Below, Heather, one of four girls eliminated on this week’s episodes of Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch, talks Tara’s antagonism, Chad’s attempt to contact her after the show and why she regrets baring her soul on reality TV.
How was your time on the show?
It was interesting? Can I use that word?
Sure. What was interesting about it?
It was a different experience to live in a house with 17 girls. You don’t really get to be the person you really are because of all the restrictions that we have, being in the house and because it is a show. It takes a while to get comfortable, and by the time you do, the show’s almost over.
If you hadn’t had those restrictions, what would you have done differently?
I just felt like a kid in time out, being in the house the whole time and only getting to leave when they wanted us to. If that wasn’t the case, I probably would have been more comfortable. We could have gone to the store or the nail salon or the hair salon. I probably would have gotten into the groove of things easier.
What did you think of your overall portrayal?
They portrayed me as very quiet. I’m not super loud and as obnoxious as some of the girls, but they portrayed me as super quiet, very desperate and kind of ditzy like, “Um…uh…” That’s not really my personality, but it is what it is.
What are your thoughts on Tara? It seemed like she was after you, perhaps by virtue of the fact that you were both on the same date.
I didn’t care for her too much. I honestly thought she was fake from the jump. I did think she was funny, but after maybe four or five days, that was old. She was super fake. We never got to see how rude she was because that was mostly in the interviews. She didn’t come out as rude to anyone’s face, at least that I saw, until she did that to me on the date. That’s why I was so caught off guard. The whole time, she was acting like she didn’t want to be there, and then she just flipped and attacked somebody over Chad. It was like, “Where is this coming from?” In the house, that’s not how she was acting at all.
Were you legitimately offended by her praying that you be struck by lightning?
No. I was just thinking it was disrespectful, especially for people who are religious. I couldn’t believe that she took it there.
What about Tara using your story about your trust issues with men as “ammunition”?
In the game, I guess it was ammunition, but it’s not even like she opened up. I feel that she probably has more issues than anybody in the house. That’s why she’s so cold and closed up. I don’t think she’s funny just to be fun; I feel like she’s funny to cover up and hide something. She’s probably more broken and tainted than anybody in the house, she just hides it really well. I wish I could have seen what she said in her interviews before I left the show, because I probably would have carried out my actions a little differently.
Tara called you “broken.” Do you feel like a broken person?
No. I feel like I went through things in my life that changed the way I view certain things, but I don’t feel broken at all. If I was broken, I would probably be a person who couldn’t move on with her life and who couldn’t have relationships or any kind of steady people in my life. And that’s not the case at all.
Are you happy that you shared your story on TV?
No. The only reason I said so much was that I thought Chad would say, “Oh, I feel so much closer to you now.” He liked how Laurice was close with her grandmother. But then they took certain parts of my story and edited them together to make me sound like this super depressing person. I was a little offended by that, but I understand the nature of the show. I think I shouldn’t have been so open, because Chad’s not that open-minded. He kind of had his mind made up, so there was no point in me trying to get attention like that.
It is interesting that you were still willing to fight for him at that point, though. Were you surprised to be eliminated?
I knew he liked Tara, and not only that, but her personality was good for the show. I felt like elimination was a given going up against her. The only thing I felt that might have kept me there was because Tara was being fake, and that was very obvious.
What do you think of Chad now?
I don’t know. He tried to contact me after the show, and I just laughed at him. Like, “What are you calling me for? Why are you texting me?” I was with Courtney after we were eliminated, in L.A. I kind of feel like he made me seem worse than anybody. Tara made me look bad, but he could have been more of a gentleman about it. If someone’s trying to open up and connect with you and you just shut them down and say they’re broken, it’s like, OK, whatever, forget it. I don’t really respect his opinion anymore. I’m sure he’s still a nice, funny guy, but I don’t respect what he has to say, because he’s contradicting himself.
He called you “fragile but deep.” Is that a fair assessment?
It’s OK. I don’t think it’s completely wrong or right. I’m fragile in the sense that I’m very cautious with what I do, and that’s true, I am very deep. There’s, like, a lot to me. A lot of people are attracted to me because of how deep and real I am.
Do you think your depth came through on the show?
Not at all. They tried to put everything about me in the one episode that I got eliminated in. You didn’t see nothing about me till then. You didn’t get to see how I really was, and conversations I had weren’t show.
As you watched the show, were you disappointed to see, week after week, that you were barely a presence?
It’s disappointing in the sense that I gave up a lot to go on the show. I understand that it was a lot of girls to fit into one hour and a lot of editing had to be done, but I do feel that people watch TV for not only drama, but there’s pretty girls in the house that they didn’t show none of. There’s girls in the house that people watch the show to watch, and they’re not showing that at all. They could have done a better done editing, showing a better variety of things that were going on.
Do you feel like you wasted your time doing the show?
I’m happy I did it. I was a good experience, and it was a good experience for things to come in my life. The most amazing thing was watching myself speak on TV. You can almost fix ways you’re being portrayed in everyday life, when you’re not conscious of how you act and talk. It’s a good way to open up and understand yourself a little more, watching yourself and listening to yourself. That’s probably the best reason I went on the show, not because it was an amazing experience and I got to make a bunch of friends. Nothing like that. I got to learn more about myself.
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