Brittany 'McKey' Sullivan talks about her 'America's Next Top Model' win
By John Bracchitta, 11/20/2008
Newly-revealedAmerica's Next Top Model winner Brittany "McKey" Sullivan says she felt confident as entered the season's final judging panel. However, the reason for her confidence was a bit unconventional, to say the least.
"I'm a huge neurotic of multiples and derivatives of the number six. So I always figured if I could make it to the Top 3 I'd be fine because 3, 2, and 1 are all factors of 6, so that kinda helped push me through," Sullivan, a 19-year-old student from Lake Forest, IL, told Reality TV World in a Thursday media conference call.
However Sullivan said her confidence quickly waned once the panel began and the judges started reviewing the modeling portfolios she and Samantha Potter, her Top 2 competitor, had compiled throughout the competition.
"Before [the] panel Sam and I hugged each other and we realized that it was all done," Sullivan told Reality TV World. "We'd put forth our best efforts, there was nothing left to do... But as soon as they started going through those pictures I got nervous real quick."
Sullivan later added that along with her nerves also came one of her more "embarrassing" habits.
"As soon as I walked into judging panel, I have a nervous habit where I feel like I have to pee whenever I'm really nervous, and I'd never really been nervous before in the competition for the longest time," Sullivan told reporters. "So I'm just sitting there in my designer gown with my legs crossed under my dress thinking 'Please don't pee in front of all the judges in this designer gown. Please!'"
"But as judging went on I got more and more comfortable. We were still shaking a little bit and it really stared driving home that nothing was for certain yet and they had a very hard decision to make between Sam and I," she added.
When it came to the wild runway that she and Potter had to navigate their way through during their final fashion show, Sullivan told Reality TV World that she only had a couple minutes to feel out the runway before the show and said that walking on it had been "scary."
"What terrified me was especially when Sam and I walked the runway together I thought that I was gonna run up the hill and then my momentum would just push me off the side of it," Sullivan told Reality TV World with a laugh. "I did not want to fall off the hill, that would've been a disaster."
Sullivan also elaborated to Reality TV World about her "tomboy" past and what had led to her switch her interests from soccer to modeling at the age of 15.
"I had a really bad injury in soccer which caused me to have to get knee surgery [and] put me out for six months. For somebody whose life revolved around sports and competing, I was extremely unhappy and depressed and I wanted to do something, I didn't care what it was anymore," Sullivan told Reality TV World. "When I got wind of [the Elite Model Look] modeling competition I [was] like 'I can do that. I can put on heels and walk in line. I'll be able to balance, I'll be fine,' and I went and did it and I did really well in the competition."
"I didn't win the national competition, but I did win the regional competition and got a contract at Elite, so that was good," she added.
Although her Elite modeling career never really took off and ended after two years, Sullivan attributed much of her "tomboy to girly girl" transformation to Eva, an advisor and runway coach that she worked with while she was with Elite Chicago, the modeling agency's Chicago arm.
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"I actually had a wonderful advisor and runway coach at Elite Chicago named Eva," Sullivan told reporters. "She basically taught me everything there is about presenting yourself -- finding your own style and personality, how do to your makeup, how to hold your hair, how to shake people's hands -- that was priceless to me."
Sullivan also told reporters that as happy as she was to win the competition, she had also taken a lot of pride in never being one of the bottom two girls in any of the competition's judging panels.
"One of my major goals going into the house was that I did not want to be in the bottom two until the final two," Sullivan told reporters. "I'm very, very, ambitious and set very high goals for myself, so that was obviously winning, [which] was a pretty big thing. And then second was never being in the bottom two, which was a huge thing."
"That I kept pulling it off, even after my first CoverGirl commercial, was very special to me and really kept me going," she added.
Sullivan told reporters that although Top Model had only identified her as McKey due to the fact that there had been three girls named Brittany in the season's cast, she plans to keep using the name as she proceeds with her modeling career. She also took a moment to thank her family and friends, and told reporters of an additional prize that she had received following her win.
"My mom even bought me a puppy to travel with," she said happily.