“I Have Cute Boobs”: An Interview with America’s Next Top Model 3’s Norelleby Poodle McClure (C. Brian Devinney) -- 12/04/2004
So there I was, basking in a sake induced haze after last night’s episode of America’s Next Top Model, when Phil Kural called to make sure that 1) I had managed to watch last night’s episode, and 2) that I would be available to interview the booted Norelle, as he had made call-backs for the Ice Capades.
Of course, I asked what time he wanted me to do it, thinking it might be something that I could fit in between my mint julep facial and pedicure I had planned for the day. Sadly, as I couldn’t tape our conversation, I had to scribble down my notes with Norelle using my Cover Girl eyeliner, since I couldn’t find a pen in my Prada handbag.
What I can tell you is this… Norelle is divine. Adorable. Sweet. Charming. Just the like we all saw her on TV. Being the polite Southern society darling that I am, I had to confess one thing to her right as we started off the interview.
“First thing’s first. Beautiful blue eyes. You have amazingly gorgeous blue eyes.” The fact that I was almost gushing was not lost on me or on Lydia, who was working on my pedicure in the salon.
“Awwww. Thank you! Thank you!” Norelle said back, and I instantly knew that if she had been in the salon with me at that moment, I would have treated her to a seaweed wrap followed by a rousing hour of reflexology from Sascha. But alas, she wasn’t with me, and we couldn’t be great gal pals on the spa circuit debating topics like where to get the best chai latte, or trading stock tips with each other while having our nails done. I had to do the next best thing, though. I had to ask her about the tea ceremony fiasco because I so felt for the lovely girl as she was being reprimanded for having her hand too high, or too low, or just not right at all.
“It was really, really, really hard,” she told me. “I think it’s something that takes more than a day to learn. Turn the bowl, wipe the bowl, bend. It was a lot to learn.”
Norelle confided that the short snippet that we saw of their training was just a mere glimpse into the entire day of tea ceremony training they had. Yes, dear readers, they had to be taught this for an entire day. But what was the deal with the door was what was really on my mind? She just could never seem to get her hand into the right spot.
“Your hand had to be seven or ten inches up on the door, I don’t remember which but it was very intense as to what you had to do and how you had to do it. It was just so much to learn!”
Okay, I thought to myself. That kind of makes sense. But let’s get to the good stuff – the fight with Ann, Eva, and Yadda (who Norelle did tell me was YAYA and not Yadda, and I silently promised to tongue lash Miss Kumquat Jones over that little slip of the tongue). Let’s face it. The fireworks were out last night with the majority of it surrounding an event that Norelle seemingly knew nothing about.
“I love Eva and Ann. We spent so much time with each other and have become such good friends. It was a competition. She told me she didn’t mean it, and I would like to hope she didn’t. She just gets stressed out and made the mistake of saying me, which made Ann wonder if she was talking about her in the same way as well.”
Norelle later confessed that she’s not a big drama queen either. With her eyes set on the goal of being named America’s Next Top Model, her focus wasn’t on forming friendships or fighting with her fellow castmates.
“I wasn’t there to scream and yell, and I don’t care if anyone said anything bad about me. I’ve been through high school and what the girls say there. Ann was really mad. [We] became such good friends that it was a shock to hear Eva say that she wanted to see me go. I really didn’t care what Eva had said.”
With the drama dealt with, we quickly moved over to her T-Mobile photo shoot. First, being the good society dame, Junior Leaguer that I am, I had to ask about her make-up, because I swear it would have taken me hours to achieve the same effect. Imagine my surprise when Norelle told me how “amazing” her make-up guy was, and that the entire effect only took half an hour to create.
I had to ask though, what did she learn from watching Tyra do her thing before heading out to take her moment in front of the camera which lead to a very captivating photo used in the final round of judging?
“You get really nervous when you get in there,” Norelle confessed. “You know that you have to take a good picture or you could be going home. Tyra was just amazing to watch. She threw herself around and did pose after pose. I just got nervous and didn’t want to risk taking a bad shot so I was more still than I should have been.”
Now, having never been to Japan myself, I did have to ask about her time spent at the capsule hotel, and to my delight, Norelle used my dear friend Kumquat Jones’ description of it – a kennel. To top it all, all of the girls had to wear a bracelet which bore the number of their capsule. And with the small confined conditions, she admitted to me that she did bang her head on the roof of her capsule on more than one occasion.
With the entire Japanese tour behind us, I wanted to learn a little more about Norelle’s experience. Namely, I wanted to know what happened during the Heatherette fashion show when she did the unthinkable and fell while walking on the runway.
“What you really didn’t see is that there were two steps to get up to the platform,” the blue-eyed darling told me. “When I was walking up the steps, I clipped the dress and that’s what made me fall. What they didn’t show in that episode, but did in the recap show, was that after I fell, I got back up and did a dance on the platform.”
And what about her favorite fashion shoot?
“Without a doubt the Lee Jeans ad.”
“But what about the nudity, Norelle?” I asked. I remember how the Manhunt model guy had a problem doffing it all when it came time for a nude shot, so what about her?
“Oh, I’m fine with it,” she said. “I’m not self conscious about things like that at all. I have cute boobs.”
Of course, hearing Norelle say she had cute boobs made me look down at my own endowment and wonder if the good Lord had blessed me with boobs that were as cute as Norelle’s, and if I would feel as comfortable baring it all in front of the camera. Something tells me my Southern upbringing wouldn’t allow it, and I would bail out at the last minute. So now that we explored the favorite photo shoot we had to go for the least favorite. Her choice…
“The tarantulas. They were crawling all over your face, and they were telling you not to be nervous because they weren’t going to bite you and they weren’t poisonous, but I was still scared. You’re trying to pose and be calm while the spider is over your eye or has a leg in your mouth. I broke out in hives I was so nervous and all of the girls had red track marks on their face from where the spider was crawling over them.”
And what has Ms. Norelle been doing since she left the show? Has she been pounding the proverbial pavement trying to get her foot in the door of the model agencies? Her current plan is to wait until January to see if she gets any offers from New York City or Los Angeles. The current buzz surrounding her is that she would be good in Los Angeles as the possibility of going from model to actress would be greater for her there vs. the East Coast.
“But I don’t know if I’m cut out for TV,” she admits.
Her post ANTM life has been somewhat serene as she’s gone back to working and hanging out with her friends, not to mention the occasional flirtation with the random person on the street who recognizes her from the TV show.
“I’m kinda enjoying being famous. It’s weird that people know who I am. They come up and say, ‘Are you that girl? I love you!’ and I’m like, ‘Okay… hi!’ I’ve had girls cry and girls whip out their camera phones to take their picture with me and autographs to sign. But it’s been fun.”
Finally, I had to have one more catty moment before I could let Norelle go. Just something to make her remember Poodle McClure all that much more.
“So, Norelle, tell me. Is it just me or does Janice look like a Tupperware dish?”
A gasp from Norelle. I thought the beautiful friendship we had been building was going to be over, but when she giggled a second later, I think it was more out of shock that I would be so un-Southern with my question.
“I think she’s looking good. Take an average 56-year-old woman and take what Janice looked like in that swimsuit. She’s definitely taking care of herself.”
“But don’t you think she looks… well… stretched out a bit?” I asked wondering how far I could really push it without totally losing it over the phone.
A pause from Norelle. Is she going to answer? Is she going to hang up on me? Is Lydia ever going to get a bit more gentle with that pumice stone on my feet, or am I going to have to kick her? The tension, I tell you, was there and it was like I was about to be eliminated by my dear Norelle. Finally she giggled again and all was right with the world.
“Her plastic surgery did her well.”
Sigh. Poodle is content now. Smooches, Norelle. Kumquat and I totally adore you. My only regret is that we didn’t get to talk about the Green Hair Guy and how he tried to get them all to pose based on his movie choice of the moment. Apparently GHG has a name and that’s Jay Manuel but, alas, that will have to wait until Norelle is sitting next to me at the salon.
Poodle McClure is the evil alter ego of C. Brian Devinney, the infamous recapper of far too many seasons of The Bachelor(ette) and two painful seasons of Average Joe. Kumquat Jones is one of his friends who has opted to go anonymous lest he admit that he watches as much reality TV as Brian. You can send your rants, raves, questions, comments, snide remarks, or recipes for his leftover Thanksgiving turkey to TheRealityFactor@aol.com. Also, if you know Kathy Griffin or Nigel Barker and can arrange an introduction, Brian would love you more than his luggage. No really. He means it.
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