Brittney 'ShaRaun' Brown the first girl eliminated from 'Top Model '
By Reality TV World staff, 09/04/2008
After delivering a sub-par photo shoot performance and repeatedly coming off as excessively cocky, Brittney "ShaRaun" Brown, a 18-year-old student from Chicago, IL, was revealed to be the first runway wannabe eliminated from America's Next Top Model's eleventh season during last night's special two-hour broadcast of The CW reality competition's premiere.
"I'm a very confident person," ShaRaun said after her brief Top Model journey had ended. "I'm not cocky, but I'm very confident and I definitely think they got the wrong impression of me. I think I would have made a wonderful Top Model [winner]. I'm gonna be big, I'm gonna be somebody and I'm going to pursue not just my dreams of modeling but in so much other areas too, I'm going to be something and it doesn't stop here."
After a first hour that featured the season's semifinalists being narrowed down to the competition's 14 finalists, the broadcast's second hour began with the finalists reuniting in Los Angeles and moving into their new Top Model home.
However once the girls settled in, the topic of discussion quickly turned to focus on Isis, a 22-year-old non-profit organization program assistant who had disclosed she was transgender during the semifinalists casting process.
"I was born physically male," Isis had explained during her semifinals interview with Top Model host Tyra Banks, judge J. "Miss J" Alexander and photo shoot director Jay Manuel. "But mentally, everything else, I was going female."
Isis seemed to handle the girls' curiosity well.
"At first the girls were bombarding me with questions about me transitioning... but I was like 'Okay, whatever,'" Isis explained afterwards.
However although most of the girls initially seemed to generally be publicly supportive of Isis, several of them seemed less supportive privately.
"Isis is over the top -- America's Next Top Model [winner] is not going to be a drag queen, I'm sorry, it's not," ShaRaun boasted to the cameras.
"I'm not gonna lie, it really makes me uncomfortable as hell," Clark, a 19-year-old student from Pawleys Island, SC, confided to Hannah, a 19-year-old student from Fairbanks, AK, as Isis swam in the pool nearby. "It really freaks me out that she's got something else different down there from me."
"I was trying to convince myself I was comfortable -- I was like 'Hannah you're comfortable,' 'Hannah you're comfortable' -- but really I'm not," replied Hannah.
"You walk around in a small town like that and you'll get shot," Clark continued. "And it's not so much a close-minded view as it's just more traditional."
"Growing up in the South, you don't exactly run into a he-she every day," Clark explained to the cameras afterwards. "Isis has no place in this competition."
But Isis did seem to make at least one friend as Clark and Hannah spoke -- McKey, a 19-year-old student from Lake Forest, IL whose hobbies include boxing and mixed-martial-arts.
"Isis is a pretty cool chick... I'm a big fighter girl and I think she's tenfold more brave than I am," explained McKey, who credited Isis with not hiding who she is for the sake of being different.
The following morning, the models were whisked to the Magic Castle Hotel & Club, where they were introduced to judges Nigel Barker and Paulina Porzikova and told that they would be conducting face to face interviews with Nigel, Paulina, Miss J, and Jay so their modeling potential could be evaluated.
"As you all know, the world of modeling, much like the world of magic, is a world of illusion," said Paulina.
"As a top model, you have to be many things to many different people," added Jay.
"Today we want to find out who you are," said Nigel.
During his interviews, Nigel took special note of ShaRaun and Marjorie, a 19-year-old student originally from Marseilles, for opposite reasons.
"I only met [ShaRaun] for a couple of minutes, but she left me wondering who she was, where she was coming from, and perhaps where she was going," Nigel said afterwards, citing ShaRaun's attitude as a reason for the apparent disconnect
However he felt the opposite about Marjorie, who was noticeably nervous and "drew a blank" when asked the name of her favorite photographer.
"Confidence is key," Nigel advised Marjorie.
The next day, the contestants traveled to a theater which had the words "VOTE HERE" on the marquee. Once they got inside, Jay greeted them and introduced the theme for their first photo shoot: voting.
"Today you girls need to not only tackle the issues, you need to convince the younger generation that voting is sexy," Jay explained.
Each model was given an election issue as a theme for their photographs, which were taken by photographer Mike Rosenthal.
Marjorie represented "immigration" and posed by a barbwire fence-laden voting booth. Brittany, a 19-year-old from Henderson, NV, held a gun and military fatigues in front of a mini barracks while representing "the military."
Clark admitted she didn't know what her issue -- "bureaucracy" -- was before she began her photo shoot in front of a red tape backdrop. McKey posed with windswept hair surrounded by forestry symbolizing "the environment."
Hannah used the backdrop of a radiation symbol to represent "nuclear weapons."
Elina, a 19-year-old originally from Berdichieve, Ukraine, represented "foreign policy" by posing in front of a voting booth laden with flags from all over the world.
Isis symbolized "privacy" by posing behind a see-through sheet with video cameras pointed at her. ShaRaun found Isis' assignment particularly funny.
"This is the funniest thing that's in my head," ShaRaun said afterwards. "You're like trying to be sexy [but the] reality is she's a man."
Sheena, a hostess/go-go dancer originally from Honolulu, HI, surrounded herself with toy cars and a gas pump to represent "energy."
Joslyn, a 23-year-old from Lucky, LA who is currently unemployed, posed amid airborne job applications to represent "unemployment." Analeigh, a 19-year-old student from Sacramento, CA, leaned on a gurney in front of medical forms to symbolize "healthcare."
ShaRaun represented "homeland security" by posing in between a metal detector with a terrorist alert poster behind her. Samantha, an 18-year-old student athlete from Woodland Hills, CA, posed in front of piggy banks and portfolio graphs to symbolize "the economy."
Lauren Brie, a 20-year-old originally from Charlottesville, VA represented "education" by posing in front of a chalkboard, test papers, a desk, and a globe. Nikeysha, a 19-year-old Bronx, NY native, symbolized "cloning" by alternately framing herself on both sides of a voting booth filled with beakers and science equipment
The girls then had their first judging evaluation with Top Model's judging panel -- Barker, Porzikova, Miss J, and Tyra -- and Tyra explained the show's eleventh-season winner will receive a management deal with Elite Model Management, a $100,000 contract with cosmetics company CoverGirl, and a cover story and six-page fashion spread in an issue of Seventeen magazine.
Marjorie had braced herself for negative comments but instead received extremely positive feedback from the judges, with Tyra calling her photo "divine" and Miss J. calling her body lines "brilliant."
Once all the individual evaluations were complete, the judges deliberated about their decision and Miss J surprised Nigel and Paulina with the news that Isis was transgendered.
"Wow," responded Nigel.
"Ohhhh," remarked Paulina.
After the judges finished their deliberation, Tyra revealed that Marjorie had taken the shoot's best photo and would therefore have her photo displayed in the Top Model house for the next week.
Tyra then proceeded to call out additional photos for Isis, McKey, Joslyn, Elina, Samantha, Brittany, Sheena, Analeigh, Clark, Lauren Brie, and Hanna -- which left ShaRaun and Nikeysha as the bottom two girls.
"It's not just about wanting it," Tyra told ShaRaun before revealing her dismissal. "You have to be real, so that's what you're gonna have to work on."
Before revealing she was safe, Tyra also warned Nikeysha -- who had repeatedly made excuses and angered Tyra by even going as far to state that a better picture of her could have been chosen -- that she needed to learn to accept criticism.
"This shot was chosen for you, so you need to learn from the shot that was chosen from you and what's wrong with it, and how to make it better in the future," said Tyra.
After stating repeatedly that she would win the competition throughout the two-hour program, Tyra said that her dismissal was more of a comment on her genuine desire to be a model and not simply having confidence.