Her motto was "Don't get it twisted," but America's Next Top Model contestant Ebony Taylor certainly got her knickers in a knot last week: Although the recent high-school graduate enthusiastically embraced her extreme makeover, during a subsequent shoot in the country she got all tangled up in her new look — braids in her eyes, her mouth, everywhere! As a result, she was given her catwalking papers. Before another wannabe gets shoved off the runway (tonight at 8 pm/ET on UPN), and even before the California girl explains her hair-raising misstep on today's Tyra Banks Show, TVGuide.com rang the kooky teenager to get the scoop.
TVGuide.com: It sucks that you got eliminated, but you've got to be excited that you came away from the show with your own catchphrase.
I know! I had no idea it would turn into that! I hope it won't be long before [there are "Don't get it twisted"] T-shirts. Wouldn't that be awesome?
TVGuide.com: And how! Put me down for three in size Toccara. Speaking of twisted, what prompted your confessional puppet show?
That was definitely one for the history books. A lot of people in the house were fed up with Cassandra's teary eyes and how she was so upset about her hair getting cut off. When you sign up, you have to be prepared for drastic measures to be taken.
TVGuide.com: Had she never seen the show?!
Yeah! If you're trying out for the show and you've never seen it.... I mean, come on. I was in the chair for 13 hours getting my hair done, so it was getting really annoying sitting there listening to Cassandra. "My hair, my hair, my hair!" Nicole and I were so fed up! We had to take it into the confessional to get it out!
TVGuide.com: Your hair turned out great, by the way.
I love it so much. I'm keeping it and trying to milk it for all it's worth after 13 hours in that chair!
TVGuide.com: What do you do for 13 hours in a chair besides listen to Cassandra whine?
I took a bathroom break at around the six-hour mark, and I talked to the ladies doing my hair, had a few conversations with Jay Manuel and talked about my life.... It was fun.
TVGuide.com: It's a shame it worked against you in the photo shoot.
It was definitely hard because of the wind and trying to move with it and make it work, and I wasn't clear on the direction they were going in. I knew they wanted the hair down, but I had to practice trying to perfect it. Now that I've had it for a while, I know how to work it! But at that point, it was so new. That was disappointing, but I did the best I could.
TVGuide.com: How did you keep a straight face when Lisa was going around giving everybody modeling lessons?
[Laughs] Lisa… you know, she's my girl. Her heart is so pure and her intentions are totally in the right place, but.... I mean, she's 24 and I'm 18 — she was the oldest and I'm the youngest. I loved listening to what Lisa had to say, because her pictures are absolutely gorgeous and nobody can deny that. So you kind of want to take Lisa's advice, because she shows that she does know what she's talking about.
TVGuide.com: Just not all the time!
Definitely not all the time. The girls in the house were definitely getting fed up.
TVGuide.com: How drunk was she? I mean, is the Model fridge stocked only with booze?
[Laughs] No! It wasn't wall-to-wall beer and vodka. But Lisa did have a glass or two of wine before that. So it wasn't the most sober of times. It was like, "OK, Lisa."
TVGuide.com: Now that you're out of high school, will you be going on to college or moving to New York City to model?
Right now I'm pursuing modeling. I'm working with a few designers out here [on the West Coast] and kind of doing the acting thing, but not really. Modeling is my passion, so I focus on that.
TVGuide.com: You must be relieved that the show didn't air until after graduation. Girls can be so catty!
High school can be rough, but you know, rumors and speculation had already begun by the time I left for the show. That was different, having a lot of my classmates and teachers know that. But I was glad to have been out of there by the time it aired!
TVGuide.com: Tell me about your name. Did your mom know you were going to be famous?
My name has a lot to do with my culture and my background. I was born during Black History Month, and my parents felt it appropriate to name me Ebony, meaning black and rich in beauty.
TVGuide.com: It's very elegant — and when you do hit the big time, people are sure to remember it.
Thank you! I like it, too.