Brooke Hogan barely notices the cameras anymore. And she trusts that the people editing the moments of her life meant for public consumption have her best interests at heart.
You couldn’t blame her for being a little camera shy these days, what with her family enduring the pain of a divorce and the specter of legal charges pending against her younger brother Nick for his role in an automobile accident that left his passenger critically injured. But that just isn’t the way the Hogan Knows Best star operates.
“I always tell everybody, if I sit still for two seconds, I go crazy,” she says. “I have to constantly be working.”
As for the rest of the Hogan clan, “Everything’s good with the family,” she says, though she doesn’t pretend it’s anything but a tough situation. “You feel like crying every day when you’re going through stuff like we are. But you just have to stay strong and know that there’s always a silver lining.”
To that end, she’s keeping busy by serving as a celebrity judge this month for ABC Family’s America’s Prom Queen, and shooting her own reality show — Brooke Hogan Knows Best — a Hogan Knows Best spinoff set in Miami — set to air this fall on VH1.
In America’s Prom Queen, which premieres March 17, 10 girls chosen from a nationwide casting call will occupy a storybook mansion and vie for the title by displaying their prom know-how in such categories as sense of style, dancing ability, prom spirit and planning skills. Along with style guru Jai Rodriguez (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy), comic Theo Von (Road Rules, Last Comic Standing) and CosmoGirl! Editor-in-Chief Susan Schulz, Hogan will be responsible for deciding which girls will move on and which will go home.
While she enjoyed her time on the show, Hogan says it was never easy saying goodbye to girls she felt she had come to know.
“I was a crybaby during every elimination,” she says. “But it was nice in a way, because as judges, we tried not to give the girls too many pointers, and we couldn’t really interact with them too much. But after it was over, we could hug them and tell them how great they did. You really do fall in love with their personalities.”
The judges winnow the field down to five contestants, then it’s up to America to decide who will advance. The winner will be crowned April 21, and along with wearing the tiara, she will become the official prom correspondent for CosmoGirl! and receive an all-expenses-paid trip to New York to undergo a day of beauty pampering that will be featured on the magazine’s website.
Helping another girl taste a bit of the glamorous life wasn’t the only treat for Hogan, who at 19 is barely older than the show’s contestants.
“Usually, I’m the one in the hot seat,” she says, “being judged, being told to run around and do stuff. ‘Brooke, work on this, do your piano stuff.’ So it’s nice to be able to give my opinion.”