ahh, it was never that big of a deal to me, and I never took it personally. I wouldnít say that I was a part of any group there. For the most part, I hung out with Mercedes for most of the time. We did have a tendency to segregate ourselves from the rest of the girls at times. I got along with the other girls, but bonded with Mercedes the most.
RNO: So if you had won a competition, and could take three of the others, who would it have been?
Jenascia: Mercedes, Sara, and April Ė no questions, without a doubt!
RNO: Now that you have been eliminated, is there anyone special that you are rooting for. On the flip side, is there anyone still left that you donít think deserves to win?
Jenascia: Iím definitely rooting for Mercedes. As far as people I donít think should win or donít deserve to, I canít really say. I think each and every girl brought something unique to the show and deserves to win. However, Mercedes is my girl and I wish her the best. She deserves it. I will say this though Ė I hope whoever wins wants it really bad. That could be one of the reasons I was eliminated, I didnít want it bad enough.
RNO: Do you have plans to continue trying to make it in the modeling industry, or have you had enough already?
Jenascia: If it was offered to me, I would definitely consider it. As long as they donít mind my height, thatís up to them. As far as pursuing it though, I donít think so. I really want to get into acting, and that is what I am up to now.
RNO: If there was one thing the show didnít seem to show enough of, concerning you, what would you say it was?
Jenascia: They didnít show my goofy side, and I have a big one. Iím a very fun person and I can be pretty silly at times. That never really came across on the show. Instead, they focused more on my wit and my sarcasm. Iím not complaining because I still came across as humorous, but there is so much about my personality that wasnít shown.
RNO: Is there anything you would like to add? Maybe something that the editors left out that you thought was important or funny?
Jenascia: Yes! There is one incident I really hoped would make it on the show, but didnít. While we were walking to the gym one day, I told Mercedes to hold my Red Bull. Anyway, I walk up ahead and trip myself on purpose, and fall on the cement. Mercedes comes running over to see if Iím okay. It was totally funny and we laughed for a good while. I do that all the time, Iíve gotten pretty good at tripping myself, actually. Anything to make my friends laugh, ya know? I had a good time on the show, and would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
RNO: Jenascia, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions. You were great on the show and this interview was so much fun!
Jenascia: Thanks! I had fun too. You better not write anything bad about me though because I know people! Haha, just kidding!
Phil Kural is a senior at Temple University, and can be reached at email@example.com.
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