“I Have So Much Faith in Myself Now” – An Interview with America’s Next Top Model 7’s Jaedaby Phil Kural -- 11/17/2006
Before this season began, I said that Jaeda was going to be a favorite, and even though she flopped more than a few times in front of the judges, I still think she was one of the prettiest, most talented girls. I’m not going to mention her resemblance to Halle Berry, since I think I do that enough in my recaps – oops, I just did! Anyway, I had a chance to talk with Jaeda about her time on the show, and she was so outgoing on the phone that I wish we saw more of her fun side on camera! Read on to see what she had to say about her experience.
RealityNewsOnline: Hey, Jaeda! First, I want to say thanks for taking time to talk with me today. Had you watched previous seasons of the show, and what factored into your decision to apply?
Jaeda: I had watched a few episodes from every season. I remember watching the show with my dad and telling him about how I wanted to do modeling, and he actually found out for me that they would be coming close to me for tryouts. So I went up to Minnesota for an open call, did my on camera interview with Tyra, and three months later, I was given a call and told that I was in the top 30!
RNO: Did you have any modeling experience before appearing on the show?
Jaeda: I had modeled a little bit when I was younger, from when I was about three or four until about eight. My mom was actually a model, so I always wanted to give it a try as well.
RNO: Going into the competition, it seemed like you were willing and open to whatever came your way. Did you expect to react the way you did when your hair was cut?
Jaeda: I definitely didn’t expect to react the way I did. In fact, I didn’t even think they were going to cut my hair. I figured it would be trimmed a little, but not cut as short as it was. I was willing to give the whole thing a shot, though, and I think they made it look like it was a bigger deal to me than it actually was.
RNO: Knowing how much the judges, especially Tyra, liked your new look, why do you think it was so hard for you to accept it?
Jaeda: It was just so different! I’m a girly girl, and I just wanted to have long hair and cute things! I think it took me later than some of the other girls to really evolve into the whole modeling persona.
RNO: Do you think the judges took your comment about being “the prettiest girl in school” out of context? What exactly did you mean by that?
Jaeda: I really do. To be honest, I don’t even remember ever saying that I thought I was the prettiest girl in school, or the thing with all the football players in the huddle. I remember they were asking me if I think I’m the prettiest girl, and I told them that there were others, but yes, I think I’m pretty!
RNO: With the amount of times you landed in the bottom two, did you expect to last as long as you did? Was there ever a time before your elimination that you thought you would be the girl sent home?
Jaeda: The one time that I really thought I would be the one sent home, I wasn’t even in the bottom two, but yeah, the second time I was there, I figured that it would be my time to go. I mean, I told myself every time that I would probably go since I was there so many times. However, each time I saw my picture, I knew that I had to get myself together and just work harder!
RNO: When I spoke to Anchal last week, she said you should have gone home before her because you didn’t seem to really care about the competition. Is that a true assessment?
Jaeda: No, I really did care and I wanted to be there. I think the editing showed me as not caring, but I was very excited and wanted to be there – more than any of the other girls. I think Anchal had that problem of everyone wondering if she wanted to be there or not, so she says it about everyone else.
RNO: What’s the story with the male model that didn’t like black girls? Did he just come right out and say that to you? Had you considered switching models with another girl?
Jaeda: Oh, yes – he came right out and said to me that he didn’t like black girls. I told him that it wasn’t a big deal and that I just wanted to practice, and this wasn’t shown, but he got up from the table because he didn’t want to talk to me and left for about 15 minutes. I couldn’t switch with the other girls because they were set on their models. There was actually another model sitting next to me during dinner and I asked him to be my partner. He didn’t speak much English, but nodded, so I thought it was locked. Then I see Michelle with him and she said that he was her partner. There was no point arguing over it, and I had to just make the best of the situation.
RNO: Do you feel that Melrose really would go out of her way to make the other girls look bad in front of the judges, or was it that she simply didn’t realize what she was doing?
Jaeda: Knowing her a bit more than some of the other girls, I would say that some of it was her being sneaky, but I don’t think she set out to totally destroy the other girls. But yes, some of it was definitely Melrose being sneaky. Although there were points that all the girls, even myself, seemed jealous of her for all her wins. I never showed it and never treated her rudely, but come on – we wanted someone else to win!
RNO: Was traveling to Barcelona your first time out of the country? What were your impressions of Spain and traveling abroad?
Jaeda: Yes, it was my first time out of the country and I loved it! I love diversity and the city was amazing. Just to see another culture was an experience in itself.
RNO: Do you ever feel like the judges are trying to embarrass or maybe put the girls on the spot too much? Did you feel there was any point to some of the “tests” the judges gave you at panel?
Jaeda: To be honest, I don’t think there was a point to any of those challenges! I think they just want to catch us off guard and see how we handle with being put on the spot. Maybe the point is to see if we can be models and still be uncomfortable in the position we are in.
RNO: Are you rooting for anyone specific in the final five? Who would you like to see win?
Jaeda: I would say I’m rooting for CariDee first and then Eugena. Both of them have great personalities. CariDee is beautiful and can really model, but I’d be happy if either of them won.
RNO: What would you say you learned about not only the modeling industry, but about yourself from appearing on the show?
Jaeda: I have so much faith in myself now. I think that being on the show showed me that I am capable of things that I never thought I could do. It really did help me.
RNO: What are your plans now? Are you going to pursue breaking into the modeling industry?
Jaeda: I do want to pursue modeling – that’s number one right now. We’ll have to see what I’m offered, and then I’ll make a decision on if I should move to New York City or Los Angeles. It will definitely be one of those, so we’ll see.
RNO: What is your plan B, and what do you plan to do on the side in case modeling doesn’t end up being what you want to do?
Jaeda: I’m going to school right now for elementary education, so school is important and something I’m going to continue.
RNO: Is there anything you would like to add or say to fans of the show? Do you have a MySpace page or a way for fans to contact you?
Jaeda: I do have a MySpace page! I don’t have the link right now, but they can search “Jaeda Young” – I’m the only one on there! Also, I’d like to thank everyone for all the support. Knowing that there are people out there that wish you well and want you to succeed is so great. Thanks!
RNO: Thanks, Jaeda!
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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