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HOME > America's Next Top Model > America's Next Top Model 15

Exclusive: Kendal Brown talks about 'America's Next Top Model'


By Reality TV World staff, 10/25/2010 

Kendal Brown thought her America's Next Top Model run was on the upswing but she was wrong.

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The unemployed 23-year-old from Northport, AL became the seventh finalist eliminated from America's Next Top Model's fifteenth season during Wednesday night's broadcast of The CW reality series.

On Friday, Kendal talked to Reality TV World about her America's Next Top Model experience  -- including how she was both surprised and not surprised to be ousted, why she agrees with Top Model host Tyra Banks' parting "baby colt" comment, which girl considered her biggest competition, and whether she really didn't know who Vera Wang was.

Reality TV World: Were you surprised to be cut or had you kind of sensed it was coming?

Kendal Brown: Well it was a little bit of both.

Like I was kind of shocked because like the previous week Patrick Demarchelier [shoot] I was called third. So I really thought I was progressing.

But when she had stated that I was the noun and not the verb I was like 'Oh okay, maybe I might be going home. So it was a little bit of both.

Reality TV World: You had mentioned during your exit comments that you didn't understand why the judges seem to think you didn't try harder in the competition and felt that you didn't really want to win.  What do you think gave them that impression, do you have any idea?

Kendal Brown: Well, um the thing with me is, you can see my emotions through my face. The only problem with that is every time [Jay Manuel] would say something to me like my energy level would go down.

It didn't have anything to do with me being not passionate about modeling because I am passionate about modeling because the first um, the first interview when they were introducing us I was like, "I'm passionate about it, I'm ready to go, I'm ready to do the damn thing!"

And when he would do my critique, I would be like, "emotions are off."  It would be so hard.  It had nothing to do with me not being passionate about modeling.

Reality TV World: So it wasn't like you weren't putting your best effort out -- it was somehow, they just weren't picking up on it?

Kendal Brown: Yeah, exactly like, I wasn't being 100% me because I couldn't feed off his critique.

Like, I couldn't get better. Like the Patrick Demarchelier [issue], Tyra Banks was coaxing her and she'd be like, okay you're doing great but you need to try it this way and I would feed off it and my photo would turn out great as you can see with the Patrick Demarchelier shoot, but with him, he could tell me something and I'd just be like okay just go down and do that, I don't know what to do. It had nothing to do with me not being passionate about my modeling.

Reality TV World: Before she eliminated you, Tyra compared you to a baby colt with "wobbly legs" and said you had been born to model but didn't have the skills or the experience yet, I think. What were your thoughts about that? What was your reaction?

Kendal Brown: The wobbly legs thing like, I'm pigeon-toed, so when I walk in heels, my feet turn inwards. So that's what she meant by the wobbly legs which people didn't really understand that.

I don't even walk in heels. The highest I ever walked in is two inches and that's not even that high, so I put on high heels for the first time and my feet just turn inwards and I walk like that.

I even stated that I need more experience, and I hope that didn't do me like, it made her decision more because I said that, but I feel like I was honest with myself, you know, I say anything I want to say, and I'm not going to hold back anything. And I did feel like I need more experience.

Reality TV World: So just to clarify then, had you had any modeling experience at all before the show?

Kendal Brown: I had negative zero modeling experience so I felt like I did good for having no experience in the competition, like I had never done no photo shoot before, no runway, no anything. I went to an open call one time but I never did go back. But other then that, I had negative zero experience.

Reality TV World: So after you got eliminated, Tyra urged you to find someone that you could practice your expression and posing with back at home. Are you planning to do that or have you already been doing that?

Kendal Brown: Oh I'm definitely planning to do that but I haven't started yet because after the show I was thinking like, maybe I'm not going to be doing modeling, you know, I'm going to try something else.

But as the fans supported me and showing me I can and when the judges say that I had a bad photo they're like, this photo was good -- you know I was just getting so much support that I was like okay I'm not going to give this up.

I'm definitely going to start doing shoots, getting my portfolio out to agencies, doing what she told me to do -- But yeah, I'm definitely going to take her critique and I'm getting it done, but I haven't done it yet.

Reality TV World: Most of the girls, including you, seemed really excited when Kasey got sent home last week. Can you just talk a little bit about that -- what effect was it that she had on the house?  There was a part also where you said you felt that she was "untrustworthy," could you elaborate on that?

Kendal Brown: Sure, the thing is with Kasey I had my concerns and I had my doubts about her like, I didn't feel her vibe like around the house.

It was definitely standoffish and I feel like does she keep talking about me? Like what's going on? Like I didn't feel no vibe from her, like everybody in the house would talk and get along with each other but she would be just walking around, just looking around, not saying anything, like she's just creepy you know?

She's that type of person and I feel like she's like that's why I couldn't talk to her -- like she'd probably go back and tell or go back and talk about me or something like that.

So that's why I said that but I have no problem with Kasey, I just had my concerns and my doubts, like they didn't show you but we was in the closet and I told her, you know I told her that I thought she was this and I thought she was that, and I hugged her so it wasn't like I hate her because I don't, because I would speak to her anytime, any day, and I would even friend her on Facebook.

It's not like I hate her, she's not a bad person at all. I just had my doubts and concerns about her.

Reality TV World: Francesco Carrozzini had claimed that he felt your nervous tension during your photo shoot there. Looking back to agree with that?

Kendal Brown: Yeah, I guess I agree, like I get nervous. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter where I'm at. You know, I'm going to get nervous regardless. I'm a nervous person.

So yeah, he felt that tension and then again being nervous on top of taking Mr. Jay's critique when you're in you know, of course you're going to be down. So yeah, i can understand why he said that.

Reality TV World: You had to portray Vera Wang during that shoot and there was a clip that showed you saying you didn't know her. What did you mean by that? Did you literally mean that you've never heard of her before?

Kendal Brown: Oh no, I heard of Vera Wang before. I even know how she looks. I just didn't know her overall collection to be able to understand her as a fashion designer.

Like I know that she designs wedding gowns, I know that she designs clothes for the celebrities and the Academy Awards and the Oscars and all of that. I know who she is I even knew how she looked. I just didn't know her overall collections to portray her.

Oh yeah, I knew who she was, even though I didn't completely knew who she was.

Reality TV World: I figured that's what it was but I just wanted to give you a chance to clarify because the show kind of left it a little ambiguous.

Kendal Brown: Exactly. (laughs)

Reality TV World: What did you think of Liz getting the best photo for this week's shoot, do you think the judges made the right decision there?

Kendal Brown: Yeah, actually I was looking at her photo shoot because it was my turn next and you know, she was getting great feedback. You know she had the advantage of using her eyebrow up like how he would do it so yeah she deserved it.

Reality TV World: Her win marked the end of Ann's record setting streak there. What are your thoughts about Ann in general?

Kendal Brown: Oh Ann, she's a very sweet person. Very quiet and she'll crack jokes every now and then  but then you know Ann, Anne is sort of like me. She's a very sweet person but I probably talk just a little bit more than her.

But yeah, she's very sweet and very funny and very loving and she cooked the fried Oreos, and you know she's just Ann. She's not going to change for anybody.

Reality TV World: Her big streak kind of left some viewers wondering if almost the judges didn't basically decide who the winner was going to be early on and the rest of you were kind of competing for second place. Did you ever get that feeling while you were on the show or any of the other girls there express that frustration?

Kendal Brown: Well I wasn't frustrated at all but all of the other girls were like, "Damn it Ann!" And stuff like that, but my thing is, because you won the best photo week after week doesn't mean that you will win the competition. That's how I thought of it.

Me personally, I knew what I had and I knew that I had to step up my game. And you know, as long as they call me, and I keep making it to the end, it doesn't matter [who] they could call me first.

That's how I was looking at it, but all the other girls were trying to get Ann out. She was doing good, but you know, I just tried to focus on me, and just do me.

Reality TV World: What do you think made Ann so successful so far?

Kendal Brown: I mean like, she's very humble and I really think she had modeling experience.

Like she had them taking photos -- and I guess she kind of like got the hang of it.

I guess she can take direction very well. I think that's good for her, she can take direction well.

She doubted herself too sometimes, like you just don't know how good she is. She could be crying if she had a bad photo but the photo would be great so it's just her.

Reality TV World: When I talked to Lexi a couple of weeks ago, she said she considered Jane her biggest competition on the show which kind of came as a little bit of a surprise given how under-the-radar Jane's been so far this season. Who did you consider your biggest competition? Was it someone obvious like Ann or someone else?

Kendal Brown: I though Kayla was my biggest competition. I know Ann can take good photos but you know she's very quiet and when you're a model you need to have that overall presence, that personality, and being able to talk with people.

So Kayla, she can be able to talk and connect with people and Ann, she's been taking good photos. So I thought Kayla was my biggest competition.

Reality TV World: During the show you mentioned how you're a country girl from a small town in Alabama. Did you feel like that put you at a disadvantage coming onto the show compared to some of the other girls? Because it seemed like you mentioned it a couple of different times.

Kendal Brown: I mentioned it because I am a country girl from Alabama  but I mean they had previous cycles where there was small town girls so I didn't think that was going to be a big deal because if it was a big deal, I mean, pretty much she wouldn't have picked me right?

So I don't think that was a big deal and I mean like the other girls, some had modeling experience but I didn't. That's the only thing that probably got me in the competition but being from Alabama, and me from a small town, I don't think it was a big deal, no.

Reality TV World: You also called yourself a very shy and quiet person. Do you think that made things harder for you modeling-wise?

Kendal Brown: No I don't think so because I'm quiet inside but when I get on the set I'm trying to do my best. So I didn't think that was a disadvantage at all because you know, Ann's quiet inside but she's doing good.

So it didn't have anything to do with me being quiet. Michael Jackson was quiet inside but when he got on stage he tore it up right? I don't think it had anything to do with that, it's just who I am. I try my hardest.

Reality TV World: What was your reaction to the news that you were competing to be on Italian Vogue this season. Do you think it was a huge difference?

Kendal Brown: It's a big difference and I felt like it was going to be a little bit hard this season because this cycle is high fashion, it's Italian Vogue. It's Beauty in Vogue. It's IMG. They don't want to see no mediocre person do Italian Vogue and be embarrassed.

So I probably understand why they were pretty harsh this season. But I was ecstatic because I know models today working today and they don't get to grace the cover of Italian Vogue. I'm coming in here with zero experience and maybe I could be the face of Italian Vogue? It was amazing. I was ecstatic.

Reality TV World: Do you think it made a big difference in how the girls approached the competition?

Kendal Brown: Yeah, of course, and that's why there was probably less drama. Like of course there's going to be a little drama because it's 14 girls locked up in a house, but there wasn't a lot of drama in the past cycle because you know, this is really it. She's not playing any games. This is Italian Vogue so it definitely made it different how the girls reacted.

Reality TV World: So are you a believer in the fact that the Vogue prize package is going to make a big difference in how much success the winner will eventually has or are you still kind of skeptical about that?

Kendal Brown: It's definitely going to make a big difference whoever has the cover of it, they better work it because, you know, like the other cycles they'd probably be with Seventeen, and you know Seventeen is a good magazine but it's not Italian Vogue. So yeah, whoever wins it better rock it.

Reality TV World: How did you end up on the show? Was it your first time applying? You mentioned you didn't have a lot of modeling experience -- no modeling experience, actually -- so how did it come about?

Kendal Brown: I did things for Cycle 14. They had some open call in Birmingham and I went there but I couldn't go in because I didn't have a pass. I was pretty sad about that and I was like if they ever have another cycle, I'm going to get a pass and I'm going to be prepared.

My thing is, I think God wanted me to be in this cycle so I will always be on tyra.com. I was a member. I would go there and read about her beauty tips and everything about that, and she said she was looking for Cycle 15 casting calls on her site so I sent in my pictures and I think a week, or maybe three weeks later, somebody from her office emailed me saying I was needed for a private audition.

People think that if you're picked by Tyra you don't have to audition. But I stayed in that audition room for six hours. I had to audition and the rest was history.

Reality TV World: Earlier, you mentioned you weren't originally planning to continue to pursue modeling but you are planning now. What were you planning to do before?

Kendal Brown: Before basically I was planning to get my degree because I didn't have to go to school to do this show. I was just going finish it all. And you know maybe work from nine-to-five job, you know and just live the normal life but you know people have been supporting me. It's like girl you did good!

And this kind of changed my mind a bit, you know this show -- I took the critiques in a positive way so that's what I'm going to do.

I'm going to go to a smaller market like Atlanta, like a small agency and just work my way up to the top, and get more experience in that direction. And I'm going to go back to school and go to a small modeling agency so that's what I plan on doing right now.

(Photo credit The CW)


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