ďThe Competition was IntenseĒ: An Interview with ĎAmericaís Next Top Model 2í Winner Yoanna Houseby Phil Kural -- 04/15/04
I know, I know Ė everyone has been asking when I would get to talk to Yoanna. Well, it finally happened, and I can honestly say that I wasnít disappointed. Yoanna was down to earth, funny, very energetic, and not boring like I had pegged her before. We had a great talk and within this interview, we tackled such topics as the hardest challenge on the show, the other girls, and what she thought about the judges' criticism.
RealityNewsOnline: How did you get in shape and lose the weight that you lost before the show? Was it exercising, special diets, or what?
Yoanna: It was actually a two-and-a-half-year process. It just started with me cutting down on the junk food, giving up the fast food, etc. Then, I got into working out, and it was just a mentality of learning what my body could handle and pushed myself to the limit.
RNO: From the beginning of the competition, who did you think would be your biggest competition? Was there anyone who really surprised you along the way?
Yoanna: Nobody really surprised me because everyone pretty much lived up to their potential. From the very beginning, when we all first met and started out, I thought that Shandi and Sara would be my biggest competition.
RNO: What are your thoughts on the whole Shandi hot tub fiasco? Why didnít you try to stop her that night?
Yoanna: I think that everyone is responsible for themselves. I was not there to baby-sit and Shandi was not my responsibility. Honestly, I didnít know the situation so I didnít want to butt in. I didnít know if they had an open relationship, or what was going on, so it was best for me to just stay out of the whole thing.
RNO: Itís funny you say that because your profile on the ANTM2 website says youíre a babysitter!
Yoanna: Thatís for five-year-olds, Phil, not people in their twenties!
RNO: Haha, fair enough! Do you still keep in contact with all the girls since you have won? Iím especially curious about Camille.
Yoanna: Oh yeah! Camille and I go shopping together every Saturday! Well, not really. Haha! I pretty much just keep in contact with Mercedes and Shandi. You know us final three Ė we have to stick together!
RNO: Which of the judges do you think was the most helpful when it came to giving constructive criticism?
Yoanna: All of them were great when it came to the constructive criticism. The viewers donít see everything the judges say to us. There was so much advice given and it was all helpful, especially what they would say to us privately. Eric was great and even Janice and her kooky self gave some great advice. She was a model once and knows the business. Tyra was amazing as well!
RNO: Each week another contestant was eliminated. Were you surprised that you were hanging around or did you have it in your mind that you were going to win the whole thing?
Yoanna: I never went in there with a nasty attitude saying that I was going to win because I looked a certain way. I had confidence that I would do well and took it one day at a time. I wanted to win so badly and I tried my hardest. There were several times I would say to myself, ďOkay, Iím going up against Shandi this week, sheís my biggest competition,Ē or something like that.
RNO: All the girls I talked to said that you were one of the most fun people to be around.
Yoanna:See Phil! Iím not boring! You called me boring in some of your articles!
RNO: Yoanna! I corrected myself in my other article. I was going on a clip and a profile. You definitely werenít boring. Are you normally the life of the party?
Yoanna: In a way, yes I am. I donít usually go to many parties, but believe me, if Iím there, you will know it!
RNO: Are there any goals that you have not yet achieved? What are they and how do you plan to accomplish them?
Yoanna: Well, the show gave me so many opportunities to succeed in the business. I would love to keep with the modeling thing for a long time. The show gave us the boot camp version to make it in the business. You have to realize that itís still a competition and very intense. I just want to sit back and enjoy all the opportunities that are presented to me because of the show.
RNO: Which of the girls were you shocked to see depart when they did? Was there anyone that you felt hung around a little longer then they should have?
Yoanna: Actually, I feel that judges made their decisions and cuts for a reason. I donít know exactly what they wanted, but I knew that sometimes they probably figured someone wasnít measuring up, but they cut them some slack and let them hang around a little longer because they saw some potential. Everything seemed to be pretty fair as the girls were eliminated.
RNO: What did your friends and family think about you pulling out the win? Have you had a chance to really talk with any of them since you have been all over the place since the show ended?
Yoanna: Ugh, I barely have time to talk to anyone lately! Iíve received so many positive remarks from friends, family, and people that I had worked with in the past. I get letters saying how they watched me every week and were rooting me on. On down hours Ė I donít get down days Ė I try to call and thank them for their support. I love how people keep asking me for favors. I stopped for coffee the other day and the guy wanted me to introduce him to Ellen DeGeneras so badly. I donít even know Ellen!
RNO: What do you think was the hardest thing about being on the show? Was it the other girls, the cameras, the photo shoots, or something else?
Yoanna: In the beginning, it was definitely the cameras. Thatís really something to get used too. However, as the competition progressed, it was the sleep deprivation. We were all so sleep deprived. Since there were so many of us, and the photo shoots were in the morning, we would work 12 to 16 hour days and have to be up early the next morning. People were whiny, but it was understandable most of the time Ė but sometimes it wasnít.
RNO: So, where do you hope to be in 10 years, if everything works out your way?
Yoanna: Living in a brick stone in Tribeca! Haha! Well, I want to be modeling, of course, but I do have other goals. Iíd love to start a family and just be comfortable all around.
RNO: Whatís in the future for you? Is there anywhere specific you will be soon, or somewhere specific we can expect to see you?
Yoanna: I have many things coming up in the near future, but I canít really verbally say them yet because they are not set in stone and Iíve only really been with the agency now for two weeks. However, I will still be doing more shows and my spread with Jane and Sephora are on their way as well.
RNO: Is there anything you would like to say to all of your fans? Believe me, you have plenty of them Ė they emailed me each week!
Yoanna: Aww! Yes, I want to thank everyone for their support and for watching the show. Iím trying to get an online journal set up so that people can see the trials and tribulations of Yoanna House from the beginning of it all! Thanks again for the support and hopefully Iíll have something put up on the web soon. I donít even have time to answer emails yet!
RNO:Thank you for your time, Yoanna. Congratulations on your win and good luck in the business Ė I know youíll do great!
Phil Kural is a senior at Temple University, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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