It seems awfully early in this cycle of the CW's America's Next Top Model (Wednesdays at 8 pm/ET) for the head-scratching to begin, but I suspect I'm not the only one mystified by last week's elimination of Felicia Provost, the 19-year-old Texan whose resemblance to the show's host got her dubbed "Baby Tyra" by her fellow contestants. While even Felicia admits that her "fashion victim" photo was DOA, her other photos were, well, killer. She has the look, she has the moves, she has the personality, and yet she was sent packin'. What's up with that? TVGuide.com rang Felicia just as this week's episode was getting ready to roll.
TVGuide.com: So, Felicia, I'm floored. Looking like you look, modeling like you look, I can't believe you're gone.
Felicia Provost: Oh, man, that is, like, the quote of the day! I can't believe it, either! It sucks!
TVGuide.com: You could see that the judges were working hard just to find things to criticize about you!
Felicia: They were! I'm so glad you agree.
TVGuide.com: They said you were too confident. When has that ever been a problem on this show?
Felicia: They didn't even say "confident." They said "cocky."
TVGuide.com: Which is even worse!
Felicia: I know! I never showed any kind of cockiness. And when I was playing around, saying, "I ain't going home!" I was playing around. I didn't have attitude about it!
TVGuide.com: So to what do you attribute their sending you home? Admittedly, your photo wasn't the best, but Dionne's... come on! They had to pose her limb for limb like a Barbie!
Felicia: I was hoping that my previous photos would be enough to keep me there, because I know that one bad photo can do it to you, and I agree, my photo was a mess! But if my previous photos were almost perfect — and they weren't perfect, they could have been better — but some girls hadn't had a perfect photo yet, but they're still there. I didn't understand it.
TVGuide.com: Do you think it was a personality thing? Maybe Miss Tyra didn't like seeing a Baby Tyra up there.
Felicia: I don't know! And I never said I was Baby Tyra; that came from everybody else. Plus, I don't know what ["noted fashion photographer"] Nigel [Barker] was talking about when he said I was "relying" on the panel calling me Baby Tyra. They never called me that. That was the other girls. I think they were just making up stuff. What Nigel said came out of nowhere.
TVGuide.com: Do you even see a resemblance?
Felicia: There' are some similarities, like our foreheads! [Laughs] And maybe bone structure a little bit, but other than that, no.
TVGuide.com: At one of the panels, Tyra said that girls would very easily relate to you but that you needed to soak up fashion. Have you ever figured out what the heck that means?
Felicia: I think she meant the way I dress. But if it was something else, she should have been a little more clear.
TVGuide.com: It seems as if they're paying more attention to what you girls wear to panel. I don't remember them ever taking girls to task the way they have this cycle.
Felicia: I know! Like, they've actually said, "Take off your earrings!" What does that have to do with anything? "Take off your jacket! Take off your belt." It's like a strip search!
TVGuide.com: It's not like you're going to show up to a modeling assignment wearing what you wear to the shoot.
Felicia: I have no clue what was up this cycle. They didn't seem like that in previous ones.
TVGuide.com: Moving on... in an early interview, you pegged Jaslene as stiff competition. Do you still think "Cha-Cha" will go all the way?
Felicia: She might. I don't know. I don't really care anymore. [Laughs] I mean, if she does, that's great for her, but I'm not interested anymore. There can only be one winner, but it wasn't me, so who cares? [Laughs] I'm just kidding! I'd like to see Dionne win. Or if not, there could be a twist and they could have Jael win.
TVGuide.com: If that's going to happen, Jael will have to pull herself together. That poor girl!
Felicia: Jael's a mess, but that's my girl. I love her!
TVGuide.com: She could have a tough time of it when they get to the spokesmodel competition.
Felicia: But she might talk your head off, 'cause she can talk!
TVGuide.com: Yeah, but will anybody understand her?!
Felicia: Ahhh! [Laughs] I always wondered why she talks like that, because it's not an act! You know how some people can put on an act as far as how they talk? Jael is like that morning, noon and night. As soon as you wake up, that groggy voice is going! But she's very, very different....That is why I think they kept her.
TVGuide.com: Was it harder for you to be in the final two with Dionne than it might have been with someone you weren't so fond of?
Felicia: I think if I could have stood next to any other girl, it would have still been hard, because I got along with a lot of them, but Dionne was the hardest, because we were so close. I'm happy for her, though.
TVGuide.com: It must have been like a lose-lose situation, because either you were going home or your friend was.
Felicia: Well, no. If I would have stayed, that would have been, like, even more motivation, because I would have wanted to win for the both of us. It's weird how close I got to her. Even though it's a competition and it's every girl for herself, the bond there was ridiculous.
TVGuide.com: I had no idea you were so tight — and I take notes during the show!
Felicia: They didn't even show all of it. She almost got into a fight with Renee! Dionne stated her opinion that Renee was fake, and Renee was like, "No, I'm not," and then said something else that pissed Dionne off. Dionne jumped up and got in her face, and then Renee stood up, and Dionne had this boiling look in her eyes like she was going to take this girl's head off! Her eyes watered up, and nobody stood up to stop it, so I said, "I am not about to let Dionne go home for hitting somebody." I said, "Dionne, look at me!" — her eyes were focused on Renee, it was like trying to calm down a pit bull! I kept saying, "She's not worth it, she's not worth it." But it was intense. I thought she was going to run right through me to get to Renee!
TVGuide.com: A lot of girls seem to have that reaction to Renee. What's her deal?
Felicia: Renee is a question mark to me. I have no clue how to explain her. It's like she has five people living inside of her, and you don't know which personality you're going to get on which day.
TVGuide.com: So basically, the total opposite of Dionne.
Felicia: Yeah. Everybody thinks she's stuck-up just by looking at her or her facial expressions or whatnot, but Dionne really, really is a sweet person.
TVGuide.com: I'll look forward to speaking with her then.
Felicia: And she'd better talk about me this much, too!
TVGuide.com: I'll be sure to make that my first question to her — "So, about Felicia.... " Now that you're off the show, will you go back to your dance roots or pursue modeling?
Felicia: I want to model so badly! I've been dancing since I've been back home because we're not allowed to model until the final episode airs, but I don't put it above modeling for nothing. Even before I started dancing, I would see girls on TV in heels and walking down the runway looking cute, and I knew I wanted to do that. It's definitely my first love.
TVGuide.com: So would your ideal situation be to model in a video — kind of modeling and dancing at the same time?
Felicia: That would be cool! I've had people tell me, "Oh, you're gonna have these rappers calling, wanting you to be in their video," and I said, "OK, now hold up. When Yaya was in Chingy's video walking down the runway and he was singing about their relationship, that was a different story. That was cool for her to be doing, because she was actually portraying a model. She was the main girl. But who was it, Monique, who did the Snoop Dogg video, just standing next to his car in the background doing nothing? That's not cool. But if I could have the best of both worlds, that would be cool.
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