Chelsey Hersley Lost Top Model, But Won a Husband!

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America’s Next Top Model Runner-Up Chelsey Hersley has been pursuing modeling for as long as she can remember. We watched her get her dream ripped out of her hands a couple nights ago at the ANTM Finale, but this model is not letting losing the competition keep her from becoming a top model. We chatted with Chelsey about her time on the show, her future plans and her recent engagement!!

Click here for the full Q&A!

Teen.com: What have you been up to since you left the show?
Chelsey Hersley: I have just been living in Boise, Idaho and working. I recently got engaged.

Teen.com: Congrats!
Chelsey Hersley: Thanks, it’s pretty exciting! I’ve just been waiting at home for the show to be over.

Teen.com: Have you started planning your wedding?
Chelsey Hersley: Well, it just happened on Saturday. It’s very new, but I’d like to get married in June 2012.

Teen.com: Are you still pursuing modeling?
Chelsey Hersley: Yeah definitely. I’m just going to wait and see if I hear anything from anybody or start knocking on people’s doors. I definitely think that after the holidays I’m probably going to try and make something happen.

Teen.com: Awesome! Before ANTM you were trying to become a model. What was that like?
Chelsey Hersley: Living in Boise, Idaho, I never got the exposure I wanted to get. I’ve been through a lot of criticism with people telling me I’m too fat, too pale, too freckled or whatever. It was always negative stuff. When I came on to ANTM, it was the first time that someone important in the industry, which was Tyra, told me that I was perfect the way I was and I didn’t have to change a thing.

Teen.com: Did you think Ann would win?
Chelsey Hersley: I knew she had a good chance and I knew she’d be in the final two. But honestly, in that moment I didn’t know who was going to win. It was really close–at least I thought it was. I thought she had a good track record of pictures and doing really good in photo shoots, but I know I had a better walk and won more challenges. However, I never had best photo so I feel like we were better in different aspects of each other. It was probably hard for the judges to pick.

Teen.com: Saw you had a couple tattoos on the show, what do they symbolize?
Chelsey Hersley: Yeah I have some tattoos. Most of them are really small. The first one I got was when I was 16 and it is a Japanese Kanji symbol for courage. A lot of them are things like that. I have a sparrow on my back that stands for freedom. I think that tattoos are really symbolic and beautiful.

Teen.com: Did they ever become a problem on the show?
Chelsey Hersley: No, actually they did not. When it came down to the final 4, we had to get in swimsuits and go in a room with the judges so they could see our bodies because during the cycle there wasn’t really a lot of skin exposure like there had been in the previous ones. Tyra didn’t even notice until I was in the swimsuit. The judges didn’t say anything negative about it and it has yet to affect me negatively in my career.

Teen.com: Do you have a favorite photo shoot from the show?
Chelsey Hersley: Yeah, my favorite photo shoot, even though it wasn’t my best, was the one we did with Patrick Demarchelier. Shooting with him was great. He is legendary. Most girls in their wildest dreams don’t get to shoot with him and I wish I had not been so nervous in front of him and had done better.

Teen.com: Guessing you’d love to have the chance to shoot with him again in the future?
Chelsey Hersley: Oh, gosh! I would LOVE that! I don’t know if I ever will again. I definitely would love to and I would do better!

Teen.com: Best moment about being on ANTM?
Chelsey Hersley: Probably, finding out I had made it into the final two. I really didn’t think I would be in the final two after Ann’s name was called. I thought it would be her and Kayla.

Teen.com: Really?! We knew you were going to be in the final two from the start!
Chelsey Hersley: Wow, thank you. I was hoping I would be. That was probably the most stressful moment—aside from the final judging.

Teen.com: Any advice for girls who want to be models?
Chelsey Hersley: My advice is to keep pushing at it, no matter who tries to put you down. There is a lot of criticism and negativity. You have to want to be successful at it, in order to be successful. You have to work hard, push yourself and be confident in yourself. You have to believe in yourself that you can do it before others can believe in you.

Teen.com: What did you walk away with from the experience?
Chelsey Hersley: I made so many friends on the show! I’ve learned that no matter what I do next, I know that I can achieve it because Tyra really believed in me and so the confidence that they gave me will help me on my next endeavors.

Check out our Q&A with all the eliminated contestants!