We’ve seen plenty of “America’s Next Top Model” contestants break down in tears on the show and get subsequent hugs from mama bear host Tyra Banks. But none of them compare to the disturbing footage of former contestant Jael Strauss’ meth addiction intervention on “Dr. Phil.” Gawker linked to a trailer of the intervention, prompting “Top Model” winner Caridee English to sound off on both Tyra and the show in the comments section: “They should have evaluated [Jael] a lot more before letting her on the show. All they saw was a personality good for television. Well, this hopefully will save at least her life and someone watching. Everything happens for a reason.”
Of course reality TV shows strategically select loose cannons and strong personalities, but how much should shows like “America’s Next Top Model” be held accountable for fragile contestants once their contract is up? In her lengthy comment post, Caridee writes that there’s “no Tyra Mail” once models leave the show, armed with little more than reality TV fame and fledgling modeling experience—neither of which carries much weight in the industry. “I love love what I made for myself since my win, but mentally, its horrific,” Caradee writes. “The fashion industry had NO idea how to market us. 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.”
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