If there's one thing Tyra can't stand, it's playing it safe. Not that Monique, the latest model eliminated on America's Next Top Model
, was middling on purpose. (Another thing Tyra can't stand is letting you know exactly what you're doing wrong before it's too late.) But that's what the judges saw -- playing it safe -- when they looked at Monique in this week's photo shoot, a group shot in which the girls were covered in mud
And Monique was certainly not
playing it safe outside of the modeling shoots: From looking in another girl's diary to "seriously" hoping this week's challenge winners would get food poisoning, she wasn't afraid to make her opinions known.
I talked to Monique yesterday about her Top Model experience. Here's what she had to say:Hi Monique, congratulations on being on Top Model and making it so far.
Thank you so much.
Of course. Your elimination was pretty
interesting last night, because we don't often see Tyra telling somebody, "You're in the middle a lot, and that's why you're going home." Did that
surprise you or upset you?
Like I said when I got eliminated, it was
really shocking to me, because I remember standing up there, and I had
never been in the bottom two. And I remember standing up there and like
me, and I was all, "Oh my god. I'm so surprised
I'm in the bottom two." I didn't expect that coming at all because I
thought that I was improving, and I knew that I was in the middle, but I
thought that was a good thing that I wasn't, you know, in the bottom. So
it was hard to watch.
You looked pretty ... I mean the word I would use is probably "pissed off." Was that just the surprise?
Well towards the end there I was getting kind of stressed out, and I was
absolutely wearing all my emotions on my face. I was extremely frustrated and pissed off because I really, really wanted to win at least
one and I couldn't do it, and that really irritated me. I felt like I
had awesome pictures a lot, especially with the bee photo shoot and
the one with the
jaguar. I was just really frustrated.
What was your favorite photo shoot that you did while you were there?
My favorite photo shoot was definitely the first one we did
. It was
just like so surreal and it was a really relaxed atmosphere. We were all
in Malibu and it was really the most gorgeous place I've ever seen in
my entire life. And I really liked the relaxed, behind-the-scenes, chill vibe.
Russell James is an awesome guy. That was definitely my favorite.
It's been sort of a dramatic season,
especially with Alexandria. Do you regret looking in
I regret not telling her that I did that. I
regret not telling her how we were all feeling about her. Besides
looking in her diary, it was kind of funny. But I'm
an impulsive person, and I make decisions sometimes without thinking
about it. It was kind of rude obviously for me to do that, but I mean I
don't necessarily regret it.
It did make for some pretty dramatic TV, that's for sure.
This week there seemed to be some conflict between you two at the "fame
challenge," which was kind of funny. Can you tell me about that guy
James? What was going on with him?
He really caught me off
guard because he was so strange. He came up to us and he said to me, I
mean I was standing next to Kasia, and he's like "Can I kiss you? Can I
have your phone number?" and I'm like "no." And he's like, "Well, I think
I've seen you in videos on the Internet before. You're into that? I know
some people if you want..." I think he was asking if I wanted to do porn.
like "No, hello." It really pissed me off, like, "Don't even talk
to me anymore." I just wanted to get him away from me. And I honestly
wasn't trying to be a bitch to Lex. I was just trying to play around
with her. And I knew she could handle it if he came up to her. And of
course directly after talking to me, he goes up to her and says, "Monique said
you blah blah blah," and I was like, "Oh God, great."
For a minute there I thought they planted him. That he was an actor or something.
I kinda thought that too, but I don't know. Even if he was an actor there's still a lot
of people like that out there that are just totally pushy and
over-the-top and in your face.
Who was your best friend in the
I would probably say Sarah,
because she's so just different and out there. I talk to her all the
time now. I was really close to Brittani and Dominique. I loved Ondrei. Molly was hilarious. I love people with a sense of humor, and Molly was
hilarious, so I loved her. I mean, seriously, all the girls. I'm not
as close to the others, but I would love to see all the girls hopefully a
lot more in the future. We're all spread out across the country, and it
What did you think of Tyra's comment to you at the end about how your body reminded her of a young her?
I was like, "Then why the hell are you eliminating me?" It was a lot
easier for me to be eliminated knowing that she compared me to herself at a young age. I
don't really feel like they had a super good reason to eliminate me, but
I was glad that she made that comment about my body. Although those
jeans looked terrible on TV.
I don't think they looked that bad.
[Laughs] Thank you!
Which judge was your favorite?
had always adored Alek Wek. I think she's probably one of the most
beautiful women in the world, so she was really cool to see, and it was
cool that she said nice things about me. But Tyra Banks has always been my
main inspiration. Every time I got to see her, it made my heart skip a
beat. I like Tyra.
So now that you're out of the competition, who do you think should win?
I'm gonna either say Molly or Brittani, just because they have that whole super
high fashion look that they're going for this season. Of course they deserve to win, so I hope it's one of those two.And what are the next steps for you?
I, right now, am planning on moving to L.A. in April and just
gonna try and pursue my dream now that my face is out there and I have
this awesome opportunity. I'm just gonna run with it at this point. I'm
thinking about taking some acting classes and maybe doing some stuff, but
I'm gonna work my ass off to be a super model. It's hard work.
(Image courtesy of CW)