August 23, 2013
On January 15, 2013, TVGuide.com posted an article regarding Cycle 5‘s Cassandra Whitehead and a recent news story about her recent nuptials to actor, Stephen Amell. Here is the text from the article (Posted by Kate Stanhope):
Arrow‘s Stephen Amell Marries Top Model‘s Cassandra Jean
Sorry, ladies. Stephen Amell is officially off the market.
The Arrow hunk married girlfriend Cassandra Jean on Christmas Day in the Caribbean, Just Jared reports. The sunset ceremony was officiated by a good friend of the couple. This is the first marriage for both.
Amell, 31, previously guest-starred on Private Practice, New Girl and 90210 before landing the coveted role of Oliver Queen on the CW superhero hit. Jean, who appeared in cycle 5 of America’s Next Top Model, has appeared on One Tree Hill and will next pop up on Hart of Dixie.
August 23, 2013
On July 13, 2013, TMZ posted an article regarding Cycle 8‘s Renee Alway and a recent news story about her arrest after a 6-hour standoff with authorities following a burglary. Here is the text from the article (Posted by TMZ Staff):
‘America’s Next Top Model’ Arrested
Burglary, Drugs & Guns
A finalist from “America’s Next Top Model” might be America’s Next Top Inmate … Renee Alway was arrested recently in connection to a six-hour stand-off with police … who say she was packing heat.
It’s a crazy story … Renee — who placed 3rd in Cycle 8 of the show — was popped on June 28 in Palm Springs and slapped with A TON of charges, including suspicion of burglary, fraud, possession of narcotics, forged bills, and committing a felony while on bail* … just to name a few.
Here’s what happened … Palm Springs PD says they got a call about a suspicious female lurking around a house that was supposed to be vacant. They responded and allegedly found Alway hiding in the garage with a gun.
Cops say they believed another person was also in the house — a male, also packing heat — and called in the SWAT team. SWAT entered and searched the home for hours, but concluded no one else was inside.
27-year-old Alway was booked and remains in jail. Bail is set at $150,000. She’s due in court next week.
*NOT SO FUN FACT: Renee was also arrested on June 2 and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, petty theft, and fraud. She plead not guilty, was released on bail — and then ARRESTED on June 28th.
Hence the recent charge of committing a felony while on bail. Wow.
August 22, 2013
On July 18, 2013, the New York Daily News posted an article regarding Cycle 8‘s Renee Alway and a recent news story about her arrest after a 6-hour standoff with authorities. Here is the text from the article (Posted by Nina Golgowski):
Brutal mug shot of Renee Alway from ‘America’s Next Top Model’ shows aftermath of 6-hour armed standoff
The 27-year-old former model’s photo released by the Palm Springs police shows her virtually unrecognizable face covered in cuts and bruises after a June standoff with police.
Being on “America’s Next Top Model” might be easier than it actually looks — if a brutal mug shot is anything to go by.
A battered and bruised mug shot of once promising model Renee Alway has been released showing an entirely unrecognizable appearance to the blond woman America once knew and adored.
The shocking face is the brutal aftermath of a six-hour armed standoff with police in California last month, according to authorities in Palm Springs, Calif.
Red bruises and cuts appear under the 27-year-old’s eyes and chin. Her face tilts downward — this time away from the camera lens she once shined for.
Alway, who was one of three finalists on the program in 2007, was arrested June 28 and charged with first and second degree burglary, fraud and committing a felony while released on bail.
Police say they found her hiding while armed in the garage of an unoccupied home whose owners were out of the country after concerned neighbors reported seeing a suspicious-looking woman walking around.
A violent standoff with police ensued when an armed man was believed to also be inside the house, bringing the SWAT team in. Alway was the only one found at the scene.
Always’ bail was set at $150,000 with a court appearance scheduled for Thursday.
Perhaps even more shockingly is that this was the former model’s at least fourth arrest this year, the Desert Sun reports.
Those prior arrests include two in April for grand theft of more than $400, grand theft with a firearm and receiving stolen property.
In June she was arrested twice more for drug paraphernalia, petty theft and fraud, TMZ reports.
Source: New York Daily News
February 2, 2013
On September of 2012, Scallywag & Vagabond posted an article regarding Cycle 8‘s Jael Strauss and a recent news story about her appearance on Dr. Phil for an intervention about her meth addiction. Here is the text from the article (Posted by Scallywag):
Jael Strauss, a former America’s Next Top Model contestant on cycle 8 of the show once had a dream of making it as a model but that dream may have already been tampered with from the age of 15 when her own parents introduced her to narcotics (cocaine), and it is from there we learned on yesterday’s Dr Phil show that the former young beauty had begun her descent into self neglect and self abuse.
According to the girl’s parents their daughter acted out the pressures of trying to make it as a model but sadly the more she displayed signs of the real nitty gritty of her life it was time for her to be evicted from the show. Such are the bitter realities of reality tv that only take the time to showcase preferred realities.
Once off the show it is discovered the young woman begins a plethora of drug addiction, including crack cocaine which she openly boasted about on her myspace page. From there Jael Strauss leaves her family house to begin a full on commitment to drug abuse and self abandonment working as a stripper to support her habit and living in a cheap motel.
Then there is this remarkable comment from Jael’s father Larry:
“I’ve had the opportunity to help many people get off drugs and get back to their lives, but I never had the objectivity to help my own daughter.”
And here is when the bombshell is dropped. Asked by Dr Phil whether Larry ever did drugs with his daughter Larry retorts ‘that he isn’t here to share details of his personal life.’ Never mind that details of Jael’s personal life are smothered all over the screen who is loathe to have the cameras turned off as she is cornered by her family who have come to rescue her. Or have they come to rescue themselves and their own guilty conscious….?
Once on the show we see Jael run off stage and into a parking lot chased by our collective hero Dr Phil (some things are too ridiculous) but at least the man acknowledges the leverage he has as he attempts to find out what it is about this girl that has so deeply wounded her. It is true, no one ever wakes up one day wishing to be a drug addict, it is almost certain a disparaging state of mind that leads one to seek an alternative reality.
It is here that the girl gives in (some what) and relents about an incident when she was ten years old, about something that happened that her parents refused to believe her (was she abused, sexually molested and by whom?). From there our hero Dr Phil brings her back to stage and the audience goes into a fantastic standing ovation. Someone once again is cheering for Jael Strauss, that thing that she always wanted has finally returned. At least for a moment.
One has to wonder what will happen to Jael Strauss and the thousands of individuals like her who turn their back on society because in their mind society turned their back on them, whether their parents, an uncaring supposed mentor (in Jael’s case, Tyra Banks, but can we really blame Ms Banks?) or just everyday passerbys who sneer at the junkie ruining their life….but by extension reminding them of their own life’s frailty.
Will Jael Strauss get a grip and move on? Let’s hope so but then there are thousands of other individuals who need the help that Jael has been offered. Will Dr Phil now go to every besieged parking lot looking for them too? What about you…?
February 2, 2013
In September of 2012, The Huffington Post posted an article regarding Cycle 7‘s winner CariDee English commenting (via Gawker) on the recent discovery that Cycle 8’s Jael Strauss is addicted to meth. Here is the text from the post (written and posted by HuffPo Staff):
Jael Strauss Meth Addiction: CariDee English Sounds Off On Model, Tyra Banks In Gawker Comments
After the tragic news broke of former “America’s Next Top Model” contestant Jael Strauss’ meth addiction, we figured someone from the show’s camp would adress the issue. First up? Fellow aspiring model and former contestant CariDee English proclaiming, “Tyra won’t do anything.”
Gawker covered the chilling trailer for Jael’s forthcoming drug-addiction intervention on “Dr. Phil,” and CariDee used the comment section to voice her opinion on what she considers reckless behavior by the “Top Model” big whigs in choosing visibly fragile Jael to compete in the first place:
“They should have evaluated her 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.”
It’s no secret that reality television shows frequently opt for wild, attention-seeking personalities — that’s the backbone of the entire institution, right? But Jael’s meth addiction brings into question how much responsibility shows like this should have regarding contestants once they’re off the air. CariDee also addresses this particular issue in regards to the models’ tough professional careers after they leave the show with their “Top Model” titles:
“I love love what I have made for myself since my win, but mentally, its horrific. And any girl who has been on ANTM can back me up. No one wants to take us serious as models… The fashion industry had NO idea how to market us. Our agents, our managers….. because we become a instant celeb…. but had a protforlio [sic] of a rookie model. Even though we just were named ‘TOP’ our place in line at Fashion World was at the bottom. The industry many times didn’t care about our name, but did turn a snobby cheek to the name ANTM.”
Come to think of it, “Top Model” contestants do fall off the radar once they’re off the show. When was the last time you saw one of them strut a major fashion week runway or grace the pages of a significant editorial post-filming? Obviously, Tyra can’t guarantee successful careers once models leave the show, but do you think she should have a responsibility to keep tabs on former contestants to ensure that they’re doing OK?
Here is the full transcription of Caridee’s comment on Gawker:
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. And critics and industry love to give us all shit for not being the next big supermodel. We all have done well, and we all had to do it on our own. I am not complaining, I am simply defending. I love love what I have made for myself since my win, but mentally, its horrific. And any girl who has been on ANTM can back me up. No one wants to take us serious as models. I am sure the show lost its credibility in producing a top model somewhere btwn making 3 cycles a year and posing on roller coasters. Tyra wasn’t there when the cameras stopped rolling, nor did she reach out. I got reached out by her “camp” asking if I would do a “All Star” cycle… I said “Whats the prize? Because last time the only thing I didn’t win was being taken seriously as a top model…” ( I declined after no consideration) The only person that has reached out to me directly is Nigel Barker. He even hired me.
Now this isn’t Tyra’s fault.. we are all capable of becoming anything… I am saying it would have been a good call to have some after show support…
When it boils down to it, there is just not a place for ANTM girls to fit post show. We just needed some guidance.. Are we “Reality Star” ? (ARRRGG I feel deeply that I have contributed more, and have more to offer professionally in The Arts than someone being taped from the shore of Jersey) I truly did the show because I am a model…. and a damn good one given the shot.. (pun intended)
I can’t say what made Jael though.
The fashion industry had NO idea how to market us. Our agents, our managers….. because we become a instant celeb…. but had a protforlio of a rookie model. Even though we just were named “TOP” our place in line at Fashion World was at the bottom. The industry many times didn’t care about our name, but did turn a snobby cheek to the name ANTM.
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. I do not regret anything I am so thankful I followed through with my decision to take that track to my dreams. Am I at the top? Yes.. and for anyone who can’t see this, look up instead of looking down at me, at us.
I am again only defending and providing insight.
I have had many wonderful clients. I love my work. I feel accomplished, and I have turned the business of “CariDee” into one I am proud of and love. I love to inspire people out there to go after what they want, let nothing hold them back.
Now, do I feel like a respected model on the other hand…
Poor girl. Having problems and then getting a hint of fame only make an addiction rise. They should have evaluated her 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.
Not to worry, non of us make it out alive.
But heres to making it
February 2, 2013
On September 10, 2012, the Huffington Post posted an article regarding Cycle 8‘s Jael Strauss and a recent news story about her appearance on Dr. Phil for an intervention about her meth addiction. Here is the text from the article (Posted by HuffPo Staff):
Jael Strauss Battles Meth Addiction On Dr. Phil; Former ‘America’s Next Top Model’ Contestant’s Struggle (VIDEO)
Jael Strauss, a former contestant on “America’s Next Top Model,” has been struggling with an addiction to meth and now, Dr. Phil is trying to help.
Strauss’s family contacted “Dr. Phil” (weekdays, syndicated) to help stage an intervention for the 28-year-old woman, but in the below preview of the episode, which airs on Thursday, September 13, it doesn’t look like Strauss wants the help. The “full-blown meth addict,” as Dr. Phil refers to her, physically fights to resist coming to the set of “Dr. Phil.” After finally agreeing and heading to the show, she runs away from the set and Dr. Phil heads outside to talk to her on the Paramount lot.
The now-struggling Strauss starred on Cycle 8 of “Top Model” and had to deal with a friend’s death from an overdose while appearing on the show in 2007. The experience really shook her “America’s Next Top Model,” but apparently wasn’t enough to keep Strauss herself away from drugs.
Check out the episode description and preview below and tune in for “Dr. Phil” (syndicated, weekdays) on Thursday, September 13 to see what happens.
At 22, Jael was an aspiring model and finalist on the hit show “America’s Next Top Model.” But at 28, Jael’s family says she’s losing her battle with drug addiction. Don’t miss what happens minutes before she’s to appear on Dr. Phil’s stage. Can Dr. Phil convince her to stop running and commit to getting well?
October 18, 2010
Exclusive Interview with Kaceyof ‘Top Model’ Cycle 15: I Thought My Challenge Wins Would Save Me
It’s unusual for Tyra and her judges to send home the defending challenge champion on America’s Next Top Model, but, unfortunately for Kacey, the 20-year-old dance teacher from Palmdale, CA, they made an exception last night. AfterKacey had wowed the crowd at the Covergirl challenge but failed to connect in her photo shoot with Patrick Demarchelier, she was the sixth girl eliminated from the competition–whileAnn, who bombed the challenge but aced the shoot, got her fifth consecutive win.
I had the chance to chat with Kacey today about her time on Top Model, including the drama surrounding her in the house, why she was so devastated to get eliminated, and who she thinks should be crowned America’s Next Top Model and cover Italian Vogue. Here’s what she had to say:
Congratulations on making it on this cycle, and making it as far as you did. How are you feeling?
I’m feeling good. I know I have so much more to come. So I’m feeling good.
I’m glad to hear that. We saw you take the elimination pretty hard, so now that you’ve had some time, are you feeling a little bit better about it?
Yeah, because I was so devastated, you have no idea. So hard. So hard.
Were you surprised? Was that an element of it?
Oh my gosh, I was so surprised. I know my photo shoot, it definitely wasn’t my best one. But just considering the fact that I had won the challenges, especially that Covergirl challenge, I definitely thought that was going to save me and be a cushion to fall on. So to know that it just didn’t even matter, really, that I won, it was surprising and shocking.
Right. You won this week’s challenge, and the week before. Was that frustrating to be doing so well in the challenges but not get that positive feedback in the photo shoots?
Yeah, exactly. I didn’t understand it. I know I fell flat or came up short in that last photo shoot, but as a whole, I don’t think that was the right time for me to go. I definitely think that winning challenges should have some value to it. What’s the point of winning if it doesn’t matter? And I really thought it did matter. But … nope!
There hasn’t been too much drama this season, but the drama we have seen has revolved around you. Can you give me any insight, from your perspective, as to what was going on in the house?
In the very beginning, right after we moved into the house, I ended up getting sick, so there was a lot of bonding that I missed. I was in bed for maybe three days, and I missed a lot of bonding. And another thing I can think of is, I was content and cool with not having a companion. I’m an independent person, I don’t need somebody to accompany me all the time. So that might have rubbed them the wrong way also. So those are the only reasons I can think of that they didn’t like me. Because I really don’t see a real, true reason on why I was disliked, or the hatred I was getting. It was just something deeper. I don’t know.
It was hard to tell on TV where it all started, so it’s interesting that you don’t really know, either.
It’s also just a sort of copy and paste thing. Once one girl feels so strongly, they all sort of gang up. It’s easy to gang up on somebody. If I was on the other side, I probably would have done it, too. You never know.
What’s it like watching those conflicts on TV?
It’s a little frustrating, because since I was there, I know how everything went down, verbatim, so for America to get bits and pieces of it, that’s frustrating. I just wish they saw everything and how it went down from before the fight to after the fight.
What is your take on Ann’s monopoly on the best photos this season?
She deserves it. I mean, if she’s producing the best photos, then heck yeah, she deserves it. But also, I’ll be honest and say, part of me does believe that she is getting best photo half because she’s producing the best pictures, and half because they’re trying to put some confidence in her. That girl, she really doesn’t know what she has. She’s such a good model, effortlessly, but she’s so down on herself that I think they’re trying to instill some confidence in her, like, “Girl, you have it.”
Did you see her blossoming in the confidence area at all?
Yeah. That’s just her personality, too. She’s not the type to brag or boast, but yeah, it should definitely boost her confidence. You’re getting the best out of the best every single week. It’s like, “Girl, you better recognize!” You know? So I think she was improving in that area.
If you were to choose who was going to win, who would you choose? Now that you’re out of the competition, I mean.
Yeah, I was going to say myself! [Laughs] No, I would choose Jane. She has it in the bag, and she doesn’t know it yet, either. If she was on Italian Vogue already, I’d be like, “Of course.” She just looks like working models today. She has it in the bag. I’m rooting for her.
You were paired with her during the Patrick Demarchelier shoot last night and said you were intimidated.
Yeah, because she’s just effortlessly beautiful.
What did you learn from this whole experience?
I learned a lot on the modeling aspect of it, just working with people and how things go behind the scenes. It’s time consuming, and I learned a lot of details on that side. I also learned to not be afraid to stand alone. That’s probably the biggest thing that I learned. If you’re riding solo, ride solo and be strong.
Are you going to keep modeling in the future?
Of course, I’ve got to model! It’s natural for me, it’s what I want to do. So of course, of course, of course, I’m going to model. I’m fortunate to be in the LA area, where a lot of it goes down, so I’m going to take advantage of that.