In March of 2005, interviewed Cycle 4’s Brandy Rusher following her appearance on the show. The interview discusses her background, her friendship with Tiffany and how her attitude was portrayed on the show. Here is the text from the article (written by Cori Linder):

Interview with Brandy from “America’s Next Top Model” Cycle 4

Ask a lot of American’s Next Top Model fans what they thought of Brandy and they would immediately enlighten you about her perceivable faults. Many would label her a “bitch,” while the more polite ones would explain that she has a feisty persona and a bad attitude. But, out of the limelight, far away from probing TV cameras and competitive girls, is a Brandy that few really know. She is tough, yes, but in her world, she needs to be in order to survive. Yet, she is also open to change and humbly views her experience on the show as an opportunity to improve herself not just as model but as a person.

You had a really close relationship with Tiffany on the show and you referred to her as a big sister. Do you think your backgrounds and the way you grew up helped you to understand each other?

Yeah, I really feel that way because she’s been through a lot of the stuff that I was going through. She could relate to me and understand where I was coming from—I was from the hood in Texas and she was from the hood in Miami.

Are you and Tiffany still close?

I would say that if there was a way I could talk to her, then we would still be close. But, at the present time, I actually don’t have her contact information.

Tell us a bit about your background and how it shaped you today.

I come from the north side of Houston, which is a very rough area. It’s known for a lot of gang violence and shootouts. I’ve never shot anybody or anything like that, but I’ve been in the midst of them while they’re going on. There’s a lot of drug trafficking, and many people are not nice there at all. My life has been full of many struggles and I had to learn how to defend myself at a really young age rather than waiting until I was older when I could actually learn why I needed to defend myself.

Almost from the beginning, Tyra, the judges and the girls continued to say you had a negative attitude and a hardness about you. Would you agree with them, or do you think you were misunderstood?

I really do believe it was a misunderstanding from the beginning; but, the thing that is funny about that is that as I watched myself on television, I could see why I was misunderstood. Some of the things I said, my actions, my facial expressions…I could see why they misunderstood me. At the same, I learned about myself and realized I just can’t do some of the stuff I did.

During the tennis photo shoot, you became upset with Tatiana about her snide remarks and said you wanted to hit her. Do you think most of the girls had it in for you? What was your overall relationship with them?

My relationship with everybody else besides Tiffany was on shaky ground from the beginning. As soon as the first episode aired when they told me about my bad attitude, everybody automatically focused on that and never took the time to say, “Brandy, we want to try to get to know you past what the judges said.”

Regarding the argument with Tatiana, that was just me trying to tell her not to come at me in the wrong way. But, if I could go back and change it, I would probably have said it a little bit nicer. At the same time, though, I really wasn’t feeling how she was acting towards me.

Looking back, would you change anything else?

Overall, I view the show and my time on it as a big lesson. If I could have changed anything, I would have really changed my attitude and my perception on a lot of stuff that was said to me. I would have viewed it more as a learning process rather than just people coming at me the wrong way. Half the time, I felt like people were coming at me the wrong way, so I was really defensive. But, if I could have seen then what I see now, I would have changed my whole persona, my tone, the way I approached people…I would have changed my whole attitude. I have learned so much just from watching the show, and it has changed my life tremendously.

Is there anything that didn’t air that you think us viewers should have seen?

Not really, but I wished they would have shown the playful side of me instead of just the attitude. But, I’ve taken in stride everything they showed because I could have not even been picked to appear on the show so they don’t have any obligation to me. I appreciate the fact they just chose me to be on the show.

The judges thought you were a different person than the one who stood in front of them during auditions. Did you learn anything about yourself during the process?

I learned that I could really be a model and that you’re not born a supermodel—you have to work at it. I came to the show with really no formal training—I had grown up posing but never for a photo shoot—so I essentially had a crash course in modeling. Basically, I learned how to be a polite model and also a model with longevity.

What’s next for you?

I’m going to definitely pursue modeling. After modeling, my overall goal is to be a fashion designer. I love modeling, clothes and fashion. That’s my life. I’ve been designing clothes since I was little.

What kinds of clothes do you like to design?

I call myself a ’70’s Chick.’ The clothes I design are really geared towards that time and are very spontaneous and are something you don’t see in stores right now. They’re very different but have a simplicity about them.

Also, I’m in the works to do a lot of things, and I just need to meet the right people.

You said that the judges didn’t look past your attitude to see the real you. If they took the time to look, what would they find?

They would have found out that all the anger they thought I had was really not anger. You have to understand that behind the scenes, the girls were continually coming at me. Literally, every time I turned around, I was hearing something about how they didn’t like me or that I did this or that. I had to defend myself so much behind the scenes that by the time the judges saw me, they thought I didn’t smile at all. But actually, if they had really looked, they would have seen that I was really just depressed. I was going through a lot of things in my mind, and I didn’t know how to handle or deal with it at all.

Off the show, people know me as a goofy and giving person, a person who really loves to have fun and cares a lot about other people’s feelings. I still let people know where I’m coming from, but in Houston, that’s the regular thing. You have to let people know where you’re coming from, or they’ll run over you.

People also know me as spontaneous and experimental. I’ll try anything once.

If you and Tyra had a lunch date tomorrow, what would you want to ask or tell her?

I would just want to tell her that I really appreciate and love her. Even though the show went the way it went, I still love her. She’ll always be one of my favorite models. And, I would thank her for teaching me something. I would ask her to continue doing what she’s doing because her career is inspiring a lot of girls. Even though I was only on the show for a short while, I learned so much from her.

To learn more about Cycle 4‘s Brandy Rusher, visit her bio page here.

Photo:   CW