Usually, when I sit down to prepare for a Q&A with an eliminated player from America's Next Top Model, I look forward to finding much dirt to dish. But this week, when I tried to think up questions for Jaeda Young, they all revolved around the same boring topic — her hair. And why wouldn't they? From the moment Tyra Banks gave her that (very chic, I might add) Halle Berry makeover, that's all the 18-year-old Iowan talked about. And cried about. And whined about. And then talked about, cried about and whined about some more. "Enough already!" I finally wanted to say. It turns out, I wasn't alone. Here, to whet your appetite for tonight's episode (8pm/ET on the CW), the self-defeating stunner admits that she worked her own last nerve, too.
TVGuide.com: First things first: Please, in the name of all that's holy, tell me your precious, precious hair has grown back!
Jaeda Young: It's growing back. It's not all the way back to the way it was, but it's about chin-length.
TVGuide.com: Are you feeling better?
Jaeda: Yeah! It wasn't as big of a deal as I made it.
TVGuide.com: Gee, ya think?
Jaeda: [Laughs] Yeah, I did make a big deal out of it. And it did affect me, but now I'm over it.
TVGuide.com: How embarrassing has it been for you to have to watch episode after episode of you saying, "Wah, I have short hair!"?
Jaeda: I'm like, "What was I thinking?" But it really upset me at the time. I kind of grew up after the show; so in looking back, I can't help but think, "OK, I could have dealt with that a little different!" But you know... live and learn.
TVGuide.com: What was your family's reaction when you came home?
Jaeda: My parents are very supportive, but even they said, "You should have just gotten over it! It's not that big of a deal!" They kept telling me that over and over.
TVGuide.com: What did your boyfriend think when he finally got to see it?
Jaeda: He didn't mind it, really. He actually likes short hair, so he thought it was great.
TVGuide.com: I've got to tell you, I agree with him.
Jaeda: I know. Now that I look back, I'm like, "I'm such an idiot!"
TVGuide.com: Can you see a day when you would cut it short again?
Jaeda: Oh, yeah!
TVGuide.com: Now that you've "grown up," does modeling still seem like the career for you?
Jaeda: The show actually increased my passion for it.
TVGuide.com: Even knowing they might want to give you tattoos, piercings, Mohawks?
Jaeda: Yeah! It's fun! Might as well have fun with it. It's an adventure.
TVGuide.com: Did having to work with that racist butt-wipe Spanish model make you rethink your career choice at all?
Jaeda: The thing that bothered me wasn't really what he said. ["I don't like black girls."] I can take it when people say rude things. I grew up with that. It was more that he was not willing to participate in what he was supposed to do, [which] was to help me learn my lines in Spanish. That kind of upset me. But it happens.
TVGuide.com: Were you surprised that Tyra didn't stand up for you more and say, "Get this jerk off the set!"?
Jaeda: I was. Because of her being African-American and having trouble starting out because of the way she looked and things like that, I'd have expected her to support me a bit more. But I guess not! [In the end, I still] had to kiss him, I didn't know my lines, he wouldn't help me.... It was kind of a mess.
TVGuide.com: This is your big chance to get even by telling the world how bad a kisser he really was.
Jaeda: I'm sorry, he really wasn't that horrible! I can't lie and say that he was the worst kisser ever. That's the sad thing.
TVGuide.com: Well, you're the far better person for having said that. How did your boyfriend react to your having to kiss another guy?
Jaeda: Actually, we broke up, so it didn't really matter. When the show aired last week, we hadn't been together for about a month.
TVGuide.com: Geez, if you'd known you were going to break up, you could have made out with much nicer models. What a waste of a trip to Spain!
Jaeda: Exactly! All these hot guys, and I'm dating someone!
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Reality-TV fans, pick up the Nov. 20 issue of TV Guide for scoop regarding an American Idol alum's next big project, and the latest creation from Survivor's Mark Burnett.