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It was the end of the road for Brooke on this week’s “America’s Next Top Model.” All along, we’ve heard the judges say that her look is different – that her facial features are so wrong that they’re right. Even more unusual is the juxtaposition of a sweet personality with such a fierce face. And yet, despite her uniqueness, Brooke fell prey to the same demon that we’ve seen consume many a wannabe model stuck in TyTyland. The weeks of being in front of a camera every waking (and sleeping!) moment start to wear on their nerves; pretty soon they’re obsessing over what the judges said about their posture or their teeth or the expression in their eyes – and the Nerves Monster claims another victim. Brooke couldn’t fight her way out of the monster’s grip, despite the consistent and vocal support of two judges from the very start of the competition.
Congratulations on getting so far in the competition, Brooke!
Thank you very much!
You have some vocal fans on our site - have you ever stopped by for a look?
Really? No, I try to stay away. (Laughs)
Were you a fan of the show? Had you seen any of the previous cycles?
I’ve actually been watching the show since the first cycle, and I really enjoyed it and found it very interesting. We had a local casting in my home town, and my friend convinced me to go. So we went, and I won locally, and from there we went to several auditions before I got a callback to California.
Who did you see as your biggest competition - who was the girl to beat?
Danielle. She has so much potential, and she’s just such a beautiful person, inside and out, and I just think she’s going to be a forerunner. I love that girl!
What did you think about her teeth? Were they right to put so much pressure on her to fix the gap?
Well, I do believe in the industry that sometimes you have to do certain things to go further. I feel that Tyra does know best in that situation. I think if she needs to get it done, it should be done.
Which photoshoot was your best, in your opinion?
I really liked the krump picture. Not only because I thought it was one of my better pictures, but also, since I do get nervous, it was one that let me let loose a little bit more and not take myself so seriously, so I really enjoyed that photoshoot.
What did the actress pretending to be an ultra-tough booker say about you, and what did you think?
At the time she was telling me, “Has anyone ever told you that you look very masculine?” My response to her was, no, I’ve never gotten that feedback before. I didn’t really know how to take it, because it was all this negative criticism, but I just smiled and went along with it. I just felt that some people are going to like you, and some people just won’t. And that is just the industry. Not everybody is going to love your look.
What did you think of Nigel Barker and Twiggy saying you have a look that’s so wrong it’s right - what did you make of that, and how can you use it?
I guess I have to agree with them because I really don’t think I have a conventional, pretty-pretty look. I think that I have a unique look, it’s a little different from other girls. I think in the long run it could be a good thing in the modeling industry because they are always looking for different things, and I think I have something that’s a little different that could go far in the industry.
Okay, I’m going to read off some names, and I’d like you to tell me what you thought of them in a sentence or two.
Jade: You know, I absolutely love Jade. I know right now she’s coming across as “the bitch”, this terrible person, but I just think being on the show is very stressful. You’re not sleeping, you’re not eating right. With a lot of people, it just puts you on edge. I think that you wouldn’t normally act like that back home. It is a competition.
What was your impression of Jade’s tears in front of the judges: fake or not?
You know, I love the girl, but sometimes I think she was a little over the top in certain situations, especially with the judges. I always found myself thinking that she need to keep it down just a little bit because it didn’t seem like the judges appreciated it – you know, when you’re talking back to them, or putting blame on something else. I just thought it didn’t seem to be in her best interest to speak so much at panel.
Danielle: I absolutely love her. I think she’s a beautiful person inside and out, and I really hope she goes far in this competition because she’s so beautiful. I really think she has the potential to go far.
Furonda: I can’t say anything bad about her. She’s really a beautiful person. One thing I always enjoyed about her was she would always read out of an inspirational book, and when we were all feeling kind of down sometimes, she would read aloud. It meant a lot to me. I really enjoy that about her; she was always very encouraging.
Nnenna: I think she’s a very beautiful person, and she has so much potential and I think she can go far in the industry. I have to say, though, that in the house, we did not get along the best. We did get in an argument and I feel so bad about that. I sit back and watch it now, and I just feel terrible about it, I do. Some of the comments are getting interpreted wrong, and one of them would be the comment about “going back to Africa.” I did not intend that to be a racist comment at all. I just meant, that if someone is always talking about a place - you know, “I’m from England, and I love England, and England this and that,” and I meant it like, “Go back if you like it so much better than where you’re living now.” That’s how I intended it! I apologize if I offended anybody, because that’s not how I meant it in the slightest.
Let me ask you, because this has been a huge argument on our site...who’s the bigger bitch, you or Nnenna?
Oh, wow. (Laughs) See, it wasn’t just the phone situation that led me up to that, it was a combination of everything from the beginning. It is a very stressful situation because it is a competition and you want to win. Not only that, but you get very little sleep, you’re not eating the way you normally would – it’s a bunch of different things.
All I asked of her – and I did ask nicely first! I went in saying, “There’s others who need to use the phone, is there any way we could use it?” I think it’s so much about consideration for others in the household. I think that’s what got to me the most, because there was a bunch of us and we all have loved ones at home we wanted to talk to. I think because I did cry sometimes it made me appear to be a little weak, and I felt she focused on me as “the weak one”. So it was just easier for her to pick on me. I let that get the better of me and I let it affect me, and I did say some things that I regret because I really feel that no matter how upset you are with someone, you shouldn’t resort to name-calling or to bad-mouthing. I wouldn’t appreciate that if it happened to me.
Who was your best friend in the house, would you say?
I got along with pretty much everybody, but I have to say the person I was closest with was Mollie - she was my roommate, and I absolutely just love her. She has a full personality, despite what anyone else may say! Leslie, I love that girl. We still stay in touch and we talk to each other very often. I have nothing but love for that girl, she’s amazing.
Leslie said really nice things about you, too.
Awww! See, that’s one of the things that make me really glad I went through this experience. I have met so many different girls and formed friendships that are lasting. If I got anything out of this competition, I made some really good friends.
What’s your opinion of Tyra, now that it’s over? Did you feel like you connected with her?
I wish I had been able to see more of her because I think she’s a person I can learn so much from. I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t have more opportunity to have one-on-one time with her. Other than that, what I got from her is that I found her to be a good person who is helping us out, and I appreciated her criticisms because they were constructive, it wasn’t to put me down or anything. I really appreciate that I was given this opportunity.
What did you think about Jay Manuel? Did you feel like you got good art direction during the photo shoots?
I wish I had got more direction from him during the photoshoots, but I wish I had more one-on-one time with him, too. The times that he did speak with us I really enjoyed it because he really seemed down-to-earth and he related to us. So of anybody on the photoshoots, I’m glad it was him that was there.
What about the other judges: who was the harshest judge, and who did you feel was pulling for you?
I wouldn’t say that there were any judges who were extremely harsh to me. I think they were all pretty nice. But I would have to say that Twiggy seemed to really root for me. She really had a lot of positive remarks and encouragement for me, so I really liked hearing from Twiggy! Nigel, too. He said a lot of good comments to me, but they don’t seem to air that. When I was watching the show, I really didn’t see that side of him versus the actual panel. He just seemed like he really liked me.
What is panel really like? How long does the criticism go on, or do you get praise that we don’t see?
They don’t air everything that is at panel. When you first enter panel, they call you up individually and Tyra reads off what the photographer said at the shoot, Jay Manuel’s criticism – what he saw at the shoot, and then they evaluate your mini-challenge. So they don’t always air all that is said at panel. It is a long process. Judging takes a whole day, and it’s very nervewracking to be standing up there in front of them, because you know they’re going to see your pictures and just critique you, and it may be your last day there. It’s very nervewracking.
I didn’t know it took all day.
It’s just a lot of waiting. They deliberate, so you’re in a waiting room, then you go back...a lot of waiting.
Do you think the judges hear about what goes on in the house? I’m just wondering about Nigel’s comment that he “heard” Nnenna was on the phone a lot.
See, I know that they tell us that they don’t know what’s going on in the house, but I’m not really sure if they do or don’t, in actuality. So...I don’t know if they do.
When you were standing there next to Jade in the bottom two, what did you think was going to happen? Did you think it was your time to go?
In all honesty, yes, I did feel it was my time. I felt it was my time even at the photoshoot. You kind of get this feeling that you’re going to go home. So when I was standing up there, I had already prepared myself. I knew I was going home, and it was sad to know, but I feel like I did my best that I could up to that point. I just feel it was my time to go.
This weeks’ theme was “the ugly side of modeling.” Do you think you’ll be able to handle the pressures and disappointments of this industry?
Yes, I do think that I can. I know that I didn’t handle it the very best on the show, but I also think that I was not in my element. It was a competition versus an industry. I do think I’ll be able to handle it. From watching the show and being on the show, I’ve learned a lot about myself, and I’ve become more confident in myself. I do think that this was a good thing to prepare myself for the actual real modeling industry.
What’s ahead for you, Brooke? Do you plan to pursue a career in modeling?
Yes! I am planning on pursuing a career in modeling. I’m finishing off my semester, and hopefully if all turns out well, I’m wanting to go to New York this summer to pursue it.
Thanks to UPN for granting the interview, and good luck in New York, Brooke!