America's Next Top Model returns again for cycle 15. Tyra and the gang recruited a local contestant, Kayla Ferrel, and Windy City Times went Nunn on One with the pretty 19-year-old herself before the season debut.
Windy City Times: Hi, Kayla. How was the audition experience for Top Model?
Kayla Ferrel: The auditions were long and tiring to be honest. When I went there were a lot of girls. By the end I was so tired that I ended up laying on the floor and waiting until I heard my name being called. There were so many people.
WCT: Was this an open audition?
Kayla Ferrel: No, I think it was closed but it still brought out a large amount of people. I auditioned in Chicago.
WCT: What does someone have to do to be on the show?
Kayla Ferrel: This is so weird. It feels so long ago. What did I do? [ Laughs ] It was a long process. They took pictures of us. It was basically a lot of questions. We had to do a walk for the camera. Whatever you did, you had to give a lot of energy and be really big. There were a lot of questions from what I remember.
Kayla Ferrel: If you didn't know about yourself then you would not have made it through casting.
WCT: They look for certain personalities.
Kayla Ferrel: Yeah, I know they look for a look but at the same time it is a reality show, too. I think they have in mind what kind of girl they want in the house that matches a good look.
WCT: You are the second lesbian that I have interviewed for the show as a contestant. Are you single?
Kayla Ferrel: No, I am in a relationship. I was in a relationship the entire time that I was in the house, too.
WCT: Was that hard to be a lesbian on the show?
Kayla Ferrel: At first I wasn't really sure how they would take me. To be honest, I was pretty positive that when I went in the house that there would be at least one gay hater. Because it is a reality show I figured that at least someone would be against me. But actually it wasn't like that. Everyone was really accepting of me surprisingly, which was really nice.
WCT: That's great. What did you think of the two gays, Jay and J?
Kayla Ferrel: I went in the house really excited to meet Miss J but I ended up bonding personally with Jay Manuel. I could tell a lot of the girls were a little jealous of it. I just had a close bond with him.
WCT: He seems to have good advice.
Kayla Ferrel: He was my absolute favorite on every single photo shoot. We had long talks. It helped that we were both gay and had a certain kind of connection. Some of the girls may not have understood that.
WCT: I get that, being gay myself.
Kayla Ferrel: Between the Js, Mr. J was more of the tough love; so many of the girls did not necessarily respond well to him. Miss J made everyone laugh and kept a smile on your face. Mr. J gave you the tough love that you needed to hear. Some girls liked it, some girls didn't. I personally did.
WCT: You were a waitress at Hooters before all of this?
Kayla Ferrel: Yes, I still work there. Which is crazy because I have one of the smallest chests in the house. I have, like, a 31A.
WCT: You live in the suburbs?
Kayla Ferrel: I am from Rockford, Ill., but currently live in Peoria. I lived in [ Chicago's ] Rogers Park for two years.
WCT: Oh, that is right by me! Are you familiar with Windy City Times?
Kayla Ferrel: I was out at Market Days last year with a friend and someone took our picture and gave me a card.
WCT: That could have been me. I take pictures out and about all the time.
Kayla Ferrel: Yeah, I think it was. [ Both laugh. ]
WCT: Well, the show is about to come out.
Kayla Ferrel: I am kind of nervous.
WCT: You should have a big party.
Kayla Ferrel: Everyone keeps trying to throw a party for me and there is literally four or five planned, I am not sure which one I am going to attend.
WCT: Sounds fun. I look forward to seeing you on the show!
America's Next Top Model is on every Wednesday. Check www.cwtv.com for times and details.