'ANTM' winner Brittani ready to take over the world as a top model
Despite taking a tumble in the final runway challenge, 19-year-old Brittani Kline from Beech Creek, Pa., has been crowned the winner of “America’s Next Top Model” Cycle 16. She beat out 22-year-old Molly O’Connell from Charleston, S.C., in a nail-biting finale Thursday night.
Brittani was raised in a trailer park and has struggled with anxiety issues her entire life, but says she has proved she can do anything she puts her mind to. Brittani spoke to CTV.ca about winning the competition, her snazzy new haircut and her exciting summer plans as a top model. Excerpts are below.
CTV.ca: Congratulations on becoming “America’s Next Top Model!” Has it even sunk in yet?
Brittani: I think it started sinking in yesterday when I got to do the CW (Network) green carpet and I met other celebrities like Mario Lopez and Rachel Bilson and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I get to mingle with these people now and go to all the parties.’ I left the hotel and people were taking pictures and asking for autographs and stuff … so it’s slowly sinking in but I still feel just like normal old me.
CTV.ca: Is it nice to finally be able to tell people? How hard was it to keep this a secret?
Brittani: It’s such a relief. It’s a weight off my shoulders because I don’t have to worry about me slipping up and telling anybody or people asking me, ‘What are you doing this summer? Let’s go do this, let’s go do that.’ Sorry, I’ll be in Paris doing my Italian Vogue shoot. I can finally tell people all the exciting things I’m going to be doing.
CTV.ca: What did your mom say? I know you were excited to be able to tell her.
Brittani: She was just so proud of me and so excited to watch the show. I was in New York but all my family members back home went out in the local town of Beech Creek, population 200 people, and everyone was ecstatic.
CTV.ca: Let’s go back to the night of the finale. How were you feeling during the final judging panel? Did you think you were going to win?
Brittani: After I fell on the runway, I definitely thought I was going to lose because Molly kept getting best photo and she didn’t fall on the runway … I really thought she was going to win.
CTV.ca: What do you think gave you the edge in the end?
Brittani: Ultimately it was my overall performance – my overall callout average (for photos) was higher than hers and I definitely impressed the CoverGirl people and “Italian Vogue” and Ivan Bart from IMG. Also my personality and my ability to relate to other people and talk to other people, and still take amazing pictures … and even though I fell, I can still walk a runway. It’s my favourite thing to do.
CTV.ca: What was it like when you fell on the final runway? Did you feel like you’d just blown your shot at winning?
Brittani: Literally as I was falling I was like, ‘This is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me in my entire life. I’m going to lose. I’m going to cry. I want my mom’ … I wanted to just melt into the floor and disappear because I was so embarrassed … but it made me stronger. I came back from it and went out and did the final walk with a smile on my face and that’s another thing the judges liked about me – I can overcome things.
CTV.ca: How hard was it to not have your mom there in Morocco when both of Molly’s parents showed up?
Brittani: It was devastating … I knew my mom couldn’t come she just had back surgery but I was just so crushed that I had nobody there.
CTV.ca: What did you think of the new haircut you received for the final judging panel?
Brittani: I was shocked. I did not see that one coming at all. I was sitting there with my ankle wrapped, my wrist bleeding, getting bandaged … and then they come over and say, ‘By the way we’re cutting the rest of your hair off’ … I got immediately upset but then as soon as they did it I was like, ‘Thank you!’ They’ve made my life so much easier. And it gives me an edge I didn’t have before.
CTV.ca: You commented throughout the show how you came from a trailer park – is this even more validation that you can do anything you put your mind to?
Brittani: Definitely. It doesn’t matter where you come from, who you are, and your ethnicity. Any adversity you have in your life it doesn’t matter.
CTV.ca: You struggled with panic attacks and anxiety during the series – did being on the competition prove to you that you can handle stressful situations?
Brittani: I suffer from anxiety and depression and I talked about it a lot because I think it’s something a lot of people go through … (and) you can overcome it. That was one of my biggest concerns going into the competition, ‘Am I going to be able to do this with having anxiety?’ It was a struggle but I did it … I’m proud of myself and I usually don’t say that.
CTV.ca: Was it hard to watch the confrontation you had with Alexandria at the judging panel?
Brittani: It was so hard to watch. I felt so misunderstood and the whole situation was just terrible. I was dreading (watching it) … so many people messaged me and texted me saying they thought I was going to do well, why did I have to (confront Alexandria) and the other half were like, ‘Go girl, you tell her what’s up, she was a bitch.’
CTV.ca: What happens now?
Brittani: I have all my publicity and interviews to do and I’m assuming I have meetings with IMG and CoverGirl soon. And the beginning of June I’m going to Paris for my “Italian Vogue” shoot.
I’m so excited to get the ball rolling. I’ve been waiting for this my whole life. I’m ready to be a top model; I (want) to do Marc Jacobs now. I’m going to run and just take over the world.
Sheri Block has been covering entertainment for CTV.ca since 2008. In addition to meeting Colin Farrell at TIFF 2009, Sheri's highlights have included going on tour with "Canadian Idol," being a stand-in on "Canada's Next Top Model" and reporting on such events as the Juno Awards and MMVAs. Follow her on Twitter!