What the... ?! Two weeks ago on the CW's America's Next Top Model, Miss Tyra gave an impassioned speech about why she was dumping brilliant-but-dispassionate Michelle in favor of her twin sister, Amanda Babin, who talked the talk but too often tripped herself up when she tried to walk the walk. The formula the head judge was using was clearly "(desire + the look) > (talent + the look)." Then last week, she went and dropped Amanda, too — and in favor of whom? Melrose, who rubs everyone, including the panel, the wrong way? Eugena, who has taken, what, one decent photo (and gives off about as much personality as a rhubarb)? CariDee? Well, OK, I would've dumped Amanda for kooky, charismatic CariDee, but still, I'm flummoxed. As we wait for my girl, CD, to be named Top Model tonight at 8 pm/ET — and she had better win, too — let's see if Amanda's TVGuide.com answers match up with her look-alike sib's.
TVGuide.com: I'm really confused. Why am I doing this elimination interview with you?
Amanda Babin: As far as I can tell, in panel I just became uncomfortable after messing up on the [impromptu flamenco] dance [the judges requested]. They saw a little bit of weakness, and with four girls who were that good, that bit of weakness was enough to send me home.
TVGuide.com: Would you still be there if you hadn't shown the judges that you could basically dislocate your leg at will?
Amanda: [Laughs] They were really surprised at that, I know! I didn't think it was that hard. I don't think that played a major role, though.
TVGuide.com: I think you gave Twiggy nightmares!
Amanda: Really? [Laughs] Whoops!
TVGuide.com: Are you surprised that there are no Babins in the final two? I mean, at one point you guys were two out of five!
Amanda: I'm disappointed. We were hoping to both make it into the top four, so we'd have a 50 percent chance of winning, but we didn't quite get there.
TVGuide.com: Do you think they made the right call in keeping you longer than Michelle, who they said was a better model but lacked your drive?
Amanda: She may be a little more natural in front of the camera than I am, but I don't think she's that much more talented. I think I actually have a stronger walk than she does.
TVGuide.com: Is it just me, or does it seem like the judges get a first impression — "ambitious but awkward," "immature but gifted," or whatever — and it kind of never changes?
Amanda: That's how I think the first girls wind up going home. The judges have this opinion, and the girls aren't able to change their minds. They don't see everything we see — they only see panel, so if you mess up in panel, you're gone!
TVGuide.com: Is it hard to hear your sister say, "Nyah nyah, they said I was the better model"?
Amanda: She jokes about it, but it doesn't bother me. That's other peoples' opinion, and I disagree with it!
TVGuide.com: How did it feel to have to stand back and listen to her tearfully declare herself the weakest model in the finals?
Amanda: I was just like, "Michelle... what are you doing? Stop talking!" I knew she was shooting herself in the foot, but she's a very honest person, and she was doing what she had to do. But it was hard to hear.
TVGuide.com: She seemed tortured by it.
Amanda: A little bit. Everyone kept talking about how much they wanted it, and she just wasn't sure. It's something she wants to do, but she wasn't necessarily sure that she deserved it. But I don't know if any of us "deserve" it. There are so many girls who want to do this. You just do what you can.
TVGuide.com: Do you think there was an unfair burden placed on you because you always had to pep up Michelle?
Amanda: No. She wanted to be there, but these other girls were getting their dreams crushed. She's a strong enough person that she'll just move on.
TVGuide.com: Do you feel like the judges regarded you two as a kind of novelty act?
Amanda: To a certain extent. They would compare us, and I think that was fun for them. But in the end, I think they saw us as different people.
TVGuide.com: Certainly, they had to be impressed during the official flamenco-dance challenge. You had some trouble during practice....
Amanda: [Laughs] I'm a slow learner!
TVGuide.com: But it wasn't anything like the disaster it could have been!
Amanda: I kept practicing and practicing. I can learn in small increments and then put it all together. I would learn one part, then combine it with another part. I was basically learning it in segments. But then you had to put it all together — that was tough.
TVGuide.com: Even after working so hard on the dance, you seemed to take not winning that challenge better than Melrose, who broke out bawling.
Amanda: Yeah, she's pretty critical of herself. She tends to do that.
TVGuide.com: Win or lose, I'll be talking to her next week. Can you please, please, please explain her to me?
Amanda: Melrose has a bunch of sides to her. She can be calm, easy to talk to and a very chill person — and then she can freak out, overthink things and go crazy! I remember one time in the house, she cut her finger on a can opener. She thought her finger was falling off, and she was screaming. She wanted us to call 911, and it was just a cut on her finger! When she's upset, she's upset. She gets a little dramatic.
TVGuide.com: You don't seem to hate her as much as the other girls did.
Amanda: You know, most of the girls didn't give her a chance and actually talk to her. She has a soul, I swear. [Laughs] Some of the girls might say I'm wrong, but....
TVGuide.com: So, sort of like the judges, the girls decided what they thought of her, then stuck with it rather than getting to know her.
Amanda: Yeah, a lot of them didn't like her.
TVGuide.com: OK, that was very helpful. Maybe now you can explain to me Eugena's appeal. Because as far as I can tell, she's almost always a dead fish in front of the camera.
Amanda: Eugena has a strong presence and a really good walk, actually. They just keep saying they see potential in her, but her photographs are not that great.
TVGuide.com: If she hasn't realized her potential by this point, um, when is she supposed to?
Amanda: I was actually expecting that if I wound up in the bottom two, it would be with Eugena. But that's not what happened.
TVGuide.com: Such is life. So, which was the harder challenge: pretending to be attracted to Fabio or floating in ice-cold water?
Amanda: That's a funny one! I don't know how to answer that.
TVGuide.com: I think you just did. Do you think the producers put ice in the pool before you got there, to make it extra cold?
Amanda: No, it wasn't that cold. It was just a cold morning, and that made for cold water. It was bearable, but you were shivering and constantly cold. I lived!
TVGuide.com: Tyra is always saying, "This is modeling, and it's tough." But don't you think that if she were doing that shoot, she would have insisted that someone warm up the damn water?
Amanda: I think she would have been able to do it. It was like being in the ocean. You can go in the ocean on a cold day — you just don't want to stay in it.
TVGuide.com: What's next for you?
Amanda: Well, I'm going to get an agent and see where modeling takes me!
TVGuide.com: Has Doublemint gotten in touch with you and your sister yet?
Amanda: No, but I'd love for them to! If you wanna spread the word....
Reality-TV fans, find an exclusive look at the five big changes in store for The Apprentice in the Dec. 4 issue of TV Guide.
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