If you’ve been reading my posts on Britain’s Missing Top Model, you’ll know that I’ve been enjoying the show so far. And I normally hate all that America’s Top British Model kind of stuff. Tuesday’s night show saw the elimination of Jenny (click here to read the review of that episode) – the American who, five years ago, was involved in an horrific car accident, rendering some of the most simple things many people do in their day-to-day lives very difficult indeed. A model before the accident, Jenny was so determined to succeed in this competition. I managed to bag an interview with her (now back in her native Seattle and very open and honest and lovely she was too). It’s worth a read…
TV Scoop: Hello Jenny. It must be a bit weird having to talk about something you finished a while back.
Jenny: Yeah. We don’t get it here in America, but it’s on YouTube. The next episode is on there already. The only thing that’s weird is how big it is in the UK, and how not big it is here. I’m famous in London! I’m in Washington state! Some of my friends have been watching it, and my grandma wanted to see it but my mum was like: “They say the f-word in London A LOT”. Grandma wouldn’t like it very much I think.
TVS: What were your reasons for going into it in the first place?
J: It was about 9.30-10pm at night and I was on myspace being bored and I received this message from a photographer I shot with, and he gave the details of the show and told me to check it out. I didn’t know whether it just applied to females living in Britain. But I sent in my details, what the hey. It was like winning the lottery, I didn’t expect to be chosen. Bear in mind it was late at night, they called 12 hours after. Ever since then it was just totally fell into place. It was the most amazing experience of my life.
TVS: What was it like living in a house with all these different women? It always seems to me that tensions never really get picked up on a reality TV show…
J: It was a lot different for all of us because we all have the connection you really can’t explain. We were all disabled so we had this real bond. If there was an argument it got squashed pretty quick. We’re all on a different level to other people. On America’s Next Top Model, it’s like all the girls beat each other down and talk about each other in a bad. For this it was a lot different. I’d never been away from home that far before or for that long so I was all alone, which was really scary. But I was welcomed into the house and we all got along. It was a really good experiences.
TVS: That’s really cool to hear. I’m interested in the challenges too. Those challenges really forced you to face your disability in the face and examine yourself. What did you learn about yourself?
J: I came into it differently from everyone else. I’ve been a model before, since I was 14. That was why I was so upset that I didn’t win. To me the show was about asking whether a disabled model could do the same things as an able-bodied model, and sell the product. Everyone had their strong points and their weak points, and my strong points have always been pictures. I’m told I’m very photogenic, and it sucked that I had to do the walking. I’m the only girl out of the five who had a real fear of falling over. Sophie just had to wheel down the catwalk, and couldn’t fall out. Kellie and Jess were in heels and they didn’t have problems with balance…
TVS: Yeah, heels seemed to be difficult for you…
J: Yeah, because I would fall. Also, I was the only girl that looked like a model. I’m tall and I’m theonly one that cared about my body. The rest of the girls needed to firm up and things like that.
TVS: Yeah… and we saw divisions within the judging panel as well. Normally judging panels have a pre-determined criteria from which they judge from. There seems to be arguments between them about what constitutes a disability. Wayne and Mark, especially, seemed to be at loggerheads.
J: I hated Mark. Mark is such an asshole.
TVS: He was very critical of you and your behaviour. Are you still angry at the reasons the judges gave for your elimination?
J: I was mad about the fact there is such a difference between Americans and the British. Here I’m normal, over there I’m a freak. I don’t know why he didn’t take that into account. He just thought I was flirty… that’s normal! I don’t know… some of the judges said I would be trouble on a shoot, but I’ve been on shoots before and it’s been fine. Being on that show is a lot different to being on an actual shoot or a casting, because you haven’t got all the cameras there for a start.
TVS: You had a little word with Jess in a break during filming, which made her cry. Was that genuine concern for her that was misinterpreted?
J: Yeah! I was mad, and all the girls were mad actually, at how fake Jess was. I am so upset with how the production team cut out so much of the entire show and experience. They make people appear as though they’re different from what they really are. If they really would have shown how Jess really was, they would have seen that Jess is a know-it-all, spoiled and… yes, she’s nice but, for instance, at the lingerie shop Kellie Knox said that she had never touched silk before, and Jess was like, “How come you’ve never touched silk before? Everything I own is silk!” Like, saying that she was rich. Things like that. I understand her, because she has problems like my brother has, so I know where she’s coming from. The biggest thing that pissed me off was at the elimination she lied to judges. She said that she was getting better, but we all knew that she wasn’t. That’s why I had a word with her, just to tell her she shouldn’t be doing this. And then she cried.
TVS: So Jess isn’t going to be on your Christmas card list, but who did you get on well the best?
J: Kellie Knox. We were roommates. The very first time she walked into the room, we sat down and we bonded. We still talk and she says that she’s going to come over and visit. My parents would love to meet her!
TVS: What happens now the show is over Jenny?
J: Since it’s not big over here, I’m not getting… well, I’m getting asked for interviews in the UK not over here! I’m not getting any contact by any modeling agencies. Seattle is such a small industry over here. I don’t have the money to go to New York or LA. I’ve been trying for eight years and I love modeling. I would work harder than most girls.
TVS: In terms of enriching your life, was the show a worthwhile experience?
J: Well, yes. Sure. It finally taught me how to put my accident behind me and move on. I have been struggling with that for many years, but when I met the seven other girls and, in some ways, their disabilities are worse than mine. But they’re happy… they’ve moved on. But I hadn’t and I still let it rule my life. I’ve been in a lot better spirits since I went on the show. I so miss it. I’d really like to return, but I don’t have a thousand dollars lying around. I mean, they paid for EVERYTHING! I went there with $60 and came back with $15. It was great and I met so many amazing people. I just really want to be on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Can you write in and ask for me? You can use your connections to get me on!
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