Furonda Brasfield Interview with Stuttgart Daily Leader.com (Apr 06)
July 27, 2010
In April of 2006, Stuttgart Daily Leader.com interviewed Cycle 6’s Furonda Brasfield following her elimination and appearance on the show. Here is the text from the interview (written and posted by Stuttgart Daily Staff):
Stuttgart’s own “America’s Next Top Model” contender Furonda Brasfield still remains a favorite of the judge’s, but was fourth to be called back on last night’s episode.
Brasfield, 24, was one of 14 young women selected by an elite panel of judges, including show creator and super model Tyra Banks, to live together in a mansion and vie for a contract with Ford Models, a $100,000 contract with cosmetics giant Cover Girl and a fashion spread in Elle magazine, shot by legendary photographer Gilles Bensimon.
After last night’s episodes, the field was narrowed to seven with Furonda eliciting such comments as “Furonda is Furonda,” eluding to her sense of independence and being herself.
“She is really connecting with the camera,” Judge Twiggy said during last night’s judge deliberation.
Judge J. Alexander continued his dismay at how Furonda extends her right arm in front of her when she walks.
“Can we break that right arm?” he asked.
Banks credited Furonda with creating a “signature” walk when asked to parade down the runway in front of the judges. She didn’t quite master the twirling, crossing her ankles a couple of times when they were supposed to remain stationary.
Furonda’s mother, Bonda Brasfield Jones, said that Furonda has always had her own signature style.
“She’s always been a special little girl. She loves to read and was just a smart little girl,” she said.
Still, she said, she never dreamed her little girl would be in the national spotlight, fulfilling her life-long ambition.
“I’m so proud of her,” she said. “She’s always wanted to be in modeling. She’s been to New York and has done photo shoots, but nothing on this level.”
Furonda initially auditioned for the show in 2002 when producers came to Little Rock to recruit models. Her mother said that Furonda had given up hope when she was not invited on the show’s first season, but was ecstatic when she received a call last year asking her to compete on the sixth season competition.
“The producers were about to throw out the audition tapes when they decided to take one more look,” Jones said. “Then they called her. She was so shocked.”
Furonda, an honor student who graduated from Stuttgart High School, earned her degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and is now taking online courses to earn her law degree.
Furonda’s upbringing is apparent in the show as she stays outside the fire of house conflicts.
“She told me ‘Momma, they’re not going to see me doing anything in the house except laying on the bed, reading my books,'” Jones said. “I have always taught her, God first, keep him first in everything you do. Always think ‘What Would Jesus Do.’ I told her to always ask herself ‘Would I be ashamed of my actions if I were standing before God.'”
Furonda, her mother said, is an active member in Traveler’s Rest Missionary Baptist Church in Stuttgart, where her uncle Bobby Brasfield is the pastor.
“She was so involved in church. She sang in choir and participated in everything she could,” Jones said.
Furonda is in Stuttgart on a short hiatus before she heads back to California and even spoke to students last week at Meekins Middle School during the “Stamp Out Smoking” program. She is under contract not to speak to the press or release any details until after the show’s final episode ends, but her mother said she has learned a lot from her experience and is looking forward to a bright future.
Furonda’s little sister, 8-year-old Akayla Jones, has elevated her big sister to super star status.
“She talks about her more than I do!” Jones said. “She just has to share it with her friends. She even carries a picture of her to school every day. She’s very proud of her big sister.”