"I Did My Best Not To Judge Anyone"Ė An Interview with America's Next Top Model 9's Milaby Phil Kural -- 09/28/2007
Itís sort of funny. I actually pegged Mila the first to go, and she was! After chatting with her a little bit though, I think it would have been nice to see her participate in a few more shoots. I can understand why the judges were turned off by her unusually upbeat cheerfulness, but I think that itís just the way Mila is. In this interview, Mila talks about what she thinks about a dancer winning this competition, her thoughts on the other girls talking about Heather and her condition, what the judges thought about her, and so much more!
RealityNewsOnline: Hey, Mila! First, congratulations for making the final 13! Had you watched past seasons of the show, and what factored into your decision to apply?
Mila: I had never watched the show before. I actually met one of the casting directors while I was out at a night club, and he told me to stop by the auditions the next day. I met him the next day, and I ended up getting cast! After being told I was on the show, I watched a little, just to see what it was all about. I did do some modeling when I was younger, but Iíve always concentrated on work and school, so it was never a top priority.
RNO: Do you feel that your time auditioning for the show and competing in the semi-finals was well spent, even though you were sent home first?
Mila: I think that being on the show was a great experience, and the whole process really was totally worth it. It was time very well spent.
RNO: Knowing what you know now though, do you think there is anything you could have done in particular to have saved yourself?
Mila: Honestly, I just donít think that I was right for this cycle. I respect the judges, and I have to live with their decision. Iím really okay with it all.
RNO: We saw that you generally got along with everyone. Was there anything we didnít see where someone rubbed you the wrong way?
Mila: No, seriouslyÖ I got along with everyone! If there was even a little piece of tension going on with me and any of the other girls, I would just talk through it and settle it. There was no drama with me.
RNO: You had stated that you would give everyone a fair shot, concerning Heather and her Asperger syndrome. Did you feel it was unfair for the other girls to judge her because of it?
Mila: I think the other girls did get to know her, and you didnít see this, but plenty of the girls helped her get through each day because we knew that she was different. Of course, some girls though negative things, but I just decided not to be included in those conversations!
RNO: What was the deal with Ebonyís mood change? First she was very outspoken, then she was almost non-existent. Did the girls sit her down and tell her she had an attitude?
Mila: After the semi-finals, and Tyra told her that nobody liked her, I think it really struck a nerve with Ebony and made her upset. It changed her. I mean, I got along with Ebony, and I know that she made some comments. However, when we moved into the house, she was so much fun to be around!
RNO: Did the judges ever give you the feeling that they were turned off by you cheerfulness, or did it ever seem like they didnít feel it was genuine?
Mila: Now watching it, I feel like I am so genuine that maybe itís a bit much. However, when I was there, I couldnít even comprehend that someone would even think that. Did you see Tyraís face when I was telling her about my life in the semi-finals? I had to laugh!
RNO: What about your elimination? Tyra said it was because you were just a ďpretty girl,Ē but does that make you question why you even made it into the house to begin with if she felt that way?
Mila: Iím happy that they even let me in the house. I was privileged to make it as far as I did. The judges made their choice though, and if thatís how they feel, I just have to deal with it. Thereís really nothing I could do at that point.
RNO: So letís talk a bit about the whole Bianca and Lisa fight. Did anyone have a clue that Biancaís apology wasnít coming from the heart?
Mila: Iím sure that people were assuming things. I was really close with Bianca, but I was friends with Lisa too, so I couldnít really judge or really get involved.
RNO: What are your thoughts on an exotic dancer winning this competition? Tyra said that she didnít want a smoker to be in the competition, but isnít being an exotic dancer just as bad for little girls to see?
Mila: Well, Lisa does say that she dances in a bikini! Iím really not one to judge. If someone is comfortable doing what they doing, then itís fine. Thatís what she needed to do in order to make a living, and thatís her decision. I donít think itís such a terrible thing. I did my best not to judge anyone.
RNO: As far as your time on the show finishing up, what are your plans from here?
Mila: Iím in school, but I would like to continue modeling. Weíll have to see.
RNO: Iíve talked to girls in the past that have expressed concern about not being able to make it in the modeling industry because of being on the show. Do you plan on embracing your reality TV roots?
Mila: Itís funny you say that. Iíve spoken to some girls from past seasons as well, and they have told me the same thing. I guess itís a curse and a blessing. It might be tough to get work, but at least being on the show will give me some notoriety!
RNO: What about a plan B? Is there anything else you are looking to dive into in the near future?
Mila: Iím in grad school now. Iíd like to pursue a career in entertainment, but Iíll have my degrees, so Iíll be okay either way. I have a BA in business administration right now, and Iím working on my graduate degree.
RNO: So theoretically, you are stuck on an island with two girls from the house. Who do you choose and why?
Mila: Ha! Iíd have to go with Kimberly and Bianca. I know that Iíd have so much fun with those two girls, and it would turn into one big party!
RNO: Is there anything you would like to add or say to fans of the show?
Mila: Iíd really just like to tell the viewers to be open minded and remember that every girl on the show is a character. Donít judge so quickly, and remember that we really are real people!
RNO: Thanks, Mila!Phil Kural is an office manager at a dental office, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. You can send feedback to him at email@example.com.