Edgy drama student, Lauren Blackwell impressed our judges with her alternative image and husky voice, not to mention her natural ability to hold the attention of a room without even trying.
One of Lauren's many passions is dancing, which played a large part in her early years. She is trained in ballet, hip hop and contemporary dance, but has now focused her ambitions on the art of television presenting. “I've always wanted to be involved in the showbiz industry, whether I am presenting, acting, writing or fetching coffee for the assistant of the assistant director.”
Lauren is close to her family and says she's a 'daddy's girl'. “I owe my mom the world for teaching me the importance of having thick skin and to never be satisfied with being average or typical. Without my dad I would never have had the courage or opportunities to follow my dreams. My sister is the reason I know what ‘Vogue’ is and my brother is the craziest little man to hit this planet.”
Making the Top 10 has been a dream come true for Lauren, one that she is not going to give up easily. “I really, really want this. I'm not easily intimidated by people and I have the confidence. I want to give the audience something fresh. I have a different image and look to offer, something that’s edgy with a bit of rock.”
She was able to impress our judges – will this confident wildcard bowl you over with her alternative image and rocker girl persona?
Sneak-Peek of Lauren's Justin Bieber interview:
Lauren B's Celebrity Interview insert:
Sneak-Peek for Week 3:
Lauren B's travel insert:
Lauren B's link and judges comments for Task 2:
Lauren B says:
Week 1: On her makeover experience: “I'm really grateful for the experience and it was a great first step in learning to become a presenter. The challenge sent me into a bit of a panic, though, as my mom usually co ordinates my shopping vibes, but it was great getting inspiration from the presenters and we got to see how the other contestants worked.”
On the mock elimination: “The elimination was horrible; everyone was so highly strung. The group had become so close in such a short space of time that we were all so grateful that no one went in the first week. It definitely made us understand how it will feel once it happens for real.”
Week 2: On the Knysna task: “It was an amazing experience. I got to go to an elephant sanctuary and learnt that outfits are very important and you need to pack for anything. I took the criticism we were given and learnt from it, for example, I need to be a lot more natural but with twenty times more energy that normal, so I'll definitely work on that for the next challenge.”
Week 3: On the interview challenge: "It was quite chilled because we're all in the same industry so it was easy to relate to all of them. They're all so down to earth and easy to talk to and a lot of fun, so it made the process easier."
On the toughest part of the challenge: "My person cancelled on me. Originally I was meant to interview Letoya and I was quite excited because there are so many interesting things about her. Then I was told I wouldn't be interviewing her and I had to research a different person. It all turned out ok, though and he was very nice about it. I've just learnt that you've got to be prepared for everything because everything can change at the last second."
On winning the Justin Bieber/Australia interview: "It was such an unexpected thing to win the challenge. I really had no inkling or feeling that they would choose me. I felt that I was the most unexpected candidate to win."
Week 4: On her trip to Australia: "The whole trip was so quick, it didn't feel like I was in Australia. It made me realise how much energy it really takes on these trips and and the time constraints it places on the crew. But it was a pretty incredible experience and I feel so blessed and lucky."
On her interview with Justin Bieber: "He was very professional and down-to-earth, definitely not the diva that the press makes him out to be. He was so easy to talk to. The best part by far was being serenaded by him - it is pretty much the best thing that has happened in the last few years of my life."
Week 5: On the adventure challenge: "It was by far the best insert we've done so far, because it was fun and active. It was also challenging, doing all these physical acts, while also smiling and having energy and involving the audience. You've got to think on your feet and I've learnt that you have to invest in a wide vocabulary, because what you say has to be new everytime. You've got to stay away from words like "wow" and "amazing". You also learn very quickly that you always have to find that last bit of energy, even if you don't have it. It can be difficult."
On the elimination: "I figured I would be in the bottom three, but as soon as I heard Jonathan's name being called, I knew I was going. But I'm happy the others are still there."
On leaving the show: "The best part about the competition has been the people I've met. I've also matured and learnt so much, being surrounded by people from all walks of life. You really get to see all the work and effort that goes into just 30 seconds of shooting. Walking away, I've gained so much and lost absolutely nothing."