Although America's Next Top Model judge Nigel Barker rightly noted that she resembled E.T. in a wig, Furonda Brasfield made it nine count 'em, nine weeks into the CoverGirl competition. How on earth did she outlast witty knockouts like Leslie and Mollie Sue? As her TVGuide.com interview reveals, it certainly wasn't because she exhibited any trace of self-awareness or even a hint of the good humor that wins friends and influences people. (Folks, this one is so out there, she makes Jade seem humble.) Maybe Tyra Banks and Co. were just impressed that they had in their midst a celebrity of such magnitude that she didn't expect to ever have to answer "irrelevant" questions? Whatever the reason, brace yourself for a case of the warm-fuzzies as, in anticipation of tonight's episode (airing at 8 pm/ET on UPN), we cozy up to America's sweetheart.
TVGuide.com: I've committed your pamphlet, "Furonda's Tips for Successful Interaction," to memory, so before we get started, I just want to make sure that I am speaking to the best person to discuss you with.
TVGuide.com: Swell! So what possessed you to strike poses on your way out of panel after being eliminated?
I was thinking, "They can put me off the show, but they can't take my pride or anything like that. I'm gonna strut out of here."
TVGuide.com: You sure did! What's it like to model on top of an elephant?
Interesting. My only thought was, "Please don't fall. And whatever you do, don't piss the elephant off so he goes crazy." It was a surreal experience.
TVGuide.com: I don't know how many times in a model's life that particular skill comes in handy, though. Maybe you'll have more use for Thai dancing. What would you call your unique style?
I'd probably call my version of Thai dancing "The Furonda Boot-Scootin' Boogie."
TVGuide.com: Did the judges call you out for raising your hands above eyebrow level a no-no and a sign of arrogance in Thai dancing?
They did not. If they'd shown my entire [performance] instead of just the piece after piece after piece that they used to try to make me look silly, it would have made more sense. But they cut and pasted all these silly-looking parts together.
TVGuide.com: The audience seemed to enjoy it. They laughed their butts off!
Oh, I had a ball. I had to turn my back to the audience because I couldn't hold my laughter in. I kept cracking up.
TVGuide.com: In the last episode, you were determined to change how the judges perceived you so that you'd be allowed to stay. Looking back, was there anything you could have done that you didn't?
At that point, I think I realized that I'm not what they're looking for at Top Model, and that's OK. I'd just rather leave now than prolong it. I had a really good attitude about the whole thing.
TVGuide.com: You also had a bit of a diva attitude. I mean, your "Tips for Successful Interaction" was a riot! What kind of reaction did your housemates have?
At first the girls were kind of shocked, saying, "Why are you doing this? You don't have to do this!" But that same night, Jade went off on one of her Jade tangents. Actually, she did it on Joanie. At the end of that night, everyone was like, "Why don't we just follow Furonda's rules? Then maybe we can all get along."
TVGuide.com: That's a theory.... Although some of your rules seemed kind of mean-spirited. I mean, "I will treat you identical to, or worse than, the way you treat me"? That's not the Golden Rule as I remember it!
That was kind of an editing tool or what would you call it...
TVGuide.com: I call it a threat!
[Getting impatient] No, no, no. The rule starts off as, "I will respect you and all of your belongings. Please show me the same courtesy. I will treat you in a way identical to, or worse than, you treat me." So the first part of that rule was kind of left out. It's not, "If you treat me well, I'm going to treat you like crap." It means that if you start trouble, you might get more trouble than you started.
TVGuide.com: I must give you credit for managing to put a positive spin on it! But then rule No. 3 is, "If you need anything other than emergency items, please do not ask me." That's not exactly friendly!
[Sighs] Once again, they didn't read the entire rule. The end of that rule says, "If you need anything other than emergency items, please do not ask me. I will be happy to loan Tylenol, tampons, etc, if I can. But this is a competition, so please do not ask me for cosmetic items." I don't think that's mean at all!
TVGuide.com: Aren't you basically saying, "You are not going to like me, and I am not going to like you. If you're bleeding, I will give you a Band-Aid. Other than that, back off!"
No. And I cooked dinner for the girls all the time. We didn't have much food in the house, but I gave girls the sandwich out of my mouth a lot of nights. So it wasn't like that. I was saying, "Don't ask for my dress to wear to panel, and don't ask for my makeup to wear." It's a competition. Why would I give you those things when it's all about appearance?
TVGuide.com: Maybe because someone would do the same for you?
[Patience exhausted] No. Next question, please.
TVGuide.com: Okaaaaay. Your wig made a big impression on the judges when you first auditioned. Do you still travel with one around at all times?
[Uh-oh] What kind of questions are these? "Do I travel with wigs?!"
TVGuide.com: Well, you had a wig at the
No. Right now I have a weave.
TVGuide.com: You don't seem to enjoy interviews very much. Am I right?
I love interviews, but I like to be asked relevant questions. Some of these... it's like I'm being beaten with a stick. Like with the rules question, even after I explain it, you seem to want to have your own thoughts about it. I don't know why people ask questions when my answer really doesn't matter.
TVGuide.com: It does matter. But aren't I allowed to have an opinion, too?
Sure. I value your opinion. [Pause] How many more questions do we have?
TVGuide.com: Honey, we can be done right now. We don't have to do an interview at all. A lot of the Top Model contestants like a bit of publicity as they start their careers.
I feel like I'm being berated by questions that you wouldn't ask an actual actress or a model.
TVGuide.com: If an actual actress or model did a reality show on which she presented a list of rules for dealing with her, I would most certainly ask her exactly these questions. I thought you might appreciate the opportunity to explain your motivation. But I won't "beat you with a stick" anymore.
Thank you so much.
TVGuide.com: Oh, no, thank you.
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