My interview with Eugena took place right after my interview with Melrose. She was really easy to talk to! Check out my interview with her and see how she feels about Melrose now, why she would never do Top Model again, and whether she was more happy about CariDee winning or Melrose losing...
Eugena: Hello, Hi!
Me: Hi Eugena!
Eugena: How are you?
Me: I'm good! How are you?
Eugena: I'm fine.
Me: Well first, congratulations on making it to the top 3, I was pulling for you! I wanted you to win.
Eugena: (Laughs) Oh thank you!
Me: Did you expect to make it as far as you did?
Eugena: Um, I came into the competition expecting to make it as far as I did. You know, I didn't want to go on there and only make it halfway. I wanted to do my best and make it to the top so, yeah. I was happy with the results.
Me: I mean, top 3, people are certainly gonna remember you.
Eugena: Yeah! You know if I didn't win, I wanted to get top 3, so I'm happy that I got that far you know?
Me: So you're from Southern California right?
Eugena: Yes I am!
Me: What part are you from?
Eugena: I grew up in Palmdale, but right now I live just outside of Los Angeles, around Valencia, where Six Flags is.
Me: Do you visit L.A. often?
Eugena: Yes, I do! There's nothing else to do around where I live!
Me: Ok, let's talk about Top Model. You and CariDee wanted to be the last 2 standing, but when you were eliminated she told you that she would win it for you. How excited were you when she finally won?
Eugena: I was very excited for CariDee when she won because she wanted it so badly! Cari was so passionate about it, this was her dream and she really tried really hard, I really think that she is the best woman for the job! She deserves it and I'm happy for the outcome with her, I'm happy for her winning.
Me: Ok, honest question, this is a "keeping it real" kinda question if you will, (Eugena: I'm gonna keep it real!) ok, were you more excited that CariDee won or that Melrose lost?
Eugena: (Laughs again) That is a very real question! I think that at the time I was more excited that Melrose lost because we weren't getting along so good.
Me: Well I spoke with her earlier and she told me that you guys have actually made up and become friends?
Eugena: Oh yeah! We've made up now! I mean outside of the competition, outside of like, all the "cut-throatness" and all that mess, you know, we're friends, we're cool. But inside of the competition, all I wanted was for her NOT to win, and I think that Melrose and I had a big misunderstanding of each other. We kind of had a love/hate relationship because she wanted to win, and I wanted to win and we are both fiercely competitive people. We're almost the same type of person, and when you get two of the same type of people in one room for so long, they start "having at it", and that's what happened.
Me: Well that answers my next question because I was gonna ask if you still had any lingering animosity towards her, and you obviously don't.
Eugena: No. Not at all.
Me: What about Monique? Because she started off, with you at least, on the wrong foot when she took your bed in episode 1. But you seemed to have forgiven her and kinda remained friends with her until her elimination.
Eugena: Yeah, what happened was, and I'm gonna be real here, is that Monique and I didn't like each other because we thought we looked the same. So we were like, two dark-skinned black girls looking the same? "I don't like her!" and that's basically what it was, to be honest. And then she took my bed, and that made it even worse! But I think that outside of all the drama, and outside of all the trouble that Monique got into, she's a cool person and she's really genuine, so I think that's what "buried the hatchet" between us. And as for forgiving her, I guess I just wanted to look at her [Monique] for who she was, and not be so apart of all the hype. I just didn't like how everybody was banded against her, because it was just weird how all of a sudden everybody hated her when in the beginning they loved her more than they loved me!
Me: So she was just kind of defending herself then?
Eugena: Yeah, yeah, she was totally defending herself, so I was like, "oh that's not cool" the way everybody was just on her. So I just kinda decided that I didn't want to have any enemies, not like that, so we became friends.
Me: Which was a very adult attitude to take.
Eugena: Right! I was just trying to be adult about it.
Me: Ok, so you said after you were eliminated that you wished that your work could have spoken for itself, instead of you having to actually say it. And I know exactly what you meant by that, because I think that you and I have some of the same personality traits when it comes to that type of thing, but why don't you explain what you meant by that.
Eugena: Well, for me, I hold a lot of things in. And I know that when I'm working, and when I'm going for something and when I have goals, I'm like "I wanna do it!" I just wanna show people that I can do it, rather than saying, "Oh I want it so bad!" you know what I'm saying? I'm like, you should know that I'm passionate about it by seeing my passion week after week! Especially after you the judges had dumped on me and talked down to me more than anybody else, but I'm still here and I'm still trying and I'm still doing it! So I'm like, that's how you should know that I'm passionate about something, but don't sit here and expect me to cry in front of you and be all emotional and beg to stay here, when you can see that I still want to be here!
Me: Or be forced to ACT OVERLY EXCITED when it would clearly come off as phony!
Eugena: EXACTLY! Because I'm just not gonna do that!
Me: Well, like I said, we're the same way right there. Ok, explain to me what "dead eyes" are exactly (Eugena laughs really hard...) because Tyra and the judges seemed to pin that on you everytime you were at panel. (Eugena: Uh-huh...)
Eugena: Girl, I don't even know what "dead eyes" are to tell you the truth! I mean I could say that on at least, one... maybe two photo shoots, I had "dead eyes". But I know that right after Tyra told me that, because I'm not hard-headed, I'm not gonna sit there and have her tell me that I have "dead eyes" one time and then keep doing it over and over again. After she told me that the first time, I was working on it. And I guess "dead eyes" is not showing feeling in your eyes and being blank. So I made it a point every single photo shoot not to quote/unquote have "dead eyes", but it just seemed to come off like that sometimes, so I don't know.
Me: I guess that's something internal... I don't even know how to explain it, like I don't begin to know how you would fix something like that.
Eugena: I know right!? I mean Tyra told me that I had to "feel" it and you know, it had to start from within, like if I was feeling angry, then I needed to internalize that anger and have it come out into my face. So I guess I just wasn't the best at internalizing my emotions I guess.
Me: Yeah, well, that all sounds good in theory, but really, how easy is it to execute something like that? (Euguena: Right.) Well, did you have a favorite challenge or a favorite photo?
Eugena: My favorite challenge was... the dancing challenge.
Me: Well yeah, you looked really natural.
Eugena: Oh thank you! That was my favorite one because it was like a huge load off! Because most of the time, we were stuck in this confined, sequestered, and stressful situation, and then they were like, "You guys get to dance!" and I love to dance! So I felt pretty rejuvenated after that challenge. It was very freeing.
Me: So it was like an outlet.
Eugena: Yes! It was exactly like an outlet!
Me: So what about your favorite photo?
Eugena: My favorite photo was the CoverGirl photoshoot, you know why? (Me: Why?) Because, for all of our photo shoots, there was always a "catch", there was always something about the shoot to make us uncomfortable, or there was always something put into the shoot to make us look crazy, or we had to wear all kinds of wild and outrageous makeup and hair. Like we just had to do all of these outrageous things still to look pretty doing it! But with the CoverGirl photoshoot, we got to actually sit and model and focus and concentrate, and look beautiful and be fresh and be ourselves and I loved that about that shoot. You know that shoot, kind of felt like "real" modeling. So that's why that was my favorite one.
Me: Well I have to tell you, I think that the CoverGirl photo was your absolute best photo of the season. Absolutely stunning. I think out of the three, [Yours, Melrose, and Caridee's] that yours was the best.
Eugena: Oh, thank you!
Me: So, overall, would you say that being on Top Model was a good experience for you?
Eugena: Yes. I'd say that, now I would never do it again, but I am certainly thankful for the experience, you know what I'm saying? I'm just being real! But I am thankful that I had that experience just because breaking into the modeling industry is so tough, but being in the Top Model competition, I got a really good head start. You know, my face is out there and it'll be just a little bit easier than it was before to break into the industry.
Me: Right, that's one less door that you have to pry open. (Eugena: Exactly.) So are you still in touch with CariDee and any of the other girls from the show?
Eugena: Um, yeah I talk to CariDee and I talk to Brooke, and Jaeda. Those are the three that I'm still in touch with the most.
Me: Did you know that people were making comparisons between you and actress Jill Marie Jones from the TV show "Girlfriends"? (Eugena laughs again..) People were saying that you looked like her. Do you think you look like her?
Eugena: (Still laughing) Um, you know what, I look like everybody! Everybody is always telling me that I look like everybody! Lauren Hill, Naomi Campbell, Jill Marie Jones, everybody!
Me: You do kinda look like her [Jill Marie Jones] though.
Eugena: That's because our lips are huge!
Me: Well I think she's a really pretty girl, and the two of you do have a lot of the same features.
Eugena: Well, thank you. Actually Monique was the first one to tell me that I looked like her [Jill Marie Jones].
Me: So, what are your plans now that the show is over?
Eugena: Well now that we are able to work, I'm going to start working! I'm gonna start pursuing it now. You know, I'm not gonna give up, I'm not gonna waste this opportunity that I've been given. So definitely, as of tomorrow, when we're all clear from the show, I'm gonna definitely hit the pavement and start working!
Me: Great! Well on to my fun questions! And since you are from SoCal, I'm going to center my questions around that. (Eugena: Alright!)
Me: The Beverly Center or The Grove (for shopping in Los Angeles).
Eugena: I'm gonna say The Beverly Center, because I've never been to the Grove.
Eugena: I've never been! One time I was looking for it and I got so lost, so I just said forget it.
Me: Ok, Fatburger or Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles?
Eugena: Roscoe's! Definitely Roscoe's.
Me: That's the one I would have chosen! Ok, if you had the choice, where would you rather live, Beverly Hills or the Hollywood Hills?
Eugena: Um, I would say... hmm... well they're so congested, like Rodeo Drive and the Wilshire area is so busy...
Me: Well if you had the choice Eugena, like if money was no object.
Eugena: Ok, if money was no object, I'd say Beverly Hills. You know, for the privacy.
Me: Ok, well Eugena, you were fun to talk to! I appreciate you talking to me and I wish you nothing but the best in the future!
Eugena: Well thank you!