"Being Out Of My Comfort Zone Ended Up Actually Being the Hardest Part! " Ė An Interview with America's Next Top Model 7's Moniqueby Phil Kural -- 10/11/2006
Before I had a chance to talk to Monique, I went into the interview with two thoughts. I wasnít sure if she was going to completely take responsibility for everything that she did in the house, or if she would have a ďreasonĒ for everything and have a justification for every action. Well, read on to find out which way things swung Ė I donít think youíll be too surprised.
RealityNewsOnline:Hey Monique! Thanks for taking time to talk with me today. Letís get right to it Ė what happened with the attitude change from your time in the semi-finals to when you made it into the house?
Monique: I wasnít the only girl that changed when we got into the house. Other girls changed too, and people began to realize that this is a competition. Everyone wanted to win and personalities changed as we realized there could only be one winner.
RNO:Had you watched previous seasons of the show? Did you realize you were doing things that would have you labeled as the villain?
Monique:I kind of knew that I would be labeled that way, but at the time it didnít really seem that important. I had my mind set on things, and I was myself.
RNO:It was obvious that most of the other girls had a problem with you. Did any of them actually make it known to you, or was everyone nice to your face?
Monique: No, and actually, I got along with many of the other girls. I always talked to Eugena and CariDee. At certain times they were mad at me, but it was over little things, like the phone. However, once they realized that they were in the wrong, everything was cool again. There is so much you didnít get to see, and it wasnít always me causing the trouble.
RNO:Some of your antics seemed a little over the top, specifically rubbing your bikini bottoms on Melroseís sheets. Do you look back and regret doing things like that?
Monique: No, not really. To me, that was funny. At home, we run around all the time and do stupid little things like that. The whole thing was just taken too overboard. What you didnít get to see was Melrose reading the Tyra Mail, and when I walked by, she coughed on me, and got spit on me. So I got out of the hot and with water dripping off me, I flicked it on her. Thatís when she goes around telling everyone that I had cooties. Not very mature, but that was Melrose.
RNO:Did you have any modeling experience before applying for the show? Did you expect the show to be so demanding?
Monique: I did have some modeling experience before the show. However, I did expect and realize that the show was going to be very demanding, and that we would have to do some unconventional shoots. That being said, I assumed that my persistence in modeling would help me have an edge.
RNO:Do you feel that not competing in the photo shoot was the main reason that you were eliminated, or were the judges right when they said you were beginning to lose interest?
Monique:Oh, it was definitely because I didnít do the photo shoot. I really wanted to, and I loved the concept of the shoot. However, my body just wouldnít let me do it physically. Something would have seriously went wrong had I done the shoot. I couldnít even lift my head, and the doctor told me to take it very easy, so I think had I done a walk on that runway, I would have fell in and been the first girl to ever drown on the show. I would have just been taking too big a risk.
RNO:Have you talked to any of the other girls or made amends for things that went on in the house since the show has ended? Do you even want to?
Monique:No, I havenít really talked to any of the girls, and I donít really care too Ė especially Melrose. Personally, I donít plan on going up to her and saying hello when I see her, acting like everything is okay. Sheís in her own little world, and doesnít like when people donít act or do what she says. Sheís just ďone of those.Ē
RNO:What was your reasoning for taking Eugenaís bed on the first night? Was it more for camera time than anything else?
Monique:Listen, Iím from Chicago, and in my home, I had to sleep on air mattresses all the time. The one thing I was looking forward to was having a bed, and with only 11 beds and 13 girls, either way, someone was going to have a problem with the sleeping situation, and it ended up being me. I simply wanted that bed!
RNO:How have you been received in public? Do you find that people might be a little intimidated or nervous to approach you?
Monique: Oh no, people come up to me all the time. I was at the mall yesterday, and people were stopping me like crazy. People love me, and itís the complete opposite response from what I was expecting. They know itís a TV show, and itís all for TV, and what they show is not really all me. Besides, after talking, they realize that Iím a normal person, and I really am nice!
RNO:What was your family and friendsí reactions to your time on the show? Do they feel that we got to see the real you?
Monique: Oh no, not at all! Friends that I havenít talked to in years were calling me up asking if it was really me they were seeing. I mean, you have to tell them itís a show, and heck, at least I was getting attention. Some were slow to approach me, but once again, they realize itís a TV show, and things get distorted.
RNO:Standing with Eugena in front of the judges, did you think that you would be sent home or did you feel you might still have a chance of staying?
Monique:I had a good feeling that I was going to be the girl going home, but there was still a little hope that I might be staying. I felt that if the judges were looking at my potential to grow, then I would have stayed. I think the fact that I was so weak I couldnít even cause drama in the house might have played against me too. I couldnít give them anything!
RNO:What did you feel was your biggest strength going into the competition?
Monique:Honestly, I thought it would be that Iím pretty good adapting to different situations, but being out of my comfort zone ended up actually being the hardest part! Itís just, you get so many different girls from such different walks of life. Itís cultures, eating habits, etc. We all came together, and it was just a mess, but I thought that my biggest strength would be adapting.
RNO:Is it safe to say that you are going to continue to pursue a modeling career once you are free to do so?
Monique:Heck yea! Iím already pursuing it. I live, breathe, and eat being a model! Itís all I think about, and you can guarantee that Iím not anywhere near being done yet!
RNO:What is your plan B in case modeling doesnít work out for you? Do you have other plans?
Monique: Well, I want to go back to school and get my degree in forensics. Even if I do end up sticking with modeling, Iím going to go back to school. Itís very important for me to finish.
RNO:Is there anything you would like to add or say to fans of the show?
Monique:I just want to give thanks to God, Tyra, and the producers of the show Ė and anyone that helped give the chance of a lifetime to be on this show. Just keep an eye open Ė you havenít seen the last of me!
If you havenít already, be sure to check out these other recent Americaís Next Top Model articles:
Phil Kural is an office manager at a law firm, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. You can send feedback to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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