Top Model Eliminee Furonda Roots for Remaining Girls As Finale NearsNow that Furonda has been eliminated from America’s Next Top Model 6, who will she be rooting for when the show airs tonight?
When I asked Furonda during an interview last week, she said “I don’t know. All of the girls are great models at this point. So I guess it’s up in the air. Whoever wants it the most. At this point, Joanie is taking really great pictures. She was magical with the elephant. Danielle has just become a judges’ sweetheart and she’s a hometown girl from Arkansas. So of course I’m rooting for her. Jade takes great pictures. Sara is getting into the modeling and learning more and more about it. It’s up in the air, so I’m rooting for all of the girls. I love them all”
Was Forunda surprised that she was eliminated from the show? “None of the eliminations really surprised me,” she said. “At any time, anybody is vulnerable. It could go either way. ”
Furonda says she learned a great deal from her experience on the show. “The thing I took away from the experience is that you don’t let worlds or people get you down. Keep your head up high and even when they’re trying to put you out on a TV show, you strut out. You say you can’t kick me out. I’m leaving.”
These days, Furonda is keeping extremely busy with several projects. “I just got a website, http://www.furonda.com, she said. “I’m working with knowhivaids.org more and more and NAPWA, the National Association for People With AIDS…I’m doing music. I’m going to upload my songs to My Space and also my personal website.”
But what about modeling? “Of course I’m going to pursue modeling,” she said. “I’m going to meet with some of the interested agencies in New York here pretty soon. And just test the waters and see what’s out there. Of course, I’ve been bitten by the acting bug from Veronica Mars. I want to do lots of comedy stuff. Possibly Saturday Night Live, Mad TV, or Chapelle Show. Something like that.”
But Forunda isn’t stopping there.
“I am writing articles that I’m trying to get published right now,” she told me. “They’re about body image and self esteem for young girls. I know a lot of young girls have watched me on TV and they see Furonda , who is a real stick thin person. I just want to let them know that I haven’t always been happy with my body. I wanted to be bustier and bigger. And for the girls that write me and say, Oh Forunda, I’m having weight problems and I wish I was your size, I just want to let them know it’s not about being somebody else’s size , it’s about loving yourself and being healthy and just loving the skin that you’re in.”
I have a feeling we will be hearing a lot more from Ms. Forunda.
In May of 2006, RealityNewsOnline.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 Phil Kural):
“Is This Interview Even About Me?”– An Interview with America’s Next Top Model 6’s Furonda
Furonda was the ninth girl eliminated this season on America’s Next Top Model. In this interview, Furonda talks about how she ended up on the show, where she is headed next, and you’ll even get to see her sass yours truly!
Okay, this has to be one of the most interesting interviews I have ever done. Everything seemed to be going well, then Ms. Furonda decided that the interview wasn’t going the way she wanted, so I had to skip to the end of my questions, since she all but told me that the interview would be taking a turn, and from that point on all we would talk about was her. So, this is how it went:
RealityNewOnline: Hey, Furonda! Thanks for taking time out of your schedule to talk to me today. Had you watched previous seasons of the show and what factored into your decision to apply?
Furonda: Yes, I watched mostly all of the other seasons. I actually applied for season two, after seeing Keese on season one. She was another girl from Arkansas and she motivated me to apply. I wasn’t picked and lost hope, but they were actually getting ready to throw a box of applications away when they stumbled upon my video and gave me a call saying that they would be in my hometown for open casting, and that I should go. I truly was blessed to end up on the show.
RNO: Do you regret handing out a list of do’s and don’ts to the other girls so soon after moving into the house?
Furonda: Absolutely not. I should have handed it out sooner. The same girls that said it was patronizing of me to hand out that list were the same girls that were being disrespectful and had issues. I just wanted everyone to know that I wanted to be talked to if someone had a problem with me. I didn’t feel like any of us needed anymore stress. We were in a situation that already had us stressed out enough.
RNO: It seemed like throughout the competition, you and Jade had something of a love/hate relationship. Could you tell us a bit about your friendship with Jade?
Furonda: I don’t see where you are getting a hate aspect in our friendship. Jade has been hurt by the industry. At times, Jade was very sincere and moving, but you only get to see the things about Jade that the editors want you to. She did put up a façade at times, but under her shell Jade is a very sweet person.
RNO: At the first elimination, when you were standing next to Kathy, did you think you would be eliminated at that moment?
Furonda: Kathy was a great girl and I was sad to see her go. However, I still wanted to stay, and I was just hoping that it wasn’t me at that point. If I had gone home so early, then what would have been the point of me even doing the show, you know?
RNO: Surely you knew that Nnenna was a favorite of the judges. Did you think that it was your time when were standing next to her in front of Tyra?
Furonda: Once again, you don’t really have time to think about it. All you can be is optimistic. You don’t know what the judges are basing the elimination on, so the best think you can do is be confident. It looks like Tyra is holding more than one picture at the end, so for all we know, if someone isn’t looking confident, she might make a last minute switch. You just have to carry yourself well at all times in front of the judges.
RNO: It often seemed like we got to see a more fun side of you when you were around the judges. Do you feel that enough of your personality was shown throughout the competition, other than what we got to see with the judges?
Furonda: I was so full of personality that had they shown all the sides of me, it would have been “The Furonda Show.” I mean, I understand that they had to give the other girls some camera time as well, and develop them as characters. However, I was happy with the way that I was edited and was shown on the show. It could have been a lot worse!
RNO: Okay, I need to know! What was up with your signature walk? Why didn’t your arm ever move? Did you plan it that way?
Furonda: Well, at first, the arm was out and I was looking a little prissy. However, I started keeping it to the side and it stuck, and that became my signature walk. I have worked on it now though, and I’m proud to say that there is a cure for the paralyzed arm!
RNO: Did anyone ever say anything to Sara about copying almost every pose that Joanie did for the photo shoot? Were you surprised that the judges didn’t make a bigger deal of it?
Furonda: I think we all said something to her. I know Mr. Jay did at one point and Sara asked me what I thought and I told her that if she was going to copy Joanie’s poses, she would have to do them better. I don’t count on the judges for anything at elimination. It all depends on the mood they are in and how they are feeling. I never know what they are looking for, so them not saying much to Sara about it didn’t really faze me at all.
RNO: Being Jade’s roommate, did you ever take her aside and suggest to her that maybe arguing and making excuses in front of the judges might not be the best way to get on their good side?
Furonda: Yes, I did, but once again – all of us said something to her at one point or another. I told her that you can’t talk back to the judges and you have to agree with whatever criticism they are giving you and just nod your head. They will determine your fate, so you don’t want to get on their bad side.
RNO: Whose elimination shocked you the most?
Furonda: Nobody’s elimination really shocked me. It’s a TV show, and you have to remember that it’s a factor in everything. If someone’s personality isn’t popping, they will go home. If someone has a bad photo, they might go home. You never know who is going home, so I was never shocked.
RNO: Now that you have been eliminated, who do you think has the best chance of winning?
Furonda: I really don’t know. Is this interview even about me? You are asking me questions about the other girls and I don’t think you’ve asked me any questions about what I’m doing now or what I’m going to be doing in the future. I don’t want to answer these questions, especially if they don’t pertain to me.
RNO: Okay, no problem, Furonda.
Sorry dear readers, at this point, I skipped to my final questions since I didn’t really care to speak to her anymore anyway.
RNO: Is modeling still something that you plan on trying to pursue?
Furonda: Yes, it’s still something I want to do. You can always find out what I’m up to by going to http://www.Furonda.com. I’m currently looking for an agency to sign with and I’ve been doing some work for KnowHIVaids.org, which is the cause that Nnenna and I did the commercial for.
RNO: What is your plan B in case you decide to take another path besides modeling?
Furonda: I’d like to get into acting and writing, and I’ve been writing some articles about body image. I know that people saw me on the show and know me as “skinny Furonda.” I want girls to realize that it’s about being yourself, and you don’t have to be as skinny as I am to feel good about yourself.
RNO: Is there anything you would like to add or say to fans of the show?
Furonda: I just want everyone to know how appreciative I am for all the support I have gotten. I’m glad that I was seen as such a positive person, and that I didn’t feed into the drama. It was a great experience.
RNO: Thanks, Furonda!
In May of 2006, RealityShack.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 Syrone Harvey):
Interview With Furonda of America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 6
Arkansas native Furonda became the ninth eliminee of America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 6. Week after week this captivating, small town Southern girl amazed the judges with beguiling charm and refreshing personality. Although her impromptu poses and photos were consistently amazing, they felt she continuously came across like someone who “just didn’t get it.” We spoke with Furonda and discovered that she has much more going for her than glamour and cutting edge style.
Hi Furonda. How are you? Thanks for talking to us this morning.
Hi. I’m good. No problem.
Before America’s Next Top Model, did you have ambitions to model?
I did. I had so many ambitions to model. I moved to New York two times. I’ve gone to LA to try to model with not so good results each time, but I’ve been building a portfolio actually for years trying to get noticed and be seen. So, it actually was a good opportunity for me; to get my face out there.
What unique quality set you apart from the other competitors?
I think my personality set me apart from the other girls in the competition because I’m Furonda. I mean I’m not trying to conform to the ways of everybody else. I don’t want to be like you, I’m going to be me. You can hate it or you can love it but I’m going to be me.
You came into the Top Model house with a list of rules for the others to follow. What was that really about?
I was an only child. When I went to college to live for the first time, there were so many girls and so much going on – so much this and so much drama. I removed myself from that situation and got my own apartment. Then when I found out I was going to be on the show it just brought back memories of college years. It was like; I’m not going to go through that anymore.
The rules on TV, they kind of were laid out to be worse than what they really were. They cut out parts and added parts that would make it more divalicious. It was basically just to let the girls know that I would respect them and expect the same respect in return. If they had any concerns or if I did anything to offend them they could come to me freely and talk to me about it. Then we could squash the issues so we didn’t cause problems for the other roommates. I hoped everyone would follow that and just be respectful and that way we could make this work.
Did you enter the competition with a challenge area, something you needed to improve on?
When I entered the competition I had been trying to be a model, but I think the reason it had not worked for me is because I absolutely did not know what I was doing. I had no guidance about what a model was really supposed to be like in person; the movement, my angles, I just tried to fake it until I make it and I made it. So it was a really good opportunity to get some expert advice and kind of polish my skills. I think I’m better at angles now; knowing what works for me and what light I should be in.
Did your makeover increase your level of confidence?
I don’t know if my makeover increased my confidence level but it gave me more to work with. I had a disaster haircut before – it was a big disaster. I had it right before I came to the show so I think the hair helped me feel better about myself. I would wake up in the morning and look at the mess on the top of my head and think, “What am I going to do with it?”
It actually was a stress reliever to get my makeover and get my hair done. It was something I could work with and something that would make me feel more presentable to the judges and make me look more like a model. Once that happened, I was looking in the mirror like, “Hey I really got a chance with this.”
Which photo shoot was your favorite?
My favorite photo shoot was the living doll, the Pantene Pro-V where I was a rag doll. The week before, they had used the rag doll as a critique, as a criticism for me, then they made me a rag doll the next week. I think they were trying to be funny but I really came back with that rag doll and I really showed that I could be versatile; I could do the things I needed to do to make it in the competition.
Which shoot was your worst?
Umm, I think my worst photo shoot was the fairy tale photo shoot where we’re falling off the table. That was the worst. I think a lot of us injured ourselves during that photo shoot. I don’t think that was well-thought out at all; to stand on top of the table and fall off onto the floor. I think it was my worst ’cause my face was like, “I’m falling off the table! I’m falling off and getting hurt every time I hit the ground.”
What was it like being in Thailand?
Thailand was like a mystic, magical place. It was like… when I got off the plane I could hear this music “doot, doot, doot, doo…” playing in my head. I had never left the country before so to see this awesome culture of people who are so humble and so willing to serve. That meekness kind of ran into what we were doing and just helped us to stay grounded in what we were doing. I mean the country was beautiful. The shopping was great and the people were so accommodating to us. It was great.
Which judge do you feel was the most critical?
The most critical judge had to be Nigel Barker, AKA Simon Cowell. In all fairness I have to realize that’s his 15 minutes of fame. He gets to be on TV, so of course he’s going to milk it for all it’s worth. I think he’s trying to play the role of Simon of American Idol except on America’s Next Top Model. That’s cool; but give us critiques that will kind of help us. He’s going to sit up and try to talk bad about us to our faces. I mean, if I’m standing here, I’m not a dog. Tell me something that’s going to help me. I’m serious. If my picture – just tell me what’s wrong with it without attacking me and just trying to make yourself look better cause you’re not making yourself look better by talking about someone else and you’re not trying to help them.
How were you able to maintain your focus with all the drama that was going on inside the house?
Well actually my focus was first on trying to stay positive throughout the whole thing. Negativity has no space in my life and that’s been for awhile so when I went to the competition I’m thinking, “I just wanna have fun. I’m going to make the most out of this. I’m not going to let anybody else bring me down or cause me to take my eyes off of what’s most important to me; and that’s staying true to myself throughout this whole competition.” I think I did that really well.
Who would you like to be chosen as America’s Next Top Model?
I’ve got to say Danielle. I’ve got so much hometown Arkansas love for Danielle so I’m hoping she brings the title back to Arkansas.
Do you plan to continue modeling in the future?
For one thing, I’m going to be a speaker at the NAPWA National Youth Conference. That’s the National Association of People With AIDS. I plan on doing a lot more work with KNOWHIVAIDS.org getting the word out that AIDS is an epidemic and it affects all of us. I have modeling and acting of course. I wanna be on Saturday Night Live and do sketches on shows like that – SNL, The Chapelle Show – I’m going to see if I can work that out.
I’ve written lots of articles about girls and self-esteem issues and body image. It doesn’t matter what kind of body you have. Everyone is not stick rail thin like Furonda; and Furonda’s never wanted to be stick rail thin. I always wanted to be bigger, like the bustier girls. So, it’s more about being healthy and loving your body that you have.
are really big issues with young girls today.
That’s what I want to be involved with.
Do you plan on moving to New York or Los Angeles?
Well, I think New York is calling my name. I hear you New York. Hit me up on my website, www.furonda.com. Any casting agents or agencies that are interested can contact me through that website. I guess we’ll just see what happens in the future. Definitely I’m not going to stand still. This is not the end. This is only the beginning for me. I’m doing music now too. I’m going to upload some of my songs on MySpace in the next couple of days. We’ll just see what the feel is for it. I just have so much that I want to do; so many causes I want to help.
This has really opened up doors for you.
Right. I’m blessed to be in this position. The number one thing I say is I just want to get the message out to young girls that if I can be on America’s Next Top Model from where I come from, you can do whatever you want. You’ve got to put your mind to it and follow through and be responsible when you’re attempting your goals.
Well, thank you so much. It was a pleasure talking to you. We look forward to seeing you in whichever arena you choose; modeling, acting, writing, music … whatever.
Well, thank you. Bye!
July 28, 2010
In May of 2006, OrwellProject.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 Jackie Helm):
Interview with Furonda, the 9th eliminated girl from America’s Next Top Model Cycle 6.
By Jackie Helm
Furonda tells us about her triple threat qualities and announces her website www.furonda.com!
Jackie: Hi Furonda. Did you know you would be the o ne to go?
Furonda: In the week before I felt like my time was dwindling. I could see that I may not be exactly what they were looking for so at that point I was ready for anything.
Jackie: What is your interpretation of why the judges sent you home?
Furonda: Furonda marches to the beat of her own drum. That is why I was sent home.
Jackie: Are you going to continue to pursue modeling?
Furonda: Definitely. I am going to continue to pursue modeling. I have been bit by the acting bug when I did Veronica Mars and the Public Service Announcement. I am going to continue to do those things. I am going to continue to work with Know HIV/Aids and National Association of People with Aids. Nnenna and I are going to do a fashion show for the youth conference in February. I am trying to get my website http://www.furonda.com functional. I am working o n my music. I am ready to throw myself into my career.
Jackie: What photo were you most proud of?
Furonda: I was most proud of the Pantene Pro-V living doll photo. I love that photo. It was kind of turning a negative into a positive – the week before when Jay called me a rag doll for the way I danced in the Krumping shoot – I actually got to be a rag doll and it turned out to be sweet and I rocked it.
Jackie: If there was anything that you could have done differently what would it have been?
Furonda: I really do not believe in regrets. I probably would do the same thing all over again. I would do my Thai dance the way I did it. I had a blast and a lot of people think being eliminated was the most horrible thing that could of happened but I had a good experience and it was time for it to end.
Jackie: What was wearing the tiara all about?
Furonda: I think that I am a princess. I think that all women are and should be. Especially with the situation that I was in, I needed my super queen powers at that moment. So, I had to bring the tiara out.
Jackie: Did anybody break any of the rules that you handed out?
Furonda: Not really. Jade was borderline sometimes but we pulled her back in and worked with her. (We laugh)
Jackie: What girls are you still in touch with?
Furonda: I have stayed in touch with just about everybody. I don’t think there is anybody that I have not talked to at least o nce. I talk to Nnenna all the time, I talk to Jade a lot, I talked to Danielle she is here in Arkansas. Kathy, Wendy, Mollie Sue, Joanie…I haven’t talked to Leslie as much. I talked to Sara Saturday night. She went down to the Kentucky Derby and was really happy that night.
Jackie: Give me some juice. Tell me something that happened behind the scenes that we did not see.
Furonda: There are a lot of things behind the scenes that you didn’t get to see. You didn’t get to see the cause of some of the effects. My rules were misconstrued. They kind of o nly added the diva-licious portions of them when they outlined them for me. Of course you are not going to get to see all of the hard work that goes behind that show. We worked so hard in a really short period of time. Of course you saw all the drama parts.
Jackie: The house was looking nasty at o ne point – who was the slob?
Furonda: I will have to say that Brooke was not the cleanest person in the house. Some of the other girls were younger so they were used to their moms cleaning up after them.
Jackie: I appreciate you talking with me. Do you have any last words or shout outs?
Furonda: Visit my website, http://www.furonda.com. It will be up and functioning soon. Right now you can look at pictures. It’s going to be awesome and cool. My music is coming soon. I will have it uploaded by the end of the week o n myspace account. Give a shout out to all my fans and supporters, the people who have been rooting for Furonda from the beginning. Tell them to not stop rooting because this is o nly the beginning.
Jackie: Thanks Furonda! Good luck!
Furonda: Thank you.
July 27, 2010
In May of 2006, GirlPosse.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 Girl Posse Staff):
From the very beginning of speaking to Furonda on the phone, I knew she would be fun to talk to. As one of my favorites this season, it was nice to see that her personality matched (and even exceeded) my expectations. I began by congratulating her on making it so far in the competition, and admitted that I had been rooting for her. Her response was a gleeful “Thank you. I am proud of myself, and really happy.”
Furonda told me how she had been encouraged to audition for America’s Next Top Model. “In stores people would tell me – and they still tell me so obviously they don’t watch – that I should be on the show” she laughed. She had never modeled before, but had been trying to break into the business. “I didn’t know what I was doing. I had no guidance. I didn’t know anything!”
Furonda had watched America’s Next Top Model, although “not every single show. But I watched some of every season. The first was my favorite. Kesse was from my hometown, so of course I watched her. I loved the strong personalities. I loved what they did.” She had applied to be on the show for the second season and never heard anything back until this past summer. But watching reality TV and being on reality TV are two different things. “The reality portion of the show was hard. You’re monitored all the time. It is freakish!” she laughed. “Every word you say is heard.”
Living with a bevy of other women could be stressful as well, but Furonda decided a direct approach would be a good start to their living arrangement, and came up with the now famous “Furonda’s Rules”. I asked if she thought it helped alleviate drama and fighting in the house. “Yeah, I know it helped.” She went on to say that a few people didn’t understand it. “They showed one scene and the girls talked about it. Hey – there was a rule about ‘talk to me'” she laughed. It had seemed as if Furonda was being depicted as a “diva-ish” character and I asked if she felt that way, or if we saw the real “Furonda”. “Ha – everyone I know says ‘that was SO you!’. Ya know, I don’t give massages to other girls. I just don’t. Ya know? So I think it was pretty accurate” she paused “I’m not as difficult though.”
In addition to the reality TV / living with others aspect of the show – it is above all else a modeling competition. The girls had some amazing photo shoots and I asked about Furonda’s favorite one. “Can I tell you my least favorite one first?” she laughed. I agreed and she quickly explained why the “falling” photo shoot was so painful for her. “Is this fear factor for models? Who came up with this? ‘Hey can I see them fall off a table?'”she explained as she laughed harder and harder. “We had 50 frames, and the mat did not have enough air in it. It was hard! Sara got hurt and they had to call an ambulance – they didn’t show that.” Furonda was excited about her favorite shoot. “The living doll, The Pantene Pro-V photo shoot was my favorite. I thought it was funny because Jay was calling me a rag doll. So I became a rag doll.”
Furonda has no regrets about the experience and would do it again despite the stress. “It was such a stressful time. We all wanted that one position. It was mentally straining.” But though the girls were vying for the one top spot, friendships were formed. Furonda is still in contact with many of the girls, and is proud to say she has no enemies amongst her former roommates.
SO what is next for this funny beauty? “I have a website, (www.furonda.com).” Se talked about her diverse interest in pursuing modeling, acting, music, Saturday Night Live and writing. Furonda has written many articles about body image and self-esteem that she is looking to get published. Her inspiration for writing these articles came from her own childhood. Having always been extremely skinny (and hating it for a long time) Furonda understands the mixed messages girls get today. All humor had left her voice as she talked about the girls that would e-mail her, saying they wanted to look like her. Her message to all girls is “Be happy with yourself.”
Whatever avenue Furonda pursues, I think she will succeed. I would also like to thank her for taking the time to speak with us. We can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. 🙂
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.”
In May of 2006, Fans of Reality TV (FORT) 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 Hepcat):
America’s Next Top Model 6: Interview With Furonda, 5/6/06
Latest to be eliminated from Top Model Bootcamp was Furonda, whom the judges found to be…well, actually, I’m not sure what the judges found to be lacking during her time on the show. She put together a decent portfolio, and even thrilled the judges the week before. Perhaps they thought that if dubbed the newest ANTM, Furonda would waltz onto the red carpet wearing her tiara, cracking jokes, and passing out mimeographed copies of her “rules”. At least she wasn’t pigeonholed into that most irritating of reality-show stereotypes: The Girl Who Makes Watching Paint Dry Seem Exciting. Because as one audience of Thai folks will tell you – this girl is entertainment personified.
Good morning, Furonda! I have to say, I did not expect to be talking to you today.
You have some vocal fans on our site – have you ever stopped by for a look?
Right, I have looked at your site from time to time. Your fans are really vocal, they are. (Laughs)
Were you a fan of the show? Had you seen any of the previous cycles?
I saw the first cycle with Kesse Wallace – she’s in Little Rock, Arkansas – of course I watched that one. I watched pretty much every cycle when I had the chance, and I loved the show before I ever went on it.
Who did you see as your biggest competition – who was the girl to beat?
In the competition, I thought that the girl to beat would probably be myself. It really didn’t matter what the other girls did; it was all about if I could get it, and if I could apply it, and pump out a big picture, go to judging each week and wow the judges, so it was actually a race against myself.
Which photoshoot was your best, in your opinion?
I think my best photoshoot probably was the living doll, the Pantene Pro-V photoshoot. That week was “the ugly side of modeling” and I was pretty much on that week. I fell into the rag doll theme. It kind of helped that Jay called me a rag doll the week before, and he was trying to be funny when he said it. So, I just fell into the rag doll thing, like, “You think I’m a rag doll? I’ll be a rag doll.”
You made your mark early in the house by passing out a sheet to the other girls with your “rules” and wearing a tiara. Did anyone break your rules, and if so, how?
You know, I had some girls who asked me for personal items even after – laughing too hard to finish The rules kind of got misconstrued. It wasn’t like that, it was all in good fun. They kind of left out parts of the rules, and only left the parts that would put me in the diva/bitchy light. The girls all understood. I didn’t have a problem with anybody in the house pretty much. As far as not asking me for personal items – once they got over that, we were pretty much fine on the rules. But my crown was not coming off. (Laughs) I actually still have that crown, too. I still have it. I’m looking at it right now. As a matter of fact, I better put it on. Maybe I’ll have a better interview.
But the whole diva role – at first it seemed like when you were passing out those rules that you were going to be this cycle’s diva. But that didn’t seem to fit your personality at all as the weeks went on.
Right! Everyone has to play a part, and has to be edited a different way, and I guess I was “diva”. (Laughs) There are worse things to be than a diva, so it was okay. I’m just really a fun person. I just like to have fun and not be in a lot of drama, or have negative energy around me. I think that’s what diva means. It’s like, if you have drama, get as far away from me as can, or there’s going to be a problem.
Okay, I’m going to read off some names of the other women in the house, and if you could, I’d like you to tell me what you thought of them in a sentence or two.
Joanie: Joanie is funny. She was the mother of the house, and Joanie is hilarious. We sat on my bed and laughed for hours and hours and hours. She’s the mother of the house, and sometimes she got carried away with it, and I would say, “Joanie, you are not my mama!” And she would say, “Oh, okay. I’m just so used to taking care of everybody.” She sort of fell into that role early on in the house.
Jade: Jade was a unique person, one like I’ve never met before. I know Jade on the show, many times when the cameras were on her, she appeared to be doing crazy things, but that wasn’t Jade 24 hours a day. Jade has a lot of dimensions to her, and once you actually get past the outer facade that she has going on, she’s really a nice person, I think.
What was your impression of Jade’s tears in front of the judges: fake or not?
When Jade was in panel, I was standing behind her, so I couldn’t see her face to see what she was doing up there, so I don’t know.
Danielle: Danielle’s from Arkansas, so of course I’ve got that Arkansas love for Danielle.
Nnenna: Nnenna is the sweetest person that you will ever, ever meet. She’s so sweet and so polite. (imitating her voice) “I don’t want to offend anyone, I don’t want to!” A lot of times, if you look, Nnenna’s not even present when things are going on. She mostly stayed on her bed, she read her books, she talked on the phone to her boyfriend. She just stayed cleared of household problems. I mean, she was always helping out if we needed household work or help with something. She’s just a really dependable, nice person. And a great model! She’s a great model. I plan to see Nnenna on the runways pretty soon here.
Sara: Sara was very smart, and as the weeks went on, I got to know more and more about Sara. She really loves modeling, even though she just got into it she works really, really hard to get it right.
Brooke: Brooke was really more sensitive than she should be in this business. But she’s a beautiful girl.
How about Leslie?
Um, how about not.
Mollie Sue: Mollie Sue is the comedian extraordinaire. I don’t understand how they didn’t get Mollie Sue’s personality because she’s a really sarcastic person. All of her humor is off-the-cuff. It seems like she’s not cracking a joke but she’s actually being hilariously funny. And I thought she was so clever, and there she is drop-dead gorgeous.
A lot of the girls have described you as the girl who made them laugh all the time, and you really had the crowd rolling during your Thai dance performance. Do you think you should be going for something other than modeling, like being a comedian?
You know, I’ve been thinking about it. It’s always been my dream to be on “Saturday Night Live.” I love what they do, I love the skits, and I always think, “I could do that, I could be on that!” So I’ve always wanted to do comedy and skits like that, maybe “The Dave Chappelle Show” or something like that. That’s the way I get through my day, because things have been really hard for me in the past, so laughter is what helps me get through it all. I just wanted to make the other girls laugh, because I knew we were all stressed out. We were all going through the same thing. We were up for hours upon hours upon hours at a time, just sitting around doing nothing, but then we would have to be up. A lot of us weren’t eating right because we didn’t have access to all of the foods we needed. We just had to kind of stick in there and hang together.
Was there some sort of starvation diet in that house? Because you’re not the first girl to mention the lack of food.
It’s not a starvation diet, but what it is, with production and everything going on, it’s kind of hard to get to the grocery store. There’s confidentiality – we really can’t be seen – and I guess it was just hard to get us groceries for us, or coordinate trips for us to go to the grocery, or just get food in. Most of the time we were living off whatever food we ate that day at photoshoots, then we would go back to the house. We always had cereal, but as far as other things, it was scarce.
I understand you had yoghurt…in your bathroom?
(Laughs) This is funny, because Janice Dickenson told me one day to clear up my acne, I should use plain yoghurt and apple cider vinegar. So I went and got the plain yoghurt when we finally went to the store, and the apple cider vinegar. I was keeping it in the refrigerator for so long, until one day I used it in the bathroom and I never took it back to the kitchen. I never used it again. We were never at home, so I kind of forgot about the yoghurt. And it takes Mollie Sue and I think, Danielle, to go in my bathroom, go through my stuff, and find this yoghurt and chase each other around the house with it. By that time it was just rank. (Laughs) Oh, that was funny. I don’t think it was her last night in the house, but her time was winding down in the house at that point and we kind of had a fun night just running around like crazy women.
About your look – on our site, you get comments like, “she looks like an alien – a gorgeous alien.” How would you describe your look?
I would describe my look as beautiful but unique. You don’t see my face every day, it’s different. I guess that’s the makings of a high fashion model.
The people on your site, Fans of Reality TV, right?
Yup, that’s the one.
A lot of those people, I got a sense that maybe they had nothing else to do? I’m serious! (in response to me laughing) I wouldn’t sit at my computer and just write mean, horrible things about someone else all day. I’d write my opinion, but I wouldn’t make up any kind of horribleness that I could do and maybe try to get attention, I don’t know if that’s what it’s about. I read some of this stuff…I guess this is my first glimpse of stardom and fame. Someone always has something to say, and most of the time it’s negative. You just have to live with that.
Now we know that the eliminated contestants continue to participate in the photoshoots, assumedly so that the elimination order isn’t a spoiler. Right now the current issue of ElleGirl has pictures of you posing in a bikini in what will be next week’s photoshoot. How did they manage the logistics of having you, Nnenna, Brooke and Leslie complete the photoshoot without appearing on camera? And I didn’t even know Leslie went to Thailand until I saw that picture!
Well of course they can always edit. I think we did our photoshoot at a different time. Myself and Nnenna, we did ours together on Phuket, on the island of Phuket. I didn’t see any of the other girls at that time. We stayed at the island for a couple of days, and went out to the beach and did the photoshoot.
That sounds fantastic.
Yes, it was so beautiful. It was the island that they shot “The Beach” on with Leonardo DiCaprio. That was a beautiful island, it was like, “Wow, I actually get a vacation!”
What about the other judges: who was the harshest judge, and who did you feel was pulling for you?
I felt like Tyra was pulling for me. She was always supportive, and always willing to give some advice. Some of the other judges – Nigel, mainly – I got a vibe from him that this was his fifteen minutes of fame too, and maybe he was trying to go the way of Simon Cowell route. He gave me a lot of “American Idol” Simon vibes, like that was the role he was trying to play, and I fell victim to that a lot of times. When I would see a beautiful picture, and everyone else would see a beautiful picture, and he found something negative to say about it. If he couldn’t find something negative to say about my picture, then he would turn it back to me: “Well, this girl has no bust at all!” Well, okay. How many models do you see in high fashion modeling right now that don’t have a bust? So I think maybe he thought he was going to break me, but that never happened. Twiggy was sweet, Miss Jay was cool.
What’s ahead for you, Furonda? Do you plan to pursue a career in modeling?
Of course I want to model – I want to model and act. Hopefully, Saturday Night Live. I have a website where fans and casting agents can go to see some of my pictures : www.furonda.com. I think some of my music will be up on myspace probably in the next day or so. I sing, and I’ll be loading that up soon. I’ve written several articles about self-esteem, because I am extremely skinny, and I know that. I know when young girls see those images on TV, it confuses them, you know? But this is my body type, and this is how I’ve been all my life, and I’ve had to grow to appreciate it. I didn’t used to like being this skinny, and I understand that girls have issues with their bodies, and I just want them to know that your body is the body that you have, and that’s the best body for you, and not to try to feed into the images that you see on TV. So I’m writing an article about that. Soon, a novel – I’m working with New York Times best seller E. Lynn Harris, one of my professors. I’m trying to get started on my novel. It’s going to be about my life, how I came from nothing – the projects, the hood, the ghetto, to being a contestant on “America’s Next Top Model” – and more.
Thanks to UPN for granting the interview, and many thank to Furonda for the laughs.