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…?
January 18, 2012
I just want to begin by apologizing for my lack of updates.
When I began this blog, I was a freelance writer with a wealth of time on my hands. I would spend upwards of 10-12 hours a day on this blog, researching and updating photos and bios constantly.
It’s been challenging to keep up with the show and blog updates now that I have a full-time job.
BUT – due to overwhelming requests from you, my ANTM411 fan base, I will once again be updating.
Warm regards and please keep checking back!
April 19, 2011
Thanks so much for your patience. The images should be showing up now. Keep visiting!
April 17, 2011
I’m [obviously] having a few technical difficulties with the site at the moment. I am not taking it down, promise. I’m working out the issues with WordPress as I type, so hopefully we’ll be back online ASAP.
Thank you to all of you who emailed me to let me know the photography was not showing up. I appreciate all of you!
Please stay tuned; I should get this fixed very soon.
February 27, 2011
Exclusive! Whitney Thompson Calls ANTM Cycle 16 Premiere Prank “Not Cool”
Whitney Thompson, Cycle 10 winner of America’s Next Top Model (the first plus-size one ever!) and a model for Wilhelmina, shares her thoughts on Tyra’s Punk’d-style prank, this cycle’s “fiercely real” contestant, Kasia, and more.
America’s Next Top Model’s Cycle 16 premiere started out particularly cruel. During each season so far, 40 girls are initially cast, but only 13-14 are ever chosen to move into the Top Model house. This cycle, Tyra pulled a mean fake-out on the girls, telling the girls whoactually made it to the show that they didn’t and telling the ones who didn’t make it that they did. The worst part was that she chose not to show the reactions of the real rejected contestants — who were apparently told the truth behind closed doors. I realize that this is for television but these girls have real emotions and I don’t think that the “prank” was necessary or cool. My heart goes out to all of the ones that didn’t make it, even though I think the contestants on the show are fantastic.
I am a little biased as a plus-size Wilhelmina model but I do love Kasia, the “fiercely real” girl. She seems really light-hearted and young even though she’s 26 (a bit on the older side for the modeling industry). I would have guessed that she was still a teen — she is absolutely gorgeous. I do think that her walk needs some work and I’m still a little baffled as to why Tyra pulled a girl who was already signed to Wilhelmina and was a successful plus model and stuck her on the show, but I’m hoping that Tyra has some secret, good reasoning behind all of that. Also wondering why Kasia would agree to going on the show, given she was already signed.
Now let’s get to the bubble runway. Funny enough, I actually saw this done at Full figured Fashion Week in New York City and I thought the same thing then as I do now — it looks dumb! The bubble had a huge gash of silver duct tape rolling around which really takes away from the “look.” It’s a really interesting concept and I think that it could be done well, but not with duct tape across the front, lined with cheap confetti, and in the middle of a swimming pool! Once again, I attribute this to the fact that everything on ANTM has to make for good television. Yet, I admit that I watched with horror and delight as each model teeter-tottered down the 12″-wide runway. It really got my attention. There are few things in the world more satisfying then watching a model fall on her face and not be able to get back up! Bravo, Tyra for being a genius and please keep the stunts coming for the rest of the season!
I actually got to shoot with Russell James, who was on last night’s episode, on my cycle of Top Model— he is my absolute favorite photographer. Everything he touches is so full of life. His work is usually brilliant but for a cycle opener I expected a lot more. The photos were beautiful but I wanted to see someone on fire, jumping on a trampoline with a message for curing cancer. I think that this premiere was one of the most boring shoots to date. I found myself tweeting while it was going on and confused about whether it was the “actual” shoot or if there would be another one before panel. But I have to admit, nothing made me giggle more than Nigel describing a girl’s mouth in her photograph as a “cat’s bottom mouth” and making his interpretation of a “cat’s bottom” face. It was hilarious watching this because Nigel is so handsome. I can only hope that he doesn’t say such things about my pictures.
Looking forward to seeing the girls get stung by bees next Wednesday!
October 21, 2010
My “little blog” has now has reached almost two million hits – and I have you, my dear and loyal ANTM411 fans, to thank for it. Thank you.
Now it’s time for a site facelift. (No more WordPress theme templates for me!) I need a new redesign, which includes a new ANTM411 logo.
I beseech all of you graphic designers, art directors, ad concepters, etc. who are familiar and possibly fanatical about watching ANTM (if you’re on this site, it’s probably the latter), please submit your ideas/designs.
I’m in the process of setting a deadline for submissions and design specifications, so stay tuned for more details.
Direct any inquiries about this contest to email@example.com.
October 7, 2010
In February of 2010, Cycle 7‘s Melrose Bickerstaff posted an update regarding her life/career on Myspace, which was then reposted on the Reality TV Games ANTM Forum. Here is the text from the post (written and posted by Melrose Bickerstaff, but reposted by Carmabelle143):
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Current mood: blessed
So it’s been over a year since I blogged on here and I have to say it’s been way too long. I am currently working on a website so we can interact more completely and intimately as this myspace situation is a bit difficult and time consuming for me. So thank you – to everyone – and mainly to those few of you who keep coming back and showing me love. I know who you are and notes are on their way.
So….what have I been doing you ask? Well, it started in Paris. I went to agencies and snuck into all the shows John Galliano, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Lanvin, and a few more miracles happened. (I also crashed my best friend, Thyme’s, honeymoon. She’s gonna get me back for that. Then I hopped over to London where I worked with Storm and Spin in Hamburg for a bit over 7 months. I took a snowboarding trip to Villars Switzerland and had an amazing time. My booker at Storm sent me to Tel Aviv Israel and there I modeled with MC2 for a few designers and a jewelry company called Diva ;p. I met my beautiful boyfriend there and I have now been living with him in NYC for just about 6 months. I’m planning on going to Asia (hopefully Tokyo) this year, maybe Paris next week for fashion week and maybe at some point to Sydney.
As much as I love modeling, I am also starting to pursue acting and it is looking good from here so i’ll keep you posted if I get some love soon in that department.
Anyways, I love you all so much and really appreciate all the support (and the birthday wishes!!) You guys rock and please keep visiting my site as I will have more info on my website soon. It’s going to be awesome. Lot’s of video blogs of jobs and just fun things I get to do, my world of fashion (I’m thinking about doing my Masters Degree here in NYC at Parson’s after Asia), and lots of sweepstakes for my fans involving me picking one of you aspiring models to help out next year.
Many apologies for the long MIA-ness. Love yas!!!
Peace and love and Happy 2009!!!