This morning, 51 contestants from the 2007-08 Ford Models Supermodel of the World competition descended on the plaza, and Kate Ford (CEO of Ford Models) chatted with Matt, Meredith, Al and Ann. WATCH VIDEO
The models represent 50 countries -- and one was voted into the contest through MySpace -- and the winner, who will received a $250,000 Ford Models contract, will be named tonight.
I spoke to two of the contestants, U.S. representative Jacquelyn Jablonski, and Kendra Spears, who won the MySpace vote. Our conversations are after the jump:
Jacquelyn Jablonski -- U.S. Representative
DF: How old are you and where are you from?
JJ: I'm 16 and I'm from New Jersey.
DF: What grade are you in?
JJ: I'm a junior in high school.
DF: Favorite subject?
JJ: My favorite subject is probably English.
DF: Are you reading anything interesting in class?
JJ: Right now, I don't really like what we're reading. I like writing.
DF: What interests you about becoming model?
JJ: It's just something I always wanted to do, ever since I was younger. I would look through magazines and always wanted to be like those girls.
DF: Do you have a particular favorite magazine or a model that you look up to?
JJ: I really like Vogue.
DF: What kinds of things do you like to do for fun?
JJ: I go to the movies a lot, go shopping, obviously, because I'm a girl. Who doesn't? In the summer, I go to the beach all the time, because I live right near the [Jersey] Shore.
DF: What's the last movie you saw?
JJ: Last movie I saw, I think was I Am Legend. I saw it with my friends.
DF: Thumbs up? Thumbs down?
JJ: I thought it was pretty good. It was a little scary.
DF: Weren't expecting zombies?
JJ: I wasn't expecting that, but it was pretty good.
DF: What are you listening to on your iPod?
JJ: I really like Rhianna a lot.
DF: What would you do if you win this contest? How would you celebrate?
JJ: I would probably celebrate at home with friends and family, because everyone is supporting me so much. I really appreciate that and I'm so glad I have this opportunity.
Kendra Spears -- MySpace Representative
DF: How old are you and where are you from?
KS: I'm 19 years old and I'm from Seattle.
DF: Are you in school?
KS: I am going to Portland State University, studying sociology. I'm a senior, so I have just a little bit left.
DF: You're a senior and you're only 19?
KS: I graduated high school with my associate's degree through a dual-credit program.
DF: So when you get out of school, is modeling what you want to do full time?
KS: Most definitely. I would like, at the same time, to finish off my bachelor's degree while also modeling full time.
DF: What about modeling appeals to you?
KS: Everything. I love any form of art. Photography, design, any kind of art. You throw it all together and you get modeling.
DF: Is it tough to balance the model part of this with your schoolwork?
KS: It's not really hard, because I consider it a hobby right now. All my free time can be devoted to this, and I don't feel stressed out.
DF: So if all your free time is devoted to this, do how you have time for fun?
KS: This is fun to me. Other than this, I like hanging out, do a lot of outdoor sports.
DF: That's what the Great Northwest is known for, right?
KS: Exactly. I like bike riding, I do some rock climbing, hiking a lot, running, basketball. I dabble in everything.
DF: What's on your iPod right now?
KS: Oh, man. I don't have an iPod, first of all.
DF: You don't have an iPod?
KS: I know, isn't that ridiculous?
DF: Last week, I interviewed Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state, and she has an iPod.
KS: Everyone has an iPod except me! So if anyone wants to get me one... But if I had one, my playlist would include a mix of Incubus (Morning View) and Hawthorne Heights.
DF: How would you celebrate if you won this contest?
KS: Well, I would start by moving here to New York, which would be a celebration in itself. Other than that, it would just be a huge party for me!
DF: I have to say, it's unusual to see a modeling contestant with braces. How do you feel about representing for people with braces?
KS: Getting braces was probably the best decision, especially for my modeling career. I don't think they should hold me back, and I'm very thankful to Ford for allowing me to be in the contest with braces. It's a great opportunity to show girls that you don't have to be shy or self-conscious about having braces. You're helping yourself, so it's a good thing.
DF: Lastly, any special plans while you're in New York?
KS: I don't think we have a lot of time, but if I were to have special plans, I would probably hang out in the West Village and Central Park. Just walk around and see the place.