As most of us already know by now, Jaslene Gonzalez
is America’s Next Top Model
and last night she walked away with a $100,000 contract with CoverGirl, a contract with Elite Model Management, and a cover and six-page fashion spread in Seventeen magazine. BuddyTV had the chance to participate on a press teleconference call with America's Next Top Model
winner, Jaslene Gonzalez
this afternoon, and here are some of the highlights from the Q&A session:
To start it off, when asked what it means to her to be the first Latina winner on America’s Next Top Model, Jaslene replied, “It means the world to me. Since the show started, I would sit on the couch with my mom telling her I want to be the first Latina, I want to be the first Latina…and look at me now, look at me now! I’m so proud.”
Jaslene says her Latina community has been very supportive and she hopes that her accomplishment can inspire other young, Latina women out there to pursue their dreams:
“I hope to be an inspiration to them. That’s all I want to be. I hope I can inspire people to pursue their dreams. We don’t see Hollywood from here, so we believe we can’t be in Hollywood. For all those Latina’s out there, go for it. Follow your dreams.”
Jaslene definitely knows a little something about following your dreams and about being persistent. Although she didn’t make the cut on Cycle 7, she wasn’t going to let that stop her from reaching her dreams. “I wanted to go back and [the producers] also called me back. So it was a mix of both of them wanting me back and me wanting to go back.”
“It’s just that this is what I wanted, this is what I’m happy doing; this is what fulfills me. I was always driven and always had the passion.”
When she was asked what made her want to improv her lines during the Cover Girl commercial, she didn’t exactly know how to respond at first, but that’s just because she didn’t understand the question: “What does improv mean? Sorry I don’t use big words.” Once she figured it out though, her response was: “That’s just who I am. I felt the need to speak Spanish, I’m bilingual, and I just felt the need to show them the Latin favor!”
So who did Jaslene think was her biggest competitors? She felt that Renee and Brittany were her toughest competitors and when asked what she thought about Renee not being selected to be in the final two with her, she said, “Hey, better for me. It was just Natasha, and that was easy. I felt like Natasha wasn’t competition for me at all. I felt that there was no competition.”
Here’s the quick and dirty on what else Jaslene told us on the press call:
What was the hardest challenge?
“I would say the acting. Although I would say women are naturally actors. But I don’t know how to act, I thought that was really hard.”
Do you have any tips for a great runway walk?
“Great posture. Chin up, great posture, and you’ll have a beautiful walk.”
Is there anything you’d like to tell your fans out there?
“I thank each and every one of them. I love them all. I want to thank them for their love and support.”
If you can do a cover of any magazine, what magazine would it be?
“I want to do the cover of Vogue. I would love to see myself doing the cover.”
Which girls do you still keep in touch with?
“I keep in touch with all the girls. Renee calls me often. I had a special relationship with all of them. They’re all special to me.”
So what are you going to do now?
“Right now, I’m trying to shut off the whole reality TV star image. I went in there for a career, not to be a reality star. I want to showcase myself as a Top Model, not a realty star. I want to be known and respected as a model.
Who didn’t you get a long with on the show?
“I know me and Felicia had this little misunderstanding. But she was probably the only one that I distanced myself from. Her attitude was kind of phony and I’ve seen her on Yahoo! Buzz talking about me, so she just rubbed me off really bad.”
Who are you closest to?
“Cassandra and Dionne are very close to me.”
Can you describe your own personal fashion style?
“My style is very feminine and very…I’m the type of girl that if I like it, I buy it. I like to put on unique pieces. You will definitely find a lot of unique pieces in my closet. Designers…Versace, Gucci…but it’s so expensive! But now I can afford it.” (Laughs)
Have you booked any jobs yet?
“I’m meeting with my agent, but I already have jobs from the production team that I’m working on right now. But I’m waiting to meet my agent to give me more work. I’m moving to New York next month.”
Was there any point you wanted to give up?
“Yeah, it ran through a lot of our minds. The pressure was really, really high. One day you feel like you do so good, and then the next day in panel you hear the worse critiques. But we were all strong and we motivated each other to stay strong. It’s all about seeing how good you can take that criticism.”
What else motivated you to keep going?
“Knowing that I had a family back home that believed in my dream just as much as I did and knowing that I wouldn’t be happy going home not being the winner. And every step I realized I was getting closer and closer, it was pushing me harder and harder.”
What is your work out and diet routine?
“My diet is cheeseburgers, pizza, and fries. Every fat food out there is my diet. I’m blessed with good genes. I don’t work out at all. If anything, I’m trying to gain weight.”
Is it hard to balance your personal life? Family, friends, dating, etc.?
“Right now everybody in my life knows this is what I want, so this (modeling) is number one right now. I would never forget my family and friends.”
Do you have a boyfriend?
“I don’t. Career is first right now, modeling is my first love.”
Do you have any advice for young ladies who are thinking about going out for America’s Next Top Model?
“Stay true to yourself. Make sure you go in there knowing who you are. Believe in your dreams, have a good head on your shoulders. Perseverance will take you a long, long way.”
What was your worst moment on the show?
“My only bad moment was when I was crying on the phone to my mother when I was like I need to hear you guys, that I can still do this. When you’re under so much stress…you hear the criticism…you're competing with all these girls that are your competition. You want to talk to your family who love you for who you are no matter what.”
What did you think when the panel commented that you remind them of Janice Dickinson?
Hey that’s Janice Dickinson. You either love her or hate her. I love her, so I take that as a compliment.
- BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Photo courtesy of CW)