Finishing out the competition in fourth place is Nadia Underwood, the pleasant-demeanored model from Chicago who did well in the showís challenges until she ran afoul of a doggie housing project. Nadia was a reluctant partner of Mario at first, but found her view changing as she got to know him better on the show; ultimately, the two became one of the most likeable couples this season. How does she view her experience, and to what does she attribute her doghouseís sagging roof? Hindsightís a bitch, but at least Nadia can take with her a little concrete knowledge about the proper materials needed for her next woodworking project.
So how did you come to be on the show? Had you watched the previous seasons?
Actually, I had never seen it before. My modeling agency, somehow Ė I donít know if the show called them or how they heard about it, but they knew interviews were going on. I just went and met with them, and I just felt like it was a really good fit, so I was hoping that I would be hearing from them.
Youíre not the first one to mention that their modeling agency hooked them up with casting.
Yes, Erin is with my modeling agency as well.
Did Mario ever tell you how he got on the show?
I think it was a comic book convention or something. (laughs)
Yes, thatís what he said. Anyway, as you know, the show likes to imply that the women consider themselves to be beauties but not necessarily brains. Is that how you see yourself?
Umm, not really, because I did really good in college. I got straight As. But because of the line of work Iím in, I donít get hired because of my brains.
You mean the modeling, then? Your bio says that youíre a bartender too.
Yeah, I bartend as well.
You seem to be one of the more down-to-earth women on the show. Is that a fair description?
Yes, for sure. (laughs)
Did anyone else surprise you on the show as far as what their personalities turned out to be?
I donít know. I guess, yeah Ė Nate, probably. I mean, when you first saw him, you wouldnít really think that he was how he is. And Mario, too. At first I didnít want him as my partner, and he turned out to be this really cool guy.
Letís go back to the second week of the show, when you and Mario did very well in the challenges and were able to nominate two teams. Mario told you that you thought Cecille and Megan were the two who deserved to go home the most. Do you regret that you didnít take the chance to get rid of either Megan or Cecille back then?
In some ways, yeah, because maybe we would still be there. But at the same time Ė I mean, they show Mario saying that, but it wasnít like I was twisting his arm and that it was all up to me. Itís about changing and everything, and thatís what I was really upset about, because I knew there were people who wanted to be there more than Megan or Cecille, but at the same time, I knew it was a competition, and I knew who would have my back the next week if I didnít win. So ultimately, thatís how I chose to go with it.
Were you surprised to be up this week?
No, because nobody nominated me. The reason we got put in elimination was because we didnít win the challenge, because there were only four teams left.
So about that doghouse challenge, why was that one so much harder for you than some of the other ones? Iím thinking of the tour group, where you had to absorb a lot of knowledge, and you won that one.
I think when it came down to the more academic things Ė like the newscaster one, I came in second, and they donít show that Ė and then I won the Space museum, and the next one is the auction. That sucked. And then the other one I came in second. And this was just Ė you know, Iíve never built anything! We got all these reading materials, and different types of hammers, different types of nails, what general contractors do, stuff like that. I donít know. The whole reason I had trouble with it was because I was using the wrong type of nails. I actually cut myself on one of the nails and bled on the roof of the doghouse, so thatís why mine was like that. It wasnít like, together. (laughs) Iím like, ďI donít want to have blood on my house!Ē (laughs) Yes, and my grandfather was a cabinet maker, so Iím sure heís disappointed in me.
I would be the same way. A nail is a nail. Iíd never even think that there would be more than one kind.
When it came to the dynamics in the house, how did the women end up so divided? The guys all seemed to get along.
I donít know. It was kind of just in the beginning, there were people that you bonded with. They very much made it into ďthe blondes are raging against the brunettesĒ, but at the same time Ė I really like Sheree, and Andrea and Tori are great, but Andrea really closed herself off from the beginning. It just happened that way. Also, Mario was really good friends with Nate. It wasnít intentional or anything, it was just how our personalities meshed together, and people who made the effort versus people who didnít. It was hard to become friendly with some of the girls.
Mario and Nate were close, but did you get along with Cecille?
Um, no. (laughs) I mean, I got along with her, but I donít respect her.
Did she seemed to be sort of a ringleader, or was she trying to be?
I donít know. I donít really feel like I had to follow her, and she wasnít saying, ďYou guys have to do this.Ē I donít feel like that. But definitely on the show they are showing her the most just because she has the most outrageous personality of any of us girls.
What did you think of her putting bracelets on the dog?
Oh my God, I was so pissed that day. Iím a huge dog lover. Actually, I just adopted a puppy in October. I saw the dog with the bracelets around its neck and I was like, ďAre you guys kidding me?Ē It wasnít just Cecille, Megan was with her, and I was like, ďThat is so mean!Ē The dog is helpless, and this was a hard plastic thing that they couldnít get off its neck because his head was bigger than his neck, he was a Chihuahua.
You stuck with Cecille and Megan when you had the power earlier in the game. Do you think the game would have turned out differently if you would you have made different friends for strategic reasons?
Yeah, maybe. Maybe if things were different, then I would still be there, but itís kind of like, ďWhatís done is done.Ē We can always wonder, but thereís no point in getting upset.
Itís just that Sheree said something to me in her interview to the effect that she went to you after the first elimination and told you that she purposely did not put you up, and suggested that you return the favor.
I guess the first week, she was kind of going back and forth between putting me and Erin in. She told me, ďI didnít put you in because I see something good in you, and I just felt like you deserve to be here.Ē Which was cool, but after I had nominated her Ė and pretty much the reason I nominated her was because smarts-wise, she was probably the smartest girl. I felt like she was probably my biggest competition, female-wise. So strategically, I was like, ďWell, I have to put her up.Ē
So it wasnít like she made a formal agreement with you.
Right. And honestly, I really didnít think that she would be going home. I thought Andrea would be going home just because Sheree was the stronger one. After I nominated her, I remember going into her room and saying, ďIím sorry.Ē She said, ďYou know, I saved you last week. Cece and Nate wanted to put you in.Ē And I was kind of like, ďWhat?Ē So I asked Nate if that was true, and he said it wasnít. So I really donít know what is what, but overall I think Sheree is great. I have a ton of respect for her, and I consider her one of my friends.
I heard that youíre really close to Erin now.
Yes. We talk every day, and she lives about fifteen minutes away from me.
Who were you closest to in the house?
Girls-wise, it was Erin and Megan. I still like Mario and Nate, and Scooter.
Did you know about Jennylee and Nate when you were on the show?
Yeah, sure. Nate really has a strong regard for Mario and I, and pretty much would tell us everything. So he would basically come to me and tell me what was going on.
Did you get out of the show what you were expecting?
The whole reason I went was for the experience. Iím the sort of person that feels like my life experiences are my education, and I just thought this would be something so incredible that not many people would be able to do. I never really expected to come out of it with the friends that Iíve made and the memories that I have, so it was really amazing. Of course I would have liked to have the money, though. (laughs)
What was the best part of the experience?
Itís the friends that I made, because Erin is seriously one of my best friends now. I think that me and Mario were a good display of two people coming together and working for a common goal while completely supporting each other. And just like the saying ďyou canít judge a book by its cover,Ē maybe I would have never thought that Mario would be that support system for me, when in the end, he was. Iím just always going to have a special place in my heart for him because of that.
Thanks for talking to us Nadia, and many thanks to CW for letting us talk to a beauty.