Whether you liked laughing with or at America's Next Top Model contestant Jael Strauss, I think we can all agree the show is going to be a lot less interesting now that the trippy hippie has been sent back to her home planet — Detroit. Whether the self-proclaimed spreader of light was vowing to protect the innocent from "the evil ducks of the universe," doffing her bra for a voluntary girl-on-girl photo shoot or delivering a David Lynchian monologue in her trademark marble-mouthed way, she was something else. Naturally, her reaction to her ouster was equally unique. So, as you brace yourself for tonight's episode (airing at 8 pm/ET on the CW), perhaps you'll enjoy spending a few more moments with the 22-year-old who remains weird beyond her years.
TVGuide.com: Well, in all honesty, I'm not sure how I'm going to continue watching the show without you on it!
Jael: Oh, really? Well, one day I'm going to have my own show, and you'll be able to watch me on that! I really want to do a show that uncovers all the unsigned bands and underground artists. I really want to expose all those great groups, like the Burning Man community.
TVGuide.com: That's perfect for you! There's definitely some rock 'n' roll in you.
Jael: Yeah... and some hip-hop!
TVGuide.com: Speaking of hip-hop, let's go back to the night of that infamous Smart Water party. What was going on with you and 50 Cent? Why did you keep getting in his face until he finally pushed you in the pool?
Jael: Everything you see is not everything that happened. Actually, the girls kept coming over to me and saying, "50 wants to talk to you," because he would send them over. And then I'd go back over and talk to him, and then he'd be like, "Didn't I tell you to leave me alone?" I guess he was intimidated. My personality was too much for him.
TVGuide.com: I would have expected you two to have a lot of fun together.
Jael: It was fun. I poured Smart Water all over his head!
TVGuide.com: Were you irritated that Sanjaya kind of stole your thunder by getting eliminated from American Idol on the same night as you?
Jael: No way! No one steals my thunder. I relate to Sanjaya, actually. I think he was there because of his energy and not so much his talent, and I can relate to that. You know, I did my best and I gave it all the energy I could possibly give, but at the same time...
TVGuide.com: Hey, don't sell yourself short. You took some fantastic photos!
Jael: Thank you. I tried. I really pushed myself, and I'm really proud of the outcome.
TVGuide.com: As the show went on and it became clear that they wanted to sort of mold and change your personality into something else…
Jael: I'm not having that! I came there as myself, and I left there myself, and I'm so happy about that.
TVGuide.com: Was it a relief to get eliminated so that you didn't have to go through the cookie-cutter factory they use to pump out models?
Jael: I wouldn't say it was a relief, but I wish they'd been more open-minded and allowed me to be myself. I feel I have what it takes to represent women, and I feel that I did a really good job. I gave 110 percent. I know I fell flat on my face when it came time to do the CoverGirl commercial, but I gave it my all. I prefer Brittany being there rather than myself, actually. I vote for Brittany.
TVGuide.com: The CoverGirl commercial seemed particularly difficult for you, because they look for a specific kind of girl for that: perky, happy, blank. Was that something that maybe didn't occur to you until that phase of the competition rolled around?
Jael: No, it occurred to me. I just... I don't know. I'm glad I had the experience and got to try. I see where my weaknesses are and my strong points, and I really learned a lot about myself.
TVGuide.com: I like your kooky edge. I wouldn't want to see you become generic.
Jael: I didn't give in. I just tried, but I didn't give in.
TVGuide.com: I think you may have a rebellious streak.
Jael: That may be a little bit true. [Laughs] I don't know if I'd call myself a rebel. It's not like anybody's in charge of me.... I just run my own show. But that was Tyra's show, and she got to run it.
TVGuide.com: I thought it was interesting that in Australia, you were wearing a tutu and some outfits that might not be exactly what the panel would have advised.
Jael: When I showed up for my casting, I was wearing a tutu. They knew what they were getting themselves into, so I wouldn't expect them to all of a sudden say, "Why are you doing this?" It's not like it was a surprise!
TVGuide.com: You have a unique style. Have you considered getting into the designing aspect of the industry?
Jael: Well, every day is Halloween. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: That would be a great name for a brand!
Jael: Hey, yeah! Are you ready to start a company with me?
TVGuide.com: All we need is a backer. Maybe 50!
TVGuide.com: I don't want to take things in a dark direction, but I wanted to address the fact that you lost a friend to an overdose during the course of the show. I thought you pulled yourself together remarkably well.
Jael: I just let myself be a human being. I allowed the world to see me, and I thought I could set a good example. I knew there were other people out there going through similar things, and I wanted to be somebody they could relate to. And I realized that I'm in the public eye. Kids look up to you and people relate to you, and they know I'm an oddball. There are a lot of oddballs out there who don't have someone they can relate to in the public eye, so I definitely pushed myself to persevere so that I could set a good example.
TVGuide.com: Was there a thought in the back of your mind that your experience might help drug users see how their actions might impact the people they care about?
Jael: Yeah, they didn't air it, but when I dedicated my photo to her, I did say something urging people to realize how much they were hurting their loved ones and to get help before it was too late.
TVGuide.com: What are your immediate plans to keep spreading joy to the planet?
Jael: Well, I just really, really want to save the world, obviously. I know it sounds "hippie," but I really want to work toward getting my own show so that I can stay in the limelight and continue to spread the positivity and keep people laughing and smiling. I've found that's my strong point, and it's something I'm really, really good at.
TVGuide.com: Somebody does need to save the world, so why not you?
Jael: I'm tryin'. I'm putting all my energy into it, so help me god.
TVGuide.com: Can you see yourself running for office one day?
Jael: I'm an activist, but I like to be behind the scenes a little bit more. I feel like you can touch more people personally when you're on foot than when you're up on a podium. I like to physically touch people, you know? I get something from that. I like to actually stand not above but with people.
TVGuide.com: And politicians do tend to get into trouble when they touch people!
Jael: [Laughs] I'm all about getting into trouble and touching.
Visit our new Online Video Guide for America's Next Top Model clips.
Send your comments on this Q&A to firstname.lastname@example.org.