The FORT Interview with Bre, 12/10/05
Finishing the competition in third place was Bre, who will forever be remembered for her attempt to exact revenge over a missing granola bar. It’s a shame, too, because if you can get past her (over) reaction to the (alleged) stolen snack a different Bre emerges - one who soaked up the Top Model experience like a thirsty sponge. One who learned not to blame her drowsiness on a competitor. One who faced her elimination with her chin up - and her shoes off. Only two episodes earlier she had engaged in a screaming match with Kim while the judges deliberated, but this time, she took the bad news philosophically and had positive words to say about her future. Will she flip a lid the next time a roommate drinks one of her sodas? Not to worry, she has a solution, which she explains below. Meanwhile, it’s fair to say that Bre picked up some solid modeling tips from the show - and gained a measure of maturity, as well.
Before I could speak, Bre was addressing me by name. She’s a very polite young lady.
Hi [Hepcat], it’s nice to meet you!
It’s nice to meet you! I was just looking at the pictures from the finale party and saying, “Bre looks great in every photo.”
Congratulations on winning third place - I know it’s not first, but it’s quite an achievement.
It works. (laughs)
You got a lot of praise for improving during the competition. From your perspective, how did you turn it around?
I listened more. I began listening to what the judges were saying instead of taking it as criticism, and I absorbed everything the judges said, the negative, the positive. I took everything and just tried to use it towards my next photo shoot.
Nicole had so much trouble with her lines that night. I know you did too, but were you surprised to be eliminated over her?
No, I wasn’t. I knew that I was going home. I could tell by the judges’ comments. And you have to remember that I had the least favorite picture, and then a negative commercial. Double negative doesn’t always equal a positive, you know what I mean? (laughs) So I knew that I was going home, and I gave her a hug because she deserves it. She deserved to move on, she has a great CoverGirl look, and I was happy for her. In the end I came a long way and I did a wonderful job.
Why was your first reaction at the news to take off your shoes?
Okay, let me tell you. (laughs) I never wore glasses to elimination once we got to London because without them, I couldn’t really see the expressions on the judges’ faces and it helped me to go through the elimination sessions more smoothly. I really couldn’t see. As for the shoes, my thought was, “Obviously I’m not America’s Next Top Model, so why am I still wearing these shoes that hurt?” They drove me absolutely nuts, so that’s why I took them off and put my glasses back on.
That’s really kind of who I am. I mean, I wear heels, but I’m really a sneaker person. I love Converse and I just love to be in flats. I think that got me in trouble in elimination - that’s when they found I was a little girl. But that was my first reaction, to take them off and continue being myself, take a bow, and say good bye. I wanted to walk out of there being Bre - glasses on, shoes off.
You seemed to take your elimination with a good attitude. Where do you see yourself going from here?
I’m definitely looking for endorsements. I’m looking for an agency that feels like more of a home, where I know they will present me to this industry the way I feel I need to be, as a positive image. I’m working on being a role model - I wouldn’t say I’m there yet. I consider Tyra a role model, but I’m walking in her footsteps as someone who is a role model and a model. I want to do some commercials and I would like to try some acting, I think I would do pretty well with that.
How do you feel about the whole kerfluffle with the granola bar now that you’ve seen it on television?
Let me just say that I should have bought two boxes. That way, if someone would have taken one I wouldn’t have cared. (laughs) Now when I buy granola bars I always buy plenty.
Did you guys ever figure out what happened to the granola bar?
Honestly, we’ve never figured out who ate the granola bar. Up until the last minute at the finale party we were still asking each other who ate it. Nobody will answer me now. Come on, if you watch the episode, I look insane! Nobody wants to bring it up at all. Actually, Nicole’s reaction was that if anyone ever admitted that they ate it she would never speak to them again. So I don’t think anybody is going to be telling after that.
Do you think the judges took any of that - Granolagate is what it’s being called on the Internet - into account when you were up against Nicole?
I think so. You know what I think, personally? I’m glad you mentioned it because I haven’t said this before in an interview and I think it’s very important to know. I think that I improved so much in the competition, but at that point I was just starting to turn the judges opinion around, especially Twiggy – I wasn’t really one of her favorites. I think that when I pulled that stunt, I tarnished their image of me. Even if I didn’t get eliminated in third place, I knew I wasn’t going to win.
I personally feel that I damaged my image in the judges’ eyes, and they never would have seen me as an American Top Model - a role model, someone they would want to represent America. When I went up against Nicole, who has all these wonderful qualities and is genuinely a good person, I knew I wasn’t going to make it to the next round. That’s okay, because I’m human and I do make mistakes. I’m glad that my life is on display and people can see that it happened, and that everybody makes mistakes, and it’s okay.
Are you happy overall with the way you came across on the show?
I’m very happy with the way they edited me. It really was me. I don’t think that they exaggerated my character or left anything out. You really got to see all aspects of Bre, my maturity, my wisdom. I have a lot of spirituality, and at the same time I make mistakes, too. That just makes me more realistic and believable. I wasn’t trying to be perfect, I was just trying to be me, you know?
When you weren’t feeling well, and you took some Benadryl and some Tylenol PM from Jayla, do you think she was trying to sabotage you?
Okay, let’s set the record straight right now. She did not give the pills to me. When I said I got it from her, it was because the Benadryls were hers, but I was the one who took them from the bottle. The only problem was that everyone’s body chemistry is different and you don’t react to drugs the same way, and that was the first time I had ever taken Benadryl. I was really feeling sick that day. I had developed a headache so bad that I couldn’t lift my head off the pillow. She had a brand new box and I opened it myself and took them. Jayla didn’t even know about it! They exaggerated it and made it look like this girl was trying to sabotage me, and she wasn’t. She’s my girl!
What would you say was the best part of the experience?
My portfolio. In the beginning, I was a complete amateur. There’s a lot I didn’t know about modeling - your light and your position, the way you hold your body to look slimmer, taller. My portfolio really is an evolution. You can me in my beginning stages all the way up to my last photos, which are gorgeous. It really just shows how much I progressed throughout this competition.
Who was your favorite judge?
Miss Jay. I love runway, and he works it, so he’s always been my favorite. He was like my security blanket whenever we walked the runway. I always winked at him.
Do you think he voted for you to stay?
I know for a fact he was voting for me. Throughout judging I think he was very realistic. If my picture wasn’t cute, he told me it wasn’t cute and maybe I needed to go home. But in the last episode, I knew he was pulling for me. I think in the end I deserved to stay, but it just wasn’t my time.
What is your opinion of Tyra? What’s she like?
There’s two characteristics to Tyra that I know for a fact, and that’s that she is a businesswoman, and she’s also a woman. A lady. We’re all female, genetically, but her character was so strong and powerful, and to see a woman take control and be so businesslike - I mean, everybody wanted to be just like Tyra.
What part of the industry interests you - runway, commercial photoshoots, etc.?
I just want to keep it open. I know that I’ll probably be doing more commercial print ads. I would love to do some major motion films, and if the opportunity ever presented itself where I could do high fashion I would definitely take that opportunity, because that’s what I’ve always wanted to do. My height would keep me from a lot of it, but I would love to do high fashion work.
Is there anything you’d like the viewers to know?
I was myself and I continued to be myself throughout this entire competition, and I tried my best. Who’s to say I didn’t win anyway, you know? I made every episode, and hopefully a lot of doors will be opening for me. I guess we all won in our own different race.
America’s Next Top Model has had some very successful runner-ups.
Yaya is one of them, Toccarra is another. Mercedes, Keenyah...there’s a lot of us out there. No, this is not it. My five minutes of fame cannot be over. (laughs) I won’t let it happen!
Thank you so much for speaking with me Bre, and good luck in the future!
Well, thank you!
Thank you to Bre for being such a doll on the phone, and many thanks to UPN for granting us the interviews.