In the season premiere, our favorite divafest, America's Next Top Model (Wednesdays at 8 pm/ET on the CW), staged a photo shoot lampooning the stereotypes of bad model behavior. You know, cell-phone flinging, bulimia, drug taking and the juicy unsavory like. Yet they seem to have forgotten dirty-panty smearing. That's right for those who missed it, this season's überbitch, Monique Calhoun, who was eliminated after missing a photo shoot and not cutting it in previous pix, did that deed on arch rival Melrose Bickerstaff's bed.
TV Guide caught up with Monique after her ousting and asked her, Say what? Why? First off, the 19-year-old Chicago marketing rep wants us to know that it's tough in that model mansion. Like, how could they expect her to get out of the shower after only 10 minutes?! "'I'm a lady,' I said, and I dont know many ladies who take 10-minute showers!" she tells us with indignation. Secondly, she claims, "The show was edited to show all my actions and doings and no one else's." For example, Mo yakked on the phone for two and a half hours only after the other girls, especially Melrose, "disrespected me," she confides. What's more, Melrose started their major-league feud, she insists. "She decided to give me a hard time, so I figured I'll give [her] one." According to Monique, the fashion designer from San Francisco spit on her when coughing, so in retaliation she splattered water from her dripping bathing suit on her. That led, she says, to Monique running around shouting, "She has cooties!" (Was the Paris-Nicole feud ever this much fun?) "It was horseplay," Monique says. "I was just taking it overboard."
We'll say. We asked Top Model executive producer Ken Mok whether a shrink had vetted Monique before she was signed on to the show. "All the girls go through psychological testing," he confirms. "There was no red flag." In fact, he adds, everyone thought Monique was "going to be the sweet girl in the house."
Mok then goes on to say that the producers did sit down with Monique after some girls worried about their physical safety around her. "We said, 'We're not here to edit your behavior, but you might consider taking responsibility for your own actions in terms of the other girls.'" Mo's response: "She kept blaming the other girls," says Mok. "She has no self-awareness of how her behavior affected others."
Did Mok ever ponder not sharing with America the truly gross underwear move? "It was disgusting, but it's what she chose to do. We don't censor. [Besides] we never had a girl do those things." As for Monique's cries of selective editing, Mok scoffs, "If I showed all the footage of what Monique did, it would be 15 times as bad," hinting that we'll see more of her "bizarre behavior" in the upcoming recap show.
If Monique's nasty moves didn't cause her ousting, what does it take to get kicked off the show? "The rule I give the girls from Day 1 is that you can yell at each other and be upset all you want, but the one thing you cannot do is touch or commit a physical act," says Mok. In fact, he reveals that it was Melrose who was almost ejected for pushing Monique in the get-off-the-phone episode. "We looked at what she did several times and decided it was inadvertent."
Despite her complaints, Monique, who plans to head to Japan to pursue a modeling career, doesn't totally deny being the bad girl. "I played my part. I figured I would be the bitch on the show," she admits. "But they made me look immature, and if they would have showed other people doing their dirt, it wouldn't have looked like that."Mok's not worried that life in Modelville will lack juice now that Monique is dust. "There are certainly strong personalities left in the house," he assures us. Monique, though, is confident no one else will ever match up: "For sure, nobody will ever forget me. Ever."