Although we're stoked that soft-spoken Naima Mora won the fourth edition of America's Next Top Model, we have to admit that, week in and week out, it was the mischief made by third-place finisher Keenyah Hill that really amused us. One minute the 19-year-old California girl would be knocking the knockout who'd eventually beat her, the next she'd turn on her constant companion, Brittany Brower. Truly, no one was safe around this sharp-tongued stunner. And bless her heart, the only thing she approached with greater hunger than the competition itself was fresh chow on the dinner table. Join us now as TVGuide.com attempts to serve this diva-in-the-making some food for thought.
TVGuide.com: Keenyah, how are you doing? You seemed to take it really hard to have come so close...
Keenyah Hill: Yeah, so close! And then to be just flushed down the toilet was very hard. But I got over it. I'm doing great!
Keenyah: I do agree I got pretty aggressive toward the end, and that was due to the situation. It was so stressful, and we were all getting so close. You have to keep your eyes on the prize! So I don't regret anything I did, because when I was supercompetitive, I ended up winning that [go-see] challenge. I just tried really hard to stay in the competition. TVG: Did you and Brittany eventually kiss and make up?
Keenyah: We sure did. Brittany and I are great friends. We'll probably be great friends forever. It was such a stressful moment every time we got into an argument, but we refused to let those moments define our relationship. TVG: They probably kept you sane.
Keenyah: Yeah, they kept me feeling like a real person. TVG: You two were an odd pair. She is so loud and so obnoxious!
Keenyah: I love Brittany's personality! When we first started, I thought, "I've got to find somebody who is fun and outgoing and matches my personality as close as I can find." And Brittany came in, full of energy and life! That's something I think keeps you happy in a competition, as opposed to someone who is very quiet and mysterious. TVG: Or fragile like poor Kahlen Rondot, who cried the whole time you and Brittany were going at it.
Keenyah: [Laughs] Yeah. Going into something as emotionally grinding as the show is, there are certain things that are going to happen, and you just have to deal with it. Everything's not going to be peachy-keen all the time. TVG: Indeed! Brittany nearly got you eaten by lions!
Keenyah: [Laughs] Oh, man, I really thought that I was going to be dinner that night! It was very, very scary, but once I got to the other side of that gate [at the animal preserve], I thought, "Wow, that was a lot of fun!" Before the show, the closest I had gotten to any safari was watching The Lion King, so I enjoyed it a whole lot. TVG: It was surprising that when a male model got a little too "friendly" during a shoot, you didn't just take his head off and be done with it.
Keenyah: I tried to be very professional and also keep my head on tight, because I can be criticized for having a bad picture and I didn't want it to be because of someone who was going to be in the shot with me. So I had to try to let him know that I was uncomfortable while being as professional as I could be, and luckily I was able to get a good shot. TVG: Were you surprised that Mr. Jay didn't take him aside and say, "Hands off, bubba!"?
Keenyah: No, because obviously, this is just a humongous test for what will happen in the real world. And of course, there are going to be tons of other male models who are going to be groping and, you know, cross that line. So this just prepared me for my future. And I have no problem with Jay doing exactly what he did. TVG: Which was more embarrassing — having to pose as an elephant or being caught on tape stuffing your face?
Keenyah: I would have to say being caught on tape eating so much, because I pulled off the elephant look very nicely, I think! But I definitely thought that each time America saw me eating, everyone was thinking, "Oh, she's overeating!" But it was so stressful that I wasn't disciplined in my food habits. Now I'm exercising and eating right, which is key. TVG: You never thought, "To hell with it! Gimme another fry; I'm just gonna be a plus-size model!"?
Keenyah: No. Even during the elephant shoot, I thought, "Hey, an elephant is going to be an elephant. But if I'm going to be a supermodel and an elephant at the same time, I'm going to be the hottest elephant I can be!"