Were America's Next Top Model strictly a modeling competition, Brittany Hatch would certainly have walked away with the title this season — the girl didn't take a single dud photo. Unfortunately for her, ANTM is about a whole lot more than walking in a straight line and making eye contact with a photographer; it's about letting Tyra Banks make a silk purse out of a sow's ear — and preferably crying a whole lot along the way. And while the 21-year-old Georgian was able to turn on the waterworks like nobody's business, she started out with too little room for improvement to suit journeywoman Tyra, so she had to go. As another competitor prepares to catwalk into oblivion tonight (at 8 pm/ET on the CW), TVGuide.com rang up "the Brittany," who's only slightly less prone to meltdowns than La Spears, to get the scoop.
TVGuide.com: In the interest of your mental health, I promise I'm going to try not to make you cry once during this interview.
Brittany Hatch: [Laughs] I really don't cry that much! It looks that way, though, doesn't it?
TVGuide.com: How do I put this? Yes. Yes, it does.
Brittany: That environment is sort of made to make you stress out, and everyone handles their stress differently. There's a week's worth of footage per episode, and when you cut it down to five or 10 minutes per girl, you can make anybody look the way you want to. Everybody has their breakdowns and their bitch fits.
TVGuide.com: Are you saying that you had a Renee moment or two?
Brittany: [Laughs] Probably. I think we all did.
TVGuide.com: I really thought you were going to go the distance. You never took a bad picture.
Brittany: Thank you! But I was pretty sure that I was going to go home before the final three when I did consistently well. I hadn't watched the show before, but I heard from a lot of the girls that there is always the girl who does consistently well but only gets to the final five or six before being sent home. Tyra doesn't want a model, she wants to make a model. That's what the show is about. So the girls who start off strong and are just consistently strong, that's not what she's chasing. She wants to build you into something and create her little Tyra protégé.
TVGuide.com: You had no journey. You were too good!
Brittany: I didn't say that!
TVGuide.com: Mm-hmm. So someone like Dionne, who basically has to be positioned like a Barbie, would ironically have the advantage?
TVGuide.com: If it were simply a modeling competition, do you think she should have gone home before you?
Brittany: Absolutely not. The fact that I didn't book a job [after the go-see competition] meant that I deserved to be sent home.
TVGuide.com: Yeah, that had to hurt a little.
Brittany: A little. But I think at that point, after the [difficulties I had with the CoverGirl commercial], I was so sort of petrified of doing something wrong that I curled up into a little shell and just didn't let myself be me or do anything right. Or anything at all, for that matter!
TVGuide.com: Which is a shame, because you actually have quite a nice personality.
Brittany: I think I have a very friendly and outgoing personality. I mean, I tend bar, so my job is to sort of be everyone's best friend and talk to everyone and have a good time with them. But the show brought out a different side of me that I don't think I even knew existed. I didn't know how to handle it at the time.
TVGuide.com: Which side was that?
Brittany: The very emotional, stressed Brittany! My friends watched and said, "I've never seen you get stressed about anything in your life! What the hell?!" It was kind of entertaining, though.
TVGuide.com: Maybe it was not being able to be in a bar and have the occasional beer over the course of any given week that did it to you.
Brittany: I don't know if it was that, or [if it was] that... you do get a little bit emotional when you have a camera in your face and a director asking you 15 times, "What's wrong?" I'm sure anyone knows that when someone asks, "What's wrong?" and you say "Nothing," and they say, "No, really, what's wrong?" that's the trigger.
TVGuide.com: Hell, just being asked over and over again would make me cry!
Brittany: Exactly! Once you get to a certain point, you just wanna say, "Fine, I'll let you know.... But look, then you've got to leave me alone!"
TVGuide.com: Or at least give you a tissue! I thought it was interesting that Dionne made a point of saying that you remembered all of your lines during the acting challenge but made your short-term memory an issue during the commercial challenge.
Brittany: That really was a very ignorant statement from someone who has obviously never known anyone with a brain trauma or anything like that and does not understand the difference between short-term and long-term memory. [Brittany has maintained that her short-term memory was scrambled when she was run down by a car.] We had two hours to memorize the script for the acting challenge, and I was able to do that, because it was then committed to long-term memory. When handed cue cards, short-term memory is a two- to five-second window in which you look at something and then you regurgitate it and forget about it. Without having short-term memory, I can't look at something and regurgitate it, because I don't remember it. I would look at the cue cards and then turn to the camera and have no idea what the cue card just said.
TVGuide.com: Snap! When did it occur to you that throwing a hissy fit on the modeling agency's doorstep may not have been the greatest idea?
Brittany: Obviously, in the heat of the moment, it didn't occur to me that it might not be the greatest idea. But afterwards, as soon as I heard from Renee that Priscilla [Leighton Clark of Priscilla's Modeling Management] could hear me... when we walked into the elimination room, I did apologize to her for my behavior and said that it was completely out of line. Of course, they didn't show that part. They show what they like, and that's fine. It's what I signed up for.
TVGuide.com: It had to make you nauseous seeing Priscilla on the panel and knowing what was coming.
Brittany: Oh, I definitely was a little nervous and angry with myself. I reacted in a way that was childish and immature and completely unbecoming, and I lost any poise that I may have had and saw mud on my face! But I took it as a learning experience. Better to fall flat on my face then and learn from it than just go on having no idea.
TVGuide.com: I know you're not allowed to book jobs until the show is finished, but have people been calling to inquire about your availability?
Brittany: Nobody knows who I am yet, because they hide our last names until after we get eliminated. But I definitely plan on pursuing modeling, and actually I'm moving to New York this summer. I'm subletting a place with my friend who has an internship at VH1, so we're going to be living up there and I'm going to attempt to pursue modeling. Hopefully, I can do a little better in the real world than I did on the go-sees that are the little microcosm of ANTM.
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