"Make Me Look Good On The Internet!" Ė An Interview with America's Next Top Model 9's Janetby Phil Kural -- 10/22/2007
I had Janet ranked pretty high this season on my list of favorites. Unfortunately, she went home right after one of my other favorites, Victoria! I was fortunate enough to have a chance to chat with Janet, and I have to admit Ė it was one of the most fun interviews Iíve done since Cycle 2! Honest to the core, Janet was straight up on the reason she thinks she was sent home, what she thinks the show will do for her and where sheís going from here.
RealityNewsOnline: Hey Janet! Thanks for talking with me today. Had you watched previous seasons of the show, and what factored into your decision to apply?
Janet: Oh, I watched all the old seasons. I was totally in for it forever. I would TiVo episodes while I was at work and everything. So when my boyfriend was deployed, I had the time to get a personal trainer and lose some weight. Then, I was in Miami one weekend when they were casting, and I decided to try out. My friend Mollie (Mollie Sue) was on the show during Cycle 6 and she totally encouraged me to try out. What do you know Ė I was cast!
RNO: I love that the judges thought you looked like Liza Minelli. Did they realize that they were the ones that actually gave you that look?
Janet: Yeah, they made me do that! Iím the first to admit that I have a pretty predominate nose. But they are the ones that made me have black hair. Iíve had it all before Ė long hair, shaved head, red, black, everything! I was fine with whatever they were going to do with my hair. It was an edgy cut, but the only thing I have in common with Liza is a background in performance!
RNO: Do you think you would have stood out better had you stayed a red head?
Janet: I really donít know. My mom is a red head, so I know I can carry it well. I would have liked to get some red extensions, maybe, but I donít think it was my look that got me eliminated. It was the lack of drama that I brought to the house that was the main reason. I honestly thought my shoot was going quite well, and you didnít see Jay tell me how well I was progressing. It was my time to go, and I had to deal with that.
RNO: You were the self-designated ďmomĒ of the house. What did you do that made your earn that role?
Janet: My boyfriend has a two-year-old boy, so Iíve acquired those motherly attributes over the years. I was the oldest girl in the house Ė 22. Iím an old hag! Ha! I guess I was just a little more mature and grateful for the whole thing. We were living in a 12 million dollar mansion, and these girls were throwing expired milk at one another Ė they were slobs! I always wanted to support everyone and help them be better. I showed one girl how to plunge a toilet, and another how to use a tampon. It was crazy!
RNO: As for the photo shoots, Kim said a few weeks ago that Jay never really gave the girls critique, and you were all expected to know what to do. Did you feel that way?
Janet: Oh, for sure! You go into the whole thing expecting to learn a ton and be advised the whole way through. However, they do expect you to have some kind of foundation, and some of the girls did. Kim and I were people that had no experience though. We had the raw talent. However, everyone is so caught up in taping a reality show, and the other components that make the show a hit, that the real teaching and instructing get thrown out the window, and I really wish I could have learned more. Jay Manuel really did teach me a lot, but I would have liked to have learned so much more!
RNO: Did you have any idea that you were going to end up in the bottom two, and how did you feel once you saw you were next to Ambreal?
Janet: Well, I knew that the judges were gaga over Ambreal, especially with her rock climbing photo, so the second I saw I was in the bottom two I knew I was done for. Iím 5í8Ē and have some curves. Sheís 5í10Ē and way more high fashion, which is what they were looking for this season. Iím okay with it though, and I knew it was coming. Everything happens for a reason. You can make it up to me Ė make me look good on the internet!
RNO: What was the deal with the ice skating challenge? You could really only pose one way, due to the skating positions, yet were supposed to show different emotions. Were you as confused as I was?
Janet: That thing was so stupid! We did those poses so many times in practice, and I swear the one time they showed me showing an emotion was a face I did in practice Ė it was such a bad choice, but of course they had to catch me being retarded on my elimination week, so it was probably the best one for them to use.
RNO: Was Lisa really the outcast of the house after she won the challenge, or did she make herself out to be that way?
Janet: It was such a weird tension when we came back from that shoot. Obviously, the other girls were jealous, and I made a point to tell Bianca that she was hating when she was talking bad about Lisa. A group of girls were doing it, and they were wishing Lisa would go home. It did hurt Lisa too, because she came into the whole thing trying to be real and be herself, but some of the other girls just didnít like her. I wish she wouldnít let it affect her though!
RNO: Whatís one thing that surprised you about being on a reality TV show?
Janet: Everything! It was nothing what I imagined it would be. Would I do it again? Yeah, but I would have different expectations. I didnít realize just how much we would be watched, and that weíd be escorted to the bathroom. You canít even fart without someone there to smell it! Oh my goodness, are you going to put that on the internet?
RNO: You know I am!
Janet: Ha! Oh, no! Seriously though, you are out of contact with everyone and everything. Itís reality alright Ė if reality is being stuck in a house with 12 girls and you canít watch TV and canít read any magazines!
RNO: It seemed like you were practicing a lot on your posing and walk. In retrospect, do you think there is anything you could have done to stick around longer, or was your time simply up?
Janet: I really donít think I could have done anything to stick around. They knew how they wanted it. I did the best I could, and Iím happy that every time you did see me, it was me being focused and trying to better myself. I wasnít naked running around saying I knew everything. If I was casting for something and watched the show, which girl would I pick? The girl that was always shown trying to improve or the crazy girl running around naked? Exactly.
RNO: Did Twiggy ever lay off of you? I feel like you were on her hit list from day one!
Janet: She was on me in the very beginning, but it got better. She did say this week that she liked my photo in the beginning, and the week before I was ďmenís magazine.Ē Itís hard not to be menís magazine when youíre almost naked, though! I know she saw a fashion model evolving, and she did warm up to me in the end, which was all I can really ask for.
RNO: What kind of advice about the industry was Danielle able to offer you when you got to do the photo shoot with her?
Janet: That whole thing was so cool. My friend Mollie is good friends with her and they still talk all the time. Danielle told me about emotion and gave me some pointers how to work it in my photos. She told me that no matter if we won or lost, her being the winner didnít get her much further than anyone else, besides the Cover Girl contract. Half of us girls can get into any agency if we really try. In fact, Elite had a casting director at every casting call this season Ė you just have to prove yourself!
RNO: So is modeling still something you would like to do, and do you think being on the show will help or hinder that?
Janet: I really donít know. Iíve heard that some designers love having the different top model girls during fashion week, and some stay away from them. I feel like it doesnít necessarily have to hurt me. Being on the show helped me build a portfolio and get exposure, but I canít say that since I was on the show, I should be booked for every job. It really helped me learn about myself, and Iíd love to continue modeling.
RNO: What else is in store for you? Do you have any other plans right now besides trying to break into the industry?
Janet: I have my license in cosmetology, and waxing will always be there for me Ė even if itís not on Tyra! Itís a passion of mine, and I do makeup as well, so if I am not happy with modeling, I can always be behind the scenes. All I have to do is call up Sutan and heíll have me a job with a quickness!
RNO: Is there anything you would like to add or say to fans of the show?
Janet: Thank you so much to everyone who thought I was amazing. I love when people run up to me at the grocery store and tell me I was their favorite. Seriously, I did have a great time, and I donít regret a second of it!
RNO: Thanks, Janet!
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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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