Do you blame ANTM and Tyra Banks for the path of destruction Jael Strauss found herself on after leaving the show?
Jael Strauss was a strong competitor Cycle 8 of America’s Next Top Model. Despite having a close friend die of a drug overdose during the filming process. Jael finished in fifth place.
Five years later, the world is learning what happened to Jael. And it isn’t pretty. She has received significant attention for her meth drug addiction since being featured on an episode of Dr. Phil on September 14, 2012.
Caridee English won Cycle 7 of ANTM, and has opened up to Gawker about Strauss, Tyra Banks, and how the show did Jael no favors. You’d think the winner of a cycle would be happy, but English describes that winning her title wasn’t nearly as great as you’d think.
“They should have evaluated her a lot more before letting her on the show,” Caridee says. “All they saw was a personality good for television.”
What happens when you leave ANTM? You get no more help.
“Tyra won’t do anything [for Jael]. She provided a wonderful platform for girls to have a chance at their dream, but after there is no ‘Tyra Mail.'”
Before you think English only wanted to complain… keep reading. “I am not complaining, I am simply defending. I love what I have made for myself since my win, but mentally, it’s horrific. And any girl who has been on ANTM can back me up. No one wants to take us serious as models…”
This became a bit of a tangent on how winning ANTM isn’t that great. Which is a worthy topic on its own. But it’s interesting that Caridee English was aware that the producers of the show aren’t interested in being responsible for contestants and any mental instabilities they may have.
Then again, would they have been able to spot Jael Strauss as someone who was headed for trouble?
Strauss was already into drugs before being on the show. After being rejected from the show, she returned to them.
- MAIN QUESTION: Do you blame ANTM for Jael at all? Are the producers and Tyra Banks too interested in ratings to fully vet their contestants?
My two cents: ANTM needs to make sure all contestants are emotionally stable, and be honest about the prizes and support they will receive. But Jael can’t blame being on this show five years ago for her meth addiction.
America’s Next Top Model currently airs on The CW on Friday nights.
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Follow TV Critic Jessica Rae on Twitter @ThisJessicaRae.