Jessica Santiago is not in the running towards becoming America’s Next Top Model. The 18-year-old Latina from Florida was eliminated last week when her pretty face didn’t translate to pictures. It happens all the time on Top Model, but it wasn’t until Jessica got home that she realized she came across a little cocky. Before she was booted, Jessica had the great fortune of getting a makeover and spending a little time with hunky photog Nigel Barker. Fancast talked to Jessica about the lighting mishap, her crush, and— you guessed it— Sandra.
You were criticized for being overly-confident, especially when you kept talking about how pretty you are. Do you regret saying that?
That’s just me. Some people may take it as me being too cocky, but to me, models should be really confident in order to sell a product. Going into a modeling competition you have to think you’re the best there or else it’s going to show. I don’t think that has anything to do with me being eliminated.
When you were eliminated you said you were prettier than the other girls in the house. Did you mean that?
I didn’t leave the house based on my looks. The competition wasn’t about who was prettier, it was about who could model the best. That week, I didn’t. The reason I made that statement was because to me, that’s what I believed. I’m always going to believe in myself. I guess you could say I’m a sore loser.
Was your photo shoot difficult?
It was. A model has to know where her light is but usually a photographer will do that for you. And they’ll even position you to where the light hits you correctly. But once you’re doing it yourself it’s pretty difficult.
Who do you want to win?
I want Natalie to win. I think she’s the whole package. She looks the most like a model; really tall and thin.
What did you think of Sandra?
She came across very blunt. From the get-go a lot of people didn’t like her. I was one of them. She lost my respect. I tried to make friends with her, but it was just impossible. Her attitude was really hard to deal with and I prefer not to talk to her at all.
You were one of the only girls who seemed pleased with their makeover. What would have done if they had decided to do something outrageous to your hair?
I don’t think I would have cried because I want to be a model so bad. Like Tyra said, models are blank canvases. They’ll tell you what you need to look like. You don’t choose how to look. I would have just been strong about it. I would have definitely gone through with it.
What was it like working with the sexy Nigel Barker?
Oh my god, he is so cute and so handsome. I wanted to work with him because he’s so gorgeous! And I think he distracted me or something. It was an honor also to work with someone like him. He’s shot so many people and been so many places; he knows what he’s doing.
What did you learn from the competition?
I learned how to have twelve roommates! That’s a lot. I also learned a lot of makeup tricks and a lot of hair tricks. Just a lot of tips from Tyra as she criticized us girls.
Are you going to pursue modeling?
Of course. At first it was heartbreaking, but you have to be persistent. But that’s the modeling world; some jobs you book, some jobs you don’t. Get yourself out there and reach your goal my goal is to be a top model.