Kayla Ferrel was a contestant during Cycle 15 of ANTM.
The waitress from Rockford, Illinois was 19 years old during her stint on America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 15.
During her initial panel interview with the judges, Kayla told Tyra that she grew up with a single mom who didn’t have much in terms of resources. Due to the lack of income, she even had to sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor until she was thirteen years old, while her mom and her mom’s boyfriend slept in the bed.
Kayla expressed that because she grew up with such a difficult childhood, she also grew up determined and hard working. She feels that the other girls underestimate her because she’s “so cute” and “sweet.” She said she may be sweet, but she’s got her game face on.
During final reviews, Mr. Jay felt that Kayla could use some “polishing” in terms of modeling skills, but she could really make it.
Kayla was called 12th during selection of the final 14 girls.
In episode 2, Kayla revealed that she is a lesbian. In fact, she declared that she wants to be the first lesbian to win ANTM.
When talking with the girls in the house, Kayla confided that after coming out in the 1oth grade, she was made fun of and rejected for being the only gay girl. During an on-camera interview, she stated, “I’m proud of who I am and I’m proud of my sexuality. I just want to represent.”
During the four-stories-high Diane Von Furstenberg runway challenge, Kayla told cameras that she wasn’t afraid of heights normally, but she was scared for her life of going on that runway.
Kayla impressed both Mr. Jay and photographer Deborah Anderson during the Teen Bully photo shoot by producing “breathtaking” photos, as well as by posing very well. Kayla’s “bully” word was ‘queer’ and her empowerment word was ‘free.’ When talking about why she chose those, she was overwhelmed by emotion from the impact those words have and had on her life.
While her photo was being reviewed in panel, Diane Von Furstenberg (DVF) said her photo was beautiful. Tyra also added that she photographed beautifully in general. During deliberation, DVF said that Kayla showed her vulnerability, which was what made her photograph interesting. Tyra concluded by saying her photo was stunning and that she had something very special.
Kayla was called 2nd during elimination.
During episode 3, the girls received their Top Model makeovers. Tyra wanted to give Kayla a makeover that needed to be powerful, bright and fiery; a makeover that gave her pizzaz. That said, she received a clean straight cut died bright red.
During the “Fallen Angels” shoot with Anne Menke, Kayla did well considering she had to show attraction to male models. Mr. Jay said he believed it and she did great.
During panel, Kayla received an overall great critique. They liked it because her “evil” wasn’t so obvious, but subtle and strong.
Due to her strong performance, Kayla was called 2nd during elimination for the 2nd time in a row.
In episode 4, Kayla and the girls were taken to Knott’s Berry Farm for a posing challenge on at the Silver Bullet Roller coaster. Kayla was asked to portray “a sulking model pout,” at which she did well.
During the “Undersea Goddess” photo shoot with Matthew Rolston, the girls had a chance to model jewelry from Neil Lane, Mikimoto and Martin Katz. While shooting, Mr. Jay said “she had a regal elegance about her” and “she was the true Ariel of the day.”
In panel, ALT said that he loved her photo. Tyra commented that “she’s like a chameleon.” Matthew Rolston said he “loved the coloring; he especially loved her red hair.”
With her solid performance, Kayla was called 7th during elimination.
In episode 5, Kayla and the girls participated in a Herve Leroux runway challenge in the 2nd Street tunnel in Los Angeles. The catwalk consisted of two fast-moving conveyor belts going in two different directions. Despite the many trips and small spills the other girls had, Kayla maintained her composure. She had one slip up on the first catwalk, when she couldn’t get the speed to step off the walkway to the midway point, but she managed well.
During the “Lucha Vavoom” photo shoot with Eddie and Moshe Brahka, Mr. Jay commented that he was “believing the intensity in her face; she did well.”
In panel, ALT said she looked “dreck” in front of them. While deliberating, ALT thought it was because the girl in the photo was not the girl in front of them. He added that “she transformed herself into a model. The strength was there.” Tyra said that Kayla “went for it; she wasn’t scared.”
Kayla was called 4th during elimination.
Episode 6 began with a CoverGirl challenge. Kayla and the girls were split into groups of three and had to teach the public how to use CoverGirl products. The public judged the girls and so did fashion journalist Derek Blasberg. Kayla was grouped with Kacey and Esther, which ended up being the winning group. As their prize, they got a shopping spree in Wal Mart’s CoverGirl isle.
For their photo shoot, the girls got to work with fashion stylist Lori Goldstein and world famous photographer Patrick Demarchelier on Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive. Kayla got to shoot with Esther and a male model. During the shoot, Kayla had issues with the shoes she was given to wear. They were a full size smaller than her shoe size, yet she still had to wear them and jump in them. While shooting, Tyra said that you could “see the pain in her face.”
During panel, ALT said she “looked sad in the group shot; she looked in pain.” For her walking shot, ALT said “it worked.” He also said that she looked like “Kate Moss’s best friend just leaving the great Armani Emporium.” Nigel said she looked “awkward.” Tyra added that if “she opened her hands, her arms would have looked longer.”
During deliberation, ALT said that there was “meanness, stillness and flatness.” Patrick Demarchelier said that she was “a bit stiff.” Tyra concluded by saying that she “wore her pain all over her face.”
Kayla’s weak performance landed her in the bottom two with Kacey. Fortunately, Kacey was elminated and Kayla was safe to compete another week.
In episode 7, the girls were presented with their first challenge at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. Kayla and the girls were paired up and had to dress each other as if they were going to present an award at the actual Grammys. Kayla and Liz voluntarily paired up and performed very well. Their team won the challenge and Kayla was singled out as winning a spot as an actual Grammy girl at the Grammy award presentation. She was overwhelmed with emotion after winning due to the journey she had experienced to that point.
For their photo shoot with photographer Francesco Carrozzini, Kayla was tasked to portray Vivienne Westwood. During the shoot, both Mr. Jay and Francesco Carrozzini responded well to her energy and overall performance.
During panel, Tyra said that she “loved her face.” Nigel said that her photo was “very striking and very strong in the eyes.” He added that he thought it was was “one of her best shots, if not her best shot to date.” ALT said that he was “convinced that you’re playing Vivienne Westwood.” Francesco Carrozzini commented that “you really went for it and weren’t afraid to express yourself.”
During deliberation, Nigel said that she “really embodied Vivienne Westwood.” He thought she did “an incredible job.” Tyra concluded by saying that Kayla had “fire hair and fire in her eyes – and that she loved that picture.”
Kayla’s incredibly strong performance was rewarded with a 2nd call out during elimination.
To view more photos of Kayla, click here.