Claire Unabia, <EM>America's Next Top Model</EM> Claire Unabia, America's Next Top Model

For weeks, I'd thought of America's Next Top Model (Wednesday at 8 pm/ET, the CW) knockout Claire Unabia not only as the one to beat, but also as a pretty hip chick, a poised earth-mother type who even managed to rock a Susan Powter hairdon't. And since she kept winning CoverGirl of the Week, it seemed that you guys were right there with me. But then came her out-of-nowhere refusal to let shy Aimee shower in private, followed by her tit-for-tat retaliation against obnoxious Dominique. What the...!? Needless to say, when TVGuide.com rang up the 24-year-old, that was exactly the question we couldn't wait to ask!

TVGuide.com: Given the fact that you hadn't taken a bad picture, were you surprised that the judges instead kept Lauren?
Claire Unabia:
I wasn't because she'd had such good pictures, and the panel really loves her. Though the possibility of her winning seems really small since her walk is not that great.

TVGuide.com: That's being very kind.
Claire:
[Laughs] I think it's really just that they like her. Not personally, but as a model, I don't think they're willing to let her go just yet.

TVGuide.com: It's gotta be tough to stand there and not slug Tyra Banks when she's telling you, "You know, there's more to modeling than just being fierce."
Claire:
I think they felt that I just wasn't improving enough. Their impression of me had stayed kind of at one mediocre plateau that I got to, at least in their eyes.

TVGuide.com: I felt like they had it in for you ever since the country photo.
Claire: The hokey outfit made me think, "OK, I should be really hokey." But that's not really modelesque. So I was asking them what they wanted me to do, and they said, "Be tongue in cheek," and it really confused me. That's why I was doing more of these poses that Mr. J said were Dior poses. I thought that was what they wanted.

TVGuide.com: I think you're going to go down in Top Model history for several things. One is announcing that you wanted to be an environmental warrior. So, what did you do today for the environment?
Claire:
Oh, gosh, I don't know if I should say that! But I didn't flush my toilet every time I went to the bathroom.

TVGuide.com: Somewhere Sheryl Crow is smiling.
Claire: And I didn't eat any meat, and I filled up my same bottle of water. I'm a little obsessive.

TVGuide.com: Any regrets at all about announcing that you were drinking your breast milk? That clip will get replayed on the show forever!
Claire: I don't regret that. I'm a weirdo. I like people knowing that I'm a little off-base and random sometimes.

TVGuide.com: Were there any embarrassing breast-milk-related incidents we didn't see on the show?
Claire: One of the best breast-milk things that the audience did not get to see was when Katarzyna drank a little bit of it. It was in the palm of her hand and she licked it up like a little kitty cat. It was just priceless.

TVGuide.com: Unlike some of the moms they've had on the show in the past, you really kept yourself together. Or did they not show your breakdowns?
Claire:
Me going off on Dominique and being cruel to her was my breakdown. I was missing [my daughter] so much, [Dominique's] alarm kept going off, and the food we were eating was terrible. I just lost it.

TVGuide.com: I did want to ask you about that, because for most of the show, you seemed very levelheaded and likable. But when the stuff with Dominique and Aimee happened, I was like, "Who is that?!"
Claire: There were other times that I probably wasn't so likable, but they showed all the really nice things. So when they showed that episode, it was such a shocker. I can be mean sometimes. With Dominique, it was just the last straw, and I treated her like the dirt that I felt she was acting like at the time.

TVGuide.com: On to the Aimee/shower fracas. If there were other bathrooms, why not just use one of those?
Claire:
Watching that over, it was just terrible! What they don't show you is that we had gone to dinner and we'd had a few drinks. Of course, you put alcohol in the mix and… well, all the other bathrooms were taken. I had to pee really bad because I'd been drinking. After watching it on air, I can't believe that I snapped at her. It was definitely the alcohol talking.

TVGuide.com: So was the photo shoot where you wore meat as gross for you to do as it was for me to watch? I'm a vegetarian, and, um, ick!
Claire: I am a piscatarian, so I eat fish and veggies, but it was really gross. I had to make myself look at it as art, and for art, there have to be sacrifices. I just had to get over it. It was disgusting and unsanitary and very wasteful, but modeling and TV is all very wasteful.

TVGuide.com: TV modeling and humanitarianism don't exactly go hand in hand. That's probably why the green season lasted one cycle.
Claire: That's why I had this new idea of the organic model. Modeling is almost contradictory to being environmentally friendly. Materialism and consumerism are not good for the earth. So I want to try to turn myself into a completely organic model.

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