'America's Next Top Model': Kendal thought Tyra's critique was 'a low blow'
Wednesday night on "America's Next Top Model," Kendal Brown, a shy 23-year-old from Northport, Ala., was sent home for lacking in the modeling skills department. "I'm worried that you're a verb and not a noun," Tyra said. "You are a model but you aren't modeling."
But Kendal, though she looked meek in her post-elimination interview, disagrees: "I felt like it was a low blow," she said to me over the phone. "If I was just the noun and not the verb, then why had I made it through those other challenges?"
Though Kendal faded in the background for many of the challenges, she started to shine on the Patrick DeMarchelier challenge. She seemed like an emerging dark horse of the show, and I had high hopes that an Alabamian would earn the "Top Model" crown. Alas, it was not to be. I spoke with her about the challenges of the judges' panel, what she wishes you could have seen, and why she would have rather been anyone but Vera Wang.
It seemed like you got dealt a tough hand in the last challenge when you had to impersonate Vera Wang. Which designer would you have played if you had gotten to choose?
Any of the guys. I felt like with a guy you could do more to it; you can lean forward and really use your body. Vera Wang was very simple, very plain. I honestly think I could have done a better job as a guy. I could have used my body. Wang is just humble and sweet. She’ll come out and wave and smile. When you see her in the magazine she was just smiling. That photo shoot I was struggling.
What did the editing not show that you wish they had?
What you didn’t see was that I was actually smiling in the last photo shoot. They just showed me looking lost. There was even a frame where I smiled and my model jumped, towards the end, but they just showed me struggling. They had me looking crazy. In the other shoots, too, Jay [Manuel] would say something nice and then something mean. They only showed something mean. They had some photo shoots that I wish I could see myself more in them.
Tyra had some harsh criticism for you in the last panel. How did you react to that?
I felt taken aback. I thought, golly, should I model then if I’m just a noun and not a verb? The last shoot I thought I was progressing, I thought I was doing well. I heard that, I thought, man, maybe I am going home. But I guess she said it for a reason. She’s Tyra; I guess she knows what she’s talking about.
What was the house like after Kacey left? Any free-floating drama?
When Kacey left there was no drama at all, we were all laughing. Everybody was cheering. But I never didn't like Kacey. It wasn’t a problem living with her. I just had my concerns and my doubts about her; she was very stand-offish.
Who are you rooting for now and why?
Chris, of course! Her photos are amazing. She has a great personality; everyone loves it. That’s what a model is overall -- you can take pictures but you can also talk to people. I’m rooting for Kayla, too. She took some great photos, and the judges seem to like her.
What are your plans now? Are you going to keep modeling?
I need to start something smaller, in Atlanta and progress and grow. I need to do some test shoots, do runway shows. I love runway shows. I have a backup plan. I’m going to pursue school and modeling at the same time. Tyra told me to get out of my shell. I need to not worry too much. I’m a Virgo, I tend to worry a lot. I’m going to go for it.
-- Margaret Eby
Photo: Kendal Brown from cycle 15. Credit: Keith Major/Pottle Productions Inc.