Before America's Next Top Model kicks another Gisele Bundchen wannabe off the runway tonight (8 pm/ET on UPN), TVGuide.com wants — no, make that needs — to know why last week's eliminee, Noelle Staggers, was kicked to the curb. The 20-year-old realtor's assistant is cute as a button, has a personality that sparkles and, unlike some of her competitors, she has neither a disfiguring disease nor an inability to take a decent photo. What gives? Let's ask her!
TVGuide.com: What gives?
Noelle Staggers: I think I just didn't fit the model profile that they want to market — I'm short, you know, for the industry.
Noelle: Well, I'm 5-foot-8, but in modeling... yeah, that is pint-size. My coworkers all said, "We're so used to seeing you as tall, but on TV, you look so tiny compared to the other girls!" [I also think I got cut because] I'm kind of bubbly, sarcastic and goofy — very "girl next door." TVG: I would buy lipstick from the girl next door. Um, if I wore lipstick.
Noelle: [Laughs] I know. But I believe everything happens for a reason. TVG: Have you figured out the reason this happened yet?
Noelle: Well, soon, I hope. Cross our fingers, right? TVG: Since judge Janice Dickinson said she didn't see a model when she looked at you, should we refer her to a good optometrist?
Noelle: I don't know about that. Based on the feedback I got during the semifinals, she said that I had that star quality... that I was very outgoing in any situation. I'm not saying I'm ugly, but I think that definitely [helped me] in the beginning. TVG: When you wore flip-flops to evaluation, the panel, well, flipped. Will you ever be able to look at them quite the same way again?
Noelle: Of course! I don't hold grudges. I really don't. They did what they thought was the best move they could make for the show. That's not going to hinder my being successful in the business. TVG: I meant "Will you ever be able to look at flip-flops the same way again?" But anyway... Your biggest stumbling block seemed to me to be how much you missed your son. How old is he?
Noelle: He just turned 2. He's a handful! I missed a lot of the first-word type stuff [while competing on Top Model]. TVG: Really? What was his first word?
Noelle: His first word actually was cookie! The way to a man's heart is through his stomach. TVG: I know you did the show largely to be able to support your little boy, but did you ever consider instead just enrolling in college so you could stay in the same town as him?
Noelle: Well, college has never been an option for me... and I've never been a desk-type person. I mean, I love my job, and I'm not saying I'm leaving anytime soon, but I definitely belong in entertainment. I've known that since god knows when! TVG: Now that you're free to begin pursuing that career, what would you like to do, ideally?
Noelle: A little bit of everything. I definitely want to do more modeling, but I also want to get into some acting, because that's something I've done since I was real small. I'm a Law & Order: SVU fan, so I would be stoked if [a guest gig] ever happened. Oh, my god! TVG: Let's talk a little about the big impetigo scare.
Noelle: Oh, good lord. TVG: Your son has had to have come home with some freaky rashes before, and if he hasn't, brace yourself, 'cause he's gonna. So don't you think you should have been a little mellower about Michelle's blemishes?
Noelle: I think that, because of the bubble environment we were living in, that definitely helped escalate the situation. As you could tell, our only resource for news outside the house was our parents, and when all of our parents are telling us about this [potentially fatal, flesh-eating bacterial] thing that was on the news, that just kind of escalated everything. And yeah, I totally know I have a big mouth. I'm not even trying to deny it, actually! [Laughs] But you know, I think anyone would have reacted that way in that situation. I mean, you see a person and their skin starts to fall off... it's just really kind of creepy. TVG: Point taken. No makeovers that day.
Noelle: Exactly! No sleepovers, no doing each other's hair or anything. TVG: Do you think that because Michelle did develop this problem, she got a sympathy pass from the judges?
Noelle: I've tried not to read too much into it, you know? If I sit there and try to rack my brain forever about why I went and someone else didn't, it's just going to drive me crazy. There's really no point in wondering. TVG: So I shouldn't bother asking if you think the judges kept Lluvy instead of you because she reminds them of their pet goldfish?
Noelle: [Laughs] I don't know! I think that they saw the potential in her exotic looks, and that played a big part in it. TVG: Will you get together with the girls someday and eat everything you couldn't on the show?
Noelle: Absolutely. But I always eat everything I want! Are you kidding me? I've never been a dieter. Never, ever. If I want a Big Mac, I'll eat it. TVG: Noelle, I'm sorry to inform you that you are no longer in the running towards becoming my favorite America's Next Top Model contestant. [Grumbles] Never been a dieter... Hmmph!