Raise your hand if you "got" Anchal Joseph. Both of you? Huh. Interesting. I never did. The America's Next Top Model wannabe seemed to me to be a walking contradiction. Consider: 1) She was a swan-and-a-half but carried herself like the ugliest of ducklings; 2) she was completely uncomfortable in her curvaceous skin, yet she signed up for a modeling competition; and 3) despite her theoretical willingness to take part in said modeling competition, she wussed out on every other challenge. All together now: Huh?! Before tonight's episode (8 pm/ET, on the CW), TVGuide.com rang up the exotic and oh-so-mysterious beauty to try to talk some sense into her. Er, that is, make some sense of her. Read below to see whether the attempt was a success.
TVGuide.com: Was it my imagination, or were you more relieved than disappointed when you were eliminated?
Anchal Joseph: I was relieved and disappointed at the same time. I was happy that I was leaving, because I didn't want to be with the girls in the house. But I was disappointed that I let the stress get to me, and I couldn't continue on with the show.
TVGuide.com: Do you attribute your elimination mostly to your rivals?
Anchal: No, no, no. Not mostly. It was myself and my low self-confidence, me not coming out of my box in time.
TVGuide.com: What was the holdup? I mean, come on — the judges seemed to love you from the moment you walked in!
Anchal: Yeah, I don't know what happened. If I had another chance, I'd just work on my self-confidence a lot more.
TVGuide.com: Didn't CariDee try to talk some sense into you?
Anchal: She did, and after that, I did calm down. But that was the night before I got eliminated. I should have put it into action sooner.
TVGuide.com: Or at least during the elimination challenge.
Anchal: I did take it into my mind, but didn't know how to step out of that box and relax to the point where I wouldn't be intimidated by the judges.
TVGuide.com: Did you ever really want to model? You seemed to hate the challenges, the shoots, being in front of the panel....
Anchal: Oh, I love to model! It's my dream! As for the criticism part, it's not that I didn't like to be criticized — that's good, I need to learn to turn a negative into a positive and use it to better myself. It was just being in the same house with the girls. My feelings toward modeling haven't changed, and I will continue to pursue it.
TVGuide.com: So the next time you are asked to do something that feels ridiculous to you, you'll do it?
Anchal: Yeah, for sure.
Anchal: After leaving the show, I realized so much. My friends are even trying to do this thing with me where they'll say, "Come on, Anchal, let's go dance crazy," and I'll say, "OK." It's something I'm working on, and the show really helped me a lot.
TVGuide.com: Hmm. Maybe you didn't realize how big an issue it was for you until you were there.
Anchal: That's true. It's something that I just kept behind me and thought I'd never have to deal with. You're a good guesser!
TVGuide.com: Yeah, that's me. Since you were so uncomfortable with your body, why didn't you diet before auditioning for the show?
Anchal: I tried. I was doing previous things before the show — like Miss Homestead, and I was in a pageant. And I was stressed with school and everything. Me and crash diets do not work. I was 130 pounds when I went on the show. There were little things that just got to me, like my stomach. Even though it was flat, I wasn't happy with it. It's things that I put into my head that made me feel worse about myself. But I've learned to love myself.
TVGuide.com: Do other curvy girls look at you as a role model?
Anchal: Definitely! They come up to me on the street, and they're like, "It's amazing that you have a body like that! You don't have to be stick-thin to be a model!" I tell them being curvy is normal. Having meat on my bones is healthy.
TVGuide.com: Do any of the girls you meet give you a hard time for not accepting who you are and what you look like while you were on Top Model?
Anchal: No, not at all. They just advise me not to lose hope and say, “You can do it!”
TVGuide.com: Who was worse to live with, Monique or Melrose?
Anchal: Both! I guess Melrose, because she stayed. At first, she didn't get to me as much. I was put in the back [of her hit list]. I wasn't there to make friends, but I wasn't there to make enemies, either.
TVGuide.com: Monique seemed pretty intent on making enemies!
Anchal: Yeah, Monique has it in her to make enemies. I don't know what that is about. But Melrose just doesn't know how to keep her mouth shut. She wants to say things about people to make herself feel better, obviously.
TVGuide.com: Did you bring some of her wrath upon yourself by being so insecure? If you'd presented a stronger front, she might have backed off.
Anchal: You know, I'm not going to deny that. I did kind of bring that on myself. It's a little bit my fault, but being her age and a little more mature.... [Pauses] None of the other girls said what she said, so she's the immature one.
Reality-TV fans, get exclusive behind-the-scenes scoop on Dancing with the Stars' finale from the new issue of TV Guide.