ďI Just Wanted to Be Pretty and Be Myself!Ē Ė An Interview With Americaís Next Top Model 7ís Eugenaby Phil Kural -- 12/08/2006
Okay, let me start out by saying that I was never a big Eugena fan. However, as the competition moved on, I started to like her more and more, and even wanted to see her in the end with MY CariDee. I had a chance to speak with Eugena about her time on the show, and she was what Iíd like to call a ďtop five interview.Ē Of all the interviews Iíve ever done for ANTM, Eugena was probably one of the most fun, intelligent, and most well-spoken girls Iíve had the pleasure of speaking to. Read on to see what Eugena had to say about how she ended up becoming friend with Monique, what her true passion is, and how she dealt with the judges telling her to change!
RealityNewsOnline: Hey, Eugena! First, let me thank you for taking time out of your day to talk with me. Had you watched previous seasons of the show, and what factored into your decision to apply?
Eugena: Oh, yes, I definitely watched previous seasons of the show! Being an aspiring model myself, Iíve always taken interest in it, and makeup is my second passion in life, if not just as much as modeling. I always loved the way the photo shoots were set up and I loved the makeup, so I decided to apply for the show, never expecting to be picked!
RNO: Did you ever feel that calling the girls from last season ďboringĒ might have been held against you?
Eugena: Definitely! It sucked because during those interviews, we were told to give our opinion, and that was my opinion! Of all the seasons I watched, I felt that it was the most boring and the only one I really didnít like. It was held against me for no good reason at all, and then that turned into me thinking that Iím better than everyone else, which is totally untrue. I loved earlier seasons of the show and other people loved season 6. I mean, itís an opinion!
RNO: Eugena, Iíve only asked you two questions so far and youíve already showed more personality than we were shown of you on the show!
Eugena: I know, right! That goes to show you that you didnít really get to see the real me on the show. Itís all in the editing!
RNO: In the first episode this season, we saw Monique pour water on your bed so that she could have it. Why didnít you do anything to get the bed back from her, and how the heck did the two of you end up as friends?
Eugena: Ha! Thatís the question of the year. I knew that Monique was the type of girl that I like to call ďwrong and strong.Ē She was on that bed and had no intention of moving. She wanted it, and that was that. Plus, I didnít want to have all that drama on the first day, and I didnít want to get in a fight with her and be thrown off the show. Then I wouldnít be on the show and I still wouldnít have a bed! It was midnight and I was tired, so I didnít feel like fooling around. Plus, the bean bag was more comfortable than the bed anyway!
As far as us becoming friends, it just sort of happened. She came around me more often and we would talk. I really did think that Monique was pretty cool. Plus, I didnít want to have any enemies so early in the competition, so it was more beneficial just to be friends!
RNO: It seemed like you opened up more as the competition moved on. Is that a fair assessment?
Eugena: Oh, yeah, thatís exactly how it happened. In the beginning, you are thrust into this top model life. The only things you know are the house, the other girls, Mr. Jay, and the photo shoots. I was so caught off-guard by how sequestered we were, and the stress of the competition, that I would withdraw myself from the other girls. However, over time, I realized that I was going to be there for a while, so I just had to suck it up and make the best out of the situation, which I did!
RNO: What is your whole perspective on the judges saying that they didnít feel you wanted to be there? Did you ever address this with them?
Eugena: No, I didnítÖ and I couldnít! I was so pissed, though, at the end! I mean, I went through so much Ė I still have scars on my leg from that rickety runway, which is another story in itself. But seriously, throughout it all, and all the stuff they put me through, and the being talked down to and the criticism, I was still trying to change for them. So at the final panel, Tyra pulls out the whole ďyou donít want to be hereĒ thing and itís a big slap in the face to me! If I didnít want to be there, I would have given up a long time ago. I felt that my actions spoke louder than words. I wasnít going to break down in front of them and beg them to stay because to be honest, when the judges make up their mind, there is very little you can do to change whatís going to happen. It was my time.
RNO: Do you feel that you were eliminated for the wrong reasons? Was the whole ďcommitmentĒ thing used against you as an easy way to eliminate you?
Eugena: Yes, I absolutely do think it was the wrong reason. Although, like I said, it was my time. I was prepared to go. I could have begged and pleaded during panel and I could have given the works, but when itís your time, itís your time. It wasnít worth me putting any more effort into it, since I knew they made up their mind, and that was their reasoning to eliminate me.
RNO: Did you have a feeling that Melrose was going to be picked over you when it was the two of you standing before Tyra, or did you still feel that you had a chance of advancing to the finals?
Eugena: No, not at all. I knew it was going to be her over me. Overall, I think the judges felt that she was more competitive and that she did better than I did. Melrose is a very strong competitor and she knows what she wants. I think the judges saw that and felt that she was a better fit in the finals than I was.
RNO: It seems like this season most of the girls ended up in little cliques, more so than in seasons past. Did you feel that you were in any specific ďgroupĒ of girls, and was there anyone you really didnít bother with at all?
Eugena: Yeah, Iíd say that our house was separated by two rooms. There were the introverts and the extroverts. In one room, you would have Megg, Megan, the twins, AJ, and sometimes Anchal. In the other room it would be me, Melrose, Brooke, Jaeda, and CariDee. There was definitely a division, and I was usually with the extroverts.
RNO: In the beginning of the competition, the judges viewed you as one of the weaker girls, but as the weeks went by, you gained their respect. At what point in the competition would you say was the turning point for you?
Eugena: Iíd say itís when we got to Barcelona, that was my turning point. Itís just that we werenít in LA anymore and we couldnít and werenít doing those crazy, out-of-the-box photo shoots. It was way easier for me to do the commercial, the photo with the bull, andÖ well, maybe not the water Ė that was crazy! But, you know, I just decided that I wasnít going to hold back anymore. Better yet, I wasnít going to suck anymore! It was more realistic in Barcelona, and we were doing a lot more realistic modeling.
RNO: You donít think wearing a big, fake weave was realistic?
Eugena: Ha! I just wanted to be pretty and be myself! I didnít want to wear that big weave. Itís just that the photo shoots in LA werenít realistic. The floating in air? Beyonce and Jay-Z? Fabio? You know what I mean!
RNO: Of your two previous times in the bottom two, once with Monique and once with Brooke, did you believe that you were going home either of those times?
Eugena: No, I never saw myself as going home. I came into this whole thing knowing that I would get to the top. Even when I did badly, I still carried myself through and believed that I would move on. I didnít want to look or be defeated, so I kept on going and was never swayed by anything that was said to me. No matter what it was Ė my commitment, the dead eyes, whatever! It was always scary and nerve-wracking to be in the bottom two since there was always that possibility, but refused to believe it was me.
RNO: Obviously you were rooting for CariDee to win over Melrose, but did you think that Melrose had a shot at pulling away with the win?
RNO: Ha! No? Not at all?
Eugena: Nope, and itís not because I felt like Melrose did horribly, but itís because CariDee exemplified what a top model should be. She is genuine, likeable, a great personality, amazing photos and a story. Sheís everything that Tyra and the judges were looking for. I didnít think Melrose stood a chance.
RNO: Admit it! You loved it when CariDee accidentally ripped a hole in Melroseís dress and sent her stumbling!
Eugena: That was funny! I donít know why Melrose was crying, though. I mean, seriously! Although CariDee is pretty clumsy, and that was a total CariDee moment right there. I just thought it was crazy and funny!
RNO: So what is in the future for you? Do you see yourself continuing to try and pursue the modeling path? Do you want to stick with makeup, or are you ready to try something new?
Eugena: Oh, itís all tied in together! I canít do one without the other, so I get to have the best of both worlds, and the best part is, I will get to learn about them all as well. I would love to be able to switch over between the two of them and just get the experience. I want to make the most out of my time on the show. I spent two months doing all that and went through many periods of being uncomfortable to not capitalize on it the most I can!
RNO: What are your other plans? What do you plan on doing in case modeling isnít something you want to do, and what is the plan B for the future?
Eugena: Itís going to work! Thatís the only plan I have because I know that if I keep on track and make the right decisions, it will work out for me. I wonít be happy unless Iím doing something in this industry, and there is nothing that is going to sway me or make me feel otherwise. This is what I want to do and thatís that.
RNO: Is there anything you would like to add or say to your fans and fans of the show?
Eugena: I just want to thank all the fans for watching the show, and remind them that you canít always believe everything that you see on TV!
RNO: Eugena, thank you so much! It has been an absolute pleasure interviewing you, and I know that you are going to do great!
Eugena: And thank you for having such an interest in 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.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find all of our recent articles on this show at our Americaís Next Top Model page and take a look at our sections on The Apprentice and Survivor. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!
For more news about Americaís Next Top Model, be sure to check out SirLinksALot: Americaís Next Top Model!