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Another week in Tyra Bootcamp; another model feels the icy fingers of reality show doom. This week saw the expulsion of Brooke, who bubbled happily through the competition but failed at conveying sadness while she clung to Fabio (yes, that Fabio)ís leg like a recalcitrant toddler. At least she was eliminated in time to attend her high school graduation at home Ė oh, thatís right. She wasnít given the boot until after she had no chance to go back for Senior Ditch Day. I guess itís just as well, because she was believable as a final contestant, and spotting Brooke at a home game would have spoiled the suspense for us veteran watchers. Now, if sheíd upped the drama just a tad, maybe there would have been hope for Brooke. What kind of reality show contestant doesnít want to wipe her panties on people?
Hi Brooke, itís a pleasure to talk to you today!
Oh, itís good talking to you to!
I had pegged you to go all the way to the end, so I was surprised at your elimination.
Awww Ė well thank you, thatís sweet of you. I expected to go a little bit further than I did, but whatís past is past! (laughs)
So first off, some general questions for you: how tall are you?
I am 5í7 ĹĒ Iím going to throw that half in there because height is so important in modeling. (laughs)
Did you get a lot of feedback during the show about your height?
Surprisingly, the judges never even mentioned it as a problem. Tyra even said one time, ďYou photograph like youíre five-eleven.Ē So I guess my proportions on film always looked tall, which is definitely a benefit.
How did you come to be on the show?
Ironically enough, one of my best friends, Lisa, was the one who wanted to do the show. She looked up all the information and figured out what to do and where to go, and just dragged me along with her. I was only 17 at the time, so technically I wasnít old enough to be there. But I was going to be 18 by the time the show started filming so they let me audition. One thing led to another, and somehow I ended up in Los Angeles on the show. It was a crazy process.
How far did your friend Lisa get?
She didnít even make it past the first day, so it was kind of sad. But sheís in L.A. doing her fashion design thing, so sheís living it up.
What was your favorite photoshoot?
My favorite photoshoot to actually participate in was the Celebrity photoshoot. I had a blast becoming two totally different characters, and I absolutely loved the photographer we worked with that week Ė Matthew Jordan Smith. He just let us be ourselves and told us to let go and be goofy, so it was a really fun photoshoot that week. But my favorite photo to come out of the competition was actually the wobbly runway photo. I thought I looked really tall and it probably was the edgiest I looked.
How about the shoot with Fabio: what did you think about being told to show more emotion but also criticized for wrinkling your forehead?
(laughs) Yeah, it was a little bit contradictory, but I found it to be that way with a lot of things on the show. Fabio was old enough to be my dad, so it was a little awkward. I think that I did a good job, though. They say I didnít betray emotion but I look at my photograph and I think I look pretty sad to me. I think when itís your week to go theyíll find a reason to kick you off for anything. (laughs) Theyíll find something to nit-pick, and thatís what happened to me -- I got nit-picked at for not showing enough emotion.
What did you think of the huge pictures of Tyra all around the house?
(laughs) There were definitely a lot of big pictures of Tyra around the house, and a lot of people were like, ďI bet you got so fed up with itĒ Ė but itís her show. She is obviously a great business woman, and has made a name for herself not only as a model but as a business woman. So, itís her show. She produces it, and I guess she deserves to have those pictures if thatís what she wants. (laughs) And thatís all Iím going to say about that.
Do you think the striptease challenge with Dita von Teese was good preparation for the romance book cover shoot?
I guess if you take it in context, yeah, because they wanted you to be sexy on the cover of a magazine, so theyíre going to teach you how to be sexy. I donít know Ė sexy is different things to different people. I donít necessarily consider sexy to be burlesque dancing or stripping or whatever you want to call it. I think it was good preparation, though. Iím game. (laughs)
What did your family think of this kind of photoshoot?
Oh, my family laughed, it was actually really fun to talk to them after the shows and hear what they had to say. They didnít get too mad or anything like that. They were supportive; they thought it was pretty funny.
What was the most difficult part of the experience for you?
The most difficult part was definitely having the cameras in your face all the time. I had zero privacy, and I knew that going into it, that there were always going to be cameras around. But I found it hard to deal with the pressures of, not only of the modeling competition but just having a camera in your face all the time from the second you wake up to the second you go to bed, every waking moment is recorded. So I was ready for privacy after I got eliminated, thatís for sure.
Do you think your bubbly, positive personality was an asset in this competition, considering that they sometimes favor girls who are told to step it up every week and prove they want to be there?
Right. You know, I think that my bubbly personality was what got me so far sometimes, because I always did have a positive attitude and even when I didnít have the best shoot, they would always tell me, ďWe know you really want to be here, we know youíre really excited about it.Ē I think sometimes it kept me around, but in the end, I guess thatís the reason they cut me. In their opinion, having a personality wasnít the end-all be-all of modeling, but I think itís a great asset to have. And plus, I come off the show as a likeable person. I might not have always taken the best pictures but people donít think Iím a psycho now, like whoever else has come off as being crazy on the camera.
Not to mention that a positive attitude is a great asset in life.
Exactly! I think if people like you, youíre going to get farther. But if youíre crazy, even if you can take a good picture, youíre not going to get the job, youíre not going to get hired all the time.
Who were you close to in the house?
I was actually close to Jaeda, and when I tell people that theyíre always surprised, but Jaeda was a comedian. They never showed that side of her on the show, but she was a cut-up, I mean like a complete ham,, the most laid back Ė we had a really similar background, a similar upbringing, and we got along really well.
I hate when I hear that about one of the girls and they didnít show it on the episodes, you just have to wonder, why?
I know, I know! Iím hoping that in the upcoming recap episode theyíll show more. We had so much fun. We did impersonations of Tyra, and panel, and just cut up all the time. So I hope that you guys get to see that side of her because she was so much fun.
Can you give us your insight into the other women in the house? Iíd like to read off their names and you could give me a few words or a sentence about them.
A.J.: I didnít really get along with AJ at first. Actually, I shouldnít say that I didnít get along with her, I just didnít know her that well. She was so opposite of me. Iím kind of the bubbly, loud personality and she sort of kept to herself. A lot of people saw her as the dark, tortured soul, but once we started talking and became friends, I ended up loving her. She became so dear to my heart just because she is such a smart girl, and smart-witted. And she can take a beautiful photograph, so I love A.J.
Amanda and Michelle: They were such sweet girls. Michelle was more the comedian, and Amanda was the quieter, softer twin, but both of them were great. It was really cute to see how close the two sisters were during the competition Ė I wish I had a twin sister there with me, because they were each otherís support. It was sweet seeing their relationship unfold.
Did you feel like it was an advantage that you didnít have to have a sister in the competition?
Oh, absolutely! We always gave them a hard time, saying we wished we had a twin sister. It would have been so much more bearable to have someone to talk to about the whole experience, and someone to go through it with you. I wish I had had a twin sister to go through the whole thing with me! (laughs)
Caridee: Caridee was such a character, I loved her. She has a groovy spirit. Very free-spirited, and fun, and loud and energetic. She can take a darn good photograph too, so I just loved her.
Eugena: Oh, people make her seem like sheís so mean, but she was one of the people I was really close to in the house. She kind of told it like it is, and you either liked her or you didnít for it. I appreciated someone so honest and blunt in the house.
Jaeda: She was a ham, like I said, she was a cut-up and we had a really good time together. She would always talk about how she didnít know if modeling was what she really wanted. She missed her boyfriend and her family back home all the time. I told her, ďGirl, if you have passion for this, combined with your amazing lookĒ Ė because I thought she was really striking Ė ďyouíre really going to go far.Ē I was always talking to her about wanting it more in the competition. I told her that she has the goods and sheís really got to want it, sheís got to have the passion behind it.
Megg: Rock and roll Megg. She said it just as much as they showed it on the show, if youíre wondering. (laughs) Itís all about rock ní roll. I wasnít super duper close to her, but I definitely appreciated her rock and rollness. Game for anything!
Melrose: We were close at the beginning, but I think she wanted to be the mother figure for everyone, and I got sick of it really fast. I think sheís a wonderful model, and I think she knows what sheís doing and does it well Ė but sometimes,(sounding reluctant) she would really get on my nerves. (laughs)
Hey, thatís nothing. Monique called her a monster.
(laughs) Yeah, Iím not about to accuse anyone of being a monster. All in all, I got along pretty well with all the girls. I never had too much drama, and it was easier that way because I think drama was just a burden when youíre trying to compete and you have drama back at the house, you just want to get away from it.
Anchal: She is such a stunningly beautiful girl. Obviously, I mean, everyone thinks sheís beautiful. So with Anchal, it was just trying to get her to believe in herself. I was like, ďOh, youíre beautiful, you just have to own that, baby!Ē She was fun, though. She slept right next to me Ė our beds were right next to each other Ė so every night we had our little ritual, we would tell each other good night. We were close.
How about Monique?
Monique wasnít as psycho crazy as everyone makes her sound. She was crazy. She just wasnít flat out malicious all the time. She did some crazy things, though. I was really grossed out when she wiped her panties on Melroseís bed because I slept right next to Melrose, too. I remember all that drama unfolding. We were like, ďThis is so unnecessary, weíre here to model, not to wipe our panties on people and things.Ē (laughs)
Do you think she just had the cameras in mind when she pulled that stunt?
At the time, I didnít realize it, but looking back, she probably did play it up. I think she wanted her camera time and realized she wasnít going to get it any other way. Thatís the route she took.
You got that long shot with Fabio on the staircase -- was that any worse or better than what the other girls were given?
I actually was really thankful that I didnít have to be face-to-face with Fabio, or, you know, really close and hugging up on him. I was really glad I was only touching his leg because when I was watching the other girls shooting, I was grossed out. He was feeling them up! Iím glad I was only grabbing his leg. (laughs)
What did you think of Tyra scolding you for saying you missed graduation?
You know, a lot of people took it as Tyra scolding me, but I really didnít. I think that was her way of saying, ďJust be proud of how far you got, no regrets.Ē A lot of people have said to me, ďOh my gosh, I canít believe Tyra had the audacity to tell you not to be sad, that you should be happy that youíre here over your graduation;Ē but I didnít see it so much as scolding as just, ďBe happy you got as far as you did, donít be sad.Ē I think she was trying to be nice about it, but it came off in a roundabout way. (laughs)
You mean thatís what you thought at the time? But what did you think when you saw it on television?
I was in California so I actually saw it two hours later than all my friends back home in Texas, and they called me to say, ďI canít believe Tyra said thatĒ -- so I was worried. I thought, ďOh my gosh, is that how itís going to come off, that I was ungrateful for the whole experience and Tyra was mad about it?Ē But when I watched it, I didnít see anything wrong with it. I was genuinely expressing myself that I was sad at how unfortunate it was that I got eliminated on the actual night of my graduation. I think she was just was just trying to say, ďHey, you knew that coming in that you were going to give that up, just be glad that youíre here because there are a lot of girls who wanted to be where you are.Ē And she was right, you know? I donít regret anything for a second. I donít have a regret in the world. Looking back, I had a wonderful time. Getting to go and live the whole Top Model experience Ė I wouldnít have traded it. A graduation is a ceremony. I got my diploma, I didnít need the five hour ceremony. (laughs)
Do you think youíll get a phone call from Atoosa Rubenstein?
I would love it. I would totally love to hear from Atoosa again. I had the most fun out of the whole experience doing the Seventeen photoshoot. Seriously, that was the highlight of the whole experience for me, just because I think thatís the kind of modeling I was made for, not the high-fashion really edgy stuff, just the fun, commercial, Seventeen kind of stuff. So I would love to hear from Atoosa again!
Can you tell me about your plans in the future?
Iím actually in college right now, my first semester at the University of Texas in Austin. Iím majoring in broadcast journalism. Iím looking forward to seeing what kind of modeling opportunities come my way, and hopefully, some do! Iím very open to pursuing modeling if the right thing comes along.
Thanks so much for your time, Brooke.
Sure, and I just want to let you know that Iím a big fan of FORT. I read it all the time! (laughs)
Cool! Iím happy to hear it!
Thanks to Brooke and CW for the bubbly interview. Good luck in the future, Brooke!