was the youngest competitor on this past season of America's Next Top Model
. Having just turned 18, Brooke's beauty and poise made her one of this past season's most beloved Top Models
. Now at school at the University of Texas, Brooke tooke the time to sit down with us here at BuddyTV for an exclusive interview. We discussed her time on America's Next Top Model
, the behind-the-scenes action and her plans for her future in modeling.
How did you initially get involved with America's Next Top Model?
Well it's a funny story. One of my best friends wanted to audition and had wanted to audition for a long time and she found out all the information on the website and all that good stuff. So, she kind of informed me that she was going to be going over to Dallas and wanted to know if I wanted to go, and I was like, "Okay, sure. I'll go with you."
So, I went with her for a support system. I never intended to audition and, in fact, I was too young. I was only 17 at the time. But when I got there, I decided to see if they'd let me and because I was going to be 18 by the time the show started they were like, "Alright, we'll let you." One thing led to another and I ended up in Los Angeles kind of by a fluke.
Were you a fan of the show beforehand?
I was, actually. My girlfriends and I started watching the show consistently probably around season 5. We'd get together every Wednesday night and watch the show. It was kind of our little girls TV night; it was always fun.
Did you do any modeling before America's Next Top Model?
No, not at all. I'd always kind of thought about it and wanted to pursue it, but I was 5'7" and in the modeling world that's a shrimp, you know, and was never really taken seriously...I don't think I'd been taken seriously by any agents that I wanted to work with. So, this was kind of like a "Hey, why not?"
Overall, how was the experience of being on the show?
Oh, wow. The experience was definitely a once in a life time kind of thing. It was hectic, it was crazy, it was fun. We weren't getting a whole lot of sleep and there were tons of girls and tons of personalities. But, besides that, it was amazing. I got to meet some great people and make some great connections. I still talk to a lot of the girls today, so, it was an amazing experience and a great way to get exposure to a couple of different industries that I'm definitely interested in working with in the future.
When you left the show, you were pretty emotional and said some things that made it seem like you regretted being on the show and sacrificing things like your senior prom and graduation night. Is that something you really felt, or were you just caught up in the moment when you said those things?
You know, when it's all said and done, I can honestly say it was worth the experience. I was going into it knowing that I would have to give those things up like my high school graduation, but I was definitely caught up in the moment when I was being so emotional.
I was completely shocked that I was going home that night and didn't expect it at all. When my head was on the chopping block, I was like, "Are you kidding me? Like, are you seriously kidding me?" Because, it was the actual night of my high school graduation. And after having watched the show myself, I don't know, I think there was some sort of drama tied up in that night, tied up in that episode. And I think that's exactly what they wanted. Who knows, though, when it comes down to it? It might have been just my time to go.
You were the youngest person in the cast. What was that like? Was it intimidating?
Yeah, it was a little intimidating at first because there were a lot of girls, especially like Melrose and Eugena, who had been out in the world, on their own, living on their own...self-sufficient girls. I was still living in my parent's house, mom was cooking dinner for me, doing my laundry. And here I was, kind of my first experience out in the real world all by myself in LA, in this crazy situation. There was definitely a period of adjustment that had to take place for not only me getting used to being on the show and being around cameras, but just being on my own period. But I think once I made that adjustment I was completely comfortable and was able to be pretty successful.
Was it hard for you getting used to those cameras following you everywhere?
Oh my God, yeah. We had to have microphones on us literally every second of the day until we had to go to sleep. And it was so uncomfortable, you'd be brushing your teeth in the morning or eating your cereal and there would be a camera person on you and I'm like, "You guys, this is so boring!" It was just funny the things they decided to capture and it would also be crazy because you'd know when something dramatic was going on in the house because like twelve camera people would show up all of a sudden out of nowhere, you know. It was definitely an adjustment.
What was the hardest challenge for you?
Hmm...the hardest challenge for me was probably the challenge I had to interview Janice Dickinson. (Laughs) I don't know if you caught that challenge, but I definitely called her bitchy and what people didn't see was that on the other side, we had the producers telling us, "Here's the three questions you have to ask them," and we had three very specific questions we had to ask them, and one of them had the word bitchy in it in some sort of way, like, "When is the appropriate time to be bitchy?" or something like that. And me, being the goofball that I am, got tongue tied and just spit it out as, "What makes you so bitchy?" Then she gave me the stare of death, and I was like, "Oh my God, that was not what I meant!" And of course you can't take it back. But people don't see that, so they're like, "You called her bitchy out of nowhere? You're crazy!" And then Janice Dickinson, of course, took it personally and my interview was kind of over at that point and I was like, "Ah, okay." There was really no forgiveness there so I just kind of had to suck it up and go on with it.
Part 1 / Part 2
Exclusive Interview: CariDee English, Winner of America's Next Top Model