As expected, Tyra Banks named icy diva Yoanna House the winner of America's Next Top Model in this week's finale. That unpleasant sound you hear is the Shandi and Mercedes fans grinding their teeth in frustration. (Grrr...) Here, TV Guide Online quizzes the 23-year-old ex-baby-sitter on her dramatic 50-lb. weight loss, those eating-disorder rumors, catty competition and her mysterious lookalike!
TV Guide Online: Your clone on Sephora's Spring 2004 catalogue cover made folks peg you as the winner a week early.Yoanna: [Chuckles] I don't think she looks a lot like me, but that's what the buzz is. I disagree. I asked everyone who knows me, "Does this look like me?" They say, "No way!"
TVGO: Her name is Cassia. Do you know her?Yoanna: No, I actually don't know who she is, but I know Sephora had no idea who the winner was. So it couldn't be me on that cover!
Poor Mercedes Scelba-Shorte. This 21-year-old from Valencia, Calif., went from "cutesy mall girl" to fierce fashionista on America's Next Top Model. She soldiered on to the final two, despite the exhaustion of facing catty competitors, long hours and a lupus diagnosis. In the runway showdown with Yoanna House, Miss Mercedes worked that catwalk J.Lo-style. Yet Yoanna was chosen by Tyra Banks & Co., spurring surprised TV Guide Online readers to send us lotsa grumpy e-mail. Here, we talk to the Model wannabe who many feel should have won.
TV Guide Online: Our readers are bummed you lost.Mercedes: Thanks. I'm bummed, too.
TVGO: With your feisty facial expressions and booty-swingin' on the runway, you reminded us of J.Lo.Mercedes: Oh, that's so funny! And I'm not even Latin.
TVGO: You're not?Mercedes: I grew up in a Hispanic neighborhood and I speak a little bit of Spanish, but