Credit: Ivano Grasso/The CW ©2010 The CW Network Photo: Kayla Preps for the Gondola Photo Shoot

We were too busy gasping in disbelief to hear Tyra Banks’ sage words of wisdom Wednesday when she sent not one but two All-Stars packing on America’s Next Top Model Cycle 17, Episode 7.

Heavily favored fight-picker Bianca Golden and mild mannered Cycle 15 star Kayla Ferrel didn’t even make it to the finals, so we got Kayla on the phone to figure out just what the hell happened. In our exclusive Wetpaint Entertainment exit interview, Kayla tells us that her “free” — as in lesbian — brand was too “vague,” sheds some light on the real Bianca, and admits that, yes, there was a Snooki curse!

We thought you and Bianca would definitely be in the finals. What happened?
That’s a good question. I don’t really know what happened. I think that maybe the judges didn’t really see my brand as something that could go on and be successful. You know the word “free” is such a vague word, and it’s kind of like, “Well, how will people who maybe don’t know her, how will they see her?” I don’t really feel like my brand was super strong brand, I guess you could say. Like maybe Lisa — you know, “Party Girl” — everybody knows that. She was not only on Top Model, she did another reality show that had to do with all that stuff. And Bianca, I don’t know what happened there because you can watch her one time and you know what her word is.

What happened with your big medical scare earlier this season? Is everything okay now?
I’m fine. I can’t lie, I’m not the healthiest of persons. I was born with a hole in my heart so I’ve had heart problems before. Never anything to that extent. I think the fact that your body is so out of whack — what you see that takes maybe five minutes on TV probably takes us like six hours. You’re not getting a lot of sleep, you’re staying up all the time, and you can’t eat all the time. I’m drinking Red Bull and stuff to stay awake. So I think my body was just like, “Whoa, what’s going on here?” I think that that was maybe a causing factor of it.

It looked like you were one of Bianca's friends in the house. What's your take on all the Lisa/Shannon/Bianca drama?
I think it’s just that they really don’t understand each other. For me, when I was younger, I went from home to home so I got to experience a lot of different people and a lot of different personalities. You know obviously my mom is white, my dad is African American and I had all African America God-sisters. I’m just used to different personalities and different types of people.

Credit: Jaimie Trueblood/The CW ©2011 The CW Network, LLC. Photo: America's Next Top Model Cycle 17, Episode 7: Kayla

So Lisa didn’t understand Bianca, and Bianca didn’t understand Lisa. Sometimes Bianca says things and you think she’s really, really serious but she can be kidding. And sometimes she really means what she says. She does have a little bit of a fuse. Bianca is really a lot nicer than what people think. She’s helped me out and done things for me, and we’ve hung out in the real world. She’s actually a good person. Maybe she was just trying to be more of a bitch than she really is on TV. I think it was just that they were so different. I mean, Shannon and Bianca are a ball park away from each other. They just didn’t get each other. [Laughs] And I think Bianca has a little bit of a smart mouth.

A lot of girls said the All-Stars season was pitched to them as something different than what it turned out to be. Do you agree?
No, because I actually had a lot of good photos. I’ve had a career, I’ve done international modeling, and I know that I had a lot of good shoots regardless of whether they picked the best pictures for TV. For me I felt like it was more that they didn’t feel like my brand was strong enough. So I personally have to disagree with [the other eliminees]. But I don’t know, it’s kind of weird. Like, well, why did Bianca get eliminated? Even Isis [King]. I mean, she was on Tyra’s show a lot, she had this huge story, she has a huge personality — why was she eliminated?

I think it depended on the girl. I don’t think it was all about modeling, I feel it was a lot about branding, because they would always say that to me. “We don’t see you’re brand in your photo. You don’t seem free.” They always referred back to my brand. So I don’t agree with that at all, no.

We have a theory that there was a Snooki curse on the last challenge. What do you think?
Yeah, I could definitely see that. But you know, it’s funny, because I was happy when I got Snooki. I was like, “Oh, I know exactly who Snooki is.” I felt bad for anyone who got Nene [Leaks of Real Housewives of Atlanta]. [Laughing] I mean, how do you be Nene? But maybe I should have been Nene, maybe I would still be there. But, yeah, I definitely think there was a Snooki curse.

What have you been up to post-ANTM?
I’ve been working on my career overseas. I signed with an agency about nine months ago and they’re really working on me with booking jobs because they know that I kind of want to get into acting too. So they actually set up a job for me and they sent over the script, and I’m trying to learn Japanese. It’s really, really difficult. I’ve been working on my career over there and making sure I’m the biggest that I can be. I absolutely love it over there. I’m happy when I go over there, I’m excited. I go back in February and I’m actually taking Laura [Kirkpatrick] with me so she’s super excited. It’ll be a good time.

Follow Kayla on Twitter @KaylaANTM to keep up on her career overseas!

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