• Pony Spotlight #8 - Twist (with Alexandra Carter Interview!)

    Greetings, everyone! TheSlorg here with another Pony Spotlight.

    Last week was the first time we featured a filly when we highlighted Diamond Tiara. This week continues the youth trend as we unexpectedly received an overwhelming number of votes for another filly. Take the stage, Twist. This is your week!

    Additionally, Twist's voice actress, Alexandra Carter, was kind enough to lend us a few moments for an interview. What's her take on Twist, and what would she like to say to you? Find out below the break!

    Name: Twist
    Aliases: Twist-a-loo, Peppermint Twist
    Cutie Mark: Candy canes twisted into a heart shape
    Appearances: 17 episodes
    Speaking roles: 2
    Random fact: Move over, Lyra! Twist can be seen slouching at her desk in a very human-like manner in the opening seconds of Call of the Cutie.


    What a Twist!

    Seriously though, there are some interesting little coincidences to Twist if you have a close look. Twist has actually appeared in just one less episode than Diamond Tiara. Like Diamond Tiara last week, Twist was first introduced in Call of the Cutie, where she also had her first speaking role. She wasn't created as a background pony, but as a character who was central to the episode's story. As a blank flank, she was invited along with Apple Bloom to Diamond Tiara's cute-ceañera in the hopes that she would show up so that Diamond and her friend, Silver, would get to pick on her.

    But forgetting about all that for a moment, in the opening seconds of Call of the Cutie, Twist can be seen slouching at her desk, 'elbows' propped up, in a very human-like manner. This was a mere five episodes after Lyra Heartstrings did it in Dragonshy. Admittedly, this can only be seen for a couple seconds, but the fandom missed an opportunity here. Twist could have been Lyra's little human-seeking sidekick. Then again, sitting upright does not a human-obsession make! It is proof that Lyra wasn't the only one who sat like that early on in the show, though.

    Back on topic, Twist's personality is made pretty obvious early in the episode. When the school bell rings, she leaps down the school steps with a grin on her face, contrasting Apple Bloom's glum look. She then offers Apple Bloom some peppermint sticks in an effort to cheer her up. This short scene alone points to her being the optimistic type, like the sort of pony who probably absolutely loves Mondays. When Diamond and Silver come along to harass them, Twist's expression is one that almost says "Here we go again." It's likely she's had to put up with their antics in the past, but despite this she is still usually in a cheerful mood, and it doesn't stop her from still wanting to go to their party.

    Speaking of the party, Twist does indeed show up. Some may argue that she should have stood up for Apple Bloom when Diamond and Silver teased her, but Twist is a filly who was very likely teased repeatedly in the past if her earlier expressions were any indication. It can be incredibly difficult to muster up the courage to help a friend when you yourself have been a victim, too. If you look at the crowd reaction when Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo decide to stick up for Apple Bloom, Twist is absolutely beaming. It's very clear that Sweetie and Scootaloo are doing the very thing she wished she had the courage to do. There are those who have the view that as soon as Twist earned her cutie mark, she ditched Apple Bloom as a friend, or vice versa. In fact, Twist jumps right back in at the end of the episode to dance along with Apple Bloom, Sweetie, and Scootaloo, and as we'll see in the next section, she continues to be a friend.


    Twist's next appearance was in The Show Stoppers, where she competed in the student talent show. She was the only act besides Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon to miss out on receiving any awards, but like Diamond and Silver, she shows no resentment at this. She later appears in The Return of Harmony part 1 at the school field trip. Unlike Diamond Tiara, Twist shows nonchalance at the Crusader's fight, as if perhaps she is used to seeing them bicker. She chuckles along with the rest of the class when they get in trouble.

    Her next speaking role was in The Cutie Pox, where she wonders aloud if Apple Bloom's loopty hoop 'cutie mark' is a powdered donut. She is apparently a big fan of these, as she says "that sounds delicious!" She goes on to cheer Apple Bloom's loopty hoop skills, and seems thrilled when Cheerilee announces that they'll spend some time practicing. She does not, however, show any skill herself. She seems horrified when Diamond accuses Apple Bloom of having fake cutie marks.

    In Family Appreciation Day, Twist forces me to retract last week's statement that Diamond Tiara was the only pony paying attention to Filthy Rich's speech. Twist also pays attention, though the look on her face suggests... adoration? Either she really enjoys lectures, or she has a filly-crush on Filthy Rich. I'm just going to assume she's a fan of business and move on!

    Speaking of crushes, in the opening moments of Hearts and Hooves Day, Twist can see been offering a Hearts and Hooves Day card to her classmate, Truffle Shuffle, and the two share a hug. This action distresses their classmate, Liza Doolots, who sadly drops a Hearts and Hooves Day card that she was about to hand to one of them, then slumps in her desk. Twist later plays Pin the Heart on the Pony and accidentally pins the heart on Cheerilee.

    Her next appearance was in Ponyville Confidential, where she hops up and down excitedly for Featherweight, who just earned his cutie mark. Excited hopping? Another Lyra Heartstrings trait! Anyway, Twist has no interest in joining the Foal Free Press and leaves class when Cheerilee asks for volunteers, and that's the last we see of her in this episode. We wouldn't see her again until season four!

    Current Status

    Season four's Flight to the Finish would finally see Twist return after a twenty-episode hiatus. She doesn't do much, however, and does not take part in the competition to carry the flag at the Equestria Games. She does look thrilled once again once class is out, though. In Filli Vanilli, Twist is shown to be a big fan of the pony tones, as she shows up at no fewer than three of their performances. She is one of the few school fillies to be invited to Zipporwhill's cute-ceañera to see a performance. She later gets to see them again when they perform at the school house. Finally, at their final performance when Fluttershy is revealed to be singing for Big Macintosh, Twist can very briefly be seen in the audience yet again in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment.

    In Twilight Time, Twist is among the school ponies who are excited to get a chance to meet Twilight Sparkle. She's one of the students who take pictures of Twilight while she and the Crusaders dine at a restaurant, and later gets an autograph from her. She is also there at the end of the episode when everypony gets told off for coming over to Twilight's just to see her and not to learn anything.

    Twist appears briefly in the background in Inspiration Manifestation and Equestria Games. She shows up again in season five's Slice of Life during the bugbear attack, where she and Apple Bloom get ushered to safety by Amethyst Star. In Crusaders of the Lost Mark, she is berated by Diamond Tiara for voting to replace the broken schoolhouse window with another ordinary window. She's also one of the few school ponies shown singing along with the Crusaders early on in the 'Vote for Pip' song. She is openly shocked when Diamond stands up to her mother at the end of the episode, and is the first pony to follow her when she begins her song to rebuild the playground. She's one of the students who get to meet Countess Coloratura in The Mane Attraction, and also shows up in the parting shot of The Cutie Re-Mark part 2.

    Through all of these appearances, one thing sticks out. Twist doesn't stop hanging out with the Crusaders... or Diamond Tiara. Despite their occasional torment, Twist is often seen with Diamond and Silver. She was happy to go to Diamond's cute-ceañera despite how she was treated. She was the first in line to forgive Diamond in Crusaders of the Lost Mark. Her actions throughout the show make is clear that she is just too cheerful to hold a grudge, and is quick to forgive.

    Twist! An optimistic, cheerful, and forgiving little filly who loves life! What are some of your favorite Twist moments? Which pony might you like to see in the next Spotlight? Let me know in the comments below, and don't forget to check out the interview with Alexandra Carter below!

    Bonus Interview!

    Twist's voice actress, Alexandra Carter, was kind enough to spare a few moments for an interview. It has been lightly edited for length.

    TheSlorg: Thank you for your time. First question! How did you come to play Twist on MLP: FiM? Did you just show up for an audition, or was there more to it?

    Alex Carter: I had auditioned for MLP with Chantal (Strand aka Diamond Tiara) and Shannon (Chan Kent - aka Silver Spoon), and we all ended up being cast as these new, sweet little characters. Well, Twist was sweet, at least! The three of us had previously worked together a fair amount, especially Chantal and I, and it was fun to be cast together. Chantal has been a family friend since we were tiny, and working with her is always pure joy.

    TS: What was your initial reaction when you got the part?

    AC: I was really excited when I got the part! My older sister Adrienne had been in the last MLP series, and it felt like I was continuing a family tradition of voicing ponies. Also, I had been back in Vancouver for barely a month when I was cast, so I was happy the casting directors hadn't written me off!

    TS: What are your thoughts on how the show appeals to people of all ages and sexes, and not just its initial target audience?

    AC: It's awesome how far MLP's reach has become! The old series certainly had a following, but it was fairly limited in scope. It's fun to see the wide appeal of this iteration, and although my time on the show was so limited, I still enjoy bragging about voicing one of the characters. I know I'll never see Twist merchandise in stores (note: Alex was not aware of the Twist toys, but is now), but I still love saying "Oh, hey. There's Ashleigh!" or "There's Nicole!" when I see their toys everywhere!

    TS: Was Twist's lisp written into the script, or did you add that touch yourself?

    AC: The character breakdown indicated a lisp, but in the call-back we did some experimentation. Lateral lisp, r-dropping, and other phonic twists. We ended up using an interdental lisp because it was more intelligible and sounded extra cute with her stuffy-nose voice quality. It was a lot of fun, and I'd done a similar voice on an older cartoon, Trollz, as the character Sapphire, as well as in a fair amount of radio and TV spots, but Twist was by far the cutest version.

    TS: Are there any interesting facts or tidbits you could tell us about Twist that we might not know?

    AC: I actually have no idea what happened to her since I left Vancouver—and therefore, the show—back in 2011. I like to imagine she still hangs out in Ponyville, baking treats and saying awkwardly enthusiastic things.

    TS: What would you like to say to the fans who voted for Twist this week?
    AC: Hey guys! I had no idea Twist had any fans other than myself! That's pretty awesome to find out, because I love her. I'm pretty impressed you found me, as I believe I was uncredited in the show, which bums me out. We should petition to bring Twist back (into the foreground)! I may not live in Vancouver anymore, but there are recording studios in Philadelphia, and that girl deserves to lisp her little heart out! #BringBackTwist! <3 I found a video compilation on her with over sixteen thousand views (linked below). That makes me feel pretty darn special.

    TS: Finally, do you have any current projects going on that you'd like fans to know about?

    AC: My only project right now is grad school! I'm getting my masters in medical science, and will officially be a physician's assistant in 2017. Some of my nerdier classmates and I have started a band named Fremitus, and we are indeed pretty terrible. I'm in class about fifty hours a week, but if the chance to voice Twist came up again, I'd make some time for it!

    TheSlorg: Fantastic! Thank you once again for your time.

    Alex Carter: This was a blast! I totally wish I could be more involved in the zeitgeist that is MLP. #BringBackTwist! Invite me to some conventions, I'm absolutely charming! Thank you for the trip down memory lane, and thanks for watching! It's a thrill to know that a character I helped create has been appreciated, it's absolutely lovely!

    Follow Alex today!

    Some Twist Fanfics
    Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella
    Pepsi® Twist
    So Her Legacy Will Endure

    Bonus Videos!