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July 02, 2007
The Celebreality Interview - Saaphyri

Saaph_wins

Whether you agree with her victory or not, you have to give it up for Saaphyri's determination and unique spirit. Like the most memorable Celebreality characters (such as New York), Saaphyri has her own distinct way of communicating -- the stuff that comes out of her mouth is all hers. She blessed us exclusively with her unique insight, unflinching honesty and quirky sense of humor. After the jump, Saaphyri talks about winning Charm School, her plans for the $50,000, her thoughts on Shay and Larissa, her gigantic boobs and the drag queen who helped her become the woman she is today. The fierceness starts as soon as you click:

Congratulations.

Thank you. It's been on my mind for so long and I've had to shut up for so long that now I'm like, OK, I can finally release it.

Was it tough keeping it a secret?

Yeah. Especially these last couple of weeks because everybody's been anticipating the finale. People try to get it out of you any way they can. "Oh, so how's your life been after the show?" "I'm sorry that you didn't win, and I know that Leilene won, but you did great." It's like, "OK, whatever."

Were you surprised to win?

Yes. I was just hoping to stay there longer than a day. Once I stayed past a day and past two days, I was like, "Dang. Maybe I will last a week. Maybe I can get to the end of this!"

Your OTF commentary about people was one of the highlights of the show. Did you have a sense before the show that you could read people so humorously?

Yeah. My great grandmother and all of them used to say that. It seems kind of weird, but it's easy for me to run into people and feel, "Oh, this is a good person." Or, "No. This person's not good." I can feel them out really quickly.

You have that sense.

A sixth sense. (Cackles) But I don't see dead people.

But regarding your comments and your general interaction with the girls, is it all good? Do you have outstanding beef with any of them?

I'm cool with everybody. I'm happy, I'm the winner. I have no reason to be mad. (Laughs)

For the most part, you stayed out of the drama that went down. Was that conscious?

Yes. I knew that certain people wanted to make sure I did get into drama. That way I would go home. It was a conscious decision from me to stay away from unnecessary drama.

During the Flavor of Love 2 reunion, you talked about anger-management class. Was that really helpful?

Yes! At the time, I didn't think it was that important. I figured I'd go and it wouldn't really work. But yes! It actually does work. You learn to remove yourself from a situation and just realize that everything isn't negative. Anger management helps a lot. Especially in the situation with me and Darra.

You were really angry at her. Do you regret acting out?

No. I stand by it. The reason I went off on her was because I knew she was playing it up for camera. She offered me two luggages full of stuff. It's like, if you have all this stuff left over, why wouldn't you give it to the charity? If you didn't give it to the charity and you're trying to give it to me, something's not adding up to. It means you didn't really do it from your heart, you're doing it from a fake place.

So you think she was playing it up to make her on-screen character more sympathetic?

Yeah, because she knew she hadn't given that much to the charity. Why would you depend so much on Schatar if you have all this stuff yourself?

Speaking of the charity-donating challenge, what happened when you were in there was really intense. At any point, did you think, "I just gave away all of my stuff. What do I do now? What will I wear?"

No, it was more like, I can't believe my stuff meant that much to me. It was something that had been held in. It was almost like a release. I wasn't worried about what I was gonna do afterwards, it was more, I'mma keep going. I learned that stuff doesn't mean that much. Stuff doesn't make your worth.

What was the greatest lesson you learned in Charm School?

Learning to eat right. (Laughs) Doing all those different forks and knives and stuff, I actually lost a few pounds. I'm serious! If you take your time and figure out all this stuff, you're not as hungry.

Do you find yourself applying Charm School lessons in everyday life?

Yes. Especially "Don't take the bait." I find that being played out, especially when I couldn't reveal that I was the winner. People were always trying to bait me in.

Was Becky the person you bonded to most closely on the show?

Yeah. It was Becky, for sure. Me and Becky were in the same room, so we'd talk until early morning a lot of the times. She would tell me things about her life and I started to understand her. I could see that she has a good heart. She's loyal. She's incredibly loyal, almost to the detriment of herself.

During the finale, you patched things up with Shay, but I didn't realize there was real beef to begin with. What was that all about?

I was mad at her because I felt like she had convinced Larissa to steal the picture. To me, it seemed like she didn't hold up to her part of what she had done. But everybody makes mistakes. I forgive her and hopefully Larissa will, too.

And what are your feelings on Larissa right now?

Oh man…(laughs). Larissa? I love Larissa to death and...uh...Larissa's cool.

See, there you go: not taking the bait. The show paints a rags-to-riches story with you. Can you give me a picture of just how down-and-out you were? You were homeless, for one thing...

I was living with a roommate. I wasn't living in a cardboard box or anything. (Laughs) Like, "Yeah, I'mma get out of my box now and go to this audition."

Make way for old, toothless Saaphyri, muttering to herself.

(Laughing) I was basically living with roommates and it was hard. People have different personalities and one day it's OK if you're there, the next, it's like, "OK, I want you to get out." Then later on that day, it's, "No, you can stay," but then it's like, "Oh, I changed my mind." That's the type of thing, the ups and downs and not being really stable because you can't just stay there. It's a blessing to me to make sure that I don't have to get out until I want to.

So, you're using your $50,000 for a house?

Yeah. I'm putting a down payment on a condo. Right now, it's ready.

Is it at 54th and Crenshaw?

It's too expensive over there! L.A. is just high, so I had to go out a little bit to be able to afford something.

And you're launching a company?

Yep. Lip Chap. It will be available very soon. My dot com (saaphyri.com) will be open within a day or so and you'll be able to purchase it there. The main flavor is cherry because that's the hottest one. I did some research with some of the kids around here and everyone loves cherry.

Lip Chap brand lip chap is a brilliant idea.

I also have the hair.

Yeah, tell me about that.

I already knew where the best Indian hair was, but now I've combined it and made it available for everyone else so they can share the Indian hair and make sure their hair never balls up into knots and is always swingin' (laughs). Also, I have another project. I make lace-front closures and lace-front wigs, but I want to make full lace wigs for people with alopecia and cancer. I think that if your hair looks good, it'll help you heal.

What about plans to get back in front of the camera?

Oh yeah. You guys will see me again. I did an independent movie called Ricky and Melinda. It should be out in the next month or so, they just completed the editing. I also think you're gonna see me a little closer to home, but I can't speak about that yet.

When it comes down to it, what was more important: the money or the experience you received from Charm School?

I think if I would have left without the money and just the experience, I woulda been pissed! Because it would have been like, yeah, I had a great experience, but I'm still struggling. When you don't have to struggle, it's easy to be happy. Those people who say, "It's not about the money, it's about the experience," they probably have some money! When you don't have to think everyday, "OK, I need to make this money right now," or "I'm hungry," or "I need to pay this cable bill," or, "I need to pay my light bill," it makes you able to focus. Those are the kinds of things that make people mad. They make people go off on you when you're walking down the street.

Your breasts were practically a supporting character on Charm School.

You're right! I got two infants on my chest.

They're real, right?

Yeah, they are.

They're something to deal with, huh?

Yes. I want to deal with them by making them littler. I used to be really skinny and when I was, I didn't have a lot. It was always some, but then I gained a lot of weight over the past few years and I gained it all up top. My stomach and nothing else has never been big, but my chest just blew up. It was like someone stuck an air tube in there.

Are you sensitive about them? You were really mad when Seashell made that remark at the prom about stretch marks.

I'm not sensitive. I know they're big and whatever. Love your body, whatever your body type is. The thing that pissed me off with old, crunchy Seashell was that he was disrespectful. I wasn't going to stand there and let him disrespect me like that. I don't think I should have to. It's like, if you want to disrespect me, let's disrespect each other, then. And he had seashells on! It's like, what the hell? You were in jail with seashells on the back of your head? What did they think you were, a boy mermaid when you were in the shower? I know they were just waiting for you to bend over, Seashell. Let me see 'em dangle.

Have you ever had any influence from a drag queen in your life?

(Laughs)

Because one time you said "Fierce!" and you snapped and another you said, "Walk. Just walk bitch. Just walk down the runway, that's all I need her to do," and it really seemed like you'd known a drag queen at some point.

You know what? I have! My cousin. His name is Mike, but he calls himself Barbie Q, like ribs. He taught me how to walk in heels. He taught me about corsets.

Do you miss your old hair?

I still have it in my closet. If I ever feel real pinkish, I can just whip it out. You can do that with Indian hair, you just reuse it. But I'm liking the black right now. At first, I thought people wouldn't recognize me with my hair dark, and it's been dark for a while now. But now, my hair could be purple black and I could have a ski mask on and people will be like, "Saaphyri! I know that's you, girl!" It's everyday. Even in the car. Even with sunglasses on and a beanie. I was at party a few days before the reunion, and at one point, I went outside to get some stuff, and this girl started crying. She went bananas. I was amazed. It felt like an out-of-body experience. My outer body part was like, "Damn, she crying. This is major." And my inner body part was like, "She crying? Why she crying for you?" And kids are crazy, too. "I like your pink hair better! Take that hair off and put the pink back on!" I'll be like, "What you know about taking it off and putting it back on? You only 3!" But I like people. I like that they give me love and I just wanna love 'em back.

To keep up with Saaphyri or to fill all your Lip Chap and Indian-hair needs, hit up Saaphyri's MySpace.


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Comments
Gwen

Yeah!!!! Thanks for this awesome interview. Saaphyri for President!!!!

ebony

i am very happy you won girl. i also loved the fact that you gave your glory to god because without him none of this would have been possible. YOU GIRL!!!!!!!!

MARSHA

AWWW!!! YOU GO GIRL!!!!!! I KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO WIN SINCE THE BEGINNING!!!!!

tibbyhergreatness

i am so happy for u!!!! i knew you were going to win i am sososo glad that you did!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Al

YEAH!!! Go Saaphyri!! I had a feeling that you would d ofar in the competition. :D

Chad

YOU GO GIRL!!! You're an inspiration to EVERYBODY.

cass

I understand that Saaphyri needed the money but Becky's change was really outstanding. She became a lady even when they were talking betwen them she really expresed herself like a new person. That was what the show was about . The netx time should be a runner up category

jazzyfayy

saaphyri i,m so happy you won the money and you looked so pretty in that white dress with the diamond shoes you looked like a princess buy some homes and fix them up and sell em so you can keep having lots of money.

jazzyfayy

saaphyri i,m so happy you won the money and you looked so pretty in that white dress with the diamond shoes you looked like a princess buy some homes and fix them up and sell em so you can keep having lots of money.

Linda

Saaphyri,
When you were on Flavor of Love, I thought to myself, "This girl is stupid and trashy and ghetto"... Then I saw you on Charm School. I was amazed because you are really intelligent, and not stupid at all. To be honest, you were the reason that I kept watching. I was so interested in all that you had to say. I just looked at the Finale Show, (I missed it last night) and I hope you get to read this because you broke me down young lady. When you fell to your knees and thanked God, I could not contain myself. I cried like their was no tomorrow. Good things do happen to good people. When you said "God I knew you wouldn't leave me", I came undone. You have affected me deeply and I just had to say thank you.Remember where you came from, what you went through, and help someone else. God's got (another)blessing, with your name on it. I wish I could give you a hug because young lady, you are fantastic, and I wish you were my daughter. Who wouldn't be proud of you.

chemo

This is the problem with our society and especially with us as blacks. The purpose of charm school was to make you girls better people in society. However the only one who trully made a change for the best was the white girl Becky. I cant believe they wasted fifty thousand dollars to the one person who made herself look like a foolish imature African American woman. Well yes I can believe it because the network and producers always cash in on our foolishness. To run around that house starting drama over a picture and things that dont make since is not going to cut it in the real world. How do you expect to work in corperate America or run a successful business acting this way. These are the things that kids get killed over every day! Worthless Drama! Monique you know better you carry yourself with such elegance yet dont make a stand on these deviant behaviors. Im a comedian and this aint funny!! Once again the White girl outshined everyone by turning her whole image around. I didnt even know that was buckwild anymore. Safari congrats on your win keep your head up continue to better yourself, and please dont put that 50,000 down on a condo that would be very foolish if thats all you have. One word Invest! in your lip chap flip that money first over and over.

Patty

I want to know if Saaphyri and Leilene knew who won before their makeovers. It shows the both of them commenting about the outcome but yet their hairstyles are the same as before the makeovers. Did anyone else notice this???

ChristyD

I was praying it would be you all season, good luck with everything you do.

Jay

You are the one and only reason I watched the show. Your story touched my heart and I wanted you to win so badly!!! Way to rock and be strong!!!

Diane spells

l was glad to see larissa go, she is nothing but mouth,all she needs is good butt kicking,she should of been off of ths show, l think Mo though she could change her,you know you can not trane a shark.To mo,l like that black dress you were wearing, when you get ready to toss it out,would send it to me please, thank you.

Honesty

First I would like to say the show didn't have a foundation. The reason why the girls were kicked off had nothing, for most of them, to do with the lessons. It seemed like they said lets make up things as we go along. Second Saaphari did not deserve to win. They stated that the reason for charm school was to change. Safari only tried to justify why she was the way she was and had the judges especially Monique say yeah now it makes sense why you act like that so it is Okay. I don't see where she changed any. Saaphyri played Charm school. She is a reality guru like Pumpkin. Did anyone else see her on Tyra Banks about the racist thing, and she was on something else. I can't believe she played you'll like that. I would have rather seen Lelan, Shay, or Crystal win then her. Charm school I need a house to can I win?

Honesty

It should be part 2 to Charm School so they can teach the girls (women) about Loyalty, Honesty, Integrity, and most importantly RESPECT. I know the girls are probably inspiring actress, models, singer... but they should't sell themselves short. Some show that they have will and drive. And actually intellegient (Shay) and independent. Don't forget your business is about image. You're on a reality show and some of you left a bad image about your character. Some people gave props to Becky for changing the most, but at what cost. She turned her back on someone who jepordized her friendship for her. She also showed that she was a quitter and crybaby with a big heart. How much money did Saaphri, Safari, Saphri give you? I did learn from Shay girl I hold grudges and I am trying so hard to forgive and forget. You showed that it can be done and brush it off and move on. We know the real reason they teamed up on you, it took three.

LuLu

Congratulations!!! Im glad you won...You deserved it!!! Let this be a new chapter to a wonderful book with a beautiful ending :)

Anoynomous

I don't know why people are disappointed that Saaphyri won! Im happy that she won. I was routing for her the whole time. People need to realized that Saaphyri was not going to be the compelte epitmone of charm by the end of this show because of the hell that she has been through. Charm School could not help her with the issues she has. However, I do believe she learned a lot and she changed. Complete change does not
happen overnight and its hard;its a journey.
I believe each girl got what she desereved. Leilene got a modeling contract which is good for her because she does not have to go back
to stripping which she didnt want to do
. I do not think the 50 grand would benefit her
in the long run because it was a good possibility she would have continued to strip and Saaphryi can use the money to put a down payment on a home. Besides, it was all about the money anyway. I feel Monique made her decision based on who needed the money most because you can tell by the speeches the women gave. All final ladies are truly all winners because they all seem to made some canges within themselves. Congratualtions Saaphyri and all the final ladies to Charm School

franca

hi girl, i am really glad u won, i knew u were going to win right from the start, i hope u use ur money wisely and i am looking at for ur product i will be the first to purchase it. keep ur head up. luv ya

Jeannetta

Congratulation Saaphryi I'm glad you won I know you a very proud of yourself.

Wade

"MONIQUE YOU GOT PLAYED"
AS EXPERIENCED AS MONIQUE IS SHE FAILED TO SPOT THE "PLAYER" AND THE "GAME". I THOUGHT THE SHOW WAS ABOUT CHARM, POISE AND SELF IMPROVEMENT. SAAPHYRI "CHARMED" HER WAY ON THE JUDGES EMOTIONS WITH HER DOWN ON HER LUCK DEPRIVING STORY. THE SHOW WAS NOT ABOUT CHARITY...SHE SHOULD HAVE WORKED TO EARN THAT MONEY. SHE KNEW SHE HAD NO CHANCE AFTER THAT DISPLAY WITH THE HOUSE GUESTS. SO SHE PLAYED THE HOMELESS CARD...AND A DARN GOOD JOB OF IT TOO. MONIQUE...MONIQUE...MONIQUE., TSK TSK TSK. SISTER, I THINK YOU GOT PLAYED...BIG TIME. HOW MUCH MORE GHETTO CAN THAT GIRL BE? IF YOU ASK ME, BECKY AKA BUCKWILD SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN THAT PRIZE. SHE DESERVE SOMETHING LIKE "MOST IMPROVE". SHE WENT FROM BEING THE BLACKEST WHITE GIRL TO A CHARMED YOUNG WOMAN. HOOK THAT SISTER UP, AFTERALL SHE WAS GONNA GIVE UP HALF.
BY THE WAY, HOW COME THE LADIES HAIR WERE CUT OFF YET IN THE POST INTERVIEW THEY HAD THE ORIGINAL DO'S...WHAT'S UP WITH THAT?

JUDY

MS. SAAPHYRI, YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL YOUNG LADY, AND I'M NOT FUNNY. WHEN I SAW YOU SPEAK FROM THE HEART, I KNEW THAT WAS GOD THAT LED YOU. AND TO HEAR YOU WON, AND YOU THANKING GOD, I FELT IT SISTER. I WAS STILL CRYING AND PRAISING THE LORD FOR YOU WHEN THE SHOW WAS OFF. I LIKE YOU BETTER IN THE STRAWBERRY HAIR, AND I'M JUST A PLAIN YOUNG LADY. I'M SO HAPPY FOR YOUR SUCCESS, AND STAY STRONG. WE ALL NEED CHARM SCHOOL. PLEASE DON'T LISTEN TO NEGATIVE COMMENTS. I KNOW YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR PEOPLE ADVICE, BUT TRY TO FLIP OR DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BEFORE YOU INVEST TO MUCH. CALL DONALD TRUMP, AND DO LIKE HIM, USE OTHER PEOPLE MONEY LIKE THEY DO AT THESE SEMINAR. LET OTHER PEOPLE INVEST IN YOUR PRODUCT. HE CHARGES PEOPLE $500 DOLLARS FOR SEMINAR CLASSES AFTER THEY SIGN UP. I'M GLAD A BLACK WOMAN WON. TELL THE PEOPLE TO STAY BACK.

Jazz

I AM SUPER HAPPY U WON YOUR SO AWESOME! I would buy your products anyday! I think all should take regular girls off the street that need a change in additude or anything and Saaphryri should host it and take Monique's place. Now I would watch that!But anyway you were the best in the house you kept no drama and YOU ROCK!!!!!! Or you should host Charm school for teens with problems with school and everyday life! ANY YOU ARE AWESOME!

Diana

I am very happy for sapphyri. I was pulling for leilene because I noticed her transformation over time. Most of the show she didn't cry. Overall, I am happy about the outcome. Both ladies won and both ladies deserved it. I couldn't stand sapphyri at the beginning but it is obvious that she has a big heart. She has her issues but over the time she progressed. She really needed the money. It was great to see her joy. I also think leilene will do great things. I am proud of both of them. Congratulations to both of them because they were both winners.

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