Brenda Arens Interview with Reality News Online (Apr 2010)

May 1, 2010

In April of 2010, interviewed Cycle 14’s Brenda Arens. The interview summarizes her previous modeling experience, her shocking elimination and the hair style she decided to keep post show. Here is the text from the article (written by Phil Kural):

There Were a Few Times I Got the Short End of the Stick” – RealityNewsOnline’s Exclusive Interview With America’s Next Top Model 14’s Brenda

Brenda was the latest girl sent packing on this cycle of America’s Next Top Model when the judges felt that she just didn’t have the fire and desire to be there like the rest of the girls. Was that the case? Did she keep the dramatic look Tyra gave her? Did her experience hurt her? Brenda answers all this and so much more right here!

When I saw Brenda eliminated in the most recent episode, I was a bag of mixed thoughts. I thought she did great this week, but even I had predicted her as the next to go. However, once I finished my interview with her, I was solidly in the camp of wanting her to still be around. Brenda had a personality that she didn’t display on the show and really made me want to see more of her. Read on to see what I’m talking about.

RealityNewsOnline: Hey, Brenda! Thanks for taking time out of your day to chat with me today. How much of previous cycles of the show had you seen and why did you decide to apply?

Brenda: I had been watching ANTM off and on all through the years, but I originally had seen the first cycle where Adrienne had won. From there, I would jump back and forth watching a cycle here and there. I always loved the show and wanted to try out so I just decided to go for it!

RNO: It was no secret that you had prior modeling experience before your time on the show. Do you feel it helped or hindered you in the competition?

Brenda: I would say a little of both. It helped because I was knowledgeable and familiar with the industry, but it did hurt me a little since habits are hard to break since you do something for so long and then when you are told to do something new, it’s hard to adjust.

I think also that the judges did expect a little more from me, especially when you look at how all the girls in the third shoot had American dances and I had African. I felt like there were a few times that I got the short end of the stick.

RNO: Obviously you were the “shocking makeover” of the season. Do you feel editing played up your reaction or were you truly upset over the whole thing?

Brenda: Oh no, those were real tears! Ha! I wasn’t happy about the whole thing, but like Tyra said, I was a team player. It wasn’t a secret that I didn’t love it but I had decided that there was no way I was going home over hair, so I worked with it the best that I could.

RNO: You said before panel that you felt you were going to be safe. What do you think went wrong and why do you think you were eliminated?

Brenda: I’m still questioning that too since my two prior photos were received well by the judges. I felt confident going in and that was why I was shocked when they said that they felt I lacked a fire and desire. I think it’s because I didn’t rock my hair the way that Tyra and company wanted me to.

RNO: We saw this week that there was a clear division in the house, but nobody ever mentioned which group Alexandra fell into. Was she with the drama girls or the low key girls?

Brenda: Yeah, the thing with Alexandra is that she was in Angelea’s room, but I have to say that she was pretty neutral in the whole thing. That being said, I don’t know what happened when the cameras weren’t around or what was said behind our backs that wasn’t shown. However, to me, she just wasn’t really involved.

I just feel like when you have a bunch of girls living in a house together you can only be nice for so long. It was just that girls that had the same background as one another were the ones gravitating. You have girls like Alasia, Krista, and Angelea that all grew up the same way, so of course they are going to gravitate.

RNO: It seemed like you were up and down all season in the judges’ eyes, but were ultimately eliminated when the judges felt you didn’t have a fire for the competition. What was your take?

Brenda: When I came into this competition I couldn’t stop smiling. I had my signature red hair and I was ready to go. It hit me hard when they cut off my hair and gave me a completely new look, and when that happened my confidence went right out the window. But as far as wanting to be there it never crossed my mind – I wanted to be there.

RNO: You were on your game this week getting praised at the teach and the challenge, and even Jay said your photo shoot this week was pretty good. At what point do you feel things started to turn?

Brenda: That’s why I said I was so shocked when I was eliminated. My vampire photo was loved by the judges and the fashion photo that we did last week wasn’t the best, but I was still called fourth from the top. I don’t even think that my CoverGirl photo was that bad, and I guess that is why I’m still shocked that I was sent home this week.

RNO: Tyra suggested that you keep the look that she gave you and begin a portfolio with it. Did you take the advice, or are you moving back to your old style?

Brenda: Well, I’m not going back to my old style. I’m going to compromise. I have decided that I’m not going to stick with the mullet and let my hair get to chin length and go with a bob. This way clients and designers can style me the way they like. I know I have to wait a little before I can start modeling again so this is giving me the time to do that, but I am definitely ready to get back out there and work again.

RNO: When I talked to Tatianna last week, she told me that Alasia is being edited as the loud girl who picks fights but is very personable when the cameras weren’t around. Would you agree?

Brenda: Umm, you know… Alasia is a loose cannon. She is up and down and I’ve never personally got into a yelling match with her but I would tell her that she needs to bring it down a notch at times. Someone would say something to her though and right away she would just fly off the handle.

Editing was kinder to some girls over others, though, and you have to realize that. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to talk about it since it may be in the clip show, but they haven’t shown even half of what Krista was up to, and I hope they do!

RNO: Do you feel like going on a reality show is harder for parents than it is for the girls that don’t have to leave children at home?

Brenda: Yeah, I think so. We all gave up something to be there. Simone gave up a scholarship and Tatianna gave up her studies, but a parent is leaving another person behind. Someone that relies on you and someone that you want to be there for so I would definitely say it’s harder for a parent.

RNO: After all is said and done, where do you see yourself a year from now?

Brenda: A year from now I see myself with several modeling agencies around the U.S. I really want to break into something new since I have never done so much commercial work before the show so I really want to try more of that. I wouldn’t mind getting into TV as well. Essentially, I just want to try my hand at a bunch of different things.

RNO: What type of advice would you give to girls who are thinking of applying to future cycles?

Brenda: I would definitely say that if this has been a dream of yours then you should just keep trying. I’m a single mom and if I can do it with just myself and my daughter then you can too. Don’t put up roadblocks for yourself and think that you can’t do it or won’t make it. When you do make, just try to stay out of the drama! Ha!

RNO: Looking back, do you have any regrets or do you think you played in the competition 100% true to who you are?

Brenda: I really did keep true to myself and that’s the one thing that I’m really proud of. The only time I snapped was this past Wednesday and that was just me standing up for myself. I don’t have any regrets about my time on the show and I was just me.

RNO: Is there anything you would like to add or say to fans of the show?

Brenda: Well, I do have a fan page so people have been awesome on there and people stop me on the street and tell me how much they liked me on the show so I really do want to thank the fans. They make me laugh when I’m down and really do have a way of cheering me up. I’m so thankful for the experience.

RNO: Thanks, Brenda!

To learn more about Cycle 14’s Brenda Arens, visit her bio page here.

Photo: CWJonathan Mannion

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