It was a quick trip abroad for Liz Williams, but certainly a memorable one. This week on America’s Next Top Model, the six remaining model-testants traveled to Italy, where they got gussied up in a gondola for their photo shoot and then forced to wear winter wool ensembles in 100-degree heat, ostensibly just because Tyra said so.

For Liz, the 21-year-old mother from Arlington, Texas, judging got heated in more ways than one, as she got the boot after her final shot failed to impress. Turns out that bird who pooped on her arm when they got to Milan really was an omen of sorts.

I chatted with Liz yesterday afternoon about her experience on America’s Next Top Model, including her portrayal as a “complainer” throughout the season. Here’s her take:

Congratulations on making it on to the show and making it as far as you did. How are you feeling about it all?

Good. Just running around, being a mom.

I’m sure that adds a whole different spin to the post-show antics.

Yeah, definitely.

What did you think of your portrayal this season? Particularly last night when they were saying you were a complainer. How did you feel about that when you saw it?

I really think how editing plays out can really say a lot about a person, even if that’s not the right description for them. I mean, if you personally know me, I’ve got a big personality, a big sense of humor. I’m a giggly person and I’m cool to hang out with. It’s just that on TV, they always take the drama and the chaos. You know, they didn’t take any of the fun and the laughter and us just being ourselves. So it’s kind of disappointing, but at the same time I know I’ve got years ahead of me to let America see a different side of me.

What was interesting to me was that when we saw you in the first episode, it was kind of the opposite: You had so much going on in your life, and you had deal with so much, and you were at peace with it. And the judges were impressed by that. So it was almost like a complete 360, I thought.

Yeah. They were always saying with the complaining and the excuses, and that just sort of frustrated me because, in the real world, I’ve got more than one job, I’ve got my daughter and my family, I’ve got so much going on. If I really complained and made that many excuses, I would not get far. But to be 21 and accomplish as much as I have, I think that that was kind of a … I think that they were overdoing it a little bit.

In your time on the show, what was your favorite photo shoot?

Definitely the John Galliano one. I really think I pulled it off. I was proud of myself for not even knowing who that was, I really was proud that I came out with best photo. I was glad with all the feedback the judges gave me, it made me feel really good about myself.

What about your least favorite?

Least favorite would have to be the mermaid one with Matthew Rolston, just because of the fact that so much was going on. TV portrays it so differently, you know, people don’t realize that I actually did the Tyra photo shoot and that one an hour apart from each other. I had to go one place, do wig, do all that, and then I had to have it taken off and have two more wigs put on, redo the makeup. There was so much going on that morning, but they made it look like two different days. That definitely was a tough photo shoot. The wigs and the glue and the makeup, there was a lot going on.

How was that quality time you spent with Tyra that day, though?

It was definitely something that I will treasure forever. You’ll never forget that time, like, “Oh yeah, when I had tea with Tyra.” You know, that’s not your usual celebrity get-together. So it was definitely fun. It’s something to be remembered. I was really glad that I got to have that smidgen of time for her to be like, “This is what I think you can do. This is what you need to work on, and I’ll see you in the future.” That’s how I felt after that.

Which of the judges was most helpful to you personally?

Nigel and Tyra. I mean, Nigel, I wish I could have gotten more time with him, because he thought I wasn’t taking things seriously when really I don’t like to cry in front of people. I like to carry myself as a strong person, so I try to laugh things off first before I start crying and breaking down. But it didn’t come across to him that way. So I wish I could have had more time for him to get to know my personality and how I deal with things emotionally.

Who are you rooting for now?

I’ve got to represent for Texas. I definitely hope Chris and Ann do good. If not them, definitely Kayla. She really has potential.

Last night, in Italy, it was so hot in the elimination, and you guys almost passed out. I’ve heard from past contestants that eliminations can be hours long. How long were you all actually in there in those hot winter clothes?

Oh my gosh, probably three hours or so, and it was about 107 degrees, and we were wearing wool. I had on a wool scarf, wool poncho, wool gloves, wool leggings, wool shoes. It was extremely hot. On the footage you can see, I was just red. I thought I was going to pass out, I could not stand up anymore.

Do you think that was an intentional test for you guys?

I mean, TV is what it is. Ratings are what they are. So I think everything happens for a reason. They didn’t even show: I ended up running backstage and almost throwing up on the producer. And as soon as that happened, Chelsey was out. So it was–we were dropping like flies. I don’t know if that was set-up, but it’s common sense. You don’t put us in wool when it’s 100 degrees and expect us not to pass out. I mean, the conveyor belt, wearing six-inch heels with trains, going backwards, that wasn’t smart either, but someone put that together.

That was such a crazy runway.

Yeah, I’d rather have another baby. That was crazy.

You said you’ve got a lot going on: You’re in school, you’re working, you have your daughter. How is modeling going to fit in to that?

Really, something will have to give. I mean, I’ve been waiting for this day, for the elimination to come up so I can pursue modeling and television and all that jazz. I really just want to see what opportunities come my way in the next couple months. If I’m making money from them, I won’t need the three jobs, you know. Until then, it’s a tough, competitive career to try to slip your way in, so I’m glad I had the exposure to help me a little bit.

What’s the most important thing you learned from the whole Top Model experience?

Definitely be aware of your surroundings. After a while you forget you’re on camera, you’re being watched, you’re being heard. Definitely being aware of how I portray myself to the world.

Photos from next week’s episode of America’s Next Top Model:

(Image courtesy of CW)

Meghan Carlson

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Meghan hails from Walla Walla, WA, the proud home of the world’s best sweet onions and Adam West, the original Batman. An avid grammarian and over-analyzer, you can usually find her thinking too hard about plot devices in favorites like The OfficeIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and How I Met Your Mother. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys drawing, shopping, trying to be funny (and often failing), and not understanding the whole Twilight thing. She’s got a BA in English and Studio Art from Whitman College, which makes her a professional arguer, daydreamer, and doodler.