America's Next Top Model eliminated Alexandra "Alex" Agro during The CW's broadcast of the twentieth season's tenth episode last Friday night.
Alex, a 5' 9 1/4" 21-year-old student from Palm City, FL, was eliminated from the competition after she found herself in the bottom two alongside Chris Hernandez, a 6' 1 1/2" 25-year-old doorman and security guard from North Bergen, NJ. Her overall score was 34.50 to Chris' 34.80.
Alex had earned a spot back into the competition after receiving the highest average social media score amongst all the previously-eliminated female models. She participated in all the photo shoots this season in the separate competition for the eliminees and ended up beating Jiana Davis, Bianca "Kanani" Andaluz and Chlea Ramirez.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World via email, Alex talked about her Top Model: Guys & Girls experience. Below is what she had to say.
Reality TV World: Were you shocked to get eliminated right as you re-entered the competition?
Alexandra "Alex" Agro: Of course it was a little hard, I mean you work so hard to get back on, and want it so bad, it's disappointing. My dream of course was to be America's Next Top model, but either way I never look at this competition as the end all! I have so much more for everyone, I have so much more in me. [Tyra Banks] was told NO many times. You have to believe in yourself.
Reality TV World: Do you think you let the pressure of the original competition get to you or do you think you needed another week to get the hang of things again and get comfortable before you could really deliver in a photo shoot?
Alexandra "Alex" Agro: You know coming back into the competition was hard, you want to be perfect. It's almost like I overanalyzed everything and tried too hard during the shoot, instead of letting go and doing exactly what got me back onto the show!!
Reality TV World: You went through such highs and lows on the show -- getting eliminated, re-entering the competition, and then getting ousted almost immediately again. I'm sure you're glad you gained all that experience but it was really emotional for you. Do you kind of wish the first time Tyra eliminated you was it, for good?
Alexandra "Alex" Agro: Absolutely not, I am so grateful for the fans, how cool is it to say that the fans believed in me so much they brought me back out, and I had the highest social media. Regardless of what happens next, this is such a HUGE blessing! Huge.
I was scared to have disappointed the fans, but you know what, they have stuck with me. Top Model isn't the end for me, and I can see they are going to follow me to the top! I have the greatest fans in the world, I just so thankful!
Reality TV World: Does a part of you feel like you worked really hard for little reward or appreciation, I guess? I mean you participated in weeks of photo shoots with the other eliminated models and that's time-consuming.
Alexandra "Alex" Agro: Not at all, I got to build my book and learn a lot on the way back. It's an experience I will never forget, one where I learned a lot about myself, a lot about what I want and don't want, and a lot about have tough skin and always believing in yourself.
Reality TV World: You mentioned in Friday's episode you've had a heart problem for the past year-and-a-half in that it beats really fast and you get dizzy. What exactly is your health condition? Could you elaborate on it a little more?
Alexandra "Alex" Agro: I have a condition called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. It's an excessive heart rate increment upon standing. Also, my resting heart rate is much higher than the normal person. So your heart beats -100 bmp, well for me when I am resting, my heart could have been 115. And as soon as I stand, it would shoot to 130, 140, or 155.
Imagine how that feels. There are certain things that make you feel way worse, one of which is standing in one place for a long period of time. A lot of patients pass out if they do this, we are standing at panel for a good hour, getting lighting correct, getting the correct shots, etc. I also had run out of my medicine.
When you suddenly stop taking medicine that lowers your heart rate, you can have a reverse reaction causing elevated tachycardia, meaning an extremely fast heart rate. The hopeful thing about POTS is you can grow out of it. A lot of young people are affected by it, and for it being such a horrible and at times debilitating condition, I am happy more people are finding out what this is!
Reality TV World: What happened after Friday's show finished filming? Did producers take you to the hospital or phone your family or something like that, and how long did it take you to recover?
Alexandra "Alex" Agro: We went to the hospital, but really what I needed was my medicine. The producers were great and went to extended lengths to get my medicine ASAP.
Reality TV World: You told the cameras that the last time you felt that sick prior to panel, you were hospitalized for a week-and-a-half. What happened back then? What was that experience like for you? You mentioned in Friday's episode it was a very scary time.
Alexandra "Alex" Agro: I was in school in Florida and I kept telling my mom I felt so out of breath whenever I stood up. I never felt like I could catch a breath, it was constantly as if I was running a marathon. One day I was at Publix when I wasn't feeling well and I did the blood pressure machine that everyone messes with when they are at the Publix pharmacy.
My heart rate was 135. So I then decided to take my pulse when I stood up, and it would shoot up and race so fast. So I called my mom, she said, "Let's just go to the hospital." I ended up getting admitted. No one could figure out what was wrong with me. I went to specialist after specialist, doctor after doctor, and took test after test.
The only thing they could see was my resting heart was far too high, and when I would sit up and then stand, it would jump sometimes as much as 50 beats. I was petrified.
Imagine how scary it is to have countless doctors sit there and look at you like you have something they have no idea how to fix or what it even is. Finally, my mom had enough, did a ton of research and brought in the right specialist and he diagnosed me with POTs, telling us that a lot of doctors have no idea what this even is!
Reality TV World: How are you treating your health condition going forward? Besides taking certain medications, do you follow specific doctors' orders or anything like that?
Alexandra "Alex" Agro: My doctor is incredible, I am so much better. POTs is also something you can grow out of, and I have felt a lot better lately. I am excited to be standing for this condition. I have received the most touching tweets and emails, this is sort of an invisible illness.
I don't blame people for not knowing really, but it's time POTs patients have a voice, I can't imagine how many kids out there are misdiagnosed because so many doctors do not even know what this is!
Reality TV World: Are you glad you got to rest during panel when you landed in the bottom with Chris Hernandez and your elimination was announced, or do you wish you had been there to experience it firsthand and hear it all for yourself from Tyra? I would think it'd be a relief you didn't have to go through that same moment again.
Alexandra "Alex" Agro: Honestly at that moment, it didn't matter to me. I love Tyra, I love the show, but my health should come first.
Reality TV World: For the "flawsome" photo shoot, you were given wide hips to work. How did you feel about that and do you think you might've done better had you gotten a different flaw -- like on your face or something?
Alexandra "Alex" Agro: Probably. I do not want to make excuses, I should be able to work anything I am given, so really there's nothing to say but obviously the big hips was a little odd for me.
Tyra has lived with her 5head forehead for her entire life. She has learned how to work it, it's a part of her. Kate Upton was born curvy, she's killed it modeling, knowing all her angles and taking incredible shots. I have never had big hips so it was foreign to me.
Reality TV World: Considering your social media scores were the highest of all the previously-eliminated female models, did it surprise you that your social media score was low this time around, at least lower than Chris' score was?
Alexandra "Alex" Agro: The fans didn't like the photo, and that was understandable. Did it suck, yeah, but I didn't feel abandoned by them. It's one bad photo in my career. I'm going to spend the rest of my life taking photos to make it up to them!
Reality TV World: When you re-entered the competition, how did you feel the models still in the running for the title felt about it via the way they treated you? Did you sense some jealousy at all or did they try extra hard to make you feel like you fit in with the group?
Alexandra "Alex" Agro: I love everyone from ANTM, and to be honest, I was surprised how welcoming they were. I will say everyone wasn't as buddy-buddy as when I left. The dynamic had changed. The fewer the people, the more real it felt. These people are trying to take what you want.
Reality TV World: So did you ultimately feel like you fit in with the group of models or did you kind of feel like an outcast? And were you the most bonded with Jeremy Rohmer since you two did all the separate photo shoots together?
Alexandra "Alex" Agro: I didn't feel like an outcast, but I definitely felt like all eyes were on me. Maybe that was part of my problem too. I felt such an overwhelming desire to be PERFECT, because I was the one with the second chance. I definitely was bonded with Jeremy, I love him, and as a matter of fact we just talked yesterday.
Reality TV World: Who did you feel closest to in the house and why?
Alexandra "Alex" Agro: It's funny because now I am closest with [Nina Burns]. We are actually getting an apartment together. When I was in the house though, I bonded with [Don Walls] the most. We have a lot in common, we both were in a relationship so we both knew we weren't trying to just get with each other. He is a hilarious and awesome person.
Reality TV World: Chris has been making waves in the house all season. It seems like everyone loves him and wants to help him, but then there are days when models, like Renee Bhagwandeen for example, admit they can't stand him and he's mean and what not. What was your opinion of him?
Alexandra "Alex" Agro: In the beginning Chris started A LOT of trouble -- even with me. After some time, we all got to know him better, got to know his story and understand where he came from a little more.
He still had moments that people got frustrated with, but he comes from a broken home, he was learning a lot on this show, and I think a lot about letting us love him and letting us have him as part of our group and dysfunctional ANTM family.
PS: Everyone stay tuned! Thank you so much for all your amazing support. ANTM was such an amazing experience, and now I am excited to show you all I have in store! I just booked my first cover of a magazine, am in talks with some major agencies to sign, and I'm working my tail off in NYC. I love you allll and I am so excited to make you so proud! xxxo
To read more from Alex and what she had to say mid-season -- after her first elimination but before she re-entered the competition -- click here.
(Photo credit The CW)
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