Finally! I interviewed all three girls earlier today, and to say that they were "a little chatty" would be a serious under statement. I actually interviewed Melrose first, and let me tell ya, she had lots to say. Check out my interview with her below, and find out who she felt closest to in the house, the real deal between her and Eugena, and on why she feels she didn't really lose to CariDee...
Me: Hi Melrose! How are you?
Melrose: Good how are you?
Me: It's actually "Melissa Rose" right? (Melrose: Yeah) Tell me again why you changed your name?
Melrose: Umm, I think it fits me more at this point in my life, actually I changed it because, when I first started college and working in the fashion industry, I wanted people to remember my name, and people were just not remembering Melissa.
Me: Well congratulations on making it to the final 2! That's a huge accomplishment!
Melrose: Well thank you so much, I appreciate that.
Me: So you're from San Francisco, right?
Melrose: I'm actually from Michigan, they represented me totally wrong there, but I went to college in San Francisco and that's where I tried out [for Top Model]too.
Me: Oh ok, so where did you go to school?
Melrose: I went to the Art Institute of San Francisco to get my degree in Fashion Design.
Me: Oh wow, I actually finished school in California myself, it was a few years back at FIDM in Los Angeles, are you familiar with that school?
Melrose: Yeah, I know exactly where that is, it's a great school.
Me: Did you enjoy going to school there?
Melrose: I did, but I thought going to school in San Francisco for Fashion was pretty much the worst place ever because San Francisco is a "tech" city, it's not really a fashion capital. It's an artistic place, don't get me wrong, but there's just not a lot of fashion flowing through there.
Me: Ok, so Melrose, let's talk about you, would you consider yourself a "Know-it-all"? And do you think that the other girls saw you that way?
Melrose: Um, maybe, but I think more than that I just think I have a little more life in me than the other girls, I've been around longer you know? I think people mistake a "know-it-all" for a strong-willed person who's competing, and it was a competition. I'm very strong willed and I do have a stubborn side, and sometimes, I can have a good run of B.S.! But by no means do I think I know everything.
Me: So do you think that the show portrayed you accurately?
Melrose: I don't know, you know, because I can't say that "oh it wasn't me" because it was me, but the show was edited, and I never knew the power of editing until I watched the show, and that's when I realized how much the show wasn't portrayed accurately. And not just me, but some of the events they portrayed, didn't happen the way that they portrayed them. And some of the other girls were being portrayed wrong too.
Me: Yeah, editing can spin a situation.
Melrose: And they totally spinned it, for sure. And I don't blame them, you know, they have to get their ratings and that's ok, the only thing that matters is that I know who I am, and my friends and family know who I am. If people think they know me from watching an edited 12 hours of television, that's their perogative, but they don't really know me.
Me: You said on the show a couple times that you were a perfectionist.
Melrose: Yeah, I definitely have that streak running through me. I get that from my dad. He was a complete perfectionist, when it came to his art. And it's not that I can't look bad, it's just that if I'm gonna do something, I'm going to put all my energy out there for it. I want it to be right and I want it to be organized and I want it to represent me because I am those things. So I do have a little bit of controlling in me... for situations that I'm in, so it's definitely been a challenge being a model you know, and a designer for other people, just being under other people's control and other people's guidance is a little hard for me.
Me: You won like the most Top Model challenges this season didn't you? (Melrose: Yeah) Well do you think that the fact that you were dominating the challenges maybe made the other girls a little "salty" towards you?
Melrose: Yeah, I definitely think that that had a role in it, and I think that, you know, being the challenge winner over and over again frustrated the girls and they didn't want to deal with somebody that was kicking their butts you know what I mean? And I didn't really expect anybody who was 18 years old and living with their parents their whole life to know how to treat other people when they're put in such a weird living situation. But what I do expect from people is the same respect that I give to them and oftentimes, I just didn't feel that I was getting that. Which was hard, because it was like, "Oh she won again" and they were like, jealous, and whenever anybody else won something, I really was genuinely happy for them. Like I'm happy for Cari and I wish her nothing but the best, you know, but I can't say that she would feel the same way about me if I had won. So, it's just hard, knowing that other people have different intentions. And that was the big realization that I had, that not everybody liked me! And I just have to accept that.
Me: Ok, let's talk about the Covergirl challenge, because you seemed more nervous than I had seen you before on other challenges, why was that you think?
Melrose: I think what happened at CoverGirl, and by the way, it wasn't portrayed really the way that it happened. But I think that the real deal was... ok, you have to understand that we had traveled across the world, I had not had one moment of privacy, except for when I was sleeping and we still had a camera in our face. And on top of that, we're living under these crazy conditions. So I think at that point in the competition I was just tired. I was sick of just trying to be "on" all the time and competing. We even took a drive out into the country while we were in Spain, and it was really beautiful and I was trying to enjoy it, but at the same time, we were still in a competition, and I knew that both of these girls wanted to kick my ass! And so, I was just feeling more and more alone as more girls would leave. Like especially the twins because as much as it may have come off that the twins and I weren't close, I really respected them, and I really thought that they had a lot of class. Anytime that they had a problem with me, it was said to my face. And when someone was talking about me, like when Cari and Eugena would talk about me, I knew it, and it hurt, because it was like they didn't have the courage to say it to my face. The twins made me grow by being real with me. Whereas when I got to the final 3, I didn't feel I was growing that much from the other girls in the house because I felt like they were being fake to me. And as far as the CoverGirl commercial, I actually did my commercial first, they portrayed me doing it third, but I actually did mine first, and we were getting all the kinks out on my turn. So nothing was as it seemed. It was reality TV, but it's not real.
Me: Well I know that you and Eugena had issues, and a couple times, she did tell you, to your face, that she thought that you were being fake.
Melrose: Um, well it was hard with Eugena, because I really like Eugena, and since the show's been over, I've been hanging out with her. It's the first time I've seen her since the show ended, and I've really learned to like her. I felt like in the beginning of the competition, she just wasn't open to meeting me and knowing who I was as a person and just getting to know that I did have things that I could relate to her on. I mean, we all have things in common, every single human has something in common with another person. So toward the end of the competition, after we did the swimming pool challenge, I actually felt kind of close to her. And it felt like a bit of a betrayal to watch it on the show, to see her saying things like "oh she's a backstabbing whatever" but at the same time, you have to remember, that this was a competition and everybody is, to some extent, just trying their best to win. And yes, there was conflict between her and I on the show, but right now, we're friends. I would actually go to the extent and say that I want her [Eugena] to be my friend. And it's cool to know that coming out of this competition that she is someone who I would want to wear my clothes and model for me. I mean because, you could learn to like people, you could learn to love people, it's not like if you have a problem with somebody that it'll never go away. You can resolve your issues and move forward and that's what being an adult is all about.
Me: So true. So at the end, when it came down to you and CariDee, were you surprised when you didn't see your photo up there?
Melrose: Yeah, it was weird that it was CariDee and I, because I just felt, standing side by side with Eugena and standing side by side with CariDee, I felt more at competition with Eugena. I just felt like Eugena was more on the fashion level that I was on. I felt CariDee's look was very commercial. I just never really felt at full competition with CariDee, which is weird. And I still don't feel like I lost to her. Like, we're two totally different people, and she can be America's Next Top Model, but I also feel like I'm gonna come out of this with a lot of great opportunities, and I got everything out of the show that I wanted. And being second, honestly, is exactly where I wanna be. Because I'm not like committed to the show anymore, so I'm happy to be on my own two feet again. I have a lot of great advisors, friends and family that will help me. So, I don't feel alone, I don't feel like a loser, and standing next to CariDee, you know, I felt when we were standing there that we could both be top models, even though Tyra was like, "there can only be one" there's two of us standing here and there's two of us with drive and beauty and we're both gonna succeed, I know we are. Maybe I didn't win the whole competition, but I felt like I was winning the all the way along, you know. I didn't feel at the end like I lost.
Me: Ok, so what are your feelings about the show (Top Model) do you think the show was a great opportunity? Melrose: Yes, I do.
Me: And how do you feel about Tyra?
Melrose: I think Tyra is a very intelligent and beautiful woman, she's made a great career for herself, and at the end of the day, this is a business, you know? And she's [Tyra] creating business for us, and I really respect her for opening the door for me. She's given me great exposure, and I just really respect what she's doing. I really am greatful for what's she's already done for me you know? I just thought Tyra was fierce. That's a fierce female right there! And I felt the same way about Atoosa (Editor for Seventeen Magazine), they're both fierce women and they're both women I aspire to be like.
Me: What are your plans now that the show is done?
Melrose: Well now, I am designing in L.A. for a company called Ishkadada. They're brand new, and they're amazing! They are very innovative and versatile, they use brilliant and beautiful fabrics, and they're all on the forefront of technology. It's a great company, I'm happy to be a part of a start up company because I have a say, and I can be more creatively expressive, which is the only way I want to design right now, because my real dream for my 20's is to be a successful model in the high fashion industry. So I'm going to New York, I'll be modeling in New York, I wanna do runway, I wanna do print, I wanna do everything! But I'm also very open to acting, hosting and also to designing. So I have a lot on my plate, but my real drive right now is to model because it there's an expiration date on it.
Me: Exactly, so are you going to keep the blonde hair?
Melrose: You know what, I love the blonde! That's the best thing Tyra did for me, so I'm gonna keep it because I think it photographs really well with my face, and it makes me feel young and fun and it really complements me. That's one thing that I got out of the show that I really love! I love my blonde hair!
[PR Rep. kindly suggests that we need to wrap it up...]
Me: Ok, well thanks Melrose for taking time out to talk to me! (Melrose: Thank YOU for talking to me!) well good luck to you in the future!
Melrose: Thanks! And you have a beautiful day!