Exclusive Interview: Lulu Braithwaite of America's Next Top Model Cycle 13
Exclusive Interview: Lulu Braithwaite of America's Next Top Model Cycle 13
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
This morning I had the pleasure to talk with Lulu Braithwaite, the 19-year-old aspiring model from Brooklyn who, to the shock of many fans, seemed to go from sweetheart to smack-talker in the blink of an eye last night on America's Next Top Model.

I had an exclusive chance to ask Lulu about her experience in the Top Model house, including what she thought of her surprising role reversal last night, which she informed me wasn't a reversal at all. In a tough competition like America's Next Top Model, trash talking happens, and she wasn't shy to say that she was a part of it. it turns out shyness just isn't Lulu's thing: she also informed me that she regularly walked around naked in the house, to the initial shock of a few of her new roommates!

After the jump, the full audio and transcript of my interview with Lulu.

This is Meghan with BuddyTV and I'm on the line with Lulu from America's Next Top Model Cycle 13. How are you doing today?

I'm good!

Well, congratulations on making it as far as you did. I know it's quite an accomplishment.

Thank you.

Can you tell me how you came to audition for the show?

My audition process was a very crazy experience. I have never experienced anything like that in my life. You know the whole New York riot? Yeah, I was in the middle of that.

Oh my gosh.

I'm very small, and I was very scared. But I just... I heard about it online, I printed out the application, filled it out, and I stood in the line for twelve hours. I went straight from a party in my party outfit and my heels, and I went and stood in the line for twelve hours. My feet were... over when I got home.

So tell me about that riot, then! I don't really know... How did it start?

Well, there's a lot of things that they said happened, but apparently a car backfired, the engine. So it sounded like a gunshot. And it was so many people out there, I guess one person got scared, and then the pushing just started. It was just crazy. And I was actually the last group in the door right when that happened. After I got in the door, they shut everything down because that happened. And then Tyra had to hold the audition process again because a lot of people didn't get seen. So I was happy I got seen that day, because I would have been so upset if I had stood there for twelve hours and then got pushed to the ground.

No kidding, that's lucky! Well, once you were in the house, what was life like in the Top Model house?

It was pretty much like life at home, just with 13 strangers that I had to get to know all over. But I was pretty comfortable. I mean, I did the same things I did at home: cooked the same way, walked around naked the same way, I pretty much did the same things.

You guys walked around naked?

Well, I did because I don't like clothing that much. If you notice on the show I'm always wearing like shorts and tank tops. I don't really like long things on me. So I slept naked, and I walked around naked.

Was that a concern for everybody, or did they just roll with it?

I mean, at first people were concerned and uncomfortable, but when they realized that I'm going to do it regardless, they just kind of went with it.

Well, good for you! Sticking to your guns.

I mean, we all have the same body parts! I mean, I had on bottoms, but not like a top.

Yeah, it's not like they haven't seen it before, right?

Exactly. We had joint showers, sometimes we took showers together. I mean, you'd see it in there anyway.

I'm sure all of your male viewers are disappointed that they don't show that kind of thing on TV.


Well, what did you think of the way you were portrayed last night? Because it was a pretty different take on you from the previous episodes.

The previous shows, exactly. Well, like I was saying, the editing part of it caught me by surprised, because I figured, 'Okay, they're not showing me being this way all the time. They're not going to just throw it out there.' Because I was like that the entire time. Like, I didn't just change for one episode, you know? So when they switched it up on me, I was kind of shocked. Like, 'Okay, well... I guess they're going to let me go out with a bang!'

So are you saying that you were... what were you like the whole time, were you talking trash or whatever they were trying to say?

I mean... we all did it. I'm not going to say that I was just going to sit there by myself and be like, 'Oh yeah.' We all did it. We critiqued each other in front of each other, behind each others' backs. I mean, it's 14 girls. There's gonna be some trash talking. And everybody's competing for one thing. It all comes down to, like... I don't know, it's just like, the environment that you're in, also. You have nothing else to really do but trash talk. You're with these girls all the time. You notice things about them. You speak on it. And then the cameras zone in to probably one thing you say. And then they start picking up on, like, 'Okay, she's kind of talking a lot about this same kind of thing.' So then, I wasn't really shocked that they did that, because I knew they didn't make it up. I was saying those things. So I knew that they were going to show it.

Do you think there was an element of strategy to it, or is it just a natural thing that girls do?

 Um... I think some people did it as strategy, but it's just a natural, feminine thing. Women talk. People could use it as strategy, but it wouldn't work because everyone is doing it. If it was just one person trash talking about everyone and making them feel bad, then it would be different. But when everyone's doing it, it is just like... trash talking.

Have you stayed friends with Ashley since you left the show?


Anyone else that you're friends with?

I love all the girls, but... I don't talk to all of them. If we all decide to call each other one day, I'm not going to hang up the phone on anyone. But when I came home, I came back to my regular life. My regular friends. Everyone I used to hang out with. So those are the same people I'm hanging out with.

But you and Ashley are still friends?

Yeah, I love Ashley. Courtney is still one of my close friends. I love Courtney. Because when Courtney left, I felt so alone. And then I had Ashley. So yeah, Courtney and Ash, they're my girls.

Speaking of your regular life, what's it been like transitioning back into it? Do you get recognized?

I had my first fan picture the other day, and I almost cried. He was so excited. He was like, "Oh my gosh! Are you Lulu from Top Model?" I was like, "Are you serious? You know me?" I was like, "Yeah, yeah that is me!" And he was like, "Can I take a picture with you? And I don't even want it, I just want to take a picture with you!" So I took it in my phone and I still have the picture. He's like, "You just made my day!" And I was like, "Aww, thanks!"

That's so cute.

This city is so big, I feel like no one is going to recognize me. It shocked me that he recognized me. And plus he was gay, so all gay men love me.

Oh yeah. Well, how was it being the only gay contestant in the house? Was it even an issue?

Not to my knowledge. No one ever stated that they were uncomfortable to me. I'm used to being the only gay person around, anyway. I'm the only gay person in my family, which they hated. So I wasn't going to feel uncomfortable about being myself, so I really didn't pay attention to if anyone was feeling uncomfortable. Of course, I'm not going to go around the house hitting on the girls or anything.

Oh, yeah! I didn't even really mean it like that. The first episode, you and Miss J really connected, and you were just out there, being yourself, and I think a lot of viewers appreciated that.


Did you feel like you were a role model at all?

I would love to put that title on myself, but I haven't changed anything. I'm just one of the thousands of people who are of my sexual orientation. I feel like... you know, I don't feel like I did anything special. I was just being myself.

I think you should be definitely proud of being yourself out there, no matter what anybody thinks. I think that's a great thing.

I thank my family for that, because they have not agreed with me being gay for about three years now, and they helped me, like, kind of defend myself, because I had to defend myself against them so much, that the world is nothing.

Right. Well that's a good attitude to have in the modeling business, since it's pretty cut-throat, right?


What was your favorite photo shoot that you did?

The horse one was actually my favorite. It wasn't my favorite picture, but it was my favorite photo shoot because I was naked, one. And it just, I don't know, opportunities like that--posing with a horse, in that stadium that we were in--they don't come around often. So it just felt, that was the most fun I had on a photo shoot.

Which was your favorite picture?

Definitely the first photo.

The baby photo one?

Yeah, the baby photo one.

That was a beautiful picture of you. I really liked it.

Thank you!

What about your makeover? Are you going to keep the long hair, or did you go back short?

I went back short so fast! I hate hair. I just don't like hair. I had dreads down to the back of my knee for thirteen years, and I chopped it all off one day, just out of the blue. I do not like hair. And then, I don't like weaves. And Roslyn doesn't like weaves. So I didn't have a choice. I took it out.

What's been her reaction to you being on the show?

She is like the biggest fan in the world, and it's kind of creepy because everywhere we go, she's like, "My girlfriend's on America's Next Top Model!" And I'm like, "Babe, people don't need to know that right now. We're in the library. This is not important right now." It's funny, and it's embarrassing at times, but I mean, I expected it from her. She's very excited.

Now that you're off the show, what's next for you?

The world is mine. I want to do everything possible. I want to get into acting. I want to do print. I want to be on billboards. I just want to do everything!

Well, good luck with that! What's your dream modeling job, if you had one?

Definitely runway. If I can walk back and forth on a runway in like Paris... just anywhere international, I would just stay there forever. I love runway. But, of course, the whole 5'7 thing, I'm probably going to get like 2 runway jobs. But, that's just my dream. Maybe I can grow overnight, you think?

Yeah, just stretch it out as much as you can! Good luck following that dream. We wish you the best of luck.

Thank you!


-Meghan Carlson, BuddyTV Staff Writer
Image courtesy of the CW