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"America's Next Top Model"'s self-proclaimed country girl Kendal may have been born a model, but according to Tyra Banks she wasn't "modeling." And Jay Manuel called the 23-year-old from Alabama "flat and boring." Now ET talks to the ousted model hopeful about how she dealt with the harsh words and what is next.
ET: It seemed as if you had a feeling you might be going home because at one point you said you needed to step up your game. Were you worried about that?
Kendal: I was. I would talk to the other girls and they were, "What did Miss J say to you?" They were like, "He said I did good." But every time I came on the set his critique would be horrible. I was, "I need to step up my game," because every time I came on a photo shoot he was harsh. If it was good, he turned it to something bad. That is how I felt.
ET: Did it ever cross your mind that they might have been trying to psyche you out?
Kendal: No. I didn't think they were like that. I thought we were all friends in the house. Every time I showed Chris my photo, she said, "You did good. I don't know what they are saying. You did good." I don't think they were psyching my head out.
ET: You just said that all the girls in the house were friends, but actually Kacey seemed to be on the outs with everybody. What was that about?
Kendal: For me personally, I just had my concerns and I had my doubts about her. It wasn't like I didn't like the girl, or I hated the girl, because if I saw her today, I would speak to her in a heartbeat. It was like I didn't know her vibe. She was stand-offish. She was with me. I don't know about her and Lexie. She lied about casting call and what she said about Jordan. I just had my concerns.
ET: You mentioned that you were a country girl. Did you think that was important for us to know to explain that you were less sophisticated than the other girls?
Kendal: Basically, because I am a country girl. You can tell by my accent. The other girls probably have friends. I only have my sisters. They probably have traveled. That was my first time getting on an airplane. That probably did work against me, but who knows?
ET: The black dress you got for Chris for the Grammy® competition, were you trying to sabotage her, as was suggested?
Kendal: Hell no. That didn't make any sense to me because that is not in my character to sabotage anyone. Chris is my friend. We were in a group. You had to pick a winning group to pick that person. Why would I do that? Chris told me she liked to show her legs. I thought with the Grammy Awards, you could do whatever you want. It is not the Academy Awards®. It is not a big, bulky dress. Kayla had on the same length dress. It is just that Chris' legs are longer. I think he said that to make me mad.
ET: Did you know who Vera Wang was and why was it so hard for you to pose as her? Jay Manuel's comments were not very nice on that one.
Kendal: Exactly. I knew who Vera Wang was. I just didn't know her entire collection. I knew she designed wedding gowns. I knew how she looked. They gave us papers we were supposed to read on our designers. She doesn't do anything. She just smiles and stands there. That is what I thought. I was just supposed to stand there and look into the camera. I wish I had had one of the guy fashion designers, so I could emphasize on it more. Like hump my back, put the little pocket in there, whatever guys do. That can be portrayed easily in a picture. The thing is that is not the only thing I did. I was smiling. He told the model to jump and I was smiling and looking fierce in front of the camera. He was like, "Great. Do it again, Kendal." They didn't show that. They just showed me looking lost and like I didn't know what I was doing. Then [Jay] said, I was struggling and boring and not passionate about modeling, I felt like that was a low blow, too. First off, I stated I was passionate about modeling on my first interview: "I am ready to do the damn thing. I was born a model." I was confident. In the first episode, my walk was fierce. The thing is, every time he would say something negative, my energy would get down. That is the only thing. With me, you can see my emotion on my face. I am not going to hide that. I was just exhausted. I was drained. I didn't know how to please this man. It wasn't about me not being passionate.
ET: What was your favorite photo shoot and why?
Kendal: I would say the Patrick Demarchelier. When you are modeling, the photo session be cold. We finally got to be outside -- Rodeo Drive, looking at all the stores. Actually, I wanted to go in all those stores. That is probably why I came to life. It was just me shopping, having a good time, laughing, not being at a cold shoot. I just felt that that was me. I was in my element. Patrick Demarchelier was nice. He gave us hugs.
ET: Ann won best photo five weeks in a row. How frustrating was that? And were the girls happy when Liz broke her streak?
Kendal: For me when Ann won, it didn't phase me because I knew who I was. I knew what I had. She won best photo, but that doesn't mean she will win the competition. Some other girls were, "I got to get Ann." They were worried. If it was meant to happen, it would happen. I wasn't unmotivated. I had to beat her, but it wasn't over-the-top. I still knew what I had to do and tried to stay focused.
ET: Who do you think will walk away with the title?
Kendal: I think Chris will win. She has the personality that everybody loves. She walks into a room and everybody smiles. In reality, you have to have the overall package. I think she will go all the way. Kayla, too, took some good photos. She has been winning some of these challenges.
ET: What are you going to do next? Will you continue to pursue modeling?
Kendal: When the show ended, I was, "I don't know if I am going to model." Now that I look back on it, I am going to continue modeling. It will probably be in a smaller market. I will probably try Atlanta and progress and grow to the New York agencies. Anybody want to book me for a runway show? I would love to do a lot of runway shows. I am not going to give up on modeling. I always say that God has the last word on my life.
"America's Next Top Model" airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. on The CW.