Proving to the Family

Holly comes out a big winner this week.

Well this week started off with only two girls! This is an accomplishment in itself! We were surprised with the winter weekend getaway, but before we got to go, first we went shopping for supplies. We went to Natrona - they are the furniture company who furnished our house. We got to pick out blankets, pillows and candles!

To me, all this sounded like a hot date, instead of a getaway for a photo shoot. After shopping we were surprised again to make phone calls! I called my parents this time, instead of my fiance, even though I really really wanted to speak to him. Talking to my family was wonderful! Besides my fiance, they are my biggest supporters.

Emotionally, financially, they have spent thousands of dollars that they don't even have to help me pursue my dream. My Mom has always been there for me to give me an encouraging word, and they just believe in me so much, so this week I wanted to win for them.
The next morning we left at 3.30am. Our photo shoot was the same day so we were exhausted. After our little road trip, we arrived at Windham Mountain Ski Resort. We were all freaking, trying to guess what our photo shoot would be. Nikki met us on the slopes to explain the challenge. We were to work in teams of two and three, the theme was speed and motion. Ben and I ended up working together. We had never worked together before, so we were both a little nervous.

Our outfits for the shoot were so awesome. We were styled in Ralph Lauren type outfits. This shoot was made to look like a campaign, so we all had to work together, all of that sounded a little too easy, we had props too! Ben and I had a sled....but the catch was, we had to stand on it and slide down the mountain and get a good shot. Ben and I worked great together, we even used Champagne in our photo shoot, we had to balance it all down the mountain.

After freezing to death all day long we were surprised again with a log cabin, it was so nice, it reminded me so much of home, because that's what Virginia is ... mountains, snow and log cabins. We cooked and just relaxed most of the night. Shannon and I made cookies for everyone, and then went to bed... Thinking we would be sleeping in. Ummmmm.... WRONG!!!!
Clay found us in the woods, in the log cabin, he raided our cookie stash, and we had a challenge. He divided us in two teams, Shannon - one captain and Perry the other. Shannon picked Ben and I and Perry picked the rest of the boys. Whoever lost had to clean the house with toothbrushes. Shannon and I were used to cleaning up after the boys, so this was nothing, the teams were obviously uneven, we ended up losing and coming back to New York to clean.


The next day was the catwalk. There was a spin on the things this week, we had to balance ourselves on the turntable without falling. I really wanted the boys to wear heels, because that really was my challenge. I really was so nervous about the catwalk, I was really confident going into it, but this was a real challenge and I wanted to win so bad this week, for my family and to prove that I'm not going home!

The panel seemed to like my photo shoot and my catwalk and their only concern was me being timid, not being able to take rejection in the real modeling world. Which really hurt me because my whole modeling career so far has just been rejection, but I always get right back up and come back stronger. I want to win the competition so bad and I know I can deal with whatever is through at me. I can say all this stuff to the panel, but I guess I will just have to prove myself!!! I won this week!! Oh my gosh!!!

I AM a Supermodel

Branden talks about his win, what he'll do with the money, and if he plans on asking Nicole out. At the beginning of the season, did you think you would win? Or who did you think would after seeing the other models?
Well, I’ve got to admit, at the beginning of the season, I was very intimidated by all the models, definitely I thought I wasn’t going to be underestimating myself. And really who I thought was going to win was either Sandhurst or Jonathan. That’s who I thought was going to win. So when I got down to them at the end, when I was with them, I was just amazed by myself. I thought “Holy crap! I really made it this far.” I had a one in three chance to win so why not just go for it? Especially in the last episode they [Jonathan & Sanhurst] almost kind of played father figures during the show for you. What was that relationship like with the other guys?
The relationship with the other guys was very good. I love those two. Jonathan, he’s more of the father figure type of guy and Sanhurst is more of just like your best friend. I really was privileged to actually share a home with them for two months and have fun with them. I had fun no matter what we were doing. In the last episode, you get to shoot with this amazing photographer in the first part and do the whole Polaroid challenge with that camera. What was that like?
That was my favorite photo shoot out of all of them. It wasn’t like "Do this pose." It wasn’t very "posey." It was more showing yourself. There was one of them that was pretty posy because it was a high fashion one, but then there was your portrait, and then there was there’s the group shot. And I felt like in the group shot, I did the best. And then you had the Cosmo shoot. Did that just feel really natural to you?
Well that was probably one of my favorite photo shoots. It was very natural. And they just told me to act like that guy that girls want to be with and the guy that guys want to be friends with. And I was good in that and they said "You really are a Cosmo guy." And I felt very confident about that. In your final catwalk, you had the more playful one, and then you had the Ben Sherman one, what did you want to accomplish with those catwalks?
Really on those catwalks, I just wanted to show them that I’ve matured since the beginning of the competition and that I know what I’m doing and I’m ready to be a supermodel. That’s really what I was just trying to show them. And I felt a little awkward and funny in the whole suit I had on with all the bows. It was kind of weird. But, it was fun. They kept saying you went from a boy to a man. Like the first episode you were struggling with maybe [the fact that] you were working with a gay model and you kind of made a big deal about it in the first episode. Do you think that your mind has totally just opened?
First of all, at the beginning of the competition, I was not homophobic. I have tons of gay friends. I just felt uncomfortable for my first shot because me and my mom and everybody were talking about it and stuff and I just don’t want to be portrayed that way even though I love gay people. They’re some of the funniest people in the world. But I just felt a little awkward to do anything like I wasn’t going to go past the point of kissing him. I would not have kissed him. [He] was like "Why don’t you guys kiss" and I was like, "Hell no, dude!” What was your favorite challenge?
My favorite challenge was probably, I would have to say, the Timothy Greenfield one, with the portraits. That was just awesome. It was so much fun. One of the judges asked you an interesting question: You are so close to your mother. Once your modeling career really starts, you’re going to be traveling all over. You’re going to be separated from her. Have you thought about that and how you’re going to handle that?
Me and my mom talked about it a lot and I’m ready to get out there. I’m ready to leave home. I’m 19 years old now. I’m just ready to get out there and find out what this world’s got to give me. What are you going to do with the money?
With the money, I’m getting my mom a nice car, and then I’m going to move to New York. And I have a couple bills. Well you won, so are you going to take Nicole out?
I wish! Do you have any final thoughts about this season that you want to share with your fans or want to say anything to them?
I just want to say to all my fans, thank you for believing in me and helping me along the way. It was a great season. It was a great accomplishment and it was just a great privilege to have and I’m very privileged to have fans like everybody that I’m around. So, thanks to everyone.