"Bug-eyed" and "frosty." "Passionless" and "forgettable." Yes, over the course of her thwarted campaign to become America's Next Top Model, Christina Murphy was called many things. But until she answered TVGuide.com's call just before this week's episode (tonight at 8 ET on UPN), "frustratingly diplomatic" hadn't been among the adjectives used to describe her. Read on and see if you don't agree with our assessment of the 24-year-old Floridian. We tried — good golly, we tried! — to get her to dish, but the fashion plate simply refused to bite.
TVGuide.com: The judges made such a fuss about your "ice princess" demeanor. Do you think employers really give a hoot if the model they hire has a chilly personality?
Christina Murphy: I would assume your personality has a little bit to do with it. When I was growing up, people said, "Models don't talk. They just sit there and look beautiful and get the job done." But when you're on a shoot with a photographer, obviously you want to be fun to shoot with and not be some rude, obnoxious personality or very high-maintenance.
Christina: I guess so, yeah. I don't know if I'd call my personality chilly. TVG: I didn't mean you personally. Although, after hearing that comment so often, did you go home and ask your friends, "Why didn't you people tell me I was like this?"
Christina: No, because actually my friends [who] watch [me on Top Model] are like, "Who's this girl?" Because that's not who they know. They see the humble, warm side of me — and the playful and sexy side of me. They're like, "Why are you not that way when it comes time for the panel?" And I had to ask myself that, too. I don't know if it was nerves or trying to look professional in front of important industry people or what. But I definitely held back. TVG: Well, Janice Dickinson is scary.
Christina: It was nerve-racking, because I'd heard from people who'd watched the show more than I had before going on, "She can be terrible! She can be cutthroat!" But I kind of respect a person who is honest and real as opposed to running around in circles trying not to hurt my feelings. If there's something I need to work on, then obviously, I'd rather be told! TVG: So were you able to take it that way when the other girls offered up their critiques of your photo?
Christina: Actually, yeah. We all were put in a situation that was uncomfortable, because we are good friends. It was hard enough for me having to listen to the opinion of the other girls regarding my photo, but it was hard for me to be in a position to judge them as well. I guess it's harder hearing it from your friends than just people who are in the industry. TVG: It looked like Keenyah got a kick out of it.
Christina: [Laughs nervously] Umm... I don't know about that one. TVG: Oh, come on. She's packing on pounds, she's getting criticized.... You don't think she loved taking you down a peg?
Christina: I don't know. In a stressful situation like that, anything can happen, basically. I felt like I lost sight of who I was for a little bit at panel, just being stressed out and emotional, so I can see how people would change a little bit on the show. TVG: Uh-huh. OK. So what was it that Tyra Banks wanted you to stick under your upper lip to make it look fuller?
Christina: It was Kleenex tissue paper. TVG: How uncomfortable was it?
Christina: I didn't feel like it was uncomfortable, but it was frustrating, because I actually used that technique for the photo shoot at the waterfall. My lip gloss would get stuck to it or it would fall apart in my mouth because it was tissue paper, so I thought to myself, "Maybe this isn't the exact type of tissue I should be using." But I thought it was a great technique for Tyra to teach me! No [collagen] injections yet! TVG: Did you ever wish they would stick something in Brittany's mouth? Like maybe a muzzle?
Christina: [Laughs nervously] No. I love Brittany! People may look at her on television and say, "Oh, she's obnoxious and loud," but that's just her personality. I love her for the person I know her to be. Some people aren't going to like you, and your personality may not be as welcoming to some. But I'm sure there were people who didn't like my personality! We are so different — I'm more laid-back and reserved, and she's so out there and crazy! But I respect her for that. TVG: Really? 'Cause when she left for that industry party with Keenyah, you, Naima and Kahlen seemed not just glad, but relieved.
Christina: [Laughs] I think we were just excited to enjoy some relaxing time around the house. We were there in the hotel suite while the other girls went to the party, so we figured we might as well spend time together! TVG: Uh-huh. Well, it does seem like it would be easier to relax with Brittany out of the house.
Christina: [Laughs] Yeah. Anytime you get your alone time... TVG: Yeah, alone time with two other girls who aren't quite so... um, boisterous.
Christina: [Nervously] Yeah, I guess you could say that. TVG: What was the toughest shoot?
Christina: It was sort of hard doing the zodiac shoot [as Libra], because I was in a harness, balancing on one foot and swaying back and forth while holding the scales, and I still had to have my face look good. TVG: What was your favorite shoot?
Christina: The alien shoot. I was a nervous wreck, but I liked how my photo turned out. I guess it was the point where I realized, "Wow, this is really where it starts." I also enjoyed doing the grave-site shoot [in which I depicted the deadly sin of lust], which was kind of weird, but it was fun trying to transform myself into a sexual person, which I'm totally not! TVG: You know you're going to disappoint half the men in America with that remark.
Christina: [Laughs] It's true. Whenever I try to do sexy or lustful, I just laugh. I just don't think that of myself. I had to ask Brittany for some pointers on that [shoot]!