If you haven’t been following the premier of Overhaulin’ this month, you may have missed a beautiful and familiar face—Adrienne Janic (a.k.a. “AJ”). She was invited back for the special 100th episode, which also featured the celebratory overhaul of a Dodge A“100” van.
This got us thinking. We haven’t seen much of AJ for the past couple years, and we were a little curious about what she’s been up to—so we decided to ask her ourselves:
Urbasm: What have you been up to Adrienne?
Adrienne Janic: I recently was able to announce that I am back on Overhaulin’. I was on there for a couple seasons, and after that I left to pursue other opportunities. Then after that I became a mom, so I took some time off from the industry to be a stay-at-home mom, and be with my son. To me it is all about timing, and when Discovery called and said, ‘Hey we’d like to have you back on Overhaulin’ for the one-hundredth episode.’ I thought, oh my gosh, that would be amazing.
Because, first of all, one hundred episodes on any show is a big deal these days. Shows don’t last that long. So, to be invited back to the one-hundredth episode was awesome, so I said hey, why not. And then that one episode became a couple more. So, it has been all about Overhaulin’ lately. It felt great to be home. I like to say “home” in quotes, because it was great to be working with Chip and Chris and the whole team. I was a little nervous to be honest with you, because it has been a few years since I have been in the garage, even though I did keep in touch with everybody after I left. But it just felt right to be back there again.
Urb: How did it go?
AJ: It went by too fast. My episodes on the show went by fast, but I am so anxious for our fans to see what we have coming up in the new season. I have been getting a lot of great responses on Twitter and Facebook about my comeback, and it was so overwhelming in a good way. There are so many positive messages, like ‘Yay, you’re back,’ or ‘Welcome home, we’re happy to have you back.’ The fans have been so loyal over the years, and just to read every single message has been awesome.
Urb: We bet some of your fans wondered where you’d been?
AJ: Yeah, they asked where I’d been, and what I’ve been doing, and the honest answer is that I’ve been a mom. I have no regrets taking three years off, because I figure that I am never going to get that time back, and I didn’t want to regret missing milestones like my son’s first steps or first words, and taking him to his first day of school. That was a decision I made, and I am grateful that I did have that choice, because I know a lot of women don’t have that option.
Urb: Considering that you overhaul an entire vehicle in every episode; how long does one episode usually take?
AJ: Back when I was in Overhaulin’ the build was seven days, and people would always ask, ‘Do you really overhaul cars in seven days?’ And my answer was yes we do. I don’t know if you noticed at the beginning of each episode, everybody looked fresh and renewed, and by the end, everybody was tired and haggard, because this was like a 24/7 job. The Overhaulin’ now a days–they do it in three weeks, which is still a feat in itself.
Urb: Was it like riding bike to get back in the garage again?
AJ: You know my first day I had butterflies. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was definitely like getting back on a bike again. Once I was there and saw Chris and Chip, we all hugged and were like, We’re back together again. It just felt great. We all have great chemistry. Chris is amazing to work with as a co-host, and Chip is great for what he does to the cars, so we each have something to bring to the show and it just works.
Urb: And you also have another upcoming show.
AJ: Yes, I am going to be at the SEMA show this year in Vegas, and I am going to be filming a special for the Velocity channel about it. It will be called “SEMA Ignite – Battle of the Builders,” and we’re going to narrow it down to 21 cars, three categories, and by the end of the show we’re going to name the best in show, and they will walk away with a big trophy. It is going to be cool; I am excited about it.
Urb: When is it going to premier?
AJ: It is going to premier in the Spring of 2015 on Velocity.
Urb: Will that be just one episode?
AJ: Yes, just one episode at the moment.
Urb: What was your first car?
AJ: My first car was a 1990 Toyota Corolla SR5 Sport, and I thought I was so cool. With 90 horsepower, I was like, I am styling.
Urb: Do you have a car collection of your own now?
AJ: I do. It is not like Jay Leno’s collection, but when I left Overhaulin’ I moved over to the Speed Channel, because I had the opportunity to host a show called Hot Import Nights. It was definitely different from Overhaulin’, and I had a blast. I got to travel and see a lot of our country, but what I missed was the classics. Then did a show on the Speed Channel called Hot Rod TV, where I built my own classic car, which was a 1968 Pontiac Firebird. I love that car. I am so proud of it because I built it myself along with the help of an amazing team called Year One. I already knew what I wanted. In my mind this car was already done, and my job was to translate to Year One what I wanted. It took me almost a year to complete, because I had to fly from Los Angeles to Georgia quite a bit. I got to customize the paint, laid down the Dynomat; I was very hands on with that car. When I drive her, it is such a great feeling, like, yeah I built this car.
And then recently I got one of my other dream cars, which is a 2015 Audi R8. I have the muscle car and now I have a supercar. With the R8, I will never forget the day I first saw it. It was during the Superbowl where they premiered the commercial for the debut of the R8, and I literally was hypnotized. I thought it was the most perfect, beautiful car I had ever seen. Then I saw it on the road, and it was just perfection. I thought if I could have that car I would just be so happy. I already knew the color I wanted, which was the Pearl White. I wanted the black carbon fiber panels on the side. She was built in my head, and when I got it in the July, I couldn’t believe it.
Urb: Do you keep them garaged?
AJ: Yes, I have a three car garage. The R8 stays there and my Firebird is actually at another garage. They are definitely not cars that I park outside. I also have a daily driver I drive when I don’t have my son with me, which is a Mercedes two-door coupe, and then I have my mom car which is a Lincoln Navigator.
Urb: Do you think that men and women upgrade their vehicles in the same… or different ways?
AJ: I think guys and girls are completely different. Guys to me are all about power. They always want more horsepower. I remember one guy I dated had this special nitrous tank in his Mustang just to make the car go faster, and I just couldn’t get it. I was like, why are you spending all this extra money on these aftermarket products. For girls it is more about the interior, and maybe the paint. Just small, subtle details. When I did Hot Import Nights, it was very rare that I would interview a girl there, and if I did, her car had very subtle details. That is what I am all about—very subtle details on a car. Like in my R8. It has a black interior, but I have red stitching in the seats. That is usually the first thing that my women friends notice. But the guys—they notice the engine first.
Urb: Did it matter what other guys drove when deciding who you’d go out with on a date?
AJ: You know, for me when I was sixteen or seventeen and a guy picked me up; just the idea that he had a car was cool. But if he had a super cool car, I thought it was even cooler. But the funny thing is, my dad would always say that it wasn’t about the car. He would say whenever you get in the car, check his gas tank. If it is more than half full, then this is a good guy. He took the time to fill up the car with gas, and he can afford to take you out. But if the guy has less than a half tank, then forget it; because if he can’t afford to gas up the car, then don’t even bother.
So, that’s what I would do. I would get in the car and lean over and look at the gas meter. I remember one time this guy picked me up, and literally his gas light was on. We had to stop at the gas station, and gas up before going on our date. So I told my dad, and he said forget it. And sure enough, he was right; it didn’t work out.
Urb: You know, that is something we’ve never considered when preparing for a first date. What are the three things that every guy should know, according to Adrienne Janic?
AJ: Hygiene. Women notice small details, and I like a guy’s hands and feet to be manicured. I hate when guys are wearing flip flops, and they’ve got these long toenails. Even if you cut them yourselves, just keep it groomed. You have no idea how many disgusting feet I’ve seen either standing in line at the bank or grocery store. That is something I look at; and it is very rarely that I see a guy with clean nails and feet. That would be my number one.
Two, I like a guy who treats a woman with respect, and also sees women as his equal. There is that debate on whether a guy should hold the door for a woman or open the door. I’m old fashioned; I love that stuff. I just think it is respectful.
Three. Another pet peeve of mine—I cannot stand mamma’s boys. I admire a guy that respects him mom, and they have an amazing relationship; but there is a time to cut the umbilical cord. I remember one guy I dated. We had maybe been dating a few times. It was very casual, and I wasn’t even thinking of the future. I was 20-years-old, and he would say that one day he was going to marry me, and buy this big house so that it could be him, me, and his mom. And I was like whoa. I have a feeling that if I were to look him up now, he would probably still be living with his mom. To have mom do everything for you when you are a grown man, and have her treat you like you’re ten-years-old, that is when it gets a little creepy. Guys, don’t be too much of a mamma’s boy.
Urb: Good advice!
A top Ford model, Adrienne Janic is best known as “AJ” from the popular television series, OVERHAULIN’ on Velocity/Discovery. She left the show a few years ago and will return as a guest co-host during the month of November 2014. Original shows featuring Janic are running internationally on Discovery.
This busy gal is also the Host of upcoming VERIA Living Network series, FIT, FAMOUS & FABULOUS. The magazine format show will air in over 55,000,000 homes.
Adrienne Janic is also recognized as the Host of the Speed Channel series, HOT IMPORT NIGHTS. The show follows Janic as she takes cameras inside the nation’s largest touring automotive lifestyle event, show casing the world of cars, motorcycles, fashion, music and other trends!
Janic’s other television duties include recent freelance work for E! Entertainment Television, TV Guide Channel and a series of weekend sports specials for CBS Sports. Currently Janic can be seen as Co-Host for a television direct marketing campaign for The “Ab Rocket” and soon she will be seen hosting similar campaigns for “Eagle One Car Wax” and “Suzuki.”
A top model, Janic has graced the covers and pages of countless magazines and print advertisements. Some of her favorite campaigns include a stint as one of the original Fanta Girls, Lee Jeans, Bausch & Lomb, Hewlitt Packard and Parallel Clothing. Her experience on the catwalk includes shows for such designers as Calvin Klein, Richard Tyler and Alan del Rosario.
As an actress, Janic has appeared in a number of television series including “Las Vegas,” “House,” “Complete Savages,” “Oliver Beene,” “The Jamie Kennedy Experiment” and “Kitchen Confidential.” She has also been seen in the films “National Lampoon’s Cattle Call,” the psychological thriller “Marrow” and the sci-fi thriller “Choker.”