It was an "America's Next Top Model" shocker last week when Kayla Ferell was eliminated from the competition. Many, including her, believed she would make it to the final two. Now, ET talks to the 19-year-old from Rockford, IL to find out how stunned she was and why she thinks the judges ousted her.
ETonline: I am shocked to be talking to you. I thought you would be in the final two, possibly win. How surprised were you not to hear your name called?
Kayla Ferell: I was surprised and then I felt stupid because in interviews I was saying it was going to be me and Chelsey. I was really shocked because the entire time on the whole motion editorial, I never heard one negative comment. If anything, I felt I was hearing the best praise of any of the girls. Tyra [Banks] didn't even direct me. I did my own thing and she just screamed, "That was amazing. We're done. Move on." So, I was really shocked when I got into judging and I got eliminated on the thing I had the most fun doing.
ETonline: The last couple of weeks you did so well in the challenges. You won best picture. How did you feel when the judges said that your beauty was different and needed top photographers to make you the next thing?
Kayla: I think they were trying to call me fugly. I don't know what they were trying to say. Apparently, I am ugly-pretty and it takes a special person to capture my beauty. I don't know what that meant. Tyra kept saying, "No, Kayla. It is a compliment. It is a good thing." When you have people saying, "Well, it is going to take a lot to capture your beauty," that is how I took it. But I just dealt with it.
ETonline: Tyra and André Leon Talley seemed to think you would be a great actress. Any aspirations in that direction?
Kayla: I think I will look into it in the future. All of the judges, not just Tyra, but Nigel [Barker]as well, said I should look into it. I would be great at it and I should go far in it. They know what they are talking about. I think I should give it a shot, but right now, I want to really try to get modeling down before I go into acting.
ETonline: You are living in Illinois right now. Will you relocate to pursue modeling?
Kayla: If I can move anywhere, it would be New York City, obviously, or Tokyo.
ETonline: I like you as a redhead. Are you going to keep this look?
Kayla: My hair is red as we speak and it is probably going to be red if we ever speak again. I plan on keeping it. I have heard nothing but good compliments off of it. The whole reason I was a blonde in the first place was I thought it made me stand out. I was so naïve. If anything, with my red hair, I stand out more. I get so many compliments, a lot of people have great things to say, so I am definitely keeping the red hair.
ETonline: What was your favorite photo shoot and why?
Kayla: My favorite photo shoot was the statue one, the one right before I got eliminated. I felt 100 percent confident in that photo shoot. That was the one I went into it, "I am going to kill it and win best photo and no one is going to take it from me," and I did it. I felt really proud of myself. I was the closest the entire competition to Mr. Jay. I can't explain how much he meant to me, and the fact that he came up to me and said, "Seriously, you've made me feel like a proud papa. You've grown so much," made me feel so good.
ET: Who do you think will walk away with the title?
Kayla: I kind of think that Ann will win because the judges are in love with her. But I would like to see Chelsey win because she deserves it. She is the total package, whereas Ann is only good at the photo aspect of it.
ET: I think both of them will get signed, and, hopefully, you will, too. I like Jane's look, too.
Kayla: I love Jane. We have been texting each other all day. The fans call us Team Jayla. They didn't feel we should have been eliminated. Now there is an entire page on Facebook dedicated to Team Jayla.
ET: Any regrets?
Kayla: I think everybody -- even the winner -- Ann or Chelsey -- is going to have regrets. I wish I could have been more myself with the judges. These are people I looked up to as long as I can remember. These are people I watched on TV for forever, so I got really nervous. I just wish at panel, I could have brought my personality to panel, because if you noticed, most girls didn't. When it came to panel, everybody was pretty much quiet, they didn't speak much. I think if I had done that, it would have made me stand out even more.
ET: Would you do it again?
Kayla: That is a good question. I will say, yes, only because the positives on this show outweighed the negatives. But would I got back with a lot more knowledge, and knowing a lot more? Yes, so it would be an even better experience.
ET: What's next?
Kayla: I plan on getting with an agency as soon as possible. I have heard a lot of positive things. A lot of people interested in me saying, "You have a great look. You need to go far with this. Take it seriously." That is what I am doing. I am taking it seriously. I am reaching out to agencies and I am going to keep going until I find the best one for me. I am very confident I will go far in modeling.
"America's Next Top Model" airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. on The CW.
Related stories on ETonline.com:George Lopez Raises David Arquette's SpiritsWATCH: ET with the Winners Backstage at the 'Dancing with the Stars' Finale
- Aug. 24, 2016 Anna Duggar says she and Josh Duggar are in a good place