November 25, 2010 11:30 AM by Allyson Wells
During the double elimination on the last episode of America’s Next Top Model, Kayla was very surprised to learn she was eliminated.Â Kayla had won top photo in recent weeks and was feeling very confident going into panel.Â Kayla had a very interesting ride on America’s Next Top Model.Â She discusses why she deserved to be a finalist on the show, representing the gay community and her past sexual abuse.
Question: During the competition, you said that you wanted to be the first lesbian winner of Top Model.Â What was it truly like being the only open lesbian in the competition? Do you feel that it helped or hindered you?
Kayla: I don’t really think that it necessarily helped or hindered me, I was doing it because it’s who I am. I feel like there needs to be more out and open gay role models because there really aren’t any, especially for women. When I was on the show, I was worried that there would be a gay hater or really religious person, but everyone was really accepting and awesome; they treated me like anyone else. At the same time, they really don’t understand; I’ve gotten hate mail saying that I talked too much about being gay. But straight people have privileges like marriage and I don’t. I should be able to express myself and be an advocate for the community until I get rights too, and I’ve always felt that way.
Question: On this week’s episode, you said that you felt you were growing stronger in the competition and that you were at the top of the pack. Were you surprised by being eliminated?
Kayla: I keep getting that a lot of people were surprised that I was eliminated, and that makes me feel like I’m not crazy, because I was too! I felt like I was consistently at the top of the pack, and I felt like I was showing what Top Model was about, which is growing. Ann broke a record for 5 first call outs, but she never got it again. I didn’t understand that elimination. Also, I love Chelsey and I’m a big fan of her, but she never won best photo; the fact that she got chosen before me was a shock. But, you handle the cards you’re dealt.
Question:Â How did it feel watching back the episode this week?
Kayla:Â I almost missed it but I got it! I personally hate watching myself on TV, it’s just really weird to see yourself. You think,’Oh my gosh, why didn’t I put make-up on that day?’ or something like that. But it was fun. I was texting Jane the whole time and we were making fun of each other so it was kinda cool.
Question:Â The judges seemed to like your motion editorial and you’d just had a double best photo win. Why do you think you just missed a place?
Kayla:Â Top Model is usually about somebody who gets better; you don’t always start out that great but as long as you get better.Â Ann, for example, got five best photos in a row but since then she never won anything so it seemed like she was kinda going down. I really did see myself and Chelsey maybe being the top two but I don’t really know what it could have been. I think they kind of looked at the overall package and probably felt that Ann was more high-fashion than me and that’s what the season is about, and they saw Chelsey’s drive and how much she wanted it.
Question:Â How did you find the motion editorial with Tyra? You seemed nervous going into it.
Answer:Â When Tyra was explaining it to me I really didn’t get it or know what it was, but when she actually showed me I got it and warmed up to it and it was actually the most fun I have had on any photo shoot ever to date. If I got eliminated off anything it was great that I got eliminated off something where I had a lot of fun. The whole time I was doing it I really didn’t hear one negative comment and I was actually kind of excited going into judging thinking, ‘I might really have this’.
Question: During the commercial challenge, you revealed your past with sexual assault. What has been the reaction from people in your life since that episode aired?
Kayla: You know what’s funny, I’ve been asked that a couple of times, and I really didn’t get anything as far as support. My family likes to sweep things under the rug, so nobody in my family said anything to me about it. There’s no real answer to that question. They don’t speak about it and act like it doesn’t happen, just like they don’t deal with my sexuality. But that’s the family I have.
Question: Other than yourself, who would have been your pick to be in the final two, and why?
Kayla: It would have been Chelsey, not because I love her, but I feel like she has a lot of experience. She’s been doing this a long time, and she’s the sweetest most sincere person ever. Every morning for breakfast, she’d make me eggs because she knew I didn’t know how to cook! She knows how to talk to people, and she knows this business inside and out. Ann is great in photos, but I’m afraid that if she tried to do public speaking, she’d cocoon herself. And Jane, this is her first time trying modeling. She has the best look bone structure wise, but she needs about six more months of practice. I think it should have been me and Chelsey for those reasons.
Question:Â You entered the competition as a blonde and left as a redhead. Have you kept the color?
Kayla:Â Oh yeah! I still have the red hair; I love it and get lots of compliments on it. I do live by a small town and whenever I go there people do kind of look at me because it is so red like, ‘Where did she come from?’ I would never have gone red on my own because I didn’t think I’d look good but turns out I do! I enjoy it and plan on keeping it.
Question:Â You have a Grammy Awards role coming up at next year’s ceremony. Do you know what you are doing yet?
Kayla:Â I think I’m going to just be handing the Grammy, I don’t really know! I’m just excited that I’m in attendance! It wouldn’t even matter if I was doing the dishes at the back, I’m just excited that I’ll be there!
Question: What’s coming up next for you?
Kayla: I keep knocking on doors. I know a lot of models from past seasons think people should come to them because they were on Top Model, but it doesn’t work like that. As soon as my episode was over, I contacted agencies in Tokyo, and I’m gonna be flying out there to see them soon. A very well-known agency there contacted me on their own, and that felt really good! I’ll be out there dec. 8th for about two weeks, and hopefully they’ll sign me!
Question:Â Do you have a favorite between Ann and Chelsey for the win?
Kayla:Â I like both girls but I connected a lot with Chelsey at the end and I feel like she wants it so bad. I feel like she is more of the total package – she can speak well in public, she’s friendly, she’s bubbly and she’s what America’s Next Top Model is all about and I really hope she wins it. She is one of the sweetest, most sincere people in the world and I absolutely love her so I hope it’s Chelsey but we’ll see!
What did you think of Kayla’s comments?Â Kayla really seemed to think she deserved to be in the top two.Â Even though I thought Kayla was taking beautiful pictures, I just did not see the judges letting go of Ann.Â They have been too enthralled with Ann all season long.Â I do think Kayla has a future in modeling, so it will be interesting to see where she ends up.
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Photo credit: The CW