Former ‘Top Model’ Winner: Mentally The Show is “Horrific”

CariDee & Tyra pose after CariDee's win.

This morning, news broke that a Jael Strauss, a former contestant on America’s Next Top Model Cycle 8 is addicted to meth and getting an intervention by Dr. Phil. The episode, which airs on Thursday, will feature Dr. Phil and Jael’s parents trying to set her straight before her addiction kills her. It’s very sad to see the toll meth has taken on her looks. (Click here to see a photo, because you know you’re curious!)

Anyway, news outlets everywhere were reporting the story and it seems that former ANTM winner CariDee English happened to see the’s version and decided to add her thoughts on why a girl from this show can fall so far so fast. In her comment, she openly bashes the show and its “headmistresses” and Queen of “Smizing” Tyra Banks.

“I am not complaining, I am simply defending,” she wrote. “I love love what I have made for myself since my win, but mentally, [the show is] horrific. And any girl who has been on ANTM can back me up. No one wants to take us serious as models.”

In response to other comments left on the site that suggested Tyra would step in to help Jael get back on track, CariDee offered this statement:

“Tyra won’t do anything. She provided a wonderful platform for girls to have a chance at their dream, but, after there is no ‘Tyra Mail,’ I had to guide myself, and even though I won a model competition I still had no idea what the modeling BUSINESS was like. I had no idea what the industry was really like. I was famous, but no one wanted to take my picture…The only person that has reached out to me directly is Nigel Barker. He even hired me.”

She claims that after she won the show, she was promptly snubbed by the very industry she was supposed to be on “top” of, simply because of her affiliation with the show.

“The fashion industry had NO idea how to market us,” she wrote. Our agents, our managers….. because we become a instant celeb…. but had a [portfolio] of a rookie model. Even though we just were named ‘TOP’ our place in line at Fashion World was at the bottom…It’s not a curse, not even close. I chose to be on the show, and so did all the girls before me and after me like Jael.”

This is all very true. It’s very rare that you see or hear much from any of the winners of this show after their ‘Top Model’ days are over. (Yes, I’m aware that several of the winners, like Adrianne Curry and Eva Marcille have actually gone on to have successful careers, but, in general, this is true.)

Will you be watching tomorrow’s ‘Dr. Phil’ episode to hear Jael’s story? Click here to watch a preview!

(Photos: Yonker/The CW; Getty Images, DrPhilShow via YouTube)

2 Responses

  1. People need to take responsibility for their own lives. One goes on a reality show because they want/need attention from people, whether they know them or not. I would have thought that someone who wanted to model would have known lots about the industry before going on ANTM. They always say that modeling has been their dream, or other similar statements. It’s not Tyra’s job to follow up. She promises the winner a contract with companies, but that’s where her responsibility ends.

  2. Actually, I’m pretty sure that Adrianne Curry had similar sentiments of not having any guidance or help after winning the show.

    Most reality shows seem like hell to actually live in. But ANTM seems like one that attracts some very “strong personalities” to not only compete with but live with. I stopped watching after a few seasons since I couldn’t decide which was more ridiculous 1) the “challenges” for the models or 2) Tyra’s attention-seeking antics.

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