The other day, a promo for the upcoming episode of Dr. Phil made headlines instantaneously after showing how an America’s Next Top Model finalist, Jael Strauss, had become a full-blown meth addict. Now, another ANTM girl is speaking out against the show.
As we also reported at the time the 30-second shocking preview came out, Jael did not make it in the final round on the show but she’d been on it enough for people to remember her.
Even back then she had issues, struggling to cope with her best friend’s death of an OD.
CariDee English, who won the crown on one of the previous seasons of ANTM, tells Gawker that the show’s producers, with creator / host Tyra Banks in particular, had a responsibility towards Jael to better evaluate her condition.
She doesn’t say it out loud, but the implication is there: had they been more responsible, perhaps Jael would have not succumbed to drugs later on.
“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,” CariDee says in reference to the Dr. Phil episode.
In it, Jael’s family turns to Dr. Phil for help, having tried whatever was in their power until then to get her to seek help for her devastating addiction.
“Not to worry, none of us make it out alive. But here's to making it,” CariDee adds.
Speaking strictly about the show and Tyra Banks, who usually “promises” to the girls on each season a career as a “top model,” CariDee insists that the reality is far from that.
“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’,” she says.
Even she had to struggle to find work even though she won.
“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,” she says.
She does concede though that things could have been worse: she could have had to start from scratch and, if only for that, she is thankful to Tyra and ANTM.