In the first half of Wednesday's special two-hour America's Next Top Model
finale, Tyra and her judges narrowed down their field of four to two--leaving by the wayside Angelea Preston, the dominating personality of the season who couldn't quite dominate her photo shoots all the way to the end.Read What Happened: America's Next Top Model Cycle 14 Finale Recap
But don't feel sorry for this Buffalo, New York native--she doesn't! I caught up with Angelea the day after the finale aired to ask about how she felt to make the Final Four, what changed about her attitude since we saw her on Cycle 12 and her response to Jay Manuel's claim that this was the end of her modeling career, not the beginning.
Congratulations on making it to the Final Four! How does it feel?
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I feel so great! It's so amazing that I made it that far. I would've loved to win, but that aside, with being in the Top Four, technically Three, because Tyra hugged me last, so that's how I look at it. I was third eliminated!
I know that you tried out for Cycle 12 and you made it really close to being in the house that season. So what inspired you to try out again?
Cycle 12? Oh lord, I was a mess. You know, Tyra said when I got eliminated and I told her I was like "Well, I'm gonna be back." And she was like, "Okay, okay, you know." So I went and did my little anger management classes. I was actually on the Tyra Banks talk show, and she gave me this paper and she told me that they wanted me to try out again,. But I just needed to work on how I say things and how my anger is, all that stuff.
I went to these anger classes and learned ways on how to work on my anger and work on how I speak when I'm angry. Honestly, it's something that I always wanted to do. I'm not going to let just because I didn't make it into the house Cycle 12 stop me. I'm just gonna work harder for it and I'm just gonna really work. And I tried out for Cycle 14 and I was in the house!
It seems like you channeled a lot of that anger into confidence. Anything that came up against you, you just kept powering through. How did you learn how to do that?
I know everybody has a story, but I've been through a lot of negative things in my life. First of all, my daughter, she passed away. That was very traumatizing. There were a lot of situations that went on between me and her father.
He wasn't supportive, so that was something awful negative. And when she passed away, I didn't have his support. That's the support that I needed. He just was not there. So that really kind of messed me up, so I was kind of angry about that. I guess maybe that's probably why I didn't make it on Cycle 12, because I was still holding a lot of anger towards him for that.
I grew up. It's not sad or anything like that, because I look at all the things I went through in the past, they made me who I am now. So I'm grateful for everything I went through, good and bad.
Like my parents, they didn't have a lot of money when I was growing up. We didn't have a lot of money, and we grew around a lot of people, like in our neighborhood, they were in the same situation as us. They were getting food stamps, you know, just public assistance. I kind of look at that too, that's not the type of life I wanted to live. I just didn't want to live off the government for the rest of my life. I knew that I was better than that. I just think that's very important for people to realize. It doesn't matter where you come from. When you know you're destined to do something, then you shouldn't let your environment or anything like that stop you.
What's it like for you to watch yourself on TV?
It's so funny, because it seems like we filmed all that stuff a year ago. But it was only like, a month ago, but it seems like it was a year ago. So I look at it, some of the stuff, you do so much. So you forget some of the stuff you say and some of the stuff you do. So I'm looking at it, and I'm like, "Ooh, I'm on TV! Yay!" then I'm just like, "Oh, shoot. I said that?" So I'm just cracking up laughing about it because it's so funny. It's so funny to watch me on TV!
What's the most important thing you learned throughout the entire experience, about yourself or about modeling?
I would say the most important thing is how I take criticism. I think in the beginning, when Jay would give me a critique, I would look at it and be like, "Oh my god, why is he being so hard on me? Why is he being so negative all the time?" But I understand now that the criticism wasn't meant to be negative. It was meant to improve me and help me be better. There's just a lot of stuff that happened to me in the past. People always talked about me. I was like, too skinny, I was too tall. I would get a lot of rejection from guys, because they would be like, "Oh, you know, you're so fine, but you need to gain like 30-40 pounds." That type of criticism messed with my head a little bit, because now I'm getting all this positive criticism but I'm not seeing it that way, because I've been criticized negatively my whole life. So that was something I had to work on, and I think I worked on it. I'm still a work in progress.
In the final panel, Jay said he thought that if you didn't win, that it might be the end of your modeling career. So are you proving him wrong?
Girl, when I saw that, I was like "What!" You should've seen my face. "Oh no he did not say that, what is this! What the hell! Really, Jay?" Oh my god, I did not think that he felt that way. I don't know, to this day, I don't know why he feels that way. He said that he felt like I felt that it was a joke. I guess my rebuttal to that is I didn't take anything that happened on the show as a joke. I was just happy as hell to be there. Because I had applied for Cycle 12 and I didn't make it on. And then Cycle 14, out of thousands of girls, I got picked. I was just so happy. I'm not gonna walk around all miserable or bad or mad at the world. No, I'm gonna be happy. I'm just like, "Wow, okay Jay. So I'm gonna prove you wrong!"
Have you ever considered doing more TV work? Because I know people would want to watch that.
Girl, yes, do you know somebody? I would love to get into TV! I wanna model, but I also want to get into TV. I feel like people would like me. I feel like people would watch me. I feel like I have something to say and people would be interested. I would love to work on TV!
You know, Tyra's talk show is ending, so maybe you can take her time spot.
I know, they should give me my own show! I'm like, "Bankable, hello? Hi? People want to see me on TV!"
What did you say to Krista when you found out that she won?
I called her, I said, when I found out she won, I was like, "You got this." 'Cause I knew when it was between her and Raina, I was like, "Krista has it." Her walk is fierce, she has been coming out at the end as best picture, challenge winner, best picture. I'm like, "Oh my god, Krista, what is this! You're taking away my shine! Come on, now!" But I was so happy that she won. She really deserved it. I guess a lot of people probably think that me and her, that we're not cool, we don't kick it. No, that is my best friend, that's my ace, my ace boogie. I talk to her everyday. We are cool as hell. It's a competition; of course we're not nice to each other. All the girls are like that: "I don't want her to win, and I don't want her to win!" But at the end of the day, I walked away with some really great friendships. Honest to God.More Top Model Cycle 14 Finale Interviews:
Model Alexandra Underwood
Model Cycle 14 Winner Krista White