Furonda – America’s Next Top Model
Q) Who is your favorite designer?
A) My favorite designer at this point is Tracy Reese because of the things she is doing with fabrics. Of course, I love Gucci, but I love everybody!
Q) Why did you decide to apply for the show?
A) I applied for the show after the first season and I saw Kesse Wallace on there. She’s from Little Rock, AK and I thought that maybe since she was on it that I could, too. I was, actually, just trying to start my modeling career and I thought the show would be a great springboard. I never heard back from them and didn’t hear back from them until this past summer. Two years had gone by so I had kind of given up hope of being on the show, but I still was trying to pursue my career by taking pictures, going to New York , seeing what the field was like and what the agents had to say. Then this summer, “America’s Next Top Model” called and I thought this was my chance and my time to be seen. Throughout the whole course of my career to wait to hear, “Ok, Furonda, this is what you should be doing and you should lift your head or cheek,” feels good because I was just taking pictures before. The show really helped out to get expert advice and to see myself on TV so I could know exactly what I was doing wrong and fix that. It helps to be a better model.
Q) Have you maintained your new look?
A) That look was one that was actually designed to fit me with my face. I was given more face framing hair and bangs to accentuate my face. I don’t think that was well thought out. That was just like, “Oh, we’re going to give her ‘Tiffany hair.'” But, I’m Furonda and not Tiffany. I still wear my hair long.
Q) How did you come up with the rules that you originally gave your housemates?
A) I lived in a dorm before so I know how it can be when lots of girls are thrown together to live. I didn’t want that kind of drama in this competition and let the other girls know that I am going to respect everybody here and please show me the same courtesy. If they didn’t, then we’d have problems and it would cause problems for the other roommates. So, if you have a problem with me, the best thing to do is to come and talk to me about it. I am not a defensive person and I have no problems discussing issues. I am open! Just come and talk to me so we don’t cause problems between ourselves and the other roommates. That’s basically what it was about.
Q) Why do you think the judges chose Jade over you?
A) I think maybe that Jade has more of what they are looking for. I don’t know why they chose Jade over me. I respect their decision, definitely, and I felt like it was my time to go at that point.
Q) Did you write anyone a note when you left and if so, to whom and what did you say?
A) I didn’t write any notes because I had all their contact information so I could just talk to them when we got home.
Q) What was our favorite part of life in Thailand?
A) My favorite part of life in Thailand was the heat. We came from the United States where it was getting down to the 60’s and 50’s in California. So, when we went over to Thailand (this was in November) it was 90 degrees. It was summer time all over again! I had a blast with that! Plus, the people are so radiant because they are so humble, willing to serve and accommodating. Just the culture of Thailand was really great!
Q) How hard was it to learn the Thai dance?
A) No offense to the Thai culture, but the Thai dance was basically something I was not trained for. I was thinking, “What am I going to use this for?” I tried to take it all in and pick up the dancing off the cuff with five to ten minutes of learning. I took the Thai dance and made it my own. I incorporated lots of Furonda into the Thai dancing and I think it came out hilarious!
Q) What was it like performing in front of a crowd?
A) It was funny! The people were laughing! They didn’t show it, but I had to keep turning around with my back to the crowd just to let out these bursts of laughter. It was so hilarious! I had a ball and that’s one of the best times I had in Thailand was doing that dance and laughing until I cried.
Q) What as your favorite photo shoot?
A) My favorite photo shoot was probably the Pantene Pro V Living Doll Shoot. It was the week after Jade had called me a rag doll (saying I looked like one when I was crumping) so I think that’s the reason why I was chosen as the rag doll for the Pantene Pro V shoot. It was sweet because I fell into the character of a rag doll and I think I did awesome in it. I was like, “Ok, you want a rag doll? I got it. Here you go!”
Q) How did you feel hearing the judges thought you danced to the beat of your own drum?
A) I thought they were so correct! I dance to the beat of my own drum! All the time, my whole life, that’s never going to change. I am always going to be Furonda. Within the things they were asking us to do, you can incorporate it into modeling. Furonda definitely dances to the beat of her own drum. I can follow directions and I do follow directions, but you’re always going to get lots of Furonda into whatever you ask me to do. That’s never going to change.
Q) Who do you think will win “America’s Next Top Model” this season?
A) I love all of the girls, but I have to say I am routing for Danielle. She’s from Arkansas and I hope she brings the title home.
Q) Who do you stay in touch with from the show?
A) I stay in touch with everyone from the show. I talk to at least one of the girls from the show just about every day. We all laugh at how we appear to be on the TV and what people are saying about us on the Internet. It’s all really fun for us to watch it all play out. It’s all love between the girls. I don’t think anyone has a vendetta, not that I know of. We all went through an experience together and it helped us to bond as friends, believe it or not.
Q) What are you going to do now that you are no longer on the show?
A) Modeling and acting, of course! I want to be on “Saturday Night Live” so I am going to see if I can work that out. I’ve written articles on self-esteem and body image for girls because I know a lot of girls look at me on TV and say, “Oh Furonda is rail thin and I want to be like her!” But, Furonda did not always want to be rail thin. I had body issues, like, I want to get bigger, I want to gain weight and I want to be like the bustier girls that the boys like. I just want to know that they shouldn’t feed into the images they see on TV. Just love your body and love yourself. Be healthy!
Q) What would you like to say to your fans and supporters?
A) I’ve got to say thank you from the bottom and depth of my heart for everyone who had a kind word to say to me or encouraged me throughout this process. Everyone deserves a big thank you and you have not seen the last of Furonda! To all of my fans, I want them to hit me up and contact me through my website at http://www.furonda.com. That’s where I am going to be putting all of my updates about my future. Whatever I am doing, I am going to let my fans know because it’s great to have people supporting me. It feels really good!