Finishing in fifth place is Michelle, who found herself standing next to her identical twin in the dreaded bottom two in front of last week’s judging panel. Though they may be similar in physical appearance, from the start of the cycle we learned that Michelle was quite different from her sister Amanda when it came to personality – and this difference came through in their photographs. While from the very first photo shoot Michelle garnered the judges’ praise for taking risks, Amanda did not seem hit her stride right away. But ultimately, she surpassed her sister by having that extra edge of seeming to “want it more.” How does Michelle view the forced sibling rivalry? With her characteristic straight-speaking style and no-nonsense attitude, of course.
Hi Michelle, it’s a pleasure to talk to you today!
So first off, some general questions for you: how tall are you?
How did you come to be on the show?
My sister tried out for Cycle Six, and she got a message on her Myspace to try out for Cycle Seven, too. They offered her the chance to go to a more exclusive casting. She said she had a twin, and asked if I wanted to come along, and I did.
So were you going along to support her at the time, or did you have modeling ambitions of your own?
No, no, I wanted to try out, I did.
What was your favorite photoshoot?
My favorite photo shoot was “Model Stereotypes”. That day was just a lot of fun. Everybody was acting out their stereotypes, and it was our first photo shoot…kind of an ice breaker. It was a lot of fun, everybody was really fun on that shoot. Everybody was there at that point so it was like a big ole’ family.
What was your stereotype?
I was the bulimic. I really liked the scenario I got, it was interesting and controversial; so it was a lot of fun to play.
Now, I normally ask the contestants who they were close to in the house, but I think we can guess your answer.
Really? Who would you guess?
I would say Amanda.
Yup. I was also close to Megan.
Overall, do you think it was an advantage or disadvantage to have your twin sister in the same competition?
I think it was a little bit of both. It was an advantage because it made us stand out. You’re just looking at a screen of thirteen girls, and you see two twins, you can’t help but think, “Oh my gosh, look at them.” It kind of makes us pop out at first. But then we had to compete against each other, so I had to stand out even more from her.
What about the social aspect of having someone in the house that you already know?
Yeah, it made it a lot easier to be there to have somebody to support you. For the other girls, they were in there alone, and didn’t have anyone they could truly trust. She’s my sister, so I could trust her with anything. But there is also a downside to that because I also had to worry about somebody besides myself.
The two of you have previous modeling experience, correct? And were even signed to a modeling agency?
Yeah, we didn’t do a lot of modeling, though. It was kind of like – we just weren’t into it. It was more like it was something that just happened. But yeah, we had a little bit of modeling experience.
I guess it begs the question – do you want to model? Because on the show, it seemed like you were supporting your sister, but it wasn’t your dream – it was hers.
It wasn’t my dream, because my dream was actually to be in the WBNA. That was my dream since I was little. But it’s something that I actually did want to do. Before, when we were in modeling I didn’t want to do it and I was there for [Amanda], but this – I actually decided that I wanted to give it a genuine shot, and that I wanted to model. I was really trying.
But given the chance, you’d take basketball over modeling?
Not as much anymore. I’m pretty much almost done with basketball, and modeling is something that is newer that I want to pick up.
Can you give us your insight into the other women in the house? I’d like to read off their names and you could give me a few words or a sentence about them.
What did you think of A.J.?
Very cool, down-to-earth, but got in some bad moods sometimes. A little moody, but a very cool person.
What can you tell us about Amanda?
Well, she’s my sister. And on the show, she’s just a really nice sweet person. On the show she seemed like she was in her shell a little bit at the beginning, she wasn’t being herself. So she struggled with the photos because she was second-guessing herself. I think she was afraid about being on national television as far as how people would view her. But towards the end, she came out of her shell and started being herself, so that was cool.
Brooke was a really sweet girl. Brooke can’t be evil. She is the nicest, bubbliest girl ever. She’s a sweetheart.
How about Caridee?
Caridee is a really cool person. She’s very genuine, and she’s really funny. She has a really outgoing and fun personality.
How would you describe Eugena?
Eugena’s definitely a character. She’s just herself and she doesn’t let anybody change her. There were a couple of times where Eugena and I got into pointless debates, and they were really fun, and we would totally be on opposite sides, but at the end of the day we wouldn’t be mad at each other. She has her own opinions and everything, and I really respect her. She’s really cool.
That’s funny because I feel like I didn’t get to know her of all the girls on the show. That part of her personality didn’t really come out on the show to me.
I think she was just really focused on the competition. She wasn’t trying to be buddy-buddy with anybody. She didn’t end up making friends, but that wasn’t her main goal. Her goal was to win. It didn’t seem like in the beginning that she cared to get to know anybody.
What about Jaeda?
Jaeda was hilarious, that’s how I would describe Jaeda. She wasn’t very good at the improvisation or the challenges where we were supposed to be funny; but if you sat down and just had a conversation with Jaeda, she was hilarious. She’s very good at impersonations. I told her several times that she should be a comedian. (laughs)
What would you say about Megg?
Megg is a rockstar. There’s no other way to describe Megg. I know you think the way she was always saying “rock on” was just an act – that’s actually the way her personality really is. She’s really cool, she’s a rockstar.
What’s your take on Melrose?
Melrose was interesting. Melrose was a very chill, down-to-earth person most of the time; like if you were just having a one-to-one conversation with her, she’s really cool and fun to talk to. But there were times when Melrose would just – she would just be, not dumb, but she would be doing things that were just like, (in a tone of amused annoyance) “Oh Melrose, what are you doing?”
Did Melrose give you any of the clothes back from your challenge win?
Yeah, actually she ended up giving everybody the main things they wanted. She split it up pretty evenly. She took a good amount of the clothes for herself – not most of them, but a fair amount – and she made sure everyone had the key things that they really liked. So that was really cool. It was spread out pretty fairly. I was happy about how that came out.
How about Anchal?
Anchal was cool. She’s a very down-to-earth sweet person. Sometimes she was pretty intolerant, though. She didn’t seem to like Melrose, and you could just tell. (laughs)
I don’t even know if I know Monique. On the show she seemed very sweet at the beginning, she was sweet during casting, then all of a sudden when the show started her personality had a change of heart and she went all crazy on us. A lot of times when she was doing what she was doing, I was saying, “Are you serious? Are you really doing this? I’m so lost.” And once she was kicked off the show she announced it was an act, it was all so that she could stand out. So maybe it was, I don’t know. I don’t know if it was an act or not, but it was definitely interesting.
Lastly, how would you describe Christian?
Christian was really cool. Unfortunately, I didn’t really get to know her that well. During casting we didn’t get to talk that much. She seemed like a really cool, down-to-earth, chill person. I would have liked to get to know her better.
Did Amanda tell you whether or not she won?
I cannot say.
You can’t even say if she told you?
Okay. So, do you think it was set-up that you and Amanda both ended up in the bottom two standing next to each other?
Oh, I knew it was done for the drama. I knew from the very first day that we both made it to the top thirteen that when we left, we would be next to each other. It was inevitable. We knew it from the beginning; in fact, we would joke about it with each other. “You’re going to be standing next to me.” We knew. (laughs)
Were you happy that she was the one left standing and not you? How do you feel about that?
I’m indifferent. It would have been fun to stay, but I’m glad she’s getting the chance to continue on. It’s fine, it’s cool.
According to Tyra, you really showed a natural ability to take great pictures. Do you think that your ambivalence of being on the show gave you more freedom to perform in front of the camera?
I think I was just natural with it. I mean, I didn’t care how America was going to perceive me, and I was just going to do it. I wasn’t really stressed out about the fact that, “Oh, this picture could send me home!” I was like, “Let’s just take the picture and have fun.”
What America thought of you wasn’t on your mind?
Well no, it was in the back of my head, of course. I was thinking, “Gosh, if I do something stupid it’s going to be on national television.” But I figured I was going to do what I was going to do, so I was going to have fun with it.
Did you expect your sexuality to become a part of the show?
No, not really. That was kind of random. It was brought up in an interview and I just answered honestly because I didn’t care to lie. It didn’t seem like a big deal to me. It was – whatever.
As far as coming out publicly like that on national television, did it affect you in the competition in any way?
Not really. It didn’t bug me that much. Everyone was saying, “Oh my God this is such a big deal,” and I was like, “I just don’t care.” It’s just -- whatever, it’s just a part of me, so it doesn’t matter. The only part of me that was affected in the competition over it was because of my sister. She was a little upset by it because she thought I got forced into saying it. But I didn’t, I just said it.
It’s nice to know she’s looking out for you.
Can you tell me about your plans for the future?
I plan to finish this basketball season that I’m playing in right now, and pursue modeling.
Is there anything else you’d like the fans to know?
Just that I had a fun time, and thanks for all the support.
Thanks to FORTers who had questions for Michelle: As-Tom, cornchip, ANTM Mega Fan, Mo_MiSer, and kurishinigami! And thanks to Michelle and CW for the interview.