When Dr. Huizenga told Laura Denoux she had the worst injury he had seen in seven seasons, she knew she was in trouble. The 24-year-old fractured her hip and was forced to restrict her workouts, leading to a 3-pound weight gain and being up for elimination. Although she wanted to stay, Laura was sent home to recover from her injury and continue her progress on her own. TVGuide.com checked in with the former plus-size model, who has been able to maintain her 77-pound weight-loss, on how it felt to be made over by Tim Gunn and what she really thinks of Ron.
TVGuide.com: How did it feel to get the makeover this week?
Laura Denoux: The makeover felt amazing. I was crying a lot when they were doing my hair because I've been blonde my whole life, but I love my new red hair, I'm used to it now, I've been getting so many compliments on it and I love it. It was just great to feel all made-over with new clothes, especially after being in sweats all day long and T-shirts and sports bras.
TVGuide.com: Did Tim Gunn give you any good pointers?
Denoux: He did. He let us know we had been hiding behind big, baggy, black clothes all the time and he wanted us to feel comfortable wearing color now that we've got new bodies. We shouldn't be hiding behind black all the time since that's what makes us look thinner, but play with color and really flaunt whatever body part is something that we should be flaunting.
TVGuide.com: Your relationship with Jillian changed from her humiliating you in Week 9 to being emotional over your elimination...
Denoux: The relationship really changed when we went from Black and Blue to singles. I realized that I needed her and it was a little bit harsh, but she was doing it with good intentions. When I got over the fact that she called me the weakest link and was doing it to open my eyes, and it was at that point when we went to singles, that I realized she's doing this for me, to help me, and it was really a beneficial thing looking back on it now.
TVGuide.com: A lot of our readers have taken issue with Ron. Do you have any thoughts about him you can share?
Denoux: Ron is probably the smartest person on the show right now. He knows how to manipulate everybody and he's doing this so his son [Mike] can win. I think people were a little bit scared of him and you're always afraid if you vote off one, the other one is going to hate you later. So he definitely has learned how to manipulate this game. Ron's an awesome person, but he influenced people. It was almost like he had everybody hypnotized or something. It's very hard to explain.
TVGuide.com: So how's your hip doing?
Denoux: My hip is still fractured, but is doing much better. I actually have some lesions of a pre-stress fracture in my knee. I'm still having some restrictions with my workouts and what I can do.
TVGuide.com: What's your daily routine like?
Denoux: I'm really just trying to focus on losing the rest of the weight that I want to lose for the finale; my goal is 100 pounds. Since leaving the ranch, I've really just been able to maintain my weight, lose a couple pounds here and there, but it's a little more difficult. My workouts mainly consist of going to physical therapy, and when I do cardio, it's really limited to the spin bike. So mainly just weights, upper body, the rehab to my leg, cardio with the bike and swimming, since there's really no impact on my hip. But I prefer being in a gym, being able to listen to my music, so the bike is great, especially spinning classes. I love that.
TVGuide.com: Is being home this time around very different from those first 30 days you were home?
Denoux: Well, the first time I went home for the 30 days I really didn't know what I was doing. I was on the ranch for a week and then they're like, "Okay, you're going home for 30 days," and yeah, they gave us support going home, but it wasn't the same as being on the ranch. That's why so many of us were unsuccessful at home, compared to the people who stayed on the ranch. You really realize that being on the ranch you learn so much, it's priceless what you learn there, and nobody can teach you. Just being in everybody's space and Bob and Jillian's especially. It's hard to learn it just by being told, you have to experience it to really make sure it stays into a pattern once you get home.