In March of 2005, Reality Shack interviewed Cycle 4 Brita Petersons-Wald following her appearance on the show. The interview her feelings on her weight, the judges and how her portrayal on the show may have prevented more job offers. Here is the text from the article (written by Cori Linder):
Interview with Brita from “America’s Next Top Model” Cycle 4
When you are the first contestant to be booted from UPN’s hit show “America’s Next Top Model,” the fact that you were chosen from thousands of aspiring models provides little comfort. Combine a modeling competition with reality TV and you find the world judging you on physical appearance, personality, and how you are portrayed on television. Brita, 25, a waitress from La Cañada, California, experienced this first-hand when she competed against 13 other girls for the opportunity to be managed by Ford Models, receive a $100,000 contract with CoverGirl, appear in a fashion spread in “Elle” magazine, and of course, be America’s Next Top Model.
What quality about yourself do you think differentiated you from the other models you were competing against?
I don’t think I have a ‘reality TV’ personality. I don’t like to go over the top for the camera or cause drama, which could be a part of why I was eliminated. I mean, you can already see that Brittany is loud and wild. Some people are drama queens while others get mean and catty. That’s just not me. I actually really liked everyone and was kind of mellow.
At any time before you had to face the judges, did you think that you might be the one who would be booted out?
I already knew. I knew for a fact because I found out they weren’t going to use the second photo shoot as a factor in judging. Obviously my first photo shoot was horrible. I knew I was being put in a position that did not flatter my body. I’ve modeled for years; it’s not like I haven’t been in this business. I remember when I was watching the show that there was this comment that I was being ‘stiff.’ I was stiffed because I was pissed. I didn’t like the way my body was being positioned. I actually asked Nole if I could move, and he said, “No.” I knew the outfit on me was inappropriate for my body. They put a water bra on me, which adds like another ten pounds to the camera. I just know how things work with photo shoots.
Who do you think should have been eliminated instead?
You never know. With the pictures, yeah, Lluvy had a bad picture too, but you never know because it’s a reality show and you can never tell. Of course, everybody wanted Brandy to go. I’m familiar with the entertainment business and I already knew that Brandy would definitely not go because she was crying about it and that’s good television.
When you saw the episode air, were you surprised at all about the comments regarding your weight? For example, Nole said you were a bit “thick” and “a side of beef.”
No, I knew that my weight was going to be an issue because they were asking about it. Nole’s comments pissed me off because he was the one who dressed me. He should have known better and put me in something that made me look better. I did a photo shoot right before I went on the show, and every photo was amazing. Yeah, it was just frustrating to see that because I felt like I was being set up.
The judges blamed your disappointing pictures as the reason why you shouldn’t stay. How much do you think their decision was based on other factors, like your age and weight?
I could see how they would use age or weight but the weight I could have lost in 2 weeks on the show. Nole thought my age was 19 and unfortunately I had to put in my paperwork that my age was 25. You know I had agents that used to think I was 19 or 20, and now I’m screwed. In this industry, they look at the actual number rather than the age you look. Regarding the photo, I really don’t believe that was my best photo.
At the end of the episode you said you regretted the experience. Do you still feel that way?
In a sense I do due to the fact that I have lost job opportunities because I haven’t been able to work, and now I’m sure that certain agents might think that I don’t photograph well, which, in my opinion, is a bunch of crap, to be honest. Every photographer I have ever worked for says I’m unbelievably photogenic.
What did you like about being on the show?
Hmmm…actually, the first episode that aired about the big group being eliminated, that was fun. However, as soon as I realized that the cameras were on me 24/7, I think I held back. I do like my privacy, and I don’t think I realized completely what I was getting myself into. I wasn’t looking at it as a reality show but rather a job or competition type of thing. I’ve always told people I would never do a reality show.
In terms of your career, what are you doing now, and where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
I had to take time away from working in the industry due to the contract so I’ve just been taking classes for television hosting and acting. I’ve been given many opportunities for modeling but I’ve had to turn them down. In five years from now I’ll be 30 so I’ll probably do more television hosting, and I can always do print. I love doing “Maxim,” “FHM,” and men’s magazines, which comes along with entertainment.
Which of the following would you choose to devote an entire day to: working the runway with Jay Alexander, helping Nole Marin prepare for a fashion show, or acting as Janice Dickenson’s personal assistant?
Well, I wouldn’t be a personal assistant to Janice Dickenson because I can’t stand her, and I actually used to be an assistant for somebody like her. I would choose Nole because I would have done a better job than him regarding the photo shoot.
In March of 2005, Reality News Online interviewed Cycle 4 Brita Petersons-Wald following her appearance on the show. The interview discusses being called a “side of meat” by Nole and her feelings about her early elimination. Here is the text from the article (written by Phil Kural):
“Some Doors Actually Closed for Me” – An Interview with America’s Next Top Model 4’s Brita
Although it looked it was going to be Brandy, Brita was the first girl eliminated this season on America’s Next Top Model. In this interview, Brita lets loose on how her elimination came to be and sheds some light on what we didn’t get to see concerning her.
I love interviewing the first three or four girls eliminated from the show. They are the girls that aren’t scared to tell the truth and call it like they saw it, since they didn’t get so emotionally involved in the show. Brita was no exception. In this interview, she tells me how she thinks she might have been set up, what she should have done to stick around and what sentence she is dying to hear.
RNO: Let’s start out with the obvious: You know you were robbed right?
Brita: Haha, yes, I do know that! Thank you!
RNO: Did you think that it was going to be Brandy going home when the two of you stepped in front of Tyra?
Brita: Nope, I totally knew it was going to be me. I’ve worked in the modeling business before and I know that this show is all about shock value. Of course, they led you to believe that it was going to be Brandy, and then off I go. I’ve worked in entertainment too, and knew that I was the one going home.
RNO: Do you think the other girls were shocked to see you going home first? Especially before Brandy?
Brita: Oh, I know for a fact that some of them were shocked that I was sent home. Some of them told me how beautiful I was and they couldn’t believe it. However, I told them that I would be going home that night — from the second I saw the picture of me that they chose to show to the panel. That was NOT my best shot, and in fact, it was probably my worst. Odd, huh?
RNO: Why did you decide to try out for the show in the first place? What did you do in your audition video?
Brita: I actually didn’t send in a video, I went to one of the open call auditions since my boyfriend really wanted me too, and I had modeled in the past. There were so many girls there when I arrived that I was about to leave, but asked one of the casting people to take a quick Polaroid of me. They rushed me to the front of the line and interviewed me right there, and I ended up on the show, so I guess I had something they were looking for!
RNO: You said that you had recently gained ten pounds, right before you were weighed. How did that happen?
Brita: It’s very strange because I’m very odd when it comes to dieting. I actually had the flu, and yes, I know the flu doesn’t make you gain weight, but I use sickness as an excuse to eat. I was actually sick for the first week of taping for the show, but of course, that wasn’t shown. If they had given me another week, I would have lost the weight, I mean, it’s gone now, I was just a little sick at the time so I ate!
RNO: Were you ever given a reason for your elimination?
Brita: No, not really. I was told that I’m not photogenic, but I don’t really buy that one. I have been modeling for years, and I have a portfolio and all. All the pictures in my book are better than the ones they took on the show. I don’t understand how they could say I’m not photogenic. Then why even choose me?
RNO: Were the judges harder or softer than you thought they would be? Who seemed to give the best advice?
Brita: The thing is — none of them gave me any advice! I asked if I could move during the photo shoot and they told me no, then criticized me for not moving enough during the shoot. What kind of advice is that?
RNO: While you were modeling, could you hear Nole’ calling you a side of beef?
Brita: That’s what I was just talking about. I specifically asked Nole’ if I could move because I know I have muscular calves. He told me no, and then went on to criticize me and call me a side of beef. The worst part is that they used that same picture in front of the judges. All of my other frames were better than that one. I think they picked up on the fact that I have worked in the business before and knew I wasn’t there to cause drama, so they wanted me gone.
RNO: When you were eliminated, you said that you were starting to regret the experience. Was that emotion speaking, or do you still feel that way?
Brita: I do still regret it, in a way. I mean, I got pissed off that I was eliminated first, and knew I did better than the picture that they showed of me. Most girls are going to have doors opened up for them because of the show, but some doors actually closed for me. First, my age was revealed, and this business is very dependant on age. Second, I can’t work right now since I’m under contract and there are jobs out there that I have been contacted about.
RNO: You have said several times that you worked in the business before. What do you mean by that?
Brita: I have modeled in the past, I’ve done acting and I’ve worked in entertainment. I know how reality television works — they want people that will cause drama, and that wasn’t me. I’ve taken classes before, and I know what people look for. I saw this show as a job before I saw it as a TV show. I don’t want to be a reality TV star. That’s another reason they may have let me go so soon.
RNO: Is there anyone specific you are rooting for now that you are eliminated?
Brita: No, not really, since I don’t really know what happens yet. I got along with the other girls and didn’t get involved in the drama. I think they were looking for people to mold, and when they saw that I wasn’t able to be molded, it was easy to cut me.
RNO: Looking back, do you think there is anything you could have done differently to stick around longer?
Brita: Well, I could have been over the top and done more acting, but that’s just not me, so I guess there wasn’t anything I could have done.
RNO: If you were a judge, who would you have eliminated first?
Brita: That’s hard to say since I don’t really know where all the other girls are coming from. Like Brandy — I didn’t even see all that drama she was having, so it’s unfair for me to say who should have been eliminated first. Based on the pictures they showed the judges, I was definitely the right girl!
RNO: What are your plans now? Where do you plan to go from here?
Brita: I’m just waiting for the produces to say to me “Okay, you can go back to work,” since my phone has been ringing off the hook with jobs from my old agency. I can’t wait to start modeling again.
RNO: My last question isn’t really a question, but more of a comment. Like I said during my first question, you were robbed! You looked fabulous!
Brita: Aww, thank you so much, that means a lot!
RNO: Thanks, Brita!